In April, we offered a list of the best tools for your home toolkit. But for homeowners on a tight budget, the minimum $125 price tag for those items might have been a bit off-putting.
Buying a prepackaged tool kit is a tempting idea. At some hardware stores, you can purchase a 42-piece collection that claims to contain all you need for jobs around your home or office for under $20. By contrast, filling a tool box on your own may seem time-consuming and cost-prohibitive.
But tool experts say prepackaged sets can lead to wasted money and unnecessary tools. The pieces are often poorly made and won’t last. While it’s OK to buy some things on a budget, quality is a very important consideration when it comes to DIY home repairs. Look for durable materials and recognizable brands. Don’t be afraid to ask a sales associate if you’re unsure.
Here’s how to get everything you need for less than $85.
You don’t have to break the bank to buy good quality tools. But these items are worth investing a little more now to save money in the long run. A well-made and well-cared for wrench, hammer and handsaw will be reliable for years to come. (All prices are approximate.)
Total for these items: $62
Quality is a little less important when it comes to tools you’ll naturally use relatively gently. Before you buy, check consumer reviews and make sure pieces don’t feel flimsy.
Total for these items: $22
Grand total: $84
After you’ve built your ultimate tool kit, you may want to start supplementing it whenever additional funds are available. You may even already have some of these items – masking and duct tape, an LED flashlight and various batteries – at home. Keep them in or near your toolbox so they’re handy when a project arises.
Other suggested purchases: a bucket, stepladder, electrical ladder, carpenter’s square, pry bar and wire cutter.
If you’re looking for even greater savings, keep these two tips in mind when shopping tools now and in the future.
Photo courtesy L Marie