Best DIY Tool Kit 2019

A new year means a new list of household projects that you swore you would do last year but life kind of got in the way. Start your new year off right with a new set of tools and finally get that shelf hung, that creaky stair sorted, and take a swing at that leaky tap.

Here is a selection of the top tools for your kit. We’ve sorted kit from “absolutely can’t live without” to “might be handy but not essential”. The tools have been picked based on their bang for buck rating, ease of use, and overall usefulness.

 

Essential Kit

Cordless Combi Drill

Cordless is the way of the future and it really does make life so much easier when there’s no cords to get tangled in when you’re 15 feet up a ladder. The prices of good quality cordless drills have plummeted recently so there really is no better time than now to get yourself kitted out.

We’ve gone for a combination drill here because of its added “Hammer Action”. This is a setting on the drill that forces the drill bit in and out while its rotating. It is this hammer action that lets you drill through the brickwork in your home to hang up that heavy curtain rail securely.

Kit yourself out with a top range drill from a premier manufacturer! The Milwaukee M18BPD401C kit packs an awesome amount of power in to a light and compact frame that will happily chew through anything you put in front of it.

This drill comes equipped with 3 modes. You have the standard rotary action like your typical garden variety drill, there is also a screwdriver mode which slows the rotation and ups the torque (you then have 18 different torque settings giving you ultimate control) to drive screws into the thickest material, and the real party piece here is this drills hammer action! The powerful motor thrusts the solid metal 13mm keyless chuck backwards and forwards and forces the drill bit through any home masonry you can find.

This kit comes complete with a 4Ah battery which means you’ll have plenty of juice to get through the job and won’t be waiting around all day for it to charge and, should the worst happen, this drill is covered by Milwaukee’s impressive 3 year warranty. You really can’t go wrong here.

 

Bang for Buck -

At the time of writing, you can pick this drill up for £109.99+ and considering the battery itself is worth £49.99+ this really is an unbelievable price for the quality of tool you will receive.

 

Ease of Use -

This is a serious tool with serious features and the 18 torque settings, gear speeds, and combination modes may put some less experienced people off but, other than that, this is as close to a point and click drill that you’re going to find at this level. Solid effort.

 

Overall Usefulness -

If you’re going to be doing any sort of DIY, then you will need a drill either now or at some point soon. While this drill lacks some of the power and features of flagship models, it will absolutely pull its weight in the home tool box. You know it makes sense.

 

Hammer

You’ve made the hole with your fancy new Milwaukee drill but now you need to drive the plug and nail into it. Now its time to really get hands on.

We’re not suggesting you go mad and blow the Christmas money on a hammer forged in the fires of Pompeii but the last thing you want is to take a swing and the head fly off behind you. It does happen!

Drop the pound shop rubbish and get yourself something that’s going to last until at least next year.

The 051310 Fibreglass 20oz Claw Hammer from Stanley doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel because it doesn’t need to.

The forged high carbon steel head has been heat treated and rim tempered for durability and stability. A fibreglass handle provides advanced shock absorption and the texture rubber grip ensures it wont slip out of your hand no matter how hot and clammy they get.

A solid hammer from a quality brand that will still give you change from a tenner, there really isn’t much more you can ask for.

 

Bang for buck -  

At the time of writing, this hammer comes in at a wallet friendly £7.99+ which is just about a McDonalds lunch, but that lunch will turn into a useless pile of waste long before this sturdy tool does. Yes, it does lack some features that may be useful to the more seasoned DIY’er but it will get you out of most jams. No tool box should be without one, top marks.

 

Ease of use -

Remember the toy hammer you had as a kid? This works in literally the same way in that you hit things with it. These days its dangerous to call anything “idiot proof” but this comes about as close as it gets.

 

Overall Usefulness -

This hammer lacks the bells and whistles of a nail notch, hatched face, pick end, or magnetic holder so it may fall short of some people’s expectations, but it drives a nail through wood like a knife through butter.

 

Tape Measure

Cut twice and measure once or however that old saying went. The moral of the story here is that you need to be accurate in your measurements and it is impossible for you to be accurate if your tape measure isn’t so save yourself the headache and get a good one at the start.

A 5 meter tape measure is really the minimum you want to be aiming for unless your work is specialised and you know what you’re going to be doing with it. You also don’t want to go too cheap and cheap pricing means cheap manufacturing and cheap manufacturing means inaccuracies!

A well looked after tape measure of good quality can last you many years in a DIY environment so think of it more as an investment.

 

Stanley is the king of hand tools and it certainly shows on this list. If you look around any building site in the country, you’re guaranteed to find a Stanley tape measure somewhere on it and for good reason.

Featuring a Mylar coated blade and an even harder Blade Armour coating on the first 150mm, this tape is built to stand up to the toughest conditions on site and the true zero end hook 32mm wide blade means your measurements will be pin point accurate time after time.

Bang for buck -

This may not be the cheapest tape measure in the world coming in at £18.99+ at the time of writing but this is a precision instrument that, with proper care, will last you many years and pay for itself time and time over. Yes, there are higher end tapes out there that feature advanced features such as a finger guard and a huge standout length but with higher specs comes a higher price tag so there is a bit of a balancing act to do.

Ease of use -

The extra wide 32mm blade gives you crystal clear visibility and the end hook is designed to have a bit of wobble, so you can get your pencil lead right on the 0 for the most accurate measurement possible.

On the other hand, this is not a light tape measure by any means and the 32mm blade has a ferocious kick if you’re not controlling it all the way back on the return, so it does require your attention and respect if you want to keep your fingers intact.

Overall Usefulness -

You will need a tape measure, there is no question. This tape has everything you need and will last you years. You would have to try really hard to go wrong with this.

 

Spirit Level

There’s no point kitting yourself out with all these great tools and then finding the shelf you’ve just put up could double as a Ski slope. You need to make sure your lines are straight and the easiest way to do that is with a spirit level.

This ingenious bit of kit can tell you exactly how straight your lines are on the vertical and horizontal, all through the magic of air and liquid.

 

Stabila really are the last word in spirit levels and if anyone knows their way around a bubble its these lot.

This list is aimed at the home DIY toolkit, so it would be impractical to suggest you spring for a 6 foot level that is a pain to store so instead we suggest this smaller level made to the same extremely high Stabila standards but can still slip in to a toolbox without any issues.

This handy little level uses Rare Earth Magnets to cling on to metallic surfaces with 5 times the holding power of standard ferrite magnets and the vials have an accuracy of just 0.5mm per meter. Strength and accuracy summed up in a fantastic level well worthy of the Stabila name.

 

Bang for buck -

This is not the cheapest tool box level out there, but we guarantee that no other comparable level has the same pin point accuracy and solid construction as this one. Perhaps you don’t need rare earth magnets for your home DIY level but, at this price range, you would only be saving a handful of change so it’s worth stumping up the extra for the quality.

 

Ease of use -

Stabila are known for their crystal clear vial glass that will not cloud over time and the charmingly simple nature of the spirit level in general makes this particular example a joy to use for years to come.

 

Overall Usefulness -

The usefulness of a spirit level simply cannot be overstated. You will need a spirit level for any DIY construction be it a planter, shelf, or shed so grab this one now!

 

Hand Saw

There are so many handsaws out there that it can be tricky to select the one that’s right for you so, based on the general needs of the general DIY’er, we have selected the Irwin Jack 880 Plus.

There are so many handsaws out there that it can be tricky to select the one that’s right for you so, based on the general needs of the general DIY’er, we have selected the Irwin Jack 880 Plus.

 

The Irwin handsaw is ideal for the home tool kit. Measuring in at only 350mm it’s the perfect size to fit in a tool box or slide into a tool bag and the 8 teeth per inch (tpi) means it’ll cut as quick as you can pull without any issues.

 

 Bang for buck -

This saw is currently on sale for £10 which does put it at the higher end of the spectrum, but you are paying for quality and the ability to cut through a wide range of different materials without having to keep different types of saw.

 

Ease of use -

The Irwin Jack Plus 880 is as straightforward as it gets. The ergonomic hand grip is designed to give you maximum control and the 3 scoop design of the teeth lets you power through any material you put in front of it.

 

Overall Usefulness -

No workshop would be complete without a handsaw and its many benefits, so this truly is a worth addition to your tool box.

The only reason for 4 stars is that the overall length is a bit shorter than normal to make it tool box friendly so that does sacrifice some cutting length and, if you’re on a particularly large project, you may need to wheel out that mitre saw after all.

 

Screwdrivers

A few brands come close when it comes to screwdriving but Wera still remains the leader of the pack.


The Wera engineering wizards over in Germany have managed to combine a screwdriver and a chisel. Using the humour and whimsy that Germans are so known for, they have named this device the “Chiseldriver”.

Putting the rather unimaginative name to one side, the Chiseldriver is a superb bit of kit. An integrated impact cap is there to absorb the hammer strikes which then transfers that energy down the hexagonal pound-thru blade, and in to Wera trademarked Black Point tip to chisel and drive efficiently.

This all comes complete with Wera’s famous Kraftform handle, hexagonal bolster, and hexagonal shoulder so you really do get the full package.

 

Bang for buck -

The price for this 6 piece set is currently £27.59 inc so that puts each driver at a cost of around about £4.60 which is an absolute bargain when you’re not only getting some of the finest screwdrivers on the market but also a chisel that will likely still be going strong many years from now.

 

Ease of use -

Wera have covered all the bases with these drivers. They have a hexagonal bolster, so you can actually use a wrench on them to gain more torque if you have a particularly problematic screw to sort out and they have a hexagonal shoulder so, when you put your screwdriver down, it wont roll away. They really have thought of everything.

 

Overall Usefulness -

Okay, perhaps you don’t need a screwdriver and a chisel in one but try to think about it a different way. This screwdriver is designed and intended to be used and abused as a chisel so imagine how tough and durable it’ll be if you solely use it for screwdriving! These screwdrivers are the best in class and durable enough to last you years. A good purchase any way you look at it.

 

The Advanced Toolkit

As your skill set grows, so will your projects, and so will your tool box. Here is a collection of tools that you will more than likely end up purchasing as you get more and more confident (or ambitious).

 

Hammer Drill

Combi drills are amazing bits of kit but sometimes they just lack the power to get through solid walls often found in older UK homes. This is where the hammer drill comes in.

A much more powerful motor forces the specialised drill bit in and out to smash through solid brick and concrete, many hammer drills will also come with a chiselling function which is absolutely invaluable for taking tiles off the wall, loosening bricks, and most other destructive work.

 

This was a tough one because there are just so many different types of hammer drills (otherwise known as SDS+ drills) on the market that offer a wealth of functions and benefits, but we have to remember this is a home DIY toolkit so a £700 cordless brushless drill with bells and whistles just wouldn’t be practical.

Instead, we have gone with the Makita HR2630 corded SDS+ hammer drill. Makita is a brand name you can trust, it’s used on building sites all over the country and is just at home on site as it is in your kitchen.

The HR2630 comes with the 3 modes that you’d expect from an SDS+ drill being hammer mode, rotary only mode, and the chisel mode we mentioned earlier so you get the full package along with Makita’s first class aftersales service. What more could you ask for?

 

Bang for buck -

SDS+ Drills are not toys and a serious amount of thought and engineering goes in to every single on. Prices can be as high as over £1,000 for a flagship model but this Makita can be had for as little as £99.99+ at the time of writing and packs plenty of punch. If you need an SDS+ but don’t need a re-mortgage, then this is the ideal tool for you.

 

Ease of use -

Improper use of this drill can lead to very serious injury, so it must always be treated with respect  and all of the proper PPE must be worn when operating it. This tool is certainly not for beginners and the power may be intimidating to less experienced users.

 

Overall Usefulness -

This tool isn’t something you’re going to be whipping out on a whim but when you need one you REALLY need one so its worth the investment and, with proper care, a good quality SDS+ will last for many years of home use.

 

Mitre Saw

It’s not the Old West anymore, gone are the days of slaving away with a handsaw when you’re trying to build a new deck. Save your time and save your aching back with a powered mitre saw.

Quick and accurate cuts are the name of the game here and you can even tilt and twist the saw head to get an almost infinite number of different angled cuts. The possibilities are limited only to your imagination.

There are a few things to look out for when choosing a mitre saw. You want to make sure it has the bevel and mitre capacity to do what you want it to do, you also need to make sure it has a solid baseplate to stop any unwanted movement from the material, and you also want to ensure it has dust collection facilities. A simple checklist for a far from simple tool.

 

Sticking with the theme of DIY we’ve chosen the Metabo KS216M mitre saw. Metabo are a well-established power tool brand with a quality you can trust and an aftercare service you can rely on so this saw seemed the clear choice.

The KS216M features a powerful 1350W motor that can spin a 216mm blade at up to 5000rpm! Power sure isn’t an issue here and accuracy isn’t either with a double mitre function to 45 degrees and a turntable setting of 47 degrees both ways you’ll be able to achieve whatever kind of cut you need.

 

Bang for buck -

The KS216M does lack some features of the higher end models but, for DIY use, this will do the job no problem.

Coming in at £89.99+ at the time of writing means it wont break the bank either.

 

Ease of use -

There are a lot of switches, dials, pulleys, and levers that go in to giving you the perfect cut and it can be daunting even for more experienced users to get the exact cut they need.

If it’s a simple straight cut then its as easy as clamping the work piece, holding back the trigger release, and slowly passing the blade through the material but things can get quite complicated when you start introducing more angles.  

 

Overall Usefulness -

Mitre saws are a lifesaver and many jobs would not be possible without them. Yes, the handsaw has its place, but the mitre saw truly is the king of cutting.

If you don’t have a need for one now, I guarantee you will find a need for one sooner rather than later so grab a bargain now.

 

Work Bench

This is a 4-in-1 multipurpose workstation, platform, truck, and creeper.

 

It’s a compact & portable workbench with removable MDF work surface and integrated handy tool tray. Marked with 180° and a metric rule. Adjustable legs lock for safety and can take up to 150kg!

Plus, it’s a work platform and slip step board with locking latch arm on each leg and non-slip feet, taking up to 150kg/330lbs max load capacity.

Plus, it’s a truck with non-slip large loading surface and flip-out handles with up to 110kg/220lbs max load capacity.

Plus, it’s a car creeper with non-slip work surface with 4 casters for gliding beneath cars, taking up to 100kg max load capacity.

You can also fold it flat and store it behind the sofa if you so choose.

 

Bang for buck -

At the time of writing this platform is coming in at £49.99+ so it really is a bargain. Yes, there are platforms out there that can do a bit more, but you would be hard pressed to find better value for money in a platform.

 

Ease of use - ★★

Once you learn what bits to push and pull to make it work then this is an absolute breeze to set up and fold away.

 

Overall Usefulness -

It may not be every day that you need a 100Kg capable truck and creeper, but the platform and workbench are absolutely invaluable in the home and on site.

 

Having the right tools for the job will make your life so much easier and give you the finish you want on the hard work that you do so it really does pay to invest in one quality tool that lasts instead of 5 tools that break on first use.

Everyone’s needs are different, but we hope this list will give you a basic idea of what to start with and what to look out for when you are building your own collection and taking on all of the DIY projects that have built up over 2018.

What are you must have tools? What have you got in your tool box already? Let us know in the comments below and feel free to give us a shout if you need help or advice when building your collection!

Mentioned Products
  1. Stanley STHT0-51310 Fibreglass Claw Hammer 20oz
    £13.99 ex VAT (£16.79 inc VAT) View Product
  2. Stanley 533886 FatMax Tape Measure 5m/16ft
    £20.99 ex VAT (£25.19 inc VAT) View Product
  3. Stabila STB81SREM 81 S REM Magnetic Level 250mm
    £26.99 ex VAT (£32.39 inc VAT) View Product
  4. Irwin 1897526 Jack 880 Plus Universal Handsaw 350mm/14'
    £9.49 ex VAT (£11.39 inc VAT) View Product
  5. Wera 018282 932/6 Chiseldriver SL/PH Kraftform Plus 6 Piece Set
    £24.99 ex VAT (£29.99 inc VAT) View Product
  6. Makita HR2630 Makita 3 Mode SDS+ Rotary Hammer Drill
    £99.99 ex VAT (£119.99 inc VAT) View Product
  7. Metabo KS216M Metabo 216mm Mitre Saw 240 Volts
    £99.99 ex VAT (£119.99 inc VAT) View Product
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