Whether you’re replacing the valve cap gaskets on your V8 engine or just adding a hitching assembly to your pickup from home, a good car mechanics tool set has a lot of advantages.
With a set that has both SAE and metric tools, you can adjust bolts, screws, and nuts and feel confident in your mechanical work, but not all tool sets are created equal. In this guide, we’re going to review six of the best mechanics tool set options on the market so you can find the tools that fit your needs.
|Name||Number of Pieces||Does it Include Screwdrivers?||How Many Extension Bars?|
DEWALT DWMT81534 – Best Tool Set for High Levels of Torque
DEWALT is one of the leaders in tools and this 205-piece tool set provides a fairly well-rounded experience with both SAE and metric tools for anyone that’s looking to do repair or maintenance work. The case is a durable mold case that is strong enough to be subjected to a wide variety of garage and outdoor conditions. It even comes with a screwdriver and several screwdriver bits.
Despite the very lackluster case, the tools that are inside provide an excellent experience. With 205 different tools to choose from, you’ll be able to execute most repair and maintenance work with this DEWALT product.
Craftsman 38165 – Best Tool Set for Durability
This 165-piece set is fairly extensive and comes from Craftsman, one of the best mechanic tool set brand options on the market. The product is also very well-rounded; you get 92 sockets with this set. Craftsman even included a couple of extension bars for harder-to-reach bolts.
When you’re looking for a smaller yet well-rounded quality tool set for your work, then this Craftsman product may meet your needs. It has enough components for most work and includes little extras like box-end wrenches, screwdrivers, and more than a few Allen wrenches as well.
Stanley STMT71654 – Best Tool Set for Ergonomics
This Stanley set has 201 pieces and provides a good start for those that primarily need sockets and wrenches. The product comes with three ratchets, 68 sockets, and even includes three extension bars for difficult-to-access areas.
This is a recommended set due to the fact that has a relatively complete set of components to get just about any car or home mechanic started. In addition to this, the tools in this set also all work to ANSI specifications, so you can expect professional quality.
Crescent CTK170CMP2 – Best Tool Set for Versatility
Despite only consisting of 170 tools, this product from Crescent has a lot going for it because there’s a lot of variety. Not only will you have the classic sockets and box-end wrenches, but the product also includes screwdrivers, two pairs of pliers, and hex keys as well.
When you need versatility, this set is a good option because it includes most of the standard tools that you’ll need. While it may not have the more nuanced tools, it’ll definitely help you get by when you need to do some light auto repair work.
Craftsman 50230 – Best Tool Set for Tougher Jobs
If you need tougher tools to take on heavy-duty repair and maintenance, this tool set from Craftsman may be a good option. Not only does it have a very well-rounded selection of 230 tools to choose from, it also is comprised of alloy steel and that’s very durable for tougher work. Having so many tools is a fairly good deal as well.
If you’re doing heavy duty activities like engine work, then these steel tools may be what you’re looking for. Otherwise, these tools still shine for light work due to their high material quality. That being said, the case itself is the biggest drawback of this set.
DEWALT DWMT72165 – Best Well-Rounded Tool set for Mechanics
The DEWALT DWMT72165 is a more than adequate option for a car mechanic that finds themselves working with sockets constantly. Of the 204 pieces, the vast majority of them are sockets, ratchets, or wrenches.
There’s a reason why this is a very popular set with mechanics: the tool set is very durable, it has tools that are both SAW and metric, and torquing is very easy thanks to DEWALT’s proprietary technology. Overall, if you have a good screwdriver set, then this may be one of the top supplementary products for your work.
When you need to do a job, having a substandard selection of tools in your tool set can be quite a nuisance. As a result, you’ll want to be 100 percent sure that your tool set is well-equipped for just about any job that you’ll need to tackle, top to bottom. The products that we covered in our best mechanics tool set reviews are all excellent, but to ensure that you have the right product for your needs, take a look at our buyer’s guide so you can always have the right tool on hand.
The Durability of the Tools
As you may expect, durability is definitely one of the top features to seek out in a new mechanic’s tool set. The last thing that you want is for your ratchet to start to warp over time or for the grips on your sockets to start to wear down, reducing the torque strength. As a result, always seek out tools that are made of alloy or steel materials. These types of tools will last for years if not decades, so you can rely on them in the long run.
What are other important features to consider?
What Tool Options are Included
In general, it’s always a good idea to find the most inclusive mechanic’s toolkit that you can find because having more tools adds to the versatility of the kit itself. With this in mind, here are a few useful tools to have inside your toolkit so you can get some great use out of it:
- Screwdrivers with Bits – Believe it or not, not every tool kit includes this relatively basic tool. No matter where you’re working, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll run into a screw that you’ll need to remove, so try to purchase a kit that has one of these. Additionally, while a flathead and a Phillips screwdriver are almost always used, it doesn’t hurt to purchase a kit that includes an all-purpose screwdriver that can use multiple bits to ensure on-the-go versatility.
- Ratchet Extenders – When you’re working in tight areas, you sometimes will not be able to ratchet properly. This occurs typically when you’re working with a car engine. With a good ratchet extender that has both SAE and metric connections, you can simply just attach your standard ratchet to one end and ratchet the hard-to-reach bolt by proxy. Most ratchet extenders are available in two varieties: ¼-inch and 3/8-inch.
- Extension Bars – These SAE and metric bars lock into place and attach directly to your ratchet so you can reach bolts that are just out of your reach. Typically, these devices lock, enabling you to have a very firm fit when you really need to tightly torque a bolt. These vary from ratchet extenders because locking ratchet bars attach directly to the ratchet like a standard socket. Once again, these extension bars are very useful for automotive work; they allow you to easily attach devices like hitches to your vehicle and are also useful when doing work on the transmission.
- Pliers – While most mechanic toolkits don’t include highly specialized pliers like spark plug pliers to save on budget, it’s still very possible to find kits that include old standbys like needle-nose and standard pliers. As you undoubtedly understand, pliers are very useful for gripping, stripping, and even cutting. If your kit has these, it’s well-equipped.
- Pry Tools – Once again, these are very useful when you’re doing automotive work because many car manufacturers include components on their vehicles that can only be pried off, and a good pry tool will do the job without damage. While flathead screwdrivers can be used for prying, pry tools are better rated for this type of work and provide better leverage.
The Grip of the Included Tools
To put it simply, smooth tools provide good value, but it’s much more advantageous for your tools to have a certain amount of grip on them so that you’ll have no issue with slippage. Typically, most manufacturers will texture the grips of their tools in order to provide traction, but some manufacturers use materials like rubber to add a bit of tackiness to the grip of the tool. In any situation on a job, sweat and grease happen, and the best tool for the money will stay in your hand. In any situation, both beginner and advanced mechanics will want a grippy set of tools.
The Quality of the Case Itself
Never ignore the container of the set itself, even if you’re on a budget. When you are out to buy a tool set, case construction is of high value because the case is what protects your valuable tools from the elements and from dangers inside the work area. While the case does provide organization for the tools themselves, it’s also there to be easy to carry.
A modern tool set, with both SAE and metric components, is a crucial component of any mechanic’s arsenal, and the products that we’ve covered in our best mechanics tool set reviews are all designed to provide a lot of versatility and reliability for the user. While every product that we’ve done a review on doesn’t include everything, each definitely has some of the best mechanics tool options to make your life much easier.
The future of the best car mechanics tool sets will probably see more changes that help incorporate more motorized gadgets, but the mainstays will always be needed, which is why you should seek out the most well-rounded tool set available.