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.
10 Best Watches For Men Reviewed – 2021 Edition
For those living under a rock, everyone knows that the modern man doesn’t really wear a watch solely to know the time. Instead, it is more about a statement of your class and style. You also probably already know that the good quality watches for men can be found within a variety of price points, so there’s always something for you regardless of your budget.
Gents, since we all know these things, there’s really no point dancing around a preamble. Let’s just cut to the chase and see some of the best watches for men available on the market.
Best Watches for Men
1. Rado Centrix Jubile Black Dial
Simple but classy; that’s the easiest way to describe this Rado Centrix Jubile Black Dial watch. With only the quarter hour positions marked by diamonds and silver-tone hands, the watch presents a not-too-noisy and straightforward design. Apart from the small brand name, hour, minute, and seconds hand, the only other thing on the face is the calendar – talk about a neat watch!
Rado Centrix is an analog quartz watch, meaning its ticking movement is powered by a battery. This might not be your type of watch if you prefer an automatic or mechanical watch. But its no-frills design coupled with its tough scratch-resistant sapphire crystal gives it a certain easy appeal, making it one of the best watches for men who are looking to stand out with something uncomplicated yet trendy.
Rado has automatic watches, though, if that’s your preference. However, they cost a few hundred dollars more than the quartz model.
With only 30 meters of water-resistant rating, the Rado Centrix watch is splash-proof. But a splash-proof watch is not exactly what you’ll wear to the pool.
Getting caught up in occasional rain while wearing your Rado Centrix isn’t going to be a problem; neither will splashes of water have any effect on the watch. But you don’t want to submerge this watch in water. Your investment is better off contacting the smallest amount of water possible.
2. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch
This next option is for men with deep pockets. If you intend to splash some serious cash on a timepiece, you might as well take a look at the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch. It’s not called the “moon watch” for nothing. It has actually been to the moon and back! The Omega Speedmaster is one of the few manual-winding chronograph movement watches that are worn on NASA missions.
The analog watch features a tough sapphire crystal dial window and comes complete with a presentation box that includes a Velcro strap, NATO strap, and strap changing tools.
With a 50-meter water resistance depth, you shouldn’t think of diving with this expensive watch on unless you plan to damage your prized possession!
While you can swim with it, it is best to avoid too much exposure to water and probably take it off. Like other chronograph watches, this one also features a stopwatch function that can be very useful when you need to use a timer. The bottom button at the side of the watch controls the function and can be used to start and stop timing.
Omega watches are not only made famous by NASA astronauts, movie characters like James Bond have also contributed to promoting the brand. If you prefer the version worn by James Bond (after he ditched Rolex in 1995), consider the more popular Omega Seamaster series. This particular Seamaster Planet Ocean is an automatic watch, so you will have to wear it almost daily or move it around for a bit every day. Needless to say, you’ll have to pay top dollar for it.
3. Gucci G -Timeless
Okay, Gucci is renowned as a first-rate fashion label, so it might come as a surprise to see the brand listed among watchmakers. First, buying a watch from a well-established fashion brand means you are paying extra for the designer label. And secondly, you might not get certain features found in other watches within the same price range.
However, Gucci is not just an authority in the clothing world. The company has gone ahead to also make a name for itself in the watch market and is even a leading brand in watchmaking. And the icing on the cake? Gucci watches are made in, you guessed it, Switzerland – giving the watchmaking section of the brand more class.
Most Gucci watch designs are strikingly unconventional as far as traditional watchmaking goes. The result? Gucci produces some of the best watches for men who prefer donning chic styles instead of the more common traditional designs.
So, if you are looking to stand out from the crowd, consider a Gucci watch. This G-Timeless model is from the Timeless collection. It comes with a mineral crystal face and quartz movement. Although it is a water-resistant watch, it is best suited for swimming in shallow waters.
The watch is battery operated. That means you might need to replace it, depending on how long it has stayed on the shelf. An automatic movement would have been desirable, but Gucci watches with that feature costs almost as twice as this one.
4. TAG Heuer Formula 1 Caliber 5 Automatic Watch
This might not be the most expensive watch on this list, but it certainly is really tricky knowing exactly where to begin to describe this TAG Heuer Watch.
TAG Heuer is a leading name in watchmaking. First, it is a Swiss brand. Secondly, the company has continued to win multiple prestigious awards. And thirdly, you don’t have to lose an arm and a leg to own one of their watches, although they don’t come cheap. Is there any wonder why one of their timepieces is included in the list of best watches for men?
This automatic TAG Heuer watch comes with a tough sapphire crystal glass that won’t scratch easily. The glass face houses a striking grey dial that is difficult to miss even in the dark, thanks to the rhodium-plated indexes coated in white Superluminova and the sleek steel hands. And just in case you didn’t catch that, it simply means the hands and markers glow in the dark.
The watch is powered by Caliber 5 mechanical movement with a backup power that can last up to 38 hours. It also comes with a fast date correction feature. As far as water resistance goes, you don’t have to take it off if you want to go for water skiing or any other serious surface water sports. In fact, it is safe for professional marine activities, too. But with only 200 meters water-resistant rating, you definitely shouldn’t be using this watch for scuba diving.
Seems like the Formula 1 collection is a combination of high-quality and bells and whistles, right? Well, it might be difficult to find fault with a watch that is designed with incredible Swiss-made technology. But here’s something to keep in mind, though; 43 mm isn’t exactly small, so the watch might look awkward on you if you have a small hand. You don’t want people thinking you got an oversized birthday present!
But that’s not something to split hairs too much about because you can opt for the 41 mm stainless steel version if you’re bent on owning a watch from the Formula 1 collection of TAG Heuer. It is also an automatic watch, so there’s no need for a battery.
5. Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 Automatic Watch
The Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 Automatic Watch is proof that you can get the best watches for men even if you’re not a CEO just yet. A high-quality Swiss watch, an automatic watch, and a synthetic sapphire glass are all wrapped into this very affordable timepiece! Quality and affordability don’t get any better than this Tissot Le Locle watch.
This watch is made from stainless steel and has a silver metal bracelet. The watch has a black dial and comes with a date function. You won’t be changing batteries since it is an automatic watch, but you’ll need to wear it or move it daily. It is a water-resistant watch with a 30-meter rating. Apart from the occasional splash of water from the sink, it is best to avoid getting this watch wet.
6. Bell & Ross BR 03-92 NIGHTLUM
The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 NIGHTLUM watch is the first watch on this list with a leather strap. Pay no attention to the “bell” in the name; there’s no bell and whistles with this watch, just a straightforward square watch with the traditional hours, minutes, and seconds hands with a date feature.
This watch has its origin in aviation and is perfect for gents who prefer simplicity and a square-shaped watch. But just because it is a simple watch doesn’t mean it is made from low-quality materials. This watch features a hard-wearing leather strap that is as tough as they come. The face is a rugged scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and the watch comes with a screwed-down crown.
All the hands are luminous, so you don’t have to squint to see what time is it, even in the dark. It is a water-resistant watch rated at 100 meters. So, it is perfect for swimming and some other water sports. However, I wouldn’t take it for diving. And the best part? It has an automatic movement. So, while this watch might not have the usual extra attractive trimmings, it sure packs quite a bit of functionality.
7. Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch
Here’s another leather strap watch that qualifies to be on this list of best watches for men. Why? You’ll know just in a bit. But first, let’s start with the one thing that is less appealing about the watch. The Horological Smartwatch from Frederique Constant is a Swiss quartz watch, meaning it is powered by a battery. Most watch nerds would prefer an automatic or mechanical watch, but this quartz watch comes with a battery that can last for more than 2years, so you won’t be changing the battery anytime soon.
Okay, now that we’ve gone past that hitch, let’s see what makes this watch outstanding. This elegant-looking timepiece is not called a smartwatch for nothing. It combines a lot of useful functions that hardly reflect on the price tag. This is the perfect watch if you are interested in getting a timepiece that will help you stay on track with your fitness goals.
The Smartwatch can track your athletic activities, including the number of daily steps, the total distance covered, and the total calories burned. You can even set the alarm to remind you to move if you haven’t done so for a certain period. And you can wear it to sleep or place it under your pillow to monitor and record your sleep. What are the details it records during sleep? It monitors how much time you spent in light sleep, deep sleep, and how much time you spent awake.
Okay, enough about activity tracking. Let’s get to the real reason this watch is called a smartwatch. It is built to automatically pick up the current time from your Smartphone, so you don’t ever need to set the time and date, even when you travel across time zones. Plus, all your data can be backed up to the cloud, making it easy to restore it in case you ever lose your phone or watch.
It comes with a locked crown, a push button, and a scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal face. It has a water-resistant rating of 50 meters, making it safe to use even when you sweat profusely or wash your hand in the sink. Just don’t go swimming with this watch as you might lose your investment.
8. Breitling Navitimer GMT
Did I say the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch was for those with deep pockets? Well, you might need to dig really deep into those pockets if you want to buy a Breitling Navitimer GMT. This is the most expensive watch on this list, but its price is not just what makes it one of the best watches for men; it’s its superior and outstanding quality. In fact, you can use the words “quality” and “Breitling” interchangeably as far as watches go (that’s my opinion, anyway!)
Usually, I should save the best for last, but as you’ll have noticed, I didn’t follow any particular order in listing these watches. The Breitling Navitimer GMT watch is an amazing timepiece, whether it appears at the top, bottom, or anywhere on any list.
There’s hardly anything a quality luxury watch should have that is lacking in this powerful timepiece. But that’s not surprising considering it is Swiss made. It has an automatic movement, rugged anti-scratch sapphire crystal glass, chronograph, and a bidirectional bezel function.
You simply can’t go wrong with this watch. It is an excellent investment for those who can afford it. And to set your mind at ease, the product comes with a solid 6-year warranty.
The last two watches on this list are great choices if you’re thinking budget. But just because you are living on a shoestring doesn’t mean you can’t find good quality watches. In fact, you can find some of the best watches for men under $500 here.
9. Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph Watch
Need an affordable hybrid timepiece dubbed “the most accurate watch in the world?” A smart choice would be the Eco-Drive Chronograph from Citizen.
It’s rare to find a quartz watch that combines super accuracy with not needing a battery. Heck, even high-end chronograph watches tend to go out of sync with time.
This Eco-Drive chronometer timepiece is powered by light – just about any light! The watch face has a small solar panel that traps light, so there’s absolutely no need for a battery, ever! The watch also has an “Atomic Timekeeping” feature, making sure it never goes out of sync.
The Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph Watch is made in Japan. And just before you raise an eyebrow because it’s not from the watchmaking capital of the world – Switzerland – rest assured that Japan also manufactures some of the best watches for men and women alike.
The watch has a superb quality build; it doesn’t scratch easily because it has a very tough protective sapphire crystal on the glass window lens (that’s the transparent part of the watch’s face). And with up to 200-meter water resistance rating, swimming and diving with the watch should be safe.
Here’s a clever and interesting feature. The watch saves energy by not moving all the hands when it is covered in a dark place for a while (under your sleeve, in a drawer, etc.) As soon as you bring it to light, you can visibly see how the seconds hand zoom by to catch up with the current time.
This might not be the best watch for you if you are looking for something with less “noise” on the face. Some people might find the face a bit too crowded. If you want a watch sleek design and a less cramped face, perhaps an unconventional watch like those from Gucci might suit you.
It might not be the most expensive quartz in the world, but it certainly is a great watch for its price. With a rating of 4.4 out of 5 from 605 customer reviews on Amazon and a solid 5-year manufacturer warranty, this is not a bad quartz watch at all.
10. Seiko Automatic Watch
This analog Seiko Automatic Watch is the least expensive on this list, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable. In fact, it is style pretty much like a Rolex Submariner, one of the best watches for men when it comes to taking a deep dive.
Like the previous Citizen watch, this one too is manufactured in Japan. Seiko is not new to the watchmaking business and has established itself as a company that produces high-quality and accurate timepieces.
This particular watch is built with a crystal made from mineral. While that is good, it is not quite as durable and robust as sapphire, but hey, if it’s built as high-quality as other luxury watches, it won’t be very affordable, right?
The auto watch is water-resistant for up to 100 meters. Meaning, it is great for swimming in a pool, but it might not be okay for diving. You definitely don’t want to be wearing this for your underwater exploration during the weekend.
Anyways, you don’t have to hate deep-diving to own this watch. There are other alternatives if diving is top on your weekend to-do list. The Seiko auto watch is simply not designed for such activities. And by the way, why is it called an automatic watch? Because it works by your movement. Instead of relying on batteries, it only works when you use it. This is perhaps one of the few cheap watches with such a feature.
While an automatic movement is generally a plus, it could also be a problem if you don’t use the watch for a couple of days. You may not lose your investment because you didn’t wear your Seiko 5 model for an entire day, but you may need to restart the watch manually. To do that, you need to turn the crown on the side of the watch a couple of times – about 10 to 15 times clockwise.
In Seiko’s defense, though, this is not peculiar to this watch. All automatic watches are designed that way. So if you can get past the fact that you might need to use this watch almost daily, then it could be the perfect watch for you.
What Makes a Quality Watch?
Big names are good; in fact, they are great. But watches are not just about Omega, Rolex, and TAG. Great watches are not found in Switzerland only. So, what exactly makes a watch great? Here are some important criteria to note.
Watch movement refers to the mechanism a watch uses to work. There are three types of watch movements, namely, quartz, mechanical, and automatic movements.
A watch with a quartz movement often uses a battery and is generally cheaper than a watch with mechanical or automatic movement. Mechanical watches require periodic winding to keep them functional. And automatic watches need to be worn or moved daily.
With quartz watches, you get ticking motion of the seconds-hand while mechanical and automatic watches have a sweeping or smooth seconds-hand motion. You can find good-quality watches with quartz movement, but in most cases, luxury watches have mechanical or automatic movements.
Watch Case Material
It doesn’t matter the mechanism of a watch – whether it ticks or sweeps – if the material used in building the case is poor, no one would be attracted to it in the first place. So, first things first, a watch case should provide aesthetics. But beyond that, it has to be durable to offer any form of protection. Good quality watches should have cases made from titanium, ceramic, or at least stainless steel.
The Glass on the Face
The glass on watch faces are called crystals and are made from different materials. Protecting the watch from dirt, water, and other potentially destructive materials might seem like an easy thing to do, but it is not. For this reason, the best watches for men need to have crystals made from tough and durable materials.
The three major materials are sapphire, acrylic, and mineral. Sapphire crystals are second only to diamonds in toughness, making them a more scratch-resistant and expensive. Acrylic faces or crystals are mostly found on cheaper watches. Personally, I don’t recommend buying any watch with this type of crystal because it scratches easily. Besides, it is mostly found in children’s watches.
Mineral crystals are simply glasses treated with chemicals or heat to improve their shatter and scratch resistance. They are not as durable as sapphire but are great choices if you are on a budget.
The weight of a metal strap will tell you whether it is made from solid material or not. Stainless steel, platinum, and gold are some of the best options for metal watch straps. A low-quality watch will have hollow stainless steel in its straps.
You can also find good quality watches with leather straps. The straps are made from durable leather. For example, this expensive Hublot Rose Gold watch comes with a leather strap.
Whether you choose a metal or leather strap watch is a matter of personal preference. One is not better than the other. Although, some people tend to think that metal strap watches should be worn at work during the day, while leather strap watches should be for more casual outings in the evenings or nights. Of course, that’s just an opinion. You can choose to do whatever suits you best.
What? Yeah, you read that right.
Complications don’t sound like a good thing but trust me; it is all good as far as quality watches go. Complications refer to a watch’s extra features besides telling the time.
A good-quality watch should have at least a date feature, you know, just to keep you up to date. Other useful features include a chronograph (stopwatch for timing yourself), a backlight, and many others.
Keep in mind, though, plenty of complications don’t exactly mean a watch is first-rate. There are many luxury and quality watches with minimal complications.
Which country makes the best watches for men? Or which country makes the best watches of any kind for that matter? The answer to this is highly subjective. However, there seems to be a consensus about three watchmaking countries. These are Switzerland, Japan, and Germany, with Switzerland being the undisputed champions.
Brands such as Omega, Tissot, Rolex, Tag, Breitling, and other luxury brands are made in Switzerland. But you can’t ignore other Japanese watchmaking giants such as Seiko and Citizen. These brands also compete favorably with many Swiss watches. German brands such as the A. Lange & Sohne is not left out too. In fact, they produce some of the most expensive and high-quality watches available.
Water Resistance Rating
Lastly, a quality watch should have a fair water resistance rating or a high rating if it is a diving watch. But here’s the thing, water-resistance ratings are usually confusing, especially if you take them literally. For example, it is easy to assume that a 50-meter water-resistance rating means you can dive down to 50 meters, but that is totally incorrect.
Horologists (that’s a fancy word for watch experts) recommend swimming with a watch only if it has a minimum water-resistance rating of 100 meters. A rating of 200 meters and upward is okay for diving. However, keep in mind that the water-resistance of a watch degrades over time, so you want to keep older watches out of the water as much as possible.
So, the best watches for men all have high water resistance ratings, right? Wrong! Many high-quality watches are not designed for diving, so they don’t need such high ratings.
There are a plethora of cheap watches with good water-resistance ratings. It depends on what the watch is designed to do. If you want a luxury watch that is built for deep diving, then you should keep an eye on the water-resistance ratings; otherwise, high a rating is not necessarily a sign of a quality watch.
The best watches for men do not necessarily need to have all the criteria listed above. You will notice that some of the watches in our review do not have a few of these features, too, but that doesn’t make them less valuable. It all comes down to what you are looking for in a watch.
Do not let a lean budget stop you from getting a quality timepiece. If you take a few moments to look through this list, you will find good quality watches that don’t cost much. And if you have a few extra bucks to throw around, there are also superb luxury watches to choose from, too.