All mechanics have their preferred set of tools. Professionals and enthusiasts alike, beyond the assortment of necessary tools, the individual’s preference ultimately drives a lot of purchasing decisions when starting or expanding a toolset. This is what makes a standard mechanic’s tool kit so great: It provides a good starting point to get the most common tools out of the way so you can start with typical automotive maintenance tasks from the start as you expand the collection. If you don’t have your own preferred toolset, here is our handy guide to some of the best mechanic toolsets available today.
Whether you are fixing up your old car or working on other repair projects at home, working with a wrench, a hammer and a couple of ratchets can be an exciting experience. Besides, if you know how to fix your own car, you also get to save a couple of bucks while at it. However, one of the main obstacles that keep most people from getting their hands dirty is the lack of a decent assortment of tools. With the best mechanics tool set, you can cut the time you would spend getting frustrated about a bolt that is hard to reach by half. Here is what you need to know when buying a mechanic’s tool set.
best complete mechanics tool sets Reviews & Recommendations 2020
BEST OVERALLDewalt Mechanics 204-Piece Tool Kit
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This five-star kit has 204 pieces, including ratchets, extensions, swivel heads, short- and deep-set sockets, combination open-end and box wrenches, Allen wrenches, and screwdriver-tipped sockets.
The knurled beauty rings on the ratchets give you a firm grip and the sizes on the sockets are laser-etched so they are clearly marked—which means a lot less fumbling around in search of the correct sized socket. The 72-gear system gives you high torquing ability while the 5-degree arc swing provides maneuverability, especially in tight areas. The carrying kit is great for storage and transporting the tools to the work area where you need them.
There are a couple of downsides, though. The hex wrench sizes may not be big enough, especially for doing brake work. Also, the pieces can get loose in the case and the full case is quite heavy to carry around.BEST VALUECrescent CTK170CMP2
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The Crescent CTK170CMP2 Tool Set makes a great starter or upgrade kit for mechanics and DIYer alike. The set actually comes with a few different options for included pieces, but the 170-piece kit offers the most bang for the buck.
Meeting ANSI and ASME specifications, the tools around the 170-piece kit are geared around the most common automotive tasks and parts. Coming with a variety of sizes of rachet and socket wrenches (both metric and SAE), the tools are high end and feel sturdy in the hand. The size of the case also makes it easy to store in a vehicle or in the garage in compact spaces.
While the tools are good, the case is a different story. Made of the typical cheap plastic near-budget tool sets use, the case is flexible and hardly impact-resistant. It’s also somewhat difficult to keep the individual tools organized within the case since the plastic organizers and slots don’t keep everything together when carrying the set around as well as more expensive options.HONORABLE MENTIONCraftsman 450-Piece Tool Set
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When it comes to sheer bulk, Craftsman’s 450-piece mechanic’s tool set takes things to the extreme. Using three quick-release ratchets, the kit includes a number of sockets, extension bars, and combination wrenches to tackle almost anything a vehicle can throw at you. Outside of a few pliers, gloves, and other random automotive tools, this kit includes it all.
The real draw of this kit is the variety of tools and bits it includes. For working on different cars or different areas of a single car, this kit comes the closest to being “ready for anything” outside of 1,000+ piece kits. Quality wise, the tools share the same construction quality as other Craftsman tools (and other mechanic’s tools around the same price).
Given a large amount of included pieces, carrying around the entire set is less than ideal due to the weight. The kit is divided into separate cases, so you can take a portion of the overall toolset if needed, but it’s less convenient. The cases also suffer from the common toolset issue of failing to keep tools in place while moving the kit around.