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The Best Tools of 2022

After testing hundreds of tools, here are the top picks from our experts
The Best Tools of 2022
Comparing the best tools side-by-side in the GearLab garage.
Credit: Clark Tate
By GearLab Review Team  ⋅  Jul 1, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more

Quality tools can last a lifetime and help you handle everything from day-to-day fix-it tasks to major home improvement projects. The GearLab testing team has purchased and tested hundreds of tools—everything from drills, tool sets to leaf blowers, and much more—subjecting each to rigorous side-by-side testing to figure out which ones are worthy of a place in your garage. Our extensive testing can help you choose tools that you will serve your needs for years down the line. In this article, we share the tools our experts pick for themselves and would recommend to friends and family.

Editor's Note: We updated this list of our favorite picks on July 1, 2022, to incorporate our latest picks for Car Chargers.


tools - testing the top drills involved drilling hundreds of holes in both...
Testing the top drills involved drilling hundreds of holes in both metal and wood, using everything from standard twist drills to paddle bits and giant hole saws.
Credit: Laura Casner

Drills


Finding the right drill is one of the most fundamental tool decisions. A quality drill will be a workhorse tool for your household, coming in handy for repairs, DIY projects, and more. During our comprehensive drill-testing process, we drilled over 400 holes with each product, and drove in more than a thousand screws, all to help you find the best tool to meet your needs and budget. We pushed these tools to their torque and battery limits with enormous lag screws and giant hole saws, as well as compared their ease-of-use before deciding on our picks. Below you'll find our favorite cordless drills. If you are looking for a little more power, consider upgrading to an impact driver, the favorite for those who use their drill more frequently. We've also included our favorite drill brush sets for those who want to expand the range of drill projects to include cleaning.

Drills

Kobalt 24-volt Max 1/2-in Brushless Drill KDD 1424A-03


Earning the top score out of any cordless drill that we have tested to date, the Kobalt 24-volt Max 1/2-in Brushless Drill KDD 1424A-03 is our top recommendation for anyone who wants the top tool when it comes to these products. This drill is…

Craftsman V20 1/2-In. Drill/Driver Kit CMCD700C1


The Craftsman V20 1/2-In Drill/Driver Kit CMCD700C1 isn't the most powerful or high-performing cordless drill we have tested so far but we were pleasantly surprised with its performance given its much more affordable price tag when compared to the…


Cordless Impact Drivers

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2853-20


If maintaining a high level of productivity is crucial for you, you're going to love the speed that the Milwaukee M18 FUEL drives fasteners. This model also holds its own in the power department — it destroyed all of our torque tests with ease. One of…

Ryobi P238


Leading the pack in both our speed and torques tests, the Ryobi P238 is an enticing option for ambitious DIYers that want as much power as they can get from their cordless tools. However, we did have some gripes with this tool, namely that its battery…


Drill Brushes

JUSONEY 23-Piece Brush Attachment Set


A versatile set that offers excellent quality, earning top scores and accolades

Drill Brush 360 Attachment Kit


Simple, compact set for cleaning water sports and outside water fixtures like pools and hot tubs


tools - testing the top saws, whether it is handsaws, circular saws, or...
Testing the top saws, whether it is handsaws, circular saws, or chainsaws, includes thousands of cuts to compare performance.
Credit: Michelle Powell

Saws


Whether you are cutting down that Christmas tree, making a bike ramp for your kids, or trimming those annoying bushes out front, a good saw is a can't-do-without. Our testers literally sawed through hundreds of pieces of wood for our comprehensive handsaw review. We tested for speed, cut quality, accuracy, among other things. If you are considering going cordless—batteries are getting better every year—have a look at our cordless circular saw and cordless chainsaws. For these items, we tested for noise, battery life, saw performance and ease-of-use. The list below contains our best recommendations for these categories, including the top-performers and then a pick for those on a budget.

Handsaws

IRWIN Coarse Cut ProTouch


A well-balanced saw built for accurate, speedy cuts across a variety of uses

Craftsman 15-Inch


This model cuts through wood quickly and keeps costs low


Cordless Circular Saws

Milwaukee M18 2631-20


The 7 1/4" Milwaukee M18 is a professional quality saw that removes any doubt whether a cordless circular saw can do the work of its corded counterparts. This machine can make full-depth crosscuts with ease and rip hundreds of feet of plywood on a single…

SKIL CR540601


While the SKIL CR540601 is not a high-end saw, it is a proficient tool at a price that is easy to swallow. This 6 1/2" saw will make all but the toughest cuts without much difficulty. It also has unique sightlines that are accurate and easy for novices to…


Cordless Chainsaws

Ego Power+ CS1800


Earning one of our top spots, the Ego Power+ CS1800 is a phenomenal cordless electric chainsaw. If battery life is an important consideration for you, this saw is the way to go. Not only does the battery outlast the competition, it's relatively quick to…

Husqvarna 120i


The 120i has an extraordinary battery life, which is increased even further when the saw is switched into "savE" mode. This tool is quiet, and best of all it is inexpensive when compared to its level of power and efficiency. However, the Husqvarna 120i is…


tools - some of the top leaf blowers we put through our extensive testing.
Some of the top leaf blowers we put through our extensive testing.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Yard Tools


To keep any yard maintained, you need a quiver of…ummm, stuff. And nothing is more annoying than having to buy new stuff every year. To help you find the toughest and top-performing yard tools, and to keep you from having to spend hundreds each year, we tested hundreds of products from the top brands, and some lesser known ones. We bought and tested leaf blowers, pressure washers, trimmers and lawnmowers. We recorded the power of leaf blowers and the cleaning stats of the top pressure washers through a battery of tests, including cleaning gutters, fence boards, driveways, wheelbarrows, and dirty trucks. Wondering if cordless lawn mowers stand up to the acclaim? Check out our review. Last but not least, we got our workout testing snow shovels. Our top picks below.

Cordless Leaf Blowers

Ego Power+ 615 CFM Blower LB6151


Power is paramount when it comes to leaf blowers, and the mighty Ego Power+ 615 CFM Blower has the juice to move wet leaves and dirt from decks and driveways while offering the advantages of electric motors (weight savings and lower operating…

Ryobi 40V RY40460


Admittedly, the Ryobi RY40460 is neither the most powerful nor quietest cordless leaf blower we have seen so far. It also doesn't have a terribly impressive battery life, though it is one of the more ergonomic and comfortable. However, it couples an…


Pressure Washers

Westinghouse WPX3200 Pressure Washer


The Westinghouse WPX3200 is a beast of a machine, and easily the winner of our admiration for overall performance. With a 212cc 4-Stroke Westinghouse OHV Horizontal Shaft Engine, this pressure washer cleans surfaces in record time with its cleansing…

SunJoe SPX3000


The SunJoe SPX 3000 is a good all-around pressure washer that doesn't require you to empty out your bank account in order to purchase it. It's fairly easy to use, and it offers a good degree of portability. However, with the lower price tag comes a bit of…


Cordless String Trimmers

Makita XRU15PT 36V


Delivering some of the best overall results that we have seen so far, the Makita XRU15PT is one of our all-time favorite cordless string trimmers. This cordless yard tool packs plenty of power to cut through even dense vegetation and is exceptionally…

Black+Decker LST136


If you are shopping for a new cordless string trimmer on a budget, then we think the Black+Decker LST136 is a great choice for you. This cordless string trimmer is quite effective at clearing weeds and vegetation and is fairly comfortable and easy to…


Cordless Lawn Mowers

Ego LM2102SP


The Ego LM2102SP is the top gun in the cordless mower category. This self-propelled machine is powered by a 5 amp-hour, 56-volt lithium-ion battery. It will plow through thousands of square feet of shaggy turf and whack down the toughest weeds. Moreover…

Greenworks 25322


The Greenworks 25322 is a low-cost mower that is best suited to lower-demand lawns. While the model has a reasonably long runtime and descent power, it lacks self-propulsion and has a narrow cutting deck with minimal cutting height settings. The…


Snow Shovels

True Temper 20 Inch Aluminum


If you can only have one snow shovel, buy this one

Snow Joe Shovelution SJ-SHLV01


One of the least expensive shovels and still performs well


tools - testing the best tool sets with them lined up and ready for...
Testing the best tool sets with them lined up and ready for comparison on our bench.
Credit: Clark Tate

Bench Tools & Accessories


A good tool should last a very long time, which is why buying the right one is essential. Below is a hand-picked list of the best tools for your workbench, shed, or garage. How do we know? Our testers have put the top items, from tool sets to stud finders to utility knives through a long and rigorous testing process. To test utility knives, we looked at sturdiness, grip, and even their ability to slide into, and stay, in your pocket. For tool sets, we analyzed tool selection, quality, and carrying case. And, of course, don't forget safety glasses and levels. Below is a list of our top picks in each category. Enjoy!

Tool Sets

Kobalt 230-Piece Household Set


A comprehensive kit that offers reasonable quality and a solid value

Amazon Basics 65-Piece


Helps you complete your chores and small projects at a minimal cost


Stud Finders

Bosch Digital Multi-Scanner GMS120


This favored model is easy to use, intuitive, and accurately detects multiple types of hidden materials

Zircon StudSensor A100


Nicely featured and easy to use, we think this more basic stud finder is a great deal


Torpedo Levels

Ideal 35-207 6" Electrician Level


Durable aluminum construction makes this ideal for professionals or serious home users

Empire Level EM81.9G


Simple, durable construction makes this a great choice for budget-conscious buyers


Utility Knives

LENOX Utility Knife Quick-Change


Easy blade changes and a versatile grip make this a go-to knife

Stanley Classic 99


This classic tool is simple, reliable, and inexpensive


Heat Guns

Seekone 1800W


If you want a top-tier product that blows away the competition, this is the product that you seek

Wagner Spraytech HT1000


If you want a good bargain that doesn't sacrifice too much when it comes to performance, this is the product for you


Safety Glasses

NoCry Clear Anti Fog


These safety glasses provide a surprising amount of protection for how light and adjustable they are, and they were so comfortable we nearly forgot we had them on

Radians Mirage


A very inexpensive pair of glasses that provides wraparound coverage


tools - we used an astroai inflator gauge to standardize pressures at 35 psi...
We used an AstroAI inflator gauge to standardize pressures at 35 PSI after every ten readings in our accuracy testing.
Credit: Clark Tate

Auto Accessories


Whether you are gearing up for a road trip or just needing to update your kit, we can help. One of the best things to carry in the trunk is a jump starter. A best-in-class jump starter has more power and needs less charging, which is exactly why we connected jump starters to a 12-volt compressor to determine how long each battery lasted, among other tests. What about the best car charger to get your phone powered up with the least amount of fuss? See below for our top picks. Finally, don't let that lead foot get the best of you. Brush up on the latest and greatest radar detectors so you can hit those brakes just in time.

Jump Starters

Hulkman Alpha85S


An impressive model that boasts powerful performance, a great display, and is long lasting

GOOLOO 1200A Peak


A well-built and reasonably-priced unit that has everything you need and nothing more


Tire Gauges

Accutire MS-4021 Digital


Reliable and ergonomic, this pressure gauge is excellent and our overall favorite model

Milton S-921 Pencil Gauge


This reliable and inexpensive classic gauge easily earns a place in the glove box


Car Chargers

Nekteck USB Type C


A fast-charging and versatile charger for a multitude of devices, in a sleek and aesthetic package

Anker PowerDrive 2


An inexpensive and simple car charger that provides an average charging speed in a low-profile package


Radar Detectors

Uniden R7


The Uniden R7 is a well-rounded and reliable device for the radar detector expert or novice. Filtering capabilities like manual lockouts and red light camera locating are made possible by its built-in GPS. The ability to adjust the sensitivity of each…

Uniden R3


If you are looking for a radar detector with all the vital features at a slightly lower price point, look no further than the Uniden R3. With full customization, from adjustable band sensitivity to various tones for each alert, the R3 is truly a device…


tools - testing the power of cordless drills. we compared all the top models...
Testing the power of cordless drills. We compared all the top models in a series of tests that included power, battery life, driving ability and convenience.
Credit: Laura Casner

Our Intention


We hope this list of top tools is helpful to you. Rest assured, each of our recommendations, from every category, is tested in full. We take the testing process very seriously and do not cut any corners. We bought every item at the store, just like you would. Unlike most review sites, we accept no manufacturer freebies. Our reviews are 100% unbiased and free of all influence.

If you like what you see here, or in our full comparison reviews, tell a friend and share online. Word of mouth has always been our bread and butter.

Want to get in touch? Give us a shout or a comment here. Thanks.

GearLab Review Team

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GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

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