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I want to get my husband a tool set for Christmas, since all he has is a sad little screwdriver set (with interchangeable heads) and not even a wrench. We’re just starting out together and we’ll be living in our tiny apartment for the next few years, so at least for now he doesn’t need the manly-man bright red toolbox with 10,000 pieces. We do have a truck that needs tinkering, and he likes to build furniture when we go back home (using his dad’s tools). So, what do you think?

11 Thoughts on What’s a good starter tool set?
  1. Reply
    Fred
    November 28, 2011 at 11:25 am

    There are an array of tool sets set out at HD’s and Lowe’s this time of year

    A decent array of wrenches, metric and standard is nice.
    A socket set is good. . . 1/2″ drive
    Pliers and vice grips
    Claw Hammer . . can be found very cheaply
    lots of times they have plastic tool boxes on sale cheaply also
    Drill motor

  2. Reply
    Judy
    November 28, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Buy the CRAFTSMAN tools from Sears. My brother has used them for years. If
    one breaks, he takes it back and they replace it for free.

  3. Reply
    chris
    November 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Everyone has their own priorities when it comes to tools. Something you may think is the greatest tool on earth may sit in his tool box untouched for years. (I have some)
    Give him a gift card or a dollar amount and let him go hog wild in the tool department. He’ll be like a kid in a candy store.

    Update:
    Since only one person agreed with me I figured I’d add a little.
    Here’s the deal, Buying your man tools is like Him buying you clothes. They either won’t fit, They’ll sit in your closet for a year or you’ll return them for what you actually want and end up hurting his feelings.

    I’m a Carpenter / Electrician / plumber. I work on all of the buildings in the North East for one of the top national trucking companies in the country. I personally know over 400 diesel mechanics that have over $ 10,000 invested in every one of their tool boxes. One of them just paid $ 25 for a screw driver because it was the correct length. I have no use for most of their tools and they have no use for mine.
    “To each His own!”
    Good luck and have a very Merry Christmas.

  4. Reply
    Boaz
    November 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    google it

  5. Reply
    Polar Bear
    November 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I’m gonna go with Chris on this one,… buy him say, a $ 100 gift card ✉ from Sears and then take him there and say “OK honey, go find what you need”, and then find a chair…..and have a seat.

    Some people say that gift cards are lazy and unthoughtful. I say it can go both ways, but in this case its really extremely considerate; this way he can get exactly what he thinks he needs and you get the heartwarming ♥ satisfaction of giving him something.

    My spouse has done this a couple of times over the years. I don’t really have any tools that just sit & collect dust. I have a 7ft tall 3 section Craftsman tool box I’m out growing….. I hope I get a roll away “taco stand” for Christmas. ☺

  6. Reply
    Baxter
    November 28, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    The craftmen sets at sears are pretty good, just shop around for the best deal. Should be able to pick up a complete set of sockets, wrenches, allens, plug sockets, ect for around 100. It will last him forever and pay itself off in time. Just a matter of a few brake jobs, plug changes, stuff like that at home and you payed the tools off. Plus, most guys would rather do the work ourselves its just that we do not have the tools to do it. Or you could check out Harbor Freight, their tools are cheaper. Pittsburgh I believe is the brand they carry thats pretty cheap, quality not all that great but fine for his uses. Socket set, wrench set, allen wrench set, few different size crescent wrenches, he is on his way. They have a set up their for like $ 35 that will get him on his way.

  7. Reply
    jw072451
    November 28, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    go to big lots

  8. Reply
    Peter W
    November 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    NOTE-to-start: If you give him a gift card, he might buy more junk rather than less good…. Set him on the right path at the very beginning!

    Otherwise this is A excellent idea. And some heartfelt advice here:

    a) Buy first-class tools from reputable makers.
    b) In very nearly every case, fewer good tools is infinitely better than more bad tools.
    c) I am linking to specific makers and suggesting specific tools because they work. I am on my third vintage house and I use these tools all the time.
    d) And most of them I have had (the very same ones) for more than 30 years.

    From Channellock:

    1 medium T&G plier
    1 Cutting Plier
    1 Slip-joint plier.

    In the future you can add a long-nose or lineman’s plier – but for the basics those three will do.

    That set of wrenches from Crescent. It covers all the bases and will last forever.

    That hammer from Klein. Also will last forever. Electrician’s hammer as it will reach into more places, do less damage when pulling nails and has better balance than a standard claw-head.

    That autoloading screwdriver from Sears. Unless you are prepared to purchase a range of drivers from Klein or Channellock (or even Craftsman) this tool will do 90% of the jobs needed. And not take up much room, nor will you be losing tips.

    A good pair of gloves – leather.

    And a good toolbox to keep them in. There are many and I won’t link them.

    After this, you will be getting into more specialized tools such as socket sets, allen-wrench sets, box wrenches and so forth – and those sorts of purchases must be tailored to your specific needs. Around the house, before I went beyond the above, I would purchase a first-class electric drill and circular saw with the various bits and blades to go with.

    More advice:

    1. Avoid “multi-tools” such as the Kobalt bone-wrench like the plague that they are. They do many things moderately badly and few things well.
    2. Poor tools are genuinely dangerous and can cause great injury when they fail – and fail they will.

    Back when we were first married, my wife gave me one (1) crescent wrench which I have now 29 years later and use frequently. She got good advice and followed it. And spent what was for her then a lot of money. I am hoping to pass on the favor.

  9. Reply
    Sane
    November 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Head off to Sears and select from a wide variety of nice tool kits that will fit your budget. Craftsman tools are high quality and usually guaranteed for life. You should be able to find a nice set with all the basic socket set components, a selection of common sized wrenches, and a set of basic screw drivers. (Make sure you buy the standard size kit and not the metric.) Toss in a nice hammer and a saw on the side and he’ll be working on your honey-do list in no time.

  10. Reply
    Suckmyballz Suckmyballz
    November 28, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    duck tape and beer

  11. Reply
    SolidAxle
    November 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Most people like Craftsman tools and a few don’t but you can’t beat their quality and warranty. This time of year they have many “starter” sets on sale. Make sure the tools say “Craftsman” on them. Pick a set and buy it. If he really doesn’t like it (but he will) he can return it it for another or a refund. Merry Christmas!

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