The Best Mechanic Tool Sets for DIYers
When tackling automotive or DIY projects, make sure you have the best mechanic tool set by your side—and in a handy carrying case.
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- BEST OVERALLCrescent 170-Piece Mechanic Tool SetCheck Latest Price
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCKDEKOPRO 168-Piece Mechanic Tool SetCheck Latest Price
- UPGRADE PICKCraftsman 450-Piece Mechanic Tool SetCheck Latest Price
A basic tool kit with the DIY essentials—a hammer, screwdriver, measuring tape, and nails and screws—can see you through any number of straightforward household projects. But when you’re undertaking more complex jobs, such as automotive work, you need a specific set of tools and equipment.
The best mechanic tool set is a kit with over 100 different tools, including wrenches, screwdrivers, sockets, extension bars, and ratchets, all made of high-quality material, like chrome vanadium or stainless steel. Buying a high-quality toolkit will save you a lot of frustration; if one tool in a poorly-made kit can break easily, then 100 can as well. Whether you’re working on the car or around the home, check out these top-notch mechanic tool sets.
- BEST OVERALL: Crescent 170-Piece Mechanic Tool Set
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: DEKOPRO 168-Piece Mechanic Tool Set
- UPGRADE PICK: Craftsman 450-Piece Mechanic Tool Set
- BEST SOCKET: DeWalt 192-Piece Mechanic Tool Set
What to Consider When Selecting the Best Mechanic Tool Set
Mechanic tool sets can come with 300 or more different pieces. If you’re not used to using a toolkit of this size, it’s important to educate yourself on what it includes and how to use it effectively. Consider the key product features below.
Before buying a mechanic tool set, make sure that the set you are interested in has the tools that you use most frequently. Some mechanic tool sets have a wide variety of tools, including hammers, wrenches, ratchets, pliers, screwdrivers, sockets, and more. These variety packs are great for a large number of DIY jobs but lack the size selection for sockets and wrenches.
Other mechanic tool sets have only ratchets, sockets, hex keys, bits, and wrenches, but the size selection of those tools is diverse, making such kits great for automotive DIY jobs, like replacing the brake pads on the car. However, these sets may lack some of the most basic and essential tools, such as screwdrivers, so consider what tools you need and what you already have before purchasing.
Number of Parts
Kits may advertise 400 pieces, but keep in mind that each screwdriver bit, socket, hex key, and utility knife blade counts as a piece, so you are not actually getting 400 individual tools. Don’t just assume that a 400-piece set will have what you need—before buying, check the product’s parts listing, usually found on the manufacturer’s website.
Also, a helpful standard to remember is that the more parts in the set, the higher the price of the set. So, if you are only going to use 100 of the 400 pieces, maybe opt for a smaller set that has the tools you will use.
Accessories and Adapters
Mechanic tool sets can have a large number of accessories and adapters, including screwdriver bits, sockets, universal joint adapters, or breaker bars. The accessories and adapters included with a kit can vary widely and should be itemized on the parts list.
Standard mechanic tool sets will come with basic accessories and adapters, including hex keys, extender bars, sockets, and screwdriver bits, but for more specialized adapters, like a breaker bar or a torque wrench, you may need to get a larger set.
Purchasing a large number of tools at once is an investment, so you want to be confident that your tools will work as expected. Any product investment should come with a warranty in case the product does not end up being as advertised. Check the manufacturer’s website or the seller’s product information to determine if there is a warranty on the tool set, and to find out the details of the warranty.
Storage and Organization
The case that holds the pieces of the tool set should be of the same high quality as the tools inside. Don’t get caught paying a premium price for high-end tools in a poor-quality case.
The tools should fit neatly into designated areas within the case, making it easy for you to retrieve a specific tool. The tools should fasten tightly enough within their positions so as not to fall when the case is closed. This includes more difficult-to-store items, like sockets.
Ideally, a storage case will be sturdy enough to withstand impact on a job site or in a vehicle without breaking or scattering the parts inside the case. Both metal and durable plastic are good options, with metal being a tougher exterior option and plastic weighing less for easier transportation.
Our Top Picks
The following mechanic tool sets meet the mark of being high quality, boasting useful features, and having excellent reputations. Any of these tool sets will outfit you for the most demanding auto or DIY job.
1. BEST OVERALL: Crescent 170-Piece Mechanic Tool Set
A sturdy plastic case keeps every tool secure, whether you’re transporting or storing. The chrome vanadium steel alloy tools include wrenches, sockets, screwdriver bits, pliers, screwdrivers, ratchets, and hex keys, with multiple extension bars and size adapters.
The case only weighs 20 pounds and has a sleek design that makes it great for mobility. While it doesn’t have some of the more specific adapters, like a breaker bar, it does contain a good variety of the standard DIY tools that you can find in a superior mechanic tool set, and it comes with an easily-referenced warranty.
2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: DekoPro 168-Piece Mechanic Tool Set
The DekoPro 168-Piece Mechanic Tool Set is an amazing purchase for new DIYers. The price is low enough that purchasing this large 168-piece set isn’t a huge investment, and a month-long warranty guarantees the tools for the first thirty days. The set weighs only 13 pounds, making it a great mobile case to carry around the house.
The set includes the most essential DIY tools, including a hammer, utility knife, tape measure, screwdrivers, wrenches, sockets, and even a small, 10-inch hacksaw. While it doesn’t have the wide variety of sockets and bits that a larger specialty tool set may have, it has the supplies needed for the most common DIY tasks, including thermostat replacement and pre-fabricated furniture assembly.
3. UPGRADE PICK: Craftsman 450-Piece Mechanic Tool Set
This full-polish chrome finish mechanic tool set comes with 450 different pieces—but keep in mind that 419 of these pieces are sockets, bits, and hex keys. The set also comes with ratchets, wrenches, extension bars, hex keys, and a screwdriver adapter, making it well suited for automotive work.
At 43 pounds, you won’t be moving it around much, but the sturdy design is perfect for a work truck, or garage. The four-tiered storage box is made of durable plastic and uses basic locking mechanisms on the sides of the drawers to keep them in place during transportation. Backed by a lifetime warranty, the set is worth the higher price tag if you work in an industry that will see you use all the included pieces.
4. BEST SOCKET: DeWalt 192-Piece Mechanic Tool Set
Designed for the auto shop, the DeWalt 192-Piece Mechanic Tool Set specializes in sockets and high-end ratchets, with three different ratchets that feature a 72-tooth gear system for higher torque. The kit weighs a substantial 37 pounds, making this one mechanic tool set that is more useful for its storage capabilities, than its mobility.
Laser-etched markings on the sides of the 126 individual sockets identify the size and measurement unit of each. The set also includes screwdriver bits, a screwdriver adapter for the ratchets, extenders bars, universal adapters, and hex keys, all covered under a limited lifetime warranty.
The Advantages of Owning a Mechanic Tool Set
There are many advantages to owning a mechanic tool set. While some tool sets are costlier than others, a higher price tag may be reasonable when you consider that some sets have over 300 tools, enough to outfit you for many common DIY projects. Whether you’re changing an electrical outlet, installing a thermostat, or replacing your brake pads, a large, good-quality set will meet your needs without the inconvenience of having to buy each individual tool.
Mechanic tool sets also have another big advantage over regular tools: They come in a helpful storage case for ongoing organization. Don’t worry about losing your tools anymore; just place them back into their designated spot in the carrying case, and they’ll rest safely until you need them again. The case is also handy for transporting the tools from home to the work site and back, or just carrying them from the shed to wherever you’re working on the house.
FAQs About Your New Mechanic Tool Set
Before you’re ready to buy your mechanic tool set, you may have some questions. See below for helpful responses to four of the most frequently asked questions.
Q. What are the advantages of using a mechanic tool set?
The variety of tools alone is enough to warrant purchasing a mechanic tool set. But an added advantage is that it comes with a handy carrying and storage case, keeping your tools neat and orderly, plus easy to find and transport.
Q. What are the most essential tools for DIYers?
The three most essential tools for any DIYer are a hammer, screwdrivers (multiple types for the most common applications), and an adjustable wrench. Mechanical tools sets usually contain screwdrivers and wrenches, though only a few come with hammers.
Q. What is the highest quality tool brand?
This depends on the type of tool you’re using, as some brands specialize in certain areas and not in others. Overall, DeWalt, Craftsman, Stanley, Crescent, and Milwaukee are the five top-quality tool brands available.
Q. Can I replace the tool case that comes with the toolset?
This differs by manufacturer and tool set. Some manufacturers offer empty replacement tool cases for their more popular products, while others only sell the case with the full set of tools.