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It’s only natural that you would want to use the best tools that you can to do the best job when you’re working on your vehicle. Better tools, quite simply, bring better results. But they can also be expensive – especially when you’re just starting to build up a tool collection of your own.
We’ve tracked down the best mechanic tool sets on the market today to help you start to stock your home garage with the kind of hardware you’re going to need to really care of your car. Take a look at our suggestions, and then check out our useful buying guide and FAQ to help you pick the mechanic toolset that best suits your needs.
The Best Mechanic Tool Set
Crescent have been manufacturing tools now for well over 100 years, and a company doesn’t get that kind of run without constantly building a loyal fan base. They also don’t get that far without assessment and innovation, and this set of car tools is a result of this process.
Notice the 2 at the end of the model number? This is an updated version of an older product, a sequel if you like. And just like The Godfather Part 2 and Die Hard 2*, they have taken the original, kept the best bits, and added a little sprinkle of extra quality.
The main improvement has been made to the storage case, which is now much tougher and longer lasting, whilst tools are easier to get in and out of their respective spaces. Speaking of tools, this is a really comprehensive collection here. Some boxes are only going to come with wrenches and spanners, but that’s not the case here. In addition to those core tools, you also have several different pliers, Allen keys, and a universal screwdriver tool.
A wide selection of well-made tools, in a good quality case for a mid-range price – a very impressive kit from Crescent.
Excellent Storage Box
Good Variety of Tools
SAE & Metric Tools
- Weight20 lbs
This is a very large kit from well-respected manufacturer Craftsmen, packing no less than 450 individual items in one well-designed case. Despite that amount of items however it’s not the most comprehensive kit in the world, and there are no pliers of any sort for example.
What you do get is a collection of socket heads, bits and Allen keys of such range and diversity this will likely be the only kit you need to buy for a long time – at least as far as those tools go.
One thing to note is that this is a pretty heavy kit, weighing in at around 35 pounds. Luckily, the storage case has built-in trays that slide out, so you can easily store this up on a workbench or shelving unit, and just take out the tools as you need them. Or, if you’re The Rock, you can lug it around with you – the choice is yours.
450 Piece Kit
Huge Variety of Drill Bits & Socket Heads
Complete Allen Key Kit
Handy Storage Case with Drawers
- Weightaprox. 35 lbs
Whilst they are of course a very widely recognized tool brand, most people would probably associate Stanley more with home improvement tools than with automotive toolkits. Yet here they are making a foray into our world, and, to be fair, it looks pretty good.
They have at least taken the effort to build a very well balanced collection of mechanics tools here. There are 210 items in total, including the usual socket wrench and universal screwdriver sets. They have been supplemented by, amongst other things, a useful 6-inch adjustable wrench, a pair of pliers and a utility knife. A 16ft tape measure is a nod to their DIY roots and not something you usually see in a mechanics toolbox – but who knows, it could be useful!
All in all a decent collection of well-made tools in a thoughtfully put together collection. Well done, Stanley – welcome to the neighborhood!
Chrome Vanadium Forged Tools
Useful Storage Case
Excellent Tool Variety
Polished Chrome Finish for Corrosion Protection
- Weight20.3 lbs
Here at Car Bibles, we are dedicated to bringing you the very best available products in whatever category we’re looking into. We also like to bring you stuff that’s a bit different, and that is very much the case here because, even by our standards, this is a little-left field.
This mammoth (they’re not kidding, huh) set of mechanics tools come complete with no less than 1,390 pieces of kit. Frankly, we don’t have the space to list out what is included here, but it’s fair to say that if you can imagine it, it’s probably in here.
The stand out is a comprehensive and complete collection of socket wrenches and spanners to suit any job. Pliers, hammers, Allen keys and screwdrivers are here too – heck, there is so much in this kit, it has to be stored in two separate tool chests (both included) and the total package weighs almost 2,500 Pounds (your mailman will not thank you when he staggers up the drive with this Amazon package!)
Joking aside, the price of this kit is of course sky-high. However, if you are looking to outfit a bare garage with pretty much every hand tool you’ll ever need, there’s frankly no better product.
Huge Selection of Tools. Huge!
Comprehensive Collection of Sockets & Ratchet Wrenches
Screwdrivers, Pliers & Hammers Included
Literally a New Garage in a Box
- BrandJH Williams
- Weight2,400 lbs
You almost feel sorry for DeWALT having to follow up that beast of a kit – almost anything is going to struggle to look impressive afterwards. Luckily though this isn’t just anything, it is, in fact, a very impressive mechanic tool set.
DeWALT is of course extremely well regarded as a manufacturer of high-quality tools, and they have brought that reputation to bear here on this set of mechanic tools. It should be noted they have omitted the extras found in sets with a broader load out – there are no pliers or hammer to be found in here.
What we do have instead is a total of 205 items, the vast majority of them being a very comprehensive collection of ratchet socket heads of every conceivable size. They are all built with the kind of quality associated with DeWALT, including incorporating the trademarked DeWALT DirectTorque technology. This allows greater torque to be brought to bear via the wrench head, making fastening and loosening that bit easier.
Excellent 72 Tooth Ratchet
Tough, Durable Storage Case
DeWALT Quality Tools
- Weight26.5 lbs
If you’re going to concentrate on one area then you need to make sure you’re getting everything right. Craftsmen have followed this mantra with this set of car tools, which again ignores the paraphernalia of sets with a wider appeal, and have instead focused on wrenches.
To ensure that they are providing the best wrenches they can, Craftsmen have bundled into this kit not one but three of them, each one with a different drive size – ¼ inch, 3/8 inch and ½ inch. To complement them we have a total of 92 socket heads across a wide range of sizes, ensuring that you will find one to suit near enough any application. The kit even comes bundled with a pair of extension bars to ramp up the torque where needed.
A universal screwdriver and a set of Allen Keys round out the set, but it is really all about those wrenches in reality. With a relatively modest price tag for a 165 piece (most of which are high-quality wrench parts), you’ve got decent value here, too.
92 Sockets in 3x Drive Sizes
3x Ratchet Drivers, 2x Extension Bars
Includes Universal Screwdriver Device with Attaching Bits
- Weight19.65 lbs
This is one of the simpler kits on our list today, a fact reflected in the sub 90-dollar price tag, making it one of the cheaper sets of tools on our list. What we essentially have here is a good quality set of ratchet wrenches.
Similar to the product we looked at above; the set comes with three ratchet handles of ¼, 3/8 and ½ inch. These are joined by a good set of spanners and a universal screwdriver handle with the usual variety of bits. Construction is good quality, made of tough steel with a polished chrome finish to protect against corrosion.
It must be noted that whilst they are cheaper than the Craftsman tools we looked at above, it is missing some of the extras from that kit too – the extension bars are an obvious omission here. Still, given the relatively low price tag, it’s hard to be too critical on what is a solid set of tools that could find a home in most mechanics tool boxes.
A Complete Wrench Kit
3x Round Head, Quick Release Wrenches
High Quality Steel Construction
Polished Chrome Finish
- Weight10 lbs
Our next product is the second from Crescent and is a bit of a hybrid collection of mechanics tools. By that, we mean that at the heart of the product are three very well designed and built ratchets, with the usual collection of wrench head attachments.
In addition to that though we have a broader selection of tools that we have seen in the last couple of options. Those great ratchets are joined then by a pair of pliers, an adjustable spanner, and a couple of universal screwdrivers with lots of bits.
We should also point out too that just as with the other Crescent product this is an update on an earlier product. With this set, Crescent has also upgraded the storage box, again making it tougher whilst ensuring the tools fit into all the gaps properly for easy removal and replacement.
That wider tool selection, coupled with the relatively low price makes this a very attractive option for anyone looking for an entry-level set of good quality car tools.
170 Piece Kit
Good Tool Assortment
3x Ratchet Handles
Solid Storage Case
- Weight22 lbs
This is another set of excellent wrenches that could form the base of any well-put together mechanic tool set. DeWALT has put a lot of effort into constructing a well thought out kit that has a number of useful features to appeal to mechanics everywhere.
One of the stand out features is the slim head that has been incorporated into the ratchet design. As anyone who has spent time under the hood or stretched out underneath a jacked up car can testify, sometimes there really isn’t a lot of space to work in. Slim head ratchets are then a real advantage when it comes to working on your car, and it’s great to see them included here.
The ratchet head also includes a quick release button, and the sockets themselves have hard stamped, easy to read markings to make changes on the fly fast and simple. The ratchet also boasts a 72-tooth count, which is going to give a very secure hold on the sockets allowing you to utilize a high degree of torque.
While this is one of the more expensive wrench sets on the list, its high quality construction cannot be denied.
Knurled Surface for Excellent Grip
72 Tooth Ratchet for High Torque Application
Slim Head Ratchet Design
Durable Storage Case
- Weight41.6 lbs
Just look at the image of this Craftsman mechanic tool set with the sockets and ratchets all lined up – it looks like a treasure chest designed for mechanics. It’s also easy to see that what we have here is another dedicated ratchet set, although there are a few extras to enjoy too.
Let’s get right to the meat of this sandwich, however, and look at the ratchets and sockets. First up, these are Craftsman tools so you know you’re getting quality construction. These tools are made of very durable alloy steel and have been given a finish in silver for anti-corrosion protection.
The kit contains the usual 3x ratchet line up in the normal sizes, complemented by a phenomenal 116-piece socket set – yes, 116 pieces. If you find a nut this socket set can’t touch, send it to Craftsman and you win a free tour of the factory, Willy Wonka style.
It’s also good to see a pair of extension bars included here for extra torque where necessary, whilst a universal screwdriver with 40 bits and a decent array of Allen keys round out a good collection of quality tools.
Alloy Steel Construction with Silver Finish
116 Piece Socket Set
Universal Screwdriver with 40 Piece Set
- Weight20.3 lbs
Best Mechanic Tool Set Buying Guide & FAQ
Every home mechanic needs a good mechanic tools set. In our list above we’ve presented 10 great options that can either complement a basic selection of tools or can even be the nucleus around which a well-equipped home garage is constructed.
We’ll take a look now at some of the features to look out for as well as answering some FAQ’s when it comes to car tools to help you to make the best selection to suit your needs and budget.
Things to Look for When Buying Mechanic Tools
When choosing your mechanic tool set, here are some things to consider:
- Tool Selection – Like buying a box of chocolates, you want a decent amount of variety. With our options on this list, you really need to decide how much work you want to be done for you when building your toolkit. If you want everything to come in one box, choose one of the kits that come with varied tools like pliers & spanners. On the other hand, you can choose a set that is more centered on ratchets and sockets, picking up the extra tools as and when you need them.
- Tool Box – Everything needs a home, and car tools need a box. All the kits on this list come in storage boxes, most of them durable, high quality and above all effective. Some have drawers, some have steel hinges, and some have multiple clasps for added security. Just bear the box in mind whilst making your selection.
- Grip – The grip is a very important but often underrated part of a tool. At the end of the day though, it is where the tool connects to your hand, so it needs to be good. Rubber or plastic coated, knurled or diamond pattern etched or even plain, cold steel. Choose the grip that works best for you.
Benefits of Using Mechanic Tools
Why spring for a set of good quality mechanics tools? Well, there are few reasons we can think off:
- Time – The right tools for the right job will save you time.
- Results – Again, the right tools will help you to do a better job.
- Investment – Automotive tools are not made of butter! Investing in a good set now – or at least the best you can afford – will be laying the foundations of a toolkit that will serve you for years to come.
Mechanic Tools Maintenance
Very simple maintenance will help to keep not just your car tools in good working order, but should really be practiced on all tools. Yes, we know it’s boring, but it’s also essential.
Q: What should be included in my mechanic car set?
A: A mechanic tool set is kind of like taking a plate up to a breakfast buffet in that everyone will look for slightly different things. Broadly speaking, a good kit will always include:
Ratchets & Sockets – Preferably 3x ratchets, and as many sockets as possible.
Universal Screwdriver – Otherwise known as a Magnetic Screwdriver. Basically, looks like a screwdriver handle but with an empty end into which you can slot different bits. Always handy to have around, it’s like 10 tools in 1.
Allen Keys – Always useful.
Beyond that, it depends on what extras you need or want. Some suggestions:
Extension Bars – You won’t appreciate them until you need them, so they are always good to see in the kit.
Spanners – Solid, old-fashioned spanners have been around for about a million years and will always be useful.
Pliers – A tool that you will need sooner or later, so it depends if you want to pick them up bundled in a set now, or wait to buy them individually.
Hammers – Sometimes it’s just satisfying to hit something with a hammer.
Look, we could write an entire article on the tools that should be found in a well-stocked mechanics toolbox (and maybe one day we will…)
For now, however, check out this great guide here from our pals at Popular Mechanics, who outline the tools that should form the foundation of a well-rounded kit.
Q: Can I assemble my own mechanic tool set instead of buying one?
A: Of course, you can! Basically, the positive of buying a ready-made kit as we’ve looked at today is that you are buying the tools in bulk, so you get good value. On the other hand, buying them individually allows for true variety and customization in tool selection.
So basically it comes down to value vs. customization, and which is the more important to you.
Q: How should I organize my mechanic tools?
A: There are as many ways to organize tools as there are grains of sand on a beach, and each mechanic will have their own methods – we don’t have space to list them all here!
Check out this guide here though for a general introduction to some common methods.
Q: How is quality determined in mechanic tools?
A: Sadly, there are no set standards when it comes to quality. Instead, what you should do is look for well-renowned companies that have a reputation for making good quality products. Check out some reviews, ask around – and also take a spy at the brands being used at your pro mechanic’s shop next time you drop off the car.
Our Top Pick
Technically, we should be going for the JH Williams monster sized kit as our Top Pick, since it technically meets all our requirements for a top mechanic toolbox. We also live in reality, however, so we’re not going to choose a product with a possibly higher price tag then the car the tools will be working on!
Instead, we will select the Crescent CTK170CMP2 as our pick of the bunch. Firstly, we were impressed that they had assessed their earlier product and chosen to rectify the issue with the storage case. Secondly, it’s both very good value and comes packed with a wide variety of tools. Both those facts make it ideal as a starter mechanic tool set, and ensures that this product is a very good investment that should give you years of useful service.