Screwdriver Set

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Frequently Asked Questions...

What's a good starter tool set?

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?

Best Answer...


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.