Sockets are not only handy tools for people to have in their toolboxes, but they’re an absolute necessity for anyone working on their vehicle or motorcycle. Without these sets, it would be virtually impossible to loosen or tighten nuts and bolts on a vehicle. Therefore, it’s quite accurate to say that these tools are some of the most important ones any professional or DIY mechanic is going to have in their garage.
Since these tools are so important, consumers should take their time and try to find the best socket sets available. And that’s why we’ve decided to go ahead and find the ten best ones available. Thanks to the following list, our readers won’t have to pour over thousands of reviews to find the right tool for them because we’ve already done all of the legwork.
Best Socket Sets – Reviews & Buying Guide
10Craftsman Mechanic’s 450-Piece Tool Set
Even though this set has more tools than the average person might use and also costs more than what the average person wants to spend on any toolset, we do have to say that it’s an impressive socket set. This product contains 450-pieces in total, and what’s included in that piece count is the case, 3-quick release ratchets that are available in 1/2-inch, 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch drives, 6 different extension bars, bit driver and bits, and 16 combination wrenches. It also contains 191 different sockets, so there’s probably not bolt or nut that this product can’t deal with effectively.
- Contains 450-pieces in total
- Has combination wrenches and 6 socket extension bars
- It’s an expensive set
9Stanley 123-Piece SAE/MM Socket Set
The quality of this set can be felt from its sturdy plastic case to its chrome vanadium forged ratchets and sockets. This set comes with 123-pieces of quality tools that are ideal for any automotive job a person could undertake. In this set, consumers will find a 3/8-inch pear-head ratchet, a 1/4-inch pear-head ratchet, a 3/8-inch 3-inch long drive extension bar, 7 6-point 3/8-inch deep sockets, 20 3/8-inch 6-point sockets, a 3/8-inch spark plug socket, a 1/4-inch bit holder, a 1/4-inch spinner handle, 20 1/4-inch drive sockets, and a 1/4-inch deep drive socket.Although their size markings are a little small and hard to read, this is otherwise a great tool set for any mechanic.
- Has a very sturdy carry case
- Ratchets and sockets feel well made
- Socket size markings are hard to read
8Dewalt 205-Piece Mechanic’s Tool Set
This mechanic’s tool set comes with 205-pieces, which means that it has just about all of the tools a person could need to get work done on their vehicle. This set include three ratchets in 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch sizes, a variety of SAE and metric sockets, 3-inch and 6-inch extension bars, heax keys, a bit driver and specialty bits. It also comes with a blow-molded case, but we weren’t as impressed with the case as we were with the tools. In our experience, the case didn’t hold the tools securely enough. Having said that, however, we still feel this is a great set that will do a good job for just about anyone.
- Sockets are well made
- Comes with 205-pieces
- This set’s case is a bit disappointing
7Amazon Basics Mechanic Socket Took Kit
Any DIY enthusiast or driveway mechanic who is looking for an entry-level socket set is probably going to take a closer look at this one. It’s a 145-piece set that contains a variety of tools including 1/4-inch sockets and deep-sockets, 3/8-inch sockets and deep sockets, metric and SAE hex keys, 25mm bits, metric and SAE nut bits, combination wrenches, a 1/4-inch drive handle, a 1/4-inch bit adapter, and 3/8-inch extension bar. It also comes with 3/8-inch and 5/8-inch spark plug sockets. It also comes with a case that feels very durable, but doesn’t always do the best job of keeping the sockets from moving around.
- Sockets are high-quality and work well
- Case feels very durable
- The case doesn’t hold sockets securely enough
6Sunex 3/8-inch Drive Master Impact Socket Set
Although this master impact socket set’s case isn’t well designed and doesn’t hold sockets securely in it, the tools that are in the case are high-quality. They’re made of CR-Mo steel that’s designed to be durable and to be flexible enough to handle the stressors incurred by high-torque impact tools. Some of the sockets that can be found in this set are standard sockets from 5/16-inch through 3/4-inch, deep-sockets from 5/16-inch through 5/8-inch, universal sockets from 11/16-inch through 3/4-inch, metric sockets, inverted star sockets, star sockets, 4 extensions, and a universal joint.
- Sockets are well made
- Has a nice variety of impact sockets
- Case doesn’t hold sockets securely
5EP-Auto 72-Tooth Ratchet With 1/4 & 3/8-Inch Sockets
Not everyone needs a 200 or 250-piece mechanic’s toolset to do basic automotive maintenance tasks. Some people would prefer a smaller set that contains just what they need to get the job done. Fortunately, this is such a set. It only has 40-pieces in it, but it’s the tools that people are going to need the most. In this set are 15 SAE 1/4-inch drive sockets in both 6-point and 8-point varieties, 13 metric sockets, 3 3/8-inch drive sockets, a 1/4-inch drive spinner handle, a 3/8-inch reversible 72-tooth ratchet, a 3/8-inch by 1/4-inch F-adapter, a 3/8-inch by 3-inch extension bar and a whole lot more.
- Sockets are made of chrome vanadium steel alloy
- It’s a good beginner socket set
- The case could’ve held the sockets better
4Dewalt 23-Piece Impact Socket Set
Some people may look at this socket sit and wonder why we’ve placed it on our list. After all, this isn’t the biggest set and it isn’t even the most complete set. We placed it on this list because the tools are made of exceptional quality, the case works well, and its a handy set for anyone who may not need 200+ pieces. Sure, some people will find this set to be lacking and those people should feel free to not even worry about this set. For everyone else, however, this might be a set that should be checked out, especially if it contains the sockets that you need.
- It’s an inexpensive kit
- Has high-quality sockets
- May not have all of the sockets or ratchets a person needs
3Dewalt 192-Piece Mechanics Tool Set
This socket set comes with just about everything a person needs to work on their car in their garage or driveway. It comes with a 1/2-inch pear-head ratchet, a 14-piece metric key set, and more sockets than we can count. The tools in this set are well made and are made with size markings that are laser etched into the metal and easy to read. And it all comes in a case that’s very durable and does a decent job of holding all of the sockets, although we do have to admit that every once in awhile a socket will come loose. Not a big deal, but something worth mentioning.
- Tools are very well made
- Comes with a nice selection of sockets and tools
- The case is decent but sockets do occassionally come lose
2TEKTON 1/2-Inch 84-Piece Socket Set
Although this product’s case could’ve done a better job of keeping the sockets organized, the tools contained within it are first-rate. This set comes with a 72-tooth ratchet that has a 5-degree working arc, and 6-point sockets that are made of high-quality chrome vanadium. Some of the sockets in this 1/2-inch drive set include shallow and deep sockets in sizes from 3/8-inch through 1-5/16-inch, an 18-inch breaker bar, two drive extensions, and a universal joint. All in all, it’s a great set that contains 84-pieces in all.
- Tools are high-quality and well made
- Comes with a selection of great sockets
- Case could’ve been better
1Dewalt Mechanic’s Tool Kit
This 168-piece sockets set has a well-made case and has all of the sockets a person could want out of one of these mechanic’s toolboxes. This product features SAE and metric hex keys, nut driver bits in sizes from 5/32-inch through 7/16-inch, has an assortment of combination wrenches, and several ratchets in different sizes. It also features a variety of 1/4-inch, 1/2-inch and 3/8-inch sockets that complete the set. It also comes with spark plug sockets, universal joints, and extension bars.
- Tools are well made
- Comes with a fine selection of sockets
- Case is well made and durable
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Finding The Best Socket Set For Your Needs
One of the most frequently used and probably most valuable, tools used by both amateur and professional grease monkeys alike is the socket set. Many of the repairs that a vehicle might require over the course of its life are impossible without this humble toolset. This toolset is one that the mechanic is going to use hundreds, if not thousands of times, over their lifetime.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to find the best socket set available. Even though these toolsets seem basic, the consumer still has quite a few things to consider before they can commit to buying one of them. That’s why we’ve decided to write this guide. We wanted to illuminate some of the decisions that the mechanic, whether amateur or professional, is going to need to think about before buying this product.
Choosing A Type Of Socket Set
The first thing that the consumer is going to want to do is to choose the right type of socket set for their needs. Generally speaking, these sets are available in either Whitworth, SAE or Metric sizes. Although professional mechanics might have two or all three of these socket sets, most people are only going to need one type of sockets and the type of socket they should buy depends on their needs.
Whitmore sockets are designed for cars manufactured in the U.K., SAE sockets (otherwise known as standard sockets) are designed for older American vehicles, and Metric sockets are designed for more modern vehicles. As can be seen, the kind of socket set that’s purchased is dependent on the type of vehicle the person has.
Think About Drive Size
Consumers are also going to want to think about are the drive sizes that they’re going to need. It’s best for most consumers to try to find a socket set that has all of the major sizes. For example, an SAE socket set should contain 1/4-inch, 1/2-inch, and 3/8-inch sizes. The consumer should also consider whether the set has handles of different lengths. Socket sets with long handles are ideal for providing the type of torque a mechanic might need.
Choose The Right Socket Points
Socket points come in two sizes—there are 12-point start sockets and 6-pointed hexagon sockets. The one that’s often preferred by many mechanics are 6-point models, but some people find 12-pointed sockets easier to line up. In our opinion, 6-point sockets are better for heavier work than 12-pointed ones, but as we said, it all depends on the personal preferences of the user.
Regular Sockets Or Deep Sockets
The consumer is probably going to want to think about whether they need standard depth sockets or they need deep sockets. For most jobs, standard sockets are going to be the go-to tools, but deep sockets are needed for some jobs. For example, if the consumer is removing spark plugs from a vehicle with recessed plugs, then they’re absolutely going to need a socket set that has a few deep sockets in it.
Don’t Forget About Socket Extensions
Consumers should make sure that any socket set they purchase comes equipped with at least a few extensions. Although people often don’t think much about socket extensions, the moment they don’t have them available is the moment when they’re going to need them. So, always make sure whatever socket set you purchase has at least a standard array of socket extensions.
Make Sure It Comes With A Good Case
It’s also a good idea for the consumer to make sure that their socket set that they’re thinking about buying comes with a nice case. The case should be made out of high-impact plastic and be designed so that it not only keeps all of the sockets organized and easy to reach but is also easy for taking on the go.
Other Things To Think About
Of course, the above points aren’t the only things that the consumer needs to consider when they’re purchasing the best socket set for their needs. There are also a few other things that they might want to think about. For example, is the socket set made out of a durable alloy that will last a long time? Does the socket set come with additional accessories such as ratchets, spark plug sockets, universal sockets, or Allan wrenches? Is the socket set backed by some sort of lifetime or limited-lifetime warranty? These are all things that the consumer should consider when purchasing a new socket set.