The 10 Best Tool Kits

Updated April 28, 2018 by Chase Brush

10 Best Tool Kits
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. No matter whether you are a house owner or an apartment renter, there is always something that needs to be done around the place, from hanging pictures or shelves to fixing a leaky pipe. With these comprehensive tool kits, you can be sure you will always have the right equipment for any project. Starting at under $20, they are much cheaper than buying a whole bunch of individual pieces. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best tool kit on Amazon.

10. Vastar Home Repair 102-Piece

The versatile Vastar Home Repair 102-Piece is a great go-to kit for routine household maintenance. It contains a whole host of well-constructed components, including a snap blade razor, two 8-piece Allen wrench sets, and a four-piece miniature screwdriver.
  • tools feel very durable
  • thick ergonomic handles
  • plastic case is a little flimsy
Brand Vastar
Model VRK21-ALX-1
Weight 8.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Cartman Orange 39-Piece

The Cartman Orange 39-Piece is a well-rounded starter set for general light use, and sports bold colored accents for quick identification. All tools meet or exceed ANSI critical standards and are securely housed in a handy blow-molded case that opens flat for easy access.
  • heat-treated to resist corrosion
  • case has elevated feet for stability
  • not super high quality
Model pending
Weight 4.3 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. Stalwart 75-HT1086

Ideal for the office, kitchen, RV or car, the ultra-portable Stalwart 75-HT1086 has got you covered when you're in a pickle. All 86 pieces fit nicely in the soft roll-up case, which provides enough room to add a couple of extra hand tools if needed.
  • includes a 10-foot measuring tape
  • compact size takes up little space
  • scissors aren't very sharp
Brand Stalwart
Model 75-HT1086
Weight 5.2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Kobalt Household

The Kobalt Household is a convenient set that includes a plastic box for storage of fasteners and small hardware. Each tool has a soft-grip design that minimizes vibrations and hand fatigue, making them perfect for those stubborn projects that take longer than expected.
  • padded shoulder strap
  • sturdy structured bag
  • not very compact
Brand Kobalt
Model pending
Weight 10.5 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

6. Craftsman Evolv 41283

The Craftsman Evolv 41283 is a handyman's dream, incorporating a large variety of all-purpose tools to tackle everyday jobs, from hanging pictures to fixing a leaky pipe. Each high-performance component boasts an easy-grip handle, though they do seem a little small.
  • bag has multiple pockets
  • front mesh pouch for quick access
  • a little on the expensive side
Brand Craftsman
Model 41283
Weight 7.7 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

5. GreatNeck Essentials 21044

The budget-friendly GreatNeck Essentials 21044 is the perfect resource to have around the house for all those DIY projects. It includes 31 must-have pieces in a compact zippered bag with both handles and a shoulder strap that make it easy to take with you anywhere.
  • sockets have a max-drive design
  • great for first-time homeowners
  • stores away nicely in a closet
Brand Great Neck
Model 21044
Weight 4.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

4. Stanley Mixed STMT73795

The premium Stanley Mixed STMT73795 is a complete 210-piece collection of some of the most popular hardware used, but also a wide array of sockets and drivers for more specific projects. They are all forged from high-quality steel and finished in high-polish chrome.
  • sockets have radius corners
  • good for light automotive work
  • holes for tethering on wrenches
Brand Stanley
Model STMT73795
Weight 20.6 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

3. Apollo Precision Tools DT9706

If you're looking to get a decent set without spending a fortune, the Apollo Precision Tools DT9706 fits the bill. It can tackle around-the-house assembly, maintenance or repair projects for those just starting out, and comes in a nice compact case for storage.
  • long-nose pliers for tight spaces
  • secure grips on handles
  • comes in various colors
Brand Apollo Tools
Model DT9706
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Black+Decker LDX120PK

Whether you're a new homeowner or a DIY enthusiast, the Black+Decker LDX120PK is there when you need it. It contains all of the necessary components needed for big and small repairs around the house, including an easy-to-use, 20-volt lithium-ion-battery-powered drill.
  • spade bits for boring holes
  • drill holds charge up to 18 months
  • great value for the price
Model LDX120PK
Weight 9.3 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Stanley 94-248 65-Piece

Get the job done like a true pro with the Stanley 94-248 65-Piece. This handy kit includes one torpedo level, slip joint pliers, long-nose pliers, a 13-ounce hammer and two common screwdrivers that will help you with a wide range of fastening and nailing needs.
  • comes with a 16-foot measuring tape
  • case snaps shut tightly and securely
  • very practical and affordable
Brand Stanley
Model 94-248
Weight 7.5 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

Selecting The Appropriate Tool Kit

A tool, by definition, is a device that you use to carry out a particular function. In the traditional sense, this means it’s an item we can utilize to perform a physical task more efficiently. We use tools every day of our lives: the coffee mug we use to feed our caffeine addictions in the morning, the pen we use to take notes during those mind-numbing meetings, even the toothbrush we use to practice good dental hygiene before bed.

The tool kits we’re exploring here, however, are really only comprised of devices used for construction, maintenance, and repair projects. Think of activities like woodworking, vehicle fixes, furniture assembly, or simple pipe-fitting. The type of tool kit you select should be dictated by the tasks you plan to carry out.

These kits feature an array of useful hand tools. Typically, they include some combination of hammers, tape measures, screwdrivers, bits, wrenches, saws, levels, pliers, knives, and other miscellaneous items. Your specific needs should determine what that final combination is for you. If you plan on doing some heavy-duty sawing, drilling, or sanding, you should probably check out some power tool kits.

The strength and durability of the tools within the kit is a key consideration, as well. If you simply need a few utensils to complete minor household tasks — like hanging decorations or tightening loose shelving — an inexpensive plastic set may work. For serious do-it-yourself projects, you’ll want strong metal tools with quality handles and grips.

For some folks, the size and style of the case is important. If you’ll often carry your set from job site to job site, you’ll want something lightweight and versatile. If you’re taking on a more ambitious project that requires large tools, a more heavy-duty, robust case will probably work better.

Proper Usage Can’t Be Understated

Tools, by their very nature, are hazardous. Unfortunately, serious and sometimes tragic incidents caused by tool usage are far too common, even among experienced professionals. It’s up to you to identify and recognize potential dangers associated with each tool you use. If you’re unsure how to use a particular tool, seek out advice or training from someone who does.

It’s worth reiterating that you must select the appropriate tool for the job. Using an unsuitable substitute greatly increases the chances of an accident. Make sure to use tools that are in good condition (and maintain them properly when they’re not in use). Store them somewhere safe where they won’t be damaged by heat or moisture. You should immediately replace any devices that are defective, cracked, or broken.

The instructions within your tool kit are there for a reason – read and follow them for your own safety. When storing or carrying sharp tools, make sure you cover them with a strong sheath or holster to help prevent injury. When you transport them, you should ensure that they’re pointed away from you at all times.

If you want to have multiple tools on your person for easy access, wear a tool belt instead of jamming utensils into random pockets. You should also focus on protecting the exposed parts of your body. If flying debris could be a hazard, make sure you wear safety glasses that fit. Your hands will often be at risk, as well; some resilient, tight-fitting gloves are nice to have in these cases.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labor has published a helpful information booklet on basic usage and safety protections associated with the use of both hand and power tools.

Tools Of The Trades

Few people rely on hand tools more frequently than tradesmen. When you’re using tools, even if you have little to no practical experience doing so, you’re more than likely carrying out a function that these professionals perform as part of their daily lives. Therefore, it’s important to understand what they do and why they’re an essential part of our society.

A carpenter works primarily with wood. Without carpenters, you wouldn’t have a roof over your head and walls surrounding you right now. This tradesperson can’t live without a hammer, tape measure, nail puller, framing square, and a solid level. For many jobs, he or she will also require a chalk line, utility knife, tin snips, or a wood chisel. If you plan to take on some woodworking tasks, a tool kit designed for a carpenter is a good bet.

Plumbers — the heroes responsible for your running water, showers, and indoor toilets — use some specialty tools that you wouldn’t necessarily find in a standard tool kit. However, they do use several common devices. If wrenches serve as the plumber’s best man, then pliers, tube cutters, and saws would be in the wedding party. A tool kit designed primarily for plumbing functions would also likely include pipe shears, a tube bender, a mini pipe threader, and some plumber’s tape.

Admit it, you take electricity for granted. It's okay, we forgive you, but your electrician might not. In addition to basics like a hammer, level, and a multitude of screwdrivers, electricians rely on a variety of tools that are ideal for wiring. Side cutters, wire strippers, and a pair of needle nose pliers are essentials. For these tradesmen, an adjustable wrench always comes in handy when working on nuts and bolts in a confined space. They also frequently need a utility knife for stripping heavy-duty wire, opening boxes, and similar tasks.

In today’s increasingly digital world, fewer people seem interested in developing the skills needed to use hand tools for simple, at-home chores. Why bother, they think, when they can just call up the repair man? You may find that by investing a little money into a quality tool kit, and a bit of time into learning proper technique, you’ll save money in the long run, having gained the ability to handle these jobs yourself. Plus, you’ll impress your friends and your significant other in the process.

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Last updated on April 28, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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