Top 7 Best Mechanic's Tool Sets
By | Last updated: December 15, 2021
best mechanic's tool sets

Gearheads are lucky. We’re interested in vehicles, so the natural extension of our interest is to pick up a set of tools to poke and prod at the very machines we enjoy. Someone who is interested in horses would be well-advised not to do the same, for example. Or those who have more than a passing interest in household electricity.

Buying a set of tools isn’t a problem. They’re sold everywhere from high-end retail stores to highway rest stops. The quality of those tools, however, varies greatly. Few things on this earth are more frustrating than getting halfway through replacing a thermostat only to have one’s ratcheting wrench start to spin futilely in its gear set.

We’ve picked out several different options for the shadetree mechanic, all of them with different strengths. Most good gearheads seem to accumulate tools over the years; perhaps these will make the grade and take up residence in your basement or garage.

Try doing that with a horse.

1. Editor's Choice: DEWALT Mechanics Tools Kit and Socket Set, 204-Pieces

Choosing a tool kit from a well-known brand is usually a safe bet. After all, only the silliest of companies would put their name on subpar equipment (ahem *Black & Decker* ahem). This set from DeWalt immediately puts your author in mind of Matt Kenseth’s NASCAR racer, a testament to modern marketing efforts.

As for the set, it is packed with most of the common sizes of sockets one will need to tackle the majority of basic automotive work. The ratchets are advertised to have 72 teeth, a feature that should permit the removal of bolts in even the tightest of places. Three drive sizes are in the kit, along with some box end wrenches and spark plug sockets.

Pros/Good name, great reviews
Cons/Make sure you get exactly what you ordered
Bottom Line/A solid start for the budding gearhead

2. Crescent SAE/Metric Mechanic's Tool Set - 30 Pieces

If all you need to carry around in the back of your pickup is a basic set of sockets for common repairs, this kit might do the trick. Included in the plastic blow-molded case are deep and shallow sockets of both 6- and 12-point variety. If you don’t know why 6-point sockets are a benefit, give us a shout when you round off your first bolt.

Said to be an updated version of a previous offering, this set has a new sturdier case with steel hinges and 2 latches to keep your tools organized and secure. The ratchet has 60 teeth inside its teardrop-shaped head (sounds like we’re talking about horses again) and is 10 percent longer than the ratchet in their old set. May the torque be with you.

Pros/Compact size, includes most common tools
Cons/Nothing else is included but sockets
Bottom Line/Tuck this one safely under the seat

3. WORKPRO Tool Set with 3-Drawer Heavy Duty Metal Box - 408 Pieces

These chrome vanadium forged tools are advertised by the seller to have the toughness and durability to withstand our ham-fisted repair attempts. A full polished chrome finish helps with anti-corrosion duties if you leave the things out in the rain, you slob.

The piece count is padded by the likes of Allen keys but does also include an agreeable number of sockets and screwdrivers. The tools are organized in a sturdy aluminum box that has three drawers so you can pretend to be a real mechanic, at least until you start snapping off exhaust header bolts with reckless abandon. No mention is made of the ratchet tooth count, a worrying omission for an off-brand product competing with the big boys.

Pros/Includes oddball kit like a tape measure, the toolbox is included
Cons/Small items simply pad the piece count
Bottom Line/Impress your gearhead spouse on their birthday

4. Craftsman Mechanic's Tool Set - 450 Pieces

While your author would love to pretend and explain American bankruptcy law, he is far better equipped to explain the finer points of a Weber carburetor. Yes, this brand was tightly knit with the now-defunct Sears department store chain but does appear to stand on its own now that the bricks-and-mortar shops have been shuttered. Digging into specifics caused this scribe’s head to spin with words like ‘tortfeasor’ so let’s just agree that the Craftsman name has a bit of weight and leave it at that.

These tools also have a bit of weight, with customers reporting a pleasing heft and smooth ratchet actions. All three drive sizes are represented by a variety of sockets in 6-, 8-, and 12-point configurations. Half a dozen extension bars of varying sizes and drives help you reach that third bolt on the starter motor.

Pros/Brand name (you judge if that's a good thing), wide array of tools
Cons/Expensive, less-than-great carrying case
Bottom Line/A big red box full of good stuff

5. Iron Forge Tool Box Kit - 39 Pieces

Some shoppers don’t need the benefit of having hundreds of tools on hand, content with only having the minimum they need to handle small issues that might arise in their 37th-floor condo. This starter tool kit is fine for assembling furniture, putting up a picture, and perhaps a couple of very minor repairs on the car.

Included in the little case are a set of slip-joint pliers, some screwdrivers, and a hammer. The latter should be saved as a last resort when assembling furniture, especially if it’s from IKEA. It is all conveniently sized to fit under the sink in a small apartment or in that cupboard above the stove.

Pros/Affordable, cheap insurance
Cons/Not intended for anything beyond very light duty repair
Bottom Line/It's better than trying to fix the bathroom fan with your bare hands

6. AmazonBasics Mechanic Socket Tool Kit Set With Case - 145 Pieces

Yes, the House of Bezos has even managed to put its stamp on a set of mechanic’s tools. Despite my sneering introduction, this set is filled with 6-point sockets, a delight when most kits feature wretched 8 pointers (or, worse, 12s).

Metric sizes go up to 17mm while SAE measures reach 11/16. Both of those are 3/8-inch drive sockets, by the way. Only those and 1/4-inch drives are included, it should be noted. Customers report good quality, though how much of that is simply in the ‘better than expected’ category is unclear. There’s a spark plug socket and a few screwdriver heads in here as well.

Pros/Positive reviews, includes deep and shallow sockets of many sizes
Cons/You'll have to explain the brand name to yer buddies
Bottom Line/A seemingly successful rebranding effort

7. Kobalt Polished Chrome Mechanic's Tool Set - 227 Piece

If the DeWalt set reminded your author of Matt Kenseth, then this Kobalt-branded kit has Jimmie Johnson written all over it. It includes 117 commonly used 6- and 12-point sockets plus a trio ratchets with which to spin them. The balance of the piece count is made up of combination wrenches, Allen keys, and other assorted tools.

Packaged in a natty blue box with three drawers and a lift-top lid, the whole kit and kaboodle weighs about thirty pounds. Best to keep it on your workbench, then. By the way, the third drawer is purposely kept empty so you can add your favorite tools to this set. Shrewd move, Kobalt.

Pros/Six-point sockets, great feedback in terms of tool quality
Cons/Allegedly poor quality drawer inserts
Bottom Line/Great tools in a middling case

Which tools do professional mechanics use?

When talking about car repairing, there are some essential gears without which the vehicles cannot be fixed whatsoever. If you are new or want a brief set of tools to keep in the boot for emergencies, the following is a list of some mandatory items that you must consider buying:

  • Hand Spanners and Wrenches

These come in both open-end and box-end variants, and must be bought in a set that comprises those ranging from 11mm to 19mm.

  • Special Wrenches

You may also want to buy some adjustable wrenches so you don’t get stuck in the middle of the repairing process if no static spanner or wrench matches the size of the nut/bolt. The jaws of these adjustable wrenches can be expanded or contracted to ensure a firm grip.

  • Pliers

Pliers are one of the most important tools in any toolkit. For car repairing, it is advisable to get corrosion-resistant pliers made of tempered steel. You may also want to check if the handles of the pliers provide a good grip.

  • Screwdrivers

It is advisable to buy both flat-tipped and cross-tipped screwdrivers of different sizes (usually come in sets). Also, as it is with the pliers, you must also check the grip of the hands, and even assess their length for convenient usage.

  • Oil Change Wrenches

These wrenches must perfectly match the size of oil filters for flawless and smooth installation. Make sure to check if these wrenches are enough in numbers to be used with a variety of car filters.

  • Spark Plug Gauges

Spark plugs work well only when the electrode gap is accurate. Therefore, spark plug gauges are the must-have items in your toolbox.

Who makes the best quality mechanics tools?

Understanding the fact that good things don’t come cheap if you’re looking for the best quality car mechanics tools, SK 850-Piece Senior Mechanic’s Tool Set (buy here) is a toolset that you may want to check. Although the kit costs somewhere around $26,200.00 USD, if the price is not an issue, this set is definitely worth having as it comes with a plethora of benefits like a lifetime warranty, maximum corrosion resistance, and much more.

What is a good brand of tool set?

Among all other manufacturers in the industry, many users have given positive reviews to DeWalt and Husky. The tool sets manufactured by these brands come in several variants to choose from according to your need and budget. Nevertheless, both the companies are known for producing toolkits that offer a decent overall performance.

What is the best tool set you can buy?

If you’re looking for a pocket-friendly tool set with all the necessary items like pliers, spanners, screwdrivers, etc., Crescent 170-Piece General Purpose Tool Set (buy here) is worth considering. At the time of this writing, the kit costs $184.90 USD which is a pretty affordable amount. At this price, you get 170 pieces of tools to fix various issues that your car may encounter.

What is a mechanical tool set?

A mechanical tool set is a set of tools that comprises various items like screwdrivers, pliers, spanners, wrenches, etc. to help you repair your cars. Tool sets come in various sizes that may differ according to the number of pieces they contain. For instance, some are 16-piece tool sets whereas some have 46 pieces, and so on. These tool sets can go up to 1000+ pieces per kit. The price of each set depends on the brand and the number of items it has.

What is a good beginner tool set?

As a beginner, you may not want to invest much in the tool set, and yet wish to have enough tools to fix your car without borrowing any item from your neighbors. If that’s the case, you can safely go for the CRAFTSMAN Mechanic Tool Set (buy here) that comprises 189 pieces and, at the time of this writing, costs around $189.05 USD.


From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: Ant Photo Studio / Shutterstock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

36 Comments on “Best Mechanic’s Tool Sets: The Fix Is In...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    I own a slightly older version of that Kobalt set. I also have a Craftsman set and a Stanley set (came with the tool box). My torque wrenches and my battery-powered stuff is all DeWalt or Kobalt. Then a bunch of more automotive-specific niche stuff from various makers.

    The only two tools I’ve ever had break on me were Craftsmans, but I might have been using them beyond their specs.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    I’ve been buying Tekton the last couple of years and find them to be very good quality, very consistent, and a good value.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Ditto.

      Koken is fantastic, but is hard to find and getting up there towards SnapOn price wise. Nothing I’m aware of, beats their ratchets for lack of annoying “backdrag” (I’m not a mechanic, so I’m sot sure that’s even a proper term…). Which may matter more for the generally smaller nuts and bolts, and tighter spaces, of motorcycles and bicycles, than for cars.

      But Tekton is my go-to. Easy delivery of anything from Amazon and elsewhere, and, at least in my experience, good quality. And good prices, even for impact rated sockets.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Umm it is going to be rare to find the set with 8 pt sockets. Craftsman is one of the few to offer them is some of their more extensive kits. There are only 3 and it is not a big deal to not have them for working on cars since they are for square nuts which are not found on cars. You do want the 12 pt as your go to option. Makes it easier to get the socket on the fastener in tight spaces.

    The DeWalt ratchets are a little clunky so I’d go with the Craftsman of the sets shown, though I have not used the Kobalt hand tools so they might be alright.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Country of origin on each would have been helpful. Pretty much all of my mechanic’s tools are Craftsman, mainly bought in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, so all US made. My cordless stuff is DeWalt, but I really would like a Milwaukee Fuel 18v 1/2″ drive cordless impact (I bought a set of US made Craftsman 1/2″ drive impact sockets off eBay, so I’m ready for one).

    Amazon offers lots of tools, some from small American manufacturers.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Who still manufactures tools in the US? Aside from Nascar-team priced stuff? Tekton makes some stuff here, but most seem to be from Taiwan.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Sears sold the Craftsman brand in 2017 to Stanley, who originally made most of the Craftsman tools in the US for Sears. Stanley merged with Black & Decker a decade ago. Almost all Stanley hand tools are made in the US.

        Some Black & Decker hand tools (inluding Craftsman for Sears) were made in China, but they announced over a year ago that they were moving production back to the US. They believe their state of the art forging machinery and the Trump tariffs will keep them price-competitive with Chinese-made tools.

      • 0 avatar
        SoCalMikester

        when it comes to cheap stuff, taiwan seems to care a bit more about repeat business

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      I own a set of Industro sockets that I purchased in 1978 when I purchased my first car. They were manufactured in Chicago. Most of the sockets are 12pt, the smaller sizes are 6pt. Years later when I needed a set of metrics I bought some off brand that are of decent quality.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I have the Kobalt one, or its a similar version with the 3 drawers. I would NOT recommend it.

    One of the ratchets broke and another flops between forward and reverse on a whim. Kobalt sells different ratchets but oddly none of them fit the molds in the case so now I have empty slots where nothing fits. The kit contains mostly 12 point sockets which are useless as far as I am concerned since all they do is round off perfectly good bolts. Also the drawers either get stuck or slide out too easily, flip a coin as to which is going to happen at any time. Lastly the markings on the sockets themselves are in a grey ink on a chrome part making it impossible to tell what size your dealing with. I’m waiting for someone to come up with glow-in-the-dark yellow BIG numbers on matte black sockets – my credit card is ready.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      The problem I have with Kobalt is that the name doesn’t mean much. Some stuff is fine, some is not so great. It’s just a name they put on a bunch of different items.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      It’s super frustrating how hard it is to find quality 6pt wrenches in general these days. I agree, 12pt are largely worthless for more than casual use – or where you just can’t get a 6pt in there.

    • 0 avatar

      Kobalt is Lowes house brand. They have had various makers under contract to make the tools over the years. The power tools I think have been consistently made by Chevron (who make skil and EGO tools) for a while now. The hand tools have gone thru a variety of contract maker s in China and Taiwan. I gather the socket sets and ratchets were US made 20 years ago then transferred Taiwan and then to China 7-10 years ago, in the last 3-4 years it’s mixed with some of the socket and ratchet sets appearing to be made by a higher quality company in Taiwan. I have a number of 90 tooth made in Taiwan ratchets and like them.

  • avatar
    Yankee

    As I’m assuming this list is meant for the first-time tool purchaser, I’d like to offer a bit of advice as a lifelong mechanic. I went to Snap-On for all my hand tools after constantly breaking 1980s craftsman tools. The last straw was the chrome plating that peeled off a deepwell socket and sliced my fingers badly before I realized what was happening. Bought my first two rails of Snap-On that day and still have them 30 years later. That being said, I have a nice set of polished craftsman wrenches in a tool roll in my trunk that are much better made than the old ones (I’ve been told Craftsman went through a dark period and the quality got better since). Also have some Carlisle (NAPA sells them) wrenches at the other shop that successfully copied the Snap-On flank drive and are really nice for what they cost. My suggestion is to buy tools as you need them rather than making a huge investment all at once. Find out what you like the feel of, and buy different adapters, extensions, wobble joints, and wrench lengths if you really start getting into more difficult repairs. In my experience, 12-point sockets are useless and I have hardly any in my huge assortment that I’ve built over the decades. If you can’t fit a 6-point, wire brush the fastener and try again; you’ll round it for sure with a 12-point. Better to get a set of Irwin Bolt Grip bolt extractor sockets at your local auto parts store. For what they cost they are AMAZING on rusted fasteners and have saved me too many times to count! Buy the 5 piece set in the sturdy blue case for $20, then spend another $20 on the expansion set to fill the case the basic set comes with. You won’t be sorry!!

    • 0 avatar
      cantankerous

      I wholeheartedly agree. Nothing is more frustrating than having a tool that is almost, but not quite, the right one for a particular job. In the long run you’ll end up spending a lot more money if you buy a so-called “master” set containing a large number of tools of marginal utility and less-than-stellar quality than if you slowly add quality tools to your collection on an as-needed basis.

      And about those Irwin Bolt Grip extractor sockets–I used one of them to save my bacon a week ago when a bolt on an underbody cross brace decided it had been removed and reinstalled one too many times over the last 15 years and turned from a six-sided bolt to a rounded hunk of steel. I’m a believer!

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      My son just got sponsored for his mechanic apprenticeship. One of the journeymen is a SnapOn fan. A former mechanic at his shop gave him a heads up to buy tools depending on anticipated use and wear. If it’s high use go with Snap On. Matco also has SnapOn quality level tools but are less expensive. Go cheap if it’s casual use or expected to wear out like scrub brushes.

  • avatar
    randyinrocklin

    Thanks to all you mechanics out there to keep our cars running and your sound advice.

  • avatar
    randyinrocklin

    I’m just a construction dude that’s a car guy. I’ve done some thing as a teenager but, it’s like baking cake. When things go wrong they really do go wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Those cases of things going wrong usually have nothing to do with the tools. With the internet and online video to walk you through any task, the I-didn’t-know-what-I-was-doing disasters should be few and far between.

  • avatar
    18726543

    I came across an interesting brand of tools a few years ago. They go by the name “Metrinch” and their gig is they make what LOOK like 12-point sockets, but what’s really happening in there is 6 points are a metric size, while the other 6 points are the closest SAE size (13mm and 1/2″ in the same socket, for instance). I looked into these and apparently in the 80’s and 90’s they were an as-seen-on-tv product…best I can tell. They’re American-made and carry a lifetime warranty, though I have no idea how you’d collect on said warranty at this point because I think the company went under. You can find sets of all sizes on Ebay though.

    Initially I bought a 10-piece 3/8th drive set which came with a somewhat cheesy ratchet and a 3″ extension. I don’t use the ratchet much, but if I’m working on the lawnmower or something else where I’m really not sure what kind of bolt sizing I’m going to encounter, I go straight for the Metrinch set. Likewise, for junkyard trips or when I go offroading I grab the Metrinch set because it just takes up less space. They also bite into rounded off or rusty fasteners well since they have 2 sets of slightly differently sized gripping points. Really a great tool and I’ve bought sets for many of my junkyard and offroad-going friends!

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Metrinch is a brand of a Dutch company that’s still in business. They still advertise on TV and their tools are sold by Amazon. I can’t vouch for the quality, but they also make industrial tools and have been an EU registered business since 1986.

      I can’t vouch for the lifetime warranty either, but I remember when the Cardinals won the World Series led by Whitey Herzog in 1982. Eighty-three year old owner Gussie Busch came down to the lockerroom and told Whitey, “I’m giving you a lifetime contract.” Whitey asked, “Whose lifetime – yours or mine?”

      Busch died in 1989, and Whitey was let go the following year. Whitey is 90 years old and still living, so it was Gussie Busch’s lifetime. It pays to ask about those lifetime guarantees!

  • avatar

    I was always a Craftsman fan. Sears used to give you a new one if you broke anything, right there at the store. I knew Sears was really dead the day they told me “you’ll get the replacement in the mail”….OK, I did get it a week later, but the lack of ability to give me a new one right there removed the best part..the tools didn’t break often and if they did, you just got a new one immediately. They even replaced worn out (not busted) screwdrivers. It may have been loss-leader but that got you into the store. Sad to see they’ve been private equitied and the name is now in big boxes.

    Growing up, it was S&K if you were professional, Craftsman for shade tree, and nothing else !

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Only ever had to return a quality tool once. Walked into a NAPA 20 years ago, gave them a ratchet that was slipping. Didn’t have a receipt, but they didn’t ask. Handed me a replacement and wished me a good day.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    I have some SK stuff and they are really good. As pointed out above, I would buy sockets and the like as I needed then. This augmented my Craftsman tools over the years. The local parts store carried SK and I would buy what I needed if the Craftsman set didn’t have what I needed. I do have a few “Strap-On” sockets but they are way too expensive for me to buy on a regular basis…

  • avatar
    Terry

    Retired dealer auto technician/shop foreman 43 years in the trade. Packard had a slogan which still applies today: “Good enough isn’t good enough”. For the professional, tools don’t cost you money, they make you money. Day in/day out, there are Snap- on tools… and the rest of them. I bought Snap-on tools ONE TIme, and if a problem arose, got it replaced or serviced no questions asked. I recently sold my last Snap-on Big Bettha toolbox combination, well worn, empty, for over half what I paid for it 21 years ago. When other wrenches or sockets slipped on. Rounded but or bolt head, Snap-in’s Flank Drive turned them. Their screwdrivers didn’t slip out of slots or cross slots. And if their get worn, they were replaced. Yes, I have MAC, Matco, S-K, Craftsman and Cornwell among with others. But more often than not, I reach for the Snap -on tools. The storage boxes are lifetime as well.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    “Nothing I’m aware of, beats their ratchets for lack of annoying “backdrag” (I’m not a mechanic, so I’m not sure that’s even a proper term…).”

    If that’s not the proper term it certainly should be, and as far as I’m concerned it is now!

  • avatar
    NeilM

    Those comprehensive tool sets are a good deal, but they always include tons of stuff you don’t need. For instance I only have a very few SAE tools, since everything I work on is all metric. So why would I want a complete SAE range? More importantly, they’ll always lack tools you do need, since new standards are always coming into use: Torx, E-sockets, triple-square, etc. Before you know it that nicely fitted case of tools won’t hold the stuff you actually use.

    I have a scant few Snap-on tools, but I’m not a professional and, while my tool budget is fairly elastic, it’s not unlimited. Snap-on tools are excellent, but really, egregiously, expensive. That’s probably due in no small part to their distribution model of independent owner-operator sales trucks.

    Most of my regular sockets are the old Craftsman Professional line. Finer construction, polished, much nicer than regular Craftsman — but they likely aren’t available any more. I also have some German Stahlwille sockets that I bought almost 50 years ago (yes I am that friggin’ old) in Switzerland. I fully expect them to last another 50, and beyond. The premium brand I wish I owned some of is Facom, from France. Lovely stuff!

    @ dukeisduke, who “really would like a Milwaukee Fuel 18v 1/2″ drive cordless impact,” just go buy one! This is an awesome power tool that blows off lug bolts as if they were nothing, plus it’s small and light enough to use for many other purposes on the car. I hardly ever use my air impact gun now. You’ll never regret the purchase.

  • avatar
    KOKing

    Yeah, those kinds of sets are handy but mostly useless and just clutter things up. I’ve become a fan of european brands over the years, especially the mostly German-based ones who do NOT chrome-plate everything (I suspect for the same reason TUV doesn’t allow chrome wheels on cars).

    I can’t speak for the quality (though their stuff seems solid in general) but the recent half-square Milwaukee sockets seem handy to keep em from rolling away. I’d wonder how the shape affects strength, plus it would affect getting into tight holes.

  • avatar
    3SpeedAutomatic

    I have a Craftsman tool set dating back to the 70s. Dad bought it for me when I got my first car (VW Beetle) and all the tools in his shed were standard size. I stopped buying Craftsman once I realized they were made in China. I now go to garage and estate sales and buy old Craftsman tools.

    I also have the Dewalt 20V line of power tools. This came in handy during the latest hurricane. I was smart enough to charge all the batteries prior to the storm. Power was out for 8 days, but using a reciprocating saw and jig saw, was able to cut up all the branches that filled my front, side, and backyard (NOTE: I have 3 oak trees). Took 4 days to clear my lot and the batteries held out. Very impressed!!!

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    Matthew/Editors:
    Did you people actually try any of these?

    I don’t mind ads or even “sponsored content” but you guys fly in the face of the “The Truth About…” part of your brand when you put your names on stuff like this.

    It’s rather disingenuous because this isn’t a review. There’s no meaningful information about the pro’s and con’s of each product. Just a few token paragraphs and an affiliate link. You can’t say anything is “best” without that information and it makes me question your truthfulness. You’re getting into Colbert Report-esq “Truthiness” here.

    If you’d just title the post more realistically, it wouldn’t be so bad. “Here’s some stuff that doesn’t seem to suck, buy it with these links to help us keep our lights on.”

    That would get a chuckle out of me and make it more likely that I actually click through and get you that filthy, filthy lucre that makes the world go ’round.

  • avatar
    The Snu

    Someone is going to zing me here, but here goes:

    If you are looking for an “all in one” tool set, for a shade tree mechanic, none of these are it.

    19mm is where most sets typically top out. It’s annoying as hell. None of them have enough wrenches. Many of them have screwdrivers that require you to put tips in them – no good.

    The closest thing that I have found to a complete set for a shade tree mechanic, and even that needs some help, is the 301 pc Harbor Freight set.

    You need to supplement that with the full set of wrenches from HF which I believe go up to 25mm, a good ball peen hammer, a few pry bars, and a breaker bar, a few vice grips, and maybe a better set of ratchets.

    The HF rule is that if it doesn’t have a lot of moving parts, you’re probably OK.

  • avatar

    I bought a set of Craftsman tools at Sears in 1965. One screwdriver broke and was replaced under warranty. Everything else still works fine, almost 60 years later.

  • avatar
    myllis

    1. Gerode (Germany)
    2. Beta (Italy)
    3. Facom (only in Europe made tools)

    • 0 avatar

      There is Facom distrbutor in New Jersey (garage something or other) I like the Facom stuff.
      Interestingly SBD (stanley black and decker current owner of craftsman and facom) recently launched a new high end line of Craftsman mechanic tools (V series) that appear to be rebranded Facom tools, which makes sense given the ownership.

  • avatar

    I used to need my tools for my job (and still get to turn a wrench for work on field service when needed). When I started working I bought sets of Craftsman tools to augment the Husky set I got as a teen. Back then ( 20 years ago) most Craftsman was made in the US and pretty durable. As I worked i picked up SK, MATCO and even a few Snap on tools. They were better but the Craftsman was still fine and got the job done. I still have the old tools, but the new stuff is basically anything I think is a good deal. I have some Kobalt, gearwrench, tekton, Wera, Whia and the one that hasn’t been mentioned here much yet Pittsburgh PRO and Quinn from Harbor freight.

    I wouldn;t source everything from HF but over the years their quality has really improved and their mid priced stuff is very competitive. I see more and more HF stuff at mechanics shops which should tell you something. Guys starting out used to go craftsman now it’s really heavy HF for the young guys in the trades.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    just been buying whatever ends up useful at HF. got some ryobi ive been happy with

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