A list of power tools that women should have in their toolbox for general home repair and emergencies

There’s a running joke among my friends that the odd jobs never get done around the house because the man of the house can’t do it without the right power tools – which he hasn’t bought yet. Most women, on the other hand, have never met a nail that can’t be hammered in with the heel of a shoe or a screw that will stand up to a nail file. I’m no exception – my “tool box” consists of one Phillips head screwdriver, two flat screwdrivers and a ‘lady’s hammer’. More often than not, though, if I need to break into my computer’s case, I’ll send a kid out to the kitchen to bring me back the butter knife with the flower on the handle – it’s the only one with a narrow enough tip to get seated properly in those tiny screws. Even I have to admit, though, that there are some power tools that make impossible jobs easy as pie. In fact, there is one power tool that no woman should be without, especially if she’s living alone.

Essential Power Tool Survival Kit

Number one on the power tool hit parade is a cordless electric drill. If you’ve ever spent forty minutes trying to hang a towel bar or curtain rod, you’ll swoon over what an electric drill can do for you. Sure, given the time and the right nail file, you can get any screw into any wood – but why spend 20 minutes twisting your wrist when an electric drill with a screw bit can have that little sucker in place – tight and flush – in less than 30 seconds?

Electric drills are also the best – and sometimes only – way to get a screw that’s gone in wrong UN-stuck. Once you have a power drill in the house, you won’t know how you ever did all of the little fix-it jobs without one. It’s easily the handiest of all the power tools to own. The best drill to own? One with a 3/8″ chuck and variable speeds, including reverse. It will set you back $25-$50 and be worth every single penny.

More than Power Tools – The essentials you need in your tool kit

1. A claw hammer. While I can drive any nail with the heel of a shoe, getting nails OUT is a different matter. A 16 ounce claw hammer is an absolute necessity for all sorts of jobs around the house.

2. A screwdriver set. There are some screws your trusty nail file just won’t handle. Pick up a good screwdriver set that includes flat heads, Phillips heads, star tips and a set of hex keys. If it also has a set of socket tips for unscrewing nuts, you’re in great shape.

3. Adjustable pliers, needle nose pliers and wire cutters.

4. Tape measure.

5. Duct tape.

6. An assortment of nails, brads and screws.

Tools aren’t just for men. They can make your life much easier – and save you money on repairs around the house that you never thought you could do yourself. If you haven’t made friends with the power tools aisle at your local hardware store, it’s about time you did.