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Best Tool Set For The Money  
Everything You Need to Know to Get a Great Tool Set at a Great Price
Top Five for the Money (Based on our Frugal5 Formula)
How do we pick these products? We spend many hours doing unbiased research to only give you the highest rated products at the best price. We first come up with a list of features, which you can see below, that we feel the majority of people will need. We then look for the highest quality products with these features and only show you the top five with the best value. Our mission is to provide you with the best five options based only on the facts. Don't see the product you were thinking about getting? Click here to calculate it's frugal score.
Denali 115-Piece Home Repair Tool KitApollo Precision Tools DT9408 53-Piece Tool KitGreat Neck TK208 Mechanic's Stanley 94-248 65-Piece General Homeowner's SetCrescent CTK70MP 70-Piece Mechanics
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Product Rating
Average Price
Cheap ($48)
Cheap ($30)
Cheap ($62)
Cheap ($35)
Cheap ($50)
Frugal5 Score
Features Needed
A Multitude Of Tools
- 115 pieces
- 53 pieces
- 208 pieces
- 65 pieces
- 70 pieces
Case Lock
- Zipper
- Plastic snaps
- Plastic snaps
- Plastic snaps
- Plastic snaps
Chrome Plated And Polished
Storage Case
- Storage back
- Molded plastic
- Molded plastic
- Molded plastic
- Molded plastic
Features Not Needed
Drill Bits
- 5 piece masonry bit set, 13 piece high speed steel set
Limited Use Items
- Electrical tape, zip ties
- 30 day
- 1 year
- Limited lifetime
- Limited lifetime
- Limited lifetime
What You Need To Know In 5 Minutes

Tool sets are often where people first turn when they’re looking to start a tool collection, or they want an all encompassing set around the home, but they don’t have a lot of money. They’re convenient because you can get a lot of tools for a small price. If you’re a beginner when it comes to tools, or just need some quick and can’t afford to buy a bunch of individual pieces, tool sets are amazing. You get everything you need.  

If you fall into this category of individual, then there is some good news. A lot of companies offer decent quality entry level tools sets. Sure, the tools aren’t going to be as top quality as something you’d get from Snap-on, but guess what? Odds are you won’t use the tools you decide to buy everyday.  You don’t need the same super durable and quality tools that professionals use for hours every single day in a shop. This is good, because with that professional quality and top of the line durability, you’re going to pay a premium. 

So, here is what you should keep in mind when looking to buy a tool set on a budget. 

Storage case

You’re going to need something to store you tools in. Ideally, you’re going to want to pick up a toolbox at some point, but hey, I get that sometimes money doesn’t always allow for that. You’re already buying a set of tools. Who wants to buy extra stuff?  

So, especially if you don’t have a toolbox or plan on getting one, the tool set you choose should come with a storage case (generally either molded plastic or some sort of bag). This will offer the tools basic protection against things like spills or elements. Molded plastic cases have the added benefit of offering specific places for every tool. This is great for people that like organization because it saves you time. 

Case lock

The case that needs to come with every tool should have some sort of way to lock as well. Cases that don’t lock are very unsafe (the case could potentially open during transport and spill tools everywhere) and highly inconvenient. Most molded hard plastic cases lock via a pair of plastic snaps on the lid, and most bags lock with zippers, and both do just fine. 

A multitude of different tools

The tool set that you decide to purchase should have a wide variety of different pieces. These pieces should be comprised of things that you’re going to most likely use around your house such as sockets, hex keys, bits, bit drivers, open ended wrenches, pliers, ratchets, hammers, etc. At minimum, there should be at least 50 different tools included in an ideal set, but most budget-minded sets have more than that. 

Chrome plated, polished tools

I have talked about this before in some of the other articles on this site, but chrome plated, polished tools are great to have, especially for beginners, because they help aid in cleanup and offer a degree of rust protection. If you spill something like oil on a tool, it will wipe right off. This is good for cleanup, and it adds to the longevity of your tools. 

So, now you know what features are completely necessary in a tool set. What features may be convenient to have, but no necessary?

Drill bits

Some tool sets come with a set of drill bits. This is great, but in order to use them you need a whole other tool, which isn’t good if you’re on a budget. Pretty much everything else in your average tool set doesn’t need something extra to be used, and if you do then it’s included in the set (for instance, if you get a set of sockets with your tool set, it’s going to come with at least one ratchet too). So, for this reason, drill bits are nice, but you don’t really need them in a set. 


Warranties are awesome because they offer a bit of piece of mind when they’re included with a product. They show that the manufacturer has faith enough in their product to replace it if anything should happen. However, they’re not really necessary to have, even if they are good.

Inclusion of items that can only be used a limited number of times

I get why a company would want to include something in a set that’s convenient to have but can only be used a limited number of times, like electrical tape. However, since they can only be used a certain of times they’re not really necessary. Plus, if you have a blow molded case and it comes with a roll of tape, for instance, then as soon as that tape is gone you have an empty space in your case. You could probably find tape that’s just as big as the one that was used up to fit in the space in your case, but what if you can’t? For that reason, items like tape or zip ties that can only be used a certain number of times aren’t necessary to have in a set and shouldn’t sway your decision.     

When sets come with tools that are offered in both metric and SAE sizes, like hex keys or sockets, they generally offer a small amount of both measurements. However, this isn’t always the case. So if you have primarily one type of measurement in your home with fasteners and the like, keep that in mind. 

Brands like Great Neck, Stanley, and Apollo Precision all make very decent starter sets of tools for individuals that don’t have a lot of money. Brands like Snap-on, Mac, and Matco are by far the best quality, but are extremely expensive. If you’re on a budget, they should be avoided. 

A good set of tools isn’t hard to find if you’re on a budget. Just keep the above mentioned features in mind, and don’t be swayed by unnecessary bonuses. 

Features You Need
A Multitude Of Tools, Case Lock, Chrome Plated And Polished, Storage Case
Features You Don't Need
Drill Bits, Limited Use Items, Warranty
What You Should Pay
Between $29.99 - $61.86
Top Of The Line Price
Over $300.00