If you’re doing any sort of work on your car, then you are going to need a good socket set. One that’s well organized and has the assortment of sockets that you need to get the job done. And fortunately, there are plenty of these sets available to choose from. All you have to do is find the one that fits your needs and your pocketbook. Of course, finding the best socket set isn’t always the easiest thing to do, so we decided to write this guide. Hopefully, it will help our readers find the right set for the automotive needs and will make the process a whole lot simpler and more straight-forward.
Best Socket Sets – Reviews
10Dewalt Mechanic’s 205-Piece Tool Set
Anyone who has been searching for a mechanic’s tool kit that comes with a lot of sockets is probably going to want to check out this set. That’s because this mechanic’s socket set has 205 tools that put some of the most valuable tools right in the mechanic’s hands. Found in this set is a 72-tooth ratchet that features a 5-degree swing arc that allows the mechanic to get into tight spots and allows for high-torque ratcheting. Although it’s impossible to list all of the tools in this set, it features a 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, and 1/2-inch pear-head ratchets, a blow-molded case, and a ton of different sockets.
9Craftsman 230-Piece Mechanic’s Tool Set
Okay, let’s just cut to the chase and talk about what can be found in this innovative socket set. In this set, the consumers will find three quick-release ratchets, 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch drive extension bars, six combination wrenches, fifty screwdriver bits, forty hex keys, and twelve nut driver bits. It also comes with 116 sockets in 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch drives. All of these tools are made with alloy steel that’s been coated for durability, and a sturdy plastic case that keeps everything safe from the elements and organized for ease-of-use. We think that this product will become the new best friend of any mechanic who uses it.
8Dewalt Impact Socket Set 3/8-Inch Drive
This impact socket set might look like a basic set, but it offers a lot more than what most people think it does. It has a ratchet with a 72-tooth gear-system that’s made out of heat-treated CR-440 steel, and that makes it extremely durable. And this extremely durable material is then coated with a black oxide that resists corrosion like nobody’s business. Another thing to like about this product is that it features Direct Torque Technology to handle tough jobs and each of the sockets is laser-etched with its size so they’re easy to read. And since this 23-piece set is compatible with O-rings and retaining pins, it’s a must-have for any automotive toolbox.
7Tacklife 1/2-Inch Master Deep-Impact Set
This set is designed to be not only used as hand tools but also to be used with power tools so that it can handle any job imaginable. It features a 6-point socket design that helps to increase the contact surface between the socket and any fasteners it’s used on, so the operator will not only get more torque but can avoid rounding off corning. These sockets are laser etched with size markings, so they can be identified even in low-light conditions, and they’re made with a chrome vanadium steel that’s been coated with a black phosphate to make it corrosive resistant. Include in this set are 15-sockets in sizes from 10mm to 24mm and a handy storage case.
6EP Auto 1/4-inch & 3/8-Inch Drive Socket Set
This socket set is made using heat-treated vanadium steel (CR-V) that’s been chrome-plated and polished to a mirror shine. Included in this set are a 3/8-inch 72-tooth reversible ratchet and a storage case that keeps everything organized. This set also comes with 15 1/4-inch drive sockets in both 6-point and 8-point varieties, 13 1/4-inch metric 6-point sockets, 3 SAE 3/8-inch 6-point sockets, a 1/4-inch drive spinner handle, a spin disc, a 3/8-inch F-adapter, and a 3/8-inch by 3-inch extension bar. It’s a good beginner set that any amateur mechanic will enjoy adding to their tool collection.
5Dewalt 3/8-Inch SAE/Metric Set
This portable socket set has the tools that just about anyone can use for working on their vehicle. It features a ratchet that uses Direct Torque technology and features a 72-tooth gear system that allows the operator to get the torque they need. It also comes with 14 1/4-inch drive sockets in both metric and SAE sizes, and 20 3/8-inch drive tools, including not only the ratchet but also a drill adapter and a 3-inch extender. These tools are made out of polished chrome vanadium, and the sockets are hard stamped with their sizes right on them for easy identification.
4Dewalt Mechanics Took & Socket Set
This 108-piece mechanic’s socket set features two quick-release 72-tooth ratchets that allow for high-torque ratcheting, a cushion grip bit driver, and a ton of sockets. All of these tools are made out of a high-quality allow and are hard stamped so that size identification is very easy. Some of the sockets that can be found in this set include 6-point SAE sockets in 3/8-inch, 7/16-inch, 1/2-inch, 9/16-inch, and 3/4-inch sizes. It also includes 6-point metric sockets in sizes from 10mm to 17mm, and 6-point deep SAE sockets in 9/16-inch, 5/8-inch, 11/16-inch, 3/4-inch, and 3/8-inch sizes. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg with this set, it has a lot more sockets than those ready to be of use.
3Sunex 3/8-Inch Drive Master Impact Socket Set
This quality 3/8-inch impact socket set is designed according to ANSI standards and has been thoroughly tested to ensure its performance and durability levels are the best they can be. The tools in this set are made of CR-MO steel that is designed for high-torque impact applications. There are a total of 80-pieces in this set, and that includes sockets that we feel are the most useful. This set includes 8 standard sockets in sizes from 5/16-inch to 3/4-inch, 6 deep-sockets in sizes from 5/16-inch to 5/8-inch, 9 universal sockets in sizes from 11/16-inch to 3/4-inch, and a variety of metric sockets in standard, universal and deep socket sizes.
2Tekton 1/2-Inch Drive 58-Piece Set
This socket set not only comes with a durable plastic case but also comes with a useful assortment of tools. Included in this set are a 72-tooth ratchet, an extra-long 10-inch extender, and a universal joint. It also comes with a bunch of 6-point sockets that include shallow and deep sockets in sizes from 3/8-inch to 1-inch. All of these tools are made using only the highest quality chrome vanadium that’s been coated in mirror-finish chrome that resists corrosion very well. All of these features make this toolset one of the best sockets sets currently available.
1Dewalt 192-Piece Mechanic’s Toolset
Not only is this set designed from the bottom up to be one of the highest quality sockets sets available, but it also contains just about every socket a mechanic is going to need. It ratchets in several different sizes and each of them features a 72-tooth gear system that allows them to be used for high-torque ratcheting. These ratchets have low-profile directional levers and can be easily used with one hand. And because they have a 5-degree arc swing and a small head design, they can get into tight spots quite well. And these ratchets, and their associated sockets, all come in an impact-resistant case.
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A Guide To Socket Sets
Even though there are a variety of motorized tools that can help out the average mechanic, there’s something special about using sockets to work on your car. Perhaps it’s because it was the preferred tool of our fathers and grandfathers, or maybe it gives the mechanic a more tactile way to approach their vehicle. Regardless of the reason why they’re so special—and therefore, more popular—the consumer is going to want to buy the best socket set possible to get the job done.
Finding the perfect socket set isn’t as easy as a person thinks it is, however. Sure, a consumer could run out and purchase the first socket set they saw, but if they did, then they’re likely to run into a couple of problems. One, they’re probably going to end up buying an inferior set, and two, they’re likely to buy one that doesn’t suit their needs very well. Both of those reasons are why we decided to write this guide. We want everyone to find the best socket set for their needs. And with that purpose in mind, we’re going to start with the basics.
The Basics Of Socket Sets
The first thing that we need to do before we get into the nitty-gritty of buying a new socket set is to determine the basics of sockets in general. Although most people know what sockets are and what they’re used for, we feel that maybe there are a few things about them that they don’t understand fully. And as most of our readers probably know, you can’t buy a great socket set, if you don’t know what you’re shopping for, so let’s illuminate the subject a little better.
SAE, Metric & Whitworth Sockets
The first thing anyone is going to need to know when they’re buying a new set of sockets is what types they need. As a general rule, sockets can be broken down into either Metric, SAE or Whitworth sockets, and each of these types is used for a particular job. For example, SAE or standard-size sockets are used for older domestic vehicles, but Metric sockets are mainly used for modern vehicles. And Whitworth sockets are mainly used for British vehicles. The thing to keep in mind about Whitworth’s sockets is that they’re designed with the inner diameter of the nut in mind and not the outer diameter of the nut in mind. Therefore, a 5/8-inch Whitworth socket is always going to be larger than a 5/8 standard socket.
Socket Drive Size
Once the consumer has determined whether you need an SAE, Metric or Whitworth socket, they then need to figure out the drive size they need. SAE and Metric sockets are available in either 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, and 1/2-inch sizes. The size of the socket usually determines the size of the drive, with larger sockets needing larger drive sizes. Many socket sets come with different drive size wrenches, but if it doesn’t, try to choose a set with 3/8-inch drives. This is the size that will fit most of the sockets available nowadays. If the consumer needs to use socket wrenches that supply more torque or need them to handle larger fasteners, then they’re going to need to get a 1/2-inch socket to handle the job. And if the bolt or nut is located in a hard to reach or tight spot on the vehicles, then the consumer is probably going to need a 1/4-inch socket. All of these things are important for the consumer to keep in mind if they’re going to buy the best socket set for their needs.
The last thing a person should know about sockets is that they come with different points. For example, there are 6-pointed hexagon sockets and 12-point start sockets. And each of these configurations has its advantages and disadvantages.6-pointed hexagon sockets tend to the one most preferred by mechanics because of its strength, but 12-point sockets do tend to offer DIY mechanics a bit of convenience because they’re easy to line up. As a general rule, we would like to suggest that for handling larger fasteners or jobs that require more torque, then the consumer should choose 6-point sockets. If they’re doing lighter, less intensive work, however, then they’re probably fine using a 12-point socket.
Other Socket Set Considerations
Having just covered the basics everyone should know when they’re buying a new socket set, it’s time to consider a few other important things. The consumer should determine whether they need shallow or deep sockets, and whether or not they need to buy impact sockets. So, let’s take a moment to look at these two sub-categories, and see what we can find out about them.
Shallow Or Deep Sockets
For the most part, most consumers are going to need a combination of both shallow or deep sockets. Shallow sockets are useful for handling nuts that sit less than an inch below the top of the bolt, and deep sockets are useful for nuts that sit further down the bolt than 1-inch. Since most engines are a combination of different types of bolt and nut combinations, it’s a good idea to buy a socket set that contains both. If you intend on using your socket set for removing spark plugs, then you might also need a set that contains Spark Plug Sockets. These deep-sockets are usefully for handling the recesses spark plugs found on some engines. For example, many of the older Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria’s used deeply recessed spark plugs in their V8 engines and these plugs can only be removed with a deep socket.
Some consumers might need to buy impact sockets. These types of sockets are designed to work with electric impact wrenches and pneumatic wrenches. These sockets are designed to withstand the increased downward force and torque of these tools so that they don’t break while they’re being used. Although not all consumers are going to need impact sockets, if they’re using these power tools, then they most definitely are going to need to buy an impact socket set.
Some Final Things To Think About
Although the above tips will allow just about anyone to buy a great socket set, there are a few things the consumer might want to consider before committing to a new set. Below are just a few things to keep in mind when choosing a new socket set.
- Does the set come with socket extensions?
- Is it made our of a durable alloy?
- Do the sockets have quick-release mechanisms?
- Does the socket-set come with additional accessories?