Buyer's Guide: The Best Tool Sets for Mechanics

Justin Pritchard
by Justin Pritchard
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Tool sets come in many shapes and sizes, and we’ve highlighted some of our favorites in this article.

Photo credit: Vlad Linev /

Whether you’re looking to get into DIY auto repair, improve the functionality of your garage workspace, or have simply found yourself in need of a new set of tools, the options for pre-bundled tool sets are numerous. Below, we’ll highlight a wide range of options to help aspiring and professional mechanics alike with easy access to the tools required to tackle virtually any job.

Tool sets come in many shapes and sizes, and we’ve highlighted some of our favorites below. If you want to know more about what to look for and some other general tips and advice on mechanics tool sets, use our table of contents to navigate.

1. Editor's Pick: DEWALT Mechanics Tool Set

This DEWALT mechanics tool set has virtually everything the mechanic needs and wants for a wide range of general repair jobs. Built by one of the industry’s foremost tool manufacturers and backed by a lifetime warranty, this kit has almost universally perfect owner reviews.

DEWALT is a trusted brand in tools, and this tool set provides a variety of wrenches, sockets, adapters, drivers, and accessories commonly used for repair jobs around the car and home.

Notably, it includes a ratchet with a 72-tooth count, for a 5-degree arc swing that’s ideal for less-frustrating use in very tight quarters. A compact and sturdy case keeps all items organized and protected, and this tool set line can be scaled up and down for size, with options ranging from 84 to 247 pieces.


Trusted brand, lifetime warranty, comprehensive and portable


Pricier than some competitive tool kits

Bottom Line

Our Editor's Pick for Best Tool Set for Mechanics

2. Crescent 170-Piece Mechanics Tool Set

Improvements and tweaks to this bestseller drive even more value for the professional or amateur mechanic. With an improved case, sturdier construction, and an updated screwdriver set, the Crescent 170-piece tool set is better than ever—and it’s got everything you need to tackle a plethora of basic to moderately challenging automotive repair jobs.

Affordable pricing and compact sizing make this product accessible and portable, and a full socket set with three drivers is included—as is a full screwdriver set, hex key set, and more. This is actually an Amazon’s Choice for tool kits.

The generally positive owner reviews reinforce that this is a great tool kit for beginners, and the deep pockets in the storage case help keep all tools, bits and sockets in place. Just check the package upon receipt, as some owners have complained of missing or rusty tools, right out of the box.


Highly affordable, very portable and lightweight, comprehensive selection of tools


Some owners have complained of quality-control issues, missing more advanced and specialized tools, may not be suitable for frequent heavy-duty use

Bottom Line

A great tool kit for beginners

3. Craftsman 450-Piece Mechanic’s Tool Set

Set your home garage up with this tool kit from Craftsman, and you may never need to buy another tool set again. Designed to make any repair job easier and faster, it includes built-in tool drawers integrated within a sturdy plastic case that’s inspired by a traditional toolbox. The case snaps shut and includes a handle for maximum portability — and despite carrying 450 pieces, it’s compact enough to fit on any workbench, or in the trunk of any car.

Items within snap firmly into place, making it easy to organize and secure all tools. Included are some 450 items—including wrenches, a full socket and driver set, 6 extension bars, over 180 bits, 40 hex keys, 191 sockets and 6 adapters.

There’s a lifetime warranty too — a good thing since a handful of owner reviews complain of lower-than-expected quality. By and large, this Craftsman Mechanics tool set looks like the ultimate single-purchase toolkit for the home garage with virtually everything you’ll need for virtually any repair job.


Very comprehensive, Handy case with handle and drawers, Very portable


Relatively expensive, May be ‘overkill’ for more basic users

Bottom Line

Has virtually everything you will need

4. Stanley Laser Etched Socket Set

This 99-piece laser etched socket set from Stanley may be the last socket set you’ll ever buy. Chrome vanadium construction ensures a long and durable life, and the six and eight-point sockets reduce slippage and rounding of even the toughest bolts. The quick-release sockets and easy-reverse mechanism help you speed through tricky repairs, and each kit includes pear-head ratchets, deep well sockets, standard sockets, a spinner handle, extension bars, spark plug sockets, a set of bits, and a strong plastic carry case for maximum portability.

Stanley is a highly rated name in tools, and though this kit is priced at a premium compared to similar products from economy brands, it backs owners up with a no-nonsense lifetime warranty. Owner reviews are highly positive and center around the built-in long-lasting value, although some owners wish for a sturdier case.


High brand confidence, durable construction, lifetime warranty, a simple and very tough tool set


Relatively pricey, case could be sturdier

Bottom Line

May be the last socket set you’ll ever buy

5. Workpro 183-Piece Tool Set

With compellingly affordable pricing and nearly 90 percent of owner reviews in the 4 or 5-star range, this tool set from Workpro stacks up as a fantastic deal on a full-function setup for the home mechanic. The five-compartment toolbox features a cantilever organizer, allowing users to quickly see and access virtually every item in the kit, with ease. All-metal construction answers the call of shoppers after a sturdy and long-lasting case, and the tools within are built to last too, thanks to an anti-corrosion finish and construction that meets or exceeds the ANSI specifications for safety and durability.

Sockets, screwdrivers, bits, pliers, hex keys, wrenches and even zip-ties are all included.

Owner reviews back this product up, with many users reporting that the tools are of higher-than-expected quality given the price and that the toolbox itself is handy and solid. There’s even extra space inside to add additional tools if desired.


Affordable, durable case, well stocked, good value


Some users don't like metric measurements

Bottom Line

A fantastic deal on a full-function setup for the home mechanic

6. Campbell Hausfeld 62-Piece Air Tool Kit

Whether you’re looking to replace some aging air tools, or to make the switch to air tools for your DIY automotive repair needs, the Campbell Hausfeld 62-Piece Air Tool Kit is worthy of your investigation. With a ½-inch impact wrench with 250 foot-pounds of torque, even the toughest jobs can be tackled with a tug on the trigger. An air ratchet is also included, as is an air hammer, blow-gun, numerous accessories, 10 sockets, and much more. Items store in a sturdy, low-profile case that can fit into most toolbox drawers.

Campbell Hausfeld is a well-known brand in affordable, quality air tools, and owner reviews reinforce that this kit is tough to beat for the price. Just remember, these tools need to be hooked up to an air compressor to run, so you’ll need (at minimum) an air compressor and air lines to make use of them.


Good value for the money, reputable brand, great starter kit for the home garage


May require additional products or accessories to use

7. Channellock 94 Piece Tool Set

With a balance of cost, quality and brand reputability, this affordable and comprehensive tool set from Channellock has mostly positive owner reviews, an exceptional price, and amounts to a great addition to any workspace. It’s also a great investment for those who need to keep a portable toolkit handy in a vehicle, on a boat, at a campsite, or around the house. All must-have sockets, ratchets, adapters and common bits are included, as is a hex driver set and screwdriver set.

A sturdy plastic case keeps all items intact and in place, and low-profile construction keeps this cheap and effective tool set from taking up too much space. A one-year warranty is included.


Reputable brand, ideal blend of quality and price, portable and comprehensive


Some reviews complain of lower-than-expected quality, may not be ideal for repeated heavy-duty use

8. DEWALT 15-piece Accessory Tool Kit

This well-reviewed, high-quality tool kit makes the perfect addition to any standard tool set, and allows the user to do more with their existing tools. Added flexibility comes by way of a set of adapters, extensions, spark-plug sockets, and universal joints, which can be used with virtually any ratchet and driver to extend its reach or flexibility. The included sockets feature DirectTorque technology to help reduce stripping and rounding of stubborn fasteners.

The DEWALT 15-piece Accessory Tool Kit comes with 4.8 out of 5 star reviews, the backing of a world leader in quality tools, and a lifetime warranty—so you can buy with confidence. Those looking to enhance the functionality of their existing tool set, or for a handy add-on purchase for use with a new one, need look no further than this affordable accessory kit.


Strong brand reputation, very positive reviews, affordable, lifetime warranty


Intended for use with an existing tool set, sold separately

Good Things to Know About Buying a Tool Set

Pick the Right One: When considering an all-in-one tool set, be sure to determine which jobs you perform most often and which jobs you’d like to start performing more of before you make a selection. Certain jobs on certain vehicles may require specialized tools that aren’t included in standard tool sets. Knowing the specialized repair and maintenance jobs you’ll perform ahead of time and the tools required to tackle them is a great way to wind up with the best tool set for your needs and budget.

Check the Warranty: Most sets come with a decent warranty against breakage, wear and defects, though not all tool set warranties are created equal. Higher-end (i.e. pricier) brands tend to offer better warranty coverage, with some even backing their products with a lifetime guarantee. Other (less expensive) brands tend to offer more simple, shorter-term warranty coverage.

Weigh the costs of a higher-end brand, and the associated increase in warranty coverage, against your needs and budget. Do you need to spend more on a brand backed by a longer warranty, if your tools will only be used for occasional basic repairs? What would it cost to replace a single ratchet or pair of pliers if needed? Are you a professional mechanic who is hard on their tools?

Understand how you’ll use the tools, and the costs of improved warranty coverage, before you buy.

Consider Air Tools: If you’re outfitting your home garage with a toolkit for the first time, now’s the time to consider investing in air tools. Powered by an air compressor, an air-powered toolkit is popular amongst professional and amateur mechanics alike.

Air tools work faster and are typically easier on the operator than their manually powered counterparts—though you’ll need to invest in an air compressor to run them. As an added bonus, that air compressor can be used with a plethora of accessories, including sanders, buffers, a blow-off gun, a tire inflator, and more.

Going with air tools is more expensive, though it provides more possibilities towards a more functional workshop, helps make seasonal tire swaps easier and faster, and opens the door on numerous useful accessories that can make tire and toy inflation, shop cleanup, vehicle detailing and even oil changes easier and faster.

Consider a Reputable Brand: Many a mechanic knows that you can buy the cheap tools over and over again, or buy the expensive ones once. You tend to get what you pay for with automotive tool sets, and opting for a kit from a reputable brand has numerous benefits if it’s in your budget. Expect longer tool life, better warranty coverage, and improved peace of mind—but note that the average home mechanic is likely fine with a middle-of-the-line kit and may get minimal added benefit from spending hundreds more on a similar product.

Other Accessories for the Garage: A toolkit is only a starting point for a full-function garage workshop. If you’re looking to deck out your workspace, consider supplemental accessories like a sliding workbench and/or creeper seat, car jacks, or car ramps for easy access to the underside, power provisions like power bars and retractable power cords, magnetic tool and part organizers, and a quality toolbox or storage solution to keep everything organized.

Electronic Toolkit: In addition to your mechanical or air-powered tool kit, remember that a few electronic items are worth adding to your workshop as well. Key among them are a quality OBD scanner, which allows users to rapidly retrieve stored trouble codes and other information from the vehicle computer to help monitor and diagnose potential issues.

In seconds, the device is plugged in, performs a scan, and generates a report that can help DIY and professional mechanics alike to zero in on a problem area. Some OBD scanners even enable live data monitoring as you drive around, and others can link to the web to help find a solution to a detected problem more quickly.

Top 10 Best OBD2 Diagnostic Scanners

Don’t forget to consider a cheap Wi-Fi enabled tablet with a camera, which can be kept in the garage for easy access to car repair instructions, guides, schematics and notes. You can use the built-in camera to take photographs before starting a job, which can help put things back together more quickly when you’re finished. Just opt for a protective case—as the environment in your garage is likely to be hard on electronics.

Auxiliary Lighting: One of the easiest ways to make a more comfortable and productive workspace is to ensure plenty of access to quality lighting. If you’re using your new toolkit to do more of your own car repair, consider outfitting your garage with an ideal combination of fixed and portable lighting, to help ensure you’ve got great visibility when tackling any job. A few overhead or wall-mounted LED worklights operated by a wall switch, and a few magnetic, rechargeable trouble-lights can go a long way to increase visibility, safety, and comfort as you work.

Protective Gear: To avoid fatigue, injury and other harm, remember to work safe. If you’re outfitting your garage workshop, remember to include a set of safety glasses (a pair with built-in LED lights is best), as well as knee-pads and gloves. A height-adjustable bench, or two-in-one creeper bench, is a great accessory, too. Products like these make great supplemental additions to your garage tool kit and help improve safety and comfort during almost any job.

Cleanup: With your repair job completed, it’s likely you’ll have some heavy-duty cleanup to tackle. On the relative cheap, products like Floor-Dry, an industrial broom, a floor squeegee, a shop-vac, an air-nozzle attachment for your air compressor, and a shop-towel dispenser can all work together to make garage clean up quick and easy. After all: a tidy garage workspace is a happy garage workspace—and a safer and more enjoyable one, too.

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Justin Pritchard
Justin Pritchard

Justin Pritchard, an award-winning automotive journalist based in Sudbury, Ontario, is known for his comprehensive automotive reviews and discoveries. As a presenter, photographer, videographer, and technical writer, Justin shares his insights weekly through various Canadian television programs, print, and online publications. In 2023, Justin celebrated a significant milestone, airing the 600th episode of his TV program, AutoPilot. Currently, he contributes to, Sharp Magazine, and MoneySense Magazine. His work as a technical writer, videographer, presenter, and producer has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2019 AJAC Video Journalism Award and the 2018 AJAC Journalist of the Year. Justin holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from Laurentian University, which he earned in 2005. His career in automotive journalism began that same year at Since then, he has written one of the largest collections of used car buyer guides on the internet. His passion for photography, nurtured from a young age, is evident in his work, capturing the scenic beauty of Northern Ontario. Living in a region with a particularly harsh winter climate has made Justin an expert on winter driving, winter tires, and extreme-weather safety. Justin’s significant achievements include: 2019 AJAC Video Journalism Award (Winner) 2019 AJAC Road Safety Journalism Award (Runner-Up) 2019 AJAC Automotive Writing (vehicle review topics) (Winner) 2019 AJAC Automotive Writing (technical topics) (Winner) 2018 AJAC Journalist of the Year You can follow Justin’s work on Instagram @mr2pritch and YouTube @JustinPritchard.

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