We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

The Best Tool Kits for College Students

If you’re a high school graduate making your way to college this year, you might be shocked to find how much stuff needs assembling and repairing. Here are the best compact tool kits to get the job done.

Of course, it’s more than likely that wherever you’re living during the semester will be a rented space, and most (if not all) dorms, apartments, and rented houses will cover repairs for you. However, there are times when you can’t always rely on the maintenance guy, and some repairs may be too trivial to warrant a call. Plus, you might need to do basic things like hang a mirror or put together your new IKEA furniture, and a tool kit is great for that.

Cheap & Basic: Apollo Tools 53-Piece Household Tool Set

Any basic tool kit should come with… well… the basics and this one from Apollo Tools has all that, like a hammer, screwdrivers (including precision screwdrivers), measuring tape, pliers, a level, Allen keys, and even some wrenches. Plus it’s extremely affordable.

You might have to add on more tools in the future once you become even more handy (as you will with any starter tool kit), but this one will keep you busy for a while with most basic tasks around the dorm.

Drill, Baby, Drill: Black & Decker Cordless Drill Project Kit

One of the most useful power tools that anyone could own is a power drill, as it makes almost any DIY project a lot easier. This kit from Black & Decker not only comes with some basic hand tools (like a hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, measuring tape, etc.), but it also comes with a 20V power drill with a handful of different drill and drive bits.

This is perfect for those who might find themselves hanging a lot of shelves or even just getting their hands slightly dirtier working on more DIY projects than your average co-ed.

Socket to Me: Stanley Mixed 210-Piece Tool Set

If you think you’ll be more of a socket person when you head off to college, this comprehensive socket set (along with the other basic tools) from Stanley is a good place to start.

One of the very first tool kits that I ever owned was a socket set, and it acts as my main socket set to this day—I still use it constantly. If you decide to make a socket set one of your first tool kits as well, here’s to many years of happy socketing.

Mix & Match: Put Together Your Own Custom Tool Kit

Let’s get one thing straight: A lot of the tools that come in these basic tool kits aren’t the cream of the crop by any means. Of course, they don’t really need to be, but if you’re looking for a kit that will last you a long time (and if you have the money), your best bet is to put together your own custom tool kit with quality tools.

Not only will you be able to fill it up with the best tools available, but you can also pick and choose what specific tools to include. Because of that, you can have different tool kits around the house for different purposes. For instance, I keep one in the car that’s aimed at doing emergency car repairs, and I keep a basic pool of tools upstairs so that I don’t have to go all way down to the garage to get a tool that I need.

Of course, doing this takes time, and you need some kind of knowledge about tools so that you pick the right ones for your needs, but it’s perhaps the best way to get a tool kit. Finish it all off with a nice tool bag, and you’re good to go!

Craig Lloyd Craig Lloyd
Craig Lloyd is a gadget expert with nearly ten years of professional writing experience. His work has been published by iFixit, Lifehacker, Digital Trends, SlashGear, and GottaBeMobile. Read Full Bio »