Tool Review

7 Best Tool Sets for Pros and Backyard Mechanics

Where Can you Buy the Best Mechanic Tool Kit?


If you made the decision to start a career as a mechanic, one of the first things you need is a good tool kit to get you started. There’s a saying out there that “a mechanic is only as good as the tools he owns” While I don’t agree that the best tools money can buy are a necessity, there is some truth in the statement. Having the right tool for the job makes any auto repair easier.


Earlier this year, I did a post about the tools you need to get started as a mechanic”and in that post I went over the most important tools to get started as a mechanic. In this post, I’m going to look at 7 different starter kits for mechanics on the tool market. My goal is to help you decide which kit of tools to buy at the start of your career as an auto technician or mechanic.


Here are the Five Mechanic Starter Kits Were Going to Review


  1. Blue Point 155-piece Combination Drive SAE/Metric General Service Set.
  2. Gearwrench 243-piece 12-pt. Mechanic Tool Set w/3 Drawer Storage.
  3. DeWalt 192-piece Mechanic Tool Set, 12-pt. SAE and Metric, 1/2 3/8 and 1/4 drive.
  4. Craftsman 450-piece Mechanics Tool Set w/3 Ratchets and 16 SAE and Metric Wrences.
  5. Ingersoll Rand 155-piece Mechanics Master Set
  6. Pittsburgh 225-piece Mechanic Tool Kit
  7. Husky Mechanics 230-piece Tool Set


In order to decide which mechanic starter kit you need, we are going to look at three things. First, we’ll look at the quality and tool options, then we’re going to look at  the warranty on each starter kit and finally we will look at how much each set of tools will cost.


Blue-Point 155-piece General Service Set


Quality, options and features.


The Blue Point 155-piece mechanic starter kit is one of the better quality options on the market. It’s also the most expensive on this list and there is probably an alternative to the Blue-Point that will be as good and cost much less.


Featured in the Blue-Point 155-piece starter kit is one of the most diverse selection of tools on this list. The kit has a 1/4 and 3/8 inch drive ratchet, extensions for both, a large selection of SAE and Metric sockets, standard and metric wrenches, Torx bits and E-torx sockets or “eight point” sockets.


Those last two, the Torx and E-torx are not a common tool in a mechanics starter kit but they are becoming more common in automotive applications. Volkswagen and Chevy both use many External Torx fasteners on their engines. Particularly on intake and valve cover bolts. Having those two sets will be a huge plus when you start your career as a technician, but you can buy Torx and E-Torx sets on Amazon for as little as $20 that are just as good. The set I own is made by Lexivon, a company I found on Amazon that sells high-quality tool truck alternatives at a very reasonable price.


Warranty on Blue-Point Mechanic Starter Kit


As with most tools sold on the Snap On truck, the Blue Point starter kit for mechanics is fully guaranteed for life. Snap On will warranty any of the hand tools included in the 155-piece Blue-Point general service set for life.


In the Snap On and Blue-Point terms of service it states that the warranty on hand tools is lifetime but non-transferable. This means technically, you have to have proof of purchase to warranty Blue-Point, but any dealer worth buying from will not replace broken tools no questions asked.


How to Warranty Blue-Point Mechanic starter kit?


The easiest way to warranty any broken tools in the Blue-Point starter kit is through a Snap On representative but if you don’t have a tool truck available there is an alternative. Blue-Point tools can be warrantied online as well although the process may not be as easy due to the proof of purchase term.


It may not be a problem to warranty your Blue-Point starter kit online, but having a Snap On dealer is easier. That’s part of the hassle with tool trucks and why I always look for an alternative.


Price of the Blue-Point General Service starter kit


Heres where the problem with Blue-Point and Snap On lies in my opinion. The price of the  Blue-Point starter kit is almost double that of the next most expensive kit on this list at $705.00 brand new from Snap On. If you are starting your mechanic career out of tech school, Snap on does offer a huge discount to students so this may be an opportunity to get a deal on the tool truck.


You can also purchase the Blue-Point General Service 155-piece set on eBay “used” for a lot less if money if cash is an issue. My recommendation would be to keep on reading because there are cheaper, better alternatives to this Blue-Point starter kit on this list.


Gearwrench 243-piece Mechanic Tool Set


Quality, options and features


Next on this list of the best mechanic starter kits is the Gearwrench 243-piece Mechanic Tool Set. As the name suggests, this starter kit comes with a respectable 243 pieces to get anyone starting out in the automotive industry a head start on tools. One cool thing about the 243-piece Gearwrench set is it comes in six or twelve point, so you can buy the one that fits your needs better.



Featured in the 243-piece Gearwrench is a set of 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 inch 84 tooth tear drop  ratchets with a full set of SAE and Metric sockets. Extensions, adapters and hex bit sockets are included in this starter kit as well as 23 wrenches, a ratcheting screw driver and several other small accessories. If you want to add a unique ratchet to your box, there’s a cool one I found by TEKTON that folds and is similar to the Snap On stubby flex-head.


Like a few of the others on this list, the Gearwrench mechanic starter kit comes with a nice little three drawer carry-around tool box. If you have a larger tool box, you can take everything out and get socket trays, etc. or you can just work out of the tool box supplied with the starter kit.


Warranty on Gearwrench Starter Kit


Gearwrench is known to have one of the best hand tool warranties out there, rivaling even Snap On when it comes to their no questions asked warranty. With that being said, everything that comes with the Gearwrench mechanic starter kit will be fully warrantied for the life of the tool.


How to warranty the Gearwrench 243-piece Mechanic Starter Kit?


If you aren’t sure how to warranty Gearwrench tools already, it’s quite simple. Using the warranty form online, you give Gearwrench some basic information about the tool, include a picture of what is broken and add any extra details you would like them to know about the warranty issue.


If you are lucky enough to live in certain parts of the country, there is actually a Gearwrench truck that’s very similar to Snap On. Warrantying your Gearwrench tools is much easier if this is the case because the truck will come to you and replace the broken items for free.


Price of the Gearwrench 243-piece Mechanic Tool Set


Its not the end-all be-all deciding factor, but how much your tools cost is ultimately going to be a deciding factor At less than $300 on Amazon, the price of the Gearwrench starter kit is in the middle range on this list of mechanic starter kits. Not bad for a set of tools that will be enough for most entry-level jobs in the automotive industry.


DeWalt 192-piece Mechanic Tool Starter Set


Quality, options and features


I don’t usually think of DeWalt when I think about mechanic tools, but here we are with the DeWalt 192-piece “mechanic tool set.” I researched the DeWalt starter kit a little better because they aren’t known for automotive tools and I came away surprised by the reviews on Amazon.


Given a 4.8 out of 5, this beginner set seems to be a pretty popular choice. Inside a case “so sturdy it could probably be run over by a truck” according to one Amazon buyer, you will find all of the tools you need to get started working on cars. It comes with all 3 drive sizes, short and deep well sockets, extensions and adapters plus spark plug sockets.




The DeWalt kit comes with a spark plug wrench, hex head and Torx sockets as well as swivels for all three drives and Allen wrenches. It might not be a name you see every day in automotive tools, but it seems like DeWalt did a good job with this tool set.


Warranty on the DeWalt Mechanic Tool Set


According to the DeWalt support page, mechanic tools made by DeWalt are covered by the company’s full lifetime warranty. Similar to almost every hand tool brand, you can warranty DeWalt hand tools by sending a picture of the broken tool along with some basic information and once approved, you will be shipped a new tool.


What’s the price of the DeWalt Mechanic tool kit?


This DeWalt tool kit for mechanics just starting out or learning the trade can be bought online at Amazon for under $175. It can also be bought from Home Depot, although you will probably have to buy the DeWalt kit online through them as well.


Tack on an extra fifty if Home Depot is where you decide to buy the DeWalt mechanic tool set as it will cost you $232 with the case included. With Amazon you can have the tool kit delivered in two days if you are a Prime member. Amazon is giving away a 30 day trial right now, so use it and then ditch it if you aren’t happy with it.


Craftsman 450 Piece Mechanic Starter Kit


Quality, options and features


Craftsman tools has made big changes in recent years since Stanley Black and Decker took the brand over from Sears. I wrote a post about the “new Craftsman” recently, but how good is this whopping 450-piece Craftsman tool kit for mechanics? Are the tools inside worth putting in the hands of a professional auto tech?


For reference, there is a picture of the 450-piece Craftsman Mechanic Tool Set. Included in the 3 drawer setup are all three drive ratchets- 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 inch along with both deep and short sockets. A unique aspect of the Craftsman tool set is that it comes with six, eight and twelve point sockets in both standard and metric. 191 pieces of this set is sockets, so you can be confident you won’t be looking for the right socket for long with the Crafstman starter set.


Reviews online seem to be mostly positive surrounding the Craftsman 450-piece mechanic tool set. The negative reviews I found were mostly regarding packaging and issues with the tools not staying in place in the drawers. As far as what tools you get in the Craftsman set, it seems to only lack pliers, but most of these starter sets do not include pliers. If you need a good set of pliers to get started, Irwin “Vice-Grip” makes a nice assorted set for under $40 you can buy online. 

Warranty on the Craftsman Mechanic 450-Piece Master Set


One of the biggest reasons Craftsman was so popular with mechanics for so long was the seamless warranty process. Instead of waiting for Snap On, mechanics had an alternative in Craftsman that allowed them to warranty a tool on a Saturday night at any of the thousands of Sears locations. In 2022, Sears barely has a pulse so it’s worth asking- how can you warranty Craftsman tools?


How to Warranty Craftsman Tools in 2022


Just like every other tool starter kit on this list, the Craftsman mechanic tool set can be warrantied through an easy online process. One advantage to Craftsman though is there are also several retailers selling and warrantying the brand these days.


Lowes, ACE Hardware and even Napa Auto Parts are all selling Craftsman tools in their stores through a licensing deal with Stanley. Any of these retailers can warranty a broken Craftsman tool in 2022. I’ve read mixed reports about the process, but the majority say it was easy to warranty in-store.


How much does the 450-piece Craftsman Mechanic Tool Set cost?




Buying the Craftsman 450-piece set in-store is going to be the most expensive way to buy it. Per the usual, buying the Craftsman starter set is cheapest on Amazon at $327 but with such a large selection of sockets, ratchets and wrenches plus the easiest warranty process, Craftsman might have the best deal on this list.


As I wrote in my previous post on Craftsman Tools, quality is down since Stanley took over the brand. Although it may be the “best deal” on a tool kit for aspiring mechanics it’s probably not professional quality or meant to take the beating of a tool in the hands of an auto technician. What it is perfect for is the DIY people that don’t mind working on their own vehicle and want all their mechanic tools in one place.


Ingersoll Rand 155-piece Mechanic Tool Set


Quality, features and options


Ingersoll Rand is known well in the automotive industry for air pneumatic power tools, so this set made me curious. When I came across a set of hand tools made by Ingersoll Rand in my search of the best mechanic starter kits I had to get a closer look at it.


I have no doubt they can build quality tools, but are Ingersoll Rand hand tools any good? After looking over the IR mechanic tool kit, I’m not overly impressed but at the price point, which we will get to, I wasn’t expecting a Snap On alternative in these tools. The Amazon listing for the Ingersoll Rand 155-piece mechanic tool kit also did little to persuade me that it was a good tool kit for professional mechanics.



Using a ratchet with only 72 teeth and a 5 degree swing arc, I was immediately reminded of those cheap ratchets that I used as a kid that made a very audible click with every tooth. Once I looked further into it, there’s no doubt this mechanic kit is not for professionals, but for DIYers that just want a ratchet, some sockets and some wrenches in a case they can carry around. It would be perfect to throw under the back seat in case of a break down.


Warranty on Ingersoll Rand 155-piece Mechanic Tool Set


According to Ingersoll Rand’s warranty and support page, “most” hand tools are covered for life. I would think that this set would fall under the “most”, but I have a feeling the warranty process would be a little bit of a headache. Because virtually no one carries Ingersoll Rand hand tools, warranty claims will be internet only and with a specialized tool set like this it’s possible warranty parts will not be available.


In my search for information on Ingersoll Rand’s hand tool warranty, I came up virtually empty aside from the companies own website. Once you see the price, you’ll see it’s likely that people don’t worry too much about free replacement IR hand tools.


How much does the Ingersoll Rand 155-piece Mechanic Tool Set cost?



Sold on Ingersoll Rand’s website for $229, the 155-piece tool set can be bought on Amazon at a huge discount selling for only $149. This is one of those mechanic tool kits that you buy your husband for Christmas to put in his truck or tinker around the house. I do not consider the Ingersoll Rand mechanic tool kit a professional option or tool truck alternative.


Pittsburgh 225-piece Mechanic Tool Set


Quality, features and options


This has turned into a quite exhaustive list, but the harder I look, the more I find good starter kits for automotive tools. This one is Pittsburgh brand, which is Harbor Freight’s “store brand” that they market to mechanics. I was hoping to see an Icon Tools starter kit, which is their new professional line of tools they tout as a Snap On alternative. I reviewed Icon wrenches about a year ago and I was impressed after using them.


Pittsburgh 225-piece mechanic tool set


Since Icon has yet to come out with a mechanics starter kit or any tool set aside from the Snap Ring pliers, we are left with the Pittsburgh 225-piece Mechanic Tool Set. This set of automotive tools is going to be exactly what you expect from a store brand hand tool company. It offers 225 tools ranging from all three drive ratchets to short and deep sockets, hex heads, wrenches and other odds and ends.


The Pittsburgh Mechanic Tool Set is another one that isn’t going to see much time in a professional setting, but at the price point it may be useful at home or under the back seat.


Warranty on Pittsburgh 225-piece Mechanic Tool Set


Harbor Freight has a no questions asked warranty return policy on Pittsburgh tools, so no matter what you can take them in and get new ones. If you’re not close to a Harbor Freight, the company offers a standard online warranty form and reviews are favorable. It seems at the end of the day you should have no problem warrantying Pittsburgh Tools.


How much does the Pittsburgh 225-piece Mechanic Tool Set cost?



Harbor Freight lists this automotive tool set at $149 original price- right on par with the IR set but right now it’s on sale for $99. It’s a good deal for your garage at home or changing your own oil but it won’t hold up to the extreme pounding it would get in an auto repair shop.


Husky H230MTS Mechanics 230-Piece Tool Set w/Drawers


Quality, features and options


Husky tools used to just be Home Depot’s flagship “store brand” at one time. Amidst competition from other hardware stores offering automotive tool selections, Husky tools stepped up their game and became one of the more trusted tool truck alternatives on the market. The company started building high quality tool boxes and tool kits like the H230MTS and emerged as one of the best store brand automotive tools.


You can learn more about the Husky 230-piece mechanic tool set by clicking the picture. 


In this 230 piece mechanics starter kit, Husky gives you a 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 inch drive ratchet, 138 sockets in standard and metric, extensions and adapters plus a set of hex keys and a nut driver with almost thirty accessories. The Husky kit only comes with ten wrenches, so you will need to invest in more if this is the tool kit you decide to buy. The lack of wrenches is a definite drawback to the Husky 230-piece mechanic tool set. If I was going to go to 230, I would go to 240 and add ten more wrenches.


Warranty on Husky 230-piece Mechanic Tool Set


One of the definite advantages to buying Husky Tools is the ability to Warranty them at Home Depot stores even if you didn’t buy them there. The warranty return page for Husky on Home Depot’s website says, “if your Husky product ever fails, bring it back and we will replace it for free”. I have yet to return a Husky tool and I actually do own some, but I’m willing to take Home Depot at their word since the retailer has a solid reputation.


Any time a tool has a simple, no questions asked, walk-in return policy I consider it to be a benefit. Husky, like Craftsman and a couple others on this list have that type of warranty/return policy and it puts them higher on my list of tool truck alternatives. Even with Snap On’s famous warranty process, you still have to wait a week in some cases to even see your dealer.


How much does the Husky 230-piece Mechanics Tool Set cost?



The Husky 230-piece tool set comes in a little on the high side in price range at $289 on Amazon, but it is higher quality than the Ingersoll Rand and Pittsburgh sets. It’s probably right on par in terms of the quality of the Craftsman set, but that set has over 200 more pieces included.


In that case, it comes down to personal preference and which tool brand you trust the most.


Final Opinion on the Best Mechanic Tool Sets for New Auto Technicians and DIY Mechanics


In this list, we extensively reviewed seven of the most popular mechanic tool kits on the market today. In the end, did we find an answer to which of the tool sets is the best? Or did we just give different options for different jobs when it comes to mechanic tools?


Starting with the Blue-Point General Service set, we looked at one of the most expensive tool kits. After that we went all the way to the cheapest with the Pittsburgh set and back to a middle of the road set with the Husky 230-piece tool kit. Instead of finding the best mechanic tool kit, we went on adventure and ended up with seven different options for the mechanic, aspiring mechanic or mechanic we love.

I hope it was helpful. 




By John Green

I’m John Green. I’m a 33 year old auto technician from Upstate New York. I have 18 years of experience as an automotive light duty and heavy duty truck mechanic. Cars, trucks and anything with moving parts are my passion in my professional life.

Aside from my life as a technician, I am also a seasoned investor and consider myself very financially literate. I use this other passion combined with my passion for cars, trucks and tools to look for ways to save money for my technician friends.

Raising my three girls and teaching them the proper way of life is my personal passion in life. If you want to know more, just ask! I’m on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube as well!