Best Tool Sets for Homeowners (Top 3 Compared)

Stanley 65 piece household tool set

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Are you looking for a quality tool set for DIY projects and household maintenance but don’t know where to start?

I understand how easy it is to get overwhelmed by the dozens of options on Amazon or at your local home improvement store so, to make your life easier, I’ve done the research for you.

In this article, I review the 3 best tool sets specifically designed for homeowners.

You’ll learn what tools come in each set, how much they weigh, their dimension specifications, warranty information, common complaints, price, and more.

Let’s get started!

Quick Pick: If you only have a minute, I highly recommend the Stanley 65-Piece Homeowners Tool Set which you can check out on Amazon. It’s small and compact, includes all the basic tools you need to accomplish 90% of household projects, and is very affordable

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3 Best Tool Sets for Homeowners: Quick Comparison Chart

(Swipe left and right to view the entire chart)

 Stanley 51-Piece Homeowners Tool SetStanley 65-Piece Homeowners Tool SetStanley 210-Piece Homeowners Tool Set
Number of Tools Included5165210
Weight of Case and Tools3.5 pounds7.2 pounds20.4 pounds
Size of Case and Tools12.4 x 8.4 x 2.8 inches16 x 11 x 3.2 inches33.2 x 18.4 x 2.7
WarrantyLimited lifetime warrantyLimited lifetime warrantyLimited lifetime warranty
ProsHigh quality, low priceCovers all your basic needs, affordable, lightweight and easy to carryComplete set that covers all your needs
ConsLimited number of toolsDoesn't include a wrench, tools pop out of the slots in the caseDoesn't include a hammer, it's heavy, and is the most expensive set
PriceCheck Current Price on AmazonCheck Current Price on AmazonCheck Current Price on Amazon

Best Low-Cost Set: Stanley 51-Piece Homeowners Tool Set

Stanley 51 Piece Homeowners Tool SetStanley has been around since 1857 and is well regarded as one of the best brands in the category.

They recently merged with Black & Decker in 2010 to become Stanley Black & Decker. Stanley Black & Decker is a Fortune 500 company that makes everything from hand-held homeowners tools to professional-grade power tools.

They have a reputation as one of the best manufacturers for industrial tools and household hardware in the world.

Simply put, with Stanley you know you are getting a great brand and quality products.

Tools in This Set

This 51-piece set (see on Amazon) is one of the smallest and, therefore, least expensive sets. This set is ideal if you only need very basic tools for small projects around the house and are looking for the lowest cost option. It comes in a convenient plastic case equipped with:

  • 16-foot tape measure
  • Two screwdrivers (Phillips and flat head) both with magnetic tips
  • Utility knife
  • ¼ inch ratchet
  • ¼  inch spinner handleStanley 51 piece household tool set
  • 8 ¼ inch drive 12 point sockets – 5/32″, 3/16″, 7/32″, 1/4″, 9/32″, 5/16″, 11/32″, ⅜”
  • 16 total hex keys, one set of 8 for the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) keys and another for the 8 metric keys
  • ¼ inch drive bit adapter
  • 20 specialty bits

Weight and Dimensions

The case and tools are very light (3.5 pounds) and small (12.4 x 8.4 x 2.8 inches) making it easy to carry and store anywhere in your house.

Warranty Information

Stanley tools are made with chrome vanadium forged bodies which result in strength, durability and anti-corrosion protection.

If something happens to these tools, Stanley backs them with a limited lifetime warranty. Like most warranties, it does not cover products that are misused, abused or altered.

If you use them the right way and something happens, you’ll more than likely be covered.

To view the full warranty details, you can find them here: Stanley.com

Downsides of This Set

The major downside of this set is that it doesn’t come with a wide variety of tools.

It doesn’t include a hammer, a level, pliers, and some other basic tools you will likely need.

If for some reason, you don’t need those other tools or you already have them, this is your best and cheapest option.

Stanley’s cases feature a slot for each tool to snap into nice and tight. I see this as a benefit because it keeps everything organized, but others see this as a downside.

If you throw tools in it without snapping them into place or if you try to jam them in the wrong place, the case won’t shut.

Just something to keep in mind if your not the type that likes to put everything back in its place.

Price

This is one of the least expensive tool sets on the market. You can check out its current price on Amazon at this link. It typically goes for under $40 but you can check its current price on Amazon at this link.

Best Basic Set: Stanley 65-Piece Homeowners Tool Set

Stanley 65 piece homeowners tool set

With the Stanley 65-piece homeowners tool set (see on Amazon), you get the same high quality as the 51-piece set with additional and, in my opinion, necessary tools.

Full disclosure that this is the tool set that I own. It has the tools I need for about 90% of the projects I do around my house.

With Stanley, you know you are getting high-quality tools that will last and, despite an additional 14 tools,  it’s still very affordable like the 51-piece set.

If you are looking for a tool set that is small and compact, yet has all the basic tools you need for everyday projects, this is the one I’d recommend.

Tools in This Set

This tool set comes with everything in the 51-piece set plus some.

It doesn’t have every size bit and hex key to cover every bolt you’ll ever come across, but the ones it has will be sufficient for most projects.

In the past two years, I’ve only run into a few scenarios in which the tools in this set were not the right size or didn’t have the necessary capabilities.

It comes in a hard plastic case, similar to the 51-piece set, with the following tools:

Note: tools marked with an asterisk are included in the 51-piece set

  • * 16-foot tape measure
  • *Two screwdrivers (Phillips and flat head) both with magnetic tips
  • *Utility knife
  • *¼ inch ratchet
  • *¼  inch spinner handle
  • *8 ¼ inch drive 12 point sockets – 5/32″, 3/16″, 7/32″, 1/4″, 9/32″, 5/16″, 11/32″, 3/8”
  • *16 total hex keys, one set of 8 for the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) keys and another set of 8 for the 8 metric keys
  • *¼ inch drive bit adapter
  • *20 specialty bits
  • 13-ounce hammer made with a fiberglass handle to reduce vibrations
  • 8-inch magnetic level
  • 6-inch long nose pliers
  • 6 inch
  • 30 specialty bits (10 more than the 51-piece set)

Weight and Dimensions

Despite an additional 14 pieces in this set, the case and tools are still very light at 7.2 pounds and compact at 16 x 11 x 3.2 inches.

I’ve had to bring this set with me to my investment properties and a few other places and it’s really easy to pack up, carry, and transport. Each tool snaps securely into place so they are not clanging together like loose tools in a metal toolbox.

Warranty Information

This set, like the 51-piece set, is protected with Stanley’s limited lifetime warranty. If there is anything wrong with them or they break while you are using them properly, you’re covered.

Downsides of This Set

Even though this set includes most of the tools you’ll need around the house, it is still limited to the basics.

It’s perfect if you plan to use tools occasionally for small projects but you will likely need to supplement it with a few individual tools. There have been a handful of occasions when none of the sockets were big enough for the nut/bolt.

This set doesn’t come with a wrench which, in my opinion, is a basic household tool that everyone will eventually need.

Some people complain that the tools easily pop out of their slots and fall out of the case, but I haven’t had that problem at all.

Others complain that the screwdriver gets stripped and the hex keys rust.

In my experience, if you use the tools properly and take care of them, they will last a very long time.

Price

This set costs slightly more than the Stanley 51-piece set but it’s still very affordable. Check out more reviews and the current pricing on Amazon at this link.

Best Complete Set: Stanley 210-Piece Homeowners Tool Set

Stanley 210 Piece Homeowners Tool SetThe Stanley 210-piece homeowners tool set (see on Amazon) has every tool you will need for DIY projects around the house. If you are looking to buy a complete set and not worry about having the right tool, this is the one for you.

You get the same quality as the 51 and 65-piece sets but with a much more comprehensive and versatile selection of tools.

The missing pieces from the other sets, like a wrench and larger sockets, can all be found here.

This set will cost you more than the others but will likely save you in the long run since you won’t need to buy any pieces individually. When you buy pieces individually, they are typically more expensive.

Tools in This Set

This set comes with almost everything in the 65-piece (no hammer, no level) set plus much more. It has almost every size socket, type of bit, and hex key you could possibly need. Here’s exactly what it comes with:

Note: tools marked with an asterisk are included in the 65-piece set

  • * 16-foot tape measure
  • *Four screwdrivers (Phillips #1 and #2, flat head 5MM and 6.5MM) all with magnetic tips
  • *Utility knife
  • *¼  inch spinner handle
  • *¼ inch drive bit adapter
  • *6-inch long nose pliers
  • 4 ratchets
  • 28 total hex keys, SAE and MM
  • 55 drive bits
  • 8-inch groove joint pliers
  • 8 combination wrenches SAE and MM
  • 6-inch adjustable wrench
  • 17 ¼ inch drive nut bits; SAE and MM
  • 23 ¼ inch drive 6pt sockets; SAE and MM
  • 21 ¼ inch drive 6pt DEEP sockets; SAE and MM3-inch extension bar
  • 23 ⅜ inch drive 6pt sockets; SAE and MM
  • 8 ⅜ inch drive 6pt DEEP sockets; SAE and MM
  • 5/8″ spark plug socket
  • 10 ½ inch drive 6pt sockets; SAE and MM

Weight and Dimensions

With significantly more tools, this set is much heavier at 20.4 pounds compared to the 65-piece set at 7.2 pounds.

The dimensions of the case are 33.2 x 18.4 x 2.7 inches.

Despite being heavier and larger than the other sets from Stanley, it is still easy to carry, transport and store.

The case folds nice and flat and can be slipped in a drawer or underneath a workbench. At 2.7 inches from front to back, the case is actually thinner than the 65-piece set which is 3.2 inches wide.

Warranty Information

This set comes with the exact same limited lifetime warranty as the other two Stanley sets. Read more about it here.

Downsides of This Set

This set comes with almost every tool you could need but is missing the most basic tool, a hammer.

I’m assuming most homeowners who buy this will already have a hammer, but if you’re starting from scratch like I was, that will be one tool you need to buy individually.

It also doesn’t come with a level which is a problem for me since hanging pictures is one of the things I do most.

Also, this is a comprehensive set of tools so you likely won’t use all of them on a regular basis. I’m sure there will be some tools that you never use at all. This will be the case any time you buy a large bundle of products like this but something to keep in mind if you just need the basics and are on a budget.

Price

When you get more, you pay more, and this tool set is no exception. This is one of the more expensive homeowners’ tool sets you can buy and that is simply because you’re getting over 200 pieces. Check the latest price and see more details about this set on Amazon.

Honorable Mention: Kobalt 119-Piece Homeowners Tool Set

Kobalt 119 piece household tool set

If for some reason you are not a big fan of Stanley like I am, another great option is Kobalt.

Kobalt offers a good quality 119-piece set that has all the essential tools and comes in a convenient and durable nylon case.

Kobalt is a manufacturer of hand, mechanic and power tools and they’ve been in business since 1998.

They are owned by Lowe’s, the home improvement stores.

Although Kobalt doesn’t have a long history as Stanley does, their products are well made and are often less expensive than the larger brand names.

Tools in This Set

This Kobalt set comes with a similar mix of tools as Stanley.

What I like most about this set is that it includes more sockets and bits than the Stanley 65-piece set but also includes a hammer and a level, two items that the Stanley 210-piece set doesn’t come with.  

Here’s exactly what it comes with:

  • 32 popular socket sizes
  • 2 ratchets
  • 2 extensions
  • Spinner handle
  • Magnetic bit driver with
  • 40 insert bits
  • 32 popular socket sizes
  • 6 screwdrivers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • 16 hex keys
  • 13-ounce hammer
  • 12 ft measuring tape (4 feet shorter than Stanley)
  • Utility knife
  • Level
  • Voltage tester (not included in any of the Stanley sets)
  • Electrical tape (not included in any of the Stanley sets)
  • 2 cutting mats and a plastic storage case for small items
  • Long-nosed pliers
  • Diagonal cutters
  • Linesman pliers

Weight and Dimensions

When folded, the case dimension is 16 x 7 x 7 inches which makes it boxier than the flat Stanley cases.

The weight of this set is not readily available but it is likely somewhere in between the Stanley 210-piece set which is 20.4 pounds and the Stanley 65-piece set which is 7.2 pounds.

As I mentioned before, unlike Stanley which uses a hard plastic case, this Kobalt set comes with a soft nylon case with a leather bottom. It has fabric pockets for each tool secured with Velcro and plastic clips.

Warranty Information

Kobalt has a handful of different warranties that vary by product. Like most tool manufacturers, unless you break the product by using it in an unintended manner, you can get a replacement free of charge.

Kobalt Lifetime Hassle-Free Guarantee covers sockets, ratchets, wrenches, hammers, utility knives, pliers, and levels.

Their guarantee states “You should never have a problem with your Kobalt Tool. However, if you do, return the item to the place of purchase for a free replacement. No questions asked. This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights that vary from state to state.”

Their Satisfaction Guarantee covers tape measures and states: “If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, simply return the product to the place of purchase within 90 days. We, at our option, will repair it, replace it, or, based on your method of payment with a valid receipt, refund your money.”

For more information about these warranties, go to Kobalttools.com/guarentee.

Downsides of This Set

Kobalt is the Lowe’s store brand and the perception of store brands are that they are of lower quality.

The tools get solid reviews and, based on all of our research, hold up just as well as any other brand including Stanley.

Some customers are not fans of the soft nylon case. They complain that tools fall out of the pockets and it’s not as easy to fold up as Kobalt claims.

You can see in the photos on Amazon how this could be true.

Otherwise, this is a complete set of homeowners tools that comes with a solid warranty and the backing of one of the top brands in the home improvement category, Lowe’s.

Price

This set is sold at Lowe’s stores, Lowes.com and on Amazon. Be sure to check all three because sometimes the prices vary.

Kobalt is worth a look but, based on my research, the price of this set is often similar or even higher than the Stanley 210-piece set.

If that is the case at the time you are shopping, I’d highly recommend going with the Stanley 210-piece set. It’s a more trusted brand and comes with almost 100 more pieces.

You can always pick up a hammer and the handful of other pieces you need for a few dollars.

Thank You for Reading Our Review of the Best Tool Sets for Homeowners!

When it comes to homeowners tool sets, the most important things to consider are quality, the variety of tools, and price.

In my opinion, Stanley is the brand that checks all three of those boxes. If you’re looking for the bare minimum, the 51-piece is best.

If you do a moderate number of projects, go with the 65-piece (it’s my favorite). If you want to make sure you’re prepared for anything, the 210-piece set has you completely covered. It comes down to your needs and budget.

Please let us know what we missed. Are there other brands or sets that you think are better than Stanley? Do you agree or disagree with our review? You can contact us directly or leave a comment below, we’d love to hear your feedback.

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