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7 Minute Read

19 Tools Every Man Should Have in His Garage

A well-stocked garage is every man’s best friend. Discover the must-have tools every man needs to get things done.

Various tools organized on a pegboard in a garage.

Every man needs a well-equipped garage to tackle a variety of projects. From measuring tools to basics like screwdrivers and flashlights, having the right equipment allows you to maintain your home with confidence. 

Here are 19 tools that should be in every man’s garage:

1. Tape Measure  

You can use a tape measure to measure everything from the walls of a room to a piece of wood needed for a project. The measuring tape slides back into the device making it compact and easy to store.

Keep in mind there are several different types of tape measures. You will find the pocket spring-return tape measure in most garages. However, you may need a fabric tape measure for a curved surface. Also, consider a digital tape measure to make a measurement without moving.

Person measuring a piece of wood with a yellow measuring tape.

2. Flashlight

With a trusty flashlight on a shelf in the garage, you can have an immediate supply of light no matter what you’re doing. A flashlight can help you see what’s dripping beneath your car or find the creature that’s making all those scratching noises beneath your front porch. It can also be the go-to light whenever the electricity goes off!

Nowadays, there are several types of flashlights to choose from. The classic LED flashlight will be most commonly found in the garage. However, you may also need a headlamp flashlight to work in the dark with both hands. Or, if you are prone to dropping your flashlight, you may need a heavy-duty one that can take a bashing.

Man lying on the floor using a flashlight to work under a sink.

3. Screwdriver

Having screwdrivers in the garage is a benefit whenever a small repair job comes up around the house. You may need a Philips head screwdriver to tighten a few screws on a door hinge or a flathead screwdriver to open the battery door on the back of a radio.

It’s best to have a range of screwdrivers that fix different types of screws in the house. To save space, we recommend buying one screwdriver with interchangeable heads.

Person using a screwdriver to install a door hinge.

4. Utility Knife

The utility knife is a small metal knife with a blade that slides in and out of the device. It’s helpful for cutting items like cardboard or rope.

There are three different types of utility knives you should know about. First, a retractable blade offers the convenience and safety of being able to extend and retract the blade. 

The second is a fixed blade that locks the blade in place. This utility knife is best for heavy-duty cutting. 

Last, a snap-off is designed to break away the blade in sections so that you can start with a fresh blade. This feature is helpful when cutting adhesives that get stuck on the blade.

Man cutting a wire with an orange utility knife

5. Pliers

A pair of pliers is used to grip an item, such as a nail or screw. You may need a pair of pliers to pull a loose nail out of a wall or loosen a bolt.

There are so many different types of pliers to choose from. It’s best to have several pliers available to complete varying tasks. For example, you may need diagonal pliers to cut hard wires and needle nose pliers to work in a tighter space.

Person using pliers to pull a nail out of wood.

6. Garden Trowel

A simple garden trowel with a wooden handle can take care of many minor digging tasks. You can use it to dig up a small root growing in your yard or dig holes to plant a gathering of flowers in the springtime.

Older man using garden trowel in his yard.

In addition to the trowel, you may want to consider a garden digger, which has a sharp tip more suitable for cutting through larger roots in the soil.

7. Cordless Drill

This is one of the handiest tools on the list. Keep it charged, and it can greatly reduce the time you spend on simple jobs. Use a cordless drill to loosen and take out screws that are in places like door hinges, kitchen cabinet handles, and phone jacks.

It’s important that you get yourself a cordless drill with a lot of power. You don’t want to be putting in a screw only to have the drill freeze up.

Person using a cordless drill to install a light switch.

8. Adjustable Wrench

An adjustable wrench is a versatile tool that is tremendously helpful in tackling minor household repairs. It can be used to loosen the bolt on an outside spigot to fix a leak or tighten a bolt on a pipe underneath a bathroom sink.

Adjustable wrench tightening a pipe fitting with a red valve.

9. Windshield Scraper

A windshield scraper is a plastic device with a thin edge used to remove ice from a car’s windshield. Even if you don’t get snow and ice where you live, you may get a layer of frost that needs to be removed from your windshield before it’s safe to drive.

Many windshield scrapers come with additional features such as a snow brush, a snow broom (the brush’s larger cousin), or a waterproof glove!

Man scraping snow and ice from a car windscreen.

10. Handsaw

You should have at least one small handsaw in the garage for a task that involves cutting wood. You may want to trim the length of a board for a project or take down a few low-hanging branches on a tree in your yard.

Person sawing a piece of wood with a hand saw.

One tip you should know about a handsaw is about its teeth size. Smaller teeth work better on more delicate surfaces, whereas larger teeth are for faster, heavy-duty tasks.

11. Collection of Nails

Nails come in all sizes. They are helpful when you want to hang a picture, secure a board that is coming loose on the porch, or hang up a new tool rack in the garage. Get yourself a box of various nails to use when the right occasion comes up!

Open toolbox filled with assorted nails and screws.

12. Portable Car Battery Charger

This device can charge a dead car battery. It’s useful, especially if no other cars are around to jump a dead battery.

Many portable car battery chargers also come with additional features. For instance, they may include an air compressor to add air to a tire or USB ports to charge a device like a smartphone.

Portable car battery charger connected to a car battery.

13. Ladder

You don’t have to paint houses for a living to justify having a reliable aluminum step ladder. An eight-foot ladder can be helpful when you want to change a light bulb near the ceiling or check out the condition of your gutters.

Two popular ladder types are the step ladder and the extension ladder. The step ladder has an A-frame design with spreaders that hold it in the correct position. An extension ladder has two sections: one base and one that slides up and down. You slide the ladder to your desired height and then lock it in place.

There are multiple step ladder sizes, typically from 6-foot to 12-foot. To determine your reach height on the ladder, add four feet. For example, an 8-foot ladder has around a 12-foot reach.

Man on an extension ladder removing leaves from a gutter

14. Hammer

There always seems to be a stray nail around the house or property that needs to be pounded in. Over time, wood shifts, and we need to put that nail back in its place.

A claw hammer is handy in the garage whether you want to fix the leg on a kitchen chair, build a birdhouse, or do some DIY jobs around the house. This hammer has a flat head with a claw in the back to pull nails from objects.

Person hammering a nail into a wooden board

15. Bubble Level

The bubble in this level helps you determine if an object is perfectly straight. Whether you’re building new kitchen cabinets or hanging a picture on the wall, it proves helpful.

The bubble level, also called the spirit level, often has vials that are vertical and horizontal. A smaller level, such as a 9-inch torpedo, is easier to use in tight space.

Man marking wall with pencil using a bubble level.

16. Pipe Snake

A pipe snake, also called a plumber’s snake, effectively removes small clogs in the bathroom or kitchen sink. It’s a winding metal cord that fits into a length of pipe. The pipe snake is inserted into the pipe until it hits the clog and breaks it up.

Person using a pipe snake to clear a drain.

17. Stud Finder 

A stud finder is a small device used to locate the studs in the beams within your walls. Studs are boards that support the frame in your home, typically vertically. 

The stud finder is an invaluable tool for putting up items like bookshelves, a safety gate for a baby, or a heavy picture frame.

Man using a stud finder to locate studs in a wall.

18. Rope

Rope is helpful to keep on hand for all types of chores. For example, you can use it to secure the door of your car trunk if you’re hauling an item that doesn’t allow you to close the latch.

Bundle of natural fiber rope.

An important feature to know about rope is what it’s made of. Natural rope, made from sources like cotton or jute, is perfect when you organic material, such as when working in the garden. It does well in high heat. Synthetic rope, such as nylon, is very strong and resistant to water, so it’s ideal for water applications.

19. WD-40

The old standby. It’s a spray lubricant useful for so many projects that if I listed all of them here, I would run out of paper! A few use examples are to quiet noisy door hinges, loosen a lock that sticks, wipe away crayon marks, remove scuff marks from floors.

Gloved hand spraying WD-40 from a can.

Conclusion

You likely already have these items in your garage, but we hope this blog gave you at least a couple of ideas for new tools to add to your garage.

Profile picture of Alan Bernau Jr

Alan Bernau Jr

Alan Bernau Jr. is the founder and owner of Alan’s Factory Outlet. He has helped more than 75,000 homeowners design and install custom carports and garages over the last 20 years.

Alan Bernau Jr. is the founder and owner of Alan’s Factory Outlet. He has helped more than 75,000 homeowners design and install custom carports and garages over the last 20 years.

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