A woman needs a good socket wrench

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...and by this I mean not just a good socket wrench, but a good set of sockets so she'll have a socket to fit any recessed bolt she may encounter. Better to have a good socket wrench handy than to curse the recessed bolt.

A woman needs two or three ordinary, adjustable wrenches: small, medium, large. And a couple of pairs of pliers, small and large, and at least one needle-nosed pliers. A woman needs a couple of pipe wrenches: a smallish one and a big mother-of-all-wrenches pipe wrench. Not that she'll be doing any plumbing, but the leverage provided by such a wrench makes up for not being built like The Rock.

A woman needs at least four screwdrivers: small and large Phillips, small and large flathead.

A woman needs two regular claw hammers; a light-weight one for small jobs and a heavier one for bigger stuff. And a sledge hammer--as heavy as she can comfortably swing. And a rubber mallet, although this falls into the category of kitchen utensil, since the rubber mallet/cleaver method is the only way to split a winter squash without risking major injury. I'm not doing kitchen utensils here, but I'll list it because you can't buy a mallet at Williams Sonoma...at least I don't think you can.

A woman needs a quarter-inch drill and a good collection of drill bits, and by this I don't just mean a variety of bit sizes, but bits designed for a variety of materials too. The collection should contain a couple of masonry bits for drilling through brick and cinderblock, and a couple of cobalt bits for drilling through metal. If a woman doesn't have the right bit she'll wear down her bits and she'll fail to comprehend why she can't drill a stupid fucking hole and she'll curse her ineptitude. Better to have a good collection of drill bits on hand.

A woman needs a couple of wire-cutters; big and small. On rare occasions a woman needs a jigsaw and a hacksaw and a file.

A woman needs to have a large bottle of Advil in the medicine cabinet at all times.

UPDATE: Mike asked me if this is a Christmas wish list. It is not. This is pretty much a list of the tools I own and use on a semi-regular basis for minor home maintenance. I was inspired to write this after I had to dismantle Mike's old pine loft bed and was relieved to discover that I had a socket that fit the recessed bolts on the bed perfectly.

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