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Bestselling tools you need in your toolkit this winter

Winter is a great time to update your toolkit. Some people stay inside to work on do-it-yourself projects that have been accumulating. Others use winter to expand their current tool collection. 

Regardless of your motivation, there are lots of tools to consider for your at-home use. Some of the bestselling items are also the most affordable.  

In this article: DeWalt Max XR Drill/Driver, Milwaukee 6-Piece Cushion Grip Screwdriver Set and Stanley FatMax Tape Rule

Power tools that fit your toolkit and budget

Power tools make work faster and easier. Not every power tool will fit in your toolkit, though. Power saws, shop vacuums and pressure washers are great to have around the house but need their own storage space.

Still, other power tools are compact and affordable, making great additions to any toolkit. 

  • Compact drills are versatile and powerful, both cordless and corded. Many come with a belt hook and multiple bits. 
  • Digital levels are electrically powered to give exact measurements when you have to be spot on. Traditional levels are less accurate. Laser levels offer the best accuracy, but they tend to have a higher price.
  • Power nailers eliminate the need for hammering and provide great versatility with the size and types of nails. Brad nailers are ideal for precision placement, while framing nailers provide more power to join studs together. 

Traditional tools everyone needs

Some tools are must-haves, no matter your skill level or the size of the project. These are the all-purpose tools that make regular appearances around the house. 

  • Hammers are essential when extra force is needed. Compact sledgehammers and hammer multitools are great additions to a traditional ball-peen hammer. Pry bars also perform the same maneuvers as a hammer claw. 
  • Screwdrivers come in all sizes and styles. Screwdriver sets feature different lengths and heads, usually Allen, Phillips and flathead. Ratcheting screwdrivers make it easy on your hand. Electronic screwdrivers do all the work for you. 
  • Wrenches and pliers grasp screws, bolts and anything else that needs a firm grip. Locking wrenches and pliers are best for projects when you need to use another tool alongside them. 
  • Staple guns, bolt cutters and chisels are other small items that may come in handy. And having extra drill and screwdriver bits nearby saves time searching for the right tool.
  • Tape measures are important when you need accurate measurements. The best have locking features that keep them in place.

Helpful additions for working with tools

Your comfort and safety are paramount in order to use tools effectively. Having the right size toolbox ensures that your tools aren't laying around as a tripping hazard. 

There are multiple things you can wear to improve safety and efficiency.

  • Work gloves keep your hands protected and let you safely grip wood and metal without risk of scrapes and splinters.
  • Goggles keep dust, chemicals and other debris from entering your eyes. 
  • Kneepads are ideal for roofers and flooring professionals that spend a lot of time on their knees.
  • Tool belts are a great way to have your most frequently used tools within arm's reach. There are many rugged designs.

If you have to work in a dimly lit space, consider a portable LED light to keep your work area brightly illuminated. 

Best tools for your toolkit

DeWalt Max XR Drill/Driver

Featuring a long-running brushless motor, this drill/driver has three speeds and a half-inch metal chuck with carbide inserts. The side handle rotates 360 degrees, and it comes with a 20-minute shut-off.  

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Milwaukee 6-Piece Cushion Grip Screwdriver Set

This premium set features three Phillips and three slotted screwdrivers. Each features a cushioned handle and lanyard hole. They have wrench-ready bolsters and precision knurling. 

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Stanley FatMax Tape Rule

A high-impact case holds a 35-foot tape measure with 14 feet of reach. It has an end hook and a protective coating that extends the tape life. It has large numbers and stud markers. 

Sold by Amazon

Maxpower 4-Pound Sledgehammer

With a forged steel head on a fiberglass handle, this sledgehammer is lightweight and sturdy. It has an ergonomic grip made from thick rubber to prevent slipping and maximize control. 

Sold by Amazon

Risepro Digital Torpedo Level and Protractor

This digital level has a magnetic base for holding against curves and angles. It has a bright display and converts to degrees, percentages, meters or pitch.  A buzzer sounds when it's at zero or 90 degrees. 

Sold by Amazon

Husky 3-Piece Locking Plier Set

Made from vanadium steel and featuring a quick-release mechanism, this set includes pliers that are 6.5, 7 and 10 inches. The gripping power holds pieces together and is excellent for odd-shaped materials. 

Sold by Home Depot

Makita Brad Nailer

Made of aluminum and weighing less than 3 pounds, this nailer works with 18-gauge brad nails up to 2 inches long. It has a toolless depth adjuster and works on hard and soft woods. It includes a built-in air duster. 

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Rak Multitool Hammer

This stainless steel multitool hammer features pliers, a saw, a wire cutter, a serrated knife and Phillips and flathead screwdrivers. It has a safety lock and is handy for anyone traveling or working outdoors. 

Sold by Amazon

RevMark Carpenter Pencil

These pencils are made of cedar and have medium lead. The pencil is bright white to easily identify the inch and centimeter markings printed on it. The lead is red for easy-to-read markings. 

Sold by Amazon

Dasco Pro Pry Bar Set

This set includes three small pry bars that are excellent for scraping paint, opening paint cans, prying molding and pulling nails. The heat-treated carbon steel is extra strong. 

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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