Homeowner’s Basic Power Tool Kit
I tasked my husband, a general contractor and the master of finding the very best deal on every. single. item in the planet, to come up with a list of power tools he believes every homeowner should own.
This list is intended for the person who wants to start repairing and remodeling but doesn’t have the tools to do so. Please note that Will uses the pronoun “he” because we’re assuming this list will be most helpful for men (and women buying gifts for men) but we in no way believe women can’t use power tools. We encourage all people, regardless of gender, to use this list.
And with that, here’s Will:
The thing I have learned by being a contractor for ten years and having purchased every kind of tool several times is – honestly, I can hardly believe I’m saying this – in many cases it is worth it to spend more money on better tools that work and last than to spend less, even WAY less, on crappier tools that do not perform as well or last as long.
The whole of the Homeowner’s Basic Tool Collection is built around the nucleus of the cordless power tool kit. Why cordless and not corded?
- They store well in a single or set of matching small cases.
- You don’t have cords that fray, crack, and short out.
- The tools are light weight and easier to handle for longer periods of time.
- You can move freely without having to use an extension cord that is constantly getting tangled.
- Given the correct brand and power range, they provide enough power for 99% of your home projects.
I ONLY recommend three brands – period. And I swear, if you buy a Ryobi, Kobalt, or Porter Cable and hope it will be enough, you will regret it the moment your husband opens the box, and your disappointment will echo every time he has to go buy a corded tool to replace one of the tools in the kit you bought him.
Buy only one of these brands:
1. Makita 18V Li-Ion LXT – Excellent power, lasts forever, every tool is available, thin and thick batteries, been making these cordless tools much longer than others
2. DeWalt Li-Ion 20V Max – Best power, lasts forever, every tool is available, thin and thick batteries, acceptable price point
3. Ridgid 18V Hyper Li-Ion (Home Depot store brand) – Adequate power, very easy to warranty, every tool is available, slightly heavier than the others, least expensive
There are two ways to approach acquiring your power tool collection:
1. Buy a small kit and add the tools that you need as you can afford them OR
2. Buy a huge kit for a lot of money that already includes most of the tools you need, then supplement.
Which tools do you need? In order of importance:
1. Flashlight — You will use a flashlight on almost every single project. You can place it on the floor and aim it and is super bright.
3. Impact Driver
4. Circular Saw
5. Reciprocating Saw
6. Oscillating Multi-tool
7. Jig Saw
To start small and build up, begin with a drill and driver-only set:
Makita Drill, Driver Set — $199 @ Home Depot. Occasionally there is a special buy price as low as $179 only available in store.
DeWalt Drill/Driver Set — $199 @ Home Depot. Occasionally there is a special buy price as low as $179 only available in store.
You’ll have to add bigger batteries when you decide it’s time for additional tools because the small kits come with the smaller batteries that charge in 15 minutes and are super-light but are not big enough for the saws:
Makita 3.0 Ah 2-pack batteries — $119 @ Amazon
DeWalt 3.0 Ah 2-pack batteries — $99 @ Amazon
Ridgid 3.0 Ah single battery — $94.27 @ Amazon
Then you will add the saws and flashlight as needed by buying individual tools:
- Circular Saw — $119 @ Amazon
- Reciprocating Saw — $99 @ Amazon
- Multi-tool — $119 @ Home Depot or Amazon
- Flashlight — $28.49 @ Amazon
- Jig Saw — $239 @ Amazon
- Circular Saw — $119 @ Amazon or Home Depot
- Reciprocating Saw — $109 @ Amazon
- Multi-tool — $126 @ Amazon
- Flashlight — $39 @ Amazon or Home Depot
- Jig Saw — $149 @ Amazon or Home Depot
- Circular Saw — $99 @ Home Depot
- Reciprocating Saw — $119 @ Home Depot
- Multi-tool — $99 @ Home Depot
- Flashlight — $24.97 @ Home Depot
- Jig Saw — $120 @ Home Depot
If you are buying individual bare tools (like those listed above) and you are an experienced eBay buyer, I recommend you check there. You can sometimes get individual new tools for even less than these deals but price and availability are, of course, very fluid.
To make your purchase cheaper overall but more of an upfront investment, buy tools in combo kits whenever possible like this:
Buy this 4-Tool Combo Set — $391.99 @ Home Depot
Plus this 2-Tool Kit w/ Free big battery — $218 at Home Depot
Plus this Jigsaw bare tool — $239 at Amazon
Total: $848.99 for Drill, Driver, Flashlight, Circ Saw, Recip Saw, Multi-tool, 3 big batteries, and Jigsaw
Buy this 5-Tool Combo Kit — $429 @ Amazon (GREAT DEAL)
Plus this Multi-tool bare tool — $125.98 @ Amazon
Plus this Jigsaw bare tool — $149 @ Amazon or Home Depot
Total: $704.98 for Drill, Driver, Flashlight, Circ Saw, Recip Saw, Multi-tool, 2 big batteries, and Jigsaw
Buy this 5-Tool Combo Kit — $404.48 @ Amazon
Plus this Multi-tool bare tool — $99 @ Home Depot
Plus this Jigsaw bare tool — $119 @ Home Depot
Total: $622.48 for Hammer Drill, Driver, Flashlight, Circ Saw, Recip Saw, Multi-tool, 2 big batteries, and Jigsaw
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