Best Mechanics Tool Set for the Money
For those do-it-yourself individuals, one of the best things you can buy is a mechanics tool set that contains everything you could possibly need for car maintenance. However, it can be difficult to know just what set to buy. Of course, you want to ensure that you pick a reputable kit that can stand up to any work you might use it for, but cost and time can also factor into what kits meet your current needs. While you might want to spend the time collecting the best name brand tools out there, money and your maintenance needs may work against that mindset. Here are several top tool sets that can handle various car maintenance tasks and are good overall substitutes to picking up individual tools over time.
Stanley STMT71654 201 Piece Set
This 201 piece set is produced by Stanley Black & Decker, a leading manufacturer of tools that has been around for over 170 years. All pieces are made from steel and are chrome-finished. This kit includes a full range of Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and metric-sized tools. The STMT71654 tool set includes:
- (1) 3/8 inch pear head quick release ratchet
- (1) 1/4 inch pear head quick release ratchet
- (1) 1/2 inch pear head quick release ratchet
- (1) 3/8 inch driver extension bar that is 3 inches long
- (2) 1/4 inch drive extension bars that are 3 inches and 6 inches long
- (8) 3/8 inch 6 point deep drive sockets in SAE and metric sizes
- (23) 3/8 inch 6 point drive sockets in SAE and metric sizes
- (21) 1/4 inch 6 point deep drive sockets in SAE and metric sizes
- (20) 1/4 inch 6 point drive sockets in SAE and metric sizes
- (6) 1/2 inch 6 point drive sockets in SAE sizes
- (8) 1/2 inch 6 point drive sockets in metric sizes
- (1) 3/8 inch spark plug socket in SAE sizes
- (1) 1/4 inch Drive F to 3/8 inch M adapter
- (1) 3/8 inch Drive F to 1/4 inch M adapter
- (4) combination SAE wrenches
- (4) combination metric wrenches
- (28) hex keys
- (12) nut bits
- (55) regular bits
- a carrying case plus and a few other pieces
One of the best features of this tool set is that it comes with a mixture of both SAE and metric pieces. The chrome finish prevents corrosion and ensures each tool lasts a long time. In addition, the tools are constructed to meet and exceed ANSI specifications. The ratchet handles are also ergonomically designed and easy to use with a quick release button that allows part switching with one hand. The STM71654 is the perfect starter kit for any newly-minted gear head.
This highly rated tool set comes with mostly positive reviews; however there were some customers concerns related to quality. Several buyers noted that the pieces showed up with rust and that the quick release mechanisms on the ratchet handles tend to either break or lock into place. In addition, the set is limited to mostly ratchet pieces and does not include other useful pieces like pliers.
Crescent CTK170CMP2 Mechanics 170 Piece Tool Set
The Crescent CTK170CMP2 mechanics tool set is a 170 piece set that includes both SAE and metric tools. The kit comes in a plastic case that has folding arms to hold additional tools. All the tool pieces are chrome-finished and are composed of a chrome vanadium steel alloy. This tool set includes:
- (1) 1/4 inch drive quick release drive ratchet
- (1) 1/4 inch drive extension bar that is 3 inches long
- 1/4 inch 6 point drive sockets in sizes 5/32 inch, 3/16 inch, 7/32 inch, 1/4 inch, 9/32 inch, 5/16 inch, 11/32 inch, 7/16 inch, 1/2 inch, 9/16 inch, 4 mm, 5 mm, 5.5 mm, 6 mm, 7 mm, 8 mm, 9 mm, 10 mm, 11 mm, 12 mm, and 13 mm
- (1) 3/8 inch quick release drive ratchet
- (1) 3/8 inch drive extension bar that is 3 inches long
- (1) 3/8 inch drive extension bar that is 6 inches long
- (1) 3/8 inch drive F to 1/4 inch M adapter
- 3/8 inch spark plug drive sockets in sizes 5/8 inch and 13/16 inch
- 3/8 inch 12 point drive sockets in sizes 3/16 inch, 1/4 inch, 5/16 inch, 3/8 inch, 7/16 inch, 1/2 inch, 9/16 inch, 5/8 inch, 11/16 inch, 3/4 inch, 7/8 inch, 6 mm, 7 mm, 8 mm, 9 mm, 10 mm, 11 mm, 12 mm, 13 mm, 14 mm, 15 mm, 16 mm, 17 mm, 18 mm, 19 mm, and 20 mm
- 3/8 inch 6 point deep drive sockets in sizes 3/16 inch, 7/16 inch, 1/2 inch, 9/16 inch, 5/8 inch, 11/16 inch, 3/4 inch, 12 mm, 13 mm, 14 mm, 16 mm, and 17 mm
- (1) 1/2 inch quick release drive ratchet
- (1) 1/2 inch drive extension bar that is 5 inches long
- 3/8 inch 12 point drive sockets in sizes 1/2 inch, 9/16 inch, 5/8 inch, 3/4 inch, 7/8 inch, 15 mm, 17 mm, 18 mm, 19 mm, and 21 mm
- Combination wrenches in sizes 5/16 inch, 3/8 inch, 7/16 inch, 1/2 inch, 9/16 inch, 5/8 inch, 8 mm, 10 mm, 12 mm, 13 mm, 14 mm, and 15 mm
- An 8 inch long nose cutting pliers
- A 10 inch tongue and groove pliers
- An 8 inch adjustable wrench
- (2) magnetic screwdrivers in 1/4 inch x 4 inch slotted and 3/16 inch by 3 inch Phillips
- Numerous screwdriver magnetic heads
- Several 1 inch driver bits
- SAE and metric hex keys
- Storage Case
This kit includes a nice variety of tools that can be used for various projects. All parts are designed to ANSI and ASME specifications to maintain their overall quality and a long life. In addition, despite the number of tools, this kit is quite transportable and easy to carry. This kit is perfect for mobile repairs and can be kept in your vehicle when needed.
The Crescent CTK170CMP2 mechanics tool set is another popular kit that consumers seem to love. Most complaints centered around the lack of variety of the set when it came to ratchet heads. Additionally, customers also noted that the plastic case seemed cheaply made and did not protect the tools adequately enough.
Kobalt Standard (SAE) and Metric Mechanic’s 200 Piece Tool Set
The Kobalt Mechanics 200 piece tool set comes with a variety of options that are perfect for any job. Each piece is constructed using chrome vanadium steel and has a high-polish finish. This kit comes equipped with a plastic molded carrying case that protects the tools from water and air to prevent rusting. The Kobalt tool set includes 123 extension pieces, 115 quick release sockets, 5 drive ratchets, 3 wrenches, and 14 additional tools. The sockets include deep and shallow heads that come in 6 and 12 point SAE and metric sizes.
One nice feature of this set is that the SAE and metric pieces are color-coded red and blue respectfully for ease of identification. It includes a wide variety of sockets size that should work for any maintenance job. The case is also specifically molded to stand up to the elements and comes equipped with a carrying handle.
This set came with a high consumer rating and had no complaint of note.
Harbor Freight Tools Pittsburgh 301 Piece Tool Set
The mother of all tool kits, the Pittsburgh 301 piece tool set comes equipped with every tool imaginable. Each piece is made using a chrome vanadium steel construction. The carrying case has a built-in handle making it extremely portable despite its size and the tools are multi-layered within the case for ease of access. The Pittsburgh tool set comes equipped with:
- (8) piece screwdriver set
- 1/4 inch drive ratchet
- 1/4 inch 6 point drive sockets in various SAE and metric sizes
- 1/4 inch 6 point deep wall sockets in various SAE and metric sizes
- 1/4 inch 8 point drive sockets in various SAE sizes
- 1/4 inch 12 point drive sockets in various SAE sizes
- 1/4 inch external star sockets in sizes E4, E5, E6, E7, and E8
- 1/4 inch star bit sockets in sizes T10, T15, T20, T25, T27, and T30
- 1/4 Hex bit sockets in various SAE and metric sizes
- Robertson bit sockets in sizes S1, S2, and S3
- Slotted bit sockets in sizes 1/8 inch, 5/32 inch, 3/16 inch, 7/32 inch, 1/4 inch, 9/32 inch, and 3/8 inch
- Phillips bit sockets in sizes 1 inch, 2 inch, 3 inch, and 5 1/2 inch
- 3/8 inch drive ratchet with 3 inch, 6 inch, and 10 inch extension bar
- 3/8 inch 6 point drive sockets in various SAE and metric sizes
- 3/8 inch 6 point deep wall sockets in various SAE and metric sizes
- 3/8 inch external star sockets in sizes E8, E10, E12, E14, and E16
- 3/8 inch star bit sockets in sizes T40, T45, and T50
- 3/8 Hex bit sockets in various SAE and metric sizes
- 8 inch drive ratchet with an 8 inch breaker bar and socket adapters
- 1/2 inch drive ratchet with 5 inch and 10 inch extension bars, T-bar adapter, and various sized socket adapters
- 1/2 inch 6 point drive sockets in various SAE and metric sizes
- 1/2 inch 6 point deep wall sockets in various SAE and metric sizes
- 1/2 inch star bit sockets in sizes T10, T15, T20, T25, T27, and T30
- 1/2 Hex bit sockets in various SAE and metric sizes
- Ratchet Spark plug sockets in various sizes
- SAE and metric wrenches
- Adjustable wrench pliers in several sizes
- Plastic Storage Case
The major pro of this tool kit is that it comes with just about every tool necessary to do some serious car maintenance and repair. The carrying case is layered to hold a multitude of tools plus there is extra room for additional items. In addition, the steel construction ensures these pieces will last a long time and hold up to any difficult task they are needed for.
This model was also extremely popular just like other kits and had no major complaints against it by consumers.
Craftsman 413 Piece Mechanics Tool Set
Or course, we cannot talk tool kits unless we include a Craftsmen set as part of our discussion. This particular mechanics tool set comes with 413 pieces, which as one can imagine includes just about every tool possible. Each piece is composed of steel for heavy duty action and some pieces are also coated in a protective iron oxide mix to keep them from breaking and rusting. The Craftsman kit includes various SAE and metric sockets, combination wrenches, ratchets, breaker bars, pliers, hex keys, extension bars, and several specialty tools.
The obvious plus of this set is that it includes a lot of tool options for a variety of projects. The pieces are specifically designed and treated to maintain a long life against rust and corrosion. The ratchets have a quick release functionality along with a directional switch for ease of use. The Craftsman also comes with a lifetime guarantee.
This is another top rated tool kit that consumers appreciate for the cost. It holds up well to tough jobs and has a multitude of socket sizes. The only downside to this kit is that it does not come equipped with a large amount of specialty tools except for pliers and it is mostly a ratchet kit.
We have provided you with a variety of different sized mechanics tool kits. Each comes included with SAE and metric pieces; however some contain more socket options or more specialty tools such as wrenches and pliers. Additional kits worth investigating include the Dewalt Mechanic’s 204 piece tool set and the Klutch Mechanic’s 305 piece tool set. Both come highly rated along with the above mentioned models. These tool kits are the best money can buy and are made to last long so you can get your money’s worth. Check out the provided tools list for each discussed kit and it should be able to help you determine if the tool set will meet your overall maintenance and repair needs.