45 Best Tools of 2024 for DIYers, Tested by Editors

With the help of the best tools, it's never been easier (or more fun!) to be a DIYer. Here are 45 of our top picks, tested by editors.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

Stocking a toolbox isn’t something that happens in a day. When it comes to acquiring DIY tools, investing in each piece beats buying cheap versions that don’t last through the years. The best tools last decades or more and offer features that make DIYing fun, accessible and fast.

However, finding the right tool requires a little know-how.

“There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for tools,” says Craftsman’s in-house DIY expert, Audrey Van de Castle.

What to Look For When Shopping for Tools

While investing in good-quality tools is important, locating the best tools isn’t a simple task. There are thousands of each tool type on the market. Keep these shopping tips from Van de Castle in mind before clicking “add to cart.”

Brand

Before buying any battery-powered tools, think about the brands you already use. “If you’ve already purchased a specific battery platform, it can be more economical to stick with that brand of power tools, and it should be a factor in your decision-making process,” says Van de Castle.

Price

Price is also a major factor. There’s a big difference between pro-level tools and tools for the average DIYer, so consider your applications.

“Are you doing pro-level tile work on multiple jobs? You may want to spring for that expensive pro-branded wet tile saw then,” says Van de Castle. “If you are just tiling a bathroom in your house once, you might be fine with a less-expensive tile saw.”

Durability and Transport

Consider where you’ll be using your tools. “If you are going to throw it in the back of a pickup truck a few times a day, you should consider brands that boast durability,” says Van de Castle. For small projects at home, travel-friendly features are less of a concern.

Safety Features

“Tool technology has advanced a lot in the past decade when it comes to safety, so modern and newer tools tend to have better safety and lockout features built into them,” says Van de Castle.

Still, it’s important to read reviews and take note of any certifications and industry standards noted in the descriptions.

Power

When looking at prospective tools, consider power metrics like RPM and torque. Van de Castle notes that, for example, if you aren’t going to be drilling into concrete and brick, you might not need a hammer drill.

“Always look at the power output on the power tools you buy to understand if it will meet the needs of your applications,” she says.

The Best Tools of 2024

Still lost? Don’t panic! The editors at Family Handyman have tested hundreds of tools over the years, so we know a thing or two about pliers, drills and all the tools in between. Our expert analysis makes it easier than ever to stock your toolbox. The list below consists of the 45 best tools, according to tests we conducted ourselves.

Best Essential Tools

Best Power Tools

Best Saws

Best Drivers

Best Multi-Tools

Best Gardening Tools

Best Lawn Tools

Best Painting Tools

Best Safety Tools

1 / 45

Best Laser Level

Craftsman Crossline Laser Level

According to our tests, the Craftsman Crossline Laser Level is one of the best tools when it comes to user-friendly laser levels. A single switch locks the pendulum, unlocks it for self-leveling or turns off the device completely. To use, simply find your desired height and flip the switch to unlock. The crosshairs will level themselves!

Its compact size and budget price tag make the Craftsman Crossline laser level a terrific addition for any homeowner, or a contractor who only needs a laser level occasionally. It’s suitable and accurate for a long list of indoor projects and comes with a Craftsman limited lifetime warranty and a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. 

Range: 36 ft. | Tripod Capable: Yes | Power Source: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery

Pros

  • Highly visible green laser
  • Great for indoor projects
  • Compact size
  • Great price
  • Foolproof operation

Cons

  • Laser hard to see outdoors

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2 / 45

Best Torque Adaptor

Performance Tool M206 Digital Torque Adapter

The Performance Tool M206 Digital Torque Adapter is a small, lime-shaped attachment that converts your standard 1/2-inch socket handle or breaker bar into a torque wrench with a rotating digital readout. The adapter features a programmable interface with ten adjustable pre-set values and informs you audibly and visually when those values have been reached. The kit comes nicely packaged in a durable storage case.

When rotating the tires on our cars (which was a breeze), we realized the digital torque adapter could read torque in clockwise and counterclockwise directions—a handy feature. It’s extremely accurate, works with all standard socket sizes, and can be programmed to save the exact torque settings required for your vehicle.

Material: Alloy Steel | Item Torque: ‎150 ft-lbs 

Pros

  • Compact
  • Works with 1/2-, 3/8-, and 1/4-inch drive sockets
  • Extremely accurate
  • Programmable presets
  • Storage case and adapters included

Cons

  • A lot of programmable info to process

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3 / 45

Best Soldering Gun

Weller Soldering Gun

Weller is known as the best in soldering guns and the 9400 model is awesome. This soldering gun features three LED lights for better views of your soldering projects. It cuts in less than six seconds and comes with three tips. The dual-watt gun will deliver 140 watts with the trigger halfway pulled and 100 watts when it’s pulled entirely. It’s great for heavy-duty projects and smaller projects like hobby models, small appliances and automotive.

Perhaps the best part—it comes with a seven-year warranty. It’s lightweight at three pounds, and there’s a hex wrench stored on the grip to make changing tips easier.

Upper Temperature Rate: 900 °F | Tips: Yes; 3 | Burner Type: ‎Ceramic | Voltage: ‎120V (AC)

Pros

  • Six-second heat up
  • Built-in LEDs eliminate tip shadow
  • Reaches up to 900 °F
  • Weller seven-year warranty

Cons

  • No stand integrated into the gun

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4 / 45

Best Stud Finder

Zircon MultiScanner L550

Similar to the hard-to-find Zircon HD900 (and with all the same features), the Zircon MultiScanner L550 is a scanner that detects studs, metal and electrical wiring. If you’re in the market for a heavy-duty scanner for various DIY tasks, you’ll be glad you picked up this one.

Electronic stud finders like the L550 work by sensing density variations behind the wall. They’re typically more expensive and require calibration before operating. These units can also be set to find pipes and wires, which is far more functionality than magnet stud finders offer.

Battery Type: 9V Alkaline | Battery Included: No | Operating Temperature: 20° to 105°F | Water Resistance: Splash and water resistant, not waterproof

Pros

  • DeepScan mode finds studs up to 1.5 inches deep
  • WireWarning detection indicates the presence of live, unshielded wiring
  • Metal scan mode locates non-ferrous metal
  • Compact and lightweight at under a pound

Cons

  • Some limitations on rough surfaces

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5 / 45

Best Work Light

Nebo Omni 2k Work Light

The Nebo Omni 2k is an adjustable, multi-directional 2000-lumen work light.  It features a pair of 360-degree rotating, dimmable LED lights that can be used individually or together. The Nebo work light also features a red-light mode that can help conserve battery power in a pinch.

The unit recharges in less than two hours when plugged into a standard electrical outlet. Once charged, the Nebo provides between 80 minutes and 11 hours of usable light depending on brightness and light setting. You can even charge your other devices via a four-milliamp USB port.

Light Source Type: LED | Power Source: Rechargeable ‎Lithium Ion Battery | Brightness: ‎2000 Lumen

Pros

  • Cool-to-the-touch LED lights
  • Runs continuously for up to 80 minutes
  • Offers 2000-lumen brightness
  • Built-in power bank

Cons

  • Takes a full two hours to charge

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6 / 45

Best Work Table

Keter Folding Work Table

The Keter Folding Work Table is a helpful workshop assistant with a sturdy and portable design, plus an integrated clamping system to hold material firmly in place while you drill, paint, cut or assemble projects. You can use this workstation as a miter saw stand, to secure boards for cutting or painting or whatever projects are on your to-do list.

Additionally, the table features a plastic resin construction, which makes it lightweight and weather-resistant yet heavy-duty (since it supports up to 1,000 pounds). We like that it is designed to fold into a 4-1/2 inch thick briefcase shape for easy storage and transport.

Adjustable Features: Folds to compact size | Load Capacity: ‎1000 lbs. | Item Weight: ‎27 lbs.

Pros

  • Comes fully assembled
  • Quick opening and folding system
  • Sturdy carrying handle
  • Heavy-duty weight capacity
  • Built-in clamps and shelf
  • Sturdy, compact design
  • Legs fold into the table for flat storage

Cons

  • Legs aren’t adjustable on this model

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7 / 45

Best Mechanic Tools

DeWalt 84-piece Mechanics Tool Set

If you’re in the market for a quality, durable and compact tool set, check out this DeWalt 84-piece mechanics tool set. It’s full of great features like a 72-tooth ratchet, strong six-point sockets and a durable storage case. Plus, with DeWalt’s full lifetime warranty, you can be confident it’ll last forever.

The entire chrome-plated tool set comes in a molded 10-in. x 14-in. heavy-duty plastic storage case. Every piece looks and feels sturdy and strong. The set as a whole is compact and easy to carry, weighing less than ten pounds—a good addition to any DIYer’s tool stash!

Item Weight: ‎9.23 lbs. | Finish: ‎Chrome | Case Size: 19.7 x 14.7 x 3.75 in.

Pros

  • Six-point sockets fit firm and tight
  • 72-tooth ratchet
  • Durable blow molded case included
  • Corrosion-resistant full-polish chrome

Cons

  • No socket release button

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8 / 45

Best Drill Bit Set

DeWalt Titanium Pilot Point Drill Bit Set

This drill bit set from DeWalt includes 21 titanium drill bits for a variety of materials. We love that the case includes a  clear lid, so it’s easy to eyeball the contents without opening the lid. Apart from that, these drill bits cut clean and cool. All waste material is ejected cleanly. No clogging, no melting.

Where this bit set really shines is the value-added features. It’s the little things, like how easily the case inserts pop out. Larger fingers can easily be retracted and inserted into even the smallest bits. It is an impressive set, and affordable to boot.

Material: Titanium Nitride | Number Of Pieces: ‎21 | Tool Flute Type: ‎Spiral

Pros

  • Case boasts a clear lid
  • Includes bit sizes from 1/16-inch to 1/2-inch
  • Compatible with most drill drivers
  • Titanium nitride coating for added durability

Cons

  • No quick-release hex shank

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9 / 45

Best Toolbox

DeWalt’s ToughSystem 2.0 Rolling Tower

Tough System 2.0 toolboxes feature spring-loaded, auto-connect side latches enabling one-handed operation, along with durable metal front latches and a padlock hasp. The dust and water-resistant set comes with two large organizer cups and two removable inner trays, letting you maximize your storage space.

Best of all, the Rolling Tower is compatible with any Tough System product, past or present.

Water Resistant: Yes | Maximum Weight Recommendation: ‎400 lbs. | Item Weight: ‎49.9 lbs.

Pros

  • Water- and dust-proof materials
  • Adjustable handle
  • Rolls smoothly up and down stairs and across bumpy terrain
  • Five cubic feet of tool space

Cons

  • Some water can enter hinges

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10 / 45

Best Endoscope

Depstech DS500 Endoscope

An endoscope (AKA an inspection camera or borescope) is a camera on the end of a wire that connects to a screen. This cool tech tool displays what the camera sees. The Depstech DS500 is a dual-lens inspection camera that comes with a five-inch LCD screen. A detachable, HD camera offers two views. You can switch between the traditional view at the end of the snake, or a side view for when you can’t see the camera itself. The additional view makes it easier to see everything in the area.

We’ve tried it by checking our dryer vents, checking for errant wires in the walls and inspecting HVAC registers. The waterproof design also makes it useful for diagnosing plumbing issues like locating clogs.

Video Capture Resolution: 1080p | Water Resistance Level: Waterproof | Display Size: 5-inch IPS Screen with 178° viewing angle | Lens Number: Dual Cameras (front and side)

Pros

  • 16.5-foot semi-rigid, detachable wire
  • 1080p HD Dual Lens
  • Built-in 5000mAh rechargeable battery works for up to seven hours
  • Includes a 32GB TB card for storing photos and videos
  • Comes with a durable EVA carrying bag

Cons

  • Build quality seems a little light

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11 / 45

Best Generator

GoalZero Yeti 1500X Power Station

We took a GoalZero Yeti 1500X power station on a two-week backyard build in New Mexico. We had access to one wall outlet on the site. With multiple battery chargers, plug-in tables and miter saws and our lighting equipment, plus cell phones and laptops, a single outlet couldn’t do it all.

Outside for two weeks in a dusty, dirty and even snowy work environment, the GoalZero Yeti took some abuse. But its performance never wavered. With the solar charging option, this power station would serve builders in new construction or power up campsites nearly anywhere. It’s also an excellent choice for off-the-grid living or summer cabins.

Output Wattage: 2000 Watts | Power Source: Solar Powered, Electric | Engine Type: 4 Stroke | Runtime: ‎14 hours

Pros

  • 1,516-watt hours capacity
  • Charges fully in about 14 hours
  • Easy-to-read LED screen
  • Cell phone app included

Cons

  • Hefty at 45 pounds

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12 / 45

Best Pressure Washer

Ryobi Electric Pressure Washer

The Ryobi Electric Pressure Washer delivers up to 1800 psi and 1.2 gallons per minute (gpm) of water to spray away built-up dirt, grime, and other tough stains. It’s great for cleaning off driveways, fences, decks and patios, window screens, outdoor furniture and more.

The machine comes with two nozzles, including a 15° nozzle and a Turbo nozzle for 50% faster cleaning. There’s also a 20-foot non-marring high-pressure hose and an onboard detergent tank. The hose, nozzles and sprayer easily store onboard a hand truck for easy transport.

Power Source: Corded Electric | Maximum Pressure: 1800 psi | Hose Length: 20 ft. | Maximum Flow Rate: 1.2 gpm

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Great nozzle assortment
  • Onboard detergent tank
  • Easy hand truck mobility
  • Nozzle and hose storage

Cons

  • Less efficient with an extension cord

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13 / 45

Best Heat Gun

Wagner Furno 700 Heat Gun

This electric heat gun features an LCD display, push-button controls and six fan settings including a cool-down mode. Its 1,500-watt heating element puts out 5,100 BTUs with temperature settings from 125° F to 1,300° F. Weighing just two pounds, it feels comfortable while in use. It also includes a glass protector and flare attachment.

We put the Wagner Furno 700 heat gun through common real-world tests—scraping paint from an old door, bending some PVC and composite decking, shrink wrapping and even making a couple of s’mores! The artful design, ease of use and fantastic features make the Wagner Furno 700 a top-notch choice.

Item Weight: ‎2.8 lbs. | Temperature Range: 125°F – 1300°F | Display: LCD | Temperature Settings: 117

Pros

  • Cool down mode
  • Clear LCD readout and pinpoint temperature adjustment
  • ‎Integrated stand prevents work surface burns
  • Includes a glass protector and flare attachment

Cons

  • Still uses power in standby mode

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14 / 45

Best Air Compressor

Metabo HPT 36v MultiVolt 2-Gallon Cordless Air Compressor

The Metabo HPT 36v MultiVolt 2-Gallon Cordless Air Compressor is a 36-volt, battery-operated air compressor that outputs a max 135 PSI (pounds per square inch) and 1.6 CFM (cubic feet per minute) at 90 PSI. The green and black, milk crate-sized compressor can either be powered by a single 36-volt battery or a work all-day AC adapter when wall power is available (both sold separately).

It’s designed with a sturdy metal roll cage for added durability and equipped with a strong, oil-free, brushless motor that’s nearly maintenance-free. It features a quarter-inch brass industrial coupler. Weighing less than 30 pounds, with the battery, it’s lightweight and easy to haul.

Capacity: 2 gal. | Power Source: Battery Powered | Air Flow Capacity: 1.6 cu. ft./min | Voltage: 36V

Pros

  • Weighs only 27.3 lbs.
  • 135 Max PSI
  • Accepts a 36V AC adapter
  • Made from durable stainless steel

Cons

  • Brushless motor is relatively noisy

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15 / 45

Best Orbital Sander

Ryobi RS290G Random Orbit Sander

The RS290G random orbital sander from Ryobi is a well-made, basic tool at an affordable price for occasional use. In that regard, you really can’t go wrong. It’s bare-bones, which makes it perfect as a general DIYer tool to have around. The fact that it’s corded rather than cordless may turn off some, but this means there’s no need to splurge on expensive lithium-ion batteries.

Getting to work and finishing up projects is easy thanks to a simple on/off switch located on the handle. The hook and loop system makes quick pad changes a breeze, and an onboard removable dust bag prevents any mess.

Voltage: ‎120V | Maximum Rotational Speed: ‎12,500 RPM | Grit Number Included: ‎80 | Item Weight: ‎4 lbs.

Pros

  • Cordless operation means no charging or batteries
  • Easy hook and loop sanding pad changes
  • Includes a removable dust bag
  • No-frills operation

Cons

  • Lacks variable speeds

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16 / 45

Best Oscillating Tool

Dremel Multi-Max Oscillating Tool

The Multi-Max is a do-it-all oscillating tool that cuts, scrapes, sands and grinds through nearly any DIY dream project. Gary Wentz, one of our editors, says it excels at making cuts that other tools can’t. He used it to cut a notch in a floor joist where his reciprocating saw wouldn’t fit between copper pipes. We also find it indispensable for finishing window cutouts and removing crumbling old grout lines.

Every kit comes with an assortment of 30 goodies, including a Swiss-made wood and drywall cutting blade and hook and loop sanding pad holders.

Maximum Rotational Speed: ‎21,000 RPM | Minimum Speed: ‎10,000 RPM | Motor: 5 amp

Pros

  • Low vibration operation
  • Angled body design
  • Tool-free blade change system
  • Variable speeds

Cons

  • Loud, even at its lowest settings

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17 / 45

Best Reciprocating Tool

Hart 20v Brushless Reciprocating Saw

If you’re about to knock down a wall in your kitchen, add a skylight to your home office, or tackle the huge branch pile from the recent storm, the Hart 20V brushless reciprocating saw is the tool you need. After recently testing it, we judged it Family Handyman Approved.

Though the tool features a 1-1/4-inch stroke length ideal for aggressive cuts and heavy demolition, it feels comfortable and secure thanks to the textured rubber covering the body. It’s full of features like a quick-change blade lever, variable speed trigger with lock for better blade control, LED project light and a self-adjusting shoe to maintain blade-to-material contact.

Battery: 20V Lithium Ion | Stroke Length: 1-1/4″ | LED Lights: Yes

Pros

  • Lightweight at six pounds
  • Brushless motor for a longer runtime
  • Cordless operation
  • LED project light

Cons

  • Battery not included; requires an additional $55

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18 / 45

Best Mini Chainsaw

Saker Mini Chainsaw

The Saker Mini Chainsaw is a powerful battery-operated chainsaw that easily cuts wood up to four inches thick. I found this awe-inspiring because the chainsaw is only 14 inches long and weighs less than 2 1/2 pounds. But don’t let its small stature fool you. It slices through green wood like butter with 550 watts of horsepower.

It’s effortless to handle and causes zero fatigue. With its sure grip handle, safety trigger and easy-on button, it’s simple to control. And because the Saker is battery-operated, it requires little maintenance besides keeping the chain oiled and sharp.

Weight: ‎2.42 lbs. | Voltage: ‎20V | Wattage: ‎550 watts | Chain Material: Stainless Steel 

Pros

  • Cordless
  • Lightweight
  • Long battery life
  • Suitable for four-inch branches or wood
  • Copper wire high-efficiency motor

Cons

  • No battery meters

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19 / 45

Best Cordless Chainsaw

Makita XCU04 Cordless Chainsaw

The Makita cordless chainsaw stands out against the competition thanks to its comparatively long running time and light weight. The saw cut quickly and aggressively. It has a balanced feel and metal bucking spikes that protrude well beyond its housing.

Bucking spikes poke slightly into the bark during the cut, giving you a solid fulcrum to tip the bar into the cut. This eases the work and makes it safer as well. Makita’s tool-free chain tension adjustment—a feature available in three of our favorite editor-tested saws—is nice as well.

Battery voltage: 36V 5Ah | Charging time: 50 min | Bar length: 16 in. | Chain brake: Yes | Bucking spikes: Yes

Pros

  • Tool-free chain adjustment
  • Brushless motor
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Built-in L.E.D. on/off switch with auto power-off function

Cons

  • Offers less runtime than a gas saw

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20 / 45

Best Axe Saw

Zippo AxeSaw

The Zippo AxeSaw is a bow saw, hatchet and mallet in one. A 15-inch stainless steel saw blade can cut limbs up to four inches thick. It also features a hardened five-inch, 420-alloy stainless steel axe head and a heavy-duty mallet capable of driving tent stakes in even the hardest of soils.

The durable polymer handle includes storage for multiple saw blades and a flip-over cam for self-adjusting tension. It’s well-made and carries a one-year warranty on materials and craftsmanship.

Weight: ‎2.6 lbs. | Blade Length: ‎5 in. | Material: 420 stainless steel axe head, polymer handle

Pros

  • Cuts limbs up four inches thick
  • Durable polymer handle includes storage
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Portable and multi-purpose

Cons

  • Mallet should only be used with wooden stakes

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21 / 45

Best Miter Saw

Chicago Electric 69684 Miter Saw

The Chicago Electric miter saw is an inexpensive gem and one of our favorite miter saws. It bevels left or right 45 degrees and crosscuts boards up to 12 inches wide. While most miter saws cost upwards of $400, the Chicago Electric miter saw rings up at around half the price.

Performance-wise, we found little difference between this miter saw and those listed for two times the price. It’s the perfect purchase for new DIYers or those interested in starting with woodworking.

Blade Length: 10 in. | Speed: 5000 RPM | Cutting Angle: 90° | Weight: 29.6 lbs.

Pros

  • Powerful 15 amp motor
  • Dual linear ball bearing rails
  • Easy access brushes
  • Makes cuts up to 12 inches wide

Cons

  • The fence isn’t tall enough for wide crown molding

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22 / 45

Best Overall Table Saw

DeWalt Job Site Table Saw

The DeWalt saw features robust a 15-amp motor, a cast aluminum table and a full-size 5/8-inch arbor that accepts standard 10-inch saw blades. The reliable, accurate rack and pinion fence system allows you to rip boards up to three inches thick and 32-1/2-in. wide, a best-in-class rip capacity.

A 15-amp motor easily cuts through all the lumber and wood products we could feed into it. But the highlight is the rack and pinion fence system. Its accuracy, durability and ease of use make it ideal for any new homeowner or general contractor.

Power Source: ‎Corded Electric | Voltage: ‎110V | Amperage: ‎15 Amps | Weight: ‎53.4 lbs. | Speed: ‎5800 RPM

Pros

  • Comes with a blade guard
  • Tool-free riving knife release lever
  • Dial-driven rack and pinion fence system
  • Portable

Cons

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23 / 45

Safest Table Saw

SawStop Table Saw

If you’ve never heard of SawStop, let me enlighten you. The company’s table saws use proprietary active injury mitigation (AIM) technology to sense when the saw blade touches human flesh and stops it.

Aside from the technological benefits, this is a terrific compact table saw. The build quality is outstanding. At around 70 pounds, it’s a hefty little guy, but the weight adds to the stability. Furthermore, the saw won’t scoot around your workshop floor when cutting a partial sheet of plywood.

Blade Material: ‎High-Speed Steel | Voltage: ‎120V | Amperage: ‎15 Amps | Weight: ‎68 lbs. | Blade Length: ‎10 in.

Pros

  • Patented safety system stops the spinning blade on contact
  • Accurate right out of the box
  • Carry handle
  • On-saw storage
  • Rack and pinion fence
  • Quick-tilt bevel

Cons

  • More expensive than a standard table saw

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24 / 45

Best Saw Blade

Freud Diablo Demo Demon

The Freud Diablo Demo Demon is a circular saw blade specially designed for framing and demolition applications. The Demo Demon features 24 high-density carbide teeth in a three-tooth grind sequence for exceptional tracking and control.

Its ultra-thin kerf is a hair under 1/16-inch. That’s not only great for squeezing between old framing members, but also less work for the circular saw, leading to more cuts between battery charges. The blades accept a standard 5/8-inch arbor circular saw and come in 6-1/2-in. and 7-1/4-in. sizes.

Number of Teeth: ‎24 | Weight: ‎4.8 oz.

Pros

  • Cuts through nails and screws
  • Three-tooth grind sequence
  • Blade won’t jump when cutting through metal
  • Made from durable titanium cobalt

Cons

  • Like other circular saw blades, it’s not meant to last forever

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25 / 45

Best Electric Driver

Worx Nitro Switchdriver 2.0

The Worx Nitro Switchdriver 2.0 is a battery-operated drill/driver that features a pair of 1/4-in. hex-drive rotating dual chucks. It’s powered by a re-engineered brushless motor and ships with a 20-volt, 2-amp-hour battery and charger.

An intelligent digital interface lets you change torque settings and switch between drill or driver bits with a click of the keypad. It also features many standard facets like an LED work light and a variable speed trigger. The Switchdriver looks and feels well-made, and is surprisingly lightweight and compact in your hand.  It comes with a small bag for storage and some bits.

Power Source: ‎Battery Powered | Voltage: ‎20V | Amperage: ‎2 Amps | Number of Speeds: ‎2 | Max Speed: ‎1700 RPM

Pros

  • Innovative timesaving design
  • Easy to use
  • Great for around-the-house
  • Slick intelligent interface

Cons

  • No traditional chuck

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26 / 45

Best Manual Driver

MetMo Driver

The MetMo Driver is a ratcheting screwdriver, meaning that it can apply turning force in one direction while moving in the opposite. This allows the user to set or remove screws without having to manually readjust the screwdriver after each rotation. It’s also equipped with a foldout side handle to give the user more leverage—enough to drive full-sized lag bolts into the wood.

The two biggest advantages MetMo brings to the table are superb engineering and a foldout handle for leverage. Most ratcheting drivers are composed of a combination of metal and plastic. The trouble with plastic is it can crack and break. Not so with the MetMo, which doesn’t have a drop of plastic anywhere.

Finish: Heat-treated stainless steel | Maximum Torque: 76Nm (672 in.-lbs.) | Bit Size: 1/4 (6.3 mm.) Hex drive bits | Magnetic Socket: Yes

Pros

  • Made from zero plastic
  • No pilot hole needed
  • Handles more force application than other hand drivers
  • Foldout side handle

Cons

  • Pricey

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27 / 45

Most Portable Multi-Tool

PopGrip SOG Multi-Tool

The PopSockets PopGrip SOG Multi-Tool is a collapsible two-inch-diameter disk with a multi-tool embedded. The tool functions as a flat-head screwdriver, bottle opener, mini pry bar and a hex bit driver. When not in use, the removable tool easily clicks in place, held by a magnetic locking system.

PopGrip adheres to the back of your device with a strong peel-off adhesive tab. It also serves as a phone stand and one-handed grip and is available in three colors.

Weight: 1.44 oz. | Dimensions: 1.56 x 1.56 x 0.28 in.

Pros

  • Bottle opener and slotted screwdriver work well
  • Nice for large hands and phones
  • Handy for opening packages
  • Great as a phone stand/grip
  • Made of durable stainless steel
  • Works with PopMount 2 and PopPower

Cons

  • No tool replacements offered

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28 / 45

Best Budget Multi-Tool

Gerber Suspension-NXT Multi-Tool

Calling the Gerber Suspension-NXT Multi-Tool a “pocket knife”, while technically accurate, seems a bit reductive. Sure, it shares a few traits with the classic red–and–white Swiss army knife, but it also offers much, much more. Take, for instance, the number of tools packed into this compact device. Old-school pocket knives typically have around five to seven attachments. The Gerber Suspension-NXT, on the other hand, has 15 tool attachments

When he got the chance to try out the Supension-NXT himself, professional woodworker and Family Handyman contributor Marty Dyck was notably impressed by the design and sturdy build of the multi-tool.

“Everything is easily retractable,” says Marty. “It’s really heavy-duty, but lightweight at the same time.”

Weight: ‎6.4 oz. | Dimensions: ‎4.25 x 1 x 4.25 in. | Opening Style: Butterfly 

Pros

  • 15 tools in one
  • Tool lock
  • Lanyard point
  • Pocket clip
  • Durable stainless steel construction

Cons

  • Not meant to replace full-size tools
29 / 45

Best Splurge Multi-Tool

Leatherman Wave+

The Leatherman Wave+ is a multi-tool that combines 18 tools in one compact, easy-to-carry device. It features a one-handed opening mechanism, which allows quick access to any tool while on the job. A locking mechanism ensures that each tool remains securely in place while being used, providing safety and stability so it doesn’t bounce open in your tool backpack.

It comes in a rugged nylon sheath for storage and transport and has a built-in lanyard ring for secure attachment to your personal belongings. Made from 420HC stainless steel, 440C stainless steel and black oxide, this multi-tool is built to deliver optimal performance in all sorts of conditions. It’s also made to last and is backed with a 25-year warranty.

Weight: 8.5 oz. | Dimensions: ‎2 x 2 x 2 in. | Sheath: Yes | Warranty: Lifetime Leatherman Warranty

Pros

  • Outstanding quality
  • 18 tools in one small package
  • Made of nearly indestructible stainless steel
  • Tools firmly lock in place
  • Compact and easy to carry along
  • Performs small tasks without compromise

Cons

  • Pricey

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Best Lawn Aerator

Corona Yardbreather Aerator

The Corona Yardbreather is a lightweight steel, manual aerator, a little over three feet long from cutting tip to handle. It has comfortable, soft rubber handles and slip-resistant grooves on the footplate to add stability when in use. It’s designed to repeatedly cut and eject 3-1/2-inch soil plugs with each step as you cross your lawn.

The tool itself is very comfortable, solid and well-built. The Yardbreather’s tubular steel shaft stays ridged and doesn’t allow for any bending or twisting as you stomp down on the footplate during the aerating process. Even when colliding the plug cutters into a rock or tree root, the Yardbreather stays stable and sturdy.

Weight: 1.68 lbs. | Dimensions: 40 x 15.35 x 7.87 in.

Pros

  • Automatically ejects 3. 5-in long soil plugs
  • Slip-resistant traction groves on the footplate
  • Works on damp yards
  • Relatively inexpensive

Cons

  • Not recommended for use in yards with large amounts of clay in the soil makeup

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31 / 45

Best Handheld Weeder

CobraHead Weeder

Gardeners and landscapers love the CobraHead Weeder because of its distinctive design, durability and versatility. The single slender tine is attached to an ergonomic and lightweight handle. The sharp cultivator blade is shaped like a cobra, ready to plow through clay and devour weeds. 

The CobraHead blade allows for precision weeding because of its slim design. The pointed head digs through the soil, while the curve allows for precisely scooping and lifting dirt. Not only is it a great cultivating and weeding tool with the advantage of a single tine for precision, but it also protects surrounding plants thanks to its sleek design.

Operation Mode: Manual | Weight: 0.11 lbs. | Material: Recycled Composite Plastic Handle & Tempered Steel Blade

Pros

  • Sleek and precise tool
  • Helps protect surrounding plants
  • Durable materials and design
  • Ergonomic design
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile uses
  • Made in USA

Cons

  • May not work well on especially hard soil

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Best Full-Size Weeder

Grampa’s Weeder

Grampa’s Weeder is ideal for people with physical limitations because it makes pulling weeds simple and easy. This stand-up weed puller uses leverage to pull weeds. The tool features a forged steel foot lever and articulating claw that digs around the root of the weed. Simply tilt the handle and the lever closes the claw, extracting the weed and root in one easy move.

Dimensions: 46 x 8 x 1.5 in. | Weight: 2.3 lbs.

Pros

  • Comfortable wooden handle
  • Works on a variety of weeds
  • Durable steel construction
  • Stand-up design eliminates bending, squatting, kneeling, pulling and digging
  • Chemical-free weed removal method
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • Not ideal to use on wet soil or larger weeds

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Best Weed Puller

Handy Brush Grubber

This hand-held Brush Grubber extracts small trees, woody weeds, and shrubs with stems up to one inch in diameter. It’s made from heavy-duty steel with powerful spring-loaded gripping teeth that grab the stem. The large handle gives you the leverage to pull out the unwanted brush.

It’s best suited for woody stems between ¼-inch to 1-inch in diameter. At just 14 inches long and four pounds, this lightweight brush remover is easy to carry around your property, causing less fatigue. Because of its compact size, the Brush Grubber can get into tight spaces (like trees growing next to the foundation or between hardscapes and fences). We especially love the no-dig feature of this tool because nearby plants are less likely to be damaged.

Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 14 in. | Weight: 4 lbs.

Pros

  • Made from durable steel
  • Spring-loaded gripping lever
  • Smooth operation
  • Large comfortable handle
  • Lightweight
  • Extracts the root system
  • No-dig brush removal

Cons

  • May not work with all plants

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Best Hose Reel

Liberty Garden Hose Reel

The Liberty Garden 712 Navigator holds 125 feet of a 5/8-inch hose. It’s made of durable steel in a handsome bronze finish. This hose reel is a wall-mount style and can be mounted on a vertical post. The carriage rotates 360 degrees for awkward angles and ease of use, and locks in eight positions.

The included five-foot leader hose features durable brass fittings and a leak-free design. Winding the hose is comfortable and fast with the cushion grip handle. Plus, this model is outfitted with a convenient detachable basket to hold nozzles, sprayers and tools.

Material: Steel | Installation: Wall Mount | Weight: 15 lbs. | Hose Length: ‎125 ft.

Pros

  • Slim, vertical mounting
  • Rotates 360 degrees
  • Eight locking positions
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Leak-free brass fittings
  • Comfortable handle
  • Accessory basket included
  • 5-foot leader hose included

Cons

  • Wall-mounting hardware not included

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Best Seed Spacer

Seeding Square

Seeding Square is by far the easiest way to plant seeds. This colorful, plastic square-foot template guides seed spacing for the best results. The square has color-coded holes and a user-friendly chart to tell you which color to use for a particular seed. It’s ideal for maximizing small-space gardens and raised beds, or can be used directly on the ground. It may look like a toy, but it’s a sophisticated measuring tool.

This clever kit is invaluable for beginners and experienced gardeners alike. It includes a dibber wand to poke holes in the soil with an integrated ruler for planting at the perfect depth. The best part is that the top of the wand has a little scoop to grab seeds out of the package. Revolutionary! Seeding Square has cut-out handles for easy operation and an attachable funnel that guides the seeds into the hole if needed.

Weight: 15.8 oz. | Dimensions: 12 x 12 in. | Material: Plastic

Pros

  • Extremely easy to use
  • Novice gardener- and kid-friendly
  • Clever color-coded planting guide design
  • Three-in-one poking wand, measuring tool and scoop
  • Sturdy and weatherproof construction
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Best results with level ground and loose soil

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36 / 45

Best Pruner

Stihl GTA 26 Pruner

The Stihl GTA 26 is a compact, handheld battery-operated pruner weighing 2.7 pounds. It’s got a condensed four-inch chain saw with a quarter-inch PM3 chain to make smooth cuts with next to no vibration. The trigger-operated Stihl GTA 26 is as user-friendly as they come. An LED display gives you up-to-the-second charge readings and tool status information.

It also features a safe trigger lockout switch and a comfortable ergonomic rubber grip. The Stihl GTA 26 ships with a powerful AS 2 battery, charger, lubricating oil and a carrying case.

CARB Compliant: Yes | Case Included: Yes | Powered By: Battery

Pros

  • Bright orange guide bar scabbard
  • Durable PM3 saw chain
  • LED display
  • Tool-free, single-wingnut bar and chain access

Cons

  • May require multiple passes

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37 / 45

Best Budget String Trimmer

Worx 12-inch String Trimmer

The Worx 12-inch String Trimmer is Amazon’s best-selling string trimmer with a 4.5-star rating after more than 24,000 reviews. The trimmer’s head tilts a full 90 degrees, and the telescoping body adjusts with a quick-release lever. That makes it ergonomic to use and also lets you make necessary adjustments to run it on a hill or squeeze into hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.

It comes with two batteries and a charger, which is a nice bonus for a piece of equipment that’s very reasonably priced at just over $120. Plus, Worx Power Share makes the battery compatible with other Worx equipment.

Battery: 20V / 2.0Ah | Cutting Diameter: 12 in. | Shaft-Type: Telescoping | Head-Type: 90° Pivoting Head

Pros

  • Push button spool system for instant line feeding
  • Battery compatible with all Worx 20v and 40v tools
  • Two 20V Power Share MaxLithium batteries included
  • Head tilts 90 degrees for use in hard-to-reach places
  • Rubberized wheels for straight, clean cuts
  • Spacer guard helps avoid plant damage while trimming

Cons

  • Not ideal for heavy-duty use

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38 / 45

Best Splurge String Trimmer

Ego String Trimmer

The battery-powered Ego String Trimmer with Powerload has built-in self-loading technology. With the push of a button, the Ego Power+ Powerload String Trimmer automatically loads the trimmer line. Say goodbye to the frustration of hand-winding the line.

This powerful trimmer weighs in at a mere 7.28 pounds with its lightweight carbon fiber shaft. The 56-volt battery is interchangeable with compatible Ego products and boasts 45 minutes of run time for large jobs. Plus it only takes about 30 minutes to charge. The 15-inch cutting swath has a dual feed string to get the job done faster.

Power Source: Battery Powered | Cutting Width: 14 in. | Voltage: 56V | Weight: 7.28 lbs.

Pros

  • No fumes, gas or cords
  • Powerload push button technology (no more hand-winding trimmer lines!)
  • Maintenance-free brushless motor
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Durable design

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a hanging hook for storage

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39 / 45

Best Wood Chipper

Sun Joe Chipper

The Sun Joe Chipper/Shredder is an electric wood chipper with a 16 to 1 reduction ratio. This user-friendly electric chipper/shredder uses 14 amps and runs at 4300 RPM, which provides enough power to cut branches 1.5 inches in diameter.

The chipper’s housing is sturdy green plastic, which helps keep this unit lightweight and portable. And at 26 pounds, this machine moves easily with its large six-inch wheels. The unit even has a paddle to safely push debris into the hopper while the steel blades chip the wood to bits.

Motor: 14 amp | Cutting Diameter (max): 1.5 in. | Reduction Ratio: 16:1 | Weight: 25.4 lbs.

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy electric operation
  • No gas or fumes
  • Affordable price
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Discharge shoot is low to the ground

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40 / 45

Best Leaf Blower

Stihl BR 600 Backpack Blower

The Stihl BR 600 backpack blower is a gas-powered, professional-grade backpack leaf blower. It has a powerful, fuel-efficient engine that produces almost the highest velocity and air volume—677 cubic feet per minute—of all Stihl’s blowers. When it comes to speed, this thing can shoot air out at 238 miles per hour.

While the Stihl BR 600 is a gas-powered leaf blower, it’s one of the brand’s powered products that’s environmentally conscious, which means it produces low exhaust emissions that are cleaner than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) exhaust emission standards.

Maximum CFM: 677 cu.ft./min. | Noise Rating: 75 dB | Start Type: Pull Start| Variable Speeds: Yes | Weight: 22 lb. |Powered By: Gas | Maximum MPH: 238 mph

Pros

  • Weighs just 21.6 lbs.
  • Ergonomic and comfortable
  • Plenty of power
  • Easy to use
  • Reduced-emission engine technology
  • Anti-vibration system
  • Throttle trigger lock for easy start and stop during a job

Cons

  • Pricey

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41 / 45

Best Touchup Pen

Slobproof Touch-Up Paint Pens

The Slobproof Touch-Up Paint Pen is a pen-like receptacle for touching up dings and scratches around your home. The upper part of the pen is made of see-through plastic, which is where your desired paint is inserted using the included syringe. On the bottom, you’ll find a small tip where the paint comes out, which is similar to that of a paintbrush. To disperse paint, twist the upper part of the pen.

The refillable pens come with a plastic cap, which is designed to fit easily over the brush. This is useful for those who want to keep their paint fresh for easy touch-ups. And since the brand claims the paint stays fresh for up to seven years when properly used, you can store these with your other painting supplies.

Volume: ‎50 mL | Weight: ‎0.81 oz.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Keeps paint fresh for up to seven years
  • Available in a two- or five-pack
  • Simple to use
  • Works with latex- and water-based paints
  • Useable on a variety of surfaces
  • Refillable

Cons

  • Small brush tip may not work for larger dings

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Best Edger

AccuBrush MX Paint Edger

The AccuBrush MX Paint Edger is a paint roller and paintbrush in one. The four-inch roller applies the paint to the wall. Then, a small paintbrush just behind the roller cuts in a perfect line along the edge of your trim or ceiling.

A movable shield keeps paint from crossing the cut-in line and acts as a guide along the edge as you paint. The roller and brush are quick-release for easy cleaning or replacement. The edger’s lightweight housing is well-balanced, and the handle is easy to grip.

Bristle Type: Flagged Bristle | Weight: ‎7 oz. | Dimensions: ‎8 x 5 x 3 in.

Pros

  • Keeps paint from getting on your trim and ceiling
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile and useable on a variety of surfaces
  • One-year warranty
  • Reusable/washable rollers
  • Brush can be adjusted

Cons

  • Can not cut into corners

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43 / 45

Best Paint Remover

Metabo Paint Remover

The Metabo Paint Remover is sort of a cross between a biscuit joiner, an angle grinder and a portable plane. The circular head has two small replaceable carbide bits about 3/4 in. square. The head diameter is about three inches, and my siding reveal is about 4-1/2 in., so you need to work it up and down. It only takes one pass, and you do want to keep moving.

The head also has two blades on the sides that are perpendicular to the cutting surface. These remove paint from the bottom of the lap as you go. The tool also comes with a vacuum port. Hook it up directly to a shop vacuum and take care of a lot of the mess as you go.

Torque 18 in. lbs. | Item Weight: 9.86 lbs.

Pros

  • Four reversible carbide blades
  • Removes paint much faster than hand scraping and sanding
  • Built-in dust collector
  • Ergonomic and comfortable to use

Cons

  • Capable of removing a lot of wood if the depth is set incorrectly

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Best Safety Goggles

Stoggles

Stoggles are safety glasses molded with Polycarbonate frames and lenses. Polycarbonate is the same material used in bulletproof glass and windows. So, it’s not only strong but more lightweight and shatter-resistant than acrylic plexiglass and glass itself.

The lenses feature blue-light blocking and 100 percent UV protectant technology, and can be ordered with prescriptions if needed.

Material: Polycarbonate | Frame Type: Full Rim | Rx Friendly: Yes

Pros

  • Approved by the American National Standards Institution
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) approved
  • Anti-fog coating
  • Side and top shields
  • UV protection
  • Blue light blocking

Cons

  • Pricey

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45 / 45

Best Featherboard

Hedgehog Featherboard

The Hedgehog featherboard gives you the control to cut wood with precision. It makes using a table saw safer and keeps your cuts straight. Not only is it perfect for beginners, but it’s also ideal for experienced woodworkers. The Hedgehog securely holds the board against the fence while keeping your fingers safely out of the way, preventing kickback.

The featherboard has a single pivot point and sets up quickly. It can also be used vertically if your fence has a slot, making it a versatile tool. Plus, when you need to work on the other side of the table, you’re able to reverse the Hedgehog. Simply remove the knob and flip the hardware to the opposite side. It’s that easy!

Main Material: Engineered Nylon | Blade Length: ‎8 in. | Weight: ‎9.9 oz.

 Pros

  • Protects against kickback
  • Ensures straight cuts with one-way pressure
  • Reversible
  • Stackable for taller boards
  • Quick one-knob setup
  • Durable nylon construction
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons

  • May not perform well with uneven boards

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Why You Should Trust Us

Emily Way is an Associate Shopping Editor for Family Handyman with experience researching products and recommending the best designs to consumers. Way consulted Craftsman’s In-House DIY Expert, Audrey Van de Castle.

How We Tested the Best Tools

Each of the tools on this list was independently tested by Family Handyman editors in their daily activities. After determining they perform as expected, we pushed the boundaries and tested their durability in unusual situations. We subjected the picks on this list to side-by-side testing next to similar items and determined that one that made it on the list is the best balance between value, cost and performance. 

FAQ

What are the most basic DIY tools?

According to Van de Castle, essential tools for DIYers include the following:

How do I organize a toolbox?

“There are SO many ways to organize a toolbox—and a few different types of toolboxes,” notes Van de Castle. Here’s what she suggests for first-time tool organizers:

Tool Chests

“These are usually stationary and made of metal, and might live in your garage or basement. I look at organizing it in two ways: similar uses/functions and frequency of use. In the easy-to-access drawers of a tool chest, I will put high-usage items like screwdrivers, pliers, snips,and hammers. Then, I find that I will group items like drill bit sets and driver bit sets, sockets and hex keys together in a drawer and will use smaller drawer inserts to keep loose/small items organized and together,” she says.

“Tool chests typically have larger drawers towards the bottom, which is where I will put power tools and bulkier hand tools. Last but not least… labels! You will thank yourself later if you label the drawers—such a time saver when you are looking for something amid a DIY project!”

Tool Bags

“Another type of toolbox to consider is something more mobile,” she says. “Tool bags are made of rugged fabrics and great for a DIYer on the go. I typically will organize these based on the project that I am currently working on. They are even great for projects around the house or yard because you can grab the tools you need and transport them easily instead of trying to carry everything by hand or making multiple trips to the garage.

So, for example, I will start with the power tools that I need on the project, then add the accessories like drill bits or sandpaper, throw in some tools that I always seem to end up needing (like pliers) and put some clamps and a tape measure in as well. Of course, you can take advantage of the copious pockets in tool bags and be sure to tuck an extra battery or two in there, as well as some PPE!”

Wall Storage

“For organizing these products, the Versastack TrackWall System is amazing. It can get some of those bulky outdoor power tools, like string trimmers or blowers, up off the floor and onto the wall for easy storage out of the way. There are also some great ventilated shelves that help get storage totes and other large items organized—keep the heavy items on the bottom of the shelves, and items like paper towels up top!”

What are the most important safety tools?

“At a minimum, I will wear safety glasses—you should always wear safety glasses on a project—and I typically have hearing protection on hand as well,” notes Van de Castle. “I prefer the over-ear muffs for hearing protection, but again, it depends on what you are working on.”

She also recommends having the following safety gear on hand: Work gloves, steel-toed boots and a respirator or face mask.

Emily Way
As Associate Shopping Editor of Sales and Deals, Emily helps readers find the lowest prices on the best products. An enthusiastic shopper, Emily is always on the lookout for the biggest bargains. When she’s not searching through flash sales, you can usually find her reading mystery novels or cuddling with cats.