• Stanley 94-248 65-Piece Homeowner's Tool Kit

  • Crescent Lufkin Black Widow L1025B

  • Ryobi Quickturn HP44L

  • Makita FD07R1 Cordless Driver / Drill Kit

  • DeWalt DCS391B

  • Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 Fuel Sawzall

  • Dremel 3000-2/28

  • Leatherman Wave+

  • Carhartt A518

  • Huepar BOX 1G

  • Zircon StudSensor A150

  • DeWalt DCS334B

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

The Best Starter Toolkits
Credit: Reviewed / Séamus Bellamy

The 65-piece Stanley 94-248 is the best starter toolkit on the market today.

Best Starter Toolkit
Stanley 94-248 65-Piece Homeowner's Tool Kit

Of all the kits we tested, the quality of each individual tool is the best in this Stanley kit. While its molded case does not have space for additional tools, it holds the tools that the kit comes with, relatively well, and it includes all of the tools that you’ll need for most basic and intermediate home repairs. Its limited one-year warranty is among the best we were able to find.

In total, this kit includes a 13-ounce hammer, a 16-foot tape rule, 18mm snap-off knife, one torpedo level, a set of needle-nose pliers one set of slip joint pliers, a Phillips screwdriver and slot-head screwdriver, eight SAE and eight metric hex keys, an 1/4-inch round-head ratchet and eight SAE 1/4-inch sockets, one 1/4-inch spinner handle as well as the aforementioned 30 screwdriver bits and an interchangeable screwdriver handle to use them with.

The hammer convinced us that a good hammer can make a big difference when you’re working on a repair or building something new. The grip on the Stanley hammer is the most comfortable out of all the hammers we tested, and the force of the strikes are actually directed onto the nail, rather than bouncing off of it.

The kit doesn't include one of Stanley’s popular Fatmax tape measures, but the one that is included is good quality. The Stanley’s level, with its magnet and fine build quality, is one of the best we have encountered, too.

One of the best features of the Stanley 94-248 kit is its interchangeable head screwdriver, which comes with 30 bits. This is in addition to the two dedicated screwdrivers—a slot-head and a #2 Phillips—that the kit ships with. The only real complaint about this kit is that the handle of the interchangeable head screwdriver wasn’t as comfortable to use as the ones built into the kit’s dedicated screwdrivers.

If you buy each of the tools in this kit separately, it will cost you significantly more, making the Stanley 94-248 an incredible value for a trustworthy set of tools.

Read our complete guide to the best starter toolkits.

The Best Tape Measures
Credit: Reviewed / Séamus Bellamy

The Crescent Lufkin Black Widow is the most versatile, durable tape measure that we've ever tested.

Best Tape Measure
Crescent Lufkin Black Widow L1025B

With a large 1 1/4-inch wide and 1-inch deep hook at the end of the Crescent Lufkin Black Widow's tape, this tape measure is able to hold onto any edge—and did during testing. It allows for easier horizontal measuring without the tape twisting, and the hook stability and the high-contrast print on the Black Widow's tape are big perks.

The Black Widow's unique, high-contrast fluorescent-green-on-black measures, printed on both the top and bottom of the tape, is easy to read in dim lighting and in daylight. Located on both sides of the tape measure, the distinctive printing allows for a reading to be taken no matter which way it's held, making it extremely versatile.

Read our complete guide to the best tape measures.

Pros

  • Hook great at gripping edges

  • Easy to read measurements

  • Measurements on both sides of blade

Cons

  • Only has imperial measurements

  • Print scratches easily

The Best Electric Screwdriver
Credit: Ryobi

The Ryobi HP44L is a versatile, reliable electric scredriver

Best Electric Screwdriver
Ryobi Quickturn HP44L

If you’re looking for a powered screwdriver that helps with repairs around the house and light-duty tasks like assembling furniture, the Ryobi Quickturn HP44L is a great option.

The Quickturn HP44L is a versatile electric screwdriver with a handle that can be configured to be used as a pistol grip—allowing the user to apply more pressure to the tool—or a traditional straight-grip, which is great for maneuvering the driver into tight spaces. By having the ability to switch between these two handle configurations, the Quickturn HP44L is more likely to fit the area you’re working in than screwdrivers that come with a fixed handle position.

The Quickturn HP44L comes equipped with a switch that allows its user to step down the amount of torque it provides. That this screwdriver can use less power makes it easier to work with screws being driven into delicate materials such as a plastic power outlet cover or to avoid stripping out screws made of softer materials, like brass.

As we used the Quickturn HP44L, we came to realize how helpful having a longer trigger button can be. The screwdriver’s two-finger trigger allows for different grip positions and accommodates a wider variety of hand sizes than the other tools featured in this guide This, combined with its soft rubber handle, makes this light-duty electric screwdriver comfortable to use for long periods of time.

Read our complete guide to the best electric screwdrivers.

Pros

  • Two handle orientations

  • Torque Control

  • Designed to fit wide variety of hands

Cons

  • None that we could find

Related content

Best Overall
Credit: Reviewed / Dan Roth
Best Cordless Drill
Makita FD07R1 Cordless Driver / Drill Kit

This Makita drill has a very short snout and a slender, comfortable grip. Its light weight, excellent balance (in your hand), and compact profile all make it easy to maneuver into tight spots. Our hardest test was boring through lumber with a spade bit, and this little Makita powered right through it without binding up or getting tired. The key to its strong showing is the powerful, efficient brushless motor.

Other details that make the Makita stand out are the integrated LED for lighting up work, its high-quality feel in your hand, and hard-shell carrying case. The Makita family of cordless tools runs deep, too. As a starting point, this Makita drill is outstanding. Even veteran tool-slingers will be impressed with its capabilities and the eager, responsive way it tackles jobs and its great-handling design.

Read our complete guide to the best cordless drills.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact

  • Well balanced

  • Powerful

Cons

  • None that we could find

Best Overall
Credit: Reviewed / Seamus Bellamy
Best Circular Saw
DeWalt DCS391B

At first glance, this spartan-looking tool doesn’t impress: There aren’t any fancy laser guides or LED lighting. There are no extra buttons or levers. In fact, without its iconic yellow and black color scheme, the DCS391 could be interchangeable with a number of the other right-handed saws we tested. It wasn’t until testing began this circular saw started to shine.

Weighing in at 7 pounds, the DCS391’s design and ergonomics make it feel significantly lighter than many of the other saws in our test group, despite having roughly the same heft. More importantly, it easily sliced up all the material we tested it with. The rubber handle felt comfortable after several cuts and, after an hour of testing, the battery had only reduced by a third.

The DCS391 is a bit short on features but goes long on quality. It comes packing a high-grade magnesium alloy shoe and a quick blade brake that kicks in instantly after removing your finger from the saw’s trigger. While equipped with a small 6 ½-inch blade, it proves capable of completing bevel cuts on two-by-four lumber without pause. Add to this the wide range of DeWalt tools that leverage the same 20-volt battery platform as the DCS391 and this saw’s value increases—it’s a great tool on its own, but even better when used as part of a system. The only real downside to this incredible workhorse of a saw is buying a battery and charger to use with it—this will set you back an additional $130.

Read our complete guide to the best circular saws.

Pros

  • Lightweight, but powerful

  • Long-lasting battery

  • Feels comfortable and sturdy

Cons

  • Lacks extra features

Milwaukee Best Overall
Credit: Reviewed / Adam Doud

Not only is the Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 Fuel Sawzall reciprocating saw comfortable to hold, but it also outperformed the other battery-powered saws on this list.

Best Reciprocating Saws
Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 Fuel Sawzall

The Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 Fuel Sawzall is the standout in our best reciprocating saws roundup. Not only does it come with the saw, battery, charger, blades, and instruction manual, it has a stud hanger as well. If you've ever been at the top of a ladder and needed to set down a Sawzall, you know how important this feature is.

With a rubberized pistol grip in the back and a second-hand grip on the front, it's really comfortable to hold. It needs to be comfortable because, during our endurance test, this saw outperformed the other battery-powered saws by more than 2 ½ times. Whether that’s a function of superior battery or superior cutting—and this saw is a superior cutter—it’s hard to tell. We were able to lop the end off of a two-by-four more than 100 times before the battery gave out.

As for downsides, it's worth mentioning that the levers that control the depth guard and blade changing mechanism are plastic. We can't say how these pieces will last in the long term. It’s also a little hard to clean, as it was spitting out sawdust for days after our final test.

Its price is more expensive than the other saws we tested, however, we believe the price is offset by the included charger, battery, and hard shell case.

Read our complete guide to the best reciprocating saws.

Pros

  • Comfortable to hold

  • Superior cutting power

  • Long-lasting battery

Cons

  • Blades don't last long

  • Hard to clean

  • Expensive

Dremel 3000 Best Overall
Credit: Dremel

The Dremel 3000 is easy to handle and comes with a wide assortment of accessories.

Best Rotary Tool
Dremel 3000-2/28

Dremel is the originator of this kind of tool, and it's so well known that the brand name is synonymous with the whole category, like Kleenex with tissues.

The Dremel 3000 2/28 is a smart kit that seems to anticipate your needs and includes the features and accessories you're going to need before you know you know you need them. It's all packed into a durable, well-designed case.

Included with the Dremel 3000 2/28 are an assortment of attachments for sanding, grinding, polishing, and cutting. The quality of the tool, the kit, and the accessories are top-notch. When it comes to the design of the tool itself, a continuously variable speed control is easy to reach while in use. It's sized just right and seems to be designed with input from experienced users.

The Dremel 3000 is easy to handle. A 1.2 amp motor has enough power to do just about any small task like carving, cutting, grinding, or polishing. Matching the attachment to the work will get you the best results. None of these tools were all that happy cutting shapes out of our thick piece of birch plywood using a spiral bit, though the Dremel put in one of the best showings for that test. The motor brushes are replaceable, which will extend the life of the tool, and Dremel stands behind its rotary tool with a two-year warranty.

Read our complete guide to the best rotary tools.

Pros

  • Powerful

  • Comes in a durable case

Cons

  • None we found

Leatherman Wave
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan
Best Multitool
Leatherman Wave+

The Leatherman Wave checks all the right boxes, from convenience to quality. It's a multitool that's a balance of sleek form and impressive functionality. It comes with needle-nose and regular pliers, hard and regular wire cutters, wire strippers, HC420 serrated and straight blades, spring-action scissors, an 8-inch and a 19-cm ruler, a can and bottle opener, large and small bit drivers, and a flathead screwdriver.

All the tools on the Wave exceeded our expectations when we tested them out, including the diamond-coated file and the two high-carbon blades.

The Wave has a smart design, with thick and rounded sides that prevent the multitool from cutting into your palms, even when you're squeezing the pliers as hard as you can. We also like the fact that all the tools lock firmly into place but can be released by pressing down on a textured button.

When we tested the multitool to install a dishwasher, take apart a watch, and perform other household tasks, we found a lot of additional conveniences. For example, you can tell the serrated and straight blades apart without unfurling them because they have different spines—bumpy for serrated and smooth for straight. We also think the fact that you can operate the scissors with just your thumb is pretty clever.

Read our complete guide to the best multitools.

Pros

  • Smart design

  • Tools lock firmly in place

Cons

  • None we could find

Carhartt
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan
Best Work Gloves
Carhartt A518

The Carhartt A518 leather work gloves offer balanced dexterity and protection. High-quality double-stitched-sewn-grain-leather pads cover the fingertips, palm, part of the wrist, and the knuckles. To test durability, we slashed at these areas with a knife made of 154CM steel, and aside from the very ends of the fingertips, we are pleased with how these gloves held up.

However, it's the flexibility that puts them over the top. We opened a pocket knife, turned small dials, and typed this sentence while wearing these gloves.

While we like the durability and flexibility, the A518's are only just adequate when it comes to insulation. When we subjected these gloves to wet, freezing temperatures, the inside of the glove went from a toasty 89°F to 60°F in under five minutes.

Issues aside, our testing shows us that the Carhartt A518s are the best abrasion-resistant gloves for general work such as shoveling, light construction, and moving heavy objects.

Read our complete guide to the best work gloves.

huepar
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The professional-style Huepar BOX 1G is the best we've tested.

Best Laser Level
Huepar BOX 1G

The most important factor when testing laser levels is whether or not users can see the light, because otherwise, what’s the point? Well, Huepar outshines the competition … literally. From the moment I turned on the device until the final test, I was amazed at the laser beam’s intense brightness and distinctive neon green color, as opposed to most laser levels' dull red.

The Huepar also has a feature common among other cross line laser levels—its internal self-leveling smart pendulum system. You don’t have to worry about reading bubble levels to make sure the laser is perfectly horizontal or vertical. All you have to do is unlock the pendulum and let gravity do the rest.

Two of my main goals while testing was to do it all without another set of hands and to leave no marks behind. I don’t own a tripod and didn’t want to fuss with a ladder, so I just rested the Huepar on a bookshelf while I conducted the tests and that worked just fine.

Additionally, the mounting bracket it came with was simpler than some of the others, but its attached magnets allowed me to secure it to the metal bars of the bookshelf without leaving any marks.

Finally, it can work over a large space—like a backyard. Huepar makes a receiver that can be lined up with distant objects. Say you want to make sure your hedges are all the same height—just flip the US-BOX1G into “pulse mode,” put it at a desired height in a central location, and then move the receiver across the space. When it lines up with the height of the centralized device, it’ll beep, just like a top-of-the-line (read: expensive) level would at a construction site.

The Huepar US-BOX1G is a modest investment, but it seriously outworked the others, proving it’s worth the money. You’ll find a use for it both inside and outside the home.

Read our complete guide to the best laser levels.

The Best Stud Finders
Credit: Reviewed / Geoffrey Morrison

The Zircon A150 is our Best Overall pick.

Best Stud Finder
Zircon StudSensor A150

The Zircon A150 tested consistently well and this is the main reason we like it. Its bright red laser-like arrow activates when you find the center of a stud, and this, along with a display that shows you how close you are to a stud, with indications for which direction to move, and an audible alert, make the Zircon very easy to use.

Physically, the A150 is easier to hold in your hand than some of the other models we tested, with a fairly narrow grip. Its single button is placed right under your thumb if you’re right-handed, and under your index finger if you’re a lefty. To aid in smooth sliding across walls, the back is equipped with two soft, felt pads.

When used on drywall, the A150 consistently found the stud. This is a pretty basic requirement for a stud finder, but some of the other models we tested struggled to clear even this simplest of bars.

On more challenging surfaces, the A150 did as good or better than the other finders, though it wasn’t able to consistently handle some of thicker materials. This was the case with all the testers and is admittedly asking more than what they were designed for.

If you have an older house with thick, dense walls, a stud finder may not work for your needs. This said, on our wood-paneled wall test, the A150 was one of the few that was able to sense a stud fairly consistently. On the stucco test, it couldn’t find a stud, but neither could almost any of the other models we tested.

The only notable issue with the A150 is that the LCD display is hard to see when it’s above your eye-line. If you’re trying to find a stud high up on a wall, the display won’t be visible. However, you can still hear its alert, and the red light shines to indicate that you’ve found a stud.

Read our complete guide to the best stud finders.

The Best Jigsaws
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The DeWalt DCS334B is currently the best jigsaw you can buy.

Best Jigsaw
DeWalt DCS334B

The DeWalt DCS334B jigsaw is primarily built using metal and metal alloys, instead of plastic components like most other jigsaws on the market. Even with its superior build quality, it was only 0.1 pounds heavier than the majority of its competitors.

The DCS334B's shoe, with its clearly labeled markings for 0, 15, 30, and 45 degrees, tilts using a lever located on the back of the tool. Its blade retention system was the safest of any of the saws that we tested. Rather than having to tug and twist at a sharp, hot (if you just finished making a cut) blade to remove it, the DCS334B uses a clamp that safely ejects its blade.

As for performance, the DCS334B cuts exceptionally clean, sawing effortlessly through the materials it was pitted against during testing. While performing plunge cuts (cutting into the middle of a piece of material, instead of its edge), the Dewalt DCS334B bested the other jigsaws.

However, I wasn’t impressed with the DCS334B’s cutting guide, which consists of a series of notches in its shoe to indicate its blade's location. This feels less intuitive than a wire. That said, with a little practice any user will quickly become comfortable with this jigsaw’s cut line system.

Read our complete guide to the best jigsaws.

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Reviewed Staff

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The Reviewed staff is based in the heart of Cambridge, MA. Backed by our knowledgeable writers and rigorous test labs, we're working hard to make sure you can make the right decisions about what to buy.

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We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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