Tools Q & A: Who Makes The Best Socket Sets

best socket set for mechanic

Tools Q & A: Who Makes the Best Socket Sets?

It’s come that time.

You’ve got to fix your kid’s bike, or do your best to hold your composure while assembling some furniture – or fix your car because you’re too broke to pay a mechanic.

Whatever potentially dreadful (or enjoyable – depending on how you feel about working with your hands) task lies ahead, you need a socket set.

So, now that you know what you need, the only question is: “Who Makes the Best Socket Sets?” and who makes a socket set you can afford?

The first name that comes to mind for most guys is Snap-On.

Snap-On are an American based company, known for manufacturing high end tools and specialty equipment to a largely professional clientele. Their tools are durable, consistently reliable and usually well warrantied.

But, they aren’t affordable for most people.

 

Best Socket Sets

Product
Craftsman 165 pc. Mechanics Tool Set Standard Metric Socket Ratchet Wrench Case
CRAFTSMAN 85-PC Universal MAX AXESS Mechanics Tool Set (Inch/Metric)
Wera Tools Bits Handles Socket 39PC SAE Combo Set + After Hours Pro-Beverage Tool
21PCS SAE 3/4" Drive Socket Wrench Tool Set With Storage Case Jumbo Ratchet Wrench Extension Flexible Breaker Bar Mechanics Craftsman Universal Tools Heavy Duty And Durable
Craftsman 165 pc. Mechanics Tool Set Standard Metric Socket Ratchet Wrench Case
CRAFTSMAN 85-PC Universal MAX AXESS Mechanics Tool Set (Inch/Metric)
Wera Tools Bits Handles Socket 39PC SAE Combo Set + After Hours Pro-Beverage Tool
21PCS SAE 3/4" Drive Socket Wrench Tool Set With Storage Case Jumbo Ratchet Wrench Extension Flexible Breaker Bar Mechanics Craftsman Universal Tools Heavy Duty And Durable
$129.00
$126.43
$104.78
$109.99
Product
Craftsman 165 pc. Mechanics Tool Set Standard Metric Socket Ratchet Wrench Case
Craftsman 165 pc. Mechanics Tool Set Standard Metric Socket Ratchet Wrench Case
$129.00
Product
CRAFTSMAN 85-PC Universal MAX AXESS Mechanics Tool Set (Inch/Metric)
CRAFTSMAN 85-PC Universal MAX AXESS Mechanics Tool Set (Inch/Metric)
$126.43
Product
Wera Tools Bits Handles Socket 39PC SAE Combo Set + After Hours Pro-Beverage Tool
Wera Tools Bits Handles Socket 39PC SAE Combo Set + After Hours Pro-Beverage Tool
$104.78
Product
21PCS SAE 3/4" Drive Socket Wrench Tool Set With Storage Case Jumbo Ratchet Wrench Extension Flexible Breaker Bar Mechanics Craftsman Universal Tools Heavy Duty And Durable
21PCS SAE 3/4" Drive Socket Wrench Tool Set With Storage Case Jumbo Ratchet Wrench Extension Flexible Breaker Bar Mechanics Craftsman Universal Tools Heavy Duty And Durable
$109.99

 

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Who Makes the Best Socket Sets You Can Buy?

For anyone who doesn’t drive a Lamborghini around or own a high-end automotive shop, Snap-On tools prohibitively expensive – although they are the best American made socket set brand for mechanics.

Add to that, it’s hard to easily discern by a simple google search if Snap-On is still made in the US, and they quickly lose their charm.

 

Whereas Snap-On is the Ferrari of socket sets, Craftsman is the Honda Civic.

 

Craftsman socket sets are reliable, affordable, and come in every variety. They are some of the best socket sets for mechanics. Craftsman is also an American based company, although most of their manufacturing takes place in China now.

While this is a deal breaker for some, the tools are still high quality and considering a 299 set piece can be bought online for less than $350 Craftsman may well be the best bang for your buck.

So, for the average Joe reading this article still wondering “Who Makes the Best Socket Sets?”, the answer is Craftsman.

 

Here is a list of the best socket sets & socket set tools you can buy.

Ranked in order of popularity – updated via Amazon API):

$0.93Bestseller No. 1
Stanley 92-824 Black Chrome and Laser Etched 69-Piece Socket Set
846 Reviews
Stanley 92-824 Black Chrome and Laser Etched 69-Piece Socket Set
  • 69-piece black chrome and laser etched socket set meets or exceeds ANSI standards for sockets and ratchets
  • Max-Drive design provides 15% more torque
  • Black chrome offers sharper appearance and better corrosion resistance
  • Case provides for convenient tool storage and travel
  • Limited lifetime warranty
$76.01Bestseller No. 2
Stanley 92-839 Black Chrome and Laser Etched Socket Set, 99-Piece
498 Reviews
Stanley 92-839 Black Chrome and Laser Etched Socket Set, 99-Piece
  • 99-piece black chrome and laser etched socket set meets or exceeds ANSI standards for sockets and ratchets
  • Max-Drive design provides 15% more torque
  • Black chrome offers sharper appearance and better corrosion resistance
  • Case provides for convenient tool storage and travel
  • Limited lifetime warranty
$14.50Bestseller No. 3
Stanley STMT71652 123-Piece Socket Set
1376 Reviews
Stanley STMT71652 123-Piece Socket Set
  • Chrome Vanadium forged body for torque, strength and durability
  • Stanley - Black & Decker
  • Quick release switch and reversible mechanism for easy operation
  • Full polished chrome finish for anti-corrosion protection
$23.01Bestseller No. 4
Dewalt DWMT73801 1/4 in & 3/8 in Drive Mechanics Tools Set,108 Piece
40 Reviews
Dewalt DWMT73801 1/4 in & 3/8 in Drive Mechanics Tools Set,108 Piece
  • Removable power tools accessory case
  • Durable Anti-slip vinyl grip bit driver with maximum comfort.
  • Direct torque technology
  • Quick release, 72 tooth ratchet for high torque ratcheting
  • Knurled control ring
$7.00Bestseller No. 5
Dophee 8Pcs Socket Adapter Impact Hex Shank Drill Bits Bar Set 1/4' 3/8' 1/2' Bits New
180 Reviews
Dophee 8Pcs Socket Adapter Impact Hex Shank Drill Bits Bar Set 1/4" 3/8" 1/2" Bits New
  • Chrome vanadium steel suitable for heavy duty impact drivers. Spring loaded ball bearing on head holds sockets securely.
  • This set is perfect for your impact driver or drill, and allows you to replace your ratchet with a power tool. The 1/4" hex shank fits all quick change chucks as well as standard drill chucks.
  • Suitable for a screwdriver or electric screwdriver handle tools (hexagonal hole or three-jaw chuck can) drive sleeve and after use can be installed on the size of the original hexagonal polygons converted to square head size, which can be used to install the sleeve is a good accessory to convert.
  • Material: chrome vanadium steel.
  • Suitable for quick change 1/4" chuck systems or directly into drill chuck. Change your hand socket set into a driven socket set.
Bestseller No. 6
Craftsman 165 pc Mechanics Tool Set # 38165
122 Reviews
Craftsman 165 pc Mechanics Tool Set # 38165
  • Set includes a total of 92 sockets in three drive sizes - 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2-Inch
  • Set includes one ratchet in each drive size, two extension bars and two universal joints
  • Also includes twelve combination wrenches in both inch and metric sizes
  • Nut driver bits, screwdriver bits, driver handle and hex keys are also included
$3.88Bestseller No. 7
Great Neck Saw PSO40 Drive Socket Set, 1/4-Inch and 3/8-Inch Drive, 40-Piece
857 Reviews
Great Neck Saw PSO40 Drive Socket Set, 1/4-Inch and 3/8-Inch Drive, 40-Piece
  • 40-piece socket set; metric and English sizes
  • 3/8-inch reversible ratchet and accessories
  • Triple chrome plated to resist rust
  • Includes 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch drive sockets, molded plastic case
  • 9.8 by 1.8 by 5-inches; 2.2 pounds; lifetime warranty
Bestseller No. 8
Craftsman 299-piece Ultimate Easy Read Socket Set
8 Reviews
Bestseller No. 9
40 Pieces - EPAuto 1/4-Inch & 3/8-Inch Drive Socket Set with Reversible Ratchet
192 Reviews
40 Pieces - EPAuto 1/4-Inch & 3/8-Inch Drive Socket Set with Reversible Ratchet
  • Durability: Made from Hardened treated Chrome Vanadium steel alloy (Cr-V)
  • Corrosion-Resistant: Chrome Plated & Mirror Polished
  • Easy Storage: A sturdy plastic organizing case is included.
  • Both Metric and English sizes are included. 3/8" Reversible Ratchet is included.
Bestseller No. 10
DEWALT DWMT75049 Mechanics Tools Set (192 Piece)
114 Reviews
DEWALT DWMT75049 Mechanics Tools Set (192 Piece)
  • Deep laser etched markings for easy socket size identification
  • 5 Degree arc swing and slim head design
  • 72 Tooth gear system for high torque ratcheting
  • Low profile directional lever
  • Easy one-hand operation
$3.84Bestseller No. 11
TEKTON 3/8-Inch Drive Socket Set, Inch/Metric, 6-Point, 5/16-Inch - 3/4-Inch, 8 mm - 19 mm, 45-Piece | 13101
591 Reviews
TEKTON 3/8-Inch Drive Socket Set, Inch/Metric, 6-Point, 5/16-Inch - 3/4-Inch, 8 mm - 19 mm, 45-Piece | 13101
  • Master set has every size from 5/16 to 3/4 inch and 8 to 19 mm in both shallow and deep lengths
  • Includes universal joint and extra long 6-inch extension, tools not found in most other sets
  • Finely geared 72-tooth ratchet needs only 5-degree working swing arc
  • High-torque, 6-point sockets grip flat sides of fasteners, not corners, preventing round off
  • All tools are made from premium quality chrome vanadium steel with a mirror chrome plated finish
Bestseller No. 12
Craftsman 311 Piece Mechanics Tool Set with 75 Tooth Ratchets
53 Reviews
Craftsman 311 Piece Mechanics Tool Set with 75 Tooth Ratchets
  • Mechanic's Tool Set includes Metric and Standard Tools
  • Sockets are made to fit three 75-Tooth Full Polish Ratchets: 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2-in Drive
  • 182 drive sockets, 3 quick-release ratchets, 6 ext bars, 4 spark plug sockets, 67 specialty tools
  • 15 bit sockets, inch and metric sockets; 34 wrenches, including 14 ratcheting wrenches
  • Tools come with a lifetime warranty
$1.13Bestseller No. 13
TEKTON 1/2-Inch Drive Deep Impact Socket Set, Metric, Cr-V, 6-Point, 10 mm - 24 mm, 15-Sockets | 4883
409 Reviews
TEKTON 1/2-Inch Drive Deep Impact Socket Set, Metric, Cr-V, 6-Point, 10 mm - 24 mm, 15-Sockets | 4883
  • High-torque, 6-point socket design grips the flat sides of fasteners, not just the corners, preventing round-off
  • Extra-deep broach accommodates longer fasteners
  • High-contrast permanent laser etched size markings are easy-to-read, even in low light
  • Made from forged and heat treated chrome vanadium steel with a corrosion-resistant black phosphate finish
  • Meets or exceeds ANSI performance standards
Bestseller No. 14
DEWALT DWMT81534 205Pc Mechanics Tool Set
87 Reviews
DEWALT DWMT81534 205Pc Mechanics Tool Set
  • ACCESS: The 72 tooth ratchet allows for a 5 degree arc swing allowing for greater access in tight spaces.
  • DURABILITY: The set comes in a durable blow mold case, keeping your tools safe in your house or garage.
  • COMFORT: The anti-slip screwdriver provides maximum comfort during use.
  • DESIGN: Sockets and box end wrenches incorporate DEWALT DirectTorqueTM Technology, allowing for greater contact with fasteners and greater torque to make tightening and loosening easy.
  • VARIETY: This set comes with an array of sockets, wrenches, accessories and specialty bits, great for a variety of uses
$12.50Bestseller No. 15
DEWALT DWMT73804  Drive Socket Set (34 Piece), 1/4' and 3/8'
262 Reviews
DEWALT DWMT73804 Drive Socket Set (34 Piece), 1/4" and 3/8"
  • DirectTorque Technology
  • Polished chrome vanadium finish
  • Knurled control ring
  • Hard stamped markings
$38.91Bestseller No. 16
Crescent CSWS10 3/8-Inch Drive Socket Wrench Set, 52-Piece
78 Reviews
Crescent CSWS10 3/8-Inch Drive Socket Wrench Set, 52-Piece
  • Nickel Chrome plated for long lasting protection
  • Chrome Vanadium Steel
  • Mirror polish finish
  • Sockets feature Surface Drive technology to virtually eliminate fastener rounding
  • 72-tooth Ratchet requires only a 5Degree swing
$63.53Bestseller No. 17
GearWrench 84916N SAE/Metric 3/8' Drive Impact Socket Set (44 Piece)
128 Reviews
GearWrench 84916N SAE/Metric 3/8" Drive Impact Socket Set (44 Piece)
  • Chrome Molybdenum Alloy Steel (CR-MO) For Exceptional Strength and Durability
  • Surface Drive Technology Reduces Fastener Rounding
  • Black Phosphate Coating to Resist Corrosion
  • High Visibility Laser Etched Markings
  • Secondary Hard Stamping-Part and Size
$0.03Bestseller No. 18
TEKTON 1/2-Inch Drive Deep Impact Socket Set, Inch, Cr-V, 6-Point, 3/8-Inch - 1-1/4-Inch, 14-Sockets | 4880
411 Reviews
TEKTON 1/2-Inch Drive Deep Impact Socket Set, Inch, Cr-V, 6-Point, 3/8-Inch - 1-1/4-Inch, 14-Sockets | 4880
  • High-torque, 6-point socket design grips the flat sides of fasteners, not just the corners, preventing round-off
  • Extra-deep broach accommodates longer fasteners
  • High-contrast permanent laser etched size markings are easy-to-read, even in low light
  • Made from forged and heat treated chrome vanadium steel with a corrosion-resistant black phosphate finish
  • Meets or exceeds ANSI performance standards
Bestseller No. 19
Neiko 02440A 3/8 Inch Drive Impact Socket Set, CR-V Steel, SAE & Metric | 44-Piece Assortment
2 Reviews
Neiko 02440A 3/8 Inch Drive Impact Socket Set, CR-V Steel, SAE & Metric | 44-Piece Assortment
  • 6-point hex socket design prevents round-off deterioration under high torque and hammering stress when used with impact and electric wrenches against fasteners
  • Material is made of heavy duty drop-forged premium chrome vanadium steel to resist corrosion and absorb extreme levels of torque changes
  • Laser etched markings on corrosion resistant black phosphate finish easily identifies drive socket specs and measurements
  • Sturdy and strong blow molded case features socket size labels for organized storage and is secured by two lever locks
  • Set includes 3" and 6" drive impact extension bar, 3/8" universal joint, 1/2" to 3/8" reducer and the following socket sizes: SAE | Deep: 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4 (inches) Standard: 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4 (inches) | Metric Sizes | Deep: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 (millimeter) Standard: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 (millimeter)
$98.65Bestseller No. 21
DeWalt DWMT73803 Mechanics Tool Kit Set with Case (168 Piece)
45 Reviews
DeWalt DWMT73803 Mechanics Tool Kit Set with Case (168 Piece)
  • One-piece set includes sockets, wrenches, hex keys and more
  • 72-Tooth gear system for high torque ratcheting
  • Low profile directional Lever helps reduce catch points and for easy One-Hand operation
  • Removable accessory case
  • See image for itemized list of contents
Bestseller No. 22
Craftsman 100 Piece drilling and driving kit
754 Reviews
Craftsman 100 Piece drilling and driving kit
  • Drilling bits for use on metal, wood, plastic and masonry
  • Power bits and insert bits to fill all your driving needs
  • Driving bits: Phillips, flat and torx
$3.20Bestseller No. 23
TEKTON 4964 Impact Universal Joint Set,3-Piece
422 Reviews
TEKTON 4964 Impact Universal Joint Set,3-Piece
  • Engineered for use with impact drivers
  • Works around obstructions to access hard-to-reach fasteners
  • Spring-loaded detent balls securely latch onto sockets, preventing them from being dropped
  • Through-hole in drive ends locks onto drive tang
  • Made of premium chrome vanadium steel with a protective black oxide finish
Bestseller No. 24
Craftsman 176 Piece Easy Read Socket Set, 6 and 12 Point, 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 Inch Drives
7 Reviews
Craftsman 176 Piece Easy Read Socket Set, 6 and 12 Point, 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 Inch Drives
  • Laser etched sizes ensure clear visibility. Steel construction endures through countless jobs
  • Deep well sockets extend reach
  • Standard depths deliver more torque control
  • 12 point sockets increase access angles
  • Set backed by the Craftsman Forever Guarantee
$264.38Bestseller No. 25
Sunex 3580 3/8-Inch Drive Master Impact Socket Set, Inch/Metric, Standard/Deep, 6-Point, Cr-Mo, 5/16-Inch - 3/4-Inch, 8mm - 19mm, E5 - E16, T20 - T55, 80-Piece
56 Reviews
Sunex 3580 3/8-Inch Drive Master Impact Socket Set, Inch/Metric, Standard/Deep, 6-Point, Cr-Mo, 5/16-Inch - 3/4-Inch, 8mm - 19mm, E5 - E16, T20 - T55, 80-Piece
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY - Sunex Sockets are fully guaranteed & built to last
  • Forged from the FINEST IMPACT GRADE CHROME-MOLYBDENUM STEEL - the best choice for strength and durability
  • RADIUS CORNER DESIGN for increased torque
  • Includes most common METRIC SIZES used for automotive repairs

 

Other Socket Sets & Mechanic’s Tools Brands to Consider

Now if you can’t afford Snap-On and won’t buy tools made in China, there are still options for you.

Wera Zyklop and Beta are both European companies that make high quality socket sets that won’t break the bank. However there are some things to take into consideration.

Some reviewers who bought Wera’s tools were unaware that they did not make deep sockets, something buyers should be aware of before purchasing.

Additionally, the lack of US-based distributors could make finding warranty eligible replacements for defective tools a difficult process.

 

Final Verdict: Who Makes the Best Socket Sets for the Average Guy?

If you’re rich or a professional, go with Snap-On.

If you’re anyone else, buy Craftsman.

If you’re anyone else but too good for Chinese tools, I recommend Beta.

Happy socket set hunting!

 


Compare pricing for:

Craftsman 165pc Mechnics Tool Set

Craftsman 108pc MEchanics Socket Set

Craftsman 85pc Matte Black Universal Access Socket Set

Wera’s Mechanics Tool Set

Beta’s Mechanics Tool Set


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Last update on 2018-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API