Experts share the nuts and bolts (and the levels and screwdrivers) of a super-handy set.

By Stephanie Sisco
August 18, 2015
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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“Twenty-one tools in a neat little package. Just pop out a screwdriver to remove faceplates when painting walls or pliers to tighten bolts on furniture. It’s so convenient having wire cutters, scissors, and more in the palm of your hand, too.” –Kelly Carrell, SuperHandyman newspaper columnistTo buy: $100, amazon.com.
leatherman.com
leatherman.com

“Twenty-one tools in a neat little package. Just pop out a screwdriver to remove faceplates when painting walls or pliers to tighten bolts on furniture. It’s so convenient having wire cutters, scissors, and more in the palm of your hand, too.” –Kelly Carrell, SuperHandyman newspaper columnist

To buy: $100, amazon.com.

amazon.com

“A utility knife makes it so much easier to cut rigid plastic packaging, cardboard boxes, and even carpet. Most have blades that are difficult to change, but not this one—just push the button to release the blade and insert a new one.” –Marie Leonard, author of Marie’s Home Improvement Guide

To buy: $9, amazon.com.

acehardware.com

“Invest in this one item and you don’t need a small putty knife, a paint can opener, or paint scrapers, all of which take up precious tool-bag space. Not only does this angular tool cover those functions but it can also scrape away old caulk, loosen trim, and remove putty.” –Marie Leonard

To buy: $8, amazon.com.

lowes.com

“Pick a hammer that feels good in your hand and is easy to swing. For many people, a 16-ounce head is way more manageable than a 20-ounce one. This hammer has an oversize striking face for improved accuracy, plus a slip-resistant handle for a secure grip.” –Jason Kyser, resident pro at Pro.com

To buy: $22, amazon.com.

amazon.com

“This cordless drill has a trigger that makes it easy to switch speeds, depending on what you’re drilling into—faster for wood shelves, slower for tougher pieces, like a metal storm door. The best part: Its battery stays charged for up to 18 months.” –Marie Leonard

To buy: $99, amazon.com.

lowes.com

“About $30 less than long-distance levels (primarily used by contractors), this one is just right for basic household projects, like hanging pictures or shelves. It produces a stable line within five seconds. You can even mount it on a camera tripod instead of holding it.” –Jason Kyser

To buy: $90, amazon.com.

homedepot.com

“Instead of storing multiple screwdrivers, choose this one with six screw heads. Along with Klein’s high-leverage side-cutting pliers, this tool can handle every kind of household task, from assembling furniture to hanging window treatments.” –Lou Manfredini, host of HouseSmarts and Ace Hardware’s home expert

To buy: $16, homedepot.com.

amazon.com

This is a basic one-inch-wide, 25-foot-long measuring tape, but I love its sturdy design. It extends to about six feet without bending, so you don’t need a helper holding the other end.” –Lou Manfredini

To buy: $10, amazon.com.

lowes.com

In a typical tool box, the contents lie jumbled in a big pile. This easy-to-transport knapsack has 23 pockets to store handled tools upright and neatly.

To buy: $32, lowes.com.