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When you’re first starting out working on your car, motorcycle, or house, there’s a trap you may fall into when picking up your first power tools. That is, of course, picking up a tool here and there and then quickly finding yourself with seven different tools for three different tool brands and never enough batteries for the tool you need. Oh, you don't think that sounds like a pain? Well, try waiting for a battery to charge while three others quietly stare at you fully charged but from other companies that absolutely don’t work for the tool you need.
That’s why it actually behooves you to purchase a power tool combo kit, which commits you to a power tool ecosystem and reduces the annoyance of multiple brands. Yes, it’s more expensive from the outset, but as the saying goes, “Buy once, cry once.” But where do you start? Right here, that’s where. Let’s get into it.
DeWalt 4-Tool Combo Kit
- Great starter mechanics set
- DeWalt quality
- Included charger
- Two batteries
Ryobi 8-Tool Combo Kit
- 8 tools
- 3 batteries
- Tool bag
- Not everyone needs a brad nailer
Milwaukee 6-Tool Combo Kit
|You cannot beat Milwaukee’s capability or prowess from this 6-tool combo kit.
- Perfect for mechanics
- 6 tools
- 2 batteries
- Included charger
- Best Overall: DeWalt 4-Tool Combo Kit
- Best Budget: Ryobi 8-Tool Combo Kit
- Best Premium: Milwaukee 6-Tool Combo Kit
- Best Drill and Driver Kit: Milwaukee Drill and Driver Kit with 3 5Ah batteries
I’ve used each and every one of the power tool brands I’m about to recommend over my two decades of experience working on cars, bikes, and my own house. I’ve put them through their paces, seen where they can go wrong, where they go right, and what you should look out for. I’ve also kept this list short for easier understanding, as there’s a whole host of other types of kits and from other brands, that just serve to muddy the waters and confuse you on what you need.
These are it.
You also can go cheaper by going the Hart or Rigid power tool routes. I wouldn’t recommend either, especially if you’re building out a power tool ecosystem that you’ll use for years to come, which is what these kits are designed to do. I do, however, reserve the right to change my mind and change these kits as new products come out or quality degrades or, conversely, gets better.
So let’s talk about my picks.
Best Power Tool Combo Kits: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Overall: DeWalt 4-Tool Combo Kit
Great starter mechanics set
Only four tools
My dad is a DeWalt die-hard. As is my father-in-law. And it’s all I ever used growing up and working on my cars. Suffice it to say, I’ve had a lot of experience with the brand and trust it implicitly. But this 4-tool combo kit is more than anything I could’ve ever hoped for as a teenager underneath my first-generation Dodge Durango.
This kit is a mechanic’s dream kit, as it comes with an impact wrench, impact driver, grinder, and movable spotlight that makes working on any project an absolute breeze. It’s literally designed for automotive work, and along with the tools, you also get two 20V 5Ah batteries, and a charger to keep you working long into the night. There’s also a cool yellow and black tool bag to keep everything safe and secure if you ever need to help a buddy out, which you know will happen.
I think the only real issue with this combo kit, if you can call it an issue, is just how many tools you get. Though these four tools are perfect for the average person starting to work on your cars, there are other combo kits with more tools for the same price. That said, they’re not as tailored to automotive work, which is why this stays my top pick.
Best Budget: Ryobi 8-Tool Combo Kit
Not everyone needs a nailer
Though my dad and father-in-law are both DeWalt men, I’m a Ryobi fan. Mostly because I don’t have DeWalt money. But though Ryobi’s are less expensive, I haven’t found a single flaw or issue with their operation. And, folks, I have put each and every lime green power tool through the absolutely worst conditions imaginable. I’m an engineer’s nightmare.
This specific kit is the end-all, be-all kit. It’s designed to get you from zero to 100 real quick with a total of 8 tools, 3 batteries, and a tool bag. This is a kit for someone who wants to dive in with both feet, and I appreciate that. You get an impact wrench, impact driver, drill, light, sawzall, grinder, circular saw, multitool, AND a brad nailer. Plus all the accouterments and accessories you could ask for.
About my only complaint you don’t get enough big batteries, as two 4Ah batteries, and one 2Ah battery is fine, but if you’re working on a big project, those will get burned through pretty quick. That said, you cannot beat its price, as at the time of writing, it’ll set you back just $888. That’s a screaming deal for Ryobi’s best power tools.
Best Premium: Milwaukee 6-Tool Combo Kit
Perfect for mechanics
Though I’m a fan of all things Ryobi, I do have one piece of kit that’s from Milwaukee and that’s my big impact wrench. It’s a workhorse of a thing and hasn’t let me down once. I’ve also used Milwaukee’s products, including some of its old corded units, numerous times throughout my career. However, this 6-tool kit could be the best combo kit the company has ever made. At least in terms of combo kits designed for mechanics.
What you get from this kit is a drill, impact driver, two types of impact wrench, a grinder, a sawzall, a circular saw, and a full-size band saw. Those are tools specifically designed with your garage in mind and are the surest way of completing each and every job you can dream up, including building your own roll cage. You also get two 5Ah batteries and a charger, which will keep you going no matter what you tackle.
There is one issue, which is an issue across all of Milwaukee’s lineup: price. Yes, I know they’re backed by a great warranty and they’ll last forever. That doesn’t mean the $1,800 price tag stings any less for most people. However, if you’re dead-set on Milwaukee branding and quality, and you’ve got the cash, you won’t be able to beat this set.
Best Starter Kit: Milwaukee Drill and Driver Kit with 3 5Ah batteries
Exactly what you need to start a power tool ecosystem
Only two tools
Expensive when not on sale
Listen, not everyone needs 18 tools, 5 batteries, and a couple dozen tool bags. Some people, most people, just need a drill and an impact driver. They’re two of the most used power tools you could ever own. And if you’re non-committal—though you should be—maybe you just want to get your toes wet? That’s where this awesome two-tool drill and impact driver set from Milwaukee comes in.
As I said, there are only two tools here: an impact driver and drill. You also get three 5Ah batteries, a charger, and a hardcase to store them both in. For most, that’s plenty, and having three batteries ensures that you have more than enough power to keep you working with the drill and driver, and future-proofs you for adding further Milwaukee tools to your collection.
My only real issue with this kit is that it carries Milwaukee’s price tag, which is expensive when it’s not on sale. That said, it’s almost always on sale, so get while the gettin’s good and pick yourself up a kit today!
Our Verdict on the Best Power Tool Combo Kits
While I might be a Ryobi man myself, you cannot go wrong with DeWalt. It’s one of the leading power tool companies for a reason, and this 4-tool combo kit is the perfect place to start. That said, Ryobi and Milwaukee deserve your attention.
Features to Consider When Choosing a Power Tool Combo Kit
Here’s everything you need to know.
Tools It Comes With
Listen, every combo kit should come with a drill. It’s one of the handiest tools around. However, it should also come with an impact driver, which I think is actually handier than a drill. It does what a drill does, but better. At least in my opinion.
I also think you should consider what you’re going to do with your power tools and select a kit based on your needs. For example, the 6-tool kit from Milwaukee above is geared more toward a mechanic with a drill, band saw, grinder, and two types of impacts.
Think about your needs, as maybe you need a circular saw. Maybe you don’t.
Find a combo kit that offers the most amount of batteries. Why? Because you can never have too many batteries. Batteries, especially those above 3Ahs, will help you stay working on your projects for longer periods of time, which helps you finish them faster. Don’t get caught waiting for them to recharge.
Prices on combo kits range from pretty affordable—i.e. your Ryobis—to hella expensive—i.e. your Milwaukees. You’ll likely be spending between $300 and $1,500, depending on whether you wait for a good sale or not.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
What power tool do mechanics use the most?
Are corded power tools better than cordless?
It depends on the situation. Corded tools never lose power, but they’re more cumbersome thanks to the cord. However, cordless tools can lose power and, unless you have extra batteries, leave you with an unfinished job. That said, they’re easier to manage in tight spaces and don’t require you to work around a cord.
Why should I buy a combo kit over a single power tool?
Because 1) it actually saves you money long-term, and 2) it’s far easier to build out a complete ecosystem by starting out with a combo kit versus piece-mealing it together.
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