If you’re a homeowner, you’ve probably taken on some kind of home improvement project and used tools to accomplish the tasks. Even a simple chore like hanging a picture on the wall requires the basics of a hammer and nail. However, if you’re planning to take on a larger scale project, you’ll find you need advanced tools to get the job done well and quickly. Remember, male or female, any task is surmountable with the right tools and know-how.

Keep reading to learn about some of the basic tools you’ll need for any home improvement project as well some safety advice.

1. Safety Gear

Your most important tools will always be your safety gear. First and foremost, every home handyman (or woman) should have a good pair of safety goggles to protect the eyes from wayward splinters, nails and dust.

If you’re working with power tools, invest in a pair of earmuffs to protect your ears from the damage caused by loud noises and the incessant whine of high-powered machines. A pair of gloves can protect your hands from minor scratches and cuts.

Finally, if you’re working at any point above one story, always wear a safety harness. It may be uncomfortable, but a safety harness will break a fall and can save your life.

2. Standard Tools

Standard tools include a hammer and a good screwdriver set. Hammers come in all shapes and sizes, but the best hammer is one with a good grip of a standard size. If you’re going to be pounding in a lot of nails, consider investing in a nail gun.

A screwdriver set allows you to tighten and loosen different types of screws. The most common screw types are the Phillips (the cross), the slotted screw, the Robertson (the square) and the hex, a hexagonally shaped screw that’s tightened with a wrench. Have a screwdriver set on hand that can tackle each of these screws.

If you’re doing a lot of screw work, consider investing in a power drill. A power drill can tighten and loosen a screw in seconds and save you a lot of hand pain. Power drills come in cordless and corded models. For ease and mobility, most people prefer the cordless versions.

These simple tools are the basics that every homeowner should have in the tool box. If you’re planning to take on a more intensive home improvement project, you’ll need to start looking into power saws, sanders and tile cutters. However, for now, start with the basics.

Keep your tools in a clean tool box and a space that is inaccessible to small children.