You'd never get any software written if you didn't have a keyboard and you can't bake a cake without an oven or pan, so it stands to reason that completing any serious vehicle repairs is out of the question without at least a smattering of hand tools. Having essential tools like a fewand wrenches, ratchets and sockets at your disposal is an absolute necessity if you're looking to do an oil change, replace a set of struts or even swap out a water pump.
The good news is you don't have to spend a young fortune to get decent quality tools, though you can spend a lot more than that if you want. There are plenty of options out there, prepackaged sets that have just about everything you need to complete a wide variety of automotive tasks. And what works well for fixing up your old hooptie is just as helpful around the house when you've got to hang a shelf, put together some flat-packed furniture or fiddle with a persnickety power outlet.
Below is a range of the best mechanics' tool sets worth your consideration. Some are great values and others are designed for professionals, some of these mechanics' tool sets are perfect for beginners and others are best for serious, heavy-duty work. Keep reading to see what's best for your application, with all these mechanic tool set recommendations being based on real-world experience and user reviews.
If you need a decent set of essential tools but your budget is tighter than a pair of skinny jeans, check out this set from DeWalt, which goes for just $70. It's not entirely comprehensive, lacking wrenches, pilers and a few other things, but it still comes with an impressive 108 pieces. This includes a nice smattering of metric and imperial sockets with corresponding 1/4- and 3/8-inch drive ratchets that feature a 72-tooth design, so they work better in tight spaces. DeWalt's kit also includes an array of Allen wrenches, a screwdriver-bit set and even a range of adapters and extension bars. Keeping things nice and tidy, this toolkit comes with a carrying case that latches up nice and tight. But perhaps best of all is the rating; this DeWalt offering has a score of 4.9 stars out of five after nearly 4,900 user reviews!
Stepping up the ladder, if you need more than the aforementioned tool kit offers, consider this 170-piece mechanic's tool set from Crescent. With screwdrivers and pliers, hex keys and sockets, ratchets and wrencs, it's surprisingly comprehensive for just $144, which makes it a tremendous value. Being both wide-ranging and reasonably priced, this is the sort of mechanic tool set you can afford to buy and keep in your car's trunk for emergency situations. With metric- and imperial-sized tools, a folding plastic carrying case and a satisfaction guarantee, it's hard to go wrong with this Crescent mechanic's tool kit, something that's backed up by its stellar 4.7-star rating after more than 6,000 customer reviews.
If you're just getting started turning wrenches and you need a decent set of tools for working in the garage or around the house, one that won't cost a fortune, check out this Craftsman tool set. It includes a whopping 189 pieces, everything from sockets and ratchets to a range of wrenches and screwdriver attachments. The versatility here is truly impressive and it's from Craftsman, an extremely popular brand name. These mechanic tools come in both metric and imperial sizes and are backed by a lifetime warranty, plus the corrosion-resistant finish is sure to look great for decades to come. Whether you need to do a brake job for your friend or repair a leaky faucet, this tool kit can help you get it done. For added convenience, a plastic storage tote is included at no extra charge, as is a healthy 4.6-star rating from real users.
This impressive mechanic tool set, which is also manufactured by Craftsman, is a step above the previous kit. With 450 pieces and a toolbox to store everything in, it's ideal for intermediate-skill gearheads that know how to get basic automotive repairs done but want to expand their capabilities. For around $391, you get a mess of metric and imperial wrenches. It also contains three different ratchet sizes, a range of Allen keys and a huge array of interchangeable screwdriver tips. You can get some serious work done with this Craftsman mechanic tool set. And with a 4.6-star rating out of 5 after nearly 1,300 real-world customer reviews, this mechanic's tool set is totally worth your consideration.
Bridging the chasm between attainable tool sets and, let's just say, the more professional-grade options highlighted below, is this $900 set from Klutch. To be certain, that's a pretty penny to pay, but the outlay gets you a healthy 566 pieces, practically everything you need in the garage to get some serious car work done. From sockets to screwdrivers, Allen keys to quick release ratchets, nut drivers to wrenches, this mechanic's tool kit comes with loads of good stuff. Each item features high-visibility markings, so you never grab a 10-mm wrench when you were reaching for 7/16, the ratchets have 72-tooth mechanisms, so they operate with ease in tight quarters and various items are made of rugged chrome vanadium steel so you never have to worry about breaking or bending anything no matter how strong or abusive you are.
OK, now we're talkin'! This right here, folks, is a serious professional mechanic tool set and at around two grand, it better be. A top-quality kit, it includes 1,025 pieces and is made by Husky, a well-respected brand. To give you an idea just how comprehensive it is, this mechanic's tool set contains more than 200 wrenches, from run-of-the-mill combination wrench options to stubby models, wrenches with flexible heads to others with built-in ratcheting mechanisms. Of course, you also get screwdrivers, Allen keys and a whole mess of sockets, both standard and impact socket variants. All in, this pantheon of tools weighs more than 255 pounds, enough to fill an entire toolbox and then some.
This is another seriously comprehensive mechanic's tool set. Manufactured by Gearwrench, a top-quality brand, it includes an impressive 613 pieces, a wide array of sockets and bits, pliers and screwdrivers. For added versatility, its ever-handy ratcheting wrenches feature 72-tooth drive mechanisms, so they click with only 5-degrees of movement, which means they are the right tool to work in super-tight places. The included quick release ratchet wrenches are treated to a polished chrome finish and have a slim-head design, plus their 84-tooth drive mechanisms mean you can get work done faster, even in incredibly cramped spots. Aside from all that, you also get universal extension bar adapters for reaching fasteners in awkward places, a ball-end hex key set, a slew of adapters and much more. What does this mechanic's tool set cost? Well, it certainly ain't cheap, stickering for $2,458, but guess what? Quality costs money.
Welp, I hope you're sitting down, because things are getting serious on our best mechanic's tool set list. This $12,337 tool set right here is a great option for professional technicians as it has nearly everything you could ever need, including screwdrivers, punches, chisels and a broad assortment of ratchets with 1/4-, 3/8-, 1/2- and 3/4-inch drive ends (as well as a plethora of sockets to match). You also get a whopping 65 crowfoot wrenches, 19 nut drivers, 10 hammers, two prybars and a tape measure, among many, many other things. To house all these baubles and bobs, this kit even includes two toolboxes, each treated to a fetching red paintjob. Offered by Williams, a subsidiary of Snap-on -- arguably the best tool brand in the world -- this comprehensive, made-in-the-USA 680-piece mechanic's tool kit should be built to last for generations.
One step back from the previous mechanics tool kit is this 597-piece ensemble, also offered by Williams. It still comes with plenty of tools but it's considerably more affordable at just $8,279. What does that get you? How about plenty of wrenches and sockets, screwdrivers and punches, pry bars and pliers. It also includes Allen keys and hammers, a hacksaw, nut drivers and a lovely toolbox to keep everything in. Like the previous Williams mechanic tool set, this one is made in the USA and is backed by a lifetime warranty, so go ahead and pass them down to you children.
If you thought the last few tool kits were pricey, well, in the words of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, you ain't seen nothing yet. This top-shelf, professional-grade set by SK Hand Tools is the granddaddy of them all, the whole megillah, because it checks out for a whopping $26,289, or about the same price as a new Honda CR-V. For that substantial outlay you get 850 different quality tools including 27 screwdrivers; 139 wrenches; 527 sockets and related accessories; 1/4-, 3/8-, 1/2- and 3/4-inch-drive ratchets; plus more pliers, adapters, hammers and punches than can be listed. These SK hand tools feature a durable Superkrome finish for maximum corrosion resistance, come with a lifetime warranty and are made in the good ol' US of A.
Best mechanics' tool sets for 2021
||Tool Set||Price||Tool Count||Features|
|Best basic mechanic's tool set||DeWalt DWMT73801||$70||108||A trusted name brand, 72-tooth ratchets for narrow spaces, carrying case included|
|Best mechanic's tool set to keep in your car||Crescent CTK170CMP2||$144||170||Comes with a little bit of everything, includes three ratchet sizes, sockets feature an off-corner loading design to reduce stripped fasteners, carrying case included|
|Best mechanic's tool set for beginners||Craftsman CMMT12034||$196||189||Craftsman quality, carrying case included, lifetime guarantee|
|Best mechanic's tool set for intermediate wrenchers||Craftsman 981080001||$391||450||Craftsman quality, toolbox included, includes a great variety of tools, lifetime guarantee|
|Best prosumer mechanic's tool set||Klutch 75015||$900||566||A true professional-grade tool set, 72-tooth rachets work in tight spaces, high-visibility markings, lifetime guarantee|
|Best mechanic's tool set overall||Husky M18||$2,317||1,025||Nearly every tool you could need, includes a whopping 433 sockets and 200 wrenches|
|Best mechanic's tool set overall, runner up||Gearwrench 89060||$2,458||613||Comprehensive, includes handy ratcheting wrenches in varying sizes, 72-tooth ratchets for added versatility|
|Best mechanic's tool set for professionals||Williams WSC-680TB||$12,337||680||Made-in-the-USA by Snap-on, lifetime warranty, includes two large toolboxes|
|Best mechanic's tool set for professionals, runner-up||Williams WSMSC-595TB||$8,279||597||Made-in-the-USA by Snap-on, lifetime warranty, includes a large toolbox|
|Best mechanic's tool set if money is no object||SK Hand Tools||$25,237||850||Super-premium tools, made in the USA, lifetime warranty, durable Superkrome finish, nearly every tool you'll need|
Important things to know about mechanics' tool sets
- If you're serious about doing your own automotive repairs, having more tools is always a good thing. Purchase the most-complete mechanics tool set you can reasonably afford, because then you'll be better equipped for whatever job you may want to tackle in the future.
- Any good tool kit will include a range of wrenches and sockets in both metric and imperial. Ideally, look for one with ratchet drive ends in three sizes: 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 inch. This gives you the flexibility to remove light-duty trim screws, break loose stubborn lug nuts and tackle nearly everything in between. Good tool kits will also include a range of screwdriver sizes and types as well as Allen keys, pliers, hammers and more.
- Some tool sets are ridiculously expensive, costing tens of thousands of dollars, more than many new cars, in fact. These professional-grade sets are undeniably premium and built to last, incorporating top-quality materials, features and finishes. But the reality is you don't have to take out a home-equity loan to get a decent set of tools. Many sets of quality tools are far, far more affordable will work just as well as those more-premium offerings.
- If you can afford to, it's always smart to keep a small mechanic tool set in the back of your vehicle. Having a smattering of wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers and pliers can be an enormous asset if something goes awry with your ride. Also, having a few basic tools on hand means you'll be able to help out if someone else is having vehicle issues.
- When shopping for a tool set, look for one that includes ratchets that work in tight spaces. Examples with, say, 72-tooth drive units "click" more than older designs meaning the ratchet mechanism will work in cramped spots where you can't swing the handle very far. This can be a godsend when trying to replace a component that's buried deep in an engine compartment or hidden behind other vehicle assemblies.
Choose the right mechanic's tool set for your application
It's not hard to choose a tool set that's right for you. There are plenty of great options available today, one for nearly every purpose and budget. You can get a surprising amount of work done with some of the more basic sets available, but if you're serious about doing more, you might want to consider a kit that includes a few additional tools.
But no matter the mechanic's tool kit you opt for, they should all be built to last. The ones highlighted on this list are offered by reputable manufacturers and are backed up by many positive user reviews. Even the most affordable DeWalt set mentioned above comes with a lifetime warranty. How can you beat that? Grab a new set of tools today and get wrenching!