Tool kits are indispensable for any car owner. Sooner or later, you will need to use a wrench or a ratchet. Besides, you can save money if you fix your car. With a decent range of tools, any repair task is feasible. No more frustration due to a bolt you cannot reach. So, what makes the best car tool kit?
Most Cases Are Multi-Purpose
Most sets are suitable for household repairs and automotive needs. Why? Generic wrenches and other tools can handle parts and fasteners of most cars. Do not look for pure automotive repair collections. If you need the best car tool kit, look at the quality first. Durability is an important factor.
The tools must be protected from corrosion, and they should be easy to clean. Car mechanics should focus on resistance to oil, water, dust, and other substances. Otherwise, their wrenches start to rust quickly.
Another important aspect is moving parts — for instance, adjustable wrenches for the ratchet. These are the first things to fail. If saving money is your first priority, you risk buying low-quality tools that will not last long. The best tool set for cars is durable, and it will serve you for years. This is why reputable manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty.
More Is Not Always Better
Different sets include a different number of tools because there are no universal criteria. Naturally, the more pieces there are — the more tasks you can complete. However, the number is not a reliable indicator on its own. Instead, focus on the quality and types of items in a set to find the best car tool kit.
Most sets include tools for household and automotive needs, so determine which of them are useful for car repairs. If you are choosing your first set, less is more. In the future, you can easily expand your collection with extra kits and items.
The Case Is Not That Important
You do not have to use the original case for the tools. In fact, as tool sizes are standard, you may purchase any other case. It all depends on your needs and the quality of the included case.
Of course, trusted brands use sturdy materials, rather than cheap plastic. Still, the case should not be a deal-breaker if the collection is really the best car tool kit for your tasks.
5 Best Sets in 2021
DeWALT DWMT 81534 205-Piece Mechanics Set
The manufacturer has earned a reputation for quality, and this set of mechanic tools will not disappoint you. Inside, you will find 205 items in total. Most of them are ratchet socket heads of different sizes (there is a 72-tooth ratchet). The full-polish finish prevents corrosion.
Range of Tools
Although there is enough variety, you will not find extras like a hammer or pliers. This car tool box includes sockets, combination wrenches, hex keys, accessories, specialty and nut bits, and a bit driver. All the tools demonstrate DeWALT’s signature quality, including DirectTorque technology.
Thanks to the system, a wrench head can apply enhanced rotational force. This makes it easier to loosen or fasten nuts. With the 5-degree arc swing, it is also easier to access tight places with the ratchet. The screwdriver is very comfortable to use, as it has an anti-slip handle.
The set weighs 26.5 lbs, and the carrying case has metal latches for security. It is a durable blow mold casing.
Disadvantages of the Set
First, some customers may find the socket markings unclear. You may need to fumble and guess, wasting precious time. The manufacturer should have used white lettering to help users identify the sizes immediately. However, this is not a deal-breaker.
Any amateur could say this is the best car tool kit. Professional car mechanics, nevertheless, may find its socket set insufficient. They could consider getting a smaller set with a better socket range (for example, the 192-piece one). Finally, there are no buttons to remove the sockets from the wrenches.
Still, this is an all-purpose, high-quality collection of tools. It may be used for automotive repair, boat repairs, and any DIY. Overall, this set is worth every penny. The tool kit for car meets the needs of beginners and seasoned professionals. The company provides a lifetime warranty and hassle-free replacement.
This company is a true veteran, as it has been in business for over a hundred years. Its loyal audience is sure to appreciate this set. The model reflects the company’s incessant assessment and innovation, and it is one of the best automotive tool sets. It meets both ANSI and ASME specifications.
This kit is an upgraded version of CTK170CMP. One may say the manufacturer took the original, kept the best car tool box kit elements, and added enhanced quality. These 170 pieces are geared towards the most common parts and tasks in the automotive repair field. It is also suitable for avid DIYers.
Range of Tools
The range of SAE & metric socket wrenches and hex keys is truly comprehensive. The ratchets have a 72-tooth gear system. In addition to spanners and wrenches, you will find pliers, a set of Allen keys, and an all-in-one screwdriver. It has a magnetic tip and comes with 4 sets of bits for it.
Not only are the tools diverse and very well-made of chrome vanadium. The price is also a pleasant surprise. The company also provides a lifetime warranty for this car trunk tool box.
The carrying case (total weight is 20 lbs), is now sturdier and more durable. In the first model, it was made of cheap plastic and was not impact-resistant. Moreover, the plastic organizer was a complete failure, as the slots did not keep everything together.
The second edition is very different. Not only is the case tougher. It is also easier to take the tools out and put them back in. It is quite compact and easy to store in a car or garage. The case has a comfortable carry handle, two clips on the top and two on the bottom.
Disadvantages of the Set
The only drawback is that the half-inch wrench is heavy and does not stay seated in its slot during transportation.
All in all, it is a great set to use while on the road. This could be the best car tool kit for you.
WORKPRO 408-Piece Mechanics Tool Set
The sheer number of items is stunning — 408! This is twice as many pieces as in most rival sets. Moreover, in addition to the cars tool set, buyers also get a home repair hand tool kit that includes 322 items. This set has everything most professionals need. It is the ultimate collection for all automotive and household tasks. The manufacturer provides a lifetime warranty.
The set includes a rich variety of Allen keys, bits, sockets, pliers, and strippers. There is also a hammer and a set of screwdrivers. Storage and transportation are convenient.
The box contains four trays, each with a special set of tools. Note that taking the trays out of the boxes is a bad idea, as they may easily break. Each of them sits on a piece of foam which keeps it sturdy.
The top drawer contains the sockets and the wrenches. There are two spark plug sockets, but no deep sockets or swivel adapter. It would have been good if the manufacturer had included at least one deep option for SAE/metric.
This drawer contains an assortment of wrenches, except for 16. As this size is rarely used, it is hardly a disadvantage. The adjustable wrench has a comfortable grip, and it covers the range between 0 and 2 inches. It fits right in the middle, separating the metric from the SAE.
Here, you will find an assortment of pliers and screwdrivers with several sets of bits. There are flatheads, phillips, and allens. All screwdrivers and pliers have a comfortable grip.
The bottom drawer contains a ball pein hammer, a utility knife with two stacks of blades for it (the knife is very comfortable and cuts very well). The 16-ounce hammer is a mechanical must and one of the most commonly used hammers in the car repair field.
Disadvantages of the Set
Note that some bit sets, such as square drive and PZ style, are not used by car mechanics. Slip joint pliers are also missing. As deep bits are missing, you may need to purchase extra items if you need to get to some deep places.
Overall, this very decent set is one of the best car tool kit options today. Of course, given the size, the set is also relatively heavy (27 lbs). It comes in a durable metal box, while the extra hand tool is placed in a soft bag. All the tools are made of an extremely durable material (chrome vanadium) for a longer lifespan. The chrome finish protects them from rust.
Most people associate this brand with home repairs, rather than automotive works. However, this car tool kit is a decent collection for any mechanic. It is versatile and well-balanced. The case weighing 20.3 lbs contains a decent array of multi-purpose tools. All the pieces are very solid and well-made. This model is the company’s foray into the automotive field, and it is undeniably successful.
Range of Tools
There are 210 pieces in total. This includes the accessories for the universal screwdriver and the standard socket wrench. The latter is an adjustable 6-inch tool. The collection also features pliers and a utility knife.
Few mechanic tool boxes include a tape measure — here, you will find a 16-foot one. This clearly relates back to the company’s DIY background. There are sockets, deep sockets, and even a spark plug socket.
The array of bits includes plenty of duplicates, particularly for items that commonly get worn out or lost (e.g., square bits and phillips). Long bits, however, are absent. Therefore, if you want to get at something deep, you can only use a phillips, a flat screwdriver, or a hex wrench.
The hex wrenches are in plastic bags — they are not forced into slots molded on the plastic case. The tools stay firmly secure, although a few can break loose if you drop the case. The tape measure is only 16 feet, and it does not have any metric markings.
The screwdrivers, long-nose pliers, and tongue and groove pliers have comfy cushy handles. The wrench is smooth and easily adjustable. There are 8 combination wrenches. The reverse switch mechanism is easy to operate even with one hand.
The case is sturdy, and you can even stand on it. Almost everything is easy to remove when necessary. Unless you have large fingers, you won’t have any problems removing even the smallest pieces from their slots.
The case opens and closes easily thanks to a big spinning disc with the brand name. However, this is the only locking mechanism. There would be no space for a padlock if you decided to reinforce the locking system.
Disadvantages of the Set
The utility knife is stiff, and it can be difficult to take it apart when you decide to replace the blade. There is no hammer.
Overall, it is a decent assortment of solid tools with a full lifetime warranty. The set seems to have almost everything, and it comes in one of the best blow-molded cases on the market. The range of sockets, bits, and hex wrenches is wide. The key drawbacks are the absence of long bits and a thin choice of combination wrenches.
Dekopro 192-Piece Mechanics Tool Set
When the company was devising this set of tools, it was obviously aiming at the best value for money. The model is a versatile yet affordable set of tools for amateurs and professionals. Usually, a comprehensive collection can only be affordable at the expense of quality. So, is this the case with Dekopro?
Range of Tools
You will be impressed by this set. First, all 192 pieces are made of durable forged chrome vanadium. Secondly, all of them comply with key ANSI critical standards. The set is suitable for household repairs and automotive repairs. It suits all basic needs. There are different screwdriver sets, two ratchets, combination wrenches, and drive sockets. A socket adaptor and tongue-and-groove pliers are also included.
The black blow molded case is portable, and you can keep it in your car. Its interior is sturdy, and the organizer is effective. The items are arranged intuitively, which is another advantage. It is easy to understand where to place which item. Compact size is an important USP.
Disadvantages of the Set
The biggest drawback is the warranty (only 30 days). As the full drill bit set is missing, this option is recommended as a starter option or an addition to other sets. Thus, mechanics may need to reach out to their old tools at least occasionally. Alternatively, they may keep a pot of extra bits.
There are other weaknesses. Some tools mechanics use quite often (e.g., wire cutters) are missing. Therefore, it is definitely not the best car tool kit for professionals.
Overall, Dekopro 192 contains the most essential tools and useful items for basic repairs, both automotive and household. As a vehicle repair kit, it may be classified as basic, rather than advanced. Thanks to high-quality materials, these tools make any repair task a breeze.
To choose the best car tool kit, focus on your tasks, and do not look for perfection. Each of the sets has its benefits and drawbacks. For instance, Dekopro 192-Piece Mechanics Tool is comprehensive but more suitable for rookies rather than professionals.
In comparison, WORKPRO 408-Piece Mechanics Tool Set is the most comprehensive set. Still, it contains quite a few tools useful for construction workers, rather than car repairmen. It also includes no long bits. The DeWALT DWMT 81534 205-Piece Mechanics Set is another all-in-one set, but its range of sockets is relatively limited.
Therefore, you should not focus on the number of tools alone. Think of your own needs, and look for specific sets of items (bits, wrenches, sockets, etc.). Few tool sets are created for car mechanics only. You are more likely to buy a multi-purpose collection.
But is it wise to pay for tools you will never use? Sometimes, less is more. Choose the best car tool kit based on your personal goals. Focus on the items you really need.
All five sets we have reviewed deserve attention, as they offer durable and versatile tools made of chrome vanadium. However, Dekopro does not provide a lifetime warranty, unlike the other four contenders. This makes its products less attractive.