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Best Socket Sets

Our review team gets into the nuts and bolts of the best socket sets available.
Written and Tested By:
Ben Kasierski
Written and Tested By: Ben Kasierski Contributor – Motor1 Review Team

Ben Kasierski is a North Carolina native who covers the latest automotive and motorcycle products. He has tested hundreds of car detailing products – including tire shines,  car wash soaps, and full detailing kits – as well as gadgets to make life easier for the everyday driver like key finders and GPS trackers.

Last Updated 01/04/2024

Motor1 Reviews Team Take:

  • The best socket sets in 2024 are from top brands including Craftsman, DeWalt, Stalwart, and Sunex based on durability, portability, torque, and included accessories.
  • On average, expect to spend around $130 for a high-quality socket set that includes all the tools you might need for automotive work.
  • The best features to look for when considering a socket set include socket size and the build quality of the tools included in the socket set.
Best for Daily Use
Craftsman Mechanics Tool Set

An all-around socket set for extensive use.

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Best Basic Kit
DeWalt 34-Piece Set

A no-frills socket set with multiple storage options.

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Most Accessories
DeWalt 247-Piece Set

A socket set packed with tools for every job.

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Most Portable
Stalwart Ratcheting Screwdriver Set

A pocket-sized socket set for small fixes.

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Best Impact
Sunex Impact Socket Set

A high-quality socket set for heavy automotive work.

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Missing a piece in your toolkit can be one of the most frustrating feelings when you’re working on a DIY project. To save you time from searching through a cluttered toolbox, a socket set provides a quintessential ratchet wrench while keeping its accessories organized for easy access.

In this review, we recommend our top picks for the five best socket sets useful for all sorts of automotive repairs. Our review team has tested each socket set for the quality of its case, the torque of its ratchet and sockets, and the functionality of any additional accessories. Discover how to find the best socket set for your next repair.

Keep in mind that you should match your socket set to your car. Typically, United States automakers use standard units of measurement, while international automakers use the metric system.

Socket Set Reviews

Socket Sets For Cars

For this review, our team tested and evaluated each socket set based on each item’s storage case, torque, and accessories. The scores in each category are compiled into a single overall rating that ranges from 1.0 to 5.0 stars.

Each socket set’s ratings, including their scores in each review category, are highlighted below:

What Is The Best Socket Set?

We named the Craftsman Mechanics Tool Set, DeWalt 34-Piece Set, DeWalt 247-Piece Set, Stalwart Ratcheting Screwdriver Set, and the Sunex Impact Socket Set as the best-rated socket sets on the market in 2024.

Brand/ModelOverall RatingAwardCost
Craftsman Mechanics Tool Set4.8Best for Daily Use$175
DeWalt 34-Piece Set4.7Best Basic Kit$45
DeWalt 247-Piece Set4.5Most Accessories$165
Stalwart Ratcheting Screwdriver Set4.2Most Portable$20
Sunex Impact Socket Set4.2Best Impact$260

*Because cost data fluctuates, the prices in the table above are approximate values that our team regularly updates.

Socket Set Ratings: Our Testing Process

After looking at factors such as pieces included, carrying case size, customer ratings, and prices, our product testing team ordered the socket sets that best met these standards. A team member tested each product on a 2014 Honda Civic, taking note of the size of each socket set, the torque of each wrench, and the extra accessories included with each set. Each socket set was given a rating out of 5.0 stars based on these criteria.

Learn more about how we tested socket sets here.

1. Craftsman Mechanics Tool Set: Best For Daily Use

The Craftsman Mechanics Tool Set.

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  • Cost: Around $175
  • Amazon review score: 4.8 out of 5.0 (approx. 1,700 ratings)
  • 135 pieces
  • Three ratcheting wrenches
  • Six-point sockets
  • Blow-molded case

Craftsman Mechanics Tool Set Review

If you’re looking for a complete socket set that covers all the bases, the Craftsman Mechanics Tool Set might be right for you. It’s a 135-piece set that includes three different 72-tooth ratchets in SAE metric and standard sizes.

You can see how Craftsman performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Overall Rating4.8

This set comes with six-point sockets and a fastener for improved torque. It also includes combination wrenches, Allen wrenches, and a screwdriver with precision drive tips. Each socket has a full chrome polish finish, and the case is blow-molded for enhanced durability.

Craftsman Mechanics Tool Set: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the Craftsman Mechanics tool set:

Pros Polished chrome finish on tools Can work well in tight spaces Durable case
Cons Tools can be difficult to remove from case

Craftsman Mechanics Tool Set: Our Experience

Case: The Craftsman set’s carrying case has deep ridges to prevent its tools from falling out during transportation. This increases security but at the cost of making each tool slightly difficult to remove.

Torque: We were very impressed by how well the Craftsman sockets could fit into tight spaces, especially when using the smallest ratchet wrench. When using the 3/8-inch socket to loosen a bolt, we had no trouble getting started thanks to the extra drip provided by its six-point design.

Accessories: The high-quality chrome finish on each socket and ratchet wrench stood out to us the most during testing. Not only did each socket fit snugly to the wrenches, but each drill bit fit well in the screwdriver as well.

The Craftsman Mechanics Tool Set testing process performed by our auto review team.

Craftsman Mechanics Tool Set: What Customers Are Saying

Consumers like that the tools in the Craftsman kit are sturdy and durable. They frequently praise the laser-etched print on each socket and tool as being easy to read.

A frequent complaint is the 3/8-inch ratchet breaking easily. However, we had no issues with it in our testing.

2. DeWalt 34-Piece Set: Best Basic Kit

The DeWalt 34-Piece Set.

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  • Cost: Around $40
  • Amazon review score: 4.8 out of 5.0 (approx. 18,000 ratings)
  • 34 pieces
  • One chrome-plated ratchet
  • Five-degree swing arc
  • Removable inner tray
  • See-through plastic lid

DeWalt 34-Piece Set Review

The DeWalt 34-Piece Socket Set eliminates extra bells and whistles to provide the basic components of a ratchet wrench. With one ratchet, three adapters, and 29 sockets, this set exceeds ANSI specifications.

You can see how the DeWalt 34-Piece performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Overall Rating4.7

The ratchet wrench has a 72-tooth count and a five-degree arc swing for better torque. Each socket’s hard-stamped marking is easy to read. And thanks to its removable inner tray, the DeWalt set can be stacked in a larger toolbox.

DeWalt 34-Piece Set: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the DeWalt 34-Piece:

Pros Removable tray Five-degree arc swing Hard-stamped labels
Cons Flimsy case lid

DeWalt 34-Piece Set: Our Experience

Case: Our review team found the carrying case of the DeWalt 34-Piece socket set held up well against light use, but the plastic lid was flimsier than expected. We thought the removable inner tray was great, especially for conserving space.

Torque: Each socket we tested was able to handle torque well and stood up against the other best socket sets we tested. At a lower price from a well-known manufacturer, this could be a great beginner socket set.

Accessories: Due to its size, this kit doesn’t have many accessories other than the bare essentials of a ratchet wrench. With this in mind, it’s a good beginner kit, but also a nice socket set to have on the go since it’s portable and has the essential tools.

The DeWalt 34-Piece Set testing process performed by our auto review team.

DeWalt 34-Piece Set: What Customers Are Saying

Customers who like this socket set say it’s because of the DeWalt chrome sockets’ build quality. They also like the carrying case – especially the removable tray.

A negative review that customers made often was that the ratchet wrench broke easily, even when used for low-torque jobs. They also claim this kit doesn’t have enough sockets compared to competitors.

3. DeWalt 247-Piece Set: Most Accessories

The DeWalt 247-Piece Set.

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  • Cost: Around $165
  • Amazon review score: 4.8 out of 5.0 (approx. 14,000 ratings)
  • 247 pieces
  • Three 72-tooth ratchets
  • Includes various accessories
  • Durable plastic case

DeWalt 247-Piece Set Review

On the opposite end of the spectrum, DeWalt also makes a 247-Piece socket set that’s almost overflowing with tools. Not only does it offer a multitude of combination gear wrenches, but its three 72-tooth ratchet wrenches can be fitted with various sets of sockets that come included with this kit.

You can see how the DeWalt 247-Piece performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Overall Rating4.5

The included accessories are useful, too. There are many extension bars for reaching into tight spaces, as well as spark plug sockets and hex keys. These items normally must be bought separately, but the DeWalt kit includes them.

DeWalt 247-Piece Set: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the DeWalt 247-Piece tool set:

Pros Professional-grade tools Remarkable build quality Deep storage pockets
Cons Very heavy

DeWalt 247-Piece Set: Our Experience

Case: We really liked the sturdiness of this set’s carrying case and found it to be the most durable case we tested. Due to its large size, it’s difficult to transport and is best suited for staying in one garage.

Torque: Each of the tools in this socket set felt professional-grade when we tested them, especially the screwdriver thanks to its vinyl handle. The torque on each of the three ratchet wrenches was remarkably smooth. 

Accessories: With 247 pieces included in this socket set, you have every accessory and tool you may need inside one kit. It’s worth noting that there were many reach fasteners for the smaller drivers.

The DeWalt 247-Piece Set testing process performed by our auto review team.

DeWalt 247-Piece Set: What Customers Are Saying

Among positive reviews, one recurring compliment revolves around the build quality of the DeWalt’s chrome-plated tools. Consumers frequently discuss their longevity and drop resilience.

The most frequent complaint among customers is that this socket set is very heavy, making it difficult for older people or people with back issues to transport.

4. Stalwart Ratcheting Screwdriver Set: Most Portable

The Stalwart Ratcheting Screwdriver Set.

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  • Cost: Around $20
  • Amazon review score: 4.4 out of 5.0 (approx. 350 ratings)
  • 41 pieces
  • Handheld-size hard plastic case
  • Ratcheting screwdriver
  • Precision screwdriver

Stalwart Ratcheting Screwdriver Set Review

If a case full of sockets and wrenches strikes you as overwhelming, the Stalwart Ratcheting Screwdriver Set is the change of pace you might be looking for. It comes with a ratcheting screwdriver and drivers suited for small jobs, plus a precision screwdriver for detailed work.

You can see how the Stalwart performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Overall Rating4.2

The carry case of this set is made from scratch-resistant hard plastic, making it one of the best socket sets available. Each of the drivers and screwdriver bits are plated with chrome vanadium steel for a corrosion-resistant finish.

Stalwart Ratcheting Screwdriver Set: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the Stalwart ratchet set:

Pros Portable case Precision screwdriver set included Chrome vanadium steel material
Cons Limited tools Low torque

Stalwart Ratcheting Screwdriver Set: Our Experience

Case: Our review team appreciated the quick-release opening system of the Stalwart set’s storage case, so it could be opened with one hand. Because of its size, the Stalwart set has a limited variety of sockets, so don’t expect to find a tool for every job with it.

Torque: The torque of the ratchet screwdriver was lower than expected. Our review team found it to be the weakest of the hand tools we tested. Despite this, the precision screwdriver worked very well and was easy to use.

Accessories: Because of this set’s small size, it doesn’t come with many accessories. We found it useful for people who may need to do more repairs around the house, such as replacing wall socket covers.

The Stalwart Ratcheting Screwdriver Set testing process performed by our auto review team.

Stalwart Ratcheting Screwdriver Set: What Customers Are Saying

One positive comment that gets mentioned is how well the Stalwart set works for field repairs, particularly when vehicles need minor fixes. They also appreciate this set’s compact size, meaning it could be a great option to keep in the car. A few negative comments cite that the screwdriver feels flimsy.

5. Sunex Impact Socket Set: Best Impact

The Sunex Impact Socket Set.

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  • Cost: Around $260
  • Amazon review score: 4.8 out of 5.0 (approx. 4,500 ratings)
  • 51 pieces
  • Cr-Mo steel sockets
  • Universal joint
  • Laser-imprinted labels

Sunex Impact Socket Set Review

More durable and made from harder materials than most standard sockets, the Sunex Impact Socket Set is designed for jobs that require high torque. These sockets have a rounded six-point design, unlike other SAE sockets, which gives them better performance capabilities.

You can see how the Sunex performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Overall Rating4.2

Our pick for the best impact socket set includes a universal joint that can be applied to most hand tools. Each socket is made of Cr-Mo steel and has a laser-imprinted label.

Sunex Impact Socket Set: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the Sunex Impact Socket Set:

Pros Cr-Mo steel sockets Universal joint included Rounded six-point design
Cons No ratchet wrench included Poorly constructed case

Sunex Impact Socket Set: Our Experience

Case: This socket set’s case was decent, but the tool pockets were shallow and did not grip the tools well. This resulted in sockets spilling around inside the case during transport.

Torque: The size marking was clearly indicated on each socket thanks to the combination of its large font imprint and gray-on-black text design. Our review team was fond of the universal joint because of how easily it turned.

Accessories: Unfortunately, this socket set doesn’t come with a ratchet wrench. Consumers will need to have one already in order to use this set to its full potential. Using this with an impact wrench is recommended for the best results.

Two Sunex Impact sockets as displayed by our auto review team.

Sunex Impact Socket Set: What Customers Are Saying

Many reviews discuss Sunex’s high-quality customer service for repairing scratched or missing sockets. It’s especially popular among reviewers who are mechanics and need impact sockets for everyday use. The most common complaint is against the case, which some find too fragile.

Socket Sets Buying Guide

From socket shape to the number of sockets in a kit, here are a few factors to consider before purchasing your next socket set.

Socket Wrench Case

Designed to keep your socket wrench set organized and protect it from wear and tear, the case’s functionality is very important. Not only should a socket set’s case be able to handle light drops and scratches, it should also prevent socket wrench pieces and other tools from cluttering.


The typical socket set has anywhere between 30 and 200 pieces. These pieces can include tooth ratchets, sockets, screwdrivers, combination wrenches, and Allen wrenches.

Socket Type

There are two main types of sockets: six-point and 12-point.

  • Six-point sockets: Better for repairs that require heavier torque.
  • 12-point sockets: Better for fine-tuning and intricate work.

Most sockets are made for hand use, but impact sockets are generally twice as thick and are made for use with heavy-duty tools.

Drive Size And Driver Sockets

A socket’s drive size, or socket size, describes the open portion of the tool that attaches to the ratchet. The typical socket set comes with a wide array of sockets to work on any job. Most will fit on a 1/4-in., 1/2-in., or 3/4-in. ratchet depending on their size. Shallow sockets fit where there is little clearance above the head of the fastener, while deep sockets can reach a nut on a longer, threaded bolt.

Included in many socket sets are driver sockets, which can be used to tighten or loosen fasteners such as flathead screws. Most sets are also equipped with drive adapters and hex-shank adapters that allow drives of all sizes to be used with a tooth wrench or screwdriver.

Most metric sockets are designed for use with hand tools only. And keep in mind that many sockets are measured in imperial and metric sizes.

Other Types Of Socket Sets

  • Impact: Impact sockets are designed to be used with power tools, like impact drivers, and often have a distinctive industrial black coating.
  • Spark plugs: These socket wrenches are longer than standard socket sets and are specifically used for replacing spark plugs.
  • Pass-through: Pass-through sockets use a hollow ratchet head to loosen nuts on long threaded bolts.

Compare Socket Sets

Brand/ModelTotal PiecesWarrantyMaterial
Craftsman Mechanics Tool Set135 piecesFull LifetimeMetal
DeWalt 34-Piece Set34 piecesFull LifetimeMetal
DeWalt 247-Piece Set247 piecesFull LifetimeMetal and vinyl
Stalwart Ratcheting Screwdriver Set41 piecesLifetime LimitedChrome Vanadium Steel and plastic
Sunex Impact Socket Set51 piecesFull LifetimeChrome Molybdenum Steel

Best Socket Sets: Bottom Line

The best socket sets have all the tools you need to complete a DIY automotive product or complete a quick car repair. These socket sets also come organized with specific spots for each tool, making it easy to keep track of all items in your socket set. In this article, along with sharing helpful purchasing tips for those interested in purchasing a socket set, we reviewed the top five socket sets in 2024:

  1. Best for Daily Use: Craftsman Mechanics Tool Set
  2. Best Basic Kit: DeWalt 34-Piece Set
  3. Most Accessories: DeWalt 247-Piece Set
  4. Most Portable: Stalwart Ratcheting Screwdriver Set
  5. Best Impact: Sunex Impact Socket Set

Socket Sets: FAQ

What is the most common socket set?

Almost all socket sets include 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch sockets, as these are two of the most commonly-used bolts in automotive repairs. A 1/4-inch drive will fit into tighter spaces, but a 3/8-inch socket has more torque.

Which is better, a six-point or twelve-point socket?

Six-point sockets are better for jobs that require higher torque and are much less likely to slip off of a stubborn fastener. This is because it’s designed to round over the corners of bolts at a sharper angle than 12-point sockets, greatly improving their grip. On the other hand, 12-point sockets are best suited for lightweight repairs.

Can I use impact sockets with a hand-operated ratchet?

Impact sockets will work with hand-operated ratchets as long as they have the right adapter, just like any other socket. Their thicker bodies are great for tackling jobs that require high torque.

What should I do if the chrome on one of my sockets is stripped?

Stripped sockets can be very sharp and cause bodily damage if not handled properly. If the chrome on one of your sockets is stripped, contact the manufacturer or consider replacing the individual piece. Many manufacturers will replace a stripped piece for little-to-no charge.

What are the strongest sockets?

Generally, six-point sockets are the strongest style of sockets and handle greater amounts of torque.

What socket sets do mechanics use?

Most mechanics or professional DIYers use a good quality ½-inch  drive socket set since that is a common bolt size across many automobiles. 

Full Socket Set Testing Methodology

By considering what we deemed the most important aspects of a socket set – case, torque, and accessories, we could accurately test and compare each socket set against one another to provide an honest and in-depth testing review.

Case: The size of the socket set’s case should be appropriate for easy portability, and its body should be able to handle light bumps. It should also be able to keep tools organized. Socket sets that had durable cases scored better in this category.

Torque: A socket set should have a ratchet that appropriately distributes torque and sockets that don’t slip or corrode easily. Socket sets that had each of these features scored highest in this category.

Accessories: Socket sets should come with a variety of tools, including standard 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, 5/8-inch, and 11/16-inch sockets. They should also include a ratchet or other tool to use the sockets with. Socket sets that had a wider range of sockets and other tools scored highest in this category.

How We Score Products

Star ratings help us differentiate between the top products while ranking them against each other to provide an honest review of how we thought each socket set performed. We calculated an average rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 when comparing all the socket sets in this review.

  • 5.0 Stars: A 5.0-star rating is a well above average score. If the socket set has a durable case that’s easy to use, high-quality tools, and all the accessories you may need in a socket set, you will see a high score of 5.0 stars.
  • 4.0 Stars: A 4.0-star rating is an above-average rating. If the socket set has a durable carrying case but lacks ease of use when it comes to removing the tools from the case’s interior, you’ll likely see a 4.0-star rating.
  • 3.0 Stars: A 3.0-star rating is an average score. If there were some caveats to the socket set, like a poor-quality case or a lack of essential tools, you’d see a 3.0-star rating.
  • 2.0 Stars: A 2.0-star rating is a below-average score. For example, if there are missing tools or the case is very poor quality and bends or breaks easily when tested for durability, you’ll see a 2.0-star rating.
  • 1.0 Star: While rarely seen in our reviews of the best products, a 1.0-star rating is a well below-average score. For socket sets, if tools are defective or break easily, you’ll see a 1.0-star rating.

Why Trust Motor1.com

Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

*Data accurate at time of publication. Products subject to availability.