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All the Tools You’ll Ever Need: The Best Mechanic’s Tool Set

  1. Craftsman SAE Metric Mechanics Tool Set
  2. Kobalt Standard Metric Mechanics Tool Set
  3. Crescent Cooper Hand Tools Multi-Purpose Tools CTK148MP 148 Piece Professional Tool Set
  4. Snap-On 9600GSBO Complete US Tool Set
  5. Snap-On 9100GSO Apprentice Set
  6. Mac MTS100AS, 265 Piece Essential Tool Master Set
  7. Buyer's Guide

A good mechanic’s tool set is invaluable to anyone who prefers working on their vehicle at home instead of paying someone to do it in a shop. No matter what skill level you possess, a tool set is an essential thing to have. Regardless of your skill level though, all mechanic’s tool sets should have a few very key components. Whatever set you purchase needs to have a wide array of different-sized sockets, a ratchet, a set of open or box-ended wrenches, and a wide variety of supplementary tools to work with such as drivers, driver bits, mallets, pliers, and more. All of those tools could be expensive and challenging to purchase separately, so having an all-in-one kit like a mechanic's tool set is a great idea. The more supplementary tools you have in your set, the more valuable it is and the better chance you have of finding the right tool for whatever job you have to be working on.

So take a second to think about your skill level and give the appropriate list a look. Do you operate a shop out of your garage and want a professional set? Do you want a great, budget-minded starter set? Or, perhaps you’re an intermediate-level tool user. Whatever your skill level, there’s a set for you. Check out our list of the best mechanic's tool sets in 2022 to learn more.

Comparing the Best Mechanic's Tool Sets for 2022

Craftsman SAE Metric Mechanics Tool Set - Best Mechanic's Tool Set Overall

Once again, I’ve got to go with Craftsman for my number one pick. I probably spent more time trying to decide between the various Craftsman sets, than I did on making my other picks. I could easily fill this list with just Craftsman tools because they have such a wide range of sets available, but there really are a number of other quality tools out there. I have more Craftsman tools in my personal toolbox than any other brand. Why? Because I trust them. What makes Craftsman so good is their warranty. While there are lots of companies which offer a lifetime warranty, Sears has an outstanding reputation for backing it up. All you have to do is take your broken tool to your nearest Sears store (of which there are thousands), and they’ll repair or replace it, no questions asked. Of all the Craftsman sets, I’ve picked this one as the best budget set. It gives a great assortment of tools and sizes for a reasonable price; it even comes in a nice toolbox. If you can’t afford this one, they’ve got a smaller set for about half the price.

Kobalt Standard Metric Mechanics Tool Set - Runner Up

Kobold is Lowe’s in-house brand of tools; which they’ve made to be in direct competition with Sears, Craftsman brand of tools. Since they haven’t been around as long, they obviously don’t have the same reputation as Craftsman, although their warranty is comparable. I’ve never had to take one of their tools back, but people who have told me that the employees at Lowe’s didn’t give them any problem. I have a few Kobold wrenches in my toolbox which I like because they're beefy tools. You grab hold of one of those wrenches and you don’t wonder if it will hold up to the strain; you simply just know it will. With as complete as this set is, you won't be lacking for something to use on any mechanic's project. This set also comes with a plastic three drawer tool box, making it easy to organize and store your tools.

Crescent Cooper Hand Tools Multi-Purpose Tools CTK148MP 148 Piece Professional Tool Set - Honorable Mention

Crescent is the company famous for the original Crescent adjustable wrench. Well, they're still making tools, especially for the do-it-yourslefer. This 148 piece kit comes packed nicely in a flip open box which makes it look like a pegboard with all your tools nicely organized. Personally, I like that level of organization so that I don't have to go looking for my tools. It's very complete too, with all three standard ratchet sizes, as well as assorted screwdrivers and a couple of pairs of pliers. If you need a really complete set, this one is actually more complete than the others on the list, even though it doesn't go as much in depth in some areas.

best Snap-On 9600GSBO Complete US Tool Set

Snap-On 9600GSBO Complete US Tool Set - Consider

Snap-On has long been recognized as the leader in Professional Mechanics tools. Mechanics are well willing to pay the high prices for their more than 19,000 tools because of their reputation for reliability and their excellent warranty since 1920. With more than 4,000 mobile sales reps, they’ll bring the replacement right to the mechanic’s shop.This is probably the nee-plus-ultra in mechanics tool sets, including over 1,000 tools, packed in a huge roller cabinet with side box and top box. There's also a wall cabinet, with an extensive pulley and gear puller set included in it; Snap-on even provides you with a creeper! While few would have the money to actually buy this set outright, anyone who could would be guaranteed to have everything they need for all standard mechanic work. Even so, there are many additions that could be made, filling up any left-over space in the chest and top box. If you're getting into Formula 1 racing and have the money, this is the set to buy.

best Snap-On 9100GSO Apprentice Set

Snap-On 9100GSO Apprentice Set - Best Mechanic's Tool Set Overall

If you want the best and can't afford Snap-On's massive "complete tool set" you might want to consider their Apprentice Set. This tool set includes over 100 separate tools, giving you everything you'll need for common mechanics work. As a starter set, it's excellent and you can count on the tools in it lasting you the rest of your life. Of course, by then, you'll have added a lot to it, turning it into a much more massive collection of tools. The apprentice set includes 1/4 and 3/8 inch six point sockets with ratchets, as well as a full set of combination wrenches. These are SAE, so if you need Metric, you'll want to look for Snap-On's equivalent metric set. A goodly assortment of screwdrivers, pliers and other general hand tools rounds out the set, giving you enough to handle most common repair jobs.

best Mac MTS100AS, 265 Piece Essential Tool Master Set

Mac MTS100AS, 265 Piece Essential Tool Master Set - Best Mechanic's Tool Set Overall

Mac tools was started in 1938 with the idea of producing the best tools in the world. Their product line now consists of over 42,000 items. While Snap-On is considered by most professional mechanics to be the best of the best, Mac places a very close second. The one thing that I’d have to say keeps them from beating out Snap-On is the ease of warranty replacement on Snap-On tools. This 265 piece kit is just a bit more expensive than the Snap-On Apprentice Kit, but has much more in it, making it a better deal for those who are price conscious. Personally, I'd hold them up against Snap-On any day, although most mechanics would probably ridicule me for that. One thing that makes this set better than the Snap-On Apprentice Kit is that it includes both SAE and Metric sized sockets and wrenches. That allows you to work on a much broader range of vehicles, without finding that you're missing a critical size. Considering that Detroit's change from SAE to Metric was a slow one, many vehicles have a combination of the two. So, having a combined set is definitely an advantage.

Buyer's Guide

Mechanic tool sets are equipped with a wide range of tools that can be used to work on domestic, industrial, and automobile projects. Whether you are a mechanical automotive enthusiast, tightening screws, or even assembling furniture, choosing a high-quality tool set can last years, if not a lifetime. If you are not sure what to look for to ensure you choose a tool set that is durable and has everything you need, we’re here to help. In this guide, we outline everything you need to consider when buying a mechanic's tool set that meets your needs and budget.

Features to Look for When Buying Mechanic's Tool Sets

Number of Tools

The number of tools included in the tool set will determine its versatility. Take into consideration whether the tools included are multi-function tools that can be used in more than one size fitting or application, or whether they can only be used for particular size objects and purposes.

Grip

The tool grip is an important aspect to consider, although often overlooked. The last thing you want when working with sweaty, dirty, or greasy hands is a tool that slips and cannot be held or applied properly. Avoid tools with smooth grips— look for rubber or plastic-coated grips or, alternatively, knurled or diamond pattern etched cold steel.

Tool Case

The tool case is not only where you gather all your tools, but also where they stay protected.

Without a good quality tool case your tools will get damaged, scratched, and will be prone to rust and corrosion.

The case needs to shield your tools adequately and be sturdy enough to transport the items with ease. Another aspect to check for in a tool box is the storage space and ability to organize small and bigger items accordingly. Essentially you want to be able to compartmentalize different items, keeping them free from scratches. It also prevents losing smaller accessories that can get lost under a pile of disorganized gadgets. Consider a tool case that is strong, has drawers or organizational compartments, and added clasps for security.

Warranty

Tool sets are purchased with long-term use in mind. Check the warranty for the tool set so that you can get any items replaced if something goes wrong while you are working with them.

What Tools Should You Look for When Choosing a Mechanic’s Tool Set?

Tool sets might be geared specifically towards a certain type of job, however, having a good range of general tools is always handy. You can choose a tool set with a large variety of tools and sizes or buy something more specific to your project and add on to your collection in time. Consider the following tool types and characteristics when examining the contents of the mechanic’s tool set.

Sockets

Sockets are a must-have in a mechanic’s tool box. Make sure there is a variety of deep and standard sockets in different sizes. You may need a combination of metric and SAE sizes depending on the vehicles you are working on. Missing the one socket size you need can be very frustrating. Check that the tool set does not skip on any socket sizes and that the markings are easy to read.

Six-point sockets are needed for heavy torque applications. They are less likely to slip off a fastener and have thicker walls to absorb the torque. Twelve-point sockets work fine for light-duty repairs. Another consideration is whether you use predominantly hand tools or electric tools. Chrome sockets have thinner walls, ideal when using hand tools. If you are using electric tools, thicker impact sockets are recommended.

Ratchets

Avoid bulky or very heavy ratchets for work in tight spaces. Although long ratchets give you more leverage, they can be hard to manage when working in a small area. Models with 80-100 teeth are more popular since ratchets with extra teeth are more durable.

Wrenches

Wrenches are available in metric and imperial size. The type and number included will vary according to each tool set. Look for a set that includes a variety so that you know you have the right item for a range of applications.

Screwdrivers

Screwdrivers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types. Your tool set should either include a set of different size screwdrivers or a screwdriver with a variety of bits that can be alternated. Magnetic screwdrivers are also popular for hard-to-reach areas.

Breaker Bars

Breaker bars provide a lot of extra leverage for stubborn jobs. They may also be listed as a "power bar" in the tool set and are essential for your kit.

Pliers

A set of pliers can be handy, however, here is one item you may find easier to buy as a separate addition to your tool set. If the tool set you choose includes pliers, check that the model matches your work. Also check the quality and functionality of the tool.

Extras

Allen keys— or hex keys— are usually included in mechanic’s tool sets. They are small and come in a variety of sizes. Keep these stored together to avoid missing the one size you need that got lost from the bunch.

Other items you might want to add to your mechanic's tool kit if they are not included are wire cutters, zip ties, a work light, and electric tape.

Mechanic’s Tool Set FAQ

Q: What tools does a mechanic specifically need?

A: The best mechanics tool sets come with a variety of sockets (metric and SAE), ratchets, screwdrivers (magnetic or slotted), wrenches, Allen keys, torx keys, breaker bars, and a set of pliers or wire cutters.

Q: How should you maintain your tools?

A: Properly taking care of your tools will prolong their lifespan and functionality. Clean your tools after every use before placing them back into the toolbox or shelf. Wipe them with a rag to ensure they are free from dust, grease, and debris. This will prevent build-up, maintain functionality and save you time in struggling to remove stubborn dirt at a later stage. Check for any defects while cleaning.

Q: How do you determine the quality of mechanic tools?

A: Since there are no set quality protocols for these tools, it is best to look for a reputable brand with a good track record of excellent quality products. Check reviews and consider what other professionals are using. Consider whether the manufacturer specializes in the making of these types of tools.

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