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The Best Tools for Your Home Tool Kit (2021 Review)

A well-stocked home tool kit will help you handle everything from day-to-day fixes to major home improvement projects. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best tools for your home tool kit on Amazon to help you find the products that are right for you. The products included in this article are available at various retail stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

Tools in a storage bag iStock

When you’re starting out as a homeowner, making a small investment in a home tool kit can help you handle basic needs, such as putting together furniture. You can continue to grow your collection over time as new projects arise and your skill level improves. Keep reading to learn more about the best tools for your home tool kit that start with basic options and end with advanced ones.

11 Tools To Have in a Basic Tool Kit

You can fix almost anything with these 11 basic hand tools.

1. Screwdriver Set

Screwdriver Set Courtesy Amazon

Screwdrivers can be used for anything from tightening cabinet hardware to installing light switches to opening paint cans. This 10-piece set includes five Phillips and five slotted screwdrivers in common sizes.

About $20 at Amazon.com

2. Tape Measure

Tape Measure Courtesy Amazon

Keep a tape measure on hand to measure anything from the wall area for a paint project to the lumber thickness at a home improvement store. At 25 feet long, this tape measure from Craftsman can measure distances both long and short.

About $10 at Amazon.com

3. Toolbox

Toolbox Courtesy Amazon

Store your collection of bolts, screwdrivers, and more in an easy-to-haul toolbox. This large-capacity box has a convenient carrying handle and a removable inner tray.

About $25 at Amazon.com

4. Hammer

Hammer Courtesy Amazon

A 16-ounce smooth-faced claw hammer has a nice mix of heft and versatility for driving nails into wood. The angled claw is useful for pulling out the nails that inevitably get bent. This durable model features a fiberglass handle to reduce shock.

About $13 at Amazon.com

5. Duct Tape

Duct Tape Courtesy Amazon

For quick fixes around the house, this sticky tape adheres to just about anything. It has a woven backing that is thicker than most rolls but easy to rip to your desired length. Use it to repair torn tarps, broken buckets, and more.

About $15 at Amazon.com

6. Flashlight

Flashlight Courtesy Amazon

With this rechargeable flashlight, you won’t have to go looking for fresh batteries the next time the power goes out. This bright light gives off 900 lumens and offers five modes to adapt to all levels of darkness.

About $30 at Amazon.com

7. Set of Pliers

Set of Pliers Courtesy Amazon

Use them to straighten bent power cord plugs, replace old shower heads, slice wiring, and get a good grip on just about anything. This well-made kit from Channellock includes tongue-and-groove, diagonal-cutting, long-nose, and slip-joint pliers.

About $52 at Amazon.com

8. Utility Knife

Utility Knife Courtesy Amazon

You’ll be reaching for this tool again and again to open boxes, sharpen pencils, mark mortises, and shave wood. Spend a little more upfront for one with a comfortable ergonomic handle and a sturdy locking blade. This one even comes with four replacement blades to pop in when the first one starts to get dull.

About $13 at Amazon.com

9. Putty Knife

Putty Knife Courtesy Amazon

This is the tool you need to spread spackling compound, reglaze a window, or scrape off paint or wallpaper. This one has a nylon handle and a flexible two-inch blade.

About $7 at Amazon.com

10. Handsaw

Handsaw Courtesy Amazon

Less intimidating and faster to set up than a power saw, this handsaw is good for trimming lumber or molding stock. It has a thick blade and a wide, ergonomic handle.

About $15 at Amazon.com

11. Adjustable Wrench

Adjustable Wrench Courtesy Amazon

You’ll need an adjustable wrench to tighten plumbing fixtures, assemble swing sets, and more. This four-piece set includes wrenches with six-, eight-, 10, and 12-inch handles. Opt for the longer handle when you need extra leverage to free a stuck nut; go for the shorter handle when space is tight.

About $24 at Amazon.com

9 Tools To Add to Your Tool Kit Over Time

You’ve done some repairs over the years, but now you’re ready for more ambitious projects.

1. Multibit Screwdriver

Multibit Screwdriver Courtesy Amazon

A multibit screwdriver keeps you prepared for all sorts of fixes and home improvement projects. This one comes with eight bits and three bonus nut drivers.

About $15 at Amazon.com

2. 35-Foot Tape Measure

35-Foot Tape Measure Courtesy Amazon

A longer tape helps mark off bigger projects. This one has a beefier end hook that grips corners better than smaller tapes.

About $30 at Amazon.com

3. Bucket-Liner Tool Organizer

Bucket-Line Tool Organizer Courtesy Amazon

Keep your growing collection of tools organized around an inexpensive five-gallon bucket where everything is in view. This model from Rugged Tools offers a total of 64 fabric pockets.

About $30 at Amazon.com

4. Drill/Driver and Circular Saw

Drill/Driver and Circular Saw Courtesy Amazon

You’ll need these tools to drill lots of pilot holes, drive lots of screws, and cut lots of lumber for your projects. Because they’re cordless, you can take them anywhere. This combo kit offers two popular tools at a rock-bottom price.

About $93 at Amazon.com

5. Level

Level Courtesy Amazon

A level is a must-have tool for hanging pictures, installing cabinets, or laying a patio. This model features a continuous edge and shock-resistant end caps.

About $30 at Amazon.com

6. Wheelbarrow

Wheelbarrow Courtesy Amazon

Come fall or spring, you’ll appreciate its help hauling yard debris. The five-cubic-foot poly tub on this wheelbarrow can carry compost, soil, mulch, and more with ease.

About $92 at Amazon.com

7. Stud Finder

Stud Finder Courtesy Amazon

Until you’re seasoned enough to knock on the wall to determine the location of a stud, use this device. This stud finder can scan at different depths for different materials, including metal, pipes, and live wire.

About $24 at Amazon.com

8. Socket Set

Socket Set Courtesy Amazon

A good socket set with a ratcheting handle speeds up the assembly process for anything held together with nuts and bolts. This kit includes 40 sockets of different sizes and bonuses, such as an extension bar, spark plug socket, adapter, and carrying case.

About $12 at Amazon.com

9. Multitool

Multitool Courtesy Amazon

Strapped to your hip or tossed into your glove box, a good multitool keeps knives, pliers, screwdrivers, and other tools close at hand. This pocket-sized model includes 14 tools and comes with a nylon carrying pouch.

About $40 at Amazon.com

9 Advanced Tools for the Experienced DIYer

From drywall repair to window trim, you’re ready to tackle almost any project, big or small.

1. Brad Nailer

Brad Nailer Courtesy Amazon

Installing crown molding is much easier when you can shoot nails rather than hammer them. This reliable pneumatic brad nailer is a cinch to stash on your tool belt while you’re on a ladder. It even doubles as a pencil sharpener in a pinch.

About $105 at Amazon.com

2. Miter Saw

Miter Saw Courtesy Amazon

From deck-building to finish carpentry, the key to neat finish work is the accurate cut that a miter saw delivers. This 12-inch, single-bevel miter saw has 14 positive stops and a tall sliding fence.

About $240 at Amazon.com

3. Laser Level

Laser Level Courtesy Amazon

Leave behind the chalk-line dust. When installing kitchen cabinets and bookcases, you can set plumb and level lines instantly with the push of a button on this laser level.

About $55 at Amazon.com

4. Table Saw

Table Saw Courtesy Amazon

The workhorse of any garage workshop is an accurate table saw that can handle lengthwise rip cuts. This 10-inch table saw comes with a rolling stand for easy setup and breakdown.

About $599 at Amazon.com

5. Worm-Drive Saw

Worm-Drive Saw Courtesy Amazon

If you’re going to have one corded tool, make it a circular saw with the power to cut through stone, concrete, and wood. Worm drives weigh a bit more than sidewinder saws, but they can handle heavy-duty jobs. This 7.25-inch saw has a magnesium housing to keep its weight under 15 pounds.

About $199 at Amazon.com

6. Radio

Radio Courtesy Amazon

Whether you’re painting a room or laying some sod, the job goes easier with tunes playing in the background. Ridgid’s durable radio keeps your smartphone safe from dust and moisture.

About $128 at Amazon.com

7. Rolling Tool Storage

Rolling Tool Storage Courtesy Amazon

With all of the tools in your collection, you’ll need a rolling tool chest to haul them around. This one features an ergonomic handle for easy movement as well as compartments for small parts and hooks for cables.

About $51 at Amazon.com

8. Multifunction Oscillating Tool

Multifunction Oscillating Tool Courtesy Amazon

Depending on the attachment, this tool can sand, cut, slice, and grind with easy-to-control, back-and-forth oscillations. This oscillating tool comes with multiple blades and sanding pads as well as a sturdy carrying bag.

About $152 at Amazon.com

9. Random-Orbit Sander

Random-Orbit Sander Courtesy Amazon

There’s no better tool to smooth surfaces than a random-orbital sander. This model fits in tight spaces and features a built-in dust collection system.

About $29 at Amazon.com

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.