The main purpose of having tools is to cut your time in half and save some money on do-it-yourself projects. Any type of construction repair or fix leakage can never be complete with few crucial tools. With the current economic turbulence and uncertain real estate market, many home owners are beginning to take interest in buying essential tools. On the other hand, people who live in apartments can take advantage of having a fully-functional, fully-loaded tool kit. Fix just about anything, while you’re on a home decorating project with the help of these home improvement tools.

Following are some essential tools for home improvement, for any type of job around the house. These items are the absolute basics that will last a lifetime and you can purchase them under US$ 200. You can play your handyman role with ease with few additions mentioned below. Also, the approximate prices of these tools are mentioned to give you a rough idea, as to how much you would be spending on each of them.

Hammer: One of the most important tools any household needs is a hammer. Choose a model which has a steel-shaft with vibration-dampening rubber grip. You want to keep an eye for a straight or “rip” claw, rather than a curved claw (demolition work). (Price – US$ 15)

Toolbox: Now a good, helpful toolbox can go a long way, once it’s filled. Instead of keeping all the tools lying around the house and/or garage, why not collectively keep them in the toolbox to help make things easy. Buy a soft canvas bag which has a lot of pockets for all types of frustration-free work. (Price – US$ 30)

Screwdrivers: A mixed set of magnetic heads screwdrivers will save you money and get the most use as well. Try to avoid cordless electric screwdrivers and instead look for one with corded electric drill. The latter will provide more torque and won’t require a charge. (Price – US$ 20)

Pry Bar: Buy a 12 – 15 inch pry bar, which can be very handy around the house. Check out the one with hexagon steel that is superior to other pry bars which are made of spring steel. The spring ones tend to bounce when you hit with a hammer. (Price – US$ 15)

Needle-nose Pliers: For all types of electrical work around the house, office, or apartment, you will need a needle-nose plier. They are long, tapered, and have forged heads, and work perfectly where there is a space crunch. Purchase a pair which has a wire-cutting blade included near the hinge. (Price – US$ 8)

Vise Grips: Vise grips are also called locking pliers. The pit bull present in your toolbox are vise grips. All you have to do is adjust the screwdriver in its handle, and clamp it over anything which requires a vise-like bracing. After the job is over, the lever on the handle will release the jaws. (Price – US$10)

Electrical Tester: Now if you think you need fancy gadgets that has dials and displays, think again. All you require is a cheap electrical tester which has 2 probes and a light that indicates an electric current when present. Always test it in a working outlet before you use it (every time) to check, if it’s still working. Because, if the electrical tester is dead, so shall you be. (Price – US$ 2)

Wire Cutter/Stripper: To speed up any electrical work, you need a plier-like tool called wire cutter. It scores and strips off the casing on different gauges of wires. Instead of wasting your time with diagonal pliers, use a wire cutter and see the difference. (Price – US$ 10)

Tape Measure: A 16 foot good quality, easy to lock, ¾ inch wide model is just right for any space. Steer clear of the ½ inch or 1 inch ones, as they don’t work everywhere. (Price – US$ 4)

Utility Knife: Purchase a utility knife which has replaceable blades included in the kit. It is really handy and saves you money on buying different ones. (Price – US$ 4)

Reversible Drill: More specifically, a 3/8th reversible drill with bit set is a must have. Instead of reaching for a cordless variety, purchase a corded model, as it is light, cheaper and never runs out of juice. (Price – US$ 40)

Steel Chisel: Not the plastic or wooden chisel, but a ½ inch steel chisel is what you need to have with any type of home improvement work. Even though it is one of the old tools, it’s very much-needed in the house. (Price – US$ 10)

9 Inch Torpedo Level: When you wish to level a picture frame or kitchen cabinet, during your interior decorating project, these palm-sized levels are very useful. They have a bubble which floats to the center for leveling everything around the house. Avoid the laser levels available in the market. (Price – US$ 9)

Handsaw: A 12 inch handsaw is light, cuts straight and faster than any other traditional handsaws available in market today. If you have a circular saw, you might need a handsaw instead. (Price – US$ 15)

Safety Glasses: No substitutions whatsoever for an effective eye protection glasses. (Price – US$ 6)

These were some of the must-have tools to get you started on your project. If you want to begin a more specialized project, something like hardwood floors or linoleum, you may require more defined tools then. Visit your local hardware store and ask for any necessary addition to your collection.