The earliest tools ever used are believed to date back an incredible 2.6 million years when some of the early humans used stones to hammer and cut. These days your tool kit is less likely to include stones, which, if you’re concerned about portability, is probably a good thing! We’ll help you pick the right set.

Ratchet-based collection of screwdriver heads, spanners, hex keys and more, all packaged in a durable carry case. DEWALT

Ask 10 people what they’d consider essential in a tool kit, and you’ll get 10 different answers. But whether you’re tinkering with a car, plumbing in a washing machine or putting some flat-pack furniture together, a set of screwdrivers, some hex keys and a spanner are the bare minimum, so it makes sense to look for a tool kit that offers something along those lines. And, rather than buying multiple screwdrivers or spanners, if you buy a set which has a couple of universal handles or ratchets, and separate bits or sockets that will fit into them, you’ll save storage space—and money too

Best Value

Great for most industrial, mechanical and consumer applications, this option consists of just about any item you can imagine. Prostormer

Once you’ve got the screwing and twisting and turning tools covered, the next tools you might want to think about are a hammer, a small hand saw and a pair of pliers. There are various types of pliers out there, including adjustable pump pliers that are used for plumbing work, and longnose and cutting pliers which are more likely to be used for electrical work.

Also Consider

Ideal as a housewarming gift for a first pad, this set comprises a cordless power device, alongside other essentials including a tape measure, hammer, ratcheting screwdriver and more. BLACK+DECKER

While hand tools are a good start, if you’re serious about doing jobs around the home, you’re probably going to want to power up sooner or later. A cordless drill won’t have the torque that a wired hammer drill will—so if you’re looking to drill into concrete, you’ll probably need a corded one—but it’s a really good all round tool to have in your kit. It will work fine on plasterboard, and even on some wood surfaces, and can also double as a powered screwdriver when you need a bit more oomph than you can get by hand.