The Best Power Tools & DIY Products Tested in 2023

After a full year spent testing hundreds of tools, we found 12 of the best for your next DIY project.

By Michelle Larson and Beth Cranston | Updated Dec 14, 2023 8:15 AM

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The Best Power Tools and DIY Products Options

Photo: Glenda Taylor for for BobVila.com

From 143 to just a dozen: That’s how far we whittled our lineup of the best tested power tools and DIY products to make this end-of-year list. The only way to refine it so highly was to take a fresh look at each hole drilled, square of drywall sanded, and piece of plywood cut to see which of the corresponding tools met and exceeded expectations. After countless hours spent fighting for their position in the hands of our expert testers, we can confidently say these 12 tools are worthy additions to any garage or workshop.

1. DeWalt DCD771C2 20V MAX Compact Drill/Driver Kit

The Best Cordless Drills Option: DeWalt DCD771C2 20V MAX Compact Drill/Driver Kit

Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

DeWalt’s 20V MAX cordless drill/driver comes from one of the most respected names in professional power tools. It offers superb quality and excellent performance at an affordable price, making it a valuable addition to the tool kit of both DIY enthusiasts and professionals.

In testing, we inserted a ½-inch auger bit and started drilling holes in a tree stump. The DeWalt powered right through multiple holes on both low and high speeds. We switched to a 2-inch hole-saw bit and drilled a dozen more holes with no loss of torque and no bogging down.

This DeWalt drill weighs a moderate 3.6 pounds (without the battery), and its ½-inch chuck is designed to accept most drill and screw bits. It has 16 clutch settings to tweak the torque power for different screwdriving tasks.

Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our best cordless drills guide.

Get the DeWalt cordless drill at Amazon, Tractor Supply Co., Ace Hardware, The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.

2. Wilton General Purpose 6-Inch Jaw Bench Vise 11106

The Best Cordless Drills Option: DeWalt DCD771C2 20V MAX Compact Drill/Driver Kit

Photo: amazon.com

Coming in as the top pick in our tested bench vise guide is the Wilton 6-inch bench vise—a formidable workshop tool. Like most bench vises, it comes fully assembled with a cast iron construction; all we had to do was mount it to the top of our workbench. This is a general-use vise that can be used for multiple shop purposes, such as holding blades for sharpening and pipes to remove fittings.

The Wilton bench vise has a 6-inch jaw width and strong gripping power—we tightened several items in its jaws, including pipes, iron bars, and wood. We could loosen stuck-on pipe fittings using a wrench without the pipe slipping in the jaws’ grip. We drilled holes in boards, and the Wilton vise held them securely—no slipping. We also used the anvil on the back to flatten a copper pipe with a hammer. The anvil is relatively small—about 4 inches by 4 inches—but it’s suitable for hammering small items.

Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our best bench vises guide.

Get the Wilton bench vise at Amazon, Lowe’s, Tractor Supply Co., or Walmart

3. Bosch 32-Pc. StarlockPlus Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit

Bosch StarlockPlus Oscillating Tool Review

Photo: Glenda Taylor

In our tests of the best oscillating tools, the Bosch StarlockPlus came out on top. This tool has a 4-amp motor and an adjustable speed range between 8,000 and 20,000 oscillations per minute (OPM). It comes with a case and 32 accessories, including sandpaper and several blades.

We used the Bosch oscillating tool to sand, cut wood, cut metal, and remove grout on some old tile. The device is exceptional: It fit well in hand, didn’t vibrate extensively even at low speeds, and the battery stayed charged throughout our 1-hour test period. We also liked that the toolless blade-change system allowed us to swap blades and sanding pads without using a wrench or a hex key.

Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our best oscillating tools guide.

Get the Bosch oscillating tool at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Acme Tools.

4. Wen 6377 Variable-Speed 5-Amp Drywall Sander

The Best Power Tools and DIY Products Option Wen 6377 Variable-Speed 5-Amp Drywall Sander

Photo: amazon.com

Earning the top spot in our lineup of the best drywall sanders, the Wen 6377 has a 5-amp motor and offers variable speeds between 600 and 1,500 revolutions per minute (rpm). The head can pivot and swivel, allowing use at all angles for easy sanding, and it comes with a triangular head in addition to the typical round version. A starter pack of sanding sheets is included—five of both round and triangle in grits of 60, 80, 120, 150, 180, and 240.

The Wen drywall sander is fairly lightweight (just 9 pounds without one of the swappable heads attached), and the adjustable shoulder strap makes it easy to carry. It has the speed to get the job done relatively quickly. Plus, the flexible hose can stretch to 15 feet. It features a telescoping and folding handle, allowing it to break down into a very tight package for storage or transport.

Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our best drywall sanders guide.

Get the Wen drywall sander at Amazon, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Walmart, Northern Tool + Equipment, or Wen.

5. Makita XSH06PT 36V Cordless Circular Saw

Makita Cordless Circular Saw Review

Photo: Glenda Taylor

For several reasons, the 36-volt cordless Makita circular saw takes top honors in our lineup of the best circular saws. We put the Makita to the test by making straight and bevel cuts of various depths on plywood and dimensional lumber. It powered through smoothly with no torque loss, even after the battery indicators showed less than half a charge. We made repeated cuts over an hour, and the Makita’s motor and housing never heated up.

The saw comes with a quick-change angle adjustment, which is handy and straightforward. The Makita cuts at any angle up to 56 degrees and has positive stops. It cuts to a maximum 2⅝-inch depth, and adjusting the depth was a breeze. The easy adjustments make this saw well suited for quick-moving projects when the user needs to change angles or depth quickly and doesn’t want to stop and use a wrench.

Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our best circular saws guide.

Get the Makita circular saw at Amazon, Tractor Supply Co., The Home Depot, Walmart, or Acme Tools.

6. Kreg Pocket Hole Jig 320

Kreg Pocket Hole Jig Review

Photo: Jacob Wolfe

The Kreg KPHJ320 is one of the best multipurpose pocket-hole jigs for DIY wood projects. In our tests, the Kreg jig stood out from the pack in terms of versatility, quality, and overall value. The material felt strong, and the jig easily gripped the work surface for quick and secure assembly.

The Kreg features two drill guides, a removable spacer, and adjustable stops for ½-, ¾-, and 1½-inch-thick material. The kit comes equipped with a combination hex key/material thickness gauge tool, a stepped drill bit with adjustable depth stop, a clamp pad, and a square drive screwdriver bit, all organized in a heavy-duty plastic carry case.

Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our best pocket hold jigs guide.

Get the Kreg pocket hole jig at Amazon, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, or The Home Depot.

7. DeWalt 20V MAX 21° Cordless Framing Nailer

Building contractor using DeWalt Cordless Nailer to fasten stud to bottom plate.

Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

In our tests, the DeWalt 21-degree cordless framing nailer turned out to be a real workhorse, and its high performance level earned it the top spot. Weighing 8.5 pounds, this DeWalt tool is a study in both portability and power.

The DeWalt’s angled nose made it easy to use in tight spots, including attaching vertical wall studs to ceiling and floor plates at an angle. The depth-adjustment feature was essential as we switched from dimensional lumber to hardwood, and the nailer’s comfortable grip made it easy to grasp without slipping or causing hand fatigue.

We were impressed with the DeWalt and found it to be an excellent choice for framing and subfloor applications. It’s suitable for both professionals and DIYers tackling a range of projects, from residential framing to deck building and sheathing.

Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our best cordless framing nailer guide.

Get the DeWalt cordless framing nailer at Ace Hardware, The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.

8. Makita XAD05T 18V LXT Cordless Right-Angle Drill Kit

A person actively using the Makita right-angle drill

Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

The Makita XAD05T 18V right-angle drill offers exceptional versatility and precision, making it a standout choice for specialized drilling tasks. With its unique right-angle design, this drill excels in navigating tight spaces where conventional drills struggle. In our hands-on tests, the XAD05T allowed us to drill holes and insert and remove fasteners in spots where a standard drill would not fit.

This specialty drill is ideal for tasks that demand precision and maneuverability, such as by professionals like plumbers and electricians who frequently work in small spaces. For those requiring its unique capabilities, this drill can be a valuable addition to the tool kit, offering efficiency and accuracy no matter the setting.

Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our best right-angle drills guide.

Get the Makita right-angle drill at Amazon, The Home Depot, Acme Tools, or Ace Tool.

9. DeWalt DWE7491RS 10-Inch Table Saw

DeWalt 10-inch table saw

Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

The DeWalt 10-inch table saw is a standout tool in the world of woodworking. With a 15-amp motor, it easily powered through various sheet materials and dimensional lumber in our tests. The saw’s ample 32.5-inch rip capacity allowed us to rip large plywood sheets, and the best part is that the saw is still portable—a testament to DeWalt’s ingenuity.

This table saw made smooth, square, and accurate cuts right out of the box—we didn’t have to make any fence adjustments. It has well-placed controls for easy access, including the on/off switch, depth adjustment, bevel adjustment, and fence adjustment.

The DeWalt 10-inch table saw is ideal for professionals and enthusiasts seeking power, precision, stability, and portability. Its trustworthiness, out-of-the-box performance, and robust construction make it perfect for those aiming for top-tier results.

Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our best table saws guide.

Get the DeWalt table saw at Amazon, Lowe’s, Tractor Supply Co., The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.

10. Bosch GCM12SD 12-in. Dual-Bevel Glide Miter Saw

The Best Power Tools and DIY Products Option Bosch GCM12SD 12-in. Dual-Bevel Glide Miter Saw

Photo: amazon.com

During testing, we found that the Bosch saw truly does belong at the top of our best miter saws list. First, it has a zero-clearance slide arm that can sit up against a wall if necessary, allowing it to make extremely accurate cuts no matter the setting.

Also, it requires no assembly, the dust collection is outstanding, and the motor is incredibly powerful. The clear saw guard doesn’t obstruct the view of the cut, the trigger handle features a padded ergonomic grip, and the fences are adjustable.

Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our best miter saws guide.

Get the Bosch miter saw at Amazon, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.

11. Stanley 94-248 65-Piece Homeowner’s Tool Kit

The Best Power Tools and DIY Products Option Stanley 94-248 65-Piece Homeowner’s Tool Kit

Photo: amazon.com

Stanley’s 65-piece hand tool kit includes a thoughtful mix of reasonably priced, well-made tools. As a home tool kit, it sets itself apart from others by including tools that can handle bigger jobs. We had no problem hammering an 8D framing nail into a 2×4 with the hammer, something we couldn’t do with the smaller hammers other kits have.

The kit includes a variety of full-size tools, including flathead and Phillips-head screwdrivers, two pairs of pliers, a hammer, a tape measure, a level, and a utility knife. Accompanying these tools is an assortment of accessories, including 30 screwdriver bits, 10 Allen wrenches/hex keys, and eight ratchet attachments. Stanley equips these hand tools with ergonomic handles and rubberized grips that make them comfortable for bigger jobs.

Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our best home tool kits guide.

Get the Stanley home tool kit at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.

12. Harbor Freight Fortress 10-Gallon Air Compressor

A person moving the Harbor Freight Fortress air compressor by using its wheels and handle

Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

While there’s a lot to like about this air compressor, our favorite feature is its quiet operation. After working around loud air compressors that startled us every time they cycled on, we were thrilled with the soft operating sound of the Fortress.

With its 10-gallon capacity and thoughtful design, the Harbor Freight 175-psi air compressor strikes a balance between portability and performance. It features large flat-free tires and a sturdy handle, making it easy to move around a workshop or roll out onto the driveway. The Harbor Freight air compressor delivers a powerful and steady airflow rate of 4.3 CFM at 90 psi, suitable for a range of light- to medium-duty pneumatic tools.

Learn about how we tested and reviewed more top picks in our best quiet air compressors guide.

Get the Harbor Freight air compressor at Harbor Freight.