Top 75 Tools Every Man Should Have – Must Own Toolbox Essentials
As the great Scottish Philosopher Thomas Carlyle once said, “Man is a tool-using Animal… Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.”
It reminds me of a time when Henry Ford’s vehicle broke down while traveling through town.
Stuck without tools, my great grandfather took note and offered to be of service. With tools from his local blacksmith shop, he performed the repairs and sent Ford on his way. The act would later lead to an honest business relationship and fine friendship.
While Ford may have been the inventor of the Model T, assembly line, and 26-horsepower racing automobile at the time, without tools he was nothing short of stranded.
Today, I’d like to share with you a list of the top 75 tools every man should have. The kind of tools you’ll find in places like barns and workshops were the word, “craftsmanship” comes alive.
The kind that holds a special place in the hearts of handymen, home owners and tradesmen across the world.
Now, there are thousands and thousands of different tools I could tell you about, many of which I’ve used myself. Though, you might not find yourself using a compactor plate, welder, tiller or concrete mixer anytime soon, let alone often enough, to warrant owning one.
If you want to know what it feels like to be able to build, repair or maintain something on your own, then take a moment to discover these must-have toolbox essentials below.
1. Adjustable Clamps
You’re not an octopus, you don’t have eight arms. In reality, I don’t know any man who prefers to hold two boards together for eight hours while waiting for the wood glue to dry. But that’s just me. Maybe you’re into that kind of thing, you robot.
Check out these IRWIN QUICK-GRIP clamps on Amazon.
2. Adjustable Wrench
Let’s face it, fumbling around your tool chest for the right socket size sucks. You grab about five or six, walk over to your project, and before you know it, you’ve got six of those things scattered all around the floor.
While an adjustable wrench does make life a bit easier, it actually does a bit more than that. Unless you have hundreds of dollars to invest in longer/deeper sockets, an adjustable wrench is one of the tools every man needs.
There are times when this tool is simply the right one for the job at hand.
3. Allen Keys
When it comes to Allen keys or hex keys, there are three you need to know about: Torx, imperial and metric. When you add them to your tool collection opt for the ones with the giant handles at the top. It’s like losing socks in the dryer, these things just seem to disappear from time to time.
4. Angle Grinder
This handheld power tool is used for cutting, grinding and polishing. You can use this versatile tool for getting rid of excess material, such as grinding stone. An angle grinder is a great tool for rough cuts, like cutting rear or rusty nails. This is a tool that every man should own.
5. Aviation Snips
Also called compound snips, aviation snips are a must have tool if you will be cutting sheet metal or aluminum. Each pair is conveniently color coded by type of metal to help you choose the right pair for the job. This tool will allow you to cut straight, curved or any direction you need.
6. Bench Vise
A bench vise can be mounted on your workbench or the work area to hold whatever material you are working with. This tool allows you to work safer knowing that your material is sturdy and held securely. A bench vise is one of the most useful tools when it comes to woodworking.
7. Bow Rake
A bow rake is a type of heavy-duty lawn rake that can be used for much heavier things than just leaves.
Use the tines of this popular gardening tool to loosen and break up tough soil. Once you have broken up the dirt, you can also use this type of rake to spread the soil or mulch to prepare a garden.
8. Brad / Finish Nailer
A brad nailer and finish nailer are two different tools, but are so similar that it can be hard to tell them apart. A brad nailer is slightly smaller and uses brads.
This tool is used to secure small pieces of trim without the need of hiding the brad with wood putty. A finish nailer does the same job except with larger nails. Make sure you are using the right tool because a finish nailer can crack small pieces of trim.
The PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Brad Nailer Kit could be a good choice.
9. Cable Ties
I’m sure you’ve used cable ties in the past. I just used them to install Christmas lights onto some deck railing not too long ago. When it comes to tools every man should own their invaluable.
It reminds me of a time when my old car kept dying on me. After looking through the engine bay I noticed a plastic air sensor had broken off the intake. A few zip ties later and that engine ran like a dream for years.
It’s truly amazing how many uses you’ll find for these ties. Best of all you can gang them together in a pinch to make them as large as you’d like.
10. Caulking Gun
It’s enough to make Liberals cry. Meet the caulking gun. With a universal design, this tool accepts high capacity tubes of 10oz construction adhesive, window caulking, tub surround and beyond.
When it comes to ammo, my personal choice is Liquid Nails. Regardless if you’re gluing down subfloor or just sealing up around windows, the caulking gun comes in handy quite often.
The Newborn 930-GTD is an affordable and highly rated option.
Have you ever tried to cut through a thick downed tree branch with a handsaw? After the tenth log, the muscles in the forearms and biceps scream, “I’ve had enough!”
Of course, why waste an entire day away if you don’t have to? Here’s where a chainsaw comes into the equation and makes life so much easier. Gas or electric, it doesn’t matter. Though, I prefer the soothing sound a two-stroke myself.
Just keep in mind, cutting a tree branch with a chainsaw while on a ladder is often dangerous. Enough that I wanted to bring it up.
In reality, when the blade barks back, your balance goes goodbye! Just watch some videos of gentlemen attempting it online. You’ll discover the fastest way to a broken back.
A chisel is a classic woodworking tool made up of a handle on one end and a sharp flat blade on the other end. Used for carving and shaping wood, stone or other hard material, there are several different types of wood chisels on the market. It is helpful to have a chisel set that contains an assortment of sizes and shapes.
13. Circular Saw
This power tool can be a bit intimidating for those that have never used a circular saw before. However, this is a must have tool for any man’s tool collection. The toothed blade spins quickly to cut through most hard materials, but are most popularly used for cutting wood for construction.
14. Claw Hammer
A claw hammer is one of the most widely used tools in the world. Who doesn’t own a traditional hammer? A claw hammer has two purposes. The hammer side pounds in nails, while the claw can help pull them out.
From hanging frames in your home to building a tree house, the opportunities to use a claw hammer are literally endless.
15. Cordless Drill
The convenience of rechargeable batteries makes it possible to have the strength of a power drill anywhere. A cordless drill is a popular tool because of its ability to turn a complex job into a quick task.
Drive screws neatly into most surfaces with the push of a button. Some drills also offer attachments, such as hammer drills which help hammer screws into tougher surfaces.
The Dewalt #DCD991B, available from Zoro.com, could be a good option
16. Drilling Hammer
When claw hammer won’t cut it and a sledgehammer is just too much of a tool for the job, you turn to the drilling hammer. (Sometimes referred to as small sledges or hand sledges.) With a range from generally one to five pounds, these one-handed heavy hitters make fine choices for stamping metal, light demolition work, etc.
17. Duct Tape
All jokes aside, duct tape is one of the most versatile and useful items to have in your tool box. This tough polyurethane coated rubber-based adhesive has been around since World War II.
You can use this tough tape to temporary repair small tears or holes, waterproof an object or secure items. The uses are endless. However, it is popularly used in duct work, hence its name.
3M’s Multi Use duct tape, available from Home Depot, is highly regarded by regular DIYers.
18. Ear Protection
Regardless if you’re old or young, damage to the ears is permanent. For instance, tinnitus, the ringing, and buzzing that occurs after loud noise exposure; it’s not something you want to live with for the rest of your life.
Chances are if you’re a hunter or weekend shooting range warrior you already own a pair. Use them. My personal favorite is the 3M Peltor Sport Tactical 100 (available on Amazon here). They are electronic so you can still hear the world around you while your ears are covered up.
19. Electrical Tape
Electrical tape is not to be confused with duct tape. The texture and uses are different. Electrical tape is made out of a number of flexible plastics. The most popular use for this type of adhesive is to insulate wires and other items that conduct electricity. The stretch durability of electrical tape makes it a helpful tool to keep around.
Commercial Electric is a good brand. You can get their colored electric tape at Home Depot here.
20. Extension Cord
While cordless power tools are convenient, some tools simply warrant being corded. In my case, I don’t prefer to charge batteries nor replace them every few years.
Sure, dragging around an extension cord can be a hassle, but always having a full charge doesn’t suck. Your views may be different than mine. Regardless, it’s nice to own an extension cord; not everything is battery powered these days. Not to mention, most corded tools only come up a few feet of wire for plugging in.
See what you can’t see with a flashlight. Lurking in the shadows is that wire you need to fish out of the wall. It’s that bolt you need to wrap a wrench around, but can’t seem to find. When it comes to inspecting things, a flashlight is a sure way to discover problems that are easily concealed under the cover of darkness.
22. Gardening Pruner / Bypass Lopper
Both of tools are must have for proper lawn maintenance. They are both used to trim and cut bushes, shrubs and other greenery. However, they are different tools. A bypass lopper is considered the more useful by expert gardeners because of the way the blades cut by sweeping past each other.
Out of reach doesn’t mean out of mind. When it comes to projects that are literally over your head a ladder can help get the job done.
There are two types you should know about: The first being a step ladder, aka an A-frame ladder with the pyramid looking design, and the second, an extension ladder.
For most household projects the ladder will fare just fine. If you’re looking to get onto the roof for some shingle repairs, you’ll need an extension ladder. My personal favorites include brands like Louisville and Werner.
24. Utility Knife
Pop in a fresh razor blade and get down to business. When it comes to the utility knife the uses are endless. Take for instance the joy of making quick cuts in cardboard after a big move or delivery. Not to mention, slicing out window caulking, trimming carpet down to size and beyond.
This hand-powered tool is a classic favorite of the carpenter. You can cut a piece of wood by using one hand to move the toothed blade back and forth over the wood. While you might think that this tool is outdated, you will find yourself using more than you can imagine. There are several jobs that can be done easier by hand than power tools.
26. Jab Saw
The first time you try to cut through drywall with a utility knife, you’ll stop and proclaim, “There must be a better way!” Luckily, there is because that takes forever. Meet the Jab Saw.
When it comes to cleaning up drywall corners, making new holes for electrical outlets, etc. it’s the one tool you’ll want to have. It makes sense to own when you realize that most new homes today are constructed with drywall.
Meet the jigsaw, it’s one of the first power tools I ever owned, aside from an old cordless power drill. With a variety of different blade attachments available, the jigsaw makes for one universal cutting machine regardless of the material at hand.
With a fine, small blade you’ll be able to cut into places where the circular saw simply cannot. Just drill a small hole, drop the jigsaw blade inside and cut out a perfect square in the middle of a board.
28. Joint Knife
What? Are you going to plaster over a hole in drywall with a butter knife? You need a joint knife (aka ‘taping knife’ or ‘drywall knife’). Joint knives make applying drywall joint compound a smooth and simple process. When using one the proper way with a thin skim coat, you’ll save yourself from all the wasted time spent sanding down walls.
29. Jumper Cables
Car batteries die, it’s a fact of life. So does the battery on your riding lawn mower. And your girlfriend’s car, your mothers, and so forth. When it comes to being a man of admiration, not to mention, a hero, owning jumper cables will do it.
30. Knee Pads
While younger men might say knee pads are for wimps and wussies, older gentlemen believe quite the opposite. In reality, some 4.1% of American men today have undergone some sort of knee surgery or knee replacement.
Let’s face it, the knees aren’t indestructible. Protect them. Even if you don’t, you’ll still suffer one way or another. Try laying down a room full of tile without knee pads on, and see if that doesn’t change your opinion of them! Hint, it will.
31. Linesman’s Pliers
This type of handheld pliers is popular with electricians because of its ability to twist, cut and hold cables and wires. However, even the non-professional can find some uses out of these pliers.
The long rubber handle allows you great gripping power to hold wires and sheet metal to clip and bend. The rigid tips can help you twist and snip with ease.
These IRWIN VISE-GRIP lineman’s pliers, available at Amazon, are popular and highly rated.
32. Locking Pliers
Locking pliers give you the option to lock them in place, but many might wonder why. This type of pliers can be used as a type of vise grip to give you a sturdy hold. For example, you can use these pliers to grab a rusted bolt to loosen and remove it. You can adjust the jaws of the pliers to the size of the object you are working with.
33. Measuring Tape
A man without a tape measure is a like a man blindfolded with no training. Everything becomes a mystery. When you want to build something the right way, on the first time and not the tenth, you don’t eyeball it. You measure it.
If there was one thing teachers taught you that you’ll actually use in life, it’s how to read a ruler. Don’t waste that gift by being a guessing, happy-go-lucky idiot.
34. Chalk Line
Using chalk line is an easy way to mark long straight lines. Because of the lines size, it is sometimes unpractical and impossible to use a straight edge. A chalk line can help you mark a straight and precise outline in a relatively quick amount of time. This must have tool makes laying straight tile or cutting efficiently a breeze.
35. Digital Caliper
Digital calipers are a convenient tool for measuring internal and external distances. This task is made even easier by a digital LCD screen that displays the measurements with virtually no thinking on your part.
This tool will give you peace of mind that your measurements are correct in half of the time. You should always take advantage of a tool that cuts your workload in half!
Could you imagine how hard it would be to water your garden, wash your car or carry water around outside without a gardening hose. This flexible hose allows you to have water effortlessly. If you can get the hose there, you have an instant water source. This tool is made even versatile with several optional attachments that allow you to turn your hose into a power washer, spray stream or other function.
37. Measuring Cup
Get your ratio right. When it comes to mixing up two-stroke fuel, having the right oil to gas ratio is critical. It makes the differences between a smooth operator and a seized engine.
Of course, you might find yourself mixing up epoxy resin and hardener on a carbon fiber wrap project too. If you’re on a budget or simply can’t find an automotive measuring cup, a baby bottle can be picked up for dollar and fares just as well.
38. Metal Files
Most commonly used in metalworking, these hard metal files are used for the obvious purpose of filing and shaping, as their name would suggest.
There are several different shapes and you will have to choose one depending on what you want do. Some will file your material straight and flat, but others can file a curved shape. Make sure you choose the right one.
39. Plumb Bob
A plumb bob is essentially a weight used for vertical reference. You might’ve seen these suspended strings with a pointed end. It basically uses the laws of gravity to create a vertical straight line, even in houses that might be slanted.
One common use for a plumb bob is hanging wallpaper. By finding a vertical straight line to line up your paper and create a starting point, you will be able to make sure that the wallpaper lines up perfectly straight.
40. Builders Level
From straight cabinets to sloping shower floors, even paver walkways and beyond, the level will become your best friend. When it comes tools every man should own the level easily makes it into the top ten. Keep in mind not all levels are made equal. If you want ultra-accurate you go with a brand like Stabila. If you want accurate enough for DIY, a cheap builder’s level from a hardware store will get the job done.
41. Staple Gun
A staple gun is a great basic handheld tool every man should have. It easily drives industrial staples into hard surfaces, such as wood or drywall. This tool is used in a number of home improvement projects, such as securing insulation or upholstering fabric.
These industrial staples are extremely versatile and useful. Be warned, wives are known to find these particularly handy with crafting projects. Always hide your tools.
Speaking of keeping your tools safe and secure, every man should have a proper toolbox. No matter how many tools you own, you can you find a quality storage solution. The designs and prices of toolboxes can greatly range, so you really need to think about what you want. Some men prefer a large sturdy wall chest, while others prefer a portable bag or box.
43. Nail Punch
A nail punch is usually used with the assistance of a woodworking hammer. This hard metal rod features a shaped tip and is used to drive nails into a material, usually wood. Carpenters use this tool the most for either driving in nails or creating marks on pieces of wood.
This Qualihome 4 Piece Nail Setter & Center Punch Set, available at Amazon, is a good budget choice.
44. Needle Nose Pliers
Needle nose pliers are the most common type of pliers because of its versatile uses. They can be used for gripping and cutting wires or thin metal. Because of their popularity, needle nose pliers are commonly seen being used by a number of tradesmen, especially electricians. You can use them around your home and garage to grip, clamp and snip virtually anything when the need arises.
This tool will help solve some pretty stinky problems. A toilet plunger can help unclog a toilet by suctioning out whatever is blocking the water flow. This is a go-to tool for homeowners dealing with an overflowing toilet.
Before calling a plumber, you should always try to unclog the problem with a toilet plunger. There are also a number of other types of plungers that you can use to unclog sinks and pipes.
More commonly known as a crowbar, this tool is for much more than a criminals go-to tool. A prybar is a simple looking tool but can be used for a lot. The metal rod features two flattened ends with one curved side. As its name suggests, it can be used to pry open object or separate fastened pieces. The curved side is also useful for removing nails from a surface.
47. Putty Knife
Scraping and spreading is made extremely easy with the use of a putty knife. It is also commonly called a spackle or spatula, but whatever you call it, it is a must have for construction. Use a putty knife to spread plaster with ease. Or use the tool to scrape paint to prepare a surface to be repainted. There are also different sizes of spatulas available depending on the size of your job.
48. Random Orbital Sander
Wood sanding can be a tedious task, but power sanders can help take the load off. There are several types of sanders on the market. However, a random orbital sander is unique.
The handheld power sander holds a piece of sandpaper securely to its base. Not only does it move in a circular motion, but it also rotates in smaller circles at the same time. This type of sander is considered the most versatile and is the most recommended type.
It’s rope, what more can I say. If you need to pull something in a certain direction you use it. It could be that tree stump buried in the dirt, where you need a truck or tractor to yank it out. Or any of a million other things. With it comes learning how to tie different types of knots, knowing how to master these is quite simply put, an invaluable skill.
50. Rubber Mallet
When you need force but don’t want to destroy your project, you turn to the rubber mallet. It’s gentle enough to assemble fragile pieces of wood or tap in a bearing without deforming the surrounding metal.
51. Safety Glasses
The most important thing to remember when using tools of any kind is protecting your body. Safety glasses are made out of durable plastic to help protect the eyes from shrapnel or flying objects. For example, when using a circular saw to cut metal or wood, there is a large chance that small slivers of the material could fly through the air. Even a sliver of wood can cause an extremely serious eye injury.
52. Safety Respirator
Wood and stone dust can wreak havoc on the lungs. A safety respirator stops that. When it comes to your health, even small DIY projects can turn into big healthcare expenses down the road if you don’t take the time to protect your body. Personally, I don’t know anyone who likes breathing in asbestos either.
You have been using scissors since you were in kindergarten, so there shouldn’t be any confusion on how to use these simple handheld cutting devices. However, as an adult, you might have noticed the variety of scissors available on the market. There are specific scissors for cutting different materials, such as tin, paper or metal. You can also choose between an assortment of handles and grip textures.
Yet another classic tool that you are sure to have heard of. Without screwdrivers, it would be virtually impossible to use screws. How would they go into the wood? There are several different types of screwdrivers because of the number of different types of screws. To properly use a screwdriver, you must make sure the tip matches the type of screw you are using.
Phillips screwdrivers like this one at Home Depot seem to be the most popular, but you can find an affordable set of screwdriver tips at most tool retailers.
A Shop-Vac is a lifesaver for cleaning up those inevitable workplace messes. These industrial vacuums can pick up large liquid spills as well as dry debris, such as sawdust. Some clever guys also use their Shop-Vacs to pick up snow from their doorstep. The possibilities are endless. Your garage or workspace can only benefit by owning a Shop-Vac.
This 4-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP model available at Walmart is a popular choice.
Speaking of snowfall, a shovel is another must have tool. Whether you shoveling snow from a pathway, digging a hole or gardening, a shovel makes the job a little easier. Shovels can also be used for lifting dirt, gravel and other materials. There are different types of shovels, but they are all made of the same concept: a long handle with a broad shaped scoop blade at the end.
If there was an anti-construction tool every man should own this would be it. Meet the sledgehammer, a brute force wrecking tool that destroys anything and everything in its path. A hammer on steroids. Things like drywall, wood studs, and even concrete are no match for this heavy-hitter. If you can swing it, you can smash it.
58. Sliding Miter Saw
From cutting deck boards to angling ceiling and wall baseboards, the sliding miter saw is a must-have tool for every man. In comparison to say the jigsaw or circular saw, the miter gives you a perfect cut that screams precise craftmanship. Hard to cut angles are a breeze, while straight lines are as simple as it gets.
For gentleman just getting acquainted with power tools, a sloppy cut with the jig or circular saw is common. The miter skips the practice needed to master those two and gets straight down to business.
The DEWALT DWS779 sliding compound miter saw, available at Lowes, is a popular choice.
59. Snap Ring Pliers
Meet the tool you’d be lost without. Snap ring pliers do exactly what their name implies. They can either shrink or expand a snap ring, retaining ring or c-clip; something your fingers nor any other tool can do. You’ll find these rings in a variety of places, for example, to hold in bearings on a two-stroke clutch.
60. Socket Wrench
A socket wrench is used to tighten or loosen nuts by simply turning the handle. After choosing the correct size of socket to go into the 90-degree wrench, you can use the socket to hold the nut in place. You might also know this tool as a rachet, which is technically just one type of socket wrench.
61. Speed Square
A speed square is a common carpenters tool used to mark and measure. It is extremely versatile because it is able to do the job of three other tools in one: square, try square and framing square. This measuring multitool is ideal for finding specific angles to prep for cutting or construction.
The Swanson Tool S0101 7-inch Speed Square, available at Amazon, is a popular choice.
62. Stud Finder
When it comes to mounting a flat screen television on the wall, screwing into drywall isn’t going to cut it. You’ll end up with shattered glass on the floor when holes give out. Or worst-case scenario, you drill through a waste pipe or electrical wire. Now, while screwing into wood or metal studs is always the best option, finding them isn’t easy without tools unless you have x-ray vision.
In reality, a stud finder is an essential tool in any man’s toolbox. If you want to save a few dollars in the short term, strong magnets work just well. You can locate drywall screws in the studs and determine where the studs rest behind the walls.
63. Table Saw
Arguably one of the most dangerous tools a man should own, the table saw is a go-to pick for ripping boards. It’s also a go-to pick for going to the hospital and ripping off hands and fingers. While tough to put on the list as an essential, the table saw really is when you get down to business. For straight, long cuts the jig saw and circular saw just don’t come close to what the table saw has to offer.
One of the most popular options is the DEWALT DWE7491RS 10-Inch Table Saw, which you can get at Amazon.
64. Sawzall Reciprocating Saw
Meet the reciprocating saw, aka the Sawzall. If you need to saw through metal, wood, wood with nails, PVC pipe and beyond, this tool will do it. Like the power drill with its unique drill bits, the Sawzall can be paired with a variety of different cutting blades for whatever the job at hand.
One of the best features of this tool isn’t how well it cuts, rather how well it can get into places where other tools simply can’t.
65. Drill Bits
Good drill bits are a staple of any man’s toolbox. From drilling holes to running wires to screwing down boards, there are countless bits to choose from; each with their own head shape, length, diameter etc.
When it comes to buying the right ones, I’m a sucker for DeWalt. Their bits simply refuse to snap or strip. In comparison, I could destroy an entire box of Ryobi drill bits in about a day. (Though, I still love their power tools which are tanks at an affordable price).
This fine-toothed saw is meant for primarily cutting metal or making ultra-fine cuts in wood. The blade is housed in a frame and some models are extremely lightweight and portable. The hacksaw blade is made to be somewhat durable with its often smaller blades which get worn out rather fast from time to time.
The DEWALT DWHT20547L 5-in-1 Hacksaw is a popular choice. You can find it at Amazon here.
67. Non Contact Voltage Tester
Don’t shock yourself stupid! If you want to stay alive, well, a non-contact voltage tester will help you do that. Simply put this must have tool up to an electrical wire and you’ll know if it’s hot or not. If you’re not all that familiar with them, how they work is rather mind-boggling at first. You simply hold this tool in the proximity of a wire without even touching it, and it will flash the reading out with a beam of light. Rather neat.
The Klein Tools NCVT-2 Non Contact Voltage Tester, available at Amazon, is a good option.
68. Pipe Wrench
This unique adjustable wrench is most commonly used for forming soft iron pipes and can be extremely useful for those household plumbing fixes. The jaw of this wrench is adjustable and is perfect for those pesky rounded fittings. This tool is a favorite of plumbers because of its many uses when it comes to pipes.
69. Torque Wrench
When it comes to tightening bolts, most think too little force is the only way to screw up. In reality, too much force can cause failure and strip away threads. There’s a good reason why many manufacturers, automotive for instance, give out their torque specs. I suggest you follow them with a torque wrench so you can avoid having to tap out or rethread your projects, which sucks, to say the least.
70. Tongue And Groove Pliers
These pliers go by so many different names, such as water pump plier. No matter what you call them, they are an extremely versatile and useful type of plier. These slip-joint pliers are sold with different variations, but they all do the same basic job. They are able grip and clamp. They can also be used on nuts and bolts. Because of their adjustable jaw, they are useful for gripping odd shaped items.
WD-40, you know it, you’ve probably used it. It takes Apple’s claim of, “It just works” it a new level of extreme. From removing rock solid rusted old bolts to making squeaks that bleed your ears go away, WD-40 is a must-have miracle worker for any man.
The wheelbarrow has been a commonly used tool for hundreds of years. Its basic design serves a very important purpose and allows you to move dirt, gravel and other materials in large quantities with ease. All you have to do is push the handles. A wheelbarrow can also be helpful for mixing and holding small batches of concrete.
73. Wire Strippers
This small tool packs some serious power. Wire strippers are used to strip wires of their insulation, hence the name. For electrical wires to work, the ends must have the exposed copper and be free of the plastic coating. This tool will get rid of that coating as well as snip the wire if needed.
74. Gorilla Glue
It’s made right here in my hometown, Cincinnati, Ohio. Meet Gorilla Glue. Years ago, there was a time when most general-purpose glues just flat out sucked. In order to get the right hold, you really hard to follow the instructions meticulously. Then came along Gorilla Glue and they changed the game forever.
You apply it and come back later amazed that it actually worked. Their products really are top notch and so is the bonding strength. If you’re looking for metal applications, I’m a fan of JB Weld too.
75. Wood Moisture Meter
Meet the wood moisture meter, a tool that far too many guys today haven’t even heard about. You don’t have to an expert woodworker to use it, let alone need it. Though, take for instance installing drywall in a newly built or briefly flooded house. If your framing reads 18% or higher it’s too wet and needs time to dry.
If you don’t get it down to 12% or less, you’ll run into problems installing sheetrock too early. Can you say hello to mold, mold, mold! At 19% or so is when mold spores are activated and the rotting process starts. At 28% or so MC, wood becomes saturated.
In terms of which are the best, my personal favorite are pin-type meters like this General Tools model at Home Depot.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
With cellphones so ubiquitous, your watch choice can be less about telling time and more about personal style. However, a watch is not ‘just’ a watch. For example, the vast majority are made for right-handed people, but a select few cater to the lefties among us. There is a wide range in functionality and size.
The wristwatch is also one of the few socially acceptable accessories for men, so why not have a small selection? If you’re not cashing a CEO’s paycheck just yet, here are the top 28 most handsome watches for men that retail for under $500.
Got a bigger budget? Then check out our guide to the best men’s watches under $1000 instead.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
1. Tommy Hilfiger Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
If you like the feel of a pliable, non-metal band but aren’t comfortable with genuine leather, this watch comes equipped with a handsome synthetic band. At 46mm in diameter, this watch is perfect for men of smaller stature, as it will not overpower your hand or make it look like you’re wearing your father’s watch. With bold Arabic numerals, a stainless steel case, and classic styling, this watch is an outstanding choice for an everyday watch and the man on a budget.
2. Nordgreen Pioneer – Black Dial
Get 15% off using the discount code NEXTL at checkout
Not everyone has an endless amount of cash to drop on a luxury timepiece. If you’re money-conscious but want something high-end, then why not consider the Nordgreen Pioneer.
An inspired take on a classic Chronograph, Nordgreen celebrates the Danish with what they call a timepiece “that captures the sustainable future.” Available in various dial colors from blue, black, and white. There’s even the choice of three case colors – gunmetal, silver, and rose gold. A perfect addition to the collection of any watch enthusiast.
3. Fossil Grant Brown Leather WatchCheck Price
This lovely offering by Fossil features slim Roman numeral hour markers and delicate cut-out hands. The casing is stainless steel and is water-resistant to 165 feet, making it a great dive watch. The band is made of supple, soft calfskin leather and uses a buckle closure.
Of course, this timepiece also comes with the generous 11-year warranty and it’s own fun tin. This watch oozes class and is great for nearly every occasion in your life.
4. Citizen Sport Stainless Steel Men’s Watch With Brown Leather Band
If you don’t want to deal with changing out a battery in a digital watch, this watch is powered by either natural or indoor lighting. The mineral crystal face and stainless steel case make this watch water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for swimmers and snorkelers.
Handsome and utilitarian, this is a great watch for everyday wear. It’s one of the best watches for men who are always on the go.
5. Fossil Men’s Machine Chronograph Silicone Watch
This watch was designed with the active man in mind. The knurled silicone band stands up to sweat and oils without issue, and the timepiece itself is water-resistant to 165 feet.
The patterned bezel and quality craftsmanship of the black dial is excellent, as is to be expected from a Fossil watch. It even comes in the iconic and collectible tin!
6. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Watch
This men’s watch features Japanese quartz movement that charges itself indoors or out when exposed to light, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to change out the battery too often. The stitched canvas strap is soft against your skin and will wick away moisture, while the mineral crystal face stands up to the rigors of your everyday life.
Water-resistant to 330 feet, this dive watch is a classic and simple design you’ll be proud of for years to come.
7. Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Men’s Watch
Another gorgeous offering by Invicta, this watch features a bold design with a slightly nautical feel to it. It will look at home whether you’re wearing a business suit or are going for a dive of less than 660 feet. This piece is also covered by a one-year warranty as a matter of course. The luminosity feature and magnified date window make it a great choice if you work or play in low light.
If you want something that looks like a Tag Heuer but without the luxury watch brand price tag, this is a good option!
8. Casio Edifice Multi-Function Men’s Watch
This watch has three sub-dials for 12 hour, 60 minute and 60-second displays, in addition to the standard time. It also features a fold-over, push-down clasp on the stainless strap, keeping it secure throughout your activities. If you’re looking for a classy timepiece that shrieks sophistication, this is a great choice.
9. Fossil Machine Three Hand Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This quality watch is a chameleon piece. It looks at home as a dress watch riding below the cuff of your best suit, and it also looks great paired with jeans and a t-shirt. Backed by Fossil’s 11-year warranty as a matter of course and beautifully crafted, this smoke-colored piece is guaranteed to become the go-to accessory for nearly every occasion.
10. MVMT Watches Black Face Men’s Watch
If you like the look of a simple watch, this minimalist offering from MVMT is right up your alley. With just a plain black face, tick marks to denote the hours and a single date window, there is nothing overdone or extravagant about this design. The is understated and suited to the simple design. It’s definitely a classy, low-key piece for the budget-conscious.
11. Timex Weekender Watch
If you’re looking for a fun watch to pair with casual outfits, this is a great option. The band is blue and yellow woven nylon, and the face features both civilian and military timekeeping. An Indiglo night light is also included. This watch is water-resistant to 99 feet, meaning it can withstand splashes of water or exposure to rain but you won’t want to submerge it.
12. PUMA Ultrasize Black Sport Men’s Watch
Boasting a 50mm diameter, this piece is perfect for the large-framed man or one who likes to wear his accessories oversized. A true fashion statement, this sports watch comes in eight different colors schemes to match your favorite hues.
Do be aware, however, that the dial knob is configure for left-handed men!
13. Timex Easy Reader Men’s Watch
Another dress watch designed with the older gentleman in mind, this watch features a white dial with generously sized numerals that do not appear comical to the casual observer.
It’s also an excellent choice if you take your contacts out at night and still want to be able to check the time. With classic lines and a simple white face, the watch would not be out of place at any casual gathering. It comes with Timex’s one-year warranty at no additional charge.
14. Fossil Nate Men’s Chronograph Watch
For men who like a more gritty, industrial feel to their accessories, this Fossil watch is right on point. The bezel is gear-edged and the face is utilitarian black and gray. Water-resistant to 165 feet, this watch is a great choice if you like your adornments to be understated yet add visual interest.
It’s definitely a stand-out piece, for those who would take notice!
15. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Men’s Watch
Featuring an indigo night light, tachymeter, a date window and a buckle closure, this watch is perfect for men who like to work or play outdoors. It is also water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for snorkeling or swimming.
You won’t want to wear it for diving, however. With classic, black styling and a genuine crystal face, this is a timepiece that will stand the test of time in both form and function.
16. Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This Seiko automatic watch has all the bells and whistles you need, but presents it all in a plain and strikingly attractive manner. It features a date window in either English or Spanish, sword-shaped hands, a sweeping second hand and a mineral dial window. This is a great option for the man on the go. The canvas strap can be removed and hand-washed if sweat or other odors become an issue.
This watch is not water-resistant, so you’ll only want to wear it when you won’t be popping by the pool for a swim!
17. Invicta Pro Diver Collection Silver-Tone Men’s Watch
For those who prefer an all-metal timepiece, the stainless steel Invicta fits the bill nicely. It has a similar aesthetic to a Tag Heuer watch, but at a more affordable price. Equipped with a unilateral bezel and removable links, the band can be customized to fit your wrist perfectly. The face is flame fusion crystal and features a magnifier to highlight the date window.
It’s also water-resistant to 660 feet. If you’re looking for a gorgeous watch that stands up to an active lifestyle, this is an excellent choice.
18. Seiko Men’s Adventure-Solar Classic Casual Watch
This Seiko watch derives its power from either natural or indoor light and can withstand water depths of up to 330 feet. The supple brown leather strap and timeless brushed steel give this piece an attractive look, and the alarm chronograph is easy to set.
If you’re looking for a watch that can serve as a backup for your wake-up call while traveling, stand up to the elements and look awesome, this casual wrist watch is a winner.
19. Nautica Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Resin Band
Featuring a plethora of options and a smart, snappy style, this a great casual watch with a eye-catching blue dial. The hardy resin band is adjustable, and the face is protected by a mineral window. Whether for work or play, this bold blue design is handsome and substantial on the wrist. It comes with Nautica’s five-year warranty at no additional charge.
20. Citizen Sport Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Black Leather Band
The black, red and white face of this piece eschews the traditional two-tone color scheme so often employed in other watches, and the contrasting stitching on the band adds creative flair. It comes backed by Citizen’s five-year warranty and will compliment any casual outfit.
21. Alessi Tic15 Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Men’s Watch
Another not-quite-round offering on our list, the curved square casing of this piece gives it instant visual appeal. Sleek and clean, this unfussy design will be a compliment to almost any occasion. It has quartz movement and is water-resistant to 99 feet, making it a great choice for everyday wear.
22. Invicta 1517 I Force Collection Watch
Another on our list designed for left-handed men, this watch is something special. Water-resistant to 330 feet and featuring oversize stenciled numbers and a sub dial, this watch is great for any casual outfit. The cloth band is extremely durable and stands up to dirt, sweat and grime.
If you lead an active lifestyle, this watch will be right at home in your collection.
23. TRIWA Blue Steel Nevil Canvas Watch
This watch comes in a whopping 14 color variations, all of them beautiful. You may decide to add more than one to your collection!
Designed in Sweden, this watch features Japanese quartz movement, a stainless steel casing and a strap made from Tärnsjö organic leather. TRIWA, which stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches, believes in the artistry of fine jewelry and it shows in their product.
24. Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Watch
Another fine dress watch from the makers of the Swiss Army knife, this watch is emblazoned with the internally recognized cross and shield emblem. It has no sub-dials, tachymeter or other add-ons to detract from its simple and appealing style.
This watch will be at home with all but the most formal of outfits and carries a two-year warranty.
25. Ingersoll Automatic Stainless Steel Bull Run Watch
Again, Ingersoll remakes the classics and brings them into the present day. With a highly polished stainless steel casing, two sub-dials, a date aperture and arrow-shaped hands, this quartz watch is beautiful.
The band features contrasting stitching on the fine-grain leather, adding depth and detail to the workmanship. This watch will compliment any casual occasion and can be relied upon for years to come.
26. Tissot Quickster Chronograph Black Leather Men’s Watch
Made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and Swiss automatic movement, this watch is a smart and utilitarian choice. If you’re looking for a solid Swiss watch that isn’t flashy, this is an excellent option. It’s also guaranteed for two years.
27. Seiko Sport Solar Men’s Beige Watch
Are you getting tired of squinting down at your watch or holding it closer and closer to your face? Don’t worry, we all get a bit nearsighted with age, especially over the age of 40.
If you’re not quite ready for reading glasses or a comically huge watch, this is a great choice from Seiko. The numerals, indices and luminous hands stand out in stark white against a black background, and the numerals are generous in size. It’s a perfect casual watch for the older gentleman.
28. Seiko Men’s 5 Watch Blue Canvas Band
This simple and affordable watch has a clean, crisp aesthetic to it and doesn’t bog down its design with a ton of bells and whistles. It’s time and date, end of.
If you want a watch for casual wear, this Seiko is a shoo-in. The band is forgiving and comfortable against your wrist, and it’s blue color will likely compliment your existing wardrobe. The price is also extremely affordable.
29. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Stainless Steel Watch With Brown Leather Band
Featuring the Hilfiger logo at the three o’clock position, this wrist watch is a statement piece. It is a bright, shiny stainless steel work of art that you’ll be proud to wear at all but the most stuffy of workplaces. The calfskin leather band uses a buckle closure and the date window is beside the logo at three o’clock.
If you’re a fan of Tommy clothing, cologne or luggage, you can complete your look with this stunning accessory.