Best Ratchet Set

Although we listed five Ratchet Sets  for your choice, we recommend your best ratchet set is Craftsman 220 pc. Mechanics Tool Set .

Best Mechanics Tool Set includes:

  • Combo wrenches
  • Sockets.
  • Ratchets.
  • Screwdrivers.

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First and foremost, this is an excellent set as far as functionality goes. The “Sure Grip” hex design (analogous to Snap-On “flank drive” and however many other similar systems) is easy on fasteners and grips like grim death. I compared them against a set of Chinese Craftsman (which have actually gotten quite good, if you can believe it), and while the SKs had better fit and finish overall and felt heavier and more robust, they also have more side-to-side slop, which surprised me and which I think is caused by the SK having more of a rolled lip whereas the Craftsman is flatter. This isn’t a huge issue but I was hoping the SK would feel miles better than the Craftsman and unfortunately they feel only marginally better (finish and aesthetics is obviously a whole different story).

SK has been making the same ratchet since 1933 and it shows, for me in an extremely positive way. The mechanism, shank, and grip are all incredibly rugged and confidence-inspiring. The knurling is perfect. Better than any knurling I’ve ever held in my hand. Super grippy but not at all biting. Nothing negative to say about the ratchet whatsoever. You could frame a house using it as a hammer and it would still provide a lifetime of service.

Upon receiving, I experienced several of the cosmetic issues other buyers have described, namely that there are some overspray problems. The inside of each socket is painted a silver color. I find this mystifying, because the moment the socket touches a fastener, this paint is obliterated. Not to worry, there is SK’s excellent chrome underneath the paint, but this begs the question of why use paint in the first place? In addition, their process for painting appears to be very crude, as probably a third of my sockets exhibited overspray and several had paint finger marks on the outside barrel of the socket. As a first impression it’s not perfect. *However*, please note this is essentially a non-issue beyond that first impression, as a couple minutes with a cheap wire hand brush will remove any paint from the outsides, and doing any work with the sockets simply removes the paint from the insides. My advice to anyone hung up on the overspray is to simply use your tools.

Another common superficial issue is that the plastic case doesn’t hold the sockets very well so upon first opening they’re basically a jumbled mess. I keep my sockets on rails so this isn’t an issue for me, but as a first impression I can understand why others would expect more from a “heritage” US-made brand.

All in all

While it’s not light years ahead of the offshore sets (or very far behind expensive tool truck brands), this is an incredibly solid, rugged set that should outlive me by quite a bit. I like the barn-door, old-fashioned engineering. Others may not, but to me it is a huge plus. The fit and finish are brilliant and for the cost, I simply don’t think there’s any alternative. Recommended.

  • SK’s high polish SuperKrome finish provides long life and maximum corrosion resistance.
  • The SureGrip hex design drives the side of the fastener, not the corner
  • Packaged in a molded plastic case
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Lifetime Warranty.

Craftsman 220 pc. Mechanics Tool Set 

Mechanic’s tool set includes 128 sockets in 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 in. drive sizes, 41 screwdriver & nutdriver bits, 40 hex keys, 3 quick release ratchets and 6 wrenches. Contains sockets in both metric and standard sizes; deep well and standard depths. Impact Resistant Carrying Case. Lifetime Craftsman Replacement Warranty.

This is a quality set of Craftsman sockets & ratchets. However it only contains 3 metric end wrenches and 3 SAE end wrenches. And it only contains a 1/4 x 1 inch extension. There are no 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch drive extensions in this set. I would recommend this set to someone needing an extensive set of 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch & 1/2 inch drive short and long sockets. This set also contains a good selection of SAE & metric Allen wrenches. 
  • Tools are made of durable alloy steel with a silver finish
  • Includes quick-release ratchets in 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 inch drives, with 116 sockets in both metric and
  • Universal joints and two extension bars
  • Six combination wrenches in standard and metric
  • Magnetic handle with 12 nut drivers, inch and metric, and 40 screwdriver bits

DEWALT DW MT81533 172pc Mechanics Tool Set

OVERALL:

Crescent CTK170CMP2 Mechanics Tool Set

In 2017, the Crescent brand expanded again to include four other famous brands. Lufkin, Wiss, Nicholson, and H.K. Porter became supporting brands under Crescent. This gave professional tradespeople over 2,600 quality tools they could count on to produce professional results…all with the trusted Crescent name. A new generation of tradespeople is looking for tools that will help them produce professional results and a new, stronger Crescent is there to answer that call.

At its sale price, this Crescent tool kit is a very good value. However, because the price point is so low, there are some portions of the kit that are clearly better than others.

Great: The case.

I know a lot of people complain about these plastic cases, but this particular case is actually one of the better ones. I’ve seen where the tools are retained quite well. The case also comes with a foam insert- most people treat this like packing material but I would highly recommend keeping it because it acts as a secondary barrier to keeping tools from jostling out of place. Plastic cases are also notorious for variable performance depending on humidity and temperature, and it’s early days yet, so I will update if the case decides to fail on me, but so far I’m actually quite impressed. The hinges are ‘real’ and not living hinges, so it’s less probably that you will break up the toolbox accidentally.

-Combo wrenches are of really nice quality. Slender bodied but also able to tolerate at least moderate amounts of torque. Repeated drops and being covered in hydraulic oil doesn’t actually appear to affect the finish all that much.

-Sockets. There’s actually not much to say about them except that they are well finished. I have yet to have one break on me but I haven’t exactly gone 500 lb. gorilla on a tiny 1/4″ socket yet.

-Ratchets. Smooth detents and nice pear shaped head. They are not quite as compact or long reaching heads as the top brands, but they feel sturdy and up for years of use.

-Screwdrivers. This one is a bit surprising but I do like how well finished the screwdrivers are. I can’t completely say I’m a fan of the grips because they do get slippery in oil (due to being almost completely round), but with clean hands they are a real treat to use.

  • Updated version of the best selling CTK170CMP, this new set has a new & sturdier blow mold case as well as new & improved Crescent screwdrivers
  • Contains a carefully selected assortment of hand tools needed for most industrial, mechanical, and consumer applications
  • Set includes 1/4″, 3/8″ & 1/2″ drive tools (SAE & Metric). Drive Type-6 and 12 Point.Drive Tang Size 1/4 inches, 3/8 inches, 1/2 inches
  • Tools meet stringent new ANSI and ASME specifications and come with a full satisfaction guarantee
  • All tools contained in a sturdy, folding plastic case for easy storage and transport

PROS:
-The bits are bits. They aren’t exceptional and are of the kind you find in most toolkits to fill out the parts count in advertisements. They hold up well enough under moderate torque but they aren’t exactly jewel like in finishing.
-Hex keys. Similar to the bits, they are just there and they work.
-Adjustable wrench. This is similar in quality to Pittsburgh stuff. Useable, not entirely pretty.

CONS:
-Needle nose pliers. They are kind of garbage. They look OK from a distance, with textured handles and a retention spring, but the reality is that using them sucks. The spring makes itself known as a crunchy grindy feel every time you close the pliers. But the worst part is that I still significant amounts of space between the jaws when I close them all the way. Almost kind of embarassing that Crescent actually emblazons their name on the tool.
-Tongue and Groove Pliers. The tongue and groove “action” feels extremely chintzy, and the tool loses position very easily if you need to open the jaws wider than a minimal amount.

Overall

I really like the set, but I find it interesting that the two pieces I would most often associate with Crescent Tools (the pliers) actually turned out rather poor, and the adjustable wrench is just kind of generic. I cannot fault this toolkit from a useability standpoint however, because it has a good mix of tools and many of the other components are of actually pretty high quality. That it comes in a compact box that actually works is an exceptional bonus, so I can easily recommend this if you’re looking for an all-in-one mechanics toolset.

BOSTITCH BTMT72287 Pass Through Socket Set

  • Made in USA 
  • Heavy Duty Ratchet with 72-Tooth Gear System
  • Pass Through Design
  • Ratchet Handle with Rubber Grip
  • Chrome Vanadium Steel Construction
  • Durable Stamped Size Markings

Stanley 92-839 Black Chrome and Laser Etched Socket Set

Stanley 92-839 Black Chrome and Laser Etched Socket Set, 99-PieceSeems to be decent build quality. The finish on the ratchets and sockets, and wrenches was pretty good.Wrenches are slim, surprisingly not boxy. So, if you have a clearance issue, where you needed a slimmer wrench, this might be the setto get you there.
  • The case, which is black, comes opened to display, in a yellow cardboard box (Stanley flavor), with a clear plastic cover, with 15 plastic/wood screws, 3/8″(about?) course threads, holding said plastic down. I was surprised at this move, mainly because I’ve never seen a tool set packaged like that. I guess it protects against thieves when in the store?Anyways, probably a dollars worth of screws, if you count taxes, and the trip to the hardware store.
  • Like some have said, some of the sockets in the set, mainly the deep sockets, near the handle, on one side, seem to want to come out of place.I took a folded news paper page, lined it up with the inside of the plastic tool case, and stuck in the tool box, closed it, then used my knife to trim the excess, Ie what stuck out of the closed box. Seems to work. A thick sheet of flexible plastic might work as well, to hold your sockets securely in place.That being said, the majority of the tools, I’ve had no issues with them staying in place. But the more use, the more wear on the plastic holding them, so I may get to a point where they bounce around. Not there yet.

I plan on using these on vehicle maintenance and small engine repair. Time will tell how they actually hold up. I assume these will last a lifetime if I baby them. And even if some tool in the set breaks, it won’t break the bank. I normally go for the obvious higher quality tools/ build quality. But a mechanic on youtube recommended these. “ChrisFix” since he’s wrenching on things all the time, I figured they must be half way decent. And decided to give them a shot.

EPAuto 1/4” & 3/8” Drive Socket Set with Pear Head Ratchet

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