Best home tool kits 2022 for the determined DIYer

The undiscovered country from whose bourn, no traveller returns…” This is how original bearded hipster William Shakespeare described, essentially, death in back-in-the-day blockbuster Hamlet.

And as apt as that may be, I also find it works equally well when one takes their first steps into the previously undiscovered country of D.I.Y. After all, nobody ever truly knows what to expect from themselves and, once you’ve made that journey to ‘the other side’, the monetary and emotional investment in tools and a place to keep them that you’ve made means that you’re now dwelling in the domain of home improvement for good.

So, you are about to make the move away from hiring handymen to sort out every hiccup in your home or, indeed, non-mechanic-needing niggle with your car/bike/e-scooter. Or you’re encountered such success with your dabblings in D.I.Y. that you’ve decided to double-down and trade-up your tools to some truly next-level stuff, you’ll be please to read that you’ve come to the right article. I’ve recently been tinkering with tool kits suitable for all, from enthusiastic amateurs to white van driving trade-types, all in the name of ES Best.

To that end – and to once more paraphrase/mangle the words of the Bard – “Tool B or not tool B? That is the question”. I can’t answer that, but what I can tell you with some certainty is that whatever it is you need to fix, the answer lies within the confines of one of these kits…

VonHaus 94pc Hand Tool & Screwdriver Kit

VonHaus

Best for: keen domestic DIYers

They say it takes a tool to know a tool, probably, which is why I’ve selected this perfectly put-together 94-piece kit from VonHaus as, at my specific level of interest and dexterity within the field of DIY, this approaches – what I’m now referring to as – my ‘ceiling of self-certainty’.

Zip open the hardwearing polyester bag and you’ll find a compact yet comprehensive assortment of tools ready to tackle most home-based repair issues; 94 in fact, so I’m not going to list them all here, but rather break them down into the basics of wrenches, a hammer, pliers, manual screwdrivers and all the hex keys you should ever need to make short work of all those minor jobs.

What’s more, sweetening the self-fix deal still further, it also comes complete with a cordless 3.6V Lithium-ion screwdriver featuring a twistable body, automatic spindle-lock, ¼-inch rotating quick-release chuck and even an LED light and torch.

All tools come as though forged upon the anvil of Vulcan himself in high-grade steel, so you can put full faith in the fact that they’ll never let you down. And, finally, at only £45 for all this, you’re going to struggle to find a better deal.

Draper 126pc Tool Kit in Steel Cantilever Toolbox

Draper

Best for: workshopping DIY warriors

Stepping into the upper echelons of the kind of DIYer who owns their own workshop now, the Draper 126-piece kit comes in the sort of efficient and organised steel cantilevered box that your parents or grandparents used to own. Make no mistake, with great tool kit comes great responsibility and merely owning this gives everyone around you the instant right to ask you to fix things for them.

So, starting with the box itself, here we have a sheet steel cantilevered box featuring five trays, each lined with high-density foam, providing the perfectly firm bed for every item of this expansive tool kit, including the 45-tooth reversible ratchet, 16oz claw hammer, combination pliers, side cutters, range of screwdrivers, tape measure and the wide selection of screwdriver bits, sockets and hex keys.

Does it weigh a bit? Well, yes, you’ve got 126 workshop-ready tools encased in a sheet steel box, so welcome to a hefty 7.28kg. But then, like the bow of Odysseus or the hammer of Thor, owning a tool kit that can only be used by only those who are ‘worthy’ is all part of the serious DIYer’s mystique, so embrace the weight and accept your Draper-give place amongst the pantheon of DIY legends.

VonHaus 256pc Premium Tool & Socket Set

VonHaus

Best for: bigger and better

This just got serious. Yep, containing no fewer than some 256 individual tools and accessories, the VonHaus Premium Tool & Socket Set has been curated by the DIY deities for the have-a-go-hero to whom no job is too big.

Housed inside a heavy-duty, blow-moulded carry case is everything you could possibly need for jobs both big and small around the house and, indeed, indulging in auto engineering, all made from heat-treated carbon steel and chrome vanadium for the ultimate in strength and durability.

Reassuringly weighty at the best part of 10kg, unless you’re planning on going pro with a kitted-out van, then this is all the tool box you’ll ever need and probably more.

Logically laid-out, despite the 256 individual items located under the lid, everything falls easily to hand and the quality more than backs-up the word ‘Premium’ in the name. In fact, the only thing that isn’t premium is the price.

Stanley 38-Piece Tool Set (STMT0-74101)

Stanley

Best for: those starting out in home repairs

It’s tempting to think the more, the better when it comes to owning a tool kit, but the truth of the matter is that you can often end up with loads of stuff you’ll never need to understand let alone use. So, if you’re just in the market for the everyday tool essentials to help out around the house, you can’t do much better than the 38-Piece Tool Set from Stanley.

Comprised of a handy fabric tool bag, this basic assortment of hardware accessories for the house pulls together a plentiful pick ‘n’ mix of the tools most commonly demanded in the domestic environment. You’ll find a 3m/10ft measuring tape, 7oz hammer, screwdriver with 10x interchangeable screwdriver bits, 4x precision screwdrivers, 16x Allen keys of various sizes, combination pliers for general purpose gripping, compressing, bending, twisting, extracting, and cutting various materials, long-nose pliers for intricate bending, re-positioning, and wire cutting, spirit level for everyday levelling applications, and a basic assortment of hardware accessories including screws, pins, picture hooks, wire and more.

Weighing just ‎1.81kg, even the most feeble of DIYers will have no difficulty toting their tools around and, being Stanley, each piece of apparatus in this grab-bag of home-fixing glory is built to last a lifetime.

Halfords Advanced 150-pc Socket & Spanner Set

Halfords

Best for: auto-based tools for fixing the car

For those not particularly handy around the house but enthusiastic about anything with an engine, you’re going to want to tailor the contents of your tool kit away from domestic design and aim instead to go fully auto. I speak, of course, of the 150-pc Socket & Spanner set from the home of motor maintenance, Halfords.

Springing forth from the firm’s Advanced range of tool kits, what Halfords have for you here is a meticulously organised mix of 100T ratchets designed for working in tight spaces, 6x point sockets, combination spanners featuring Surface Drive Plus to provide up to 28 per cent more torque before rounding, Standard Universal Joints, an 18-inch breaker bar, a dull range of long and short reach bits, in hex, torx and spline, all served up inside a reinforced plastic case.

With every gleaming gem inside said case made from advanced chrome alloy steel, maximum durability is not only guaranteed but guaranteed for life, so the Halfords Advanced 150-pc Socket & Spanner Set kit will continue to serve you and all your motoring matters regardless of how many cars you manage to get through.

Umi by Amazon 8-Piece Wood Chisels Set

Amazon

Best for: home woodworkers and keen carpenters

Not every tool kit contains the stuff of what’s conventionally considered to be DIY, you know? Indeed, beyond the screwdrivers, hammers and socket sets exists a world dedicated solely to the skilled working of wood; and this tool kit from Amazon’s Umi brand is an ideal example of just that.

Designed for both professional woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts alike to tackle any projects involving softwood, hardwood or plywood around the home, the 8-piece Wood Chisels Set contains 6mm, 12mm, 19mm, 25mm, 32mm, 38mm chisels, 1x honing guide and 1x sharpening stone, all of which come made from fine-grained chrome-vanadium steel, with iron areas coated with anti-rust materials and ergonomic handles that come completely non-slip.

Featuring incredibly sharp edges to make short work of cutting mortises, shaving rough surfaces and chopping out corners, the hard-wearing rubber handles are tough enough to take the pounding punishment of a mallet or hammer to assist with any particularly awkward areas.

All coming secured in a sturdy and compact plastic case, if you’re good with wood and need the tools to match the talent, the Umi by Amazon is the kit that fits.

Makita E-11542 87 Piece Mechanics Set

Makita

Best for: the DIY all-rounder

With a name renowned around the world for the quality and longevity of their tools, no review round-up of tool kits could ever consider itself complete without the inclusion of Makita. So, that being the case, here, supplied in a ruggedly tough Makpac case, is Makita’s E11542 87 Piece Mechanics set.

Okay, it has the word ‘Mechanic’ in its name, but you can put that to one side, as this is easily the best tool kit for DIY all-rounders, be they mechanics, construction workers, general handymen or just basic DIY enthusiasts – it truly has the tools for all.

That’s 87 tools, by the way, consisting of – take a breath – ratchet handles, ratchet screwdriver, adjustable wrench, combination pliers, 7 x ½-inch deep socket, 3 x ½-inch spark plug socket, 9 x ¼-inch socket, ¼-inch adaptor, 2x bit holder, 8x hex wrenches, socket adaptor, ¼-inch bit adaptor, 5x combination wrenches, 4x screwdrivers, carburettor screwdriver, 40 x 25mm screw bits and probably some other bits that I’ve missed in the general overwhelm of the whole thing, but you get the gist.

One of the most popular tool makers in the world, when you handle the Makita E-11542 87 Piece Mechanics Set its clear why – everything about it just oozes quality. Also, priced at just £125, this tool kit may be aimed at mechanics, but its contents and its cost mean it’s for everybody.

Draper Redline 41pc Tool Kit

Draper

Best for: occasional DIY use

Coming from Draper’s Redline entry level range, what we have in the shapely form of this 41-piecer is a tool kit conceived for casual use by the firmly non-professional fixer-upper. However, even with that being the case, Draper still delivers to your unskilled hands a kit that’s 41 bits full, with the usual suspects of screwdrivers, long nose pliers, adjustable wrench, hammer and measuring tape all present and correct, with a lifetime warranty on all.

Supplied in a blow moulded plastic storage case that’s compact enough to be stashed away anywhere and transported with ease, if you’re not a Tommy Wash in training and only essential DIY as and when required is more your schtick, then the Draper Redline 41pc Tool Kit represents excellent value for money and anything beyond its abilities should be regarded as time to invoke that other meaning of DIY – Don’t Involve Yourself – and call in a pro.

Verdict

As is self-evident as much with tool kits as it is with, say, sporting equipment, you should really only ever play to your strengths and avoid ending up as that person with ‘all the gear and no idea’. So, with that in mind, consider your abilities and just how much use you’ll get out of your tool kit of choice before making the plunge.

But for me, a man all too aware of where his abilities in the DIY domain both begin and savagely end, from my selection here the VonHaus 94pc Hand Tool & Screwdriver Kit is my ideal match, containing easily recognisable equipment and not a single nightmarish item that reminds me of the dental torture scene from the film Marathon Man. Now that’s judging tool kits on a whole new level.