Is This Stanley Tool Set Able to Meet Your Home’s Maintenance Needs?
This well-balanced tool set can tackle a variety of odd jobs.
The Stanley 65-Piece Homeowner’s Tool Kit has that just-right lineup of tools for handling an assortment of odd jobs around the house while still maintaining the compact size needed for storage and mobility.
Although there are specialty tool kits designed for car and bike mechanics and gardeners, I only considered general tool kits when selecting the top kit for this category. The Stanley 65-piece tool kit beat out a half dozen other home tool kits in a series of tests. I was particularly impressed with the quality and selection of tools included in the Stanley kit.
Since home tool kits contain a variety of tools, I subjected the Stanley home tool kit to a variety of tests in order to evaluate each piece:
- Hammer: My hammer test included driving in smaller finish nails, such as those you would use for picture hanging, as well as larger nails for bigger jobs.
- Screwdrivers: Since screwdrivers rely heavily on the ability to create torque, I tested both screwdrivers and the bit driver by attempting to manually drive a screw into a 2×6.
- Socket set: I tested the socket set by working bolts on machinery inside my house—in this case, a lawn mower.
- Pliers: Since pliers perform a variety of tasks, I tested both sets by attempting to grip rounded pipe connections under my kitchen sink, and by cutting and twisting wires.
- Utility knife: I tested the utility knife by attempting to slice through thick cardboard.
- Hex wrenches: I used the hex wrenches to perform simple bike maintenance.
Stanley 65-Piece Homeowner’s Tool Kit: At a Glance
- Collection of tools can handle a broad range of odds jobs
- Ergonomic grips on the hand tools make them more comfortable to use
- Full-size tools are capable of handling bigger jobs
- Tape measure feels cheap compared to typical Stanley tape measures
- Hard plastic handle on the bit driver is difficult to grip
- Some tools are difficult to remove from the plastic case
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What’s included in the Stanley 65-piece tool kit?
This Stanley tool set can perform general odd jobs around the home. It includes a full-size hammer with a 13-ounce head; a set of locking pliers; a set of needle-nose pliers; one Phillips- head screwdriver and one flathead screwdriver; assorted square, hex, Phillips, star, and flathead screwdriver bits; and a bit driver. There is also an 8-inch level, a hex wrench set with metric and imperial sizes, and a ¼-inch ratcheting socket wrench with eight imperial-size sockets ranging from 5/32 to 3/8 inch. A 16-foot tape measure and a utility knife round out the set. Each piece snaps tightly into a spot in a molded carrying case with a handle.
Is the Stanley tool set useful?
A good tool kit should be compact and light enough to tote to the site of your repair or project. It should fit in a kitchen utility drawer or at least a shelf in a closet, yet still have all the tools required to perform a wide range of jobs.
In short, you shouldn’t have to use two hands or have a well-developed upper body to carry a home tool kit. You also shouldn’t have to carry the kit in one hand and another random tool in the other because the kit itself lacks a few essential tools.
While there are many multipiece home tool kits out there to choose from with varying lineups of tools, Stanley does a great job of assembling the ones needed most often. Plus, all the tools fit nicely into the molded plastic case, which remains lightweight and compact at just 7 pounds. On the downside, some tools are difficult to snap free from their spots inside the case, which could present a problem for some.
The key to a good home tool kit is its usefulness. While an 80-piece tool set may look great, it isn’t of much use if most of the tools never leave their molded pockets. Stanley does a great job of outfitting this tool kit with tools that will see a lot of action.
How does the Stanley 65-piece home tool kit perform?
Other tool kits offer a similar lineup of tools, but the quality and size of these tools set this kit apart. Other tool kits have tools that are scaled down in size from their full-size counterparts, but the Stanley home tool kit does not.
The hammer is a great example of this. Many of the home tool kits I tested include small 8- to 10-ounce hammers that are limited to driving hangers into hollow drywall. Stanley’s kit has a larger 13-ounce hammer. While you won’t be using it to frame a house, it is large enough to handle bigger jobs while still being lightweight enough to wield. I had no problem driving an 8d nail into a pine 2×4 with it.
Both sets of pliers also feel like full-size tools. The slip-joint pliers were capable of gripping the water supply line under my bathroom sink, and I had no problem twisting wires with the needle-nose pliers.
The screwdrivers were another highlight. With screwdrivers, the handle is often part and parcel to the amount of torque you can produce when driving or removing screws. Stanley equips both the Phillips-head and flathead screwdrivers with large handles and rubberized grips. The tips of the screwdriver also fit nicely into the screwheads.
With these ample handles, I produced enough torque to drive a wood screw into a 2×4. I was a bit disappointed by the driver, which has a narrower handle and no rubberized grip. While I like the old-school look of this translucent plastic handle, it was harder to get a good grip on it. I did like the wide assortment of interchangeable bits, which makes it a useful tool for everything from repairing electronics to repairing small engines.
Many of the kits I tested included sockets, but surprisingly few included a ratchet driver. Stanley’s kit is an exception with its ¼-inch driver, which features a locking mechanism that holds sockets in place and a round handle that I found to be comfortable to grip. While the kit includes a limited number of socket sizes, it’s adequate for a general-use home tool kit.
The only real disappointment was with the tape measure. While I like the fact that it extends 16 feet (many of the kits I tested had tape measures that maxed out at 10 feet), I’m used to the rock-solid build of the stand-alone tape measures Stanley sells. With its thin plastic construction and stiff locking mechanism, the tape measure in this kit feels cheap in comparison.
Is the Stanley tool set worth the money?
Although there are many home tool kits that offer a similar lineup of tools, and some that offer more tools at a lower price, many are off-brand kits that don’t carry the long-standing reputation that Stanley does. Because the set is priced around $60, I was hard-pressed to find another tool kit that offers the same lineup of tools and quality build that this set from Stanley offers.
Is the Stanley 65-piece home tool kit right for you?
Whether the Stanley tool kit is right for you depends on the projects you’re planning to tackle. This is a general-use home tool kit, which means it’s ideal for performing a variety of odd jobs. With this kit you’ll be able to hang a picture, trade out a standard light switch with a dimmer switch, perform maintenance on your lawn mower, install a new light fixture, make adjustments to a bicycle, and various other tasks.
The tools in this kit are heftier than those you’ll typically find in other tool kits. The larger hammer, full-size pliers, ratchet and socket set, large number of bit accessories, and well-made screwdrivers make this kit suitable for more jobs than home tool kits with smaller tools. That said, the compact size of this kit also makes it an ideal choice for those with limited space for tool storage. While it may be too large for most kitchen utility drawers, it fits nicely in a cupboard or on a shelf.
If you’re looking for a tool kit that will allow you to perform larger jobs, this may not be the right kit for you. The limited number of sockets and lack of monkey wrenches make it unsuitable for home mechanics. It also doesn’t offer enough tools to be useful for large renovation projects. For that, you’ll need a good power tool set.
If you only need a tool set to handle the bare minimum—hanging the occasional picture, tightening a loose screw on glasses, or opening the battery compartment of a toy—you probably can get away with a smaller, more compact tool kit that will fit inside a kitchen utility drawer.
Where to Buy the Stanley 65-Piece Homeowner’s Tool Kit
Get the Stanley tool kit at:
Meet the Tester
Tony Carrick is a freelance writer specializing in home improvement, landscaping, technology, home security, and design. His articles have been featured on such sites as Angi, Popular Science, Futurism, 360 Reviews by U.S. News & World Report, Domino, and more. Tony has conducted rigorous product testing on everything from power tools to home security systems to backyard grills. With each review, his goal is to help readers determine whether a product meets their needs and if it is or isn’t worth its price tag.