The Best Power Tool Sets of 2023

Whether you want to upgrade your workshop inventory for heavy-duty work or improved ergonomics, these highly rated sets are ideal.

By Timothy Dale and Mark Wolfe | Updated Dec 13, 2022 4:17 PM

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The Best Power Tool Set Option

Photo: Debbie Wolfe

When you find yourself in need of some new power tools, consider buying an entire corded or cordless tool combo kit to get real bang for your buck. We researched more than 40 kits and spent 30 hours testing the best-reviewed cordless power tool sets from a variety of power tool brands. Whether you need a pro-quality kit for heavy-duty construction and demolition work, or a lightweight ergonomic kit for minor home repairs, this guide can help. Read on to find the best power tool set for your workshop.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Milwaukee M18 18V 6-Tool Combo Kit
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Ryobi One+ 18V Cordless 4-Tool Combo Kit
  3. BEST BRUSHLESS: DeWalt 20V MAX XR Brushless 6-Tool Combo Kit
  4. BEST COMPACT: Ridgid 18V SubCompact 8-Tool Combo Kit
  5. BEST DRILL SET: Craftsman V20 Cordless 2-Tool Combo Kit
  6. BEST BATTERY LIFE: Makita 18V LXT Cordless 6-Piece Combo Kit
The Best Power Tool Set Option

Photo: Debbie Wolfe

How We Tested the Best Power Tool Sets

We began our selection process by determining which power tools consumers most desired in a set. Drill/drivers, impact drivers, circular saws, and reciprocating saws topped the list, followed distantly by less-popular picks, such as oscillating tools or finish nailers. Next we researched brand loyalty and customer reviews of the top 15 power tool brands to find out which companies had the best reputation for powerful, durable, comfortable, and otherwise capable tools. Finally, we built a prospective list of more than 40 power tool sets before whittling the list down to those found in this guide.

We then brought each of these tool sets into our workshop for side-by-side comparisons of the competing tools from each brand. For instance, we tested each drill/driver by drilling a series of holes into wood with a ⅜-inch spade bit, and then into concrete with a ¼-inch masonry bit. We recorded the number of holes made with each drill in 1 minute, and noted subjective observations about ergonomics, operator comfort, perceived power, and overall ease of use.

Similarly, we tested each circular saw by ripping 4-foot strips of plywood, cutting 2×4 lumber, and trimming a 4×4 post with opposing cuts. We recorded cutting speed, observed the cleanliness of the cuts, and noted any subjective observations as we did with the drill/drivers. We also tested the impact drivers and reciprocating saws similarly to round out our tests of the most popular tools from every kit.

Lastly we took each tool set along on one of our building projects for a workday. We noted the strengths and weaknesses of each from the standpoint of all-day use. We also weighed (without batteries) and measured each of these tools before scoring every kit on a rubric. We compared all of the measurable and subjective data for every set before giving each set its own award category.

Power Tool Safety Tips

Power tools are dangerous devices specifically designed for cutting, drilling, and sanding harder surfaces and materials than human flesh and bone, so before users pick up their tools it’s important to put on appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). In most cases, users should have safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a dust mask or ventilator, closed-toe shoes or boots, and long pants and a long-sleeve shirt.

The tools need to be inspected before and after every use to detect any problems, like a chipped or cracked blade, a loose wire, or a broken bit. Users will want to make sure to unplug the cord or disconnect the battery before inspecting the tool so that they don’t accidentally press the trigger. It’s important to keep the tool disconnected during cleaning and maintenance to prevent accidental activation and subsequent injury.

  • Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Inspect the tools before and after every use.
  • Unplug or disconnect the battery before cleaning the tools.
The Best Power Tool Set Option

Photo: Debbie Wolfe

Our Top Picks

We tested these kits side by side in a controlled workshop setting to determine the best power tool sets for different needs. Keep reading to find out more about these sets and how they performed.

Best Overall

The Best Power Tool Set Option: Milwaukee M18 18V 6-Tool Combo Kit
Photo: homedepot.com

Milwaukee offers more than 200 items in its M18 line of contractor-grade 18-volt cordless tools. This six-piece set includes two brushless tools, a ½-inch drill/driver and a ¼-inch impact driver, along with a 6½-inch circular saw, a variable-speed Sawzall reciprocating saw, a 4½-inch cut-off grinder, and an oscillating multi-tool, all with brushed motors. The kit includes two 2 amp-hour (Ah) batteries, a charger, and a tool bag.

Of all the power tool sets we tested, the Milwaukee six-piece combo delivered the best combination of tool selection, price-to-value ratio, heavy-duty performance, operating comfort, and battery life.

We especially liked the saws and grinder in this kit. The circular saw includes a blade brake for safety, an easy-to-use lever action depth adjuster, and a generously sized base plate that gives it a smooth glide motion with good stability. While ripping plywood and cutting 2×4 and 4×4 lumber, it provided ample power with no hesitation. Although Milwaukee’s circular saw and cut-off grinder tied in performance with DeWalt’s offerings in our tests, the cordless Sawzall scored highest in tough cutting ability among all of the reciprocating saws we tested.

At just under 2½ pounds, the brushless drill driver was second lightest among all of the drills we tested, but it proved more capable than most by scoring second highest on our drill test. However, for consistent heavy-duty applications, a cordless hammer drill would be preferable to the lightweight drill/driver here, especially given the highly capable ¼-inch hex drive impact driver that also comes with this kit.

We also really liked the oscillating multi-tool. It can be used for aggressive demolition cutting or for sanding. In our tests, we found that it cuts and sands very effectively and transfers minimal vibration to the hand.

Product Specs

  • Tool count: 6
  • Corded vs. cordless: Cordless
  • Motor type: Brushless drill and impact driver, all others brushed

Pros

  • Heavy-duty, pro-quality tools hold up to the rigors of construction and demolition projects
  • Competitive price point relative to the tool quality and capability
  • Kit includes the most popular tools for a wide range of DIY and construction projects
  • Two 2Ah M18 batteries deliver good runtime per charge

Cons

  • Small tool bag only fits the drill/driver, impact driver, and bits
  • Some users may prefer a heavy-duty hammer drill over the lightweight drill/driver

Get the Milwaukee power tool set at The Home Depot.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Power Tool Set Option: Ryobi One+ 18V Cordless 4-Tool Combo Kit
Photo: homedepot.com

There is no need to spend a small fortune on professional-grade tools if they will be used infrequently or only for light-duty projects. This Ryobi power tool set features four reliable tools to help wrap up weekend chores without breaking the bank. The set includes a ½-inch drill/driver, ¼-inch hex drive impact driver, 5½-inch circular saw, and an LED work light, all with cost-effective brushed motors. It comes with one 1.5Ah battery, one 4Ah battery, a charger, and a tool bag.

High-quality, inexpensive power tools tend to weigh more than their high-end counterparts. The Ryobi drill/driver (third heaviest) and impact driver (heaviest) outweighed some of their more expensive competitors, while delivering similar working power. Although the added weight could increase operator fatigue over the course of many hours, the cost savings may be worth the added effort for smaller jobs. This kit sells at about half the price of the next-cheapest kit we tested.

With its compact 5½-inch blade, Ryobi’s cordless circular saw is proportionally built for cutting small-dimension lumber. When we tested it on 2×4 lumber it was subject to binding and hesitation after only a few cuts. Extended use depleted the battery much faster than other saws we tested. However, when we cut 1×4 lumber, the battery lasted more than twice as long. We found it best to use the included 4Ah battery for the saw and the 1.5Ah battery for the drill and impact driver.

Product Specs 

  • Tool count: 4
  • Corded vs. cordless: Cordless
  • Motor type: Brushed

Pros

  • Budget-friendly price makes it a great choice for less-demanding projects
  • Drill/driver and impact driver deliver similar power as higher-priced alternatives
  • Lightweight compact circular saw makes fast, clean cuts in small-dimension lumber
  • Durable tool bag neatly stores all tools, batteries, and charger

Cons

  • Heavier drill/driver and impact driver than the higher-priced competition
  • The brushed motors deliver lower battery efficiency and shorter runtime per charge

Get the Ryobi power tool set at The Home Depot.

Best Brushless

The Best Power Tool Set Option: DeWalt 20V MAX XR Brushless 6-Tool Combo Kit
Photo: amazon.com

This DeWalt 6-Tool Combo Kit allows users to drill through wood, metal, plastic, and even mortar with the included ½-inch hammer drill. It has three speed settings and a full metal ratcheting chuck to keep the user’s bits secure during use. The ¼-inch impact driver is lightweight and compact and comes with three LED lights that make it ideal for working in tight, dimly lit spaces.

This power tool kit includes a reciprocating saw with an adjustable four-position blade clamp for more precise cuts. The 7¼-inch circular saw comes with a strong, durable carbide blade. Also included is a handy LED work light with a hang loop and ratcheting tilt adjustment. In addition to six brushless 20-volt tools, the kit includes two 5Ah batteries, a rapid charger, and a large carry bag.

In our tests, the DeWalt six-tool set proved its worth for heavy-duty projects and extended use. With the included 5Ah batteries and their efficient brushless motors, these tools consistently outworked the competition in terms of operating power, and often runtime as well.

The hammer drill opened more holes faster than any of the other drills we tested, and the DeWalt circular saw was the only one in our lineup that could trim a 6×6 post with opposing cuts. It did so easily, without hesitating or binding. However both of these tools were significantly heavier than the competition, which could be a drawback for some users or for light-duty applications.

It also bears noting that the DeWalt cordless circular saw was the only one we tested with its blade on the right. This is the way most corded circular saws have been made forever. The blade-right configuration is safer for right-handed workers who are using the front and rear handles to guide the blade because neither hand crosses over the moving blade. But it also places the saw’s weight on the wasted edge of the wood, and it may obscure the cutline somewhat during one-handed operation.

The reciprocating saw weighed less than the top performer and featured a more compact design. But it transferred more vibration through the handle which could be uncomfortable for extended use. The cut-off grinder simply worked well without qualification. We really liked the comfortable paddle-style trigger. This brushless kit would be a fantastic choice for big-time DIYers or construction pros who prioritize hard-working tools with extended battery life.

Product Specs 

  • Tool count: 6
  • Corded vs. cordless: Cordless
  • Motor type: Brushless

Pros

  • Heavy-duty, professional-grade tools with high-efficiency brushless motors
  • LED flashlights on all tools increase work visibility in lower-light conditions
  • Kit includes 2 long-lasting 5Ah batteries and charger

Cons

  • Premium price point for heavy-duty contractor-grade tools
  • Right-side blade design on the circular saw may be less comfortable for some users

Get the DeWalt power tool set at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best Compact

The Best Power Tool Set Option: Ridgid 18V SubCompact 8-Tool Combo Kit
Photo: homedepot.com

Compact power tools offer working performance comparable to other tools, but they weigh less and maneuver more easily in tight areas where larger tools don’t fit. They also make an excellent choice for those with limited storage space, or to reduce user fatigue through long work days.

This eight-piece Ridgid tool set includes all of the most popular cordless tools, each powered by a high-efficiency brushless motor: ½-inch drill/driver, ¼-inch impact driver, 6½-inch circular saw, reciprocating saw, LED work light, 3-inch multi-material saw, ⅜-inch impact wrench, and ⅜-inch right-angle drill. The kit also comes with one 4Ah and two 2Ah batteries, charger, and two tool bags for easy transport.

In our tests, all of the Ridgid power tools delivered excellent runtime per charge and an outstanding ratio of power to weight. To be clear, this was not a heavy-duty kit, but each tool’s compact size and ergonomic design was well complemented by a highly capable brushless motor. The tools delivered top scores for comfort and ease of operation, making this an excellent pick for a wide range of home repair, DIY, and small to midsize building projects.

The Ridgid drill/driver and impact driver, on paper, are less powerful in terms of torque and revolutions per minute (rpm) than most of the competitors we tested. Both weighed the least among their peers too. However in our test projects, they drilled and screwed to similar effect as the rest of the test group—with the exception of the heavy-duty DeWalt hammer drill.

The 6½-inch circular saw was also the lightest in its size class, with only the Ryobi 5½-inch saw weighing less. It cut plywood and 2×4 lumber easily and cleanly, but hesitated a couple of times in the 4×4 post. Similarly, the lightweight reciprocating saw was easy to maneuver with one hand and easily sliced through 2×4 framing with nails, but it felt underpowered when it came to steel bolts.

Tool runtime for this kit was outstanding. We did not deplete the batteries on any of the individual tool tests in our allotted test time. Plus, this was the only kit to include three batteries; the others only offered two. They combined for a total of 8Ah, second only to the 10Ah total available from the DeWalt kit’s two 5Ah batteries.

Product Specs 

  • Tool count: 8
  • Corded vs. cordless: Cordless
  • Motor type: Brushless

Pros

  • Lightweight subcompact tools are easy and comfortable to operate
  • Efficient brushless motors save battery life and deliver outstanding power for the size
  • 3 batteries totaling 8Ah of battery storage eliminate downtime for recharging
  • Kit includes 8 of the most popular tools for home repairs and DIY projects

Cons

  • These subcompact tools are lightly built and less capable for heavy-duty projects
  • The large kit may include some unneeded tools

Get the Ridgid power tool set at The Home Depot.

Best Drill Set

The Best Power Tool Set Option: Craftsman V20 Cordless 2-Tool Combo Kit
Photo: lowes.com

Since the rise in popularity of cordless tools, drills and drivers have led the category. Although some projects easily progress with corded or hand saws, the mobile convenience of cordless twist tools is hard to overlook. This Craftsman 20-volt cordless drill set provides a solution for all drilling and fastening needs. It includes a two-speed ½-inch drill/driver and a ¼-inch impact driver, plus two 1.5Ah batteries, a charger, and a heavy-duty tool bag.

We really liked the Craftsman cordless drill set for general use; the drill performed well in wood and concrete drilling. It operated smoothly, felt comfortable, and did not deplete its relatively small battery during the testing time frame. The impact driver drove dozens of lag bolts smoothly into treated lumber, with similar comfort and consistency as the competition.

Both the drill and the impact driver scored in the middle of our test group in terms of weight and power, but the kit price and average price per tool actually fall at the low end of the group. For those who only need a drill and driver set and for Craftsman-brand enthusiasts, this is a nice bargain for a set of quality tools.

Product Specs

  • Tool count: 2
  • Corded vs. cordless: Cordless
  • Motor type: Brushed

Pros

  • Excellent runtime per charge, even with the relatively small 1.5Ah batteries
  • Budget-friendly price point for quality home maintenance and DIY tools
  • Mid-weight construction and comfortable design features for all-day use
  • Power and performance compatible with general, medium-duty use

Cons

  • Does not have heavy-duty torque required for construction and demolition projects

Get the Craftsman power tool set at Ace Hardware or Lowe’s.

Best Battery Life

The Best Power Tool Set Option: Makita 18V LXT Cordless 6-Piece Combo Kit
Photo: amazon.com

The Makita six-tool combo kit has enough tools for big projects with the battery power to keep them running all day long. The kit features a two-speed ½-inch drill driver, a ¼-inch impact driver, a 6½-inch circular saw, a variable speed reciprocating saw, an LED work light, and a cordless vacuum for quick cleanup. It also includes two 3Ah batteries, a rapid charger, and a wheeled storage bag for easy transport.

In our tests, the size and weight of the Makita power tools compared most closely to the Ridgid set, but slightly heavier, with smoother operation and a bit more power. Makita battery life and charging time were best overall among all of the sets we tested. The rapid charger recharged fully depleted 18-volt 3Ah batteries in 31 minutes, second only to the 22-minute recharging time of the Milwaukee M18 2Ah batteries. But the Makita batteries delivered more drilling, screwing, and cutting time per charge. When we took these tools to our project site for the day and worked with one battery while the other charged, the second battery was always fully charged before we depleted the one we were using.

Although this kit did not drill or cut as aggressively as our builder-grade Milwaukee and DeWalt kits, the tools felt both more comfortable and more substantially constructed than the other mid-weight kits, and the motors ran smoother. The drill and impact driver produced a bit more torque, and the circular saw blade made cleaner cuts than similarly sized competition. We also liked the inclusion of the vacuum in this kit for quick cleanup of sawdust or drill shavings after completing a project.

Product Specs

  • Tool count: 6
  • Corded vs. cordless: Cordless
  • Motor type: Brushed

Pros

  • Kit includes 4 compact tools powered by long-lasting 3Ah batteries
  • The included rapid charger powers up a depleted battery in about a half hour
  • Heavy-duty tool bag with extra pockets and wheels for better organization and easy transport
  • Tools are substantially designed and built for comfort and durability

Cons

  • Not designed for heavy-duty construction and demolition projects

Get the Makita power tool set at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.

Jump to Our Top Picks



What to Consider When Choosing the Best Power Tool Set 

Grabbing the first power tool set because it’s on sale or has that one tool you need is a poor way to go about this important purchase decision. Instead, take the time to learn what to look for in order to find the best power tool combo kits. Many power tool sets come with a drill driver, reciprocating saw or circular saw, a flashlight, and even an impact driver. Some even include premium components, such as a durable tool bag and quality tools like a circular saw, reciprocating saw, and hammer drill.

Tool Count 

When looking for a new power tool set, consider the number and type of power tools, and look for a set that includes those key tools. Just keep in mind that as the number of power tools in a set increases, so does the price. Still, a 10-tool set at a bargain price may be worth it to DIYers who are purchasing their first set of tools or replacing a large number of old tools.

However, even if a circular saw, electric screwdriver, and hammer drill are all one needs, then picking up seven additional tools might be too much. A smaller set may be a better option.

Corded vs. Cordless

A set of power tools is either corded electric or cordless. Both styles have advantages and drawbacks, though cordless tool sets are significantly more popular.

  • Corded power tools rely on a direct connection to an available power outlet, and they cannot function unless the cord is plugged in and undamaged. They tend to be less expensive than cordless power tools, and users don’t need to worry about losing power in the middle of a job because of a low battery. The power cord can create a tripping hazard in the workshop, so it’s important to keep the cord up off the floor and out of the way as much as possible.
  • Cordless power tools use rechargeable batteries for power. These batteries typically last for about 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the tool and the application. If the batteries are not regularly charged, however, the battery life can begin to shorten over time. The obvious benefit of a cordless power tool is the increased maneuverability, but this requires keeping one battery on the charger while the other is in use.

Brushed vs. Brushless Motors

Power tool motors come in two distinct types known as brushed and brushless.

  • Brushed motors have carbon brushes that make contact with the permanent magnets inside the motor to flip the magnetic field back and forth and spin the rotor. Due to the contact made by the carbon brushes, brushed motors tend to wear out faster than brushless motors, though tools equipped with these motors also have high starting torque and a lower price than brushless tools.
  • Brushless motors have permanent magnets fitted directly to the rotor and are equipped with an electronic speed controller (ESC) to regulate the charge of the magnets and spin the rotor. This frictionless system increases longevity and makes the tools quieter during operation. However, this comes with a higher price tag than tools with brushed motors.

Batteries

Those who opt for a cordless power tool set should know enough about the batteries to ensure that they can use their new power tools. Quick-charging battery chargers can rapidly power up the batteries, ensuring that a spare is ready to go if the primary battery begins to run out.

Additionally, most cordless power tool sets now use universal batteries that work on each of the power tools in the set, so users only need one or two batteries for multiple tools. However, batteries are not typically interchangeable between power tool brands. A DeWalt battery doesn’t work in a Bosch drill, for example.

Also, it’s important for users to regularly use and charge batteries to maintain their lifespan. Long periods of disuse, as well as leaving the battery fully discharged or semi-discharged, can decrease the maximum battery life.

Additional Features

Some tool set bundles offer additional features that help improve their functionality and convenience.

  • Built-in flashlights are common drill and saw features that allow users to see what they are doing while they work.
  • Battery life indicators display the amount of battery life remaining so users know whether they have enough power left to finish a project or if they will need to replace it before they can complete their work.
  • Trigger locks prevent the accidental activation of the power tool. To start a power tool equipped with a trigger lock, users need to push the lock button and press the trigger at the same time.

Accessories

There are many power tool companies that include various accessories in their power tool sets to help DIYers and professionals accomplish their tasks, including tool bags, extra blades, screwdrivers, and drill bits.

  • Tool bags help keep power tools and accessories neatly organized, ready for transport, and safe from dirt, debris, and other contaminants.
  • Extra blades replace worn or cracked blades for circular saws, reciprocating saws, jigsaws, and rotary tools.
  • Screwdrivers and other small hand tools might come with a power tool set to increase the tool count and provide users with common tools for DIY repairs around the home.
  • Drill bits replace worn, chipped, and cracked ones and come in handy quite often. As long as their size is right, they can be used in impact drivers, standard drills, and hammer drills.

FAQs

Take a look below to find the answers to several of the most commonly asked questions about selecting and handling a power tool set.

Q. What tools need to be included in a power tool set? 

While there are no specific tools that need to be included in a power tool set, some of the most common tools include a hammer drill, reciprocating saw, circular saw, a flashlight, and an impact driver.

Q. Which brand is best for power tools? 

Big power tool brands regularly improve their products and release updated tools and tool kits, so it’s difficult to state just one top brand. However, some of the best power tool brands include Ryobi, DeWalt, Bosch, Porter-Cable, Makita, and Black+ Decker.

Q. Where should power tools be stored? 

To keep the power tools in good condition, store them in a dry location that won’t be subjected to extreme heat or cold. Consider storing your power tools in a garage, workshop, or basement.

Q. How do you clean power tools? 

Power tools can be cleaned with a mixture of hot water and an all-purpose cleaner/degreaser. Simply combine the water and cleaner in a bucket, then use a wire brush or steel wool with the cleaning solution to lightly scrub the tools. This will remove dirt, rust, and other debris.

You can also use a toothpick or cotton swab to clean in narrow cracks and crevices. Just make sure to disconnect the battery or power cord before cleaning to avoid accidentally turning on the power tool.

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