Many household tasks, automotive repairs, and DIY projects require at least one wrench, but not every nut, bolt, and fitting has the same size, so investing in a top-quality wrench set is a must.
We spent hours researching the top wrench sets available online, making sure to include a wide range of wrench types and brands. For each set, we assessed size range, durability, and value. Our favorite, the TEKTON 30-Piece Combination Wrench Set, includes just about any metric or standard-size wrench you might need, all made of strong chrome-vanadium steel.
Here are the wrench sets for every type of project.
TEKTON 30-Piece Combination Wrench Set
Very comprehensive set
Handy storage totes
Few complaints of wrenches slipping during use
It's hard to imagine needing a wrench size that isn't included in the TEKTON 30-Piece Combination Wrench Set. This comprehensive set includes 15 each metric and SAE combination wrenches, each with a slightly angled open end that makes it easier to work in tight spots and a box end that's offset by 15 degrees, so no more struggling to get your fingers out of the way. The 12-point box head gives you twice as many access points for a standard six-point fastener. All of the wrenches are made of premium chrome-vanadium steel with a mirror chrome finish.
These strong wrenches are durable enough to stand up even to tough tasks without bending, cracking, or slipping. Each is clearly engraved with its size, which includes 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22 mm metric wrenches and 1/4, 9/32, 5/16, 11/32, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, 13/16, 7/8, 15/16, and 1 inch SAE (standard) sizes.
Completing the set are two handy holder/organizers: one each for the metric and SAE wrenches. Each wrench has its own slot that holds it firmly in place. A handle at the top of the organizer lets you easily carry your wrenches with you to your worksite. All in all, this is a fine set of wrenches that is suited to everything from professional use to general repair work around the home or garage.
Price at time of publish: $156
Type: Open/box | Set Size: 30 pieces | Measurement System: SAE and metric | Includes Case: Yes
GEARWRENCH 20-Piece Ratcheting Wrench Set
Very reasonable price
Packaging is difficult to open
Ideal for both professional automotive mechanics and amateur toolshed tinkerers, these wrenches from GEARWRENCH have one open box end and one ratcheting end. The ratchet has 72 teeth that "grab" onto the nut tightly when the wrench is turned clockwise but loosen when the tool is moved counterclockwise, which makes loosening or tightening nuts easy without the need for repositioning the wrench each time.
The set of steel wrenches includes 10 metric and 10 SAE tools, including 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4 and 13/16 inch standard and 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 mm metric. Not only are they durable, but they boast slim head shanks that allow easy access to even the tightest spaces. Each has a 5-degree swing arc for tight turns when every bit of space matters. These wrenches are designed for the utmost in easy, efficient handling.
Price at time of publish: $85
Type: Open/ratcheting | Set Size: 20 pieces | Measurement System: SAE and metric | Includes Case: No
Crescent 3-Piece Cushion-Grip Adjustable Wrench Set
Easy to adjust
No included case
Adjustable wrenches, also called crescent wrenches, have one fixed jaw and one jaw that moves in or out as you turn a screw in the tool's handle, allowing you to firmly grasp a wide range of fastener sizes. Probably the most common type of wrench, every toolbox, from the most basic to the most comprehensive, should include a set of adjustable wrenches. We feel the Crescent 3-Piece Cushion-Grip Adjustable Wrench Set is the best option.
The set includes three wrenches, each with a large jaw capacity: 15/16-inch for the 6-inch wrench, 1-1/8-inch for the 8-inch wrench, and 1-5/16-inch for the 10-inch wrench. Between the three, you can loosen or tighten just about any common fastener. The wide, cushioned, nonslip handles are easy to hold comfortably, and the tools are heat-treated forged alloy steel, so they are strong enough to last. Each wrench is laser-etched with metric and standard measurements for accuracy when you need to identify a fastener size.
Price at time of publish: $50
Type: Adjustable | Set Size: 3 pieces | Measurement System: SAE and metric | Includes Case: No
Crescent CCWS2 SAE Combination Wrench Set
No metric sizes
If your profession doesn’t require you to have the most cutting-edge tools around—or if you primarily use your tools for more minor projects—there’s nothing wrong with opting for a more affordable alternative to a higher-end set of wrenches like the 10-piece Crescent CCWS2 SAE Combination Wrench Set. This set contains ten mirror-polish-finished wrenches in sizes 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, 11/32-inch, 3/8-inch, 7/16-inch, 1/2-inch, 9/16-inch, 5/8-inch, 11/16-inch, and 3/4-inch. Each wrench is stamped with its size and is open on one end and box on the other.
It’s a big win for a hobbyist on a budget, but that doesn’t mean this set of heat-treated chrome vanadium alloy steel wrenches sacrifices quality. Crescent’s wrenches—specifically, their box ends—utilize surface drive technology to eliminate wearing down, or “rounding,” of fasteners. Resistant to both abrasion and corrosion, these wrenches are a great buy, whether you intend to use them as backups or as your primary tools.
Price at time of publish: $31
Type: Open/box | Set Size: 10 pieces | Measurement System: SAE | Includes Case: Yes
GEARWRENCH 9602 Reversible Combination Ratcheting Wrench Set
72-tooth ratcheting head
Designed for easy use in limited space
Not only do these professional-grade wrenches have the surface drive technology that makes GEARWRENCH so popular with mechanics, but they also possess reversible ratcheting capabilities, so there's no need to remove the wrench from the nut to change direction. These wrenches have a 15-degree offset on their open ends—key for protecting users’ knuckles from harm—and a gorgeous polished chrome finish. Plus, their 72-tooth ratcheting box needs only 5 degrees of space to move, versus the 30 degrees most other brands require; that means you can easily work in even the tightest spaces.
This 16-piece set includes metric wrenches in sizes 8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, 16mm, 17mm, 18mm, 19mm, 21mm, 22mm, 24mm, and 25mm, so you'll have the appropriate size wrench at hand for just about any project in the garage or in your home. The wrenches include a storage caddy that keeps the tools neatly sorted and firmly held in place when not in use.
Price at time of publish: $214
Type: Open/ratcheting | Set Size: 16 pieces | Measurement System: Metric | Includes Case: Yes
Craftsman Standard and Metric Flare Nut Wrench Set
Perfect for work on brake lines and transmission repairs
Few complaints that fit isn't tight enough
If you’re in the automotive repair business or just like doing your own auto repairs, consider the Craftsman 9-Piece Standard and Metric Flare Nut Wrench Set your next go-to tool kit. Flare nut wrenches engage more corners of a fastener—they have a wider contact area—making them the ideal tool for removing and replacing nuts on fuel lines, brake lines, and other automotive parts that are prone to rounding and deforming. The set includes SAE sizes 3/8 x 7/16, 1/2 x 9/16, 5/8 x 11/16, and 3/4 x 7/8 inch wrenches. The metric sizes include 9 x 11, 10 x 12, 13 x 14, 15 x 17, and 19 x 21mm.
All the wrenches are rugged alloy steel for long life without warp or wear and are designed for easy use in the tight confines underneath a car's hood. The set includes a plastic carrying pouch.
Price at time of publish: $149
Type: Flare-nut | Set Size: 9 pieces | Measurement System: SAE and metric | Includes Case: Yes
Best Hex Key Set
Texas Best Folding Hex Key Set
Folds into easy-to-carry handle
Comprehensive range of sizes
Packaging is difficult to open
Hex keys, also called Allen wrenches, are short, L-shaped tools that, unlike most wrenches, fit inside a hex-head nut rather than wrapping around it. They have many household uses, including assembling or repairing furniture, installing towel bars and similar decor, or carrying out bicycle repair and maintenance. The Texas Best Folding Hex Key Set includes two separate sets: one metric and one standard. Each set includes multiple hex keys that fold down into the handle when not in use, making them very easy to slip into your toolbox or bicycle repair kit.
The metric set includes 1.5mm, 2.0mm, 2.5mm, 3.0mm, 4.0mm, 5.0mm, 6.0mm, and 8.0mm keys. The standard set includes 5/64-inch, 3/32-inch, 7/64-inch, 1/8-inch, 9/64-inch, 5/32-inch, 3/16-inch, 7/32-inch, and 1/4-inch keys. All are clearly marked with their size and are made of heat-treated alloy steel for maximum strength and durability. When folded down, each set measures 8.6 inches tall by 2 inches deep by 5.6 inches wide.
Price at time of publish: $14
Type: Hex key | Set Size: 17 pieces | Measurement System: SAE and metric | Includes Case: Yes
Best Stubby Set
Sunex Tools 9930 SAE Stubby Combination Wrench Set
Excellent fit and secure hold on nuts
SAE measurement only
Crafted from only the finest-grade alloy steel, the wrenches you’ll find in the Sunex Tools Stubby Combination Wrench Set combine an open end with a box end in one shortened wrench specifically designed for working in cramped spaces—like under your car’s hood—meaning you spend less time working on your car and more time driving it. Sunex’s set includes wrenches in SAE sizes 3/8-inch, 7/16-inch, 1/2-inch, 9/16-inch, 5/8-inch, 11/16-inch, 3/4-inch, 13/16-inch, 7/8-inch, 15/16-inch, and 1-inch.
Sunex’s tools are just the right size, fit, and finish for a variety of jobs. You'll appreciate the chamfered box end that makes it easy to grasp the nut and the radius corners that prevent rounding-off. Plus, the 15-degree offset protects your fingers from scrapes and squeezes. When it’s time to clean up, just slip your new favorite wrenches into the included heavy-duty canvas pouch and roll them up for easy and safe storage.
Price at time of publish: $50
Type: Open/box | Set Size: 11 pieces | Measurement System: SAE | Includes Case: Yes
WORKPRO Box End Wrench Set
Very reasonable price
Perfect for engine work/car repair
Offset box wrenches are unique in that they’re bent on either end to accommodate tight spaces and awkward nut and bolt placement. Due to their odd shape, these wrenches serve very specific functions—but that doesn’t mean it’s not important to have them on hand in case a situation arises when they’re needed. If you’re in the automotive repair business, chances are you’re going to run into a problem that a regular box wrench just can’t handle. That may very well be when Sunex’s offset wrenches come in handy. This 8-piece metric set from WORKPRO includes sizes 6x7, 8x9, 10x11, 12x13, 14x15, 16x17, 18x19 and 20x22mm.
These offset wrenches are made of heat-treated vanadium steel, which means they’re very strong, so don’t let their slender forms fool you. The elements don’t stand a chance against them, as each wrench is coated with a rust-resistant chrome-plated finish. Finally, a free storage rack rounds off this affordable set of offset wrenches.
Price at time of publish: $29
Type: Box | Set Size: 8 pieces | Measurement System: Metric | Includes Case: Yes
If you want a comprehensive set of wrenches with sturdy construction that will stand up to years of use, then our top choice, the TEKTON 30-Piece Combination Wrench Set, which includes both SAE and metric wrenches in all of the most common sizes, will serve you well. But if you need adjustable wrenches for various projects around your home, then the Crescent 3-Piece Cushion-Grip Adjustable Wrench Set is our recommendation.
What to Look for in a Wrench Set
Type of Wrenches
There are many different types of wrenches, some with specific uses and some more general-purpose. Many types of wrenches are dual-use, with two different types of ends, as well. The following are some common types of wrenches often used by DIYers or those who like to carry out various repairs around their home or on their cars.
- Open-end wrenches have a somewhat U-shaped end that fits around two opposite sides of a nut. Often, the end is slightly offset to make it easier to use the wrench without your fingers getting in the way. Open wrenches come in many different sizes and are one of the most common types of this tool.
- Box-end wrenches are sometimes called ring spanners. These tools have a closed or "boxed" end that slips over the nut being tightened or loosened. The inside of the box has points that help grip the nut. Some box-end wrenches have only six points, but higher-quality tools have up to 12 points, making it easier to turn the wrench in a confined space.
- Combination wrenches typically have one box end and one open end.
- Ratcheting box wrenches have a ratchet system within the boxed end that lets you turn the nut without having to lift and reposition the wrench. Many of these wrenches combine one ratcheting end with one open end.
- Adjustable wrenches, sometimes called crescent wrenches, have one fixed jaw and one adjustable jaw that slides open/closed by turning a knurled screw. These are one of the most common types of wrenches for around-the-house use.
- Flare-nut wrenches have ends that are less open than an open-end wrench but not entirely enclosed like a box-end wrench. These are often used for automotive repairs and some plumbing work.
- Pipe wrenches are very heavy adjustable wrenches mostly used in plumbing.
- Hex keys, also called Allen wrenches, are solid, L-shaped metal wrenches with a hexagonal shape. Rather than fitting around a nut, as most wrenches do, a hex key is designed to fit inside a hex nut, so the hex key must be the same size as the nut it's loosening or tightening. These wrenches are commonly used for bicycle repair as well as furniture assembly and installation of various household items.
- Torque wrenches are specialty tools that allow the user to turn a fastener to an exact level of tightness. They are mostly used for automotive or large equipment repair.
- Socket wrenches are commonly used in the automotive industry. These wrenches have an open cylinder that fits over the nut being turned. Often, these tools are sold as a set of sockets in a range of sizes, along with a single handle, called a ratchet, that can be used with all of them.
- Impact wrenches are power tools with tremendous torque. They are commonly used in the automotive industry or when working on large equipment.
- Stubby or short wrenches are basically combination wrenches that are shorter than the typical combination wrench. They are designed for use in tight spaces, such as when working on a car engine.
Number of Pieces
One of the main reasons to invest in a wrench set is that the set comes with more than one wrench, giving you a variety of sizes or types for different projects. The number of tools or accessories that are included in the wrench set is referred to as the number of pieces by the manufacturers. Small wrench sets can have as few as two tools included in the bundle, while large wrench sets can quickly exceed 100 pieces, though some pieces may be simple accessories and not full wrenches.
When looking for a wrench set, take some time to inspect the product details, where the manufacturer typically notes the number of pieces in the set, as well as lists the exact tools or accessories that are included. Keep in mind that the more pieces in a set, the more expensive the set will be. Also, watch out for wrench sets that include the case as one of the pieces.
Size is a necessary consideration for just about any tool because you need to be certain that the tool can be used on the target fitting. A wrench can be measured in both length and fitting size. The length is important because, in some compact areas, a long wrench will be unusable, while in other situations, a long wrench may be the only method for reaching the nut, bolt, or fitting.
The fitting size of each wrench is measured in inches (in) or millimeters (mm). If the wrench is measured in inches, then it follows the SAE standard method of measurement, while millimeters are used for wrench sizes in the metric system. Many fitting sizes differ enough between the two measurement systems that an SAE wrench cannot be used on a metric fitting, and a metric wrench cannot be used on an SAE fitting.
To make sure that you have the correct wrench for the job, it's recommended to invest in a wrench set that offers both SAE and metric wrenches.
What is a combination wrench?
Combination wrenches are one of the most common types of wrenches. They feature an open jaw at one end that can fit around a nut or bolt, and they have a box end at the other side of the wrench that slips over the top of a fitting. Combination wrenches come in a wide range of sizes, both metric and standard, so you can match the wrench to the fastener.
How do you use wrenches safely?
A wrench doesn't pose the safety hazards of a power saw or other power tool, but you can still hurt yourself if you aren't mindful of basic safety guidelines.
- Don't strike a wrench with a hammer or other object to gain force.
- Don't push on the wrench, which can lead you to slip. Instead, you should pull the wrench towards you.
- Never use a wrench on moving machinery.
- Be sure an adjustable wrench is in full contact with the nut before turning it.
- Stand with your legs slightly spread for better balance should the wrench slip. This can help you avoid a fall.
- Match the size of the wrench to the size of the fastener. A wrench that's too big is likelier to slip.
- Pull smoothly on the wrench. Avoid jerky motions, which can cause the wrench to slip.
- Don't add a pipe or other "sleeve" to a wrench's handle to increase leverage.
- Never use a wrench that's broken, bent, or worn.
What are the most useful types of wrenches?
There are many types of wrenches, but some are more specialized and not often used by the average DIYer or home handyperson. As a general rule, every toolbox benefits from a set of adjustable wrenches and a set of combination wrenches.
If you enjoy doing your own car repairs, you'll also want a set of ratcheting wrenches, as well as a set of sockets and a ratchet.
Avid bicyclists, especially those that go off-road or mountain biking, should carry a set of hex keys that can be used for emergency repairs when on the road.
What's the difference between an adjustable wrench and a pipe wrench?
While both types of wrench have adjustable jaws, they are not interchangeable tools. Adjustable wrenches are designed for turning nuts and bolts. The inner surface of an adjustable wrench's jaws is flat, with a slight texture to provide a more secure grip.
A pipe wrench, by contrast, has "teeth" on the inner surface of the jaws, allowing the tool to grip curved pipes firmly. Pipe wrenches are often heavier, larger tools than adjustable wrenches. As their name suggests, pipe wrenches are not designed to turn nuts and bolts but rather to tighten or loosen pipe fittings while working on plumbing.
Never use a pipe wrench to turn nuts and bolts, as it is likely to slip.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Michelle Ullman is the home improvement/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 around the house and yard.
For this roundup, she considered dozens of wrench sets, evaluating each for use, design, versatility, and overall value. She also considered feedback from customers, both positive and negative.
Additional research for this article is provided by Timothy Dale, a seasoned home improvement expert who specializes in a number of topics, including plumbing, construction, and product recommendations.