RUBBERMAID TOUGH TOOLS, Approx. $40
Amazon.com
Tools: hammer, crescent wrench, level, tape measure, tongue-and-groove pliers, long-nose pliers, multi-bit ratchet screwdriver, picture hooks, nails, screws.
Tested by Leslie Monthan, TOH copy chief

Pros: Overall, the quality is very good, and the rubberized grips are hand-friendly.

Cons: The 16-ounce hammer is overkill for hanging pictures and underpowered for serious framing. And the nail, screw, and hook selection is paltry.

What I'd change: The kit could use a pair of multipurpose electrician's pliers, with strippers sized for different gauges of wire.

BARBARA K SIGNATURE TOOL KIT, Approx. $40
Amazon.com
Tools: hammer, slip-joint pliers, adjustable wrench, painter's tool, tape measure, multi-bit screwdriver, 16 hex keys, level, picture hooks, nails, screws, anchors, home repair guide
Tested by Keen Gat, carpenter and set designer

Pros: The tool selection is pretty good. The 6-inch slip joint pliers and 6-in-1 screwdriver are well designed.

Cons: The molded plastic case makes it impossible to fit anything else in there if I wanted to expand the kit. Also, the 6-inch adjustable crescent wrench is toylike with a stubby grip. And the jaws are loose and could slip off a nut.

What I'd change: A manual on how to use the tools would be more helpful than the repair guide. Who really knows how to use all the different blades on the 6-in-1 painter's tool?
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