If you’re just striking out on your own, or you’ve never had to make repairs for yourself before, finding the tools you need can be intimidating. Make it easier by grabbing one of these all-in-one kits.
The tool kits below are inexpensive, at least in relative terms—buying all of the tools inside them individually would cost many times the price of the kit. They’re not world-class tools like you’d find in a mechanic’s garage or on a handyman’s belt, but they’re more than capable of handling small home repairs or furniture assembly. Odds are that if the job you’re doing can be covered by a five-minute YouTube video, the tools below will suffice. If not, they’re great places to start fro a more complete collection of hardware without spending a fortune.
For those in small homes or just looking for an inexpensive kit to grab for quick jobs, this Cartman package will do nicely. It doesn’t include anything particularly high-end, but the compact, fold-out case covers all the basics for easy home and appliance repair.
In addition to a bit driver and a smaller set of screwdrivers for precision work, the kit includes a tape measure, adjustable wrench, and level, which aren’t necessarily a given in anything under thirty bucks. The package even includes a few torx bits and a some nails and screws, if you’re buying for something you need to take care of right away.
If you want something that’s a seriously good start to a more extensive collection of tools, check out this Stanley collection. 170 pieces cover just about everything you’ll need short of full power tools.
A huge selection of bits, ratchets, L-keys, and wrenches should allow you to assemble or disassemble almost anything, and large and small full screwdrivers in Philips and flathead drivers are great for quick jobs. The package includes a 16-inch tape measure and a utility knife, but is notably missing a hammer—add a solid one and you’re good to go for almost anything.
The tool kits above include molded plastic cases for every single piece, but perhaps you’re hoping to start a more extensive tool collection and need room to grow. If that’s the case, this WorkPro collection is a great place to start, including a wide selection of basic tools and a thick nylon bag to carry them around.
It includes all of the standard tools in the Cartman collection above, plus a set of locking pliers, a utility knife, and a small saw. The bag has plenty of room for any tools you might want to add, up to and including a small drill, with easy-to-access pockets on the exterior. WorkPro backs all of them with a lifetime warranty.
Power tools can get expensive quickly, and one of the more frustrating aspect is getting them, well, power. If you’re looking to start a collection of tools, we recommend picking a brand and sticking to it for chargers and batteries. This Black & Decker collection includes an impressive 20-volt drill, a small jigsaw and circular saw, and a work light for $130—a price you’d be hard-pressed to find if you bought these tools separately.
It also includes two standardized 20-volt batteries and a charger, which are interchangeable between all four tools (and any other cordless Black and Decker tools you might want to add on later). When you consider that the price of two of the Black and Decker batteries you get with the kit is $60, the whole thing starts to look like an even better deal.
If your specific needs are much smaller, in a very literal way, you might be looking to repair some electronics. And what’s harder than the actual repair on modern gadgets like phones, laptops, and tablets is actually getting the darn things open.
This toolkit sold by iFixIt (an excellent place to find tech hardware repair guides) covers both angles, including a collection of 64 tiny standard, hex, and torx drivers, precision tweezers and pry bars, spudgers and other opening tools, and even an anti-static bracelet and a magnetic prod to retrieve dropped screws. Throw in a set of reading glasses for precision work and you’re ready to open any gadget…but you might want to check an iFixIt guide first.