39 Top-Rated Tools for DIY Projects Under $50
Note: This list only features the best tools for DIY projects with at least 4.4/5 stars and 20+ reviews on Amazon. All featured reviews were written by verified purchasers. Product selections are 100% our own - we do not accept sponsored placements.
There comes a time in every person's life when they realize that a roll of duct tape and some WD-40 can't actually fix everything. But if you're just beginning to try some more nuanced DIY projects, you may be overwhelmed by sticker shock. Fortunately, it is possible to equip yourself with some basic, quality tools at very affordable prices. All of the featured tools on this list are under $50 and very well reviewed by DIYers like you.
1. A cordless drill
Average rating: 4.5/5 (3,000+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "Had it for about 2 months now and have used it extensively. Haven't identified any real weaknesses or drawbacks to it yet. Battery life is good to excellent. It's light and torquey. Bit install is quick easy and right. It's quite a bit smaller than my previous black and decker drill. Two of the best things about this drill is the LED light that illuminates the area to be drilled and it stands up on its own when placed on its battery base on a table or floor."
2. A magnetic stud finder
Average rating: 4.6/5 (7,200+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "The electronic studfinders are undependable. This one works astonishingly well. Just hold it somewhat loosely and move it around in a sort of figure-eight motion. When it finds a stud, it pulls out of your hand and hangs on the wall. You can double check it by trying the same process a foot or two lower. Great product!"
3. An ultra bright, compact flashlight
Average rating: 4.6/5 (11,200+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "Really like this flashlight. Bright and tough. Best of all it runs on a single AA battery. My previous tactical lights used three AAA batteries and lasted only a short time. Love my new light."
4. A headlamp (for those extra cramped spaces)
Average rating: 4.8/5 (2,500+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "Lightweight, comfortable and very bright. I worked on my truck for 3 hours today, sliding underneath on the creeper and knocked this lamp off my head twice, and another time I took off my stocking hat forgetting the light was on my head so it dropped and hit the concrete floor of my garage from a standing position. Still working great. I will definitely buy another one of these."
Average rating: 4.5/5 (40+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "I looked all over Amazon for a damaged screw extractor trying to find the lowest price. I found this one at a fraction of the cost compared to many other sellers that were selling the same extractors. I'm very pleased with my purchase & the price I paid for this. It does exactly as it said & I had no issues removing the damaged screw from my entry door."
6. An extendable magnetic pick-up tool
Average rating: 4.5/5 (680+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "I work with a lot of small parts in my hobbies. This magnet is very useful for retrieving them when they get adrift, especially if in some hard to get to place like under my workbench. You don't even need to see the parts to retrieve them. Just extend the wand, move it about where you think the part is, and often it will be retrieved without further problem. Very useful!"
7. A folding step ladder
Average rating: 4.6/5 (1,400+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "The steps are large and wide so your feet feel secure. It is much more secure than trying to balance on the skinny steps of an ordinary stepladder. The build is solid. It is lightweight and easy to carry from room to room or even outside. It folds up very nice and slim and is easy to store. Excellent product."
8. An extension cord reel (with built-in outlets)
Average rating: 4.7/5 (30+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "Master plug 80 ft cord open reel worked great right out of the box. I have been using it today to run my chop saw and other power tools. Works wonderful!! A must have form and and any purpose you might need them for."
9. A palm sander
Average rating: 4.5/5 (460+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "Works as advertised. Sanded my basement (pine) stairs after 10 years so that I could stain and urethane them. Easy to use, ergo friendly."
10. A power jigsaw
Average rating: 4.8/5 (190+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "First timer to use a jigsaw! Very happy with it, I used it to install our cat door in our bedroom door (6 panel hollow interior door). Very powerful and easy to use, the job turned out perfect!"
11. A set of adjustable wrenches
Average rating: 4.5/5 (60+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "Four wrenches, chrome plated. They adjust. They work. The steel is decent and the fit is tight, AND there is no fancy but pointless colored plastic or imitation rubber to break, absorb oil, or wear out. They are simple adjustable wrenches of good quality and nothing else. Color me happy."
12. A level
Average rating: 4.6/5 (110+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "Light weight, yet tough. Having a ruler on the side is very useful - I wonder why most others don't have it."
13. A sturdy 26-foot tape measure
Average rating: 4.7/5 (130+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "So far I love it and the quality is just as good as DeWalt if not better. It has a very solid, rubbery, high quality feel and the tape mechanism works very smoothly. I highly recommend this product, and the purchase experience was great too!"
14. Adjusting pliers
Average rating: 4.8/5 (100+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "These are the absolute best pliers I have ever used. The groove-lock is very adjustable so you can always find the perfect amount of opening so that it is still easy to squeeze the handles."
15. Locking pliers
Average rating: 4.6/5 (150+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "This is one of those tools that's indispensable. While I don't use them if I can put a hex or open wrench on a nut, they're perfect if you're working with a rounded nut or need to hold something in place that can't be gripped more politely."
Average rating: 4.8/5 (25+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "These will easily cut any wire I have encountered, they have even cut through 5/16" grade 5 bolts, without dulling at all. These are worth every penny, and the high leverage design makes using them easier on your hands. As long as you don't lose them, they'll last a lifetime."
17. Long nose pliers
Average rating: 4.7/5 (175+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "Long nose pliers are an underrated tool. We use long nose pliers for so many things! A couple in the tackle boxes, a few on the boat, some in the garage, in the tool boxes, in the kitchen junk drawer...they always come in handy!"
18. A pair of safety glasses
Average rating: 4.5/5 (430+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "I was worried that for the price, I would be getting a flimsy product. Not true. I was tired of my unnecessary and painful splash goggles in the lab, but worried that these would not fit over my glasses or cover enough of my face to shield it properly. That is not so, these fit over my clunky glasses very well and provide more than adequate coverage without looking stupid! Better yet, these have not scratched yet and I mishandle everything!"
19. Heavy duty electrician's scissors
Average rating: 4.7/5 (65+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "They cut paper like a new razor blade, cut wires like it's paper, and I have proven on the job that they will cut a penny in half as well, but I don't recommend that. These are a fine artist tool. The Klein brand telecom cabler's scissors are the best of the best."
20. A 360 piece assortment kit with screws, nails, anchors, etc.
Average rating: 4.4/5 (50+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "A good working assortment of odds and ends needed for around the house projects."
21. A utility knife
Average rating: 4.8/5 (125+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "This is the best snap-off Utility knife ever. The knife has a great handle and very comfortable feel in the hand. The handle is highly ergonomic and has ribbing to prevent slipping both when bearing down with forefinger and also when pulling back to cut. The metal parts are a Zinc Alloy that is rust-proof. The removeable cartridge holds five blades for easy changing, and the blade in use has a great, positive action lock to prevent blade slipping on hard-to-cut materials. The blades are 18 mm width for cutting thick materials and they are very strong. This is the best utility knife I've ever had - bar none."
22. A speed square right angle layout tool
Average rating: 4.8/5 (850+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "This simple right angle is difference between tables that rest on four legs and those that float on three. It is the hard edge that is always perfect (you cannot chip or damage it) and it is small and light enough that it should follow you everywhere."
23. A medium weight straight claw hammer
Average rating: 4.7/5 (210+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "The balance is flawless, it swings like a dream, and is a tool I will pass down to my grandchildren one day, it's made like a tool should be, to last."
24. A quick-grip clamp set
Average rating: 4.6/5 (110+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "Great set of clamps at great price. Been using these clamps for a few small projects and they very easy to work with and have an amazing grip. You get 8 clamps for the same price other people are charging for 4."
25. A 3 gallon bucket
Average rating: 4.6/5 (40+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "Excellent and durable bucket for all of the water requirements that I have on remodeling projects. 5-gallon buckets are too big and tall. This is the perfect size for meeting my requirements and this bucket is made of very thick plastic and will be durable and long lasting."
26. A pack of dust masks
Average rating: 4.7/5 (60+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "These masks are actually really great. I've been having a lot of breathing trouble because of a sudden diagnoses of asthma, and it's really hindered a lot of my every day cleaning routine. I bought these after reading the reviews and seeing that they've worked well to keep the dust out of your lungs. I was not at all disappointed."
27. A pack of indoor/outdoor paint brushes
Average rating: 4.8/5 (110+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "Pro quality brushes at a great price. I haven't yet used the smaller brushes but the 2 inch brush lasted through an extensive cabinet painting project with multiple coats of a waterborne alkyd paint and multiple cleanings of the brush. I cleaned and combed the brush perhaps 20 or more times. No stray or detached bristles to mar the paint job or tick me off. The brush kept its shape. Good deal on this set."
28. Painter's tape
Average rating: 4.7/5 (20+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "Great product for almost everything. I always use this tape to mark the contents of my box. Then if the contents change, I can just remove the tape and put a new piece of tape on and remark the new contents. Its handy!"
29. A 6-in-1 painter's tool
Average rating: 4.4/5 (220+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "This tool is great for just about any type of scraping, smoothing, or cornering you may need to do on a DIY project. It was constantly passed back and forth when I was tiling my kitchen with some friends because people preferred it to other putty knives."
30. A multi-purpose 6-in-1 screwdriver
Average rating: 4.9/5 (30+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "You only realise how hard it is to work with cheap, low quality screwdrivers until you buy a good one. I had plenty of cheap screwdrivers with bended tips lying around and wanted to replace them with something durable. This is it: with 4 strong magnetic heads (two normal, two Philips) and a sturdy body this will last perhaps a lifetime and make any DIY project so much easier."
31. Some tough work gloves
Average rating: 4.6/5 (350+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "I use these for everything from yard work, shop work, and working on my older pickup and they are fantastic! Great tactile feedback in the fingers and depending upon how much abuse you give them they last quite a while."
32. A 3 piece nail set (to protect wood surfaces)
Average rating: 4.8/5 (50+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "Thes are excellent nail sets. The three different sizes are perfect for pretty much all the typical finish nails. The grip is excellent and you won't drop them. They have lasted and held up great."
33. An awl (great for starting screw holes)
Average rating: 4.9/5 (60+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "There's really not much to say about this product being that it is a simple tool.. However, it's by far the nicest iteration of an awl that I have ever used.. It's got a good solid weight to it and it's very symmetrical in it's tapper. The grip is good and it has lasted me for a few months now no problem."
34. Leak-proof plumber's tape
Average rating: 4.7/5 (730+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "This stuff is awesome and much cheaper than you'd find in stores. You should always use this when you put in any plumbing, whether it's an in-line water filter, a new sink, or just a shower head. It definitely helps to prevent leaks along the threading."
35. Electrical tape
Average rating: 4.6/5 (225+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "Simple. If you have one or more electrical items that need to be stuck in close proximity with some form of adhesive tape, this is for you. Wrap it around wires. Tape your blender to your microwave. Whatever. It's good tape so electricians and handymen (people?) will get good use out of it."
36. A hacksaw
Average rating: 4.7/5 (125+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "This saw is amazing, I have gone to town on it. I have already been at the point of what I have imagined would destroy this thing: Hardwoods, awkward angles, excessive volume, and general impatience, but this thing still doesn't skip a beat."
37. A rubber mallet
Average rating: 4.7/5 (70+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "This Rubber Mallet by Stanley has quickly become one of my favorite tools. I've used this to assemble my Elfa storage system components in my garage, which requires hammering metal pieces into each other and lots of drywall anchors. I also prefer to use it over a hammer while inserting nails for hanging canvases on the walls. It has worked great for enlarging piolet holes and stabilizing toggle bolts into drywall prior to using the drill."
38. Super glue
Average rating: 4.7/5 (260+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "This glue is quite strong, dries quickly (and almost clearly), is reasonably priced relatively to the quantity per-tube, has an applicator/cap system that works very well, and does a good job at bonding to most any surface provided it is cleaned before application. That makes a great general purpose glue to have around the house given there are thousands of uses for this glue."
39. A heavy duty staple gun
Average rating: 4.4/5 (220+ reviews)
Reviewers say: "This staple gun is called heavy duty for a reason. This thing is built to withstand a tornado or possibly the apocalypse. I would highly recommend this staple gun for creative geniuses and those that spend a considerable amount of time doing projects and building various things."
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