If you own a home where you’ve ever had to fix a leaky faucet, hang some picture frames, assembled furniture, tightened a bicycle chain, or any of a myriad of other homeowner required tasks, then you know you need a household tool kit. Some homeowners assemble their household tool kit the hard way, one tool at a time as they find a need for it. If you’re a new homeowner or just want to avoid the frustration, then getting a homeowner’s toolset is a great starting point.
A household tool kit usually comes in a case or bag and contains a number of tools that can be handy around the house for maintenance tasks. One of the advantages of buying the tools in a kit is the value that it offers. If you tried to buy all the tools separately that are contained in most kits, you would find that you would spend much more money than the cost of the kit.
A household tool kit is really many things to many people. You really never know what’s going to break next that will require a tool to fix. So if you put ten people in a room and ask them to build a household tool kit, each kit would probably be different. That being said, many of the preassembled homeowner toolkits have obviously been assembled using input from homeowners and you can expect to find the most commonly used or most-reached-for tools in them to tackle assembly, maintenance, and repair projects around the home or office.
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Here are some common tools that homeowners should find useful in a home toolkit and that will cover the majority of minor disasters that occur all too frequently in a homeowner’s life.
It’s not a home tool set unless it has a hammer. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a “big” hammer, but some say that if you can’t fix it, you just need a bigger hammer. Assembling furniture, hanging pictures, craft projects, building kids pedal carts, and many, many more projects can all need a hammer to get the job done.
There are different kinds of hammers and the one you need is a claw hammer. A claw hammer allows you to remove nails in addition to hammering. When it comes to hammers, size does matter to some degree. While it’s true that you can probably hammer medium-sized nails into studs for hanging pictures, mirrors, shelving and more with a smaller hammer, a bigger hammer with more weight in the head will make the job much easier.
Screwdrivers rival hammers as the most important tools in your household tool kit. Screwdrivers come in a variety of sizes, lengths, but most are either Philips head or blade head or slotted. The Philips head looks like a cross when viewed from the end and a blade looks like a blade. It helps to have different sizes because screw heads come in different sizes and having shorter and longer lengths allows you to drive screws in tight spaces or when the screw is deep in a tight space like a hole.
Measuring is one of the most common tasks and makes a tape measure an essential part of a household tool set. You will probably find over time that the most useful length is 25 feet, but most toolkits won’t have one that long because they are larger in size. The longest tape measure in our list is 16 feet long.
Long Nose Pliers
Long nose pliers are an essential part of any household tool kit. You can use them for everything from tightening nuts and bolts in tight spaces to fishing for lost screws and nuts that would be hard to get to otherwise. I use them anytime I need to hold a nut to get a bolt started and my fingers are too big to do the job in the space available.
Typically, when you’re tightening a nut or bolt, you actually need two wrenches. Even if your household tool kit has the proper size wrench for your task, it’s likely that it doesn’t have the second wrench you need to hold the bolt while you tighten the nut. That’s where an adjustable wrench comes in. It can be adjusted to fit practically any regular sized nut or bolt so that you can hold it while you use the other wrench to tighten. Plus, if you don’t need to really torque on a nut or bolt to tighten it, because it’s not critical that it’s super tight, an adjustable wrench is the quick and easy way to do the job.
I use a level each time I hang a picture, shelf, or towel rack. You will find over time that you use a level many times. It would be nice if the level could be longer, but you will find that most kits include a torpedo level because of their handy, small size. A torpedo level is shaped generally like a torpedo and can have a magnetic portion so it will stick to metal. That’s handy if you’re trying to level a major appliance like a washer, dryer, or refrigerator.
Box and open-end wrenches of the proper size are the normal way to tighten nuts and bolts. Combination wrenches have both a box and open end wrench of the same size. In household tool kits sold to U.S. customers, you will find that they will be SAE wrenches, which means they fit SAE nut and bolt sizes. An example of an SAE wrench is ½-inch, ¾-inch, 3/8-inch, etc. It’s also possible that metric wrenches may be included, but those will probably be more useful on cars that adhere to the metric standard than somewhere in your home.
Tool Cases or Bags
One of the great things about buying a household tool kit is that it usually comes with a case or bag to store all the tools. Some cases even have cutouts designed to hold specific tools so every tool has its own space and is less likely to get misplaced. Bags don’t afford the same sort of storage organization, but they can usually hold more tools.
Other Helpful Tools
A digital voltage tester can be used for a variety of diagnosing and testing tasks like tracing a short in household or appliance wiring. By diagnosing problems yourself, you can either fix the problem yourself, if you’re handy, or point a professional in the right direction to save you money.
A razor knife or box cutter will come in handy time and time again when opening packages and breaking down boxes. Some kits come with a snap-off razor knife that features multiple blades already in the housing that you just snap-off to get a replacement blade.
Ratchets are usually the domain of mechanics, but around the house, it can help you tighten or remove a variety of nuts and bolts easier and faster. Not essential to a household tool kit, ratchet sets can repair and make home projects go more smoothly.
Not usually found in household tool kits, power tools take your household tool kit to a whole new level. The most common power tool that would help you around the house is a portable drill driver. Newer models have long-lasting, powerful Lithium-Ion batteries and are capable of drilling holes or driving screws and nuts. This is one power tool you should definitely have whether you get it in a kit or by itself.
Tool Materials and Construction
Although it’s unlikely that the average homeowner will place enough stress on a tool to break it, high-quality tools are tougher and will stand up to much more abuse than inferior-quality tools.
The best tools use harder, heat-treated steel like carbon or vanadium, feature chrome plating, and meet or exceed critical ANSI standards which compare tools to industry standards of hardness, torque, finish, and usability. An additional quality detail is handles that are dipped in plastic to provide a comfortable, slip-resistant grip.
We searched forums, manufacturer sites, consumer sites, retail sites, customer review sites, and social media sites to find the best rated and most popular toolkits available.
Take a look at our list and see if one of these toolkits is the best household tool kit for your needs!
The Apollo Precision Tools DT9408 53-Piece Homeowner’s Tool Kit features many of the common tools that we have mentioned in our article. The tools are high-quality with heat-treated 45C carbon steel or vanadium steel construction and chrome plating where appropriate to resist corrosion. All tools meet or exceed ANSI standards for hardness, torque, finish, and usability, have a limited lifetime warranty, and should last a lifetime under normal use. Tool handles are double-dipped in plastic for more comfort and a better grip. It contains 53 tools that will help you tackle most basic maintenance tasks around your home. Unique to this kit, the digital voltage tester can be used in a variety of electric diagnostic testing that can save you money on appliance and other electric device repair. Everything fits neatly into the extra heavy-duty blow-molded 13 x 8 x 3-inch tool case with built-in carrying handle. Case measures 13 by 8 by 3 inches;
Household Tool Kit Tools
- 1 – 6-inch long nose pliers
- 1 – 6-inch adjustable wrench
- 1 – 8 oz. claw hammer
- 1 – Digital voltage tester
- 1 – 12-foot tape measure
- 1 – 9-inch magnetic level
- 1 – Tool case
- 6 – Precision screwdrivers (Phillips #1, # 0, slotted 1.4mm, 2mm, 2.4mm, 3mm)
- 1 – Bit driver
- 10 – 1-inch bits (1/8-Inch, 5/32-Inch, 3/16-Inch, 1/4-Inch, PH1, PH2, PH3, PZ1, PZ2 and PZ3)
- 10 – 1-inch bits (T10, T15, T20, T25, T27, 30, 1/8-Inch, 5/32-Inch, 3/16-Inch, 1/4-Inch)
- 4 – SAE combination wrenches (7/16-Inch, 1/2-Inch, 9/16-Inch and 5/8-Inch)
- 8 – SAE hex keys (1/16-Inch, 5/64-Inch, 3/32-Inch, 1/8-Inch, 5/32-Inch, 3/16-Inch, 7/32-Inch, 1/4-Inch)
- 8 – Metric hex keys (1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 5.5mm, 6mm)
One of the largest home tool kits we found, the Allied Tools 49030 180-Piece Home Maintenance Tool Set has 180 high-quality tools designed for general home maintenance repair and special projects around your home. Featured tools include a handy claw hammer, linesman and long-nose pliers, standard and metric socket sets, and a 3/8-inch spark plug socket for small-engine maintenance. All the tools store neatly in a compact, gray storage/carrying case that measures 16L x 13W x 3.5H inches.
- 1 – Claw hammer
- 1 – Linesman pliers
- 1 – Long-nose pliers
- 1 – 8-Inch torpedo level
- 1 – Set SAE and metric sockets
- 1 – 3/8-inch spark plug socket
- 1 – Ratcheting bit handle
- 10 – Bit drivers
- 4 – Screwdrivers
- 1 – 12-inch tape measure with fractional readout
- 1 – Compact gray storage/carrying case
Another Apollo Tools quality toolkit, the Apollo Tools DT90524 28-Piece Tool kit features a tough aluminum case and high-quality heat-treated tools that meet or exceed ANSI standards. Tool handles are double-dipped in plastic for a sure grip and lasting durability. With tools to fix that leaky faucet, hang pictures, assemble furniture, or tighten bicycle chains, you are sure to find the right tool for your maintenance repair or home project. Some of its more unique tools include a wire stripper, German-style combination pliers, mini cutting pliers, bent-nose pliers, water pump pliers, electrical tape, and utility knife.
- 1 – 0.165mm wire stripper
- 1 – 0.175mm German style combination pliers
- 1 – 0.115mm mini bent-nose plier
- 1 – 0.250mm water pump pliers
- 1 – 3×3-inch slotted insulated screwdriver
- 2 – 4×4-inch screwdriver
- 1 – HAY-3 slotted 5/32 x 4-inch screwdriver
- 1 – HAY-3 slotted 3/16 x 4-inch screwdriver
- 1 – HAY-3 Philips #1 x 4-inch screwdriver
- 1 – Hay-3 Philips #2 x 5-inch screwdriver
- 1 – Pozi Hay-3 #2 x 4-inch screwdriver
- 1 – Pozi HAY-3 Star T30 x 5-inch screwdriver star
- 1 – 8 oz. claw hammer
- 1 – 10-inch adjustable wrench
- 1 – Set combination G3 ½-inch wrenches
- 1 – Set combination G3 3/8-inch wrenches
- 1 – 16-foot x ¾-inch tape measure
- 1 – Roll 30-foot electrical tape
- 1 – Utility knife
- 8 – Torx end hex keys
- 1 – Aluminum tool box
Perfect for basic DIY projects around your home, the Stanley 94-248 65-Piece Homeowner’s Tool Kit features quality Stanley tools forged from high-quality steel and designed to meet or exceed ANSI standards. Mechanic’s ratchet handles are ergonomically designed and have a one-handed, thumb-operated reverse switch mechanism with easy-release push button. Stanley sockets have the Max-Drive design that provides 15% more torque while reducing fastener wear. The 16-foot tape measure has a Tru-Zero end hook for more accurate measurements, a belt clip, and convenient stud center markings at 16 inches and 19.2 inches. All tools are neatly packaged in a portable, blow-molded, durable plastic case.
- 1 – 13-oz. fiberglass, rim-tempered hammer
- 1 – 16-foot tape measure
- 1 – 13-blade, 18mm x 6-3/4-inch snap-off stainless steel box cutter knife
- 1 – 8-inch high-impact ABS plastic magnetic torpedo level with a tinted top-reading vial
- 1 – 6-inch long-nose pliers with fixed joint, 1-inch jaw, and comfortable grip
- 1 – Slip-joint pliers
- 1 – #2 x 4-inch Phillips chrome vanadium screwdriver with a magnetic tip
- 1 – ¼-inch x 4-inch blade chrome vanadium screwdriver with a magnetic tip
- 8 – SAE hex keys with caddy
- 8 – Metric hex keys with caddy
- 1 – ¼-inch round-head, full-polish ratchet
- 8 – SAE ¼-inch sockets
- 1 – ¼-inch spinner handle
- 1 – ¼-inch bit holder
- 30 – Specialty bits
- 1 – High-impact, high visibility ABS plastic case
BLACK+DECKER makes great power tools and the focus of their BLACK+DECKER LDX120PK 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Drill and Project Kit is the included drill. It’s portable, cordless, and features an 11-position clutch that prevents stripping and overdriving screws. Its Li-Ion battery holds a charge for up to 18 months so it’s always ready to go when you are. It makes this kit our favorite because some of us own that drill and enjoy its ease-of-use and power. It literally makes tackling many projects around the house more convenient and palatable. You don’t have to dread a project because you have to drive in a lot of screws or nuts manually. Instead let the power of the portable, cordless 20V MAX Li-Ion drill do the work.
- 1 – BLACK+DECKER LDX120 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Drill
- 1 – Blade screwdriver
- 1 – Philips screwdriver
- 1 – Claw hammer
- 5 – Wood-boring drill bits
- 1 – Long nose pliers
- 1 – Adjustable wrench
- 1 – Standard pliers
- 1 – Bit driver
- 8 – Bits
- 1 – Snap-off box cutter
- 10 – Drill bits
- 4 – Hole saws with adapter
- 1 – Tape measure
- 1 – Carrying bag
Household Tool Kit Comparison
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