Since I don't know what you already have, I may be suggesting stuff you don't need. And it's a good idea to let whoever is using the tools choose them, sometimes, because everyone has different size hands and other preferences. If you'll both be using them, you'd better take that into account for both of you. I'll give you a list of things I wouldn't want to be without. It's by no means a complete list but it's somewhere to start. In every case, buy at least medium quality. The really cheap stuff, especially in power tools, isn't worth buying. Power tools: Cordless drill. Get one with the biggest battery you can stand to hold the weight of. And don't forget to get a selection of drill bits and screwdriver bits to go with it Jig saw Circular saw Reciprocating saw Hand tools: Framing hammer Screwdriver, multi-bit type Crescent wrenches, 8" Get two Vise grips, ideally one curved jaw and one straight jaw Utility knife, with replacement blades. Tape measure. Buy a good one that doesn't collapse if extended more than 10 feet Set of Allen keys, metric and Imperial Socket set. This can be a cheap one as long as he's not fixing cars with it. Nail pulling tool. The cat's paw type, about 12" long, is probably most versatile. That ought to take care of $500. As you tackle different projects, buy the tools you need for each project and the collection will grow.