Need household tools? Check your local dollar store!

Now, before you handyman types get all up in arms, I'm not suggesting that dollar store tools are going to meet everyone's standards. All I'm saying is that you can get some well made tools for a buck. Every home needs some tool basics, whether you're measuring a window for curtains or hanging pictures on the living room wall. My experience with dollar store tools has been favorable, the fundamental criteria being that any implement I buy must be solidly built. It may not be scientific, but I have rarely been disappointed with a purchase. Here are a few of the tools available and how prices compare for similar items at Home Depot. Please check prices at your local store.

1. 10" claw hammer. The $1 hammer is all metal with a rubber hand grip. The only 10" hammer I could find at Home Deport had a wooden handle and cost $3.98.

2. 16' measuring tape with a blade lock, quick rewind and a rubberized casing. Cost, $1. A similar 16" measuring tape at Home Depot cost $3.98.

3. 9 1/2" screw drivers. The $1 screw drivers have hard plastic handles with rubber grips. The hardware store sells similar screw drivers for $6.96 each.

4. Needle nose pliers. The dollar store has two or three different sizes of these for $1 each and they all have plastic-coated or rubberized handles. The Home Depot's pliers cost $6.99 for the 6 1/2" size.

5. Crescent wrench. Okay, maybe the Home Depot wrench has a bit more metal in it but $23.74 for a small wrench? For all I use a crescent wrench, I'll stick with my $1 ones.