Tools belong in every household so that you can at least do small things yourself. What should not be missing in any tool box and what the do-it-yourselfer needs for which work is described below. This is how you set up your workshop.

basic equipment

A minimum of tools is part of the basic DIY equipment. The most important, essential purchases include:


  • For what: machining, if, for example, splinters appear on sandpits or potato crates; for smoothing frayed cuts and saws
  • What to look out for: should have a coarse rasp side and a finer file side
  • Costs: as sets with different file sizes/shapes from about 15.00 euros

Hand saw

  • What for: Shortening and cutting plastic, metal, wood and branches such as Christmas trees
  • What to look out for: there are different saw blades for each material; Bow saws allow saw blades to be changed; Foxtail is ideal for woodwork in the garden; do not select a saw blade that is too short in order to be able to saw thicker materials; high grip for safe saw guidance
  • Cost: between 10.00 and 50.00 euros
Tip: When sawing, there is always an increased risk of injury. For this reason, do-it-yourselfers should always have protective equipment such as goggles and gloves in addition to their tools.

Allen key/Allen key

  • What for: loosening and tightening of special screws, as they are often used in furniture / garden furniture
  • What to look out for: longer “handle” increases leverage
  • Costs: Set price with different Allen sizes from around 7.00 euros; individually from 0.50 cents
Note: A lot of furniture for self-assembly has Allen screws, which often loosen with regular use. Every do-it-yourselfer should always have an Allen key set ready in the workshop for tightening, because loose screws can quickly lead to damage.

For me

  • What for: grabbing and cutting wire
  • What to look out for: non-slip handles: length between 170 and 200 millimeters for good guidance and a firm hold
  • Cost: Available from under 10.00

Tape measure/folding rule

  • For what: Measuring distances, lengths, widths, depths
  • What to look for: choose robust material to ensure durability; easy-to-read digits ideally with millimeters; Measuring tapes for circular measurements
  • Costs: from 2.00 euros
Tip: Actually, the basic equipment of a tool case also includes a spirit level, which DIY enthusiasts can use to ensure that shelves and pictures are aligned correctly. In the age of smartphones, however, the purchase can be avoided and an app can take over the task of the scale instead.

pump tongs

  • For: Opening and tightening screw caps such as screw nuts, sink siphons or garden hose water connections
  • What to look out for: finely divided teeth for precise size adjustments; narrow jaws for working in tight spaces
  • Costs: between 10.00 and 70 euros (professional versions)

locksmith’s hammer

  • What for: driving nails and dowels into walls (e.g. for pictures or curtain rods)
  • What to look out for: choose a weight between 400 and 500 grams for optimum handiness; Wooden handle better than metal; Hammer head made of special steel according to DIN 1041
  • Costs: between 5.00 and 35.00 euros


  • What for: for loosening and screwing in screws
  • What to watch out for: inferior screwdrivers quickly turn round; different sizes of slotted and Phillips screwdrivers belong in the tool case
  • Costs: per screwdriver from 2.00 euros

side cutters

  • What for: Cutting cable wires and cable insulation
  • What to watch out for: the cutting edges must be exactly on top of each other and the tips must be exactly opposite, otherwise the cutting function will be faulty; Handles made of non-conductive material
  • Costs: from around 15.00 euros

Socket wrench/nut box

  • What for: Loosening stuck socket head and Allen screws
  • What to look out for: fine-toothed ratchet; long turning key for better power transfer; short rotary wrench for tight conditions
  • Costs: multi-part complete set from around 30.00 euros

Carpet knife/Cutter knife

  • What for: for precise cuts where a very sharp blade is required; ideal, for example, for carpets and styrofoam
  • What to watch out for: high risk of injury because it is as sharp as a razor blade; Blade must be able to be fully retracted
  • Costs: from about 3.00 euros

carpenter’s hammer

  • What for: for hammering and pulling nails / nail lifter
  • What to look out for: due to the higher weight, make sure you have a non-slip grip
  • Costs: between 9.00 euros and 80 euros (professional versions)


In addition to the most important tools, the right accessories are also required. Without this, even the best equipment is useless. These things should not be missing when setting up your workshop.

electrical tape

  • What for: mainly for the sheathing of electrical cables
  • What to look out for: Alternatively, plastic fabric adhesive tape can be used; pay attention to high adhesive strength and sufficient bandwidth
  • Costs: Depending on thickness and width, available from EUR 2.00

nails and screws

  • What for: for fastening and hanging on hard surfaces
  • What to look out for: buy different nails and screws for metal, wood and concrete and in different lengths; also ideal for screws with nuts
  • Costs: depending on quality and quantity from about 1.00 euros


  • For what: for the best possible hold when drilling holes for shelf attachments, for example
  • What to look out for: different dowel sizes for common screw sizes; special dowels are required for drilling in plasterboard and insulation; the same applies to heavy items, such as hanging chairs or mats that carry body weight
  • Costs: Depending on the design, thickness and quantity, the unit price starts at around EUR 0.80
Tip: Even if you don’t have a drill and ask a friend for help, do-it-yourselfers usually don’t have do-it-yourself anchors. Therefore, the purchase of dowels always makes sense for the ’emergency’.


  • What: for joint filling and sealing; crack repairs; (watertight) closure of small holes and crevices; as an adhesive for component attachment; Sealing, for example, on windows or floor sockets
  • What to look out for: different colours, weatherproof special silicone available for outdoor use, for hot areas and sanitary work
  • Costs: liters from around 0.35 euros

Alternative: electric tools

The basic equipment for the do-it-yourself workshop consists of mechanically operated tools. If you want to make your work easier and save yourself a lot of effort, you can also use electric versions. You can buy these in any well-stocked hardware store or online. The following are the most useful electrical tools for fully setting up your home workshop:

  • Cordless screwdrivers with different screw heads as a screwdriver alternative; Price from about 40.00 euros
  • Drilling machine; Price from around 100 euros
  • electric saw with different saw blades; Price from 80.00 euros
  • electric band files instead of hand files; Price from 40.00 euros
  • Hot glue gun as an alternative to silicone

frequently asked Questions

It is particularly important that the tool has at least the GS seal, which confirms tested safety. This refers to safety standards as they apply in Germany and are subject to strict guidelines. Tools for electrical work should also have the VDE mark. This is awarded by the Association of Electronics and Electrical and Information Technology and certifies passed type tests.

That cannot be answered in general. However, particularly cheap tools are often of inferior quality, which results in a short shelf life and/or limited functionality. Small details are occasionally skimped on, such as non-slip handles or precise workmanship. It is advisable not to be tempted by bargain prices when it comes to tools, but to make the purchase dependent primarily on the quality.

It is important for the long-term preservation of the tool functions that your facility is kept in a dry place. Moisture promotes the formation of rust and this inevitably leads to unusable tools. Clean your setup after each use. Jointed tools should be oiled every few weeks to keep them moving. If you spot rust, easily remove it with a gentle scouring powder.

A fixed place for your tools is advantageous. Leaving it where you used it puts you at increased risk of injury and eventually you won’t have it to hand when you need it. Sorting by tool types has proven itself as a “system” for decades: hammer to hammer, screwdriver to screwdriver, and so on. In addition, tools that are used more frequently should be stored at eye level, while tools that are rarely used can be stored in places that are less accessible

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