Whether you perform maintenance on your car or always find yourself starting a new project, having the right tools nicely organized and within reach can make a world of difference. The best mechanics toolsets make your job faster, easier, and more efficient.
Both professional and DIY home mechanics alike can benefit from a dedicated mechanics toolset. They are versatile and functional. However, the wide variety of products can make it hard to choose the best mechanic toolset for your needs.
Best Mechanics Toolsets
Now, you may want to buy an awesome 300-piece mechanics toolset to boast about to your friends. But what’s the point of spending a small fortune if you are never going to use all of its contents? If you’re on a budget, finding the toolset you need should not be difficult.
With that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the best mechanic’s toolsets on the market.
The Crescent CTK170CMP2 toolset is a better, more affordable version of Crescent’s best seller CTK170CMP. It is fully equipped with 170 pieces and hand tools necessary for most mechanical, industrial, and consumer tasks. This includes sturdy and durable ratchets, combination wrenches, short and deep sockets, two extensions, an adapter, two pliers, an adjustable wrench, a magnetic driver with 44 bits as well as 26 hex keys.
When you open the case, these tools do not fall out of place. And Crescent provides a lifetime warranty on their tools which are corrosion resistant. Overall, reviewers were very pleased with the quality and functionality of this set and found that is was good value for the money. However, a couple of tools such as the adjustable wrench and the needle-nose pliers did not meet their expectations.
2. DEWALT 204 Piece Mechanics Tools Kit and Socket Set
The Dewalt DWMT72165 mechanic’s tool kit comes in a rugged case with good quality metal latches on the ends and the sides. This 204 piece set contains everything a DIY auto repair or home repair enthusiast would ever need. The case keeps the tools in place and minimizes your risk of losing any tools. On the downside, it weighs approximately 40 pounds, which is pretty heavy.
This substantial set comes with a ton of handy tools including standard and metric Allen wrenches, combination wrenches, adapters, 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ ratchets. It also comes with a large variety of extensions for the ratchets. You also get a large selection of shallow and deep sockets (SAE and metric) without any significant skips. They are precision machined out of quality steel and built to last.
The Craftsman CMMT12039 mechanics tool set comes with 298 pieces. It includes 24 combination wrenches, 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ ratchets, 6 extensions, 166 sockets (deep, shallow and spark plug), universal joints, and additional adapters. It also comes with Torx bits and hex bits, as well as Allen wrenches. The sockets are chrome for corrosion resistance and come with large markings for quick identification.
These are long-lasting tools and the best part of it is that they come with a full lifetime warranty. You don’t need a receipt either for replacement, just the damaged tool. If you need a portable solution for your tools, this may not be the right set since it doesn’t come with a plastic carrying case. The set contains four plastic trays (22″ x 11″) that you can slide into the drawers of a tool cart for easy organization.
This Kobalt 227 piece toolset comes with a great assortment of quality tools at a very competitive price. It includes 117 of the most commonly used sockets, 30 combination wrenches, 3 ratchets, a magnetic screwdriver with interchangeable bits, 4 extensions, 40 hex keys, Allen keys, and other tools. Made of chrome steel with professional-grade polish finish, these tools are designed to be durable.
Just the tools on their own are well worth the price of this set but Kobalt has also included a compact toolbox that is good for transport and storage. Kobalt recently restructured the box with durable metal clasps and reinforced joints. The top handle has also been improved for better grip and larger detents have been added to the drawers for smoother use. There is even an extra drawer for even more storage.
This Stanley mechanics toolset provides a large selection of durable tools at a low price with a solid, narrow case that keeps everything secure inside. This is one of the best cases we have seen for holding everything tight (sometimes too tight). Its narrow size and the sturdy handle stores easily behind the bench seat of your truck while the release switch makes operation simple.
This is a great set for small jobs around the house or roadside emergencies. It contains 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 inch pear head ratchets, metric and SAE sockets, extension bars, combination wrenches, hex keys, a spark plug socket, a bit holder, 30 drive bits, nut bits, and a spinner handle.
6. Pittsburg Professional 301 Piece Mechanics Tool Kit
If you need a good range of basic mechanic tools for use on the go, this Pittsburg set is a great start-up toolset to keep in your truck, garage, or home. The hard case is compact and durable with metal lock latches and sturdy non-plastic hinges. On the inside, it is organized with three fully removable trays that keep everything secure and easy to find. With an approximate weight of 50 pounds, this is not the lightest case you will find.
There are plenty of great tools in this set, including 158 sockets and 48-bit sockets (SAE and metric), 24 screwdrivers, 10 combination wrenches, 42 hex keys, 3 pliers, ratchets, universal joint adapters, breaker bars, and extensions. Reviewers love the strength and quality of the chrome steel sockets and ratchets. The labeling on the sockets is easy to read, and you even get some extra-large sockets that you can’t often find in other toolsets
If you are looking to start a tool collection without paying a ton of money, this Husky Mechanics Tool Set is the perfect option as it includes a lot of handy tools and sockets. There are 72 tooth quick-release ratchets, 168 sockets including 1/4, 3/8, and ½ inch drive sockets (metric and SAE), 30 wrenches (combination and ignition), 40 hex keys, and 77 accessories.
The tools are made with a chrome vanadium steel finish which offers anti-corrosion protection and is easy to wipe clean, with laser-etched markings which makes the size easy to read. The fit securely in the heavy-duty molded case which is easy to carry thanks to the handle on the top and two built-in handles on the sides. The case has two latches for easy release and two drawers that easily slide in and out. The drawers can also be fully pulled out if you don’t need to carry the whole box to the workplace.
With 230 Craftsman tools and a rugged solid case, the price of this set seems almost too good to be true. Additional bonus? Craftsman’s lifetime warranty. This is a fairly inclusive kit. It contains 3 quick-release ratchets, 116 sockets, 6 combination wrenches (metric and inch), 2 extension bars, 40 Hex keys, 1 screwdriver, 50 screwdriver bits, and 12 nut driver bits.
These are solid tools with corrosion-resistant protection. The sockets are marked clearly for easy identification and the ratchets are durable and quality made for applying a good amount of torque when loosening nuts and bolts. Also, some of the screwdriver bits can fit JIS screws without damaging them. The Allen keys are useful but come in plastic bags which is inconvenient when you have to dig through the bag to find the key you need.
This Gearwrench set is an excellent choice for both the professional and the DIYer. It comes with quality tools that hold up well and minimal skip of socket sizes. There is also some additional space in case you want to add a few bits of your own. The blow mold box looks solid and the drawers are easy to pull out. However, some reviewers have complained that the side flaps (which are meant to lock the drawers in place) open easily and the drawers may slide out.
The kit includes 84 tooth ratchets, metric and SAE standard sockets (1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″), deep sockets (1/4″ and 3/8″), spark plug sockets and 12 point combination wrenches. You also get 11 extensions, 3 universal joints, 4 adapters, nut driver bits, and other accessories, (no pliers included). The allow steel wrenches and the sockets (6 and 12 points) are specially designed to minimize fastener rounding and have a chrome finish. For European cars, the 19 mm combination wrench is a useful addition.
This is a great budget option for anyone who wants to have all the right tools but does not know what they need. This set takes the guesswork out of your tool choices if you want to do any work on your own vehicle, or around the house.
This toolset has all the most popular socket wrenches, hex wrenches, and screwdriver bits. It also includes 1/4 “, 3/8″ and 1/2” socket tools (SAE & Metric), pliers, and other hand tools. The tools come in a sturdy plastic case that latches to close. Reviewers complained that the tools easily fly out of the case when it is not opened properly. But, for an inexpensive, starter toolset this is a great option.
What Tools To Look For In Mechanics Toolsets
Any serious toolset would be insufficient without a wide range of deep and standard sockets in different sizes, in both metric and SAE sizes. Most foreign vehicles use Metric hardware, and domestic vehicles many times use a combination of metric and SAE sizes. Most likely you’ll run into both while wrenching on vehicles, and need both to do the job properly.
Also, check that your toolset doesn’t have any skips on the socket sizes or at least has a minimal amount of skips. You will also want the markings on the sockets to be easy to read.
Look for 6 point sockets for heavy torque applications. They have thicker walls to absorb the torque and are less likely to slip off a fastener. For light-duty repairs, 12 point sockets work fine.
You will use chrome sockets with hand tools as they have thinner walls. If you are using electric tools, you will need thicker impact sockets.
Ratchets are another important part of good mechanics toolsets, in order to use those sockets. For work in tight spaces, avoid bulky or very heavy ratchets. Remember that long ratchets give you more leverage to crack loose the fasteners, but can get int he way in tight spaces.
Go for extra teeth in your rachets, such as the 80 tooth+ ratchets, which will help you get the job done easier and be more durable. Starting from 24 teeth and going up to 100, you have many options to consider. Given the popularity of 80-100 tooth models, you will probably want to end up in this range.
Wenches are a staple in any mechanics toolkit. Having a wide range of wrench sizes will help you deal with specific projects safely and effectively. Wrenches also come in imperial and metric sizes. The type and number of wrenches included in the mechanics toolsets vary. Whether it is for applying more torque to loosen stuck fasteners or working in areas where sockets won’t fit, having the right wrench for the job is important.
Most sets contain at least one screwdriver. If you often use screwdrivers, you may want to go for a set that contains a variety of screwdrivers and/or a screwdriver with a variety of bits.
The most commonly used screwdrivers today are Philips head with a wide number of applications in every field. Slotted screwdrivers will always be a staple. Magnetic screwdrivers are also becoming increasingly popular for hard to reach areas.
For removing bolts that are super stubborn or require a high torque spec with a ratchet or wrench, breaker bars provide a lot of leverage to make impossible jobs possible. Also known as power bars, they are essential for automotive tasks.
A set of pliers always comes handy. However, not all sets come with pliers, so if you need them for your job, find a model that includes the type of pliers that best matches your work. Also, read users’ reviews about the specific product because not all pliers included in these kits are quality made and fully functional.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I look for in a mechanics toolset?
Determining whether you need a toolbox for professional use or DIY use is important. And, it can save you a lot of money. Most professionals go for Snap-on mechanic tool sets, Proto, or Mac as their first choice.
However, for automotive maintenance and home repairs, nothing can beat the great combination of quality, durable tools and affordable prices of brands such as Craftsman, Dewalt, Husky, Kobalt, or Stanley.
Deciding what size and what your needs are is also important. Some sets contain more than 300 pieces, but if you only need a basic set for some very simple home or auto repairs, you may not need to buy one of those larger kits.
What tools does a mechanic need?
The best mechanics toolsets will come with a range of sockets (metric and SAE), ratchets, wrenches, screwdrivers (both Philips and slotted), Allen keys, Torx keys, breaker bars, and possibly a set of pliers. Also, be sure to check out the case that the tools come in as you’ll want a durable and possibly portable case to haul your tools around.
Why do tools cost so much?
Tools and toolsets can be incredibly expensive. But, oftentimes, you get what you pay for. The higher price items are made out of better materials and will last longer. But, if you are just starting out with mechanic repair, and will only need your tools infrequently, you will be fine with most mid-priced tools. You can always upgrade once you know what you like and use often.
Ilana Newman is a writer, photographer, and life long learner. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and recently relocated to the desert and mountains of SW Colorado, she spends her free time climbing, running, and skiing in the mountains. She is passionate about sharing stories that can impact lives.