I was out shopping some tool storage things last week. I have also been looking for a basic tool kit I can buy for the house. Now that I have the Cabriolet, I do a fair amount of wrenching at my house. I don’t want to spend a lot of money, but I don’t want to buy junk either
Today I want to give you guys some advise on buying tools in a kit, or building your own set.
Buying A Set
You can make a really good arguments on both sides. Cost, storage, and needs all play into making this choice.
- The cost per tool is cheaper.
You will almost always get more tools for the money when you buy a complete set.
- Its easy
It is a grab and go solution, gotta like that.
- Tool storage
A lot of tool sets come with some type of storage setup. Generally that makes them very organized and portable.
- They all will match
This is just something to feed my tool O.C.D. 😉
- You may get some tools you never thought you would need
That 1/2in 3/8 drive extension may come in handy. It is something I would not buy separate.
- They make great gifts (hint hint) 😀
- You will get tools you might not need
The first tool set I bought was a Craftsman kit. I don’t remember how many pieces came in the set. I do remember that about 1/4 of the tools were Allen wrenches. I didn’t need 50 Allen wrenches.
- Most sets are not complete
I have found that many sets are missing tools. The set I was looking at last week had no 16mm sockets. If you work on VWs that is something you need.
- There are so many choices
I get really overwhelmed when shopping for kits. Do I pick the one with 99 pieces, or the one with 104 pieces? This is about the time I give up shopping.
- The storage might not be what you want
Just because a tool set comes with storage, doesn’t mean it is a good one. It might not fit the space you have. It may not be the way you want your tools set up.
Build Your Own
Just like buying a complete set, building your own customer set has pros and cons. Consider these when thinking about building your own kit.
- You can get exactly what you want
No need to pay for the tools you don’t need
- You can buy a little at a time
Kits from the big boy tool companies are REALLY expensive. You can buy them bit by bit instead of shelling out the cash all at once.
- Most likely you will spend more money
- You will have to find your own tool storage
Tool storage can be very expensive
- It takes time
Piecing a tool set together yourself will take time. If you are not in a hurry, no big deal.
- You might get a mismatched set.
This can be good or bad. Good you can get better tools for a job. For me, I don’t like to have tools not match. Sorry just a little OCD 😉
So what should you do? Well, like all good questions the answer is “It depends”. If I were starting with no tools, a kit would be perfect! Once you have the basics, you can add on from there.