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 professional 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
professional tool set Reviews
#1 – Crescent CTK170CMP2 170-Piece Mechanics Tool Set
For more than 100 years, Crescent has been an industry standard for mechanical tools and they feature the company’s trademark Crescent Wrench. The Crescent Tool Set CTK170CMP2, a 170 piece solution for most mechanical needs, is no exception to the rule.
You will enjoy the smooth chrome finish, flawless operation and superior balance, all indications of superior workmanship and quality.
Crescent tools include a limited lifetime replacement warranty that covers any manufacturing defects but doesn’t quite match the excellent warranties from the likes of DeWalt or Stanley. However, the design quality equates to having fewer replacement needs. Reader Favorites from Garage Tool Advisor!
Tool set CTK170CMP2 includes a wide variety of sockets. All 3 common ratchet sizes are provided, using both 6 and 12 point sockets up to 7/8 inch SAE and 21mm metric.
For getting into close spaces, 3, 5 and 6 inch extensions are included, and the quick release ratchets will save you time when you have to alternate between multiple sizes. Spark plug sockets for 5/8 and 13/16 plugs match your most common deep well needs.
Having the right tool for the job is important, and Crescent tools meet ANSI and ASME specifications. More than a bragging point, this fact means that you will have less stripping and slipping when removing rusty nuts, as happens with cheaply made tools that have little or no quality control.
While not professional quality, this Crescent set is considered by many to be the best mechanics set for the money.
#2 – DeWalt DWMT81534 205-Piece Mechanics Tool Set
Known more for their popular power tools, DeWalt has introduced this excellent, high-quality mechanics set at a very reasonable price.
This 205-piece set (also available in 84, 172, and 247 piece variations) includes a variety of tools to take on most mechanic related tasks you throw at it. The 72-tooth ratchets are solid, just the right size, and have a low 5-degree arc to allow them to be used in the tightest spots.
The 6-point sockets cover 99% of the socket sizes you’ll need and everything is in fully polished chrome that not only looks great, but offers excellent corrosion resistance.
Also included are extension bars, spark plug sockets, adapters, 10 combination wrenches in the most common sizes, hex keys, and an anti-slip screwdriver with an assortment of bits.
Holding everything together is a durable blow mold case with metal latches (as opposed to the less secure plastic latches found on most cases). Topping everything off is DeWalt’s lifetime guarantee which offers free replacement.
Probably the most common issue with this set actually involves the case. Some users have found that a few of the tools (namely sockets) don’t stay in place after closing. For most, this will not be an issue but it’s something to consider if you’ll be moving the case around a lot.
It’s unfortunate as the tools themselves matchup well to sets costing 2-3 times as much. All in all, DeWalt is a brand with a great reputation and this set offers excellent bang for the buck.
#3 – Stanley STMT73795 201-Piece Mixed Tool Set
One of the trademarks of the Stanley tool family is the lifetime replacement warranty. If you break or damage a wrench in either this set or the one below, it will be replaced free of charge at any authorized Stanley distributor.
You can feel the difference when you are using a Stanley tool, and manufacturing specifications meet or exceed ANSI standards.
The popular STMT73795 tool set includes 201 pieces (a 170-piece version is also available) and is a fantastic starter set for a household.
Included in the set are your standard common sizes of ratchets, sockets, combination wrenches, and hex keys. But you’ll also get tools such as screwdrivers, pliers (groove joint and needle nose), tape measure, adjustable wrench, utility knife, and various drive bits.
If you don’t yet have a tool chest or simply don’t have room for one, this Stanley tool set will have you covered on most auto and home maintenance and repair tasks.
The ratchets are made from forged chrome vanadium for strength and durability and the full polish chrome finish on the sockets and 8 wrench sizes is on par with other brands. The ratchets themselves are pretty decent but not buttery smooth like the Crescent or DeWalt above.
Every tool has its spot in the tri-fold case but once again, the case is a slight weakness. Some of the pieces are a bit hard to remove and others are a bit too loose.
We like the set as an overall good value and it would make for great “first time homeowner” tool set but for serious usage, one of the two sets above would be better picks.
#4 – Amazon Basics AMZ1701 145-Piece Mechanics Tool Set
For those who are looking for a good budget mechanic’s set, this 145-piece set Amazon-branded set is good option.
AmazonBasics is more known for their popular low-cost home electronic accessories and household items but they’ve now branched out to other areas which will almost certainly be a hit as well.
Like other sets on this page, the tool bodies of made of forged chrome-vanadium steel and coated with a polished chrome finish for durability. You’ll get all the most popular socket sizes (all 6-point) in both 1/4 and 3/8-inch drives, 8 combination wrenches, and various bits and accessories.
The two pear-shaped head ratchets have no slop or slippage which is surprising in an economy set like this.
The molded case once again is the weak point. Don’t expect all the sockets to stay in place when moving. But for a good beginner’s tool set, you can definitely do much worse than the AmazonBasics set.
#5 – Stanley STMT71654 201-Piece Mechanics Tool Set
The STMT71654 tool kit includes most of the fastener-related tools you will need. Instead of providing you with a wide assortment of tool types (like the other Stanley set above), this set focuses on sockets, drivers, and wrenches.
This limits what you can do with the kit, but increases the number of sizes you have available. The molded case hold sockets and driver tips in place, and is designed to be portable and easy to pack away when you’re done.
The ergonomic tool design is nice if you spend a lot of time working with your tools because they reduce finger-cramping and increase your leverage. If the cost is a major consideration, Stanley is one of the most economic tools on the market.
One problem with this tool set is that it does not include 3/4 or 7/8 inch sockets, which are commonly needed for auto work. These are unusual omissions for a mechanical tool set, and supplemental socket sizes are available separately, but will not store inside the plastic case.