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Whether you’re hanging a picture on your wall, tightening up that annoyingly loose chair leg, or giving your car an oil change, you’re going to need a set of tools to help you complete the job. Pretty much everyone should own basic tools like a hammer, screwdriver, and measuring tapes—all essentials for general household tasks and maintenance—but if you work on your own car, have a big yard, or maintain a garden, you might need some specialized tools, as well.
Glenn Wiseman—RASDT, RHDT, and sales manager at Top Hat Home Comfort Services—draws it out even further, specifying that “The most useful tools for a homeowner wanting to tackle a basic repair on their own are a hammer, an assortment of nails and screws, a stud finder, an adjustable wrench, a measuring tape, a set of screwdrivers, pliers, a manual or laser level, a flashlight, a utility knife, a pair of wire cutters, and an extension cord.”
You could buy all the tools you need separately, but you can save money and time by investing in a tool set instead. The best tool kits give you a better price per item, and there are both basic and deluxe sets available, depending on your needs. When choosing a tool kit, consider the types of projects you're likely to undertake, and then look for a kit that includes those tools most useful for your needs along with the basics.
Here, the best tool kits on the market now.
Best Overall: BLACK+DECKER 12V Max Drill 60-Piece Home Tool Kit
Excellent starter tool kit
Includes cordless drill
Includes selection of drill bits
Many of the screwdriver bits are duplicates
Some complaints that drill isn't very powerful
It’s hard to imagine any basic DIY project or household repair you couldn’t tackle with the BLACK+DECKER 12V Max Drill 60-Piece Home Tool Kit. This handy tool kit contains not just the basic hand tools you’ll reach for most often, including a hammer, screwdrivers, tape measure, pliers, wrench, ratcheting screwdriver with nut drivers, utility knife, and a level, it also comes with a BLACK+DECKER 12V Max Cordless Drill along with 10 assorted drill bits and 32 assorted screw-driving bits.
That means you’ll make short work of assembling furniture, tightening screws, hanging pictures, fixing that drooping door or garden gate, or any other common tasks on the honey-do list. And while these tools might not be professional quality, they are sturdy enough so that just about any average DIYer can rely on dependable performance use after use after use.
The kit also includes a charger and tool bag.
Best Budget: Apollo Tools Original 39-Piece General Repair Hand Tool Set
Includes all the basics
Case is easy to store
Not the highest quality
For those who do minimal work around the house, a budget pick like the Apollo Tools 39-Piece General Repair Hand Tool Set will be more than enough for your needs. This highly rated kit is incredibly wallet-friendly and it includes all your basic tools in a convenient, compact storage case.
This Apollo Tool Set comes with a claw hammer, slip joint pliers, tape measure, utility knife, manual bit driver with 2-inch bit extension and 20 popular bit sizes, precision screwdrivers for small screws, hex keys, and a pair of scissors. All the tools are made from steel alloy and are chrome-plated to resist corrosion, and they feature non-slip handles for a more comfortable grip. While these tools are by no means heavy duty, this affordable tool set is ideal for small, common household jobs.
Best Power Tools: RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Lithium-Ion Cordless 6-Tool Combo Kit
Great starter set of power tools
Includes two batteries
Best for light to medium-duty jobs
Power tools are a must-have for tougher jobs, and the RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Lithium-Ion Cordless 6-Tool Combo Kit will help you tackle a wide range of tasks. The kit includes six popular power tools, two batteries, a charger, bag, and several accessories—basically, everything you need for a solid at-home workshop.
In this set, you’ll get an electric drill, impact driver, reciprocating saw, circular saw, multi-tool, and worklight, as well as a 1.5 Ah battery and 4 Ah battery. Because the tools are all part of the brand’s ONE+ platform, you can use the same batteries in all of them, as well as in other RYOBI ONE+ tools. The tools even come with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Best for Cars: Husky Mechanics Tool Set 194-Piece H194MTS
Everything needed for basic auto work
Stamped size markings
If you plan to work on your car, you’ll need a quality mechanics tool set, such as this 194-piece kit from Husky. Designed for both professionals and DIYers, this kit is extremely comprehensive with quick-release ratchets in three sizes, 125 sockets, 14 combination wrenches, numerous drive sockets, and so much more.
The tools in this kit are forged from chromium-vanadium for unbeatable strength, and they have a polished chrome finish that you can easily wipe clean. They have large, hard-stamped size markings to help you quickly find the tool you need, and the plastic storage case has size markings, as well.
Best for Bikes: Park Tool SK-4 Home Mechanic Starter Kit
Includes guidebook to bicycle repair
Great basic kit for bicycle repair
Avid bike riders know the importance of having a comprehensive tool kit for maintenance and adjustments, and one of the most trusted brands you’ll find today is Park Tool. The SK-4 Home Mechanic Starter Kit includes 15 high-quality tools that will help you maintain, clean, adjust, and repair your bicycle for everyday use.
What will you find in this kit? Along with the Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair—the comprehensive guide to working on bikes—it includes a screwdriver, chain tools, pliers, a pedal wrench, a spoke wrench, pre-glued patch kits, and more. While this kit won't have everything you need for complicated repairs or expensive models, it will have what you need for fixes required from normal wear and tear.
Best for Gardening: Jardineer 8-Piece Heavy-Duty Garden Tool Set
Handy tote bag
Perfect for container gardens or small garden beds
Few complaints about tools breaking
Anyone with a green thumb will love the Jardineer Garden Tool Set, which is ideal for both novice and experienced gardeners. It includes eight essential pieces for container garden, houseplant, or small garden bed maintenance, including pruning shears, a garden trowel, transplanter, weeder, cultivator, hand rake, unisex garden gloves, and tool bag.
These gardening tools are made from polished aluminum to resist rust, and they feature ergonomic handles to reduce fatigue and discomfort during long gardening sessions. The tote bag has five external pockets surrounding the spacious inner compartment, and it has a board in the bottom so it can stand up on its own.
Best Deluxe: DEWALT 20-Volt MAX 10-Tool Cordless Combo Kit DCK1020D2
Includes two batteries
Covers all common DIY needs
Some complaints about power
If you’re ready to move beyond hand tools, and want to add some serious power, versatility, and convenience to your home tool collection, you can’t go wrong with the DEWALT 20-Volt MAX 10-Tool Cordless Combo Kit. This deluxe set provides just about everything you need for a well-stocked power tool collection. You’ll get one each of the following: 20V MAX XR oscillating multi-tool, 20V MAX ½-Inch compact drill driver, 20V MAX ¼-Inch impact driver, 20V MAX compact jobsite blower, 20V MAX circular saw, 20V MAX reciprocating saw, 20V MAX 4-1/2-inch grinder, LED work light, wet/dry vacuum, and a jobsite Bluetooth speaker. That’s a whole lot of tools ready and able to tackle just about any DIY project you throw at them.
The set also includes two 20-volt lithium-ion batteries, a charger, and a handy contractor’s bag to keep everything portable and together.
We love the BLACK+DECKER 12V Max Drill 60-Piece Home Tool Kit (view at Amazon) for its comprehensive collection of basic hand tools plus a compact cordless drill and accompanying bits. There’s not much you can’t accomplish around the house with this handy and high quality set of tools. But if you’re looking for a tool kit that’s all about power, we recommend the RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Cordless 6-Tool Combo Kit (view at Home Depot) instead.
What to Look for in a Home Tool Kit
Some tool kits are better suited for more experienced users. If you’re a beginner, you’re probably better off with a basic kit of the must-have tools, including a hammer, set of screwdrivers, pliers, level, tape measure, and an adjustable wrench. However, if you have more experience working around the house, you might be looking for more advanced tools to supplement your existing arsenal, such as specialized screwdrivers, a small handsaw, putty and utility knives, laser level, and a socket set. And any DIYer can benefit from a cordless drill, which is easy to use and handy for a multitude of projects around the home.
Is there a particular task you need to complete with your tool kit? For example, if you’re hanging a painting, you’ll probably need a measuring tape, level, screwdriver or hammer, and maybe even a stud finder. If you like working on your car, you'll need a socket set. If it's gardening that you love, you'll want hand tools, pruners, and a watering can. Think about what you’ll be using your tools for as you hunt for the perfect home kit.
Even though it's not the most important factor to consider when buying a tool kit, you should think about how much space it will take up in your home. If you’re living in a small apartment, a kit with several hundred pieces will take up a solid chunk of your storage space and rarely come in useful. On the other hand, if you have a whole garage to dedicate to your tools, and enjoy tackling repairs around the house, assembling furniture, maintaining your own car or motorcycle, or just want to be prepared for anything, it's worth buying a comprehensive kit with all the tools you are likely to need.
Tool Kit Basics
You don’t need a huge collection of tools if you only occasionally do odd jobs around the house, but you should have at least the basics. Here are the must-haves for your home tool kit.
- Screwdriver set with both Phillips and slotted screwdrivers in a range of sizes
- Claw hammer
- Tape measure
- Needle-nose pliers
- Slip-joint pliers
- Adjustable wrench
- Set of nails and screws in various sizes
- Utility knife
- Duct tape
- Tool box or bag for storage
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article is edited and updated by Michelle Ullman, the tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience not only in writing about all things related to the home, but also in carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs. For this roundup, she considered dozens of home tool kits, evaluating each for basic features, extras, and feedback from customers, and also sought advice from Glenn Wiseman; RASDT, RHDT, and sales manager at Top Hat Home Comfort Services.