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
#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.
Best Tool Boxes Reviews
First on our list is one of the top-rated and best-reviewed toolboxes. Dewalt is a renowned company in the industry and the Dewalt Tool Box DWST08204 Extra Large Tough System is from a series of carrying cases from the house of Dewalt. The company has a wide range of carrying and storage products from storage to portability.
- Highly robust built foam-based box with a very large interior storage space and superior durability
- The vertical internal storage is great for placing hand tools
- It has a removable tray for hand tools and other misc objects
- Comes with side latches that let you stack one module over the other thus giving you clear shelf function and also segregation possibility as well.
- The side handles are smooth and make the carrying it around very easy and let you place a lot of such boxes on the Metal carrier easily
- Made out of IP65 Integrated water seal outside and inside which will give you greater protection against any moisture or weather ailments.
- Anti-rust metal latches that are weather friendly
- Can store up weights till the capacity of 110 lbs easily
- Has a central locking mechanism which is built to facilitate its stacking on the ToughSystem stacking family
- Foldable brackets which enable tailored configurations for the metal carriers
- The foam box wall is about 4 mm in thickness thus gives it a robust quality even if used as a single unit.
- The vertical compartments are easily interchangeable for the box to be used as one large unit or shelved too.
- The box is also available in different models and the ToughSystem family is a large suite of storage and movement utilities
- Though it is portable with the latches and handles, the 110 lbs might not exactly be portable enough for a regular day job toolbox
A toolbox that is straight out from the 80’s model, the JEGS 81400 Black is a 3 drawer professional toolbox. You can have this for your truck, for garage work, for your home usage, car repair, trucks or trailers. A highly reviewed and received product, it is a decent box to store away your utilities easily and for a long time.
- Has 3 drawers of convenience for storing spanners, screwdrivers, wrenches and other flat long tools
- The box is entirely made out of high quality 16 gauge steel
- The drawers can be extended out fully, removed and replaced
- Glide system of the drawers is ball-bearing based thus it promises smoother movement from a point to another
- Can be locked and carried too. Includes 2 keys as well in the package.
- The latches are strong, hold firmly and are rust-resistant in nature
- Has a black powder coat finish
- Dimensions of the box are about 20.5 inches in length, 12 inches in height and 9 inches in breadth
- Very portable thanks to the meagre 17 lbs weight
- The handles come with JEGS comfort grip handles which are great for lifting and carrying without causing hand bristles
- Though touted as non-rustic, the outer layer might end up losing the paint if not taken care of and end up causing some rust.
Much like the heavy foam built grade of the Dewalt, the Plano 823-003 contractor-grade PO series is a 22 inches large Tool Box with black handles and latches. The grey graphite box comes with all there is much like the Jegs box mentioned above but with a robust build, looks and large capacity.
- Highly reviewed and rated box to store and arrange a wide range of tools
- Moulded plastic heavy foam built box
- Sized at 22 inches length, by 13.5 inches height and a 12.5 inches breadth.
- Plano modelling moulded with high-quality foam and durable build quality
- Includes two lift-out trays. These trays facilitate deep storage compartments which can let you either store a lot of small tools, a couple of large tools or adjust both large and small tools.
- The fold-down handle will let you take the toolbox with you wherever you go with great ease.
- Includes two stove away organizers that will stay in their place securely without any movement or disorganizing.
- The handles and the latches are reinforced for better durability and strength.
- Extra deep construction and the easy access to that is an add on feature
- Comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty from the date of purchase which is a fresh and promising addition to such storage products.
- None too specific to mention
Yet another 22 inches large tool storage box, the Stalwart 75-MJ5051B is a contractor-grade toolbox that comes with a really cool and comfortable and heavy-duty handle that makes the box a highly portable make and build.
- The heavy-duty build quality of the Stalwart box makes it a great professional-grade toolbox and not just another “for the attic” toolbox
- It comes with a highly unique cantilevered tray that increases your ability and the reach you need to access the tools stored and also you can easily see through what you need and when.
- Has a clear-top lid that makes it easier to access the top shelf without needing to open the whole box.
- The shelves on the top have about 15 removable divisions and 3 parts that are permanently dividable. This increases the stability and avoids any tipping of the box as a whole.
- The box has a whole dimension of 22 inches length, 10 inches height, 12 inches width exterior. For the interior, it has a total usable 18.75 inches length, 2.25 inches height (compartmentally), and about 9 inches in width
- Comes with support legs that remove the chance of tipping over
- The handle is very comfortable to hold near the grip area and the entirety is made out of stainless steel
- The overall build material is Polypropylene and Stainless Steel
- Highly portable and has a great value for money
- None too specific to mention about
Next up we have the Akro Mils ProBox, a 14 inches large plastic built toolbox. This red coloured box gives you the vintage feel on as to a professional 70’s toolman. Also, Akro Mills comes with a fantastic 60 years history into building affordable storage equipment.
- Comes with very large storage space and a total of 14 inches in length
- Has a quite large removable tray for you to store smaller equipment or tools
- The box has a very strong steel latch to it. The padlock’s eye is large enough to shut the box close for the better
- Loaded boxes can be carried around with great ease and comfort as the handle has a very comfortable and highly secure grip to it
- The outer layer of the box is chemical resistant and as the product is made in the USA, you can rest assured of the quality
- Affordable pricing and very good storage capacity
- Could have had a bit more compartments or shelves for the price
Yet another red coloured toolbox chest, the Craftsman is a metal chest that comes with 3 drawers. Very sturdy in build, the chest comes with great reviews and ratings to it.
- Plenty of storage space but has a compact structure to it.
- The hinges are tight and sturdy in it that can withstand any rough handling
- The lid might seem a bit chintzy after a while but it does the job
- The drawers are piano styled and can be pilled out with great ease
- All while they have a great locking mechanism to them as well.
- The box’s handle has a rough handle which makes it easier to hang it by just about anything.
- The paint job on the metal surface could have been a bit better.
Finally on our list is the Keter Pro Classic toolbox. This toolbox has a robust plastic built body with compact shut case shelves out of durable and rugged quality in total.
- Decent 18.99 inches Length whereas 10.24 inches in width and 9.84 inches in height.
- Made out of high-quality rugged polypropylene resins which promises greater shelf life
- The interior utility tray is removable and retractable
- The lid is made out of metal and the stopper can hold the lid still intact while you are working.
- The padlock has separate storage space for quick access of tools
- The lid organizers are present on both sides of the handlebar where you can store small tools or spare parts etc.,
- None too specific to mention
The next one in our list is from Stanley, a 19-inches large plastic built toolbox. It comes with black handles and a latch that makes it easy to carry and store your utilities easily.
- Designed with a robust structure with large interior storage space and superior durability.
- With its extra-wide soft-grip handle, you can easily lift and carry it around to your workplace.
- It has a removable tray that provides enough space for larger tools to be stored underneath.
- Sized at 19-inches length, by 9 inches height and 10.25 inches width.
- Organizers on top lid for small parts storage and convenience to use.
- It is a one-hand operation latch that allows opening while other hand is occupied and also shuts automatically.
- Affordable pricing and good storage capacity.
- It has a black powder coat finish and offers a limited lifetime warranty on any manufacturing defects.
- It is durable, versatile, and secure that gives the mobile craftsman the versatility they need for the workplace.
- Made out of high-quality plastic that ensures greater shelf life.
- It would have a bit more space/shelves for proper storage.
- Could improve the design of the latch locking system.