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A Workman's Tools: What You Need on Your Workbench

Setting up your first work bench is a brilliant experience – it’s a declaration to yourself that you’re going to knuckle down and take your DIY, personal projects, and repair jobs seriously. Ideally it will be a space where every single item has been specially chosen and organised to give you the best possible chance of carrying out your work comfortably and to a high standard.

So what are some of the key essentials that you should without a doubt make space for on (or near to) your workbench?

[1] A First Aid Kit

Safety comes first with any DIY job. No matter what you’re primarily planning on doing with your bench, a first aid kit is an indispensable must-have. It should be within arm’s distance of your workbench at all times, and it should be well stocked with all the crucial things – bandages, antiseptic treatments, instant cold-packs, and so on.

[2] A Fire Extinguisher

Following on the same theme as the last point, a fire-extinguisher is another one of those things which is absolutely indispensable for health and safety reasons. At your workbench, you’ll almost certainly be surrounded by highly flammable substances (petrol, Danish Oil, turpentine, etc.) as well as heat sources (soldering irons, electrical outlets, engines, motors, and so on.) If a fire breaks out – which is not by any means impossible — it will be out of control in a heartbeat. So keep a well rated fire extinguisher close at hand. Some fire blankets probably wouldn’t hurt either.

[3] A Bench Vise

A good bench vise is going to be a godsend for just about anything that you’d want to do at your work station. The uses of this bit of kit are almost endless. Any time that something needs to be held firmly in place, or compressed for a long time (such as when glue dries, for example), or even if you just need to reach an object from a tricky angle while keeping both hands free – the bench vise will prove its worth.

[4] “The Basic Tools”

“The Basic Tools” are the things that you’re likely to find in any toolbox, at any DIY store in the world. A set of good screwdrivers (which won’t get stripped or damaged in a hurry), a hammer, several basic wrenches, and a couple of saws should all be seen as indispensable. These few tools alone are bound to come in useful on an almost daily basis, whereas more specialist items will likely be reserved for the occasional big project.

[5] A Soldering Iron

No DIY man worth his salt should be without a soldering iron – especially not if you’re likely to be doing any kind of work with electronics. A soldering iron can be used to solder sheet metal, to do intricate work on a plumbing system, to create arts and crafts, to create circuit boards, to fasten copper pipes, to repair jewelry, to do car repairs, etc. The list just goes on and on.