New Homeowner, what sets are essential right now?


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Old 04-10-09, 03:26 PM
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New Homeowner, what sets are essential right now?

New homeowner here. Not gonna lie, always used dad's stuff when I needed something.

Lived in an apartment for 5 years...just got my first house.

I don't want some basic starter set that they have (unless you think I should get one).

However, I want some above-average quality tools that I will need for the majority of work that needs to be done around the house.

What do you suggest me getting? What are the best brand-names that I can't go wrong with that won't cost me an arm and a leg?
 
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Old 04-10-09, 04:01 PM
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Hand tools or power tools?

For home owner use any brand of power tools that are well known national brands will do the job.Avoid any power tool that is imported from China etc or that is branded with a name you don't recognize.Store brands like Craftsman are fine as they are made by national brand name manufacturers.

Beyond that it all depends on just how often and how serious you intend to use the tools.Brands like DeWalt,Makita,Milwaukee,Bosch and others are better tools but cost more and are overkill for average light duty household use.

You need a 3/8 chuck drill.If you can swing both a corded and cordless do so otherwise corded will be better if you only have one drill.You want variable speed reversing.Don't go bottom of the line mid priced has more grunt.

You could use a jig saw and a sander too.Again mid priced moderately featured brand name.

As for hand tools,again avoid cheapy imported tools but better imported hand tools are not bad at all.Store brands like Sear,Ace Hardware,True Value etc are good mid level tools.Brand names are great tools but you will pay for it so it again depends on how much and in what way you'll use them.Brand name tools also last longer so in some ways it's a better buy but it's case by case basis.

As for exactly which tools,there are basics and then beyond that and it begins to get into just how well equipped you want to be.

Hammer,pliers of several types,adustable wrenches,Screwdrivers of a variety of types....

Socket set,channelocks (really called groove joint pliers) various saws,measuring devices,various knives and blades...

Drill bit set preferably with screwdriver and nutsetter bits,blades and accessories for any power tools...

You're better off shopping where there is saleshelp with knowledge to help you pick out the best tools for you out of what they stock,which will vary from merchant to merchant.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something....
 
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Old 04-10-09, 04:29 PM
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Agree w/everything already said...except one thing. Most brands now put 1/2" chucks on at least a few drills in their lines. It's not a big deal..but you'll save money not having to buy stepped shank bits.

You won't need over 3/8 too often..but when you do..it sucks having to find a stepped shank in the right size.

Don't forget to check places like Sears repair centers, and Auth service centers for other brands...many times they have repaired/discontinued tools and accessories with full warranties for much less than standard retail.
 
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Old 04-10-09, 04:38 PM
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Garage sales , Flea markets ,habitat for humanity restore classified ads and ebay

have overfilled my toolbox's

I purchase very few tools new

as to what to buy its been pretty well covered

after you get some basics , plan your projects ahead and watch out for the tools you need
 
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Old 04-10-09, 05:33 PM
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I'd add that on elec power tools - look at the amp rating. A 10-12 amp [or higher] usually indicates a better/stronger motor than the ones that only have a few amps.

I don't know your dad but he might be willing to sell you some of his tools cheap and use it as an excuse to buy the better model he's been wanting
He can probably give you some good advice on buying tools since he knows you better than we do
 
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Old 04-10-09, 11:56 PM
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Great article for you. Buy latest copy of Popular Mechanics--50 tools every man needs
& how to use them like a pro.
Have fun.................................
 
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Old 04-11-09, 09:03 AM
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Thanks for all of the tips!

As for popular mechanics, do you agree with the article? I'm gonna go pick it up right now.

Is popular mechanics the best magazine for home improvement things?
 
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Old 04-11-09, 09:09 AM
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Just got my issue yesterday, haven't taken it to the "library" yet...lol. It normally has some helpful articles..but only a relatively small section of the magazine. Try "The Family Handyman"..it has tool reviews and projects/repairs from basic to more advanced. Good for a beginner.
 
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Old 04-11-09, 09:31 AM
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Also,

Where do you guys recommend for getting my tools with a % off?

For example, I'm going to probably spend $5-600 worth and might as well get 10% off. Do you know anything out there right now going on?

Oh, and included in that $500-600 is going to be a grill...and maybe a lawnmower.

Thanks.
 
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Old 04-11-09, 09:35 AM
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PM and other home improvement etc mags should be a part of your information sources but not all,not taken as gospel and in fact looked at a little with a grain of salt,as they say.

Some of the info is great some not so much and some not realistic for regualr people living regular lives.Some is driven by essentially product placement and advertising.

That said it can offer insight on future trends etc. as well as decent project based info.

When you see technology or new tools and so forth it's often at least 6 months before they really become widely available in the retail product stream.Don't go running out for that new tool the day you get the mag as you may have to wait for it and/or demand way out strips supply at that point.

If you're really interested in building a home improvement reference source books are the better idea and they last forever.
 
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Old 04-11-09, 09:42 AM
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Most Craftsman hand tools are a good value..since they normally have a lifetime replacement policy. They almost alwys have some sets on sale. It also depends on what stores you have around you. I've used Kobalt (Lowes) tools, and they look and feel pretty good, but I don't own any. I have some of my Dads hand tools (probably 50+ years old) and they still work just fine. S&K socket set, Ace tap & die set, Crescent and Craftsman wrenches and Channel-lock pliers.

Don't expect to be able to load up the whole garage for $5-600. A decent grill and lawnmower will eat $400 or more of that pretty quick.
 
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Old 04-11-09, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by runaway22 View Post
Also,

Where do you guys recommend for getting my tools with a % off?

For example, I'm going to probably spend $5-600 worth and might as well get 10% off. Do you know anything out there right now going on?

Oh, and included in that $500-600 is going to be a grill...and maybe a lawnmower.

Thanks.
A decent quality grill and lawnmower isn't going to leave you much of even your 600$.

I think you're leaning toward a low end mower and grill like big box quality and I'd advise against that.

A mower worth having will run 200.If you pay less it's low end.Trust me I know what you get with mowers and the low end mowers are short lifers.As for grills if you buy a 100-150 dollar grill at a big box you are buying what we call a "disposible grill" as it will rust to the point of being unuseable in a couple of years tops.I've dragged away hundreds of them.Go a little better grade and don't buy one at a big box or you'll get low end quality even in a name brand.Example:Weber makes specific grills for big box with cast iron guts...they rust out.Look for stainless steel inner parts including grates and burners.

Much of what you are looking for runs on sale from time to time.No one retailer can be expected to have a percentage off all the time on all things.Shop sales,online sites of brick and mortar and check your sunday paper.Compare as all retailers make money on something so within the mix are items that are not priced lower and may be higher.
 
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Old 04-11-09, 10:33 AM
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Tools

Why tie up your money all at once? As you prepare to do a project, buy the tools you need for that project. By the time you are 70, you will just about have all the tools you need.
 
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Old 04-11-09, 01:34 PM
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I will recommend only buying craftsmen tool without motors. Their hand tools are great but their power tools are normally made by the lowest bidder.

I would skip the corded drill and get a good name cordless. They have plenty of power and the batteries will last you long enough between charges for all but the most intense drilling. Home Depot carries Rigid brand with a lifetime warranty including the batteries. The only down side is you have to send it to them if it breaks.

I would also suggest a Fluke 7-300 or 7-600 electrical meter. It is by far the easiest meter to use. It is digital which some people poo poo but if you know what your doing it is not a big deal. (aka phantom voltage) Just so you know the voltage range is 4-300 (or4-600) volts so you can't check your AAA batteries with it.
 
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Old 04-13-09, 01:36 PM
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Are crafstman really "the best" hand tools?

My dad always had a mix of everything. My father-in-law has ONLY Crafstman.

Those are really the only two guys I've ever talked about building/fixing things with.

Is Craftsman better than Stanley, DeWalt, Mac, etc.? Is it the same?

I know some people on here probably think I should get these tools over time...but I'm going to use the PM list of 50 and get like 25 of them right now, that way I have them. However, I need to know what brand I should be getting.

Any suggestions would be great. Thanks.
 
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Old 04-13-09, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by runaway22 View Post
Are crafstman really "the best" hand tools?

My dad always had a mix of everything. My father-in-law has ONLY Craftsman.

Those are really the only two guys I've ever talked about building/fixing things with.

Is Craftsman better than Stanley, DeWalt, Mac, etc.? Is it the same?

I know some people on here probably think I should get these tools over time...but I'm going to use the PM list of 50 and get like 25 of them right now, that way I have them. However, I need to know what brand I should be getting.

Any suggestions would be great. Thanks.
Hand Tools:Craftsman are upper end of imported tools.They are not top end but a homeowner doesn't need that level of cost or quality.They are not better quality than most hardware store branded tools but are much better than cheapy tools.They carry a good guarantee but so do most equivalent brands these days.To go with branded top quality you'd have to shop a variety of stores to assemble the assortment you want.You would pay far more for those tools.

Power Tools:Craftsman tools are made by other manufacturers (Sears doesn't actually make anything) and I would equate the quality level to in home owner level equal to most home owner brand name tools such as Black and Decker and Skil.In higher level tools I'd equate them to DeWalt,Makita etc.The one issue is you don't actually know who made the tool or what brand and model it is based on so you cannot compare but it does carry a great guarantee and for home owner use should be fine.

Comparing Craftsman to other national brands would be an item by item brand by brand comparison and difficult to do.That said I've rarely heard anything that indicated a greatly inferior tool versus the same basic tool in a national brand.
 
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Old 04-13-09, 02:49 PM
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Craftsman may not be the best hand tools but they have the best warranty. Most decent hand tools have a lifetime warranty but how do you get them replaced under warranty? Some of the cheaper lifetime tools may not be available later or you need receipts to get them replaced. No problems replacing craftsman tools under warranty - that's why most of us like them

I think Lowes and Home Depot also warrant their brand of hand tools and replacements like Sears does. Most power tool warranties are as stated on the box.
 
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Old 04-13-09, 03:08 PM
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Runaway...as a rule..its cheaper to buy a set of tools, as opposed to each thing individually. If you can find a "carpenters" set for instance, that has most of the things you need, and a few you don't...consider buying it and adding on. Don't get the ones that come in a pouch, bag, or plastic box...since you will need more room for other items later.

Just buy the set and a seperate tool box. Get a tool box at least 3X larger than you think you need...it will fill up quick. Then you'll get another...and another...and another.
 
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Old 04-13-09, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Runaway...as a rule..its cheaper to buy a set of tools, as opposed to each thing individually. If you can find a "carpenters" set for instance, that has most of the things you need, and a few you don't...consider buying it and adding on. Don't get the ones that come in a pouch, bag, or plastic box...since you will need more room for other items later.

Just buy the set and a seperate tool box. Get a tool box at least 3X larger than you think you need...it will fill up quick. Then you'll get another...and another...and another.
Gun,

Do you have any recommendations for carpenters sets that you've seen in the paper, or just know of?

Also, what's your take on Crafstman? It seems like it's the general consensus here for home use...especially because of the warranty.
 
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Old 04-13-09, 03:34 PM
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Sears has always been known for tool sets and assortments.I suppose Lowe's and HD carry them as well but I know nothing about them.Ace stores don't generally stock them unless it's a large format store.

Sets will not have everything you want in them but they are good starts and you can take it from there.Beware of sets that are significantly cheaper than the individual tools as they are low end quality.You should look to save 10-20% tops on a set versus individual items.
 
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Old 04-13-09, 03:42 PM
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I think I was the first to mention Craftsman..IF you have a Sears nearby. I have lots of Craftsman HAND tools...and they perform just fine.
I also have some Husky, some Mac, Stanley and others....but I've been accumulating tools for 35-40 years. Some were hand me downs, some were purchased.

Craftsman also makes some Pro quality tools..but 99% of people don't need that.

Can't tell you of any deals or anything...small town here, don't even get the paper, and our Sears is the size of a 7/11. Everything has to be ordered.
 
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Old 04-13-09, 04:12 PM
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I agree with Spdavid, buy a hibachi and a pair of shears and let's get to tool buying! I've been watching this post too long without comment (save it!). You surely have an itch to scratch, so let's see what you can do. Any questions on the tools, let us know.
 
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Old 04-20-09, 08:30 PM
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Ahh...Owning a house. I've been in mine for a just a couple years and have begun the accumulation of tools and man is it expensive. A wise man (my dad) once said, "You can never have too many tools."

I can't add too much to what has already been said.

I've accumlated a mitre saw, table saw, a few 18V cordless drills (don't get a corded one to start), cordless sawzall (dewalt), craftsman sockets and wrenches, cordless circular saw (dewalt; hasn't seen a lot of work yet, so my thoughts are still pending), 4 gallon craftsman oiled air compressor a few others I can't remember (of course a grill and mower).

My next purchase is a bigger air compressor for the garage. I'm leaning towards the 15 gallon dewalt, but I've heard a few not-so-good things about the oilless compressors (mostly here).

Good Luck.
 
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Old 04-20-09, 11:36 PM
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I just bought my first house last 14 months ago so I can relate to your situation.

I agree with the guy who said that as projects come up get the tools you need. You will get a lot of useful tools that way. Stuff you would never think of.

Get a wheelbarrow. Incredibly useful. Best $50 I spent.

If your are going to get a drill I would seriously recommend a hammer drill. Because when the time come for you to do some serious drilling, like into concrete, a regular drill won't do it and you might burn it out trying. So get a powerful corded hammer drill for actual drilling and a cordless drill for a screwdriver or small wood projects.

You mentioned a lawnmower. I don't know where you live but I have a few lawnmower shops near me that sell used but professional grade mowers for a very good price. Check your local lawnmower shop for a mower.

I bought a "stainless steel" grill from walmart. I don't know If its actual stainless steel but it looks like stainless steel. LOL! Its been great so far. Of course I live in southern california where the weather is pretty mild but after a year my walmart grill is good. Time will tell.

As far as hand tools, besides screwdrivers and a hammer, the tools I use most are a small crowbar about 12 inches long and a level. Both are invaluable and pretty cheap.

Something simple I wish I had but I don't...Clamps to hold wood in place as you work. Honestly, every time I'm working on a project clamps would come in handy. I don't know why I don't have any yet.

My take on craftsman hand tools is I like them. Its what I have and they seem very solid to this average joe.

That's my 2 cents and a couple different suggestions for you.

Congratulations on the new house.
 
 

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