As the name suggests, mechanic tool sets include various tools needed for repairs on cars, motorcycles, and other standard engines, including lawnmowers and chainsaws. These sets are generally heavy on sockets, ratchets, and various adapters and extensions.
We researched dozens of mechanic tool sets, judging them on comprehensiveness, sturdiness of construction, and overall value. Our top pick, the DEWALT 204-Piece Mechanic Tool Kit and Socket Set, includes laser-etched numbers for easy identification, a directional lever that allows for one-handed use, and a heavy-duty molded case.
Here are the best mechanic tool sets.
DEWALT DWMT72165 Mechanic Tool Kit and Socket Set
72-tooth ratchet for superior control
Extensive selection of sockets
Ratchets are a bit heavy
The DEWALT DWMT72165 Mechanic Tool Kit and Socket Set includes 204 pieces, with a greater focus on sockets and ratchets than many other kits. That makes it a great choice for anyone who is looking to establish a complete mechanic tool set quickly, or for people who work on parts or projects with large numbers of nuts and bolts of different sizes. The sockets in the tool set include virtually any common size you may need and are clearly marked so you can easily find what you need when you need it. The kit includes 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, and 1/2-inch SAE and metric sockets and ratchets, extensions, universal joints, torx bits, hex bits, combination wrenches, and hex keys, so whatever you need, chances are you'll find it here.
The standout part of this set is the primary ratchet, which will work with any of the sockets included in the set. The ratchet has a 72-tooth gearing system, which gives you precise control over the amount of torque you apply. The body of the ratchet is slim for difficult-to-reach places and is designed for one-hand operation with quick socket changes. The sockets have knurled rings around the edges to reduce the chance of annoying slips as you work.
Price at time of publish: $226
Pieces in Set: 204 | Measurement System: Metric and SAE | Sockets Hard-Marked With Size: Yes | Includes Extension Bar: Yes
Hi-Spec 67-Piece Auto Mechanics Tool Set
Good to keep in car for emergency repairs
Includes all the basics
Does not include both SAE and metric
You won’t get professional quality, but if you just want a starter mechanic tool kit for occasional repairs on your car, motorcycle, lawnmower, or for general home maintenance use, a low-cost tool set is a perfect way to get the basics at a price that won’t break your budget.
The Hi-Spec 67-Piece Auto Mechanic Tool Set focuses on all the commonly used tools needed for auto repair, including a ratchet handle, a large selection of sockets, screwdrivers, pliers, voltage tester, wrench, hex keys, and earthing lead. It’s perfect to keep in your car for emergencies while on the road or in the garage for when you are working on your car at your leisure.
If you have a large collection of tools already, this set is also a good option for a smaller, more mobile tool set. Instead of reaching for tools from all corners of your workspace, this one keeps everything in a sturdy case for you to keep at your side as you work. Choose from SAE or metric options.
Price at time of publish: $48
Pieces in Set: 67 | Measurement System: SAE | Sockets Hard-Marked With Size: Yes | Includes Extension Bar: Yes
Best Starter Set
Stanley STMT73795 Mechanic Tool Set
Includes basics such as tape measure, screwdrivers, utility knife
Can be hard to remove tools from case
A good starter mechanic tool set should offer you plenty of variety and flexibility to tackle any number of projects. Since small parts come in both SAE and metric measurements, it doesn't hurt to have an assortment of both types of tools as well. The Stanley STMT73795 Mechanic Tool Set offers 210 separate metric and SAE tools and sockets/drivers that will be enough for most screws, nuts, and bolts you may encounter.
All the tools are forged from high-strength steel and are ergonomically designed for a comfortable grip. Many of the tools are also designed for quick use. The ratchets can easily switch different sockets and extensions and reverse direction with a simple thumb flick. Everything is contained in a durable, easy-to-carry case.
Price at time of publish: $140
Pieces in Set: 210 | Measurement System: Metric and SAE | Sockets Hard-Marked With Size: Yes | Includes Extension Bar: Yes
Crescent 180-Piece Professional Tool Set
72-tooth ratchets for superior control
Includes screwdrivers and pliers
Can be tough to remove tools from case
Add a hammer, and this comprehensive tool set from Crescent can tackle just about any minor repair or project around your home or on the go. With 180 pieces, you are covered for most situations. The set includes 82 sockets in common metric and SAE sizes, a bit driver plus 42 bits, 12 combination wrenches, four screwdrivers, two pliers, and more. There are two 72-tooth ratchets: one 1/4-inch and one 3/8-inch drive.
One of the best features of this set is the storage case. The inside compartments make it easy to organize the tools so each one has a proper, easy-to-reach spot. When closed, the convenient handle also means you can carry this set with you on projects that require moving around. It's also easy to store in your car's trunk, under a bed, in a closet, or anywhere else if you are short on space.
Price at time of publish: $132
Pieces in Set: 180 | Measurement System: Metric and SAE | Sockets Hard-Marked With Size: Yes | Includes Extension Bar: Yes
DEKOPRO 168-Piece All-In-One Tool Kit
Includes the basics for both automotive and household repairs
Individual tools tend to fall out of position within the case
If you only need a few basic mechanics tools for minor engine work, and you also want a comprehensive set of basic household tools, then the DEKOPRO 168-Piece Tool Set is just what you are looking for. This handy collection of multi-purpose tools includes not just a ratchet and set of metric sockets, but also a hammer, four wood clamps, a small hand saw, numerous screwdriver bits plus handle, pliers, wrenches, a utility knife, measuring tape, and more.
A set like this is a great emergency tool kit to have on hand when unexpected problems come up, and the storage box is small enough to stash in your garage, a corner of the service porch, or even a closet. Admittedly, these aren't professional-quality tools, but they are sturdy enough to get the job done in most common around-the-house or in-the-garage situations.
Price at time of publish: $67
Pieces in Set: 168 | Measurement System: Metric | Sockets Hard-Marked With Size: Yes | Includes Extension Bar: No
Best Small Set
Stanley STMT71653 Drive Socket Set
Includes all the basics for home automotive repairs
Can be tough to remove tools from the case
Size markings on sockets are very small
A small mechanic tool kit makes it easier to keep track of the most important or common tools you use regularly. For something small and manageable, the Stanley STMT71653 Drive Socket Set focuses on quality over quantity. With 145 pieces, the set offers some of the most common tools you will need for typical projects around the home and garage. Each tool is made from high-quality steel and finished using nickel or black chrome. It's an excellent kit if you only occasionally do simple repairs, or want a second kit you can carry with you in the trunk of your car.
The ratchets of the set include Stanley’s Max-Drive design, which increases the amount of torque you can deliver while tightening nuts and fasteners. The design also helps the tool last longer, since it minimizes the amount of contact between the ratchet and the socket while still delivering more torque than other common ratchets.
Price at time of publish: $72
Pieces in Set: 145 | Measurement System: Metric and SAE | Sockets Hard-Marked With Size: Yes | Includes Extension Bar: Yes
Best Large Set
Craftsman 450-Piece Mechanic Tool Set
Some duplication of sockets and other tools
When quantity is important, the more tools a set includes, the better, but that doesn't mean you should skimp on quality. Craftsman’s 450-piece tool set offers one of the most complete and extensive kits on the market, and it's excellent quality to boot. This is the kind of tool set you should buy if you want to cover all your bases or be prepared for random, unexpected projects that can come up around your home or in your car.
While 191 sockets, 16 combination wrenches, 40 hex keys, and 187 bits might seem like overkill, it can be smart to have an extensive collection of tools in both SAE and metric sizes. There are plenty of other tools, as well, including ratchets, extension bars, handles, and adapters. And the entire kit packs neatly into an included four-tier organizer box with a handle for easy transport.
Usually, smaller tool kits will leave something out that inevitably becomes important right when you least expect it. Having a large collection of tools like this minimizes the chances of that happening while allowing you to tackle more specialized projects.
Price at time of publish: $291
Pieces in Set: 450 | Measurement System: Metric and SAE | Sockets Hard-Marked With Size: Yes | Includes Extension Bar: Yes
Best With Tool Box
GEARWRENCH 239-Piece Mechanic Tool Set
Comprehensive set of sockets and related tools
All three ratchet sizes
Few complaints about tool box handle
No need for a separate tool box when you have this 239-piece mechanic tool set from GEARWRENCH. This high-quality set includes three 45-tooth ratchets in 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, and 1/2-inch drives, along with a total of 159 sockets in both metric and SAE sizes. There are deep and standard sockets, as well as 6-point and 12-point sockets, so you will be almost certain to find the size and configuration you need. The set also includes numerous wrenches, adapters and extensions, nut drivers, a screwdriver and bits, and a set of hex keys.
All of the polished chrome pieces fit neatly in the three-drawer tool box, which has side flaps to keep the drawers closed when not in use, and a sturdy handle for toting the box where you need it. Each piece fits snugly into its designated slot, and everything is clearly marked to keep you organized. This is a great set for the home mechanic who takes their tools seriously.
Price at time of publish: $245
Pieces in Set: 239 | Measurement System: Metric and SAE | Sockets Hard-Marked With Size: Yes | Includes Extension Bar: Yes
Best for the Car
EPAuto 40-Piece Socket Set
If you like to keep a basic set of sockets in your car in case of emergencies on the road, then this 40-piece offering from EPAuto is just the ticket. You get the most common metric and SAE sizes of sockets—34 total—all made from strong chrome-vanadium steel alloy. There's a 3/8-inch-drive ratchet, as well as a 1/4-inch spinner handle, along with adapters and extensions for the sockets.
The case measures just 10 inches by 5.8 inches by 1.8 inches, so you can keep the tool set in your glove box or console, or under the seat, where it will be right at hand should you need it. It's also a good set for repairing bicycles, motorcycles, or ATVs. Plus, the price is extremely reasonable.
Price at time of publish: $25
Pieces in Set: 40 | Measurement System: Metric and SAE | Sockets Hard-Marked With Size: Yes | Includes Extension Bar: Yes
The DEWALT DWMT72165 mechanic tool set has just about anything you might need to tackle most basic car repair issues, as well as other repairs or DIY projects around the home that involve a lot of nuts and bolts of various sizes. It also includes a high-quality ratchet that is designed for one-handed use. But if you’re looking for a budget set of mechanic tools that's sturdy enough and complete enough for most basic repairs, then the Hi-Spec Tools 67-Piece Set is for you.
What to Look for in a Mechanic Tool Set
Often, you’ll have to choose between two measurement systems when buying mechanic tools: SAE, which stands for Society of Automotive Engineers, or metric. Metric sockets are measured in millimeters, while SAE sockets are measured in inches.
Unfortunately, there aren’t precise correlations between these two measurement systems, so consider how you’ll be using the sockets to determine which measurements will best suit your needs; many older American cars use SAE tools, while newer American and most European autos use metric. If possible, you may want to look for a set that includes both types of heads, just to be safe.
Consider the variety of tools you get with each kit, as well as your own experience and level of interest in doing car and other types of engine repairs. If you’re a DIY novice tackling very simple repairs, a set with fewer than 100 basic pieces will likely suffice. However, if you’re more experienced, you might be better off with a larger set of several hundred pieces covering all the potential issues you are likely to face.
Accessories and Adapters
In addition to standard wrenches, handles, and sockets, some mechanic tool kits come with accessories like breaker bars, torque wrenches, U-joint adapters, socket adapters, and more. Consider whether you’ll need these attachments for the projects you’ll be working on.
What’s the difference between a mechanic tool set and a home tool kit?
A home tool kit is a collection of the basic types of hand tools that just about everyone needs at one point or another, such as hammers, screwdrivers, tape measures, wrenches, pliers, levels, and a set of nails and screws. By contrast, a mechanic tool set is geared toward working on engines in cars, motorcycles, boats, and heavy equipment. While there are mechanic tool sets that also include some basic around-the-home tools, most focus purely on tools necessary for hobby or professional mechanical repairs.
What should a mechanic tool set include?
The most basic mechanics tool set will include a ratchet—it’s most helpful to have a 72-tooth ratchet, which lets you work more easily in tight spaces—and a selection of sockets in various sizes. A more comprehensive set will have ratchets in all three common sizes—1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, and 1/2-inch—a much wider selection of sockets in both SAE and metric sizes, extensions for reaching deeper into an engine, hex keys in various sizes, and many different adapters that let you tailor the tools to your specific needs for each project. Some mechanic tool sets also include basics such as screwdrivers and wrenches.
How should I take care of my mechanic tool set?
To keep your tools in tip-top condition, take a moment to wipe each tool with a clean rag after use. That removes grease, oil, and general grime that can dull the tool or make it sticky. If your mechanic tool kit came with a case, as most do, return each piece to its assigned spot after use rather than leaving any loose in your tool chest or bag. Storing your tools properly not only helps keep them from being damaged or lost, it also makes it much easier for you to find what you need quickly and easily, thus sparing you much frustration when working on your car.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was edited and updated by Michelle Ullman, the tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience not only in writing about all things related to the home, but also in carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs. For this roundup, she considered dozens of mechanic tool sets and looked for those with the highest quality, most versatility, and best reviews from both professionals and amateur car mechanics.