10 Genius & Affordable Tools Everyone Should Own To Be Self-Sufficient

You think you’re all set for the grown-up life. You move out of your parents’ house, and live the dream for a solid two weeks before your car battery dies and your sink ends up clogged. But there are a few essential tools everyone should own and have at home, if they want to be a self-sufficient person. Without building this essential toolbox, you’re suddenly that person who’s constantly racking up the favors, as well as repairman bills.

It’s not the best start for that new apartment, and if you own your own home, you’re in even deeper trouble. An efficient solo-liver (as opposed to the struggling kind who’s perpetually knocking on the neighbor’s door) knows what tools every homeowner and renter should have, and they've stocked their closets, basement, and car with a few simple but life-saving homestead tools.

A great quality power strip and a trusty drain snake might not be on your immediate shopping list, but they’ll come in handy way more often than you could ever imagine. Now, I know what you’re thinking because I thought it too: “I still break out the N64 on a weekly basis. Am I really mature enough to own my very own 65-piece tool kit?” The answer is yes. I have full faith in you.

Get A Well-Rounded Grown-Up Toolkit

Stanley 65-Piece Homeowner's Tool Kit , $40, Amazon

With this best-selling Stanley 65-Piece homeowner's tool kit, you’ve got all your bases covered. You’ve got your hammer, pliers, screw drivers, level, knife, tape measure, and mechanic tools, as well as a portable and lightweight case where everything’s got its place. It’s so highly rated because it’s durable, reliable, and keeps you adequately prepared. If you’re on your own in an apartment, this’ll be your go-to when anything goes wrong.

Jump Your Car Wherever You Are

Arteck Car Jump Starter , $40, Amazon

My battery died about a dozen times before I smartened up and got one of these. The Arteck car jump starter has enough power in it to jump your car up to 20 times on one charge. It also comes with the necessary jumper clamps, as well as an extra-bright LED flashlight and a USB port to charge your phone or device in a pinch. Best of all, it’s really small, really lightweight, and has really great reviews; 5 stars, to be exact.

Inflate Anything, Anywhere

DC Portable Air Compressor Pump , $39, Amazon

From basketballs to car tires, this compact DC portable air compressor pump inflates them quickly and effectively without any hassle. Plug it right into your cigarette lighter and start automatically pumping without much noise or any lung power. The unit has an auto-shut off when you reach optimal pressure, and the cord stores right in the back to make it even more travel friendly. It’s also got a built-in flashlight, and comes with three different adapters.

When Glue Just Isn’t Enough

Sugru Moldable Glue , $21, Amazon

For projects when Elmer’s just doesn’t cut it, it's time to turn to moldable glue. Stick it to just about any surface to go from a playdough-consistency to rubber overnight. It’s waterproof and great for reinforcing wires, sticking tools to walls, and making all of your household items way more user-friendly. This pack comes in eight single-use packs in five different colors, and reviewers say it’s awesome for all that stuff that’s impossible with glue.

Get Ready To Cut Anything And Everything

Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier , $25, Amazon

What’s good, Edward Scissorhands? This Gerber suspension multi-plier is lightweight, due to its open-frame steel handle, but it’s got 12 integrated tools that fold up and lock for safety. It’s super durable, but great for cutting, screwing, stripping, and even opening your bottles. When you’re all done, slip this tool into its included pouch that attaches right onto your belt.

Measure Everything With Convenient Accuracy

Bosch GLM 15 Compact Laser Measure , $30, Amazon

Tape measures are only efficient if you’ve got someone else holding the other end. Otherwise, they’re just a pain in the ass. This Bosch compact laser measure records any distance up to 50 feet while using a shockingly accurate laser, instead of a floppy tape. Just press the button once at the start and again at the end to measure rooms, cabinets, shelves — you name it. It’s also small, lightweight, and portable.

Be Prepared For Any Amount Of Darkness

AGPtek 5 Mode Solar Lantern , $20, Amazon

Never get stuck in the dark again with this solar lantern. You can charge it five different ways — solar power, hand crank, car adapter, AC adaptor, or AA batteries, and because it has two different light settings and an AC charging port for your phones and tablets, it’s great for use in your car during emergencies or in your house when the power goes out.

Stay Prepared With Every Length Of Bungee Cord

Highland Bungee Cord Assortment Jar , $13, Amazon

You never know when you’ll need a bungee cord, and with this particular assortment, you’ve got every size you’ll ever need. It comes with 24 different cords in six different sizes, and because they’re extra strong, color coded, UV resistant, and have particularly wide hooks, as one reviewer says, “They haven’t failed me yet.”

Optimize Your Outlets

Safemore Power Strip , $33, Amazon

Never run out of plugs again, as long as you've got the right power strip. This one has ten outlets and four USB sockets, so you can charge your phone, run your laptop, power your fan, microwave a bag of popcorn — whatever you need to do, all at the same time. It’s got built-in overload protection and a six-and-a-half-foot cord, as well as a space-saving shape and two separate power buttons for targeted control.

Unclog Drains The Easy Way

FlexiSnake Drain Cleaner , $5, Amazon

Nothing ruins your day quite like a clogged drain, but this FlexiSnake drain cleaner will pull out just about everything with its 18 inches of bendy micro-hooks (and no chemicals). It’s reusable and can be cleaned with soap and water afterwards, and reviewers have great things to say: “I tried every home remedy and liquid drain cleaner that I could find… I am so glad that I know this thing exists. I highly, highly recommend this item.”

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Images: Fotolia (1); Amazon (10)