Which Generation is the “Handiest” When it Comes to Home Repairs?

man standing infront of miter saw

How many of us have spent hours walking down the aisle of our favorite hardware store, either when we were younger and we went with our parents, or even now as adults with homes of our own? Sometimes the hardware store can be overwhelming with all the tools and potential projects, or maybe you’re an expert who knows exactly which aisle the nails are in. Or maybe you don’t even attempt a home repair or project and prefer to hire help.  Home Repairs

Whatever the case may be, chances are you at least know the difference between a hammer and a screwdriver when it comes to your home toolkit. But what about younger generations, how well-versed are they when it comes to home projects and repairs? A new survey by CraftJack surveyed 1,000 people across four generations: Gen Z (18-25), Millennials (26-41), Gen X (42-57), and Baby Boomers (58-76) to see which generation is the “handiest” when it comes to fixing things around the house.  Home Repairs

Based on the data, it’s no surprise that Gen Z has a lot to learn from Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials.  Home Repairs

Gen Z is the first to admit that they’re not very handy. admits it: they’re not very handy. Not even half (44%) of the youngest generation consider themselves “handy” when it comes to home projects. Surprisingly, Baby Boomers rated themselves lower (61%) than Gen X (66%). Despite Gen X rating themselves as the “handiest” generation, they’re the generation that’s most likely to end up making an issue worse. At least 3 in 5 of Gen X admit that’s happened before. 

When it comes to attempting to fix something, Millennials are the most likely to give it a try on their own. Millennials, Gen Z and Gen X are all unwilling to admit defeat when working on a tricky project.  Home Repairs

All three generations are more likely to call family members for help before professionals. In fact, Gen Z is two times more likely to ask family for help, compared to the other generations. Home Repairs

Baby Boomers are the only outliers, as 1 in 10 will call a professional before reaching out to the family.

How common is knowing common household tools? CraftJack asked each generation to identify the tool, what it’s used for, how much it cost, and whether they currently own it. Each generation was given a grade based on how they answered. Home Repairs

Baby Boomers got the best “report card,” demonstrating that some knowledge comes with experience and age. This generation was the only one to receive a “B.” Unfortunately, Gen Z needs to spend a little more time in the hardware store, as they received two failing grades for the knowledge of putty knives and stud finders.

Gen X proved they are not to be trifled with, as they did beat the other generations in identifying tools; they correctly guessed 9 out of the 12.

According to the data, all four generations had difficulty identifying the average price of common household tools. Home Repairs

Every generation overestimated the price of stud finders ($16 on average) and caulk guns ($10 on average). Gen Z was most likely to overestimate prices, but Baby Boomers underestimated prices the most.  Home Repairs

When it comes to borrowing tools, Gen X is most likely to borrow, compared to other generations. Baby Boomers seem to have accumulated a lot of what they might need, so they’re the generation that borrows the least. 

Most generations agree about the staple tools everyone should own. Across the board, all generations say the first two tools that should be in any toolkit are a hammer and a screwdriver.  Home Repairs

Gen Z was the only generation to consider duct tape as one of the top five most important tools. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers think a wrench is vital. Millennials and Gen X both agree that tape measures are essential. 

Some things might be best left to the professionals. All four generations agree that hiring a professional for most electrical and plumbing work is better than attempting those projects themselves. 

However, Millennials and Gen X are willing to try simple electrical work like installing light fixtures or replacing switches. Gen X is the first generation to say they’d hire a professional for a home project because they have more money to do so. Home Repairs

Not surprisingly, Baby Boomers appear to be the most knowledgeable of all generations. But since the generation is aging, those surveyed said they’re just not physically able to do the work they used to and now need extra help. 

When it comes down to it, we probably all could use a helping hand tackling at-home projects. Next time maybe chat with someone from a different generation for a new perspective on how to get things done. 

You can find the full report here. 


In March 2022, CraftJack surveyed 1,049 people across four generations (262 Gen Z, 264 Millennials, 262 Gen X, 261 Baby Boomers) to get their feedback and test their knowledge about home tools and projects. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 76 with an average age of 42. 49% of respondents were women and 48% were men. 

To determine report card grades, CraftJack created a point scale based on four specific questions (tool identification, tool purpose, tool ownership, and tool price estimation). Each answer was based on a 5-point scale and added up to 20 to determine a final grade. 

To determine the price for each common household tool, CraftJack collected the price of the first non-sponsored tool to show up on Amazon, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Menards & Lowe’s. CraftJack then determined the overall average from those prices.

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