This Mechanics Tool Set Delivers the Quality You Expect From the DeWalt Name
With its excellent build quality and well-curated selection of tools, this kit is ideal for the serious home mechanic.
Given the reputation DeWalt has for making quality tools, it’s not surprising that its socket set topped our list of the best mechanics tool sets. I put the DeWalt 142-piece mechanics tool set up against six others in a series of side-by-side auto repair and maintenance tests to evaluate each.
During my assessment, I evaluated the selection of tools and socket and bit sizes available in the kit to determine how well they matched up with the needs of a home mechanic. I also considered how well the tools included in the set performed by testing how easy it was to tighten and loosen bolts and other fasteners. Finally, I considered the kit’s overall build quality, looking specifically at the type of steel and quality of cut used in the construction of the sockets, combination wrenches, and other tools included in the set. With its top-notch construction and well-curated collection of tools and sockets, the DeWalt mechanics tool kit proved to be the best of the bunch.
The DeWalt DWMT73802 142-Piece Mechanics Tool Set: At a Glance
- Pieces: 142
- Material: Chrome vanadium steel alloy
- Weight: 20.27 pounds
- Includes socket and bit sizes home mechanics are most likely to use
- Entire kit has the high build quality the DeWalt brand is known for
- Comes with a set of adapters and bits for an impact driver
- Doesn’t include some nice-to-have hand tools that other kits offer
- Lacks larger-size sockets and does not come with a ½-inch ratchet
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What is the DeWalt mechanics tool set?
DeWalt’s 142-piece tool kit is designed to suit the needs of home mechanics. It comes with a broad range of SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and metric socket sizes and 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch ratchets. There are also deep socket versions of the most commonly used socket sizes (ideal for reaching bolts that are deep inside a car engine or body), a spark plug socket, and a modest collection of extenders and joints for working bolts in the tight confines of a car engine.
In addition to the sockets and ratchets that make up the core of this mechanics tool set, there are other tools mechanics should find useful, including a bit driver with an assortment of bits and socket adapters that make it possible to use the sockets with an impact driver. Rounding out this kit is a collection of 10 combination wrenches and a set of metric and SAE hex wrenches. All the pieces fit into a molded plastic carrying case that together weigh about 20 pounds.
What’s included in the DeWalt 142-piece tool kit?
While many tool manufacturers advertise the number of pieces in a kit, quantity certainly isn’t everything. I’ve tested more than a couple of 200-plus-piece sets that omit essential mechanic tools in favor of tools a mechanic would never need, such as precision screwdrivers and zip ties.
The DeWalt 142-piece set may not be as large as some, but it includes the tools home mechanics are most likely to use (with a few notable omissions). Socket sizes range from 5/16 inch up to 7/8 inch for SAE and 5 millimeters to 19 millimeters for metric, covering the most common sizes a home mechanic needs. The kit also comes with both 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch ratchets, the most commonly used ratchet sizes.
The set doesn’t have as many extenders and adapters as I’ve seen in other sets, but it includes the essentials. There are universal joints and extenders in both 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch sizes, and the set also comes with a 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch adapter and a 3/8-inch to 1/4-inch adapter.
Also included in the set is a bit driver with a nice range of bits to go with it. There are Phillips, flathead, and Torx options as well as a collection of nut drivers that range from tiny 5/32 millimeter and 4 millimeter sizes up to 1/2-inch and 8 millimeter sizes.
DeWalt also includes a few pleasant surprises in this kit. It was the only one I tested that includes a set of adapters that allow the user to connect any of the kit’s sockets to an impact driver. There’s also a Phillips-head impact driver bit and an impact driver bit holder. While these adapters can be purchased separately, I love the fact that they fit inside this kit so they’re ready when needed.
While I like the selection of tools in this kit, there were a few tools I missed. I wished the DeWalt kit included an adjustable wrench, slip-joint and needle-nose pliers, and a pair of cutters. That said, I do like the fact that DeWalt keeps the total weight of this kit at around 20 pounds; it’s lighter and easier to carry and store than many of the kits I tested.
How does the DeWalt mechanics tool set perform?
While I liked the selection of tools included in this kit, it’s the set’s exceptional build quality that differentiates it from most mechanic tool sets.
The difference between DeWalt and lesser brands is apparent. There are precision cuts on the sockets and box ends of the combination wrenches. The sockets also have a heavier, sturdier feel than others I’ve tested and feature a radius corner design that makes them less likely to slip.
During my testing, both the sockets and combination wrenches fit snugly over nuts and bolts with very little play. I also liked the short swing arc offered by the 72-teeth ratchets, which made it easier to work bolts in tight spaces, and the push-button locking mechanism that kept the sockets secured to the ratchet head.
This quality build equated to excellent performance. The sockets didn’t slip on the fastener, nor did they pop off the ratchet, even when I was applying a lot of force.
This mechanics tool set is technically not an impact socket set (since the sockets aren’t carbonized steel). However, since the kit includes adapters for this purpose, I tested them with an impact driver anyway. They performed well. I didn’t experience any ratchet slipping, nor did they round off any bolts. They also didn’t crack under the intense pressure created by an impact driver, which is a credit to the beefier construction of the sockets.
Other small details also show DeWalt’s quality construction, including knurled rings on each socket that provide grip when hand-tightening and large, stamped markings that make it easy to read the socket sizes. The driver has a tension bracket inside the bit holder that locks in each bit, ensuring a bit won’t pop out and fall into the dark recesses of a car engine.
All the tools fit nicely into a high-quality DeWalt molded case. I loved that the power driver adapters and bits fit inside their own case, which fits inside the larger one. And while I lamented the lack of some tools in this kit, I do like that it’s compact enough to fit under the back seat of my truck.
Is the DeWalt mechanics tool set worth the money?
One of the best things about DeWalt’s mechanics tool set is that it’s very competitively priced when compared with kits from other tool manufacturers. That’s saying something, given the high quality of this set compared to other mechanics tool sets from brands that simply don’t have DeWalt’s pedigree.
The DeWalt kit has a well-curated selection of socket sizes and tools, exceptional build quality, and a few extras users won’t find in other kits. Yes, it lacks a few tools that would have been nice to have in this set—namely a couple of sets of pliers and an adjustable wrench—but those are minor omissions given what comes with this set.
With all that in mind, it’s safe to say the DeWalt 142-piece mechanics set is well worth its price.
Is the DeWalt mechanics tool set right for you?
The DeWalt 142-piece is a great all-around tool set for home mechanics. Though not the largest set I tested, it includes a smart collection of socket sizes and tools to serve most the needs of most home mechanics. The quality of the set is also exceptional, which is no surprise given the reputation of the DeWalt brand; this is a tool kit that should hold up to whatever you throw at it.
While this is an excellent mechanics tool set, it may not be the right choice for everyone. Those in need of a broader collection of sockets that includes a 1/2-inch-size ratchet and larger socket sizes may want to consider a more comprehensive option, such as the Craftsman 450-piece mechanics tool set. Serious home mechanics who spend more time in their garage than in the rest of their home or who find themselves working on other people’s cars may want to spring for a professional-level set, such as the Gearwrench 232-piece mechanics tool set.
Where to Buy the DeWalt DWMT73802 142-Piece Mechanics Tool Set
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Meet the Tester
Tony Carrick is a freelance writer specializing in home improvement, landscaping, technology, home security, and design. His articles have been featured on such sites as Angi, Popular Mechanics, Futurism, 360 Reviews by U.S. News & World Report, Switchful, and more. Carrick has conducted rigorous product testing on everything from power tools to home security systems to backyard grills. With each review, his goal is to help readers determine whether a product meets their needs and if it is or isn’t worth its price tag.