You may think you know wrenches, but there’s a world of wrench sets out there that you may not be aware of. Online shopping has opened up the range of tools you can buy, and if you want to make a good decision, make sure you have all the facts.
We have covered the best and worst attributes of several wrench sets, so that you know exactly what each set is like before you buy. That way, you can find the model that is right for you, while avoiding issues you would hate. There’s also a buyer’s guide, so if you want to ensure you’re considering everything before you buy, make sure you check it out.
Combination Wrench Set Reviews
#1 – GearWrench 81916 22-Piece Metric Combination Wrench Set
Our favorite wrench set is actually a set of two products from GearWrench. Model 81916 is a 22 piece metric set, and model 81917 is an 18 piece set of SAE wrenches.
Both use GearWrench’s patented Surface Drive technology to grip fasteners more securely and reduce the inconvenience of rounding on hard-to-turn nuts or bolts.
They have a traditional chrome finish and have the wrench size stamped stamped on both side of the wrench as well as the head, allowing for easy identification. The chrome alloy these sets are made from is designed for heavy duty usage without being heavy or cumbersome to handle with one hand.
The long pattern sizes are designed to give a high amount of torque in relation to the head size of the fastener, with the closed end being offset a standard 15 degrees to reduce “knuckle-banging” each time the wrench is reset to a new location on the fastener.
Like on other sets, the closed end has a 12-point configuration which on some sets, has a tendency for rounding off rusted or over-torqued fasteners. Fortunately, the tolerances on GearWrench products are quite tight so it’s less of a problem here, especially the first couple years of use.
The included foldable storage pouch is good for easy storage, but it not made with the same quality standards as the wrenches themselves, and needs to be handled carefully to avoid damage.
Also note that these wrenches are a bit thinner than other brands. This can be a good (fits into tight spots) or bad (slightly less comfortable) thing depending on how you look at it.
The biggest advantage of this set is that it provides a complete range of wrenches without skipping over any critical sizes. The larger sizes are especially hard to find in most wrench sets.
Also, these really are professional quality and stack up fairly well against Snap-Ons and Matcos which cost hundreds more. Many mechanics will tell you that once you’ve tried GearWrench, you’ll never want anything else.
Metric Sizes: 6mm, 7mm, 8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, 18mm, 19mm, 20mm, 21mm, 22mm, 23mm, 24mm, 27mm, 30mm, and 32mm.
SAE Sizes (matching set): 1/4″, 9/32″, 5/16″, 11/32″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, 3/4″, 13/16″, 7/8″, 15/16″, 1″, 1-1/16″, 1-1/8″, and 1-1/4″.
#2 – Wright Tool 958 18-Piece Metric Combination Wrench Set
Made in the USA, Wright Tool wrenches are some of the best quality wrenches you’ll find. While not cheap, a full set is still hundreds less than a comparable Snap-On or Proto set.
The quality, from the top-notch blemish-free chrome to the perfectly centered lettering, is immediately noticeable. The newest WrightGrip 2.0 open ends are a game changer for increased torque and reduced slippage. Unlike other wrenches, it’ll grip the fastener without marring it (unless under extreme torque).
The thick beams are very comfortable to hold and feel indestructible. The heavy duty ends are incredible durable and would likely withstand hits from a hammer. The thickness may be an issue when working in very tight quarters but that’s the tradeoff.
It’s worth noting that while almost every other brand’s box end uses a 15 degree offset, Wright Tool goes with an 8 degree offset on their wrenches.
The convenient denim tool roll is well made (which is a luxury these days) but unless you’re regularly taking these on the go, they’ll probably sit in a tool cabinet drawer.
Finding fault with this set is about as easy as tightening a slotted screw with a Torx drive. The only thing keeping the Wright Tool set from holding our top rank is the price. While they might not make sense for the average homeowner to own, Wright wrenches should be at the top of every professional mechanics’ list.
Metric Sizes: 7mm, 8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, 18mm, 19mm, 20mm, 21mm, 22mm, 23mm, and 24mm.
SAE Sizes (matching set): 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, 3/4″, 13/16″, 7/8″, 15/16″, 1″, 1-1/16″, 1-1/8″, and 1-1/4″.
#3 – Tekton 90191 30-Piece Metric/SAE Combination Wrench Set
Tekton’s 30-piece set (15 metric and 15 SAE) is great value in combination wrench sets, because it features the most commonly used sizes of both SAE and metric wrenches in one package. Many view Tekton as one of the best tool brands when it comes to good quality at an affordable price.
Forged from chrome vanadium steel with a mirror chrome finish, the Tekton kit is engineered to meet or exceed ANSI specifications and heat-treated for extra strength. The open ends are angled 15 degrees while the box ends are offset by 15 degrees for less knuckle scraping.
A nice bonus are the two “Store and Go Keepers” which keep your wrenches organized and easily portable. They keep all the wrenches in place pretty well (except the smaller sizes) but many opt to simply store them loosely on top of a good drawer liner in their tool cabinet drawer.
No, it can’t compete with high end sets like Snap-On and Matco but that’s not a fair comparison. Versus brands like Craftsman, Kobalt, Husky, and others at the mid-grade level, you’ll find Tekton usually the preferred wrench brand.
A few owners have reported the chrome starting to flake off after years of use and others don’t like the plastic holders and prefer roll-up type storage, but there aren’t too many other negatives at this price point. Tekton has on their hands one of the best combination wrench sets for the money making it the perfect set for home use or backup wrench set for professionals.
Metric Sizes: 8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, 18mm, 19mm, 20mm, 21mm, and 22mm.
#4 – Husky HXLSPW20PCMS 20-Piece Metric/SAE Wrench Set
When looking for the best budget combination wrench set, this 20-piece black Cr-V steel set should be on your shortlist. With an innovative surface grip design that grabs fasteners by the flat sides (instead of corners), these wrenches can grasp with up to 80 percent more strength than standard wrenches while reducing the risk of rounding.
A longer shaft provides superior torque, while the box ends can handle six different types of fastener (6-point, 12-point, square, spline, E-Torx, and partially rounded hex). Best of all, this set includes a full lifetime, no-questions-asked warranty.
We really like the high contrast laser etched markings. They stand out much better than typical chrome wrenches. While it may not be a big deal to younger users, it’s something to appreciate as we get older.
The light weight and slightly curved design is a big hit with consumers, as it makes handling a lot easier. The length has also proven to give more torque. Even more impressive is that the included storage tray actually does a good job of storing unlike the usual throwaway ones.
There seems to be some debate over whether the box ends are better or worse than other wrenches when it comes to rounding. A few users have also complained about the open end breaking after applying enough force. Thankfully, the warranty covers such breaks, even when too much force was applied.
If on a budget and need something for infrequent use, this Husky set is a no-brainer. Make for a great gift to new homeowners or those just getting started with basic car repair and maintenance.
Metric Sizes: 8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 17mm, and 19mm.
SAE Sizes: 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, 3/4″, and 7/8″.
#5 – Milwaukee 48-22-9515 15-Piece Metric Combination Wrench Set
Known more for their excellent power tools, Milwaukee has been gaining in popularity with their hand tools and this wrench set is a great example.
Beginning with the comfortable I-beam handles to the patented Max Bite open-end grips, this set is meant for serious mechanics. Each wrench has ink-filled size labels on both sides for easy identification.
With the unique Max Bite design, the open ends of these wrenches have enough bite to out-perform many competitors in terms of grip and anti-slip when tested.
The durable finish holds its shine even when exposed to oil and brake fluid. Users will find the large ink-filled numbering easier to spot when reaching for the desired size. Even better, metric sizes are in black ink while SAE are in red. We wish more brands used this method.
Due to a slightly thicker size, this set might not be the best for frequent use in tight spaces. It can also take some getting used to holding them if you have a lot of experience with more conventional designs.
While the lifetime guarantee doesn’t compare to something like Husky’s warranty, Milwaukee will repair or replace any wrench due to a factory defect for the lifetime of the product.
Metric Sizes: 8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, 18mm, 19mm, 20mm, 21mm, and 22mm.
SAE Sizes (matching set): 1/4″, 9/32″, 5/16″, 11/32″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, 3/4″, 13/16″, 7/8″, 15/16″, and 1″.
#6 – Tekton WRN01190 12-Piece Stubby Combination Wrench Set
This 12-piece metric set offers a shorter, slimmer body to help get into those tighter spaces. Both box and open ends are offset 15 degrees to aid in gripping and reduce the working swing arc.
Stubby wrenches such as these may seem impractical until you actually need them. Then the short length feels like a lifesaver when you encounter a faster that simply doesn’t allow for the swing arc of normal wrenches.
The set can be purchased with either a red roll-up pouch with fabric hanging loops or hard plastic wrench keeper. We personally recommend the roll-up pouch which has a unique design that works really well for transport.
Perfect for beginner and intermediate mechanics, this set is far more affordable than its professional-grade competitors, while still providing high quality service for years to come.
Owners report good grips on these and excellent construction for the price. They find these wrenches invaluable for getting into tight spaces without having to disassemble everything around the target fastener.
As with many wrench sets, a few buyers have reported a missing or doubled wrench in their set upon arrival. There have also been a few isolated complaints of bending, although this is not the norm.
Metric Sizes: 8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, 18mm, and 19mm.
SAE Sizes (matching set): 5/16″, 3/8″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″, 5/8″, 11/16″, and 3/4″.