The top mechanics tool set will have more than just sockets and wrenches. It will include nut drivers and the wide variety of tools needed for most common applications. For convenience and simplicity, a quality tool set should include drivers with interchangeable tips to reduce the size and weight of the set. No matter what type of mechanical job you have, the right tool for the job will make it faster and easier. The key is to find the right combination of usefulness and portability, which is what these two top picks bring to the table.
If you need a set of tools for heavy use, plan on spending a little more for a set of Crescent tools, featuring the company’s trademark Crescent Wrench. Crescent tools are designed for professional use, but priced to appeal to the weekend mechanic. Spending less does not always mean getting less, though, and every mechanic will appreciate the quality and durability of the Crescent and Stanley tool lines. The two brands are well-established and trusted by professionals for jobs large and small, and either one would be a nice addition to your own garage.
For more than 100 years, Crescent has been an industry standard for mechanical tools. The Crescent Tool Set CTK170CMP2, a 170 piece solution for most mechanical needs, is no exception to the rule. You will enjoy the smooth chrome finish, flawless operation and superior balance, all indications of superior workmanship and quality. Crescent tools do not include the lifetime replacement warranty of companies like Stanley, but the design quality equates to having fewer replacement needs.
Tool set CTK170CMP2 includes a wide variety of sockets. All 3 common ratchet sizes are provided, using both 6 and 12 point sockets up to 7/8 inch SAE and 21mm metric. For getting into close spaces, 3, 5 and 6 inch extensions are included, and the quick release ratchets will save you time when you have to alternate between multiple sizes. Spark plug sockets for 5/8 and 13/16 plugs match your most common deep well needs.
Having the right tool for the job is important, and Crescent tools meet ANSI and ASME specifications. More than a bragging point, this fact means that you will have less stripping and slipping when removing rusty nuts, as happens with cheaply made tools that have little or no quality control.
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One of the trademarks of the Stanley tool family is the lifetime replacement warranty. If you break or damage a wrench in the STMT71654 tool set, it will be replaced free of charge at any authorized Stanley distributor. You can feel the difference when you are using a Stanley tool, and manufacturing specifications meet or exceed ANSI standards.
The STMT71654 tool kit includes most of the fastener-related tools you will need. Instead of providing you with a wide assortment of tool types, the Stanley tool set focuses on sockets, drivers, and wrenches. This limits what you can do with the kit, but increases the number of sizes you have available. The moded case hold sockets and driver tips in place, and is designed to be portable and easy to pack away when you’re done.
The ergonomic tool design is nice if you spend a lot of time working with your tools because they reduce finger-cramping and increase your leverage. If the cost is a major consideration, Stanley is one of the most economic tools on the market. One problem with this tool set is that it does not include 3/4 or 7/8 inch sockets, which are commonly needed for auto work. These are unusual omissions for a mechanical tool set, and supplemental socket sizes are available separately, but will not store inside the plastic case..