The 7 Best Mechanic Tool Sets of 2021

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Best Mechanic Tool Sets

The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

As the name suggests, mechanic tool sets include a wide assortment of tools needed to do automotive and motorcycle repairs or repairs on other common engines, including lawnmowers and chainsaws. You don't have to be a professional mechanic to own one of these useful tool kits: if you enjoy doing your own automotive work, such as oil changes, brake pad replacements, or even swapping out a headlight, you'll appreciate the assistance of a good mechanic tool set.

You typically won’t find hammers, tape measures, or levels in a mechanic tool set; instead, these kits are heavy on sockets, ratchets, hex keys, wrenches, and nut drivers. Some comprehensive kits do include screwdrivers and other more common tools, however.

While many mechanic tool sets include sockets in both of the common measurement systems used for nuts and bolts—metric and SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers)—some include only one or the other, so be aware of this when choosing your set.

We did the research for you and found the best mechanic tool sets in a variety of categories, so you can choose the set best suited to your needs.

Here are the best mechanic tool sets.

Our Top Picks
This comprehensive tool set is perfect for people who work on engines or other projects involving a large amount of nuts and bolts.
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You get all the basic tools needed for simple auto or motorcycle repairs at a price that can’t be beat.
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This kit contains 170 assorted tools you can use on virtually any project around the house or garage.
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Best Starter Set:
Stanley STMT73795 at Amazon
This comprehensive set offers plenty of variety and flexibility to tackle any number of projects.
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Best Small Set:
Stanley STMT71653 at Amazon
This is a comparatively small set that focuses on quality over quantity.
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This one handy set includes a wide range of tools, not just for auto repair, but also for general around-the-house use.
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This is one of the most complete and extensive mechanic tool kits available on the market.
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Best Overall: DEWALT DWMT72165 Mechanic Tool Kit and Socket Set

Mechanic Tool Kit and Socket Set
What We Like
  • 72-tooth ratchet for superior control

  • Extensive selection of sockets

What We Don't Like
  • Somewhat expensive

The DEWALT DWMT72165 Mechanic Tool Kit and Socket Set includes 204 pieces with a greater focus on sockets and ratchets than many other kits. This makes it a great choice for anyone looking to quickly establish a complete mechanic tool set, or for people who work on parts or projects with a large number 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 standout part of this set is the primary ratchet that will work with any of the sockets included in the set. The ratchet has a 72-tooth gearing system that 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.

Best Budget: Hi-Spec 67-Piece Auto Mechanics Tool Set

67-Piece Auto Mechanics Tool Set
What We Like
  • Good to keep in car for emergency repairs

  • Includes all the basics

What We Don't Like
  • 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.

Best Mixed Tool: Crescent CTK170CMP2 170-Piece General Purpose Tool Set

170-Piece General Purpose Tool Set
What We Like
  • 72-tooth ratchet for superior control

  • Includes screwdrivers and pliers

What We Don't Like
  • Can be tough to remove tools from case

One tool set to do it all is the dream of many professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. While it may just be a dream, the Crescent CTK170CMP2 certainly gets close by offering 170 assorted tools you can use on virtually any project, and in both common SAE and metric sizes. With ratchets, sockets, wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, and more, this is the best choice if you only want one tool set to store.

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 wherever you need on projects that require moving around.

Best Starter Set: Stanley STMT73795 Mechanic Tool Set

Mechanic Tool Set
What We Like
  • Sturdy construction

  • Includes basics such as tape measure, screwdrivers, utility knife

What We Don't Like
  • 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.

Best Small Set: Stanley STMT71653 Drive Socket Set

145-Piece Mechanic Tool Set
What We Like
  • Sturdy construction

  • Includes all the basics for home automotive repairs

What We Don't Like
  • 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.

Best Multi-Purpose: GreatNeck GNSTK119 119-Piece Home/Mechanic Tool Set

119-Piece Home/Mechanic Tool Set
What We Like
  • Includes the basics for both automotive and household repairs

  • Reasonable price

What We Don't Like
  • Individual tools tend to fall out of position within the case

If you don’t need a professional assortment of tools designed merely for auto repair, a home mechanic set is a more affordable option. Home/mechanic sets are specially designed for common home and garage projects that require tools for working on engines and electrical systems, as well as general household repairs. The GreatNeck GNSTK119 119-Piece Tool Set includes 30 sockets (SAE and metric), a 3/8-inch drive ratchet, a spark plug socket, a 3-inch extension bar, 39 bits with holder, and 24 hex keys, in addition to more general-use tools including wrenches, pliers, a hammer, a torpedo level, a tape measure, and four screwdrivers.

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 in a closet. The plastic storage case is sturdy and well organized, so you'll easily be able to find what you want when you need it.

Best Large Set: Craftsman 450-Piece Mechanic Tool Set

450-Piece Mechanic Tool Set
What We Like
  • Extremely comprehensive

  • Three-drawer case

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • 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 available 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 this happening while allowing you to tackle more specialized projects.

Final Verdict

The DEWALT DWMT72165 mechanic tool set (view at Amazon) 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 less expensive set that’s still adequate for basic auto work as well as use around the home, and that includes tool staples such as a hammer, pliers, level, and tape measure, then the GreatNeck 119-Piece Home/Mechanic Tool Set (view at Lowe's) fits the bill.

What to Look for in a Mechanic Tool Set

Measurement System

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.

Tool Variety

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 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.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article is 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, looking for those with the highest quality, most versatility, and best reviews from both professionals and amateur car mechanics.

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