UNDER $25 EACH! 

Are you taking up carpentry, but you’re on a budget? You don’t need to spend big to get the tools you need!

Many carpentry tools are quite simple by nature, and getting a tool with the right weight, profile, and functionality can be very affordable.

Some pro carpenters and hardcore DIYers will insist that cheaper tools will let you down in the long run—but don’t listen to them. I’ve worked for 20+ years in the field with tools of all price ranges, and some of my cheapest tools are the ones that have lasted the longest!

These 25 tools under $25 are from tried-and-tested brands. Their simple, functional designs (as well as their popularity) are what allow these brands to produce and distribute these tools so cheaply. In some cases, they’re less than $10 apiece!

Furthermore, these tools represent the “Carpentry Essentials”—tools that will always be useful, and which can be cross-purposed for a variety of circumstances.

So, read on to see which tools made the list. Along the way, I’ll even add notes explaining why I think they’re so great. Some of these picks might surprise you!

Red Devil 6-in-1 Painter’s Tool

I’ve called it “The Most Useful Tool in the World,” and I’ll stand by that judgment! Painter’s Tools come in numerous shapes and sizes, and they range from 5-in-1 to 16-in-1 functions. But leave it up to a company like Red Devil to just make a classic winner.

Check out my video on the Painter’s Tool to see its numerous uses:


Irwin Fiberglass 16 oz. Rip Claw Hammer

If you’re tackling carpentry projects, you need a “rip claw” hammer. That flatter, pick-like claw at the back is what lets you attack demolition, and even improves your straight-line swing. 16 oz. is all most DIYers will need, and Irwin’s fiberglass model is the best bang for your buck!

Here’s my explanation of Rip Claw vs. Curved Claw:


Klein Tool 5-in-1 Screwdriver

Everyone needs one really tough screwdriver, and Klein makes one of the best. This is the one you use when you’re doing heavy-duty building projects. It’s simple, durable, and still functions with a few dings. Don’t forget that the socket itself is a 5/16” nut driver!


Klein 15-in-1 Ratcheting Screwdriver

When it comes time for finer work, you want to upgrade to a ratcheting driver with plenty of bits. This Klein 15-in-1 is perfect for quick little electrical tasks, hobby screws, various small metal hardware parts, etc....And the ratcheting feature gives your wrist a rest.


Estwing “Cat’s Paw” 9” Nail Puller

“Cat’s Paw” tools are essential for digging out embedded nail heads. This Estwing has been my go-to for a while. It doesn’t have the side-head dimpler, and I usually cut off the rubber sleeve. But I’ve dug out thousands of stubborn fasteners with this tough model!

Check out my video about the Cat’s Paw here:


Stanley Powerlock 25’ Tape Measure

My baby—the Stanley Powerlock 25’. I’ve used MANY tape measures over the years, but this is the one I always come back to. It’s hard to bust, has great tape stand-out, and is extremely easy to read. Fits in your palm like a firm handshake!


Stanley 3-pc. Nail Set Kit

When it comes to nail sets, I love simple cast steel. They’re tough, and they slide in and out of tool holsters easily. These Stanleys are great. I’ll smash them until the ends broom out and the tips break off, then I’ll grab a new pack for under $10.


Ruitool 10” Japanese Pull Saw

If you’ve never used a Japanese-style “pull” saw, you’re missing out! The first time you grip the straight handle and draw the blade towards you, it just makes sense. Along with giving you incredible control, it’s also two tools in one. One side is a rip saw with 10 teeth-per-inch...the other side is a crosscut saw with 18 teeth-per-inch!


Irwin Tool ProTouch Coping Saw

A coping saw is also just essential for carpenters. The super-thin, high-tension blade lets you make scroll-type cuts with precision. It’s useful for thin material stock where other saws are too aggressive. And the deep frame on this Irwin gives you a lot of clearance for various cut approaches.


Stanley Classic 99 Utility Knife

Once again, you can’t mess with a classic! The Stanley 99 has remained virtually unchanged for years, and it’s the one I always keep in my tool belt. The smooth case is easy to hold, doesn’t wear down, and disassembles quickly for blade changes. Cheap as can be, too!


Workpro 3-pc. Wood Chisel Set

Woodworkers baby their chisels—but carpenters beat them to pieces! Our faster work conditions, and the variety of materials we work with, require that our chisels be tough and affordable. Workpro has put together a great set here. The steel butt is just what you need for heavy hammer striking.


Gunpla 8” Nail Puller Pliers

Nipping pliers, nail pulling pliers...whatever you call them, they’re the best tool for rocking out partially exposed fasteners. I really like the wide, rolling jaw on this 8” Gunpla set—you can pry fasteners up with less surface damage. And it even comes with a warranty!

Here’s my explanation of why Nipping Pliers are so great:



Irwin Vise-Grip Long Nose Pliers

I like a shorter-handled set of needle-nose pliers, like these Irwins. You can fish the nose into tighter spaces, and the super-bowed handles let you grip them more comfortably. I pluck, pry, and twist out a lot of small fasteners with these.


Irwin 8” Slip-Joint Pliers

And a bigger set of slip-joint pliers is preferable for me! This 8” pair can accommodate more nut/bolt sizes, and the extra length gives you more cranking power without being cumbersome or bulky in a tool belt. A lot of grip strength in this hand tool!


Swanson 7” + 12” Speed Square Pack

Few tools will ever be designed so perfectly. Swanson invented the speed square in 1925, and their combo of the 7” and 12” is the ultimate square pack. With the trademark “Blue Book,” you can master roof and stair layout. Or, you can just use them daily as angle markers and saw plate guides!


Swanson 48” Straight Edge

A straight edge has a thousand uses on the job site and in the shop. I’ve used this exact Swanson for years. It’s chunky, which is great for edge-guiding and marking. And with the bright yellow powder-paint finish, you’ll never lose it!


Stanley I-Beam 48” Level

A hard tool to find at a great price, this Stanley I-Beam level is frequently priced well below $25...and it’s easily the best thing going in that range! You can pay hundreds of dollars for a good 48” level, but starting out on a budget, an I-beam level like this will get you far.


Workpro 3pc. Level Set (24”, 16”, 9”)

What a set by Workpro! Getting three levels grouped together for $25 qualifies as a steal. The box beam frame on the 24” and the 16” is such a plus, and the huge, high-vis vials are a cinch to read. The 9” torpedo is even magnetic!


Channellock 430 10” Tongue & Groove Pliers”

When your slip-joint pliers just aren’t quite enough, it’s time to turn to tongue and groove pliers. And why not go with the company that invented them...Channellock! Just a great, functional design. And they’re still made in Meadville, PA!


WorkPro 4-pc. Adjustable Wrench Set

True Fact: I have never broken an adjustable wrench...and I buy them on the cheaper end! Carpenters don’t use adjustable wrenches as often as plumbers, but we still absolutely need to keep them around. And once again, this Workpro set is just an insane value.


Milwaukee Compact 10” Hacksaw

When I was a repair carpenter, I used mini-hacks to get into all sorts of tight spaces to cut fasteners and notch metal. Milwaukee just makes great tools, and we’re lucky to get this fast-blade-release model under $20. I’d keep one in the shop, one in the truck, one in the tool box...


Lenox High-Tension 12” Hacksaw

I like a beefier frame in full-size 12” hacksaws...and Lenox has blown this one out of the water. It has insanely high blade tension strength—up to 55,000 lbs.! Plus, it can also hold a recip blade in the top bar as a jab saw, and store extra 12” blades in its I-beam frame!


Irwin 6” + 12” Combo Square Pack

This 6” combo square has ridden around in my tool belt for years. I use it for all sorts of quick step marking during trim installations. And the 12” is great for shop use on woodworking projects. They’re both together here in one pack. Praise Irwin!


Modus Dominator 12” Screwdriver

The demolition tool you never knew you needed! I always keep a 10” and 12” epoxy-handle screwdriver around for gouging and breaking up wood. The Dominator is a step up from that—a demolition-specific screwdriver! Perhaps the most effective fast demo tool on the market.

Check out my video on why you should keep a Demo Screwdriver:


Dewalt Magnetic Drill Sleeve Guides 2-pc.

Another hidden gem! Magnetic drive guides are helpful to begin with...but pair it with an actionable sleeve, and you have a super tool. Never struggle to hold fasteners steady again. Just set the screw point, throw the sleeve forward, and drive!

See how it works in my Drill Sleeve Guide video here: