There are few things better in life than getting a few new tools, except for getting a bunch of new tools in a tool set for cheaper than they would have cost separately. Not every toolmaker puts tool sets together, but there are a few good brands who do and if you’re looking to get tools with a quality reputation, this is a great way to build out a collection at a bargain price. Buying quality doesn’t always have to be expensive.
Part of the reason that toolmakers do this is because they want to be customer focused. Paying attention to customer needs and then providing a solution that fills that need is what companies do. Especially if you’re making tools. After all, what’s the point of making tools if they don’t fill a need? By making a set of tools around a specific need, field or job, tool makers are addressing specific job needs making selection of tools relatively easy.
Another good reason for having ready to go tool sets is that it gives an all in one solution which ensures that a customer has everything or almost everything they need to take on a job. This of course builds the company’s reputation because they have solutions to problems in a convenient package. It also ensures that all of the tools you use for a particular job are of one brand and not made up of several different brands, so the tool company's brand makes up your whole tool box, and you'll be more likely to buy that brand to replace any piece. Lastly, to the toolmaker’s benefit, free advertising. When buying a tool set, you’re kind of identifying with the brand, but you’re also advertising it. Wiha tool sets will be in a bag that says “Wiha” on it, which of course will help them sell more.
Kind of a win for everyone.
Some of the most impressive tool kits are made by Klein, Wiha and Ideal Tools. Klein Tools tool sets are perfect basic tool sets for electricians. Klein makes everything from a 12-Piece Electrician Set all the way up to a 41-Piece Journeyman Set. They’ve also got a few insulated sets which are handy for electricians for reasons that should be obvious. These sets vary in what they carry, but they all come in a carrying case of some sort and feature a good assortment of wire strippers, drivers, pliers, cutters and more. If you’re getting into any job like an electrician, HVAC or some other tech job any of these sets could make a good investment.
Wiha Tools is practically the king of pre-made tool sets having taken the concept of selling pre-assembled sets to nearly the level of obsession. That’s a good thing though because if you don’t like the set in a given price range, then just look at the next one. On the low end they have a simple 3 piece pliers/cutter set all the way up to an insulated 80 piece set in a rolling tool case. And literally dozens of other combinations in between. Looking at the sets they have, it looks like the best deals are in the middle to large range as the really small sets are nearly the price of a slightly larger one and you might as well have extra tools if you're going to spend. Seven tools for about $80 feels like a better deal than three tools for about $60. Whatever set you get is going to be good because Wiha’s insulated tools are some of the best in the business being that they’re held to the highest standards.
Lastly, US-based Ideal Tools has a fair selection of tool sets similar to Klein’s offerings focusing primarily on sets geared towards electricians, journeymen and apprentices. The quality of their tools would be as good as if not better than that of Klein or Wiha’s depending on what you’re looking for. They're not as fancy, but some of their tools have a more solid feel. One thing they offer that sets them apart from Klein is with the Tuff-Tote toolsets which are basically just smaller setts with a belt pouch and a focused set of tools. Klein and Wiha have something similar, but Ideal gets points for differentiating these from the bigger sets with some sort of branding.
Whatever way you look at it, tool sets are a win-win for everybody. They help the consumer by allowing us to buy a good selection of tools at a great price. They also help the tool companies by helping them increase sales and get some free advertising. If you’re entering a new trade or are looking to get a good set of tools for one reason or another, take a look at a premade tool set and if you feel there’s something missing, just add it to an existing set.