If you want to be able to tackle a wide variety of reasonably straightforward DIY tasks the trick is to pack your tool box with a number of essential items that will help you to complete the tasks with the minimum of fuss.

Here is a rundown of the sort of must-have items that should make up an essential DIY tool box, including a trusted way of sizing up dimensions, what to look for when buying screwdrivers, plus some inexpensive items that help improve safety.

It starts with a tape measure

You can’t have a tool box without including a tape measure on your list and you can’t really expect to carry out any number of different tasks without a trusty tape measure to hand to help with your calculations.

A tape measure will help you plan out a new space in your home and work out quickly whether an item of furniture is going to fit where you want to put it. This simple but essential tool also allows you to work out exactly where to drill holes and hammer in a nail, without relying on the sort of guesswork that can lead to mistakes.

You will always need screwdrivers

You only have to visit an online site like RS to see how many different screwdrivers are available and this can be a bit confusing for some homeowners who don’t know which ones are best for their DIY requirements.

A good screwdriver set should cover most of the usual sizes and requirements and it is always worth spending a bit more if you can to get a set of screwdrivers with comfortable rubber or plastic handles, which help with grip and even provide insulation to combat the risk of electric shock.

Get a couple of hammers

If you are stocking up your tool box for the first time you will probably think that one hammer will be enough to handle most jobs but it would be a good idea to invest in a couple of different versions.

The standard option is to buy a claw hammer and it’s easy to see why as you can use one end to hammer in a nail and the other idea to pull an old one out.

Ideally, choose a general purpose hammer with something like a 16-inch handle, so that it is heavy enough and big enough to let you drive in large nails easily. It would also be helpful to have a tack hammer for lighter work like putting up pictures and controlling smaller nails with greater dexterity.

While you are at it, a pipe and live wire detector would be a good idea to help you avoid a DIY disaster and a stud finder would also come in handy if you are hanging something heavy and want to get the best get the best support.

You don’t have to go overboard stocking your tool box but these essential items and a few others will give you the chance to complete any number of DIY tasks.