The 10 Best Automotive Tool Sets

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This wiki has been updated 17 times since it was first published in March of 2018. You don't have to be a professional mechanic to know just how useful a good automotive tool set can be. Complete with wrenches and sockets and other gear needed for the upkeep of vehicles of all kinds, they're perfect for car and truck owners who prefer to do their own maintenance. We've included sets suitable for basic jobs and some capable of handling more complex work. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Craftsman 50230

2. DeWalt 205 Mechanics

3. Stanley 201 Piece

Editor's Notes

December 14, 2020:

The GearWrench 80942 is an impressive kit that comes with 239 alloy steel pieces covered in a sleek chrome finish. Included are both SAE and metric standard and deep sockets, as well as 45-tooth quick-release teardrop ratchets, 12-point long-pattern combination wrenches and sockets, and 22 SAE and metric long-arm hex keys. You’ll also receive a magnetic bit driver with nine bits including Torx, Phillips, and slotted varieties. It all comes in a sturdy box with three drawers, metal hinges, and an ergonomic carrying handle, so everything remains organized whether you’re traveling with it or keeping it on top of your tool bench. In this round of updates, we say goodbye to the Apollo Tools SAE, which is a highly affordable choice, but tends to be lacking in overall quality, and its components don’t stay securely inside the slots of the container.

The Craftsman 50230 remains in a prominent spot on the list, thanks to a wide range of equipment at a reasonable price. It brings you six combination wrenches in both SAE and metric sizes, a ratchet in each drive size, two extension bars, and 40 hex keys. All the parts are durable and come in an organized storage case. It’s also hard to go wrong with the DeWalt 205 Mechanics, which provides you with a 72-tooth ratchet that’s ideal for jobs that require a high level of torque. All of the components are sturdy and resistant to corrosion. We’ve also included two choices from a well-known name in the industry, including the highly rated Stanley 201 Piece, which gives you quick-release ratchets with 1/4-, 3/8- and 1/2-inch heads, as well as eight combination wrenches. The Stanley 92-839 Black boasts a sleek chrome vanadium steel construction, and laser etchings allow you to identify each size with ease. Six- and eight-point sockets help keep fastener rounding and slipping at bay.

October 15, 2019:

Unlike regular tool kits, these automotive-specific sets have all you need for auto repair and little that's extraneous. There's one exception to this, however: the Deko 168 Mixed. This hefty version — we added it in place of the smaller Deko 128 — has plenty of tools that will help out in home repair, so it's a good choice for new home/car owners just starting to get their hands dirty. It's not made to tolerate a lot of abuse, though, so professionals will probably want to give it a pass. For pros, the DeWalt 205 Mechanics and the Crescent General Purpose remain top choices, and we've also selected the more robust Craftsman 50230 over the Craftsman 38165. The former has more pieces than the latter and is priced well for all it offers. Note that it, as well as many that are similar, requires that you pay close attention as you open the case. If you open it the wrong way, you could be picking up pieces for a while.

Special Honors

Snap-on Williams Mammoth Set Complete Putting over a thousand pieces at your disposal, the Snap-on Williams Mammoth Set Complete is quite large, indeed. The price is outside the budgets of many — we're talking five figures — but for the professional who earns a living by his tools or the businesswoman running a repair shop, it may be the right investment.

Husky Mechanics Tool Set The 100-position ratchets in this 60-piece kit provide access to bolts and fasteners that other sets simply can’t match. Its 42 standard and deep universal sockets work on eight styles of fasteners, so you should be equipped for any job. It’s good for anyone who needs access to hard-to-reach fasteners, including both professional mechanics and anyone working on a car at home. Each socket is equipped with a knurl ring and tapper design, meaning they’re easy to grip and spin with just your fingertips. The components sport laser-etched markings and an industrial black finish that can stand up to decades of use. Everything comes in a blow-molded case and is backed by a no-questions-asked lifetime warranty.

4. Crescent General Purpose

5. GearWrench 80942

6. Craftsman 50450

7. Kobalt 227 Standard/Metric

8. WorkPro 408 Heavy-Duty

9. Deko 168 Mixed

10. Stanley 92-839 Black

Karen Bennett
Last updated by Karen Bennett

Karen Bennett lives in Chicago with her family, and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found practicing yoga or cheering on her kids at soccer games. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and a bachelor’s in English, and her writing has been published in various local newspapers, as well as “The Cheat Sheet,” “Illinois Legal Times,” and “USA Today.” She has also written search engine news page headlines and worked as a product manager for a digital marketing company. Her expertise is in literature, nonfiction, textbooks, home products, kids' games and toys, hardware, teaching accessories, and art materials.

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