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Tool Recommendations for New Homeowners

Ask This Old House host Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape designer Jenn Nawada discuss DIY Smarts around tools that make good gifts for new homeowners.


  1. The team suggests analyzing the skill set of the person receiving the tools. Don’t get tools that are too advanced for the person to actually use.
  2. Try to invest in as high-quality tools as possible. They will last longer and give a higher-quality result.
  3. Tom’s picks: drill driver, level, tape measure, utility knife, set of screwdrivers.
  4. Richard’s picks: wrench set, open-ended adjustable wrenches, plumber’s pliers, utility knife.
  5. Jenn’s picks: pruners.


Tom suggested that a drill driver, a level, a tape measure, a utility knife, and a set of screw drivers all are good tools for homeowners to have to tackle many small projects around the house.

Richard’s picks included a wrench set, a couple of open-ended adjustable wrenches, and plumber’s pliers. These few tools can handle almost all homeowner-friendly plumbing projects in a house. He also mentioned that one of his favorite tools is a multi-tool, since it can be used for just about anything.

For landscaping, Jenn suggested getting a pair of high-quality pruners that are tough enough to cut woody shrubs. This will make it easier to keep all the plants in the yard pruned so they are healthier and last longer.

The team all agreed that the key to getting good tools is investing in as high-quality ones as possible. They work better and will last for much longer.

All the tools described above can be found at the Home Depot.

Shop Tools at The Home Depot