The Essential $30 Amazon Find I Bought for My First Apartment and Still Use to This Day

published Aug 17, 2023
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Toolboxes are kind of like first aid kits, in that you never really know you need them until you’re frantically searching for one in your house. Obviously, having a first aid kit on hand is probably (read: definitely) a little more important, but as I recently found out, not having a toolbox on hand when you need one is nearly as frustrating. I was setting up a bed frame the other day when I realized I needed an Allen key to screw everything together. After searching for my toolbox in vain — it apparently didn’t survive my last move — I phoned a friend and borrowed one. However, I also immediately reordered the toolbox I’ve had since I moved into my first apartment years ago, and has served me well ever since: the Cartman 148-Piece Tool Set. I live in a tiny apartment with a super, so I don’t really need heavy-duty power tools or anything major, which is why this no-frills toolbox is so handy. 

What Is the Cartman 148-Piece Tool Set?

First things first: This is not the toolbox you take to a job site or a construction zone. It is, however, a great option for apartment dwellers and renters to have on hand, since this toolbox has everything you’ll need for everyday home repairs and maintenance. All of the included tools are heat-treated, meaning they’ll resist corrosion and remain durable over time. Plus, they all have a designated area they snap into within the box itself for easy organization and storage. It also makes a great gift for the handyperson in your life. 

Credit: Ian Burke

Why I Love the Cartman 148-Piece Tool Set  

This no-frills toolbox is perfect for me — it comes with pretty much all I’m going to use as a renter, and has everything I need to hang a painting, install shelves, put together furniture, tighten lids on pots and pans, and pretend I know what I’m doing with a pair of pliers. It’s also affordable, which is why I had no problem buying it again once I realized I lost it in my last move. As far as its footprint, it’s super compact, which means I can store it pretty much anywhere. (A few places I’ve kept it in the past: under a couch, in a cabinet, and behind a TV stand.) 

Plus, despite the low cost, the tools actually work and hold up over the years, since before I had to reorder the set, I had it for 6 years without any issues. And, I’m not alone — with a 4.7-star average rating from over 20,000 Amazon customers, it’s clearly a fan favorite. “I’m so glad I bought this,” one reviewer explained. “Too many times did I find myself needing some type of tool and remembering I have none … Has everything I would ever need to make a quick fix in the house.” 

The best time to buy a toolbox was a month ago — before you knew you needed one. The second best time is right now — and the Cartman 148-Piece Tool Set is an affordable choice that has everything you’ll need. 

Buy: Cartman 148-Piece Tool Set, $30.99 for Prime Members (normally $34.99)