Author Topic: Good general home maintenance tool kits?  (Read 1073 times)

dcheesi

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Good general home maintenance tool kits?
« on: October 19, 2021, 08:40:57 AM »
All,

I've got an old toolkit that I've been using for years (a gift from my dad 20+ years ago), but it's starting to reach end of life. Recently all the screwdriver bits spontaneously rusted(?!) just from sitting in a moderately humid room (my home office, which happens to have the worst HVAC service in the whole house). And some of the tools are starting to rust or otherwise show their age.

I'd like to replace it with a quality toolkit that would be BifL, or at least worth trying to maintain/restore in a similar scenario[1]. Just wondering if there are recommended brands or specific sets? I know tool branding runs in downward cycles[2], so I don't want to just guess based on name recognition.

The vast majority of my use is the screwdriver with various heads. The current kit also has a socket wrench & sockets, some plyers, adjustable wrenches, and a hammer. I don't have to have all of that in one kit, but it sure is convenient. But individual kits and a small toolbox would also work.


[1]My dad got fooled by the "Sears" vs. "Craftsman" distinction, back when the former was known for the latter tools. I'm confident that he'd meant to get me Craftsman tools, which had a BifL reputation and possibly even a lifetime warranty? But these tools are "Sears" brand and made in China (before everything was); while they've been serviceable for many years, they were never top tier in terms of quality (the case, in particular, has always been awkward due to cheapness; also the propensity to rust was there from the beginning).

[2]The basic cycle, as I understand it: 1) New profesional-grade brand is established, and gains a positive reputation. 2) laymen and DIYers start to hear about it and prefer said brand. 3) company converts the brand to mass-market. 4) brand quality is progressively cut in the name of cost savings, while still leaning on its earlier reputation to make sales. 5) meanwhile, a new pro brand is created... "lather, rinse, repeat"

Sibley

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Re: Good general home maintenance tool kits?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2021, 08:45:09 AM »
Well, your bigger problem is that you have high humidity. Get a dehumidifier.

As for the took box, just go to the hardware store, look at their kits, and get one that seems to have what you need/doesn't have what you don't need. If you fix your humidity problem you should be fine.

sonofsven

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Re: Good general home maintenance tool kits?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2021, 09:32:16 AM »
If you want a good screwdriver with multiple bits check the Klein brand, expect to pay about $20.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Good general home maintenance tool kits?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2021, 09:42:50 AM »
It really depends on how much you expect to use the tools. For example, a $70 Harbor Freight cordless drill is a fine option if it only gets used a few times a year. With more use, a $140 Dewalt drill would be a good option, and if you are using it every day the $350 Festool drill could be the best option.

dcheesi

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Re: Good general home maintenance tool kits?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2021, 10:42:23 AM »
If you want a good screwdriver with multiple bits check the Klein brand, expect to pay about $20.
Thanks!

dcheesi

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Re: Good general home maintenance tool kits?
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2021, 10:53:19 AM »
It really depends on how much you expect to use the tools. For example, a $70 Harbor Freight cordless drill is a fine option if it only gets used a few times a year. With more use, a $140 Dewalt drill would be a good option, and if you are using it every day the $350 Festool drill could be the best option.
Oh yeah, I'm a big fan of the "buy cheap the first time" strategy for novel tools. Buy HF or equivalent the first time you need a particular tool, then buy the "real deal" if/when the cheap one breaks or fails to do the job. Saves money on all the specialty tools that you end up only needing once, and for the regular use tools you get a better idea of what you want/need from that tool type (and how often) going forward.

In this case, I already know that I use most of these tools frequently enough to warrant buying for quality. But since these (cheap) tools have worked for me for so long, I'm not sure what the best current options are; hence the question.

PMG

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Re: Good general home maintenance tool kits?
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2021, 06:06:20 AM »
But, does rust affect their usability?  Clean them up and keep going?

dcheesi

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Re: Good general home maintenance tool kits?
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2021, 07:19:22 AM »
But, does rust affect their usability?  Clean them up and keep going?
The tools I could probably clean up. The screwdriver bits are another matter; they seem to be eaten up by it to some extent. Amazing that it could happen so quickly, after so many years of being perfectly fine (as opposed to the other tools, which had shown a bit of rust potential previously).

Fishindude

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Re: Good general home maintenance tool kits?
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2021, 08:59:00 AM »
Tools are one of those type of things, if you buy the good stuff, it will last your lifetime.
Don't waste money on cheap tools or you will at some point be buying it again, in which case you will likely have spent more $$.   Also, cheap tools simply do not work as well.