I don’t know about you, but I am a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to gift registries. As a guest, I love them. They are so easy and it’s nice knowing you are spending your money on something your friend(s) needs or wants. But, when it came to making decisions for our upcoming wedding, the idea of a registry made us uncomfortable.
So this is what Nate wrote up for our wedding website to address our dilemma:
As most of our friends know, and my family definitely knows, I (Nate typing here) am not a fan of receiving gifts. For the past eight million birthdays and Christmas gatherings, I have only asked for socks and boxers. It seems odd to list those two items for a wedding, plus it would be difficult (not impossible) for Andrea to pull off black socks and XL boxer briefs. Therefore, we have gone the traditional route and registered at the sites below (guests: check out wedding site for the list). If you want to make a gift by hand, that would be fantastic and definitely welcomed. If anything registered below does not scream ‘Andrea’ or ‘Nate’ in your mind, we say rebel against the system and get whatever you like. In no way are you expected to bring a gift, our lives are pretty sweet at the moment. Have fun and peace out.
It turns out our gift registry is a very practical list of things we really do need. Big surprise it’s mostly tools, kitchen stuff and a few odds and ends like a toilet for the prison bath!
But what tools to list?
When I researched tools to add to our collection, I was rather surprised someone hasn’t put a gift registry tool list together before. I had a very hard time finding a detailed one so I compiled our list from a few sources (see source list below) and a little help from people in the know.
Below is a complete list for any couples working on their own registry, new homeowners or maybe just someone looking for a handy gift! This list combines items Nate and I already own and love, plus those we’ve registered for. If you have any other suggestions to add to the list please leave them below. Some could be a gift on their own while others could be combined into one. I hope this helps others in the future!!
Basic Tools for Everyone
I feel these are the essential tools for anyone. I got my own set as soon as I needed to hang frames in my first place!
- Claw Hammer – All you need is a basic hammer, but if you want something extra nice invest in a hickory hammer one like this.
- Screwdriver Set – Screwdrivers are like forks – somehow you always need more. This set is nice because it includes a micro set.
- Allen Wrench (Hex Key) Set – Handy when putting together Swedish furniture. Don’t rely on the tool you get with free with purchase!
- Crescent Wrench – You basic wrench to tighten or loosen pipes or jars.
- Plier Set – This set is handy for bending, tightening just about anything including jewelry. Make sure to get a couple different kinds especially a needlenose.
- Flashlight – Like screwdrivers listed above, it’s an item you always seem to need more of. I really like the LED lights. They are cheap and super bright.
- Laser Level – This guy makes hanging frames so much easier.
- Measuring Tape – Buy one or two… these are good to keep in your bag for trips to the store.
- Utility Knife – Again a basic tool that has so many uses. I often use it for my art projects as well as house related ones. Keep an extra pack of blades on hand to keep the knife sharp.
- Putty Knife – Very important for renter when you need to fill any nail holes.
- Cordless Drill – One of the best birthday gifts I ever got. Get one with two battery packs and a charger if you can.
- Step Ladder – This guy is my constant companion. It’s very helpful especially for those of us under 5′ 3″.
25 Tools for the DIY Enthusiast
Okay now we are getting into the big ticket and specialty tools. A lot of these tools are on our current registry!
- Reciprocating Saw – We are currently holding my dad’s reciprocating saw hostage. It’s great for sawing through small branches, pipes, etc.
- Hand Saw – Another saw that’s helpful for cutting off branches, through sheetrock and cleaning out small openings.
- Hack saw – Use the hack saw for cutting through pipe.
- Hammer Drill – This is also on our wish list. It’s especially awesome for drilling through our concrete walls.
- Palm or Orbital sander – Depending on your need, a small sander is really helpful for furniture restoration and/ or painting projects.
- Good paint brushes – Cheap brushes suck. Invest in a nice pair and take care of them.
- Mallet – The soft cousin of your standard hammer, he come in handy for anytime you need to protect what you are hammering into.
- Basin Wrench – Also called a sink wrench, this wrench lets you get to tighten or loose bolts in hard to reach places.
- Vise-Grip Pliers – These are so useful because you can lock them into place for an extra tight grip.
- Clamp Set – This set is handy for furniture makers or repairers.
- Carpenter’s Square – It’s often important to keep your marks level and 90 degrees. I like this one with the built-in level.
- Pipe Wrench – Another variation of the wrench for pipes.
- Wet and Dry Shop Vac – He cleans up your mess whether it’s wet or dry. You can also use it on your floors like we are doing when your other vacuum breaks.
- Socket Set – Again for tightening and loosening.
- 6′ Ladder – Get one with a pail shelf so you can have somewhere to put tools or your paint can. I use this almost as much as my step stool.
- Saw horses – These guys are sturdy and collapsible when not in use.
- Jigsaw/Skilsaw – Your basic saw for cutting down wood.
- Compound Miter Saw – A saw with much more precision. Very handy for a series of repetitive cuts.
- Brad Nailer/Stapler with Compressor – A nail gun can save you a lot of time and work. Someday we will get one when we add-on to our Master Bedroom.
- Stud Finder – Handy if you have standard framed walls. This guarantees you always find the most sturdy place to stick a nail.
- Staple Gun – I have both a light weight and heavy staple gun. I use both all the time for art projects, furniture making, etc.
- Safety Goggles – I really can’t wait for us to each have a pair of these nice goggles that don’t fog up.
- Work gloves – Nate and I each of a pair of these and they are worth the investment.
- Multi-Purpose Respirator – I wish we just invested in a pair of these instead of the flimsy ones from the get-go.
- Voltage (electrical) tester – Even if you don’t plan on doing your own electrical work, this allows you to test out wires before you do work around it.
More Painting Tools
If you end up doing a lot of painting, here’s a few more items we recommend to make the projects a little easier.
- Paint Roller Frame – These Wooster Sherlock Rollers are the best I have found. Don’t buy the cheap frame that the roller falls off!
- Roller Extender – Necessary for painting a ceiling or high cathedral walls.
- Pan Liners – These guys save you time and water cleaning out your roller pans.
- Painter’s Comb – Use the comb to keep your brushes nice.
- Paint Edger – I really like this tool for finishing the line between the wall and ceiling. I find it much easier than tape.
- Razor Blade Scraper – A simple little tool to clean up windows and floors of paint.
- Paint & Mud Mixer Drill Attachment – Mix up settled paint or mud.
- Blue Tape – You always need more tape!
- Spray Paint Gun – A necessity for anyone spray painting.
- Brush & Roller Cleaner – Again, it’s so important to get those brushes and rollers clean. This little guy saves you a lot of time.
For full disclosure, all the items above are linked to our amazon store so if you decide to purchase through the link we will get a small commission, but most of these items can be easily purchased at your local hardware store.
- Must-Have Tools for Every Skill Level – This Old House
- My Top Ten Essential Tools for DIY Projects – Making it Lovely
- Our Favorite & Essential Tools For DIY – Apartment Therapy
- My 25 Essential DIY Tools – Centsational Girl
- Essential Tools for DIY Projects – Real Simple
- Top 10 Hand Tools Every Woodworker Needs – About.com
- 12 Tools Every Man Should Have in His Toolbox – The Art of Manliness
- The Essential Power Tools – DIY Network