Every handyman knows there is no limit to the number of tools you might need. But if we could travel back in time and talk to a younger version of ourselves one just starting out, we would put on the must-have list.

They are in alphabetical order because they are putting in order of importance and it was just too dang hard. There are some tools every handyman needs the following:

Bag or box

A handyman is carrying a tool bag or toolbox.  If it’s properly stocked, you’ll be able to tackle a good portion of your jobs without having to run back to your vehicle a dozen times.

Cordless circular saw

If you’re going to do anything carpentry-related, you’ll want the flexibility that a cordless circular saw provides.

Cordless drill

This is one of the most versatile tools every handyman should have.  It can become a lightning-fast screwdriver, drill pilot holes, and help you install drywall.

Electrical tester

When a customer tells you an outlet doesn’t work, the easiest first step is to test it with an electrical tester.

They’re small and (can be) inexpensive and since they aren’t the kind of thing most homeowners have lying around, using one makes you look like a professional.


You might use a carpenter’s level and it offers the extra precision of checking for plumb as well as level.

You could be investing in a laser level and you can be putting a leveling app on your smartphone.


The stereotypical handyman leaves his customers’ homes messy.  Set yourself apart from the herd by truly making the effort to clean up after yourself.

Use a shop vac at every job, every day, and your clients will rave about you (even if you do nothing else right).

Stud finder

Sure, it looks quaint and charming when you knock on walls looking for studs, but to get the job done efficiently, invest in a stud finder.  It might save you from a few extra drywall patch jobs, too.

Tape measure

There won’t be many handyman tasks that don’t require you to measure.  The traditional metal tape measure is easy to use, but if you need to get high-tech, you can use a laser measurer.

Utility knife

A good utility knife must-have tools for handyman in the pocket and be your go-to first tool.  Whether you are scoring, cutting, marking, poking, or picking.