From leaf blowers to lawn mowers to storage containers to interior paint, our home-improvement experts have spent many hours researching and testing the best home-improvement equipment and power tools to keep in your garage.
The Best Hybrid Bike Marin Fairfax SC1
We tested 14 new bikes in 2017, and the Marin Fairfax SC1 is our favorite hybrid bike for commuters. It comes with quality components and commuter-friendly features, without succumbing to the price creep we’ve seen on similar bikes.
The Best Bike Lock Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7
We picked, chopped, and cut 27 bike locks to pieces, and learned that the Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 is the most affordable lock that will most likely need a power tool (accompanied by a lot of noise) to be defeated.
The Best Snow Blowers Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE
After 100 hours of research and more than 20 hours of testing, we think the best snowblower for most people is the Toro SnowMaster 724 QXE 24-inch snow blower.
The Best Snow Shovel True Temper 18-inch Ergonomic Mountain Mover
After 70 hours of research (and 40 hours of shoveling), the best snow shovel is the True Temper 18-Inch Ergonomic Mountain Mover, our pick four years in a row.
The Best Bike Repair Kit Birzman Travel Box
We researched 35 and tested six pre-assembled bike tool kits. Our favorite, the Birzman Travel Box, includes all nine necessary tools for basic at-home maintenance, yet costs half as much as the next-best kit.
The Best Extension Cords for Your Home and Garage Voltec Industries 50-ft Yellow Outdoor Extension Cord
After reviewing National Electrical Code guidelines, talking with safety-testing experts, and cutting apart nine cords to inspect their quality, we recommend the 50-ft Voltec Yellow Outdoor Extension Cord. It’s the most durable cord we found and makes the strongest and smoothest connection to your gear.
The Best Drill Bosch PS31-2A 12-Volt Max Drill/Driver Kit
The Bosch PS31-2A 12-Volt Max Drill/Driver is the lightest, most compact drill we tested, and it blew away its rivals on battery life and power, drilling twice as many holes as the second-place drill and driving almost 50 percent more screws.
The Best Chainsaw Ego Power+ 16″ Chainsaw
The cordless Ego Power+ 16″ Chainsaw has plenty of power and run time for routine property maintenance, and it’s simpler to start, easier to maintain, and quieter than a gas tool.
The Best Bug-Killing Gear
We killed, captured, and repelled a lot of bugs to find the best traps, zappers, swatters, and chemicals to keep you free of flies, mosquitoes, ticks, and other pests.
The Best Commuter Bike Lights Light & Motion Urban 350
We’ve tested 54 commuter lights in the last four years and think the Light & Motion Urban 350 is currently the best way to see and be seen in traffic, without spending a fortune. Our favorite taillight is the Cygolite Hotshot 50, due to its long battery life and attention-getting flash.
The Best Multi-Tool for Most Cyclists Topeak Mini 9
Whatever you ride—a road or mountain bike, fixie, or commuter—don’t walk home if you break down: Get the Topeak Mini 9, the best multi-tool for most cyclists. We tested 13 mini tools, and the light, durable, inexpensive Topeak has the best range of tools in a usable package. But we have more picks for those with specific riding needs, from hard-core singletrack to fixed-gear street riding.
The Best Interior Paint Benjamin Moore Regal Select
After more than 30 hours of research, interrogating eight professional house painters, and painting two rooms ourselves, we enthusiastically recommend Benjamin Moore Regal Select.
The Best Bike Pump (Floor Standing) Bontrager Turbo Charger HP
After testing 25 floor-standing bike pumps with a 10-person panel, we found that the Bontrager Turbo Charger HP is the best option. Its head is the only non-screw-on design that seals reliably and completely the first time on both Presta and Schrader valves. Plus, the Bontrager’s hose is longer than most we tested, and it has a comfortable handle and easy-to-read gauge.
The Best Lockbox Kidde AccessPoint KeySafe
After scouting newer options this year, and cracking lockboxes with a locksmith two years prior, we found that the Kidde AccessPoint KeySafe is still the best lockbox. It's the only wall-mounted box with a sturdy, zinc alloy exterior, a combination dial, and unique sloping sides that deflect prying and striking; no other lockbox offers a better mix of security features and value.
The Best Bike Rack, Basket, and Panniers for Commuting
Commuting by bike with the right rack, basket, and panniers means you can carry your cargo on your bicycle almost as effortlessly as you can in your car. We sorted through 71 panniers, 38 racks, and 16 baskets, and chose 23 top contenders to road-test. After spending nine months transporting everyday objects around on a bicycle, we’ve found the most comfortable and convenient setup for your next commute on two wheels.
The Best Basic Home Toolkit HDX 76-Piece Homeowner’s Tool Set
After 70 hours spent researching and testing home toolkits, we found that Home Depot’s HDX 76-Piece Homeowner's Tool Set is the best for most homeowners. The compact HDX set features all the essentials at a lower price than competitors charge, and it omits the useless filler tools found in other kits.
The Best Bike Helmet for Commuters Specialized Echelon II
The Echelon II, a near-unanimous favorite among testers, is more comfortable than the competition. It's also the most thoroughly certified helmet we tested.
The Best Storage Containers (for Most People) Sterilite 30 Quart Ultra Latching Storage Box
After more than 40 hours of testing plastic storage containers by stuffing them, dropping them, soaking them, and hauling them around, we found that the Sterilite 30 Quart Ultra Latching Storage Box has the best balance of durability, security, and affordability ($40 for a six pack). It didn’t crack in our drop tests or leak in our water tests designed to re-create a flooded basement. And if you need a larger or super-rugged bin, we have picks for those, too.
The Best Outdoor Brooms O-Cedar Professional 24" Multi-Surface Push Broom
We tested 14 outdoor brooms with a troop of Boy Scouts to find that the O’Cedar 24” Multi-Surface Push Broom is the best option for your driveway, decking, patio, or garage floor. Its blend of stiff and soft bristles can handle fine particles and heavier debris, wet or dry. A unique fastener you won’t find on any of the competition means the head won’t detach from the handle while you’re sweeping.
Build a Bike Patch & Flat Kit
We talked to a pro racer, a bike messenger turned mechanic, and a touring cyclist with thousands of miles logged through Europe to find the best items to include in a commuter kit for patching tires and fixing flats. After spending 96 hours on testing, including changing and patching tires over 50 times, our recommendations include levers, patches, portable tire pumps, seat bags, and wrenches.
The Best LED Lantern UST 30-Day
We spent 20 hours researching and testing LED lanterns before settling on the UST 30-Day as the most versatile. It's bright enough to read text 38 feet away but dim enough to feel cozy inside a tent, and its 30-day battery means it rarely needs to be changed.
The Best Duct Tape Duck Max Strength
If you’re looking for the best roll of duct tape to have around the house, we recommend Duck Max Strength. It has a strong adhesive that sticks well to wood, masonry, plastic and glass. It tears in a nice straight line and has good flexibility so it’s easy to wrap around odd shapes and curved surfaces.
The Best Multi-Bit Screwdriver MegaPro 211R2C36RD 13-In-1 Ratcheting Driver
The MegaPro 13-in-1 Multi-Bit Ratcheting Screwdriver is the perfect one-stop screwdriver to have at hand around the house. After over 22 hours of research and hands-on testing of 13 different models, I found that the MegaPro has all of the right features: nice ratcheting action; smart, accessible bit storage; excellent bit selection; and a comfortable handle.