Finding the best socket set for mechanic is important. Mechanics spend a heck of a lot of money on their tools, so those tools need to last, work well, and get the job done.
Don’t know how to choose the best quality socket set? Don’t worry. You’re not the only one.
There are many brands of socket sets in the market right now, so you need to avoid the sets that are overpriced or not good quality.
Let’s take a look at some socket sets!
Best Socket Set for Mechanic in 2020
This review covers 10 of the top socket sets that we picked for you to choose from.
1. Stanley STMT71652 123 Piece Socket Set
You want best socket set to buy if you’re a professional mechanic, because it gives you the tools you need to work on the greatest range of vehicles.
It is the STMT71652 socket set from STANLEY, and it is definitely a value-lover’s kind of set. It meets or exceeds the ANSI standards.
The STMT71652 socket includes of 123 pieces of sockets and other tools. This model comes with SAE and metric sizes of sockets. There are also a variety of deep sockets as well as standard depth sockets, and a spark plug socket in the set. All sockets feature Stanley’s Max-Drive design, that gives you 15% more torque, making it even easier to use this set.
Each and every component is made from forged nickel chrome vanadium for more strength, more torque and more durability.
The ratchets feature a quick release switch and reverse direction switch for the fastest and most effortless operation.
This model includes a bit holder, two 3” extension bars, combination wrenches, nut bits, a spinner handle, a drive bit adapter, specialty bits and hex keys. Phew! That’s a mouthful! Everything in the set comes neatly packed inside a portable hard case for you to carry with you wherever and whenever you work.
- It’s easy to work with this set because of the extra torque from the Max Drive design, the high-speed switch and the reversing mechanism. I finished the jobs much faster.
- Each socket a nickel chrome finish to stop it from corroding. This will help the set to last a long time.
- The strong forged body is forged from high quality steel.
- All the tools stay firmly in place in the case and do not come out of their slots. So when I open the case, everything is exactly where it should be, making it fast and easy to find what I need.
- Some ratchets needed lubricating.
- The engraving would be easier to read if it was deeper.
2. TEKTON 1/2-Inch Drive Socket Set 58-Piece
We understand that there are some readers out there who are ready and willing to pay premium prices for a proper, high quality socket set.
And for them, we have the 13201 socket set from the very popular brand, TEKTON. The 13201 socket set includes 58 pieces of very high quality 6-point sockets and accessories. Each and every socket is made from durable chrome vanadium steel with a mirror chrome plated finish for extra protection. And the sockets look great, too!
This set has every SAE size from 3/8” to 1” and metric sizes from 10 to 24 mm. And yes, the sizes are etched both on the sockets themselves and the case.
Apart from that, you’ll be happy to know that you also get deep sockets in addition to the usual shallow or standard socket depths.
Next is the 72-tooth ratchet with operates on a small 5° degree arc. This means less hand movement and more torque. Great news for your arms, and it makes it faster to use the tools!
There is also a universal joint and an extra-long 10-inch extension, which we don’t see in many socket sets these days. So if you have to reach longer distances to get to a nut, this extension will make it a lot easier.
Finally, of course, everything you see in the TEKTON 13201 set comes nicely packed inside a very convenient hard plastic carrying case.
- I had not seen the elongated 10-inch expansion and universal connection tool before, and when you need one it’s a really handy thing to have.
- I like the versatility of this kit since it includes SAE sizes from 3/8” to 1” and metric sizes from 10 to 24 mm
- The set include both standard and deep sockets.
- The hard case makes it easy to check that I’ve got all my tools before I close up for the night, and it’s easy to find the socket size I need.
- Each tool is very strong since it is made of high-quality chrome-vanadium steel
- This is a perfect socket set for mechanics
- The lever doesn’t lock, so it rotates in different directions freely, without resistance.
- The thumb lever on the ratchet can be hard to move, making it hard to switch directions.
3. Stanley 92-839 Black Chrome and Laser Etched Socket Set
We have previously reviewed the STANLEY 92-824 69 Piece Etched Socket Sets which is usually a great hit with users.
However, if you are looking set with more tools in it, the 99 piece STANLEY 92-839 Socket Set may be just what you need.
The 92-839 socket set contains 99 pieces. Here’s what you get:
19, 1/4″ Drive Standard Sockets = 19 pieces
19, 3/8″ Drive 6 pt. Standard Sockets = 19 pieces
17, 3/8″ Drive 6 pt. Deep Sockets = 17 pieces
14, 1/4″ Drive 6 pt. Deep Sockets = 14 pieces
3, 3/8″ Drive 8 pt. Deep Sockets = 3 pieces
3/8″ Drive 6 pt. Spark Plug Sockets – 5/8″ = 1 piece
1/4″ Drive Pear Head Ratchet = 1 piece
3/8″ Drive Pear Head Ratchet = 1 piece
1/4″ Drive Extension Bar – 3″ = 1 piece
3/8″ Drive Extension Bar – 6″ = 1 piece
1/4″ Drive Spinner Handle = 1 piece
10 Combination Wrenches – SAE & Metric
10 Specialty Bits
1 Bit Adapter
Blow Molded Carry Case
The ratchet arm operates on a low 7° arc makes it fast and easy to remove nuts. The Max Drive system gives you 15% more torque, and more torque is definitely good! The ratchet is made from black chrome, which not only ensures durability and strength, but it also make the set look sharp and chic!
All the SAE and metric sizes and are laser etched onto the sockets and ratchets. The sizes are also inscribed on the case. Speaking of which, yes, you do get a convenient hard travel case in this set.
- This is a very well-equipped set that includes 99 items.
- The storage/carrying box is handy to have.
- The tools are strong and well made, which is typical of the Stanley brand.
- There have been some quality control issues with the tool
- Some customers have not been happy with the company’s customer service.
4. Sunex 2569 1/2-Inch Impact Socket Set
Sometimes, using a manual wrench does doesn’t cut it. Many of us therefore rely on using our sockets in conjunction with an impact driver for some of the more heavy-duty applications.
On that note, we have something for you: the 2569 Impact Socket Driver set from Sunex. The set consists of 43 pieces of premium 6-point sockets with 19” shallow and 19deep sockets. The sockets are roll stamped and laser etched so you can find the right size socket easily.
It includes a good range of extensions as well in 3″, 5″, 10″, and 15″ sizes, and a ½ “universal joint that pivots up to 22°. Each and every socket is made from Chromium-Molybdenum Alloy Steel which are able to stand the test of durability and strength for use with your impact driver.
And of course, everything in the Sunex 2569 Impact Socket Driver Set is neatly organized and packed inside a convenient and travel-friendly hard case.
- The universal connection is easy to use as it adapts any connector
- The set is well organized so I can find what I want quickly
- The rugged body and shiny chrome finish should last a long time
- Made of molybdenum alloy steel – it’s very strong!
- The front fastener on the hard case closes firmly and keeps the tools from falling out
- Some of the Sunex 2569 sets seem to be refurbished as they were covered with heating oil, smelled bad and were stained red.
5. BOSTITCH BTMT72287 Pass Through Socket Wrench Set – 65 Piece, 72 Tooth Ratchet
The BTMT72287 Pass Through socket set for mechanics is from the very renowned and popular brand, BOSTITCH.
The BTMT72287 socket is a set of 65 pieces and includes a few deep sockets. It also contains pass-through sockets, which means that you will be able to pass threads bolts and rods through them. Pass-through sockets are not as common in socket kits; you need to look for kits that have this particular style. They’re 6-point sockets.
The sockets cover a range of sizes and includes 3/8” and ½” drive sizes. The sockets start at ¼”in the SAE sizes and go up to 13/16”. In the metric sizes, the sockets start at 6mm and go up to 27 mm. And you also get 2 pass-through extensions in 3/8” and ½” drive sizes. and three adapters. The heavy-duty ratchet has a 72-tooth gear system. This takes care of a lot of work, doesn’t it?
One neat design feature to the ratchets are that they have a rubber handle. In other words, it’s a lot more comfortable to use the ratchet! The sockets are made from chrome vanadium steel and each comes with its size laser-etched on it. The sizes are also stamped onto the case.
Speaking of which, everything you are seeing here comes inside a very secure hard case. You will have no trouble storing or traveling with them. We think this is the best pass through socket set.
- A neat organization makes it easy to keep every tool in this kit in its proper place
- The BOSTITCH BTMT72287 includes three adapters, so I use can standard connectors
- Sockets are good quality, chrome vanadium steel
- The tools fit tightly, but not tightly, in the case
- The pass-through sockets make it easy to get past long thread and valve stems
- This case has metal latches, not the plastic latches used on other socket set cases.
- Some sockets don’t fit as tightly as I’d like in the ratchet head.
6. Gear Wrench 80300P Deep Socket Set
This set gives you 51 pieces of tools. Unlike the previous sets, this is a ¼” drive, so its built for weekend hobby mechanics rather than heavy-duty professional use. And that’s good if you don’t need/want the expensive heavier drive sets.
Keep in mind that the set also includes standard depth sockets and the deep sockets, and both SAE and metric sizes. The Gear Wrench 80300P also has a thumb wheel ratchet, and two extensions that are 2” and 6” long.
One thing that you’ll quickly realize, and admire, about this set are its ratchets which offer the have a very low arc of 3° with 120 positions, saving you from having to move the ratchets as much to get the job done—and that saves you time and makes it easy on your wrist. Also, you’ll be able to get into tight spaces all thanks to its super flat head.
All of these amazing tools are, of course, tucked inside a hard case.
- Offers a good range of standard size sockets
- Includes the deep sockets, too
- The flat ratchet head gets into tight spaces easily
- Exceeds ASME torque performance standards, making it faster and easier to get the job done
- The pin-type hinges on the case are sturdier than the hinges on most other cases
- Sockets don’t stay in their holders when the case is slightly tilted.
7. Neiko 10288A Master Hex Bit Socket Set,
Our 7th pick for is the perfect buy for people who are looking for a smaller, hex bit socket set. It’s the 10288A Hex Bit Socket Set from Neiko.
The 10288A socket set consists of 32 pieces of a wide assortment of quality hex bit sockets. It has 16 SAE bits – 1/4″ drive (5/64, 3/32, 1/8, 5/32, 3/16, 7/32, 1/4”); 3/8″ drive (9/32, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2”); 1/2″ drive (9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4”) and 16 x metric bits – 1/4″ drive (2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 5.5, 6 mm); 3/8″ drive (7, 8, 9, 10, 12 mm); 1/2″ Drive (14, 15, 17, 19 mm).
The bits will fit standard 1/4″, 3/8″, & 1/2″ hand wrenches and ratchet handles.
Each and every bit is made from premium S2 alloy steel which makes them tough enough to handle all the jobs ahead of them.
This set, unlike the previous set, has Allen hex bit tips that feature beveled, chamfered ends. This makes it easier to insert the socket, and it protect both the sockets and the fasteners so the edges don’t get damaged.
And last but not least, everything comes nicely packed inside a very durable carrying hard case!
- The Neiko 10288A Bit Socket Set is durable because the bits are made of high-quality alloy steel. This hardness reduces wear
- The provides more turning power
- The sockets have beveled, chamfered tips, and are easy to insert on to the fasteners
- I like the look of the chrome coating of the sockets, they seem very durable. The ratchet does not bend and or break
- The case has thin plastic hinges that will not last as long as the sockets
- Some of the small ¼” drive sockets broke easily
8. Neiko 10083A Socket Set – Master Torx & External Torx Bit, Total 60 Piece
Another fine option from Neiko is the 10038A Master External Torx Socket Set. This is a great choice if you already have rachets and extenders and just want sockets, because there are only sockets in this set. Made out of S2 alloy steel and chrome vanadium, this is a good quality set that will last well.
The 10038A Master Torx Bit Set includes 17 torx star bit sockets from sizes T6 to T70, 17 tamper-proof torx bit sockets in sizes TT6 to TT70, 12 torx plus bit sockets from sizes TP8 to TP60, and 14 external torx sockets from E4 to E24. This is the best socket set for car maintenance, since it includes the bits you need for your cars. The ends of the bits are chamfered, and this protects both the bits and the fasteners from damage on their edges.
And then, last but not least, you get a blue storage and carrying case with the bit sizes embossed on it.
- If you only need sockets, this set is a great choice because that’s exactly what you’ll get!
- I like the sizes being embossed onto the plastic case. It makes it a lot easier to read the sizes
- Some sockets feel a bit loose and do not hold as tight as I’d like
9. TEKTON 3/8-Inch Drive Socket Set
If you are looking for the best 6 point socket sets then pick the 153016-point set from TEKTON.
This set is a little different because it focuses on the medium to larger size sockets. Also, it includes both standard and deep sockets. So if you already have small sockets, this is the best socket wrench set for you.
This set gives you every SAE size from 5/16” to ¾” inch and metric sizes from 8 to 19 mm in both standard and deep socket lengths. So for a full list, that includes standard and deep sockets in these sizes: 5/16”, 11/32”, 3/8”, 7/16”, ½”, 9/16”, 5/8”, 11/16”, and ¾”.
The metric sizes are 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 mm. You also get a 3/8”drive 90-tooth quick-release ratchet; a 3/8”drive extension bar that’s 3” long, and another 3/8” extension bar that’s 6” long; a 3/8”drive universal joint; and a plastic storage case.
The sockets are made from high quality chrome vanadium steel to resist corrosion, and the size of the sockets is stamped on them. The ratchet has a 4° swing arc, so it’s easy to use in tight spaces.
The tools are neatly organized into a plastic storage case with the socket sizes embossed on it.
- The case feels sturdier than a lot of other cases
- I like the socket sizes being embossed on the case; it’s easier to read
- The 90-tooth ratchet is very well made and durable
- The 4° swing arc makes it fast and easy to use the ratchet
- The sockets are well made and durable
- It would be nice to have posts to hold the sockets in place without having to close the lid of the storage case, but as long as the case is closed the sockets stay in place
10. Stanley 92-824 Black Chrome and Laser Etched 69-Piece
The STANLEY 92-824 Socket Set includes 69 pieces of sockets and accessories, and we think it’s the best socket set for the money.
Here’s what you get in this set:
1/4″ sockets = 30 pieces, 3/8″ sockets = 33 pieces
3/8″ drive pear head ratchet arm = 1 piece, 1/4″ pear head ratchet arm = 1 piece
3/8″ spark plug socket (5/8″) = 1 piece, 3/8″ spark plug socket (13/16″) = 1 piece
one 1/4″ extension bar (3″),a 3/8″ extension bar (6″), and a storage case.
Each ratchet uses an arc swing of 7° which will get the job done quickly and without tiring your arm.
This awesome model introduced the Max-Drive design technology. This new radius corner design provides more 15% more torque so you can easily tighten any. This design also minimizes slipping on frozen and rusted fasteners.
The sockets also feature a quick release mechanism for single-handed use! The sockets are both metric and SAE sizes, and come in all the most commonly used sizes. The size of each socket and ratchet is laser etched onto their bodies, and the box is labeled so you know exactly where to store and where to find each tool.
You also get a hard case, which means your tools will not get lost, it’s quick and easy to find exactly the size you are looking for, and it’s easy to move your socket set to areas of the garage, so they will always be at hand when you need them.
- Stanley 92-824 is a fairly functional set that includes many (69) pieces that conform to ANSI standards.
- The durable chrome finish looks great and is corrosion resistant, so it’s going to last a long time.
- The Max Drive design seems very useful to me, especially when I worked all day using this set.
- The ratchets feature a handy quick release mechanism
- Flimsy case
Best Socket Set Buying Guide
Here are some of the most vital factors you need to consider when you buy your next socket set.
Size of sockets
If you work on European cars, you’ll need the sockets that are specially designed for them.
Also, you need the right driver size for your sockets. A 3/8 inch driver size is usually the most common and versatile. The reason being, you can easily transform the 3/8 driver into a ¼ or a ½ simply by using an adaptor. On the other hand, if you happen to do a wide range of tasks, then get yourself a socket set with all three driver sizes so you don’t have to mess around with adapters.
SAE (Imperial) or metric sizes
The sizes of sockets and other tools are marked in either SAE (imperial) or metric, and you need the right size for the fastener you need to insert or remove. If the socket is a little too lose and you try to use it anyway, it will wear the edges of socket and shorten its life span. If you’re a hobby mechanic you may only need sockets in either SAE or metric, whichever fits your vehicle. But if you’re a professional mechanic, you’ll need a socket set with all the sizes and all the bells and whistles so you can handle whatever drives in the garage door—or gets towed in.
You may only need standard depth sockets, or you may need the deep sockets.
Benefits of Using the Socket Set
There is nothing wrong with purchase one socket, or maybe 2 sockets, at a time. However, for someone who doesn’t have all the time in the world to waltz around the aisles of home depot’s tool section, there is a socket set.
Socket wrench are so much more convenient that having to painstaking buying one socket a time. These sets usually comprise of a very good selection of sockets of various sizes and types. The good news is that even if you are not looking for a wide variety, you will come across smaller sets that still manage to offer you a good spectrum of sockets.
One single socket can get you through a hundred different types of fastening jobs. Can you imagine what an entire arsenal can do?
However, if you work with machineries, automobiles, for car maintenance or just some plain woodwork construction and repairs, then you may already know by now that each department requires and demands different types of sockets.
And having the top quality socket set at your disposal can help you take on the challenge of being able to work on different projects and different surfaces.
Good socket sets will come with accessories that complement the sockets. You may easily find things like extensions, joints, bits, and most commonly, ratchets. With the help of all these accessories, you can do 10 times more and better than usual!
Above all and everything, one of the best reason to use a socket set is due to its convenience.
First of all, sockets inside the set are always organized, sized and marked. This means that the chances of you bashing your head against the wall trying to look for that perfect socket in a sea of 100 other sockets, is nil.
Speaking of which, most socket sets will come inside a hard case. This makes storing and carrying your tool arsenal with you so much easier. It furthermore means that you are less likely to lose or damage any of your sockets from negligence.
Different types of Socket in the Market
There are many types of socket in the market. Here are some most useful types.
Because you don’t have time to go through all the different types of sockets, we’ll introduce you to the basic ones. And let’s start with one of the most popular type of sockets: hex sockets!
A hex socket is a socket that sits onto a hexagonal (hence, the name) nut or bolt. There are two types of hex sockets: 6-point and 12-point. The 6-point hex can grip the fastener head better, so it’s the best choice for heavy-duty work. The 12-pointsockets, also called bi-hex, are for projects that are a little less demanding and need lower torque.
Impact sockets are used on an impact driver. One unique trait of impact sockets is that they are usually darker, or straight black, in color. This is due to the industrial finish or coating that gives them their additional strength. Impact sockets also have thicker walls.
This type socket has a bit attached to the head. Usually, you will find screwdriver bits on them, however, sockets bits are not limited to this. They have a square ratchet and can you can use them both manually and on a machine like an impact driver.
This type of socket has a longer body than your common, standard sockets. And they have a hole through the middle making them hollow. Pass-through sockets are usually used to tighten and loosen bolts.
Though a universal joint isn’t a socket, it is still very closely related to them.
How? Well, one socket can’t do all the jobs. Sometimes, there will be odd angles, shapes and depths you need a universal joint for. All universal joints have a ball-swivel that offer up to 360° turning motion. And this is what helps you to get into those tiny, challenging places where your regular sockets can’t.
5 Best Socket Set Brands in The Market
No matter what kind of DIY project you are doing, you will always need a socket wrench set. Getting the quality socket set for the job will make it a lot faster and easier to get your work done. There are several brands available. They all come with different tools and you can choose as per your requirements.
Stanley is one of the most popular brands and offers good quality tools that last. This is not surprising since their tools are made of best quality materials. Their socket sets will make your job easier and faster.
TEKTON is also respected for its high quality socket sets. It has been in the tool making business for more than 50 years and has a reputation for performances and durability. TEKTON is made in the USA. They also famous for tap and die sets.
Neiko needs no introduction at all. It is a US Company but the products are manufactured in Taiwan and China.
Although it is not as well-known some other companies, Neiko offer a range of socket sets that can efficiently get the job done. The Neiko Tools USA brand is only available in the United States.
Sunex is another company offering a wide range of socket tool sets for various DIY projects like home improvement. The tools are handy, high quality, efficient and safe to use. Sunex offers a complete range of impact sockets, lifting equipment, hand tools, air tools, tool storage, and much more.
Currently, it’s called the Stanley Bostitch company and is known for its design and fastening tools. Bostitch offers quality, portability, efficiency and affordability. These tools are easy to work with and good quality. They also have some great drill machines and other home improvement tools as well.
Care and Maintenance of Socket Sets
- Sockets inside a socket set are usually protected inside a case. However, the inside of the sockets do tend to get dirty and greasy with use. Use a brush and wet its bristles with cold, soapy water. Brush the interiors and wash away the gunk. Don’t store your sockets without cleaning them or it will make the storage call all dirty too.
- One very top-secret tip you can use to get rid of rusting or discoloration on your sockets and wrenches is by using a jewelry cleaning solution on them.
- You can also clean your sockets using 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. Soak for an hour, and wipe away the loose debris.
- Always let your sockets dry out after a cleaning. Storing wet or even damp sockets or ratchets will not only invite premature rusting, but also lead to bacteria and odor inside the storage case.
- Invest in buying a socket organizer, which lets you color coordinate, mix and match and customize sockets. You also can make wooden socket organizer in a short time as a garage DIY projects.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is S2 steel and chrome vanadium?
Answer: Chrome vanadium is one of the most common materials used in making sockets. It is made up of about 0.8% chromium and 0.1-0.2% vanadium, which is a formula for strength and hardness after its heat treated. The chrome, just like chrome on a car, reduces the tendency to rust and provides a beautiful shiny surface.
S2 steel is harder than chrome vanadium, but here’s the catch: it is less ductile and more likely to snapping. We laid it out for you. Now you choose.
What exactly do you mean by torque?
Answer: torque is the turning force of an object. The more torque a tool has, the less force you have to use.
What is the difference between hex and bi-hex?
Answer: is the same difference between a 6-point hex socket and a 12-point hex socket. Check out our “types of sockets” section to learn more about it!
What coating should I choose for sockets to use with an impact driver?
Answer: Excellent question! For use with an impact driver, always choose sockets with a black oxide finish. No other will do!
Other coatings or finishes will simply chip and crack from the impact driver’s vibrations and the force of the impacts.
Socket sets aren’t all that complicated, but if you need the best socket set for mechanic our guide and reviews are just what you need. We take a look at some of the top-rated, popular sockets available, as explained in our detailed reviews.
We hope you have found our article very helpful. We’ll be writing more reviews, so see you next time. Take care!