During my time as an automotive tech student, I bought a lot of tools, and several different sets of them. If you’re in the same boat as I was, you might be wondering what set is best to get first. If I could do it all over again, I would start with DeWalt’s 200 piece mechanic tool set (you can check out here).
DeWalt also offers a portion of this set, a 118-piece set for a lower price (about $70 versus the 200 piece’s $165) which, while also a solid set, lacks many of the tools you’ll ultimately end up buying in the future during your automotive tech career. What’s all included in the set? The set includes 45 standard sockets, 26 deep sockets, 17 bit sockets, 1/2 in., 3/8 in., and 1/4 in. drive ratchets, 13 accessories, 9 combination wrenches, 28 hex keys, 15 nut bits and 44 specialty bits, a screwdriver, and a case allows for easy organization. This is more than enough to get your started turnin’ wrenches. So, what makes DeWalt’s set such a good choice for automotive students? The first and potentially biggest reason is the price, at well under $200 it makes for a very affordable kit to jump start filling out your tool box. DeWalt also offers a limited lifetime warranty on their tools, and the earlier you buy a tool with a lifetime warranty, the sooner you have a tool (or in this case tools) that will last you the rest of your life. This isn’t to say that these tools won’t break, but at least you’ll get a free replacement if they do. Which, if you use any tool enough over a long enough time, chances are you’re going to break it. You’ll never have to worry about buying any of these again due to breaking them! And you don’t have to take my word for it, with almost 200 Amazon reviews (at the time of writing this) giving the set an average of 4.5 stars, I’m not the only fan of this set.
Comparing DeWalt’s mechanic set to other similar sets, you usually either have to choose between fewer tools or a shorter (or non-existent) warranty. The set includes both metric and standard sockets and wrenches. This means that no matter whether the vehicle you are working on was built with standard to metric, this kit has got you covered. No need to buy two separate sets for both standards of measurement. My personal favorite part of this set might surprise you. I love that the sockets are all 6-point. Sure, these can be a little harder to angle onto some hard-to-get-at nuts, but it drastically reduces the chance of rounding the head, which is one of my personal biggest pet peeves. My one big complaint about the set is that I find the socket wrenches pretty lack-luster. The handles aren’t comfortable, they seem needlessly heavy, on the largest one doesn’t have enough length for a proper amount of torque for more stubborn nuts. That being said, I’ve yet to break one, not for lack of trying. Perhaps the extra weight is reinforcing material to make sure they don’t break, but that’s just conjecture on my part. Is this set everything you will need for working on cars? The short answer is “no”, especially for someone entering a career in working on vehicles. However, this will give you a great starting point, and enough tools to get by for a while, maybe borrowing some of your peer’s tools (if they don’t mind). Or, if you plan on just working on your own vehicles and just want a decent set for small jobs at home, this set will include most of what you need, and will most likely be the only major “set” you need to buy, and just need to grab some more niche tools here or there to fill out your toolbox.
So, if you want to get a large amount of what you need to start working on vehicles with one purchase, while getting a pretty solid amount of bang for your buck, be sure to check this kit out. (link) sidenote (link) the “toolbox” words with the husky box review