Owning tools and knowing how to use them is a skill that every man should possess. You don’t want to be the chump who calls a repairman every time a screw comes loose. (We’re not even talking about the embarrassment that comes with being helpless when your girlfriend asks you to fix something.) And since you pay attention to the clothes you wear and the furniture in your home, your tools deserve the same attention to detail, especially since they’ll probably last longer than that jacket or sofa.
Here are nine tools that are both well designed and practical. Even if you do end up calling a handyman, at least he’ll be impressed when he comes over and sees what you’re working with.
Best Made Felling Axe
With its painted hickory handle and bridle leather head cover, this axe would not look out of place hanging on the wall of your living room. But the slim profile on the axe head is purpose-built for efficient chopping.
Estwing Leather Handle Claw Hammer
Built from a single piece of steel, this hammer is perfectly balanced. Its leather handle not only looks incredible, it helps absorb shock when fastening.
Blue Spruce Chisels
$750 (set of 10), bluesprucetools.com
The blades on these chisels are finely crafted for precision joinery. But with handles available in woods such as cocobolo or African Blackwood, the tools are as exquisite as the furniture they help build.
Mo-Tool Wood Inlay Hammer
The multi-tool comes in handy for all the little jobs that pop up around the house. This version has screwdrivers, blades, knives, and a can opener, wire cutter, pliers, file, and wrench packaged into a handsome wood handle.
Shinola Screwdriver Set
Jay Z’s “All black everything” mantra applies to tools as well. The steel alloy blades on these screwdrivers have a black-oxide finish and handles made from Maine hardwood that are hand-painted black as well. The loose screw on your door hinge almost isn’t worthy of being tightened with this screwdriver.
Japanese Double-Edged Saw
One edge of this saw is made for cutting against the grain of wood and the other for cutting with the grain, making it highly versatile. It also has an elegant design with a wood handle that is wrapped in rattan.
Schroeder Hand Drill
Power drills may get the job done quicker, but there is a pleasant satisfaction that comes with using a hand drill. These German-made drills look amazing and bore through wood easily with their steel construction and wood handles.
Crick 24-inch Wood Level
It is accurate to .015 of an inch, but what really stands about this level is its sleek wood construction which elevates any project you happen to use it on.
Gerstner International Household Chest
You can’t just throw all of your good looking tools in an ordinary toolbox. With drawers and removable trays, this wood case from Gerstner ensures that your tools have a home befitting their stature.