- 1 Top 7 Best Socket Wrench
- 1.1 #1 Crescent 170 Pc. General Purpose Tool Set – Top Pick
- 1.2 #2 EPAuto 40-Piece 1/4-Inch & 3/8-Inch Drive Socket Set – Honorable Mention
- 1.3 #3 BLENDX 1/4″-3/4″ (7mm to19mm) Ratchet Universal Socket Set with Wrench Power Drill Adapter – Best Budget
- 1.4 #4 AmazonBasics 123-Piece Mechanic Socket Tool Kit Set With Case – Best Quick-Release
- 1.5 #5 EPAuto 45 Pieces 3/8″ Drive Socket Set – Best Basic Socket Set
- 1.6 #6 NEIKO 01146A Premium Master Combination Bit Socket Wrench Set – Best Socket Wrench Accessories
- 1.7 #7 Craftsman 99941 42 Piece 1/4 and 3/8-inch Drive Bit and Torx Bit Socket Wrench Set – Best Quality
- 1.8 How We Decided
- 2 Socket Wrench Buying Guide
To determine the best socket wrench, we prioritized the following features — sizing, accessories, construction, and if a case was included with the set. You’ll find that most quality socket wrench sets offer metric and SAE sizing, which makes it versatile for almost any project. Likewise, most of the socket wrench sets in our review feature a chrome vanadium steel alloy construction for improved corrosion resistance. And finally, accessories and an included case help to improve the functionality of your socket wrench set.
After taking all of the above into account, we selected the Crescent 170-Piece General Purpose Tool Set as our Top Pick. In addition to featuring a socket wrench set that offered metric and SAE sizing, it also came with a wide range of tool accessories such as allen keys, screwdrivers, a pair of long-nosed pliers, driver bits, and a set of standard wrenches. Plus all of this is housed in a folding case for easy transport. Keep reading to learn more about our top 0picks.
Top 7 Best Socket Wrench
#1 Crescent 170 Pc. General Purpose Tool Set – Top PickWHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best socket set for mechanic because this set features a robust set of tools that goes beyond a simple socket wrench set to include screwdrivers, allen keys, traditional wrenches and almost everything you would need to tackle any home repair job.
We’re big fans of multifunctionality which is why we chose the Crescent 170-Piece General Purpose Tool Set as our Top Pick. In terms of the ratchet, you get a 72-tooth ratchet with a five-degree arc swing. Not only do you get a socket wrench with SAE and metric fasteners, but you get so much more. In particular, we were impressed with the wide range of allen keys, traditional wrenches, screwdrivers, the long-nosed pliers, and driver bits.
All of this versatility means you won’t need to scramble before a project to assemble all the tools you might need. You’ll like that the socket wrench set is made from chrome vanadium steel alloy for a corrosion-resistant finish that’s easy to keep clean. Plus, you’ll be able to keep your tools organized with the sturdy yet lightweight folding plastic case. This tool and the best corded drill make great gifts for anyone just starting a tool set.
#2 EPAuto 40-Piece 1/4-Inch & 3/8-Inch Drive Socket Set – Honorable MentionWHY WE LIKE IT: This is our Honorable Mention because it’s a compact socket wrench set that’s designed for the auto enthusiast who already has plenty of tools but just needs to replace their socket wrench set.
Not everyone needs a full set of tools that goes beyond a straightforward socket wrench set. Maybe you just need to replace your socket wrench kit. In that case, the EPAuto ¼ -Inch & ⅜ Inch Drive Socket Set is a great solution. For a modest amount, you get a 40-piece set that includes a 72-teeth reversible ratchet, and a ⅜ to ¼ adapter that works with both metric sizes and SAE sizes.
Although it’s relatively standard, we also liked that the set includes SAE and metric sizing. Likewise, we liked that this set also included a molded case to keep your socket set organized. However, some people might find it frustrating that the case isn’t labeled. And as is also expected with this type of tool, you get a chrome vanadium steel alloy finish that is corrosion resistant and easy to keep clean. This chrome finish socket wrench lets you take things apart quickly so you can then move on to sanding, spraying with the best spray paint or whatever your next step is..
#3 BLENDX 1/4″-3/4″ (7mm to19mm) Ratchet Universal Socket Set with Wrench Power Drill Adapter – Best BudgetWHY WE LIKE IT: This set is perfect for the occasional user who rarely finds themselves needing to complete a home repair and isn’t interested in investing in (or have the space for) a more extensive socket wrench set.
There are all different types of people who need to use tools. Some people are power DIYers who are constantly looking for a home or car repair project. And others just occasionally need to fix that leaky faucet. If you fall into the latter category, then the Universal Socket from Blendx is probably a smarter choice for you. While it’s not a socket wrench set, it can be added to an existing power drill or socket wrench to create a versatile attachment.
You’ll like that this option self-adjusts to fit a range of shapes including hex, nut, eye, and hook. It also comes with a ⅜ inch power drill adapter and works with metric socket sizes and SAE sizing. For SAE it’s compatible with ¼ to ¾ inches and for metric it supports seven to 19-millimeter nut and bolts heads. And as is standard with all the options in our roundup, this model also features chrome vanadium steel construction for corrosion resistance. I used this to take my project apart so I could easily clean it with the best power scrubber.
#4 AmazonBasics 123-Piece Mechanic Socket Tool Kit Set With Case – Best Quick-ReleaseWHY WE LIKE IT: We chose this option as our best quick-release socket set because it’s the only option within our roundup to feature quick-release switches — making it easy to quickly remove fasteners and complete projects.
There’s nothing wrong with being prepared just in case an unexpected home repair pops up on the scene. The AmazonBasics 123-Piece Mechanic Socket Tool Kit Set is a great option to keep around whether you’re a mechanic or just need to tackle those DIY projects. IN addition to a wide range of metric and SAE sockets, you’ll also make use of the deep sockets, drive bits and allen keys. If your work is mostly on your vehicle, take a look at the best torque wrench instead.
Other standard features that we think you’ll like are the included bit adapter and the extension bar to make switching between tools a breeze. And of course, the chrome vanadium steel construction ensures corrosion resistance and easy cleanup after every project. Corrosion resistance means that you won’t have to hit it with the best disc sander.
#5 EPAuto 45 Pieces 3/8″ Drive Socket Set – Best Basic Socket SetWHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best basic socket set because this 45-piece collection is streamlined with just the essentials to help you make quick work of your home auto repair project.
Once again, we’re featuring another socket wrench set that only features sockets. And like before, we feel this is a smart buy for the person who already has a fairly comprehensive tool collection and is either looking to replace or upgrade their existing socket wrench set. This EPAuto 45-Piece Socket Wrench Set is a commendable option that features a 72-tooth pear head ratchet along with extensions and SAE as well as metric sizing.
We like that the included case features clear labeling to help keep your sockets organized. And you’ll like that just like all the other best tools on our list, this set is made from chrome vanadium steel for corrosion resistance and easier cleanup.
#6 NEIKO 01146A Premium Master Combination Bit Socket Wrench Set – Best Socket Wrench AccessoriesWHY WE LIKE IT: Our best socket wrench accessories pick is ideal for the tool owner who already owns a solid socket wrench set but wants to increase the functionality by adding on driver bit sockets.
While some people might not consider the Neiko 01146A Premium Master Combination Bit Socket Wrench Set a proper socket wrench set, we’re including it because we feel that there’s a customer for this socket wrench accessory kit. While it only features a handful of actual sockets, it’s full of driver bit sockets — allowing you to turn a traditional socket wrench into a versatile tool.
You’ll like that this combination set includes extensions, Torx, hex, e-Torx, and screwdriver bits. As is standard in this product category, you’ll get SAE and metric sizing. And of course, a chrome vanadium steel alloy construction guarantees corrosion resistance.
#7 Craftsman 99941 42 Piece 1/4 and 3/8-inch Drive Bit and Torx Bit Socket Wrench Set – Best Quality
If you’ve ever spent any time at a tool store, you know that Craftsman is a respected name that’s earned a reputation for creating quality tools that stand the test of time. We’ve selected this Craftsman 99941 42 Piece 1/4 and 3/8-inch Drive Bit and Torx Bit Socket Wrench Set as our Best Value because it combines quality from a trusted brand with a full set of socket wrench accessories that makes this a versatile choice for the DIY repair enthusiast.
You’ll like that you get a wide range of screwdriver bits that include slotted and Phillips head screwdriver bit sockets along with hex bit sockets. And as we’ve noted throughout this guide, these sockets are both available in SAE and metric sizing. While this set doesn’t highlight a chrome vanadium steel alloy construction, it does note that the bits are crafted from black oxide to prevent corrosion.
How We Decided
Socket wrench sets are a must-have tool whether you’re working on your car or need a socket wrench for small repairs around the house. To narrow down the countless options to find the Best Socket Sets, we looked at tons of different socket sets and prioritized the following features — sizing, accessories, construction, and if a case was included or not. We also focused on finding sets that had a substantial number sockets included.
First, we have to note that except for accessories, you’ll find that most of these socket wrench sets are fairly similar. All of our socket wrench sets (except for the #3 Best Budget) feature SAE and metric sizing and a case. You’ll note that all except our #7 Best Value choice features chrome vanadium steel alloy material which is meant to be corrosion resistant. However, even the #7 choice includes black oxide on the driver bits to also aid in corrosion resistance.
Accessories will be an important consideration if you want a socket wrench set that can do more than one thing. We found a range of options that featured comprehensive kits that could turn your standard socket wrench into a “jack of all trades” style tool. In particular, look at our Top Pick, #4, #6, and Best Value choices.
Lastly, when buying any product always check out the warranty. Some manufacturers will offer a lifetime warranty on various tools and kits.
Another popular set that didn’t make our list but is worth taking a look at is the Stanley 92-839 Black Chrome and Laser Etched Socket Set.
Socket Wrench Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Socket Style
Socket wrenches are usually sold in sets with a wrench and multiple attachments. The attachments (or fasteners) come in a range of shapes. But the most common option is the six-sided hexagonal bolt. It’s important to note that other shapes are available. So, always confirm that the set you’re planning to purchase is compatible with the parts you’ll be working on.
Will you be working with nuts and bolts that are sized by metric or SAE (inches) standards? Confirm your appropriate sizing standard before buying a socket set. However, some sets do feature both metric and SAE.
- 6-Point vs. 12-Point
Depending on the type of work you’re doing, you’ll need to determine whether you should opt for a six-point or 12-point socket wrench set. For repairs around the home, a 12-point socket set is ideal. But if you’re buying a socket wrench set for car repairs, most experts recommend a six-point set.
- Quick Release
There’s nothing worse than using a socket wrench on a bolt and having the socket get “stuck” on the bolt. A quick-release mechanism is a handy value-added feature that helps to prevent this, as well as make it easier to switch between fasteners
Whether you’re a DIY project fan or a repair professional, you know that keeping your tools clean is an essential part of maintaining and extending their lifespan. With socket wrenches, a smooth finish is preferred over textured versions because smooth finishes are easier to keep clean.
- Impact vs. Non-Impact
If you’re planning on tackling serious construction projects, you should focus on purchasing an impact socket set. But for the average home DIY xor automotive repair projects, a non-impact set should be more than enough.
Socket Wrench FAQs
What is the difference between impact and non-impact sockets?
Non-impact sockets usually feature chrome or some other type of polished metal construction. These are usually designed with car repairs in mind. In contrast, an impact socket has thicker walls and is designed for use with an impact gun for heavy-duty tasks.
Can you use standard sockets with an impact wrench?
While you technically could, it's usually not recommended that you do. Impact wrenches are designed to produce more torque whereas regular sockets feature thinner walls that aren't designed for that. There's a good chance you could damage regular sockets with consistent use on an impact wrench.
How much should I expect to spend on a socket wrench set?
A quality socket wrench set can come in a range of prices depending on your budget. While there are pricier options on the market that can cost close to $100, these tend to feature comprehensive sets that include more than just socket wrenches. However, you can also find affordable options for as little as $15 to $20.
How do standard and metric sockets differ?
Metric socket wrenches fit fasteners with a rounded length in millimeters (8mm, 10mm, 15mm). Whereas, "Standard" or SAE socket wrenches fit fasteners with a length that is a fraction of an inch (1/4″, 1/2″, 13/16″).
What is the best drive size?
All ratchets accept sockets using a square drive. Generally, there are three sizes of drive. Choosing which drive size you need depends on the job you're doing. 1/4 inch: Used for smaller sockets and precision work. 3/8 inch: The middle-sized and most useful size for general use on a car. 1/2 inch: - Are generally used for nuts and bolts from around 10mm and up.
What is a universal joint?
A universal joint is a connection between two objects that allows rotation in two axes. It is made up of two joints with perpendicular and intersecting axes.
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