Best Socket Set

socket

We spent over 36 hours researching and testing 15 different kinds of socket sets and found that number of pieces, materials, and warranty were most important. The BOSTITCH pass through socket set scored high marks in all categories and is our top pick. We loved that this set came with 65 pieces including a heavy duty ratchet with a 72 tooth gear system, providing everything we could possibly need when using the set. The chrome vanadium steel construction ensures the tools will last a long time. The rubber grip on the handles makes it very easy and comfortable to hold and use.

Introduction

Socket sets are absolutely essential for any repairman or handyman, but there are so many different kinds of sets out there to choose from. The set that you choose is largely going to come down to your unique needs, but with one of these top rated socket sets you can be sure that you’re getting something that is going to work for the majority of people. These are the sets that customers love most because they offer you an infinite variety. You can purchase one of the top rated sets with utter confidence, or you can move on to our buyer’s guide where you will find a number of different features and specifications that you should look out for when finding the right socket set for you.

Top 10 Socket Sets

RankPictureSocket SetPieces
Box Weight (Pounds)
1
BOSTITCH
6511.20
2
TEKTON
148.80
3Craftsman10810.70
4
Stanley
1239.50
5
Neiko
131.00
6
Stanley 97-126
116.00
7
Stanley 92-804
302.40
8
DEWALT DW22812
105.10
9
Stanley 89-339
152.50
10
Neiko 10288A
324.70

Best Overall Socket Set

BOSTITCH BTMT72287 Pass Through Socket Set, 65-Piece

Why is it the Top Pick?

This socket set from Bostitch comes with a heavy duty ratchet with 72 tooth gear system. It features a pass through design and the ratchet handle comes with a rubber grip, so that it’s easy to hold and allows for a firm grip. The tools have a chrome vanadium steel construction, and they have durable stamped size markings, so it’s easy to tell one tool from the other.

This is a comprehensive tool set that comes with 65 pieces, so that you can be sure that you’ll have everything that you need to get the job done right. When it comes to owning the right socket set, it all comes down to versatility, and this set truly gives you a comprehensive list of tools that are going to allow you to perform a number of different tasks with ease, so that it will never be necessary to purchase anything else.

These tools are made by a manufacturer that customers can really trust, and the whole set is still lightweight enough to take on the go. All in all, when you purchase this socket set you can be sure that you’re getting something that is truly going to stand the test of time.

TEKTON 4880 1/2″ Drive Deep Impact Socket Set, 3/8″-1-1/4″, SAE, Cr-V, 14 Sockets

Why is it a Top Pick?

This socket set from Tekton gives you high torque, with 6 point socket deign that grips the flat sides of fasteners, and not just the corners, and this helps to prevent round-off. The extra deep broach is designed to accommodate longer fasteners, and the high-contrast permanent laser etched size margins are quite easy to read, and even when there is little to no light.

These are made from the highest quality forged and heat-treated chrome vanadium steel with corrosion-resistant black phosphate finish. These tools meet and exceed all ANSI performance standards. When you purchase this set you’re seriously going to have everything that you need to get a number of different jobs done right.

Perfect for the professional, or even just the handyman, this set is easy to take on the go and gives you the solid performance that you crave and at a price that you can afford. Treat yourself to a set of tools that is truly designed to last, and give you the performance that you can depend upon. Customers have made this a top rated tool set because it performs at a level that everyone can appreciate.

Best Budget Socket Set

Craftsman 108 Pc. Mechanic’s Tool Set – 009-38108

Why is it a Top Pick?

This socket set from Craftsman features 11 – 1/4″ Drive 6pt Metric Sockets, 14pc inch hex key set, 11 – 1/4″ Drive 6pt Inch Sockets, and 6 – 1/4″ Drive 6pt Deep Inch Sockets. Believe it or not, this socket set is designed to last you forever, so you can be sure that you’re never going to buy another set in the course of your life.

Customers love this socket set because it comes from a name that everyone can trust, and it’s perfect for the professional mechanic or even just the handyman. There are 108 pieces in this set, and that means that you’re getting one of the most comprehensive kits that you can find on the market. This is a top rated set among customers because it’s made from only the finest materials, and it’s sure to be the last tool set that you’re ever going to need to own.

When you’re ready to get rid of all those loose tools and have the perfect set that you can even take on the go, then it’s time to go with this set from Craftsman that helps you to accomplish just that. When you purchase quality at this level, you’re going to see that it makes your working day so much easier than you ever thought possible.

Summary

These top rated socket sets are the ones that customers love most because they’re made from the highest quality materials and they come at a price that just makes sense. You can purchase any one of these sets with confidence, or in our buyer’s guide you can get a more detailed sense about what kind of a set that you’re looking for, so that you can get something that is perfect for your unique needs.

Socket Set Comparison Chart


BOSTITCH
View

TEKTON
View

Craftsman
View

Stanley
View

Neiko
View

Stanley 97-126
View

Stanley 92-804
View

DEWALT DW22812
View

Stanley 89-339
View

Neiko 10288A
View
Pieces6514108123131130101532
Point66666666126
MaterialVanadium
Steel
Vanadium
Steel
Alloy
Steel
Vanadium
Steel
S2 alloy
steel
Vanadium
Steel
High
quality
steel
High
impact
resistant
metal
High
quality
steel
S2 alloy
steel
Box
Dimension
(inches)
3.3 x 14.2 x 11.24.5 x 18.2 x 2.219 x 16 x 715.9 x 11.2 x 37.2 x 1.2 x 3.915.5 x 4.2 x 1.715 x 10 x 212 x 6 x 8.813.6 x 3.8 x 1.212.6 x 6 x 1.8
Box
Weight
(pounds)
11.208.8010.79.5162.405.12.54.7
Warranty
(years)
Limited
Lifetime
Limited
Lifetime
Limited
Lifetime
Limited
Lifetime
Limited
Lifetime
Limited
Lifetime
Limited
Lifetime
3Limited
Lifetime
Limited
Lifetime
Drive
Size
(inches)
0.38
/ 0.50
0.500.25
/ 0.38
0.25
/ 0.38
0.25
/ 0.38
/ 0.50
0.500.250.500.500.25
/ 0.38
/ 0.50

 

Socket Set Buying Guide

Socket Set Reviews

What is a Socket Set?

Socket Set1Power tools are important because they help you to repair and maintain vehicles. But when it comes to your every day tasks, you need hand tools to get the job done in the shop or garage. When you buy a quality socket set, you’re getting an assortment of sockets, ratchets, and accessories that will help you with a variety of different jobs, with anything from light maintenance to heavier, more complex work. In this buyer’s guide we’re going to help you to find just what you need, whether for yourself, or even for a family member or friend as a gift.

Basics

There are basically three different kinds of socket sets. There are Metric, SAE, and Whitworth. Lets talk about the basic types so you can understand what is going to work best for you.

  • Metric and SAE: SAE are standard-sized sockets with measurements in inches, and they’re widely used for older domestic vehicles, while most modern vehicles, both import and domestic, are going to use metric hardware, measured in millimeters. You’re going to choose between metric and SAE depending upon your unique needs, or you can stock your garage with both to ensure that you always have the right tool on hand when you need it.
  • Whitworth: These kinds of sockets are the third type, and they’re exclusively used for British vehicles. The sizes are in inches, and these reflect the size of the bolt’s shaft, or the inner diameter of a nut. So, keep in mind that a 5/8” Whitworth socket is going to be larger than a 5/8” SAE socket. When you’re working on a classic British vehicle such as an MG or Jaguar, you’re going to need Whitworth hand tools to get the job done. If it’s not a British car, then you can stick with an SAE or metric set.

Drive Size

There are three different drive sizes that you will find for both metric and SAE sockets, and these are 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, and 1/2 inch. Each of these requires a different ratchet and other accessories like extensions. With smaller sockets you will need to use smaller drives, while larger sockets are to be used with larger drive sizes. Should your socket set be limited to only one drive size, then you need to choose 3.8 inch drives to cover the majority of sockets that you will be using. The smallest and largest drive sizes are also useful, as well. The smallest sockets are able to reach small nuts and bolts in tight spots more easily. With large sockets, you can handle more torque and these are ideal for larger fasteners that require a longer ratchet or breaker bar to loosen or tighten fully.

Points

Socket Set2When you look down the business end of a socket, which is the part that slides onto a nut or bolt head, what kind of shape do you see? If you’re looking at a six-pointed hexagon or a 12-pointed star, then you’ll quickly be able to know what kind of socket you have. The six-pointed socket is stronger than the 12-pointed because its inner walls sit right against all sides of the hardware. But with a 12 point socket you’re getting convenience, as it can slide onto the hardware in any one of the 12 positions. That means it’s easier to line it up. 12-point sockets work just fine for most light work, but six-point sockets are great for larger hardware or applications that need some serious torque. These are also much less likely to slip in this kind of situation.

Shallow vs. Deep Sockets

Say that there is a nut that when fully tightened, it sits an inch below the top of the bolt or stud that you have attached it to. Any shallow socket might not even touch the nut before the top of the stud or bolt hits the end of the socket. Should this be the case, then you’re going to need a deep socket to accommodate the long end of the bolt and which will then fit snugly around the nut. When you have deep sockets on hand you will find them helpful in these kinds of situations. When you don’t have them you’re going to need a wrench instead of a socket to loosen the nut.

With spark plug sockets, you’re going to get a specialty deep socket that DIYs love. These kinds of sockets are deep enough to reach the very bottom of a seated spark plug, and spark plug sockets will have a small rubber piece inside to help protect the top of the spark plug from any kind of damage.

Impact Sockets

Not every socket is designed for use with a power tool, and if you use a pneumatic or electric impact wrench, then you need a set of impact sockets that are designed for use with these high-torque tools. The tougher construction of impact sockets will allow them to withstand the force of use with the power tools.

Some socket sets will have ratchets and accessories like extensions. Should your toolbox not already be equipped with ratchets and extensions, then it may make more sense to buy a socket set that has these crucial pieces.

Other Buying Considerations

With so many different kinds of socket sets to choose from, you may be wondering where you should begin. If you’re still confused, then it’s not a bad idea to go to your local hardware store and ask the professionals some questions. You can inform them about what kinds of tasks you undertake, then they can guide you to the set that is just right for you. Really, it comes down to knowing how you’re going to be using the tools, and also how much you’re willing to spend. Also, consider how often you’re going to be using the set, as this determines what kind of durability you need to be looking for and how large of a set that you might be seeking. At the end of the day, no matter which socket set you buy, you’re going to be amazed by how versatile they are, and how many tasks they help you to accomplish.

Socket Set3Lastly, keep in mind that your socket set is an investment, so you want to act as though you’re paying for something that is going to last you for the rest of your life. If the price seems too high to you, then take into account that you’re buying something that truly is meant to stand the test of time, so that you never will need to buy one of these tools again.

Conclusion

The top rated socket sets are the ones that customers love most because they’re made from durable materials and are guaranteed to stand the test of time. They are also meant to provide you with everything that you need so that you never need to buy another socket in your life. There are a lot of things that you should consider when purchasing a socket set and that includes how much you’re willing to spend, how you’re going to be using the set most of the time, and how often you plan to use it. Once you have a sense of these factors, it’s going to be much easier for you to find something that is going to suit your needs perfectly. We talked about the top rated socket sets, and these are the ones that customers love the most, but in our buyer’s guide we helped you to better understand what is out there, so that you can find something that works perfectly for your lifestyle.

Resources

  1. http://www.bostitch.com/products/tools/automotive-tools/socket-sets/
  2. http://www.tektontools.com/All_Tools
  3. http://www.craftsman.com/craftsman-108-pc-mechanics-tools-set/p-00938108000P