New Home Owner: Essential starting tool/lawn arsenal

Getting ready to close on my first house on a half acre lot and have been doing laps around Home Depot every other day.

What tools/lawn equipment do I need to have on hand and how did/would you prioritize them?

Welcome to new home ownership!! I’m going to assume right off you mean power tools and OPE.

Let’s start with power tools in order of importance:

Drill/impact driver combo kit, your going to be doing a lot of fastening from cabnets to furniture, fixing doors and hanging stuff. A combo kit will get you into a cordless tool line with typically 2 batteries and a charger.

Circular saw, it’s a staple in any home, sometimes something just needs to be cut quickly and cleanly. You can get a cordless one that matches your above combo kit but most of the time cordless saws just don’t quite cut it(pun), get a 15 amp corded model, for $50-100 you can get all the saw you’ll need.

Receipsaw, this is just handy for everything from taking out a wall, cutting down a fence posts to even pruning trees and shrubs. I’d suggest getting a cordless one only if you plan on getting a couple extra batteries and match it to your combo kit otherwise a good corded one can be had for well less than $100.

A grinder, I use mine for cutting off old screws, nails to sharpening mower blades. I use a cheap corded Black & Decker one and even though I’m a professional builder it’s all I ever needed.

The rest of the power tools tend to be more specialized, and kinda " you’ll know if you need it" stuff.


Mower, small lot, look at a battery powered model that can maybe work with the batteries you have for your cordless tools, and other OPE.

Weed whacker, gotta get those close cuts, around trees, against the house and garage, again battery powered to match your tools makes sense.

Blower, if your anywhere that leafs fall it sure beats a rake. Also battery to match.

As you can see alot of my suggestions involve battery powered tools and many tool companies make both categories. As a builder I use DeWalt for my cordless building tools, a little higher end than an average home owner needs but they make all the above products and who am I to tell you not to get high end stuff! I also have some Ryobi stuff that fit a niche that I needed and I chose them for my lawn care tools, my wife absolutely loves the 18v mower.

All that said I highly recommend Ryobi for everything on the list, the green stuff is really quite good these days and their extensive cordless tool lineup has most any tool you could ever need.

1 Like

I’ll second Ryobi as a go-to brand for homeowners. You can get all of the basic tools and OPE you need at Home Depot.

Besides your basic drivers and saws, I’d consider adding a light. Many kits come with a basic worklight, but if you get one that doesn’t, pick up one or more different lights. They’ll pay for themselves the first time you lose power. Speaking of which, a USB adapter is another good thing in case of power outage. Once you make the initial investment, you’ll have batteries. Using those batteries to provide light and keep your cell phone charged is a good option nowadays.

As for OPE, if you have bushes, shrubs, or small trees, consider a hedge trimmer or even a small chainsaw.

1 Like

My list would be:

Priority 1: Cordless drill, jig saw, screw drivers, claw hammer, torpedo level, multimeter, needle nose, tongue and groove, diagonal cutter, speed square or framers square, good battery light, tape measure, gas or electric lawn mower, cordless weed eater.

Priority 2: Circular saw, recip saw, impact driver, Hex keys, any other tools you discover you need.


1 Like

This is all great - thank you!

So Ryobi has a good enough quality product to invest in their OPE platform?

I ask because I don’t want to be blinded by their price point in the short term; hopefully I’ll get a lot of useful life out of these guys!

Thank you again for this feedback, this is a …fun… process…

All my OPE is Ryobi, good stuff… Also if you don’t mind refurbished stuff check out great sales right now but often have crazy deals) that’s the TTI(manufacturer) outlet store, they also have retail locations in many outlet malls.

Ryobi has served me well in the home owner category. They have such variety and you can keep building on yet still keep the same batteries. One tip with this is to get the better versions of their tools, like they have more than one recip saw, and I’d definitely get the better one. Ditto for other tools. Toolguyd reviews will help a lot, and some other reviews, too. The reviews on Home Depot’s website are often helpful, too.

To see all the tools, an excellent source is the website Here is their coupons page for that site . You can get kits and a lot of other bargains around the holidays, though they usually have some specials. Around the holidays you may be able to “stack” different specials and coupons. Sometimes the store will have different prices on the specials, so you should print out, or take on your phone the different specials that you want. When I go to their store, I nearly always cruise by the clearance section.

Enjoy your new tools!

There is a tendency to purchase tools on speculation - wanting to have them ahead of when you need them. That might work for tools that are needed (statistically) very often, but will not be kind on a first-time homeowner’s budget. So unless you are living so far away from a home center (HD, Lowes, Menards) and Amazon will not ship via Prime to your address - you can wait on most things until just before the task is at hand. Do the research ahead of time so you know what you want to buy - but then hold off until you need the item.
Certainly things like a flashlight or two, Phillips #2 and Slotted Screwdrivers, 16 or 25 foot tape measure, torpedo level, adjustable wrench, vise grip pliers, 16oz claw hammer, needle-nose pliers and a cordless drill with twist drill bits should be in your basic kit. Beyond that look at tasks you need to do and see what you should add. As examples - do you want to tackle plumbing work - or just unclog a toilet/drain (a closet auger and a snake might be on you to-buy list) ? How about electrical work - then a side cutting pliers, wire stripper, voltage/outlet tester might be a starting point addition to your basic kit. Painting and wallpapering would add tools like brushes, roller frames/covers, straight edges, razor knives, scrapers etc. For lawn care - you might supplement the lawnmower and edge trimmer with a leaf rake and/or blower. If you decide on some garden projects - a transplant spade, garden trowel, bedding rake, and pitch fork might prove needed. If you have no sprinkler system - then you will needed hoses (maybe on a hose cart/reel) and an oscillating sprinkler plus a hose nozzle for spot watering. When the lawn needed fertilizing or weed/insect control - you may want to buy a spreader and/or a hose-end sprayer. On a small property - trees may be only a minor issue but foundation plantings may need pruning. My wife is a fan of using hand pruners (Felco) and shears (ARS brand) - but its a lot faster with a cordless hedge trimmer. If pruning trees become an issue - a pole saw (Silky is a great brand) and a small chainsaw - might be in your future. And the list goes on as you tackle additional tasks and your skill level/inclinations allow.

This is great advice! Doing the research might also be helpful if family members want to know what gifts you’d like. Then you can give them specifics.

Some garden and lawn care hand tools that you might consider


Garden Fork

Leaf Rake

Bed Rake

Hand Pruners

Lopping Pruners

Garden Trowel


Pole Saws

Lawn Spreader

Another vote for the Felco bypass pruners!

One of my favorite garden tools is a Warren hoe. I love this thing! Here’s one at Home Depot.

My wife the amateur (but trained) gardener/arborist in our family uses a Felco left-handed pruners.|THD|google|&mid=s1MfEgAXs|dc_mtid_890338a25189_pcrid_139625601344_pkw__pmt__product_202101456_slid_&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIoK63gpSY1wIVg0GGCh0Kvg0REAYYAyABEgL-G_D_BwE

She is also a fan of the ARS brand of loppers and manual hedge shears.

She says that Silky make the best saws - but I get to use the big Hayate that I linked to - because its too heavy for her. She has a Wilkinson Sword “Swoe” that is both a cultivator, weed cutter and small hoe.

Her older version Swoe has an ergonomic coated aluminum tubular handle that gives it exceptional balance

That spreader is probably too big for your 1/2 acre yard - so I’d aim for something smaller and on sale.

Otherwise I agree with most of what fred said. I’d most likely get a lawn mower first if you don’t have one. and I would not buy a cheap one. I also wouldn’t buy the honda they sell at home depot. Somewhere between all of them I would take a week cross shopping on the internets and whatever stores are near me. Having just done this for a co worker I’d strongly recommend a husquvarna 22 inch with a Briggs and stratton engine. I think it was around 300.

why - easy to use, comfortable to use, good cut - soild build. It is however not a prosumer type device and you will buy another one some day. But not for 3-5 years or more.

Then at some point get to know your neighbors and see if you can borrow their trimmer or other stuff.

Later on - buy a cordless powered trimmer. And buy a quality prosumer model. why - you’ll have it a long time and it removes much of the hassle. I love my Echo - but I also like the Dewalt and Ego models. But you don’t necessarily need that today.

I’d second the Ryobi recommendation, not because their tools are always so great (some suck), but because they are relatively inexpensive, and they offer a broad range of tools aimed at homeowners (meaning you can use the same batteries across the range, meaning you save money.)

And even when they suck, they will usually still do the job. The issues are typically about ergonomics and convenience. Those would be major issues if you were a tradesman or contractor, but as a homeowner, you can tolerate some extra vibration or a clunky blade change.

1 Like