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Old 09-20-2010, 10:39 AM   #1
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Tools for a newlywed beginner


Hey everyone,

In the course of the next few weeks, a friend of mine is moving out of his parents' house and into an apartment, and getting married. I talked to a few mutual friends, and we decided that since he's going to be the man of the house, we should get him some tools. He isn't very handy as of yet, but we think they'll be useful for a lot of everyday things, like assembling furniture, hanging decorations, doing minor work on computers and such, etc. So, anyway, I have some questions relating to that.

1. What tools would he need? Right now I'm thinking a hammer, a bit driver set, a ratchet set, slip joint and needle nose pliers, a tape measure, a level, and we're also considering a hex key set, adjustable wrench, stud finder, utility knife, power drill, dremel, and hacksaw. Anything I should add, or anything seem unnecessary for a beginner?

2. I was originally thinking of getting him Craftsman tools, since I know that they are good quality tools, and will last him his whole life if he takes care of them. One of my friends who may be contributing thinks that in some cases, getting Craftsman may be going overboard, since he probably won't be putting his tools under as much use as an avid handyman, and as he put it, "You're never going to break a wrench." So, high quality all the way, or skimp in some places so we can add on more?

3. Speaking of wrenches, is it redundant to have a wrench set and a ratchet set? A bit driver set and a screw driver set?

4. Would it be better to get a premade tool set and supplement it with other things, or to custom build our own? Also, on that same line, a lot of the tool sets I see come with soft cases, how much better would a hard toolbox be?

5. Anything else you think I should know?

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Old 09-20-2010, 10:56 AM   #2
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Tools for a newlywed beginner


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Originally Posted by mephysteaux View Post

1. What tools would he need? Right now I'm thinking a hammer, a bit driver set, a ratchet set, slip joint and needle nose pliers, a tape measure, a level, and we're also considering a hex key set, adjustable wrench, stud finder, utility knife, power drill, dremel, and hacksaw. Anything I should add, or anything seem unnecessary for a beginner?
I think this is a great starter set. More is good, but you can't go wrong with the basics, just depends on your budget.

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2. I was originally thinking of getting him Craftsman tools, since I know that they are good quality tools, and will last him his whole life if he takes care of them. One of my friends who may be contributing thinks that in some cases, getting Craftsman may be going overboard, since he probably won't be putting his tools under as much use as an avid handyman, and as he put it, "You're never going to break a wrench." So, high quality all the way, or skimp in some places so we can add on more?
Personally, I think you are better off getting less pieces of higher quality. I have personally stripped dozens of bolt heads with cheap sockets and wrenches, because the tolerences are wrong or the tool themselves strip because they are cheaply made. Today's Craftsman tools aren't the same as your grandfathers Craftsmans, but they are still good tools and pretty affordable. a good bang for the buck IMO

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3. Speaking of wrenches, is it redundant to have a wrench set and a ratchet set? A bit driver set and a screw driver set?
Not at all. There are many times you need a wrench because too much bolt is sticking out for the depth of a socket, or the clearance won't allow you to get a rachet in there. A bit set will allow you to do things you can't do with a screwdriver, and allow you to have many tip options. A good starter set will include all of these items

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4. Would it be better to get a premade tool set and supplement it with other things, or to custom build our own? Also, on that same line, a lot of the tool sets I see come with soft cases, how much better would a hard toolbox be?
totally depends on personal preference and budget. Avoid high piece count sets that are really cheap, you're throwing money away on low qualitiy.

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5. Anything else you think I should know?
you are a good friend. It's great to see you putting so much thought into a gift!

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Old 09-20-2010, 12:05 PM   #3
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Tools for a newlywed beginner


I bought a Kobalt screwdriver set from Lowes, it was about 1/4 the price of the Craftsman kit and has the same lifetime warranty. Like said above, the new Craftsman tools are not high quality, they seem to be just average quality which is EXTREMELY overpriced in my opinion. Especially when other companies offer a no hassle lifetime warranty as well.

I know with the Lowes tools, they replaced an awl that I bent by using it as a pry tool haha. It was a simple walk in walk out, just like Sears.
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:21 PM   #4
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Tools for a newlywed beginner


I like the Ryobi 18volt kits. you can add in whatever tools you my ever need, and upgrade them all to Li with a new battery and charger..

My Father and I both got kits years back and the only failures have been 1 Ni-cad wearing out (still takes some carge with the new charger, but not the old) , and my dad somehow got his 2 speed drill jammed into low gear.
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:28 PM   #5
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Tools for a newlywed beginner


Until I started reading my tool set was good mostly for demolition. So I suggest including a subscription to Family Handyman etc and maybe cruise used bookstores for how-to books. They don't have to be pretty to sit on a garage bookshelf about the workbench.
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Old 09-20-2010, 01:03 PM   #6
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the new Craftsman tools are not high quality, they seem to be just average quality which is EXTREMELY overpriced in my opinion. Especially when other companies offer a no hassle lifetime warranty as well.
I don't buy any craftsman stuff unless it's on sale, which is often 50% off, so yes, it is overpriced when not on sale, but a good buy when it is. I neglected to mention that....
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Old 09-20-2010, 01:28 PM   #7
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Tools for a newlywed beginner


I think the mentioned magazine subscription is a good idea. He's moving to an apartment so the dremel tool & hack saw isn't really needed.
Besides the tools already mentioned, you might add a flashlight or 2. There is nothing really going on in an apartment where you'll need bunches of sockets or wrenches - maybe for the trunk of the car.
Not tool related, a small assortment of brads and sheetrock anchors.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:45 PM   #8
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Tools for a newlywed beginner


A good reference manual set is a must.

The big orange "Home Depot 1-2-3" book is surprisingly helpful in understanding a project, along with time and associated steps.

I would also suggest the Code Check series of condensed books - helpful to understand if a project it legal code-wise.

For apartment living, keep it simple.
Good new set of Screwdrivers, Basic and needle nose Pliers, a set of 1/4" socket wrenches in Metric and STD... and one big honking slip jaw wrench - the biggest you can find.

Instead of the Ryobi 18v tool set (I have and like them), I would suggest something less heavy duty.

Look at the Makita (or Bosch or Hitachi) 10.8 or 12v LiIon tool set that has a drill and impact driver. This set is small and light, and the LiIon batteries stay charged for months and recharge in 20min or less. CPO outlet has reconditioned versions of these for cheap.
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:19 AM   #9
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Tools for a newlywed beginner


You did not specify which "dremel", but I assume you are referring to the rotary tool. If so, may I recommend, instead, a little oscillating saw. The dremel multi-max is an example. (I use the Rockwell sonicrafter and am very happy with it.) The more I use this tool, the more uses I find for it and I believe most new homeowners would find more use for this than a rotary tool.

Like some of the other posters stated, a battery-powered kit that includes your drill, driver, and saw would be a nice option.
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:43 PM   #10
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Your friends getting married.Your not getting him a boat or a car.You are buying him some tools.Buy him an awesome high quality cover all bases tool set.Even if he can't hang a picture.Remember clapton couldn't play guitar till he got one.That worked out well.

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