Best mechanic tool set for the money

We’ve included 10 Best mechanic tool set for the money options to get your tool kit started. These tools are the foundation of any home garage and can also be thrown into the car or truck to be used in emergencies. But, not all of the above tool sets will be right for you. Here are some additional considerations to ask yourself when you’re looking at the various tool kit options out there.

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.

Features to Consider in Good Mechanics Tool Sets

Number of tools

How you plan to use a mechanic tool set determines how many tools you might need for the job. Obviously, you should not ignore quality however if you are planning for a heavy duty car care job, you might need all the sockets, drills and bits you can get. Keep in mind that more tools in a set can cost more. The last thing you want is to have a mechanic tool set with tools you barely use. Most units come in a set that includes about 100 to 400 pieces.

Warranty

Considering the fact that some mechanical toolsets can cost you an upwards of $20,000, making sure the unit you go for comes with a warranty is simply a must. This is a huge investment you are making whether you are a professional or a home mechanic. A unit with a warranty guarantees the durability of the tools you invest in. That way; you can have peace of mind knowing that your tools are designed for the long haul.

Price

It’s easy to assume that a highly priced mechanics toolbox will deliver the highest quality tools. However, even though this is often the case, you should not dismiss the quality of cheap tool sets. Furthermore, the price of every toolset will vary with the number of tools and the quality of the tools. The best approach, especially if you are looking for a bargain, is to go with a unit that has a balance between the features and the quality of the toolset.

Case

As a home mechanic, you might not think much about the case that comes with your tools. In fact, most manufacturers have gotten away with offering mediocre tool cases with their tools. Keep in mind that you are paying for the case as well. This means that if it’s a premium model you should also get a high-quality case that offers long term protection and storage to your tools. You can either go for a plastic case or a metal case. The advantage of a plastic case is that they are lightweight and easy to carry around. However, if you need a heavy duty case that will survive the harsh environment of a busy garage, going with a metallic toolbox will be a great idea. Furthermore, a case or tool box keeps your tools neat and safe so that you do not lose any of them in the long run.

Maintenance

Mechanic toll set are a worthwhile investment and this calls for a level of maintenance to keep them in their best shape. Although most units come with a tool chest for storage, you can apply other maintenance strategies such as using lubricate on casters with high-grade bearings. Be sure to go with a unit that has high-quality metallic tools.

Best mechanic tool set for the money

1) DeWalt 142 Piece Mechanics Tool Kit with Case

Dewalt 142 Piece Mechanics Tools Kit

The DeWalt 142 piece mechanics tool kit provides an excellent mix of tool variety, quality and value. Wrapped up in a durable case for transport and keeping everything where it should be.

With 142 tools, including ratchets, sockets, wrenches & bits, this tool set has your covered for most basic repairs.

We like the inclusion of 2 pear head ratchets (1/4″ & 3/8″), with a 72 tooth count and quick release for high torque ratcheting. 

Chrome plated to ensure they won’t rust, we like that DeWalt stands by their tools with a full lifetime warranty on their mechanics tools.

Easy to read hand-stamped markings in both standard and metric makes for easy tool selection. The ergonomically designed tools fit well within the hand, allowing for comfortable use over long durations. 

Lastly, the case is lightweight, yet sturdy. And, importantly the tools fit snug into place. This isn’t always so with some cases, where some tools can fly around whilst in transit, creating a real mess. 

Overall, this is a durable tool set designed to last. With the added peace of mind of a lifetime warranty (no proof of purchase required), the Dewalt 142 piece tool set is a good size to store in your car or garage.

The DeWalt 142 piece tool set includes:

  • 10 Combination wrenches
  • 2  Pear head ratchets
  • 18 1/4″ Drive 6pt sockets
  • 10 1/4″ Drive 6pt deep sockets
  • 1/4″ Drive 6″ extension
  • 1/4″ Drive universal joint
  • 20 3/8″ Drive 6pt sockets
  • 9 3/8″ Drive 6pt deep sockets
  • 3/8″ Drive 6″ extension
  • 3/8″ Drive universal joint
  • 1/4″ x 3/8″ Increasing adapter
  • 3/8″ x 1/4″ Reducing adapter
  • 3/8″ Spark plug socket 5/8″
  • 14 Piece standard hex key set
  • 14 Piece metric hex key set
  • 15 Nut driver bits
  • 22 Piece max fit bit set with storage case
  • Vinyl grip multi-driver
  • Storage case

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Polished chrome finish for corrosion resistance
  • Includes 2 72 tooth high torque ratchets
  • Lightweight, durable case fits tools well

Cons

  • We would liked to have seen deep socket sizes 9/16″ and 15mm as these are fairly commonly used. But, you’ll need to move to the slightly more expensive model for these. 
  • Case doesn’t allow for any additional tools. You’ll need to purchase a separate case if you add to the kit. 

2) Pittsburgh 130 Piece Mechanics Tool Set with Case

tools

The Pittsburgh 130 piece tool set with case is an entry-level mechanics tool set. You are not going to find super premium tools at this pricepoint, but this toolset contains many of the standard tools you’ll need to make basic car and home repairs.

The case is compact and it does an ok job of holding all the tools, but tools may come loose and move around the case a little.  The labels are both SAE and metric, which is handy.

This tool set contains many everyday tools like a small hammer, pliers, wire cutters, wrenches, ratchets, screw drivers, anchors, fasteners, tape measurements, utility knife, etc.

It’s a complete set, best suited for light to medium intensity work. Perfect for beginners or those that want to keep a set of tools in the car just in case. The attractive price point means that it is an easy investment that will pay for itself with one DIY car repair.

We think this is the best mechanics basic toolset to keep in the car, but suggest going up in price if you’re after an every-day toolkit.

The Pittsburgh 130 piece tool set include

  • Ten combination wrenches
  • 20 Hex wrenches
  • Measurement tape
  • Utility knife
  • Multiple screws for woods, nails,
  • 10 Screwdrivers
  • Multiple sockets
  • Bit adapters
  • Extension bars
  • 40 long bits

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Compact carry case makes it easy to transport
  • Includes everyday tools, so toolset can also be used around the house

Cons

  • Not the most durable of tool kits as it’s a very budget-friendly kit.

3) Stanley STMT71653 145-Piece Mechanics Tool Set

tool kit for car mechanic

The 145 Piece Stanley tool set strikes a balance of quality and affordability.

Stanley offers a great lifetime warranty. If a Stanley mechanics tool ever fails for any reason, they will replace it with no proof of purchase required. You just need to call Stanley and they’ll send a replacement (don’t return to Amazon).

This set is ideal for those looking for a wide range of sockets. Great for cars and bikes. We like the inclusion of two quality ratchets (3/8″ & 1/4″) and the variety of hex keys. We were a little disappointed with the quality of the wrenches and thought that the markings could have been laser etched to allow for greater readability.

All in all, this is a solid tool kit from a quality manufacturer, backed up with an impressive warranty. Great to chuck in the car for emergencies or keep at home for the car or bike.

Tool set includes:

  • 16 1/4″ drive 6-point deep sockets
  • 3 3/8″ drive 6-point spark plug sockets
  • 12 PC combination wrenches,
  • 10 PC nut bits
  • 1/4″ drive pear-head ratchet
  • 3/8″ drive pear-head ratchet
  • 1/4″ drive 6″ extension bar
  • 3/8″ drive 3″ extension bar,
  • 3/8″ drive universal joint
  • 5 3/8″ drive 12-point sockets
  • 20 3/8″ drive 6-point sockets
  • 9 1/4″ drive 6-point sockets
  • 16 hex keys (SAE and metric)
  • 30 1/4″ drive specialty bits
  • Carry case

Pros

  • Includes two high-quality ratchets
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Wide range of socket sizes

Cons

  • We’d prefer to have seen slightly better quality wrenches included in the kit
  • Markings could have been etched deeper for better readability

4) Crescent CTK170CMP2 170-Piece Mechanics Tool Set

motorcycle mechanic tool set

The Crescent CTK170CMP2 170 Piece Tool set makes for a great starter kit.

Featuring both metric and SAE drives, the Crescent 170 piece kit includes a good assortment of wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers, ratches, extenders, hex keys, bits and more. 

Unlike some other kits in the $100 region, it includes 3 rachets. This increases the overall weight slightly, but it’s still a very manageable 22 pounds

A quirk of this kit appears to be the ‘crescent’ or adjustable wrench. It’s the only tool not labeled with the Crescent branding, suggesting that it may not actually be made by Crescent. Yes, the crescent wrench is not actually a Crescent wrench… This has clearly been done to keep the price affordable, but it’s still a little disappointing. 

Coming in at under $100 this tool set is great value for the money. Given the variety of tools and applications it can be used for, it would also make a thoughtful gift for someone that has just purchased a car or even just to have around the house. 

The Crescent 170 Piece tool set includes:

  • 3 Drive, 72 tooth quick-release ratchets (1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″)
  • 3″ Drive extensions
  • 26 SAE & metric hex keys
  • 44 Driver bits
  • 12 Wrenches
  • 22 Six point sockets
  • 25 Twelve point sockets
  • 2 Pliers
  • 4 Screw Drivers
  • Carry case

Pros

  • Great variety of tools to cover most automotive repairs
  • Includes 3 rachets with 72 teeth
  • Solid value (less than $100). 

Cons

  • The pliers could be of better quality. The needlenose in particular can have issues with the plastic grips falling off. 
  • The adjustable wrench is good, but is of lesser quality than a regular, ie non-kit, Crescent wrench. 
  • Conflicting reports about the case. Some buyers have reported issues with some sockets not being tight enough, others suggest they are too tight. 

5) Stanley Mechanics Tool Set – 201 Piece

stanley mechanics tool set

The Stanley mechanics 201 piece tool set is a beefed-up version of the 145 kit we’ve included above. The most notable addition is a 3rd ratchet (1/2″) and associated sockets. You also get drive adaptors, spark plug socket, more bits and hex keys. 

The 201 piece costs $10-$15 more than the 145 piece. Whether it’s worth it really depends on how much you’ll use the 1/2″ ratchet (in addition to the existing 3/8″ & 1/4″). If’ you’re going to get a lot of use out of the 1/2″ ratchet, then it’s well worth the price upgrade with the additional tools. If not, then save yourself a few dollars and you’ll still be very happy with the Stanley 145 piece kit.

If this is a gift, I’d be choosing the slightly cheaper 145 piece Stanley kit, as it contains most of the same essential tools. 

Overall, we like the inclusion of the 1/2″ ratchet that would cost over $20 if you were to buy it separately. This is more than the difference between the 145 and the 201 piece sets, so the 201 piece set is definitely worth paying the $10-$15 extra IF you plan on using the 1/2″ ratchet. 

The Stanley mechanics 201 piece tool setincludes:

  • 3 Drive pear head ratchets (3/8″, 1/4″ & 1/2″)
  • 8 Combination wrenches
  • 10 1/4″ Drive Sockets – 6 pt SAE13, 1/4″ Drive Sockets – 6 pt mm
  • 10 1/4″ Drive Deep Sockets – 6 pt SAE
  • 11, 1/4″ Drive Deep Sockets – 6pt mm
  • 9 3/8″ Drive Sockets – 6 pt SAE
  • 5 3/8″ Drive Deep Sockets – 6 pt SAE
  • 3 3/8″ Drive Deep Sockets – 6 pt mm
  • 6 1/2″ Drive Sockets – 6 pt SAE
  • 8 1/2″ Drive Sockets – 6 pt mm
  • 3/8″ Drive Spark Plug Socket – 6 pt SAE
  • 1/4″ Drive F X 3/8″M Adapter
  • 3/8″ Drive F X 1/4″M Adapter
  • 3/8″ Drive F X 1/4″M Adapter
  • 55 Drive bits
  • 12 Nut bits
  • 28 Hex keys
  • Blow Molded Carry Case

Pros

  • Stanley lifetime warranty
  • 3 Ratchets included
  • More applications than 145 piece kit for the extra $10-$15

Cons

  • Not a lot of additional value if you won’t be using the 1/2″ ratchet
  • Markings a little difficult to see

6) DeWalt Mechanics Tool Set DWMT75049 192 Pieces

mechanics tool set under 200

The DeWalt DWMT75049 192 piece mechanics tool set is what I’d consider a pure mechanics tool set. By this I mean that it contains most tools that a mechanic is going to need such as ratchets, sockets and extensions, and little in the way of general tools such as screwdrivers or combination wrenches. 

We like that the markings are laser-etched into the chrome vanadium, which means they’ll never wear off over time and force you to guess which socket you’re using.

This set from DeWalt is very solid, well made and durable. These are generally great attributes, but it does have a weight trade-off. This set is 37 pounds and quite bulky. Making it difficult to just leave in the car or transport in general.

So, this set is much better suited to leave in the garage. If this is how you intend to use the set, then we think it’s a very good set for the home mechanic.

It’s very unlikely that you’ll need to go up in quality even after medium over a longer time period (ie 10+ years). If the tool does break, then you’re covered by DeWalt’s lifetime warranty. It’s very hard to lose out on this one. 

The DeWalt 192 piece tool set includes:

  • 3 Drive pear head ratchets (1/4″, 3/8″ & 1/2″)
  • 3/8″ Shallow 6pt: SAE 1/4″-7/8″, Metric 10-21mm
  • 3/8″ Deep 6pt: SAE 1/4″-7/8″, Metric 10-21mm
  • 3/8″ Hex bits: 5/32″-5/16″, Metric, 4-8mm
  • 3/8″ Torx bits: T10-T45
  • 1/4″ 6pt: SAE 5/32″-9/16″, Metric 4-14mm
  • 1/4″ Deep 6pt: SAE 5/32″-1/2″, Metric 4-14mm
  • 1/2″ 6pt: 7/16″-1″, Metric, 13-24mm
  • 1/2″ 6pt Deep: SAE 7/16″-1″, Metric 13-24mm
  • Extensions
  • Universal joints
  • Spark plug sockets
  • 28 Hex keys

Pros

  • Complete mechanics set with no filler tools
  • Laser-etched markings won’t wear off over time
  • Very durable, backed by DeWalt’s lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • At 37 pounds, it’s a little heavy to keep in the car
  • Mainly for automotive repairs, you’ll need to look elsewhere if you’re after household tools

7) Kobalt 227 Piece Mechanics Tool Kit 

Kobalt 227 Piece Mechanics Tools Kit

The Kobalt 227 piece mechanics tool kit is chock full of polished chrome sockets, wrenches, ratchets, extensions, hex keys and more. 

This set comes with both SAE and metric standards. We like that they’ve color-coded these for easy tool selection. SAE comes with red trim and metric is blue. No more frustration at choosing the wrong tool standard. 

We also like that the bottom drawer of the carry case comes empty, giving you some space to add to the kit. Most of the other toolkits in this list don’t have this luxury, forcing you to keep any additional tools in a separate kit. 

Whilst we love the extra space in the carry case, we wish it was a little tougher. The case has been upgraded after previous feedback, but we still think it could re-worked further to make it a real feature. 

Also a little disappointing is the small combination wrenches. There’s 8 total (4 SAE & 4 metric), but the largest of these is 9/16″. This limits the effectiveness of the wrench set and you may find yourself buying another wrench set to supplement this kit. 

The three sets of sockets and ratchets are fine quality. Making this a reliable every-day kit for garage use. The additional tools such are wrenches and screwdriver are nice additions, but you may need to purchase additional tools to make this a truly complete kit. 

The Kobalt 227 piece set includes:

  • 3 ratchets (72 tooth)
  • 117 sockets
  • 4 extensions
  • 30 combination wrenches
  • 40 hex keys
  • 33 other tools (screwdriver & bits etc)

Pros

  • Color-coded by standard (SAE = red, metric = blue)
  • Carry case has an extra drawer so you can add to the kit

Cons

  • Largest wrench size is 9/16″. It would have been nice to have slightly larger. 
  • Carry case could be more sturdy. 

8) Craftsman 224 Piece Mechanics Tool Kit

Craftsman 224 Piece Mechanics Tool Kit

The 224 piece Craftsman mechanics tool set features top quality ratches, sockets and combination wrenches. Chrome finished for corrosion resistance with large easy to read markings. The durable plastic carry case comes with a hinge to access the combination wrenches on the top shelf, and three drawers underneath to access the sockets and other assorted tools.

We like that there are few ‘filler’ bits in this set. A common marketing ploy by tool manufacturers is to increase the tool count by adding in a bunch of cheap tools such as screwdriver bits and mountains of hex keys. So, whilst technically this does increase the tool count, they aren’t really the tools that matter. This makes it harder for consumers to compare apples with apples. 

This Crafstman 224 piece set does include some hex keys (like most toolsets), they put more emphasis on providing a complete range of tools the average mechanic is going to need – sockets, wrenches, extensions and ratchets. 

For a plastic case, this one is surprisingly good. And given its relatively compact size, you can transport it or leave in the car for those emergencies. 

The biggest downside to purchasing this tool set has nothing to do with tool quality or price (for a quality set we think it’s great value). Rather, it’s the shipping practices. It’s not uncommon for sockets to dislodge from the case during shipping and either get stuck in a crevice of the carry case or fall into the cardboard box. This makes it very important to complete a tool inventory as soon as the tool set arrives – which Craftsman make easy to do by providing a print out of every tool in the set. Thankfully, if something does go missing, you can count on Craftsman to replace any missing part. 

Overall, the Craftsman 224 piece set has everything needed for most automotive repairs and doesn’t try to artificially beef up the tool count. This makes the set seem a little more expensive than other sets of similar tool count. But, when you dig into the details of the included tools, you’ll find the Craftsman 224 set delivers solid value. 

The Craftsman 224 piece mechanics tool kit includes: 

  • 3 quick release ratchets (1/4″, 3/8″ & 1/2″)
  • 59 3/8″ tools (sockets & extenders etc)
  • 46 1/4″ tools 
  • 24 1/2″ tools
  • 16 combination wrenches
  • 79 other tools (hex keys, nut bits etc)

Pros

  • Great range of sockets and wrenches
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Carry case with 3 drawers and hinge on top for easy access

Cons

  • Need to carefully check for lost tools (especially sockets) during shipping. 

9) Pittsburgh 301 Piece Mechanics Tool Set

mechanic ratchet set

The Pittsburgh professional 301-piece mechanic’s tool kit contains a wide variety of tools at a very reasonable price. The standout pieces are the sockets, made out of chrome vanadium steel, they’ll withstand the test of time. 

Like other mechanic sets in this roundup, they’ve included 3 quality ratchets. But, what sets this tool set apart is the inclusion of other tools like 24 screwdrivers, 3 sets of pliers, 10 combination wrenches and an adjustable wrench. This is a great assortment of additional tools that you generally don’t find at this price point.

We also really dig the briefcase style carry case. It’s solid and won’t buckle under pressure.

At 49 pounds, it’s a heavy tool set. The briefcase carry case increases its portability, but it’s still not a tool case you’d want to be carrying around on a daily basis.

There’s a lot to like about this tool set. But if we went looking for negatives, we’d point out the quality difference between the sockets, wrenches and screwdrivers. The socket quality is professional grade, whereas the wrenches and screwdrivers don’t quite reach the same level of quality. This is unlikely to be a problem for anyone but heavy users, but if this is you, then you’d potentially want to supplement the screwdrivers with professional grade screwdrivers.

Overall this tool kit provides a deep variety of sockets, ratchets and other automotive tools. At less than $200, it’s certainly worth considering if you want a trusted mechanic tool set that covers more than the bare minimum.

The Pittsburgh 301 piece mechanics tool kit includes:

  • 3 Ratchets
  • 158 sockets
  • 48 Bit sockets 
  • 24 Screwdrivers
  • 3 Pliers (diagonal cutting, long nose, linesman),
  • 10 Combination wrenches
  • 42 Hex keys,
  • Extension bars, adapters and universal joint adapters
  • Carry case

Pros

  • Wide variety of tools in addition to sockets
  • Great value
  • Durable carry case

Cons

  • Screwdrivers and wrenches not quite professional quality

10) Gearwrench 239 Piece Mechanics Tool Set

Gearwrench 239 Piece Mechanics Tool Kit

The Gearwrench 239 piece mechanics tool kit includes one of the most complete sets of sockets you’ll find. In addition to the 157 sockets, you’ll also get ratchets, extenders, combination wrenches, magnetic screwdriver, bits and hex keys. 

It’s hard to go past this kit if you’re after wide variety of sockets essential to most automotive repairs. The carry case is one of the best you’ll find in a tool set without needing to buy a standalone case. Thought has gone into the case design, making it very easy to see if a tool is missing or out of place. Not all tool sets are this user-friendly. 

The biggest improvement area for this tool set is with the ratchets. These are 45 tooth models, whereas ratchets in kits from other manufacturers featured here have gone with 72 tooth ratchets. The ratchets are still high quality and the lower tooth count may not impact your workflow if you don’t need super low arc swings. High vs low tooth count is really personal preference, but you should at least understand if a lower tooth count will impact your automotive repairs. 

Overall this is a durable, high-quality mechanics tool kit that comes with a thoughtful carry case. It’s mid-priced and we think this Gearwrench kit provides great value for those that value minimal size skipping in their sockets. 

The Gearwrench 239 piece mechanics kit contains:

  • 157 sockets
  • 3 quick-release ratchets
  • Extenders
  • 24 combination wrenches
  • Magnetic screwdriver & bits
  • Hex keys

Pros

  • Minimal socket size skipping
  • Thoughtful carry case
  • Affordable and good value

Cons

  • 45 tooth ratchets (instead of 72 tooth)

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