by Christopher Clark
Last Updated January 28, 2019
There are many choices when it comes to selecting the best wrench set. The best options have a combination of the right tools for the job, durability, and feeling right in the hand.
In order to efficiently choose the best one for you there are three key questions to ask yourself before you start shopping. First, what is the main purpose of the set? Next, how long do you need the tools to last? And finally, are there any special features that need to be included in the set?
Choosing the best wrench set will vary from person to person. However, the best sets will have a few things in common, including durability, a pleasing/comfortable aesthetic, and the correct range of tools for the job.
Warranties make replacing tools much easier and the leading brands in the industry continue to impress with their designs and quality. This list is a great start for everyone – whether you are a newbie looking to buy your first good quality wrench set, or a seasoned technician who wants to supplement/replace your current set.
The Tekton WRN03293 combination wrench set is ideal as a starter set, a backup set, or a full on “I need it every day for work” set. The wrenches are made out of chrome vanadium steel and have a mirror chrome finish.
There are 4 sets available, which is one of the reasons why these sets are so multi-purpose. The sets come with 9, 11, 13 or 15 wrenches included and the sizes range from 1/4″ to 1″ depending on which quantity you choose to purchase.
Adding to the multi-faceted nature of this wrench set, it is also available in either SAE or Metric sizing, but not both. Additionally, the open end of each wrench is angled at 15 degrees and as a whole, the entire set weighs just shy of 6lbs.
While the tools are fairly standard, the best part of this set, regardless of which tool count is purchased, is the pouch that is included.
It is a roll up pouch with a tailored cover to keep wrenches in place and prevent them from slipping out.
Good cases for tools are hard to come by and this is one of the best features of this set, and by far the best case for any wrench sets available. In addition to keeping the tools contained, they are secured with fabric loops to prevent scratching
This GearWrench set is one of the best sets for professional mechanics and it is highly rated on this list. This 12 point set has 13 different SAE sizes ranging from 1/4″ to 1″. The pieces come in a molded wrench rack and are standard-length.
One of the best features of this set is that the tools meet or exceed ANSI, ASME, DIN and federal torque specifications for standard professional combination wrenches. Thus, there is no doubt that these tools can get the job done.
Additionally, the tools come with GearWrench’s lifetime manufacturer’s warranty on each piece (though it’s important to note that the warranty does not cover the set as a whole).
This is nice for wrenches that get used more than others because they can be replaced once they no longer work.
There are a few minor cautions when it comes to purchasing this set. However, none of them really relate to any performance issues.
One thing to note is that there is no lever to set the ratchet to reverse, so the wrench must be turned over instead.
To be fair, though, some comment that this gives the wrenches better performance since you are not fiddling with a lever that may become loose over time and slip out of position.
Additionally, the wrench rack that is included does not seem to hold the wrenches in place as well as others, but it works to keep things organized if placed in a quality tool box.
These Tekton 18769 combination wrenches are another contender as best for professional use. Like its sister set, the WRN03293, this model comes in with 9, 11, 13 or 15 wrenches and you can select either SAE or Metric sizing (but not both).
These tools are also made from chrome vanadium steel with a nice mirror chrome finish.
This is a ratchet set and the tools are angled and offset 15 degrees for optimum access. However, one of the standout features is the extra-long handles.
The handles make (or break) these tools for the technicians who have used them and this set could be ranked even higher than Craftsman sets for how the tools fit in the hand.
Also, this is the second cheapest set on this list, which doesn’t impact the quality, making it a great budget buy!
As a whole, the set weighs just over 2lbs which makes it easy to transport. Several technicians who work in the auto industry did caution that these tools were not the quality that they were looking for and suggested that this works as a backup set.
However, other technicians in other fields praised these tools for the quality and performance along with the cost.
While it might not be as common of a brand, Stanley 85-783 is a good contender when it comes to choosing a wrench set.
It is built to meet or exceed ANSI specifications for professional tools and is also the cheapest set on this list – coming in just $1 less than the Tekton 18769 (#3).
This set contains 20 wrenches made from chrome vanadium steel with a nice, corrosion resistant finish. Both Metric and SAE sizing are printed on the tools and everything is included in a nice black plastic case.
As a whole, it weighs approximately 4.5lbs. The tools are covered by a limited lifetime warranty (though it is important to note that tools damaged by misuse are not covered).
Additionally, these wrenches are built to meet or exceed ANSI standards, making them sturdy enough for professional use.
Overall this set is well-made and good quality for the cost. However, this set is sadly not a ratchet set, which can be a deal breaker for some buyers. Along these same lines, users should take caution with the tool edges as they are inconsistently sharp.
Additionally, the finish is often poor and the plastic case does not do much to keep tools organized or together.
It is important to note, however, that these are mainly aesthetic complaints and don’t detract too much from the value of the set as a whole; this is still a high-quality set for the money.
This Toolguard ratcheting wrench set is ideal for in-garage use. It is moderately priced and comes with 22 different pieces. This provides a nice range of sizes that will work for almost all jobs.
The tools are stamped with both SAE and Metric sizes and come with a nice tool roll that has the sizes printed inside for easy organization.
For not being a name brand, these tools work surprisingly well. They are all 72-tooth ratchet gears and, according to the product details, the wrenches only need a 5-degree working swing arc.
The sizes range from 1/4″ – 3/4″ (6-18mm) and the entire set weighs about 5.5lbs. As a bonus, the tools come with a lifetime warranty.
There are a few things to note, however, for buyers considering this set. The finish does chip easily, which takes away from quality aesthetic.
The tools are not built to meet ANSI or any other professional standards and it does show a bit in how sturdy the tools are.
Lastly, the ratcheting function in reality needs more of an 8-10 degree working swing arc vs the 5 degrees that is stated on the webpage. If you are looking for a good in-garage set, though, this will do the trick and probably exceed your expectations.
This GearWrench set is in second place on the list of ‘The Best Wrench Sets’ for a good reason. It comes with either 20 or 32 pieces, and the 32 piece option puts it at the top of the list for the most wrenches in a set.
The wrenches come in both SAE and Metric sizes, further increasing the set’s overall functionality.
The tools in this set are all ratcheting wrenches and they are built to meet or exceed not only ANSI specifications, but DIN and federal torque specifications as well.
As a whole, the tools weigh just shy of 6lbs and they have a lifetime warranty, except in cases of tool abuse.
One surprising thing with this set – and something to keep in mind – is that the wrench set doesn’t come in a case.
Additionally, the ratcheting ends have been known to strip with heavy application, which is something to note if you are looking for tools for heavy-duty work.
Moreover, the ratcheting feature has been known to ‘stick’ and the wrench must be removed and fiddled with/jiggled a bit before it will work again.
In the end, the quality of the tools themselves is more-or-less questionable. If the performance hiccups won’t impede your work and if you want a wider range of wrench sizes, then this set is one of the better ones for the job.
The Craftsman brand has a wide-reaching reputation and their quality wrenches are one of the many things that make this a trusted brand. This ratchet set is no exception, with one of the highest customer ratings of all the sets on this list.
This set comes with 20 different wrenches in both SAE and Metric sizing. The tools come in a snug plastic ‘tray’ and the set as a whole weighs approximately 7.7lbs.
The wrenches in this set are backed by the Craftsman Forever guarantee. The tools themselves are standard length and are also nice and slim. This makes it much easier to reach into tight spaces.
Additionally, there is a 12 degree offset box that is meant to help make using these wrenches in small spaces even easier.
The high ratings do speak to the quality and the reputation of the Craftsman brand. However, in spite of this, potential buyers should take a few things into consideration.
Some things to keep in mind before you purchase this set include:
Frequently asked questions
Is this set going to be a gift for someone who loves tinkering in the garage or is it for a professional mechanic who works on jet engines? The nature of the job is going to determine if the set needs to meet certain national requirements like ANSI or ASME, or if a ‘good, but not professional’ set will suffice. Knowing in advance the purpose for the tools will save you time by identifying the level of quality and the range of wrench sizes you will need.
The life of the tools will depend in part on what you are going to need them for. If you are just working in a garage on weekends, the top-of-the-line, most expensive tools may not be something you need to invest in. However, if you use your tools daily and need them to last as long as possible, consider sets that come with product warranties.
One of the most obvious features to consider is if you need ratcheting wrenches or not. Again, what you are going to use the tools for will influence this as some jobs are done much easier and more efficiently if the wrench can ratchet. Another thing to consider is the case – including the weight of the set. If you are using it regularly and need to transport it consider looking for a set that comes with a case that keeps your tools nice and organized.