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Whether you are an aspiring do-it-yourselfer or a seasoned pro, every handyperson needs a dependable set of sockets to call their own. Selecting the appropriate socket set depends on a number of factors. Weekend tinkerers won’t need to splurge on a costly 80-piece socket set—it’s unlikely they’ll use most of the sockets in basic construction projects. On the other hand, professional mechanics may find themselves in need of less common sockets, meaning it’d be in their best interest to opt for a higher-end set.
The aesthetic-oriented people might want to consider matching new sockets—which typically come in one of two colors: chrome and black—to their other tools. Not only is it easier on the eyes, but it will be sure to leave a lasting impression on the client.
No matter what you’re looking for in a socket set, we’ve got you covered. Read on for our list of the best socket sets on the market.
01 of 07
Best Overall: Sunex 3342 3/8-Inch Drive Master Impact Socket Set
If the name “Sunex” doesn’t immediately spring to mind at the thought of high-quality tools, then that’s about to change. This excellent collection of 42 sockets, each crafted from Chromium-Molybdenum Alloy Steel, marries a wide range of metric, deep metric, SAE, and deep-SAE sockets with affordability and top quality performance that you can trust.
This set is perfect for the DIY auto mechanic looking for an upgrade—or the professional automotive technician seeking out an addition to their beloved but likely well-worn tools. With metric and deep metric sockets ranging from 10mm to 19 mm each, and with SAE and deep SAE sockets ranging from 5/16” to 3/4”, Sunex is confident that you’ll have the right tools for the job with their impact sockets—especially when you attach their complimentary 3” extension for those awkward, hard-to-reach jobs.
Sunex’s versatile impact sockets, which boast radius corner design for enhanced torque, come in their own heavy-duty case for stylish, safe, and convenient storage.
02 of 07
Best Budget: Stanley 92-804 30 Piece Socket Set
If you’re a hobbyist, chances are you don’t need a high-end socket set—a budget-friendly set will meet most of your needs, and then some. Stanley is a brand synonymous with over a century’s worth of hardware aficionado satisfaction, so when they release a 30-piece socket set for under $30, you know you’re in for tools that don’t sacrifice quality for affordability.
This set includes seven 12-point metric sockets (6mm-12mm), three 12-point SAE sockets (3/8”-1/2”), seven 6-point metric sockets (6mm-12mm), and ten 6-point SAE sockets (3/16”-9/16”), and it rounds off a surprisingly wide selection with a drive universal joint, a drive extension bar, and a pear head ratchet.
According to satisfied customers, this affordable set of sockets is a great addition to your home toolbox with more than enough variety and durability to take on everyday household jobs. All in all, Stanley’s 30-piece socket set is a compact, complete, and competitively-priced addition to any amateur handyperson’s collection.
03 of 07
Best Torx Bit: Neiko 10083A Master Torx Bit Socket and External Torx Socket Set
Different types of fasteners require specific sockets, and Torx screws, which feature a six-point star pattern, are no exception to this rule. This kind of screw requires a special screwdriver—the aptly named Torx screwdriver—or a socket called a Torx bit socket. For the mechanic who wants access to a comprehensive selection of Torx bit sockets without taking his work home with him, Neiko’s 10083A Master Torx Bit Socket and External Torx Socket Set is a midrange set that provides near-professional grade quality without all the bells and whistles that come with pricier, high-end assortments.
Neiko’s Torx bit socket set includes 17 Torx star bit sockets ranging from T6 to T70, 17 tamper-proof Torx bit sockets ranging from TT6 to TT70, 12 Torx Plus bit sockets ranging from TP8 to TP60, and 14 external Torx sockets ranging from E4 to E24. Whether you’re a computer technician or you dabble in bicycle repair, you’re bound to run into a Torx screw. And while this collection isn’t meant to replace your traditional socket set, it’s an important addition to your toolbox—if only because you’d be hard-pressed to jury-rig an alternative method of removing one of these pesky fasteners.
04 of 07
Best Portable: Stalwart 75-HT4023B Ratchet, Metric Socket and Bit Set
Technology advances quickly, which makes it likely that something that worked yesterday will require repairs today. As any handyperson can attest, tools that are both compact and portable are necessary for tackling unexpected day-to-day repair jobs. Stalwart’s 75-HT4023B Ratchet, Metric Socket and Bit Set just so happens to fit your everyday needs to a T.
This budget-friendly set boasts big value in a small case, packing a ratchet wrench alongside a collection of eight metric sockets (5mm-12mm) and 12 screwdriver bits of various sizes (three Phillips, three flat, three Pozi, and three Torx). That means you’ll never be without the right gear for any minor household or automotive repair.
Satisfied customers note that, while this set leans a little on the small side, it’s great for jobs where limited space would otherwise impede larger tools. Plus, its smaller size makes it a perfect fit for your glove compartment or kitchen drawer.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best Complete Package: Stanley STMT71652 123-Piece Socket Set
For the hardware handler who wants it all, there’s only one set out there that combines the variety and quality of a higher-end collection with the affordability of a midrange set: the Stanley STMT71652 123-Piece Socket Set. This crowd-pleaser comes loaded with 123 of the most useful tools, including over 70 sockets, more than 20 screwdriver bits, 2 ratchets, and a spinner handle.
This set is a great investment for beginners looking for an entry-level socket set or semi-pros seeking a backup toolbox of bits. It pulls no punches in providing buyers with all the right tools for their next minor automotive or household repair project.
The only complaint that customers seem to have—and it’s a small one—revolves around its complimentary storage case. Apparently, the smaller bits and sockets have a tendency to get stuck in their slots. Still, for such a great deal, one can easily forgive such a minor drawback.
06 of 07
Best Professional Grade: Sunex 3580 3/8-Inch Drive Master Impact Socket Set
Items often carry a hefty price tag for an obvious reason: they’re of the highest caliber around. That seems to be precisely the case when it comes to the Sunex 3580 3/8-Inch Drive Master Impact Socket Set. This is truly a behemoth of a socket set, sporting 80 pieces including metric, deep, universal, and external star sockets, along with a variety of extensions.
Crafted from Chromium-Molybdenum Alloy Steel—a testament to their durability—these sockets are built to last for years, with deep sockets that are ideal for removing lug nuts and a universal joint that pivots up to 22 degrees, so reaching tough-to-manage fasteners is a cinch.
This multifaceted selection of the most common sizes truly stands out amongst the competition. While it carries a price tag worthy of such a comprehensive selection, customers note that these sockets measure up to some of their favorite former go-to tools—at a fraction of the price.
07 of 07
Best for Spark Plugs: Craftsman 3/8" Drive 4pc Spark Plug Socket Set
If your lifestyle has anything to do with tools, chances are you’ve heard of Craftsman. They’re a universally renowned brand, and their moniker is attached to a wide assortment of hardware, from wrenches and drills to lawnmowers, tractors, and snow-blowers. It’s no surprise then that this hardware-legend household name would find its way onto the list with the Craftsman 3/8" Drive 4pc Spark Plug Socket Set.
While only including four sockets—where others on this list have boasted hundreds—Craftsman shines here by offering a single type of socket that serves one particular function: gripping spark plugs in a wide variety of vehicles, electric/gas-powered yard tools, and everything in-between. According to Craftsman’s many happy buyers, it serves this function exceptionally.
This set, which is carefully crafted to optimum durability, contains the following common yet versatile sizes: 5/8”, 13/16”, 3/4", and 18mm. Whether you’re replacing a spark plug on your motorcycle, trimmer, chainsaw, or truck, this nifty pack of sockets gets the job done every time. For a price this reasonable, there’s no reason to pass over this valuable set of spark plug sockets.