June 13, 2024

KJ Home

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The Best Basic Home Toolkit

2 min read

You don’t have to own a home to need a basic home toolkit.

Anyone who intends to hang a picture, tighten cabinet hardware, put up a shelf, or change a light-switch cover needs a selection of entry-level hand tools.

After spending 80 hours researching almost 85 home toolkits, testing 11 for a range of household tasks, and talking to experts about the essentials of any toolbox, we found that Home Depot’s Anvil Homeowner’s Tool Set is the best basic toolkit for most homes, apartments, or dorm rooms.

Table of Contents

Our pick

This kit has all of the essentials in a small package, making it the best choice for common home repairs and upgrades.

The Anvil set provides the necessary items without useless filler inflating the tool count, which was a common flaw we saw in competitors’ kits. Beyond a hammer, tape measure, utility knife, screwdriver, and hex wrenches, as well as adequate versions of other tools we considered essential, the Anvil kit has one of the best adjustable wrenches we found in any kit. It also has one of the most compact cases we found. If you need something small and basic to keep in a closet and use for occasional home repairs, this kit is a satisfying value, and it should last for years.

Runner-up

The quality of these tools is the same as for tools in our main pick, but the selection of tools isn’t as good.

If the Anvil is sold out or unavailable, the WorkPro W009021A 100-Piece Kitchen Drawer Tool Kit contains nearly all of the same tools at the same level of quality. It also comes with a nice zippered case that’s equipped with straps to secure the tools. The drawbacks are that the kit offers only metric hex wrenches (and not the common SAE sizes), and it lacks any kind of wide-jaw pliers. So in situations where you need to hold a nut and a bolt simultaneously, the WorkPro is much more limited than the Anvil kit.

It’s important to keep in mind that both of these kits are entry-level. They’re the best of their kind, and they’re certainly better than nothing, but they aren’t designed for consistent, long-term use. We genuinely wish there were stronger pre-assembled kits to fill the vacant middle ground between the tools contractors use and these comparatively unimpressive options. If you want a better toolkit, we recommend purchasing higher-quality individual tools—starting with our picks for hammer, screwdriver, and tape measure; these will get you started in building a permanent collection of capable tools with better features, performance, and durability.

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