Having a passion for cars is one thing, but possessing the knowledge to diagnose and repair them is an entirely different pursuit. Even if you have that know-how, it won't do much good if you don't have a comprehensive and high-quality set of tools to use. There's a wide range of tool manufacturers who offer very similar products in a variety of materials, configurations, and prices, so it's important to know the differences and similarities so you can find the tool set that best fits your needs. Whether you like to wrench on your project car on weekends or make your living as a full-time automotive technician, here are the 10 best automotive hand tool sets available today.
  1. Harbor Freight - 301 Piece Professional Mechanic's Tool Set - $199.99: This tool set includes an assortment of commonly-used automotive tools, such as 11 wrenches, 24 screwdrivers, 42 hex keys, and ratchet bits in a range of metric and SAE sizes. The tools are made from carbon steel or chrome vanadium, and come presented in a hard case that will be as durable as the tools themselves.
  2. Stanley - 210 Piece Mixed Tool Set - $119.95: For those looking for a solid tool set at an affordable price point, this collection from Stanley might be your best bet. The tools are ergonomically optimized so they feel great in the hand and are easy to grip. Ratchet bits will never fall off thanks to a system that locks them to the tool until you hit the quick discharge latch. It's a great price for high quality – Stanley tools often exceed ANSI standards.
  3. DeWalt - 192 Piece Tool Set - $205.49: While this tool set doesn't contain as many pieces as others, it has some nice features that set it apart. Each bit is laser-etched with its size on the outside so they're each easy to recognize. DeWalt made these tools as thin and low-profile as possible so they fit easily between tight clearances inside and outside the engine bay. 72 engagement points in the ratchet tools allow for high-torque tightening. All these tools come in a handy, easy to transport clamshell case.
  4. Husky - 349 Piece Mechanic Tool Set - $229.00: This set offers one of the biggest varieties of apparatuses available from Husky. 168 standard attachments, 20 wrenches, and 19 smaller bit attachments will let you take on a wide variety of car repair tasks. The tools come in 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, and 1/2 inch sizes and comprise a great set for any professional or amateur automotive technician.
  5. Apollo - 297 Piece All-Purpose Mechanic Set With Three-Drawer Tool Box - $143.38: Tools are useless if you can't find them, and the tough metal tool box that this set comes in will help keep everything organized. All the tools are made of carbon steel or chrome vanadium so they'll last for years to come. While this tool set isn't quite as comprehensive as some others, it makes a solid collection for basic automotive jobs, and will also come in handy for around-the-house tasks.
  6. Kobalt - 432 Piece Standard/SAE and Metric Mechanic's Tool Set - $199.00: This might be the best cost-per-piece tool set on the list. Kobalt offers an impressive array here, with tools color-coded in red for SAE sizes and blue for metric sizes. Wrenches have a ratchet at the closed end, making torquing bolts quick and easy. Most of the tools exceed ANSI standards and are chrome plated for an attractive, durable finish. With an assortment like this, there's a tool for almost every task.
  7. Bostitch - 318 Piece Socket/Wrench Set - $239.95: Whatever size nut or bolt your car has, there's almost certainly a piece in this set that will fit it. A huge variety of ratchets, wrenches, and attachments make tackling tough fasteners a breeze, but keep in mind that there are no pliers or forceps included. However, everything in the set is backed by Bostitch's lifetime warranty, so if anything goes wrong the company has you covered.
  8. Craftsman - 348 Piece Mechanic's Tool Set With 84-Tooth Ratchet - $299.93: Craftsman's high-quality construction is applied to every piece in this set. The tools are machined of alloy steel and are built to withstand serious pressure. A highlight is the 84-tooth ratchet, which enables any technician to really put their strength behind torquing down bolts tightly. Many of the tools included here are the same as what you'd find in Craftsman's higher-end sets.
  9. Craftsman - 540 Piece Mechanic's Tool Set With 84-Tooth Ratchet - $909.93: This set is a professional-grade collection that would look right at home in a dedicated shop or well-stocked garage. It's got nearly every tool you can think of, from wrenches, to screwdrivers, to pliers, to ratchets, in almost every conceivable size. From minor jobs like replacing brake pads to full-on engine swaps, this comprehensive tool set has you covered.
  10. Klutch - 566 Piece Mechanic's Tool Set - $899.99: For any auto technician who's ready to make the investment in a tools that will last a lifetime, Klutch has the set for you. Every piece in this set is backed by their lifetime warranty, and the range of tools included will let you work on any past, present, or future vehicle. Whether you're an avid DIY enthusiast or want to become a professional mobile technician, there's a tool in this set that will let you complete the task at hand.
Whether you're changing spark plugs in your driveway or installing a new timing belt on a customer's car, you need to have the right tools for the job. With all the options on the market it can be tough to make a decision, but the fact is there's a wide variety of high-quality hand tool sets available for automotive technicians of any skill level. Finding the hand tool set that best fits your needs will let you take your hobby or career to the next level.

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