The Sweethome and The Wirecutter are lists of the best gadgets and gear for people who quickly want to know what to get. When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we earn affiliate commissions that support our work. Here is an explanation of exactly what we do, and how to support our work.

Tools

The Best Multi-Tool for Most Cyclists Topeak Mini 9
Whatever you ride—a road or mountain bike, fixie, or commuter—don’t walk home if you break down: Get the Topeak Mini 9, the best multi-tool for most cyclists. We tested 13 mini tools, and the light, durable, inexpensive Topeak has the best range of tools in a usable package. But we have more picks for those with specific riding needs, from hard-core singletrack to fixed-gear street riding.   Read More >
The Best Wire Cutter Channellock E337CB Diagonal Cutting Plier
It took hundreds of cuts and years of reader requests for us to finally post the best wire cutter: The Channellock E337CB is a truly superior snipper.   Read More >
The Best Circular Saw SKILSAW SPT67WM-22
After researching 35 circular saws and testing four, we found the SKILSAW SPT67WM-22 is the best for most people. It has noticeably better power than the competition and simply feels the best while in use. It also has great features that other saws don’t, including a magnesium footplate and motor housing that make it durable and lightweight.   Read More >
The Best Drill Bit Set Ryobi 90-Piece Drill and Drive Kit
After eight months of testing for our original guide, plus an additional three months of testing for this update, we think the Ryobi 90-Piece Drill and Drive Kit is the best drill bit set for most people. It offers the widest variety of useful accessories for drilling holes and driving screws. Some sets have too much repetition, and others are lacking critical pieces, but the Ryobi kit gets it just right.   Read More >
The Best Tools and Toolbox
After more than 300 hours of research and testing more than 180 tools, we’ve put together the best tool kit for your home. To come up with these 22 recommendations, we consulted three carpenters, six leading tool experts, and many, many tool manufacturers. Plus, after narrowing the tools down to our top picks, our writer used our 22 picks exclusively for eight months in a major home renovation.   Read More >
The Best Drill Bosch PS31-2A 12-Volt Max Drill/Driver
After using 16 drills to drive 1,669 3-inch screws and bore 345 1-inch holes, we found that the Bosch PS31-2A 12-Volt Max is the best for around the house. It’s the lightest, most compact model we tested, and it completely blew away its rivals in terms of battery life. It drilled twice as many holes as the second-place drill and drove almost 50 percent more screws.   Read More >
The Best Precision Screwdriver MAXCRAFT 7-in-1
If you need to change a toy’s batteries or tighten your sunglasses, you need a precision screwdriver, and the best one for most people is the MAXCRAFT 7-in-1. It offers convenient onboard bit storage, a knurled shaft for easy gripping, several of the most commonly used bits, and a little pocket clip. It’s also the least expensive model we tested.   Read More >
The Best Stud Finder for Home Use C.H. Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder
If you’re hanging heavy pictures, mirrors, or shelves, you need to know where your wall studs are—and the best tool we found for the job is the C.H. Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder. After 30 hours of research and testing against five other magnetic stud finders, we found the C.H. Hanson to be reliable, durable, and accurate, and because it’s magnet-based, it doesn’t need batteries or any kind of calibration.   Read More >
The Best Bike Pump (Floor Standing) Bontrager Turbo Charger HP
After testing 25 floor-standing bike pumps with a 10-person panel, we found that the Bontrager Turbo Charger HP is the best option. Its head is the only non-screw-on design that seals reliably and completely the first time on both Presta and Schrader valves. Plus, the Bontrager’s hose is longer than most we tested, and it has a comfortable handle and easy-to-read gauge.   Read More >
The Best Utility Knife Milwaukee Fastback II
After doing 26 hours of research and testing 22 different knives, we found that the Milwaukee Fastback II is the best utility knife for around-the-house use. It can be opened and closed with one hand and has room to store an additional blade, which is really simple to change out. It's not the cheapest option, but no other knife has such a complete set of features.   Read More >
The Best Tape Measure 25-foot Stanley PowerLock Tape Measure
After 45 hours of research and dropping, extending, and scrubbing the blades of 17 different tape measures with 60-grit sandpaper, we found the Stanley 25-foot PowerLock Tape Measure is the best option for most people. The PowerLock has a more durable blade than nearly all of its competition, and its pared-down simplicity makes it light, accurate, and easy to handle. Plus, it’s one of the least expensive tapes we looked at.   Read More >
The Best Hex Wrenches TEKTON 25282 26-piece Long Arm Ball Hex Key Wrench Set
For installing towel bars, tightening door handles, or assembling IKEA furniture, a home toolbox should have a good selection of hex wrenches (commonly known by the trademarked name Allen wrenches). We had three carpenters test 11 top models, and our favorite set is the TEKTON 25282 26-piece Long Arm Ball Hex Key Wrench Set (about $17).    Read More >
The Best Non-Contact Voltage Tester Klein NCVT-3
A non-contact voltage tester is a useful tool for any kind of electrical work—there’s no quicker or simpler way to safely check for electrical current in a wire, outlet, switch, or an old lamp that has mysteriously stopped working. Every electrician carries one. And after talking to a 20-year veteran electrician and performing eight months of testing with seven leading models, we found that the Klein NCVT-3 (about $25) is the best one to get.    Read More >
The Best Painter’s Multitool Hyde 17-in-1
If you’re planning on engaging in any painting projects at all, a painter’s multitool can make the process a lot easier. We researched the topic and tested four, ultimately finding that the Hyde 17-in-1 is the most versatile of the bunch.    Read More >
The Best Locking Pliers Grip-On 111-10
If you’re going to own a set of locking pliers1 (and we strongly suggest you do), the best ones to get are the Grip-On 111-10 (about $20).    Read More >
The Best Needle-Nose Pliers Klein J203-8 Heavy Duty Journeyman Pliers
After enlisting three veteran carpenters to test 16 different pairs of needle-nose pliers1, we found that the Klein J203-8 Heavy Duty Journeyman Pliers are the best.    Read More >
The Best Handsaw Shark 15-inch Carpentry Saw
For replacing a deck board, building a treehouse, or fixing a piece of rotted trim, it’s essential to have a handsaw. We had three carpenters test seven saws, and the one chosen unanimously as the best is the Shark 15-inch Carpentry Saw (about $29).    Read More >
The Best Toolbox Milwaukee 13-inch Jobsite Work Box
The best toolbox for most people is the Milwaukee 13ʺ Jobsite Work Box (about $30). We came to this conclusion after three carpenters examined seven leading toolboxes, and once we chose the Milwaukee, I used it exclusively during an eight-month period while wrapping up a renovation. Simply put, it is the most efficient, portable, and organized toolbox we could find. The biggest difference with the Milwaukee is the way it stores tools vertically in individual slots, so they stay in place and remain easy to access. This arrangement stands in stark contrast to the “jumbled pile of tools” that you typically have with other boxes. The shape of the Milwaukee makes it easy to carry, and with its lid on, you can use it as a seat, which we found to be very convenient.    Read More >
The Best Torpedo Level Sola PH 22 Flooring Level
For hanging pictures, installing shelves, or adjusting the legs on the washer/dryer, we recommend an 8⅝-inch-long torpedo level called the Sola PH 22 Flooring Level (about $19). Even though it’s designed for the specific needs of the flooring installer, we found it to be great for general work. Its magnified center vial was very easy to read, even in low light, and this was the only one with a solid 90-degree corner, making it easy to draw a crisp perpendicular line. Because of this feature, the level can be used for marking a square corner on a board or indicating on a wall where the end of a shelf will fall. Three carpenters tested this tool, and they started off wary of the durability on a plastic level like this one, but everyone came away impressed with the thick I-beam construction of the PH 22. Even using moderate strength to try and torque the level, it won’t twist or bend.    Read More >
The Best Putty Knife Craftsman 1-½-inch Flex Stainless Putty Knife
After spending months filling nail holes, repairing cracked plaster, and talking to a painting contractor with 30 years of experience, we found the Craftsman 1½-inch Flex Stainless Putty Knife is the best putty knife for most people. Its 1½-inch width is perfect for filling small holes, the stainless steel blade is easy to clean and won’t rust, and its handle is shaped to fit your hand with a rubbery padding that makes it much more comfortable than the competition.   Read More >
The Best Combination Square Irwin 1794469 12-inch Combination Square
If you're planning on doing any carpentry–successfully–you'll need a way to mark a straight line. After researching at least 20 combination squares and testing six during the final phase of a whole-house remodeling project, we’re convinced that the best option for most people is the Irwin 1794469 12-inch Combination Square (about $11). You can find pro versions of this all-purpose marking tool that cost hundreds of bucks, but the Irwin model is a solid alternative that works well for a fraction of the price. It surpassed the other combination squares we tested thanks to several details that differentiate an excellent tool from an average one; in particular, we liked the smooth machining of the main body, the evenly chamfered edges, the nice powder-coated finish, and the fact that it’s a touch heavier than the rest, which gives it a truly solid feel. Like some other combination squares we tested, the Irwin has a zinc body and a stainless-steel ruler, so it won’t rust or corrode. Our carpenter test crew kept coming back to the Irwin because it got the job done and it feels like a high-quality tool—much higher quality, in fact, than its price would suggest.    Read More >
The Best Basic Home Toolkit HDX 76-Piece Homeowner's Tool Set
After 70 hours spent researching and testing home toolkits, we found that Home Depot’s $20 HDX 76-Piece Homeowner's Tool Set is the best for most homeowners. The compact HDX set features all the essentials at a lower price than competitors charge, and it omits the useless filler tools found in other kits. Plus, it has the best adjustable wrench out of all the kits we tested.   Read More >
The Best Christmas Tree Stand Krinner Christmas Tree Genie XXL
We looked at new Christmas tree stands for 2015, but none can beat the Krinner Christmas Tree Genie XXL. Its fastening mechanism is superior to any other we tested; it only needs one person for set up and can accommodate trees up to 12 feet tall. Plus, there's a 2.5-gallon water reservoir with a water level gauge to keep your tree hydrated.   Read More >
The Best Step Stool Gorilla 2-Step Aluminum Step Stool Ladder with 225 lb. Type II Duty Rating
We took a hard look at new competition in the world of step stools, but it was the new version of last year's favorite Gorilla EasyReach 2-step that came out on top. It's a great size for most use cases, is surprisingly light, and gives you a bigger lift than other stools we tested. Plus, this newer version features a built-in tool shelf.    Read More >
The Best Adjustable Wrench Channellock 8WCB WideAzz
We attached garden hoses and assembled furniture with 13 different adjustable wrenches to find the best for your home tool box. The Channellock 8WCB WideAzz is 8 inches with the jaw capacity of a much larger wrench and a thin, tapered nose for getting into tight spots.    Read More >
The Best Adjustable Pliers Irwin GV10 10-inch GrooveLock Pliers
A great home toolbox needs a solid pair of adjustable pliers. After considering over 50 models, the $14 Irwin GV10 10-inch Groovelock Pliers came out on top due to easy jaw-size adjustment and comfortable handles.   Read More >
The Best Hammer Estwing E3-16C
After testing 11 hammers and getting the opinions of two working carpenters and a former editor at This Old House and Popular Mechanics, we recommend the Estwing E3-16C, a 16-ounce, curved claw, steel-handled hammer for general around-the-house hammer needs.    Read More >
The Best Picture Hangers Floreat hangers
From this point forward, I’m only using 30-pound Floreat picture hangers to hang things on my wall. After 25 hours of research and testing, it became clear that they’re the best. In addition to our own testing, I spoke with four different art galleries and a professional art installer and all of them exclusively use Floreats. The hangers are also highly recommended in articles written by art hangers and custom picture framers.    Read More >
The Best Multi-Bit Screwdriver Megapro 211R2C36RD 13-In-1 Ratcheting Driver, Red
The MegaPro 13-in-1 Multi-Bit Ratcheting Screwdriver is the perfect one-stop screwdriver to have at hand around the house. After over 22 hours of research and hands-on testing of 13 different models, I found that the MegaPro has all of the right features: nice ratcheting action; smart, accessible bit storage; excellent bit selection; and a comfortable handle.   Read More >