You may think you know wrenches, but there’s a world of wrench sets out there that you may not be aware of. Online shopping has opened up the range of tools you can buy, and if you want to make a good decision, make sure you have all the facts.
We have covered the best and worst attributes of several wrench sets, so that you know exactly what each set is like before you buy. That way, you can find the model that is right for you, while avoiding issues you would hate. There’s also a buyer’s guide, so if you want to ensure you’re considering everything before you buy, make sure you check it out.
|EFFICERE Master |
|Performance Tool W1099||32-Piece||4.3/5|
|Craftsman 12 Point ||8-Piece||4.2/5|
The TEKTON Combination Wrench Set, 30-Piece has every standard wrench you’ll ever need, so you won’t have to buy these tools again in the future. This set has excellent variety and includes some of the rarer metric and SAE sizes, so you’ll always have the tool you need on hand. There’s a lot to like about the box end on these tools. They’re offset by 15 degrees, which gives your fingers some clearance and lessens the chance of accidentally bloodying your knuckles. They also come with a 12-point opening, which makes it easy to get set on a bolt. This also reduces the chances of rounding it off, since it puts pressure on the faces instead of on the points.
These wrenches are forged from chrome vanadium steel. This is some of the best steel for tools, because it’s extremely strong, but not brittle, and it also naturally resists corrosion. The only thing we don’t like about this set is the cheap storage racks. They won’t really protect your wrenches, and they’re not durable enough for travel. Still, the wrenches are good enough to give this set the top spot.
The GearWrench Combination Wrench Set, 22-Piece is easily the best all-metric wrench set on our list. This set features long-handled wrenches, so you can maximize your torque and make even the toughest jobs easy. The size is also stamped on both the head and the shaft, so you can quickly identify which size is which and get back to work. Plus, these wrenches come with offset box ends, which will help protect your knuckles when working with surface-mounted nuts or bolts. If you’ve suffered through non-offset wrenches before, you know how nice this feature can be.
These tools are nickel-chrome plated, so they’ll be corrosion-resistant for a very long time, and they look great, too. What keeps this set out of first place is the fact that there are occasional manufacturing defects, which is something you don’t want to deal with at this price. You can always exchange the defective wrench for free, but the manufacturer should take steps to ensure that it’s delivering a quality product every time. If you only need metric wrenches, this is a great set for you, and one you’ll love for years to come.
If you want great tools at a great price, check out the EFFICERE Master Combination Wrench Set, 24-Piece. This set is made from chrome vanadium steel, which is both incredibly strong, and also naturally corrosion-resistant. That makes this kit attractive to those who want tools that last. These wrenches also have offset, 12-point box ends, which makes them very similar to the top models on our list in that regard. If you want to make sure you don’t accidentally round any nuts and want clearance for your fingers, you’ll like these.
However, this set’s best attribute is that it costs about a fifth of what you’d pay for the top two sets on our list. Since the quality is so high, you’re missing out on very little at the lower price. In fact, the only negative we can find is that these wrenches are very short, which won’t matter to you if you’re not working with tough bolts. Overall, if you’re looking for a deal, you’ll be extremely happy with this set.
The Performance Tool W1099, 32-Piece is a kit many people will consider if they need a wide range of metric and SAE wrenches. Since you’re getting 16 of each type, you’ll be able to tackle just about any project. This set comes with a case, and while it isn’t the greatest case in the world, it’s superior to the bags that come with most other wrench sets. This price’s set isn’t terrible, so if you want to save money and get lots of wrenches, you’ll be happy with it.
While you might think this set has the potential to be a “best value” pick, it has several serious flaws that hurt its value. This set often ships with a wrench missing, and the time spent with customer service fixing the problem is an avoidable headache. The case is also somewhat fragile and sometimes damaged in shipping. Likewise, the chrome coating on these wrenches is easily damaged, which makes them vulnerable to corrosion. Ultimately, this set provides too much trouble to be great value, though its price is low enough that some people will still like it.
Craftsman is a storied brand, and while it’s fallen from its former dominance, some people are still looking for the same great quality from that company. The Craftsman 12 Point Combination-Wrench Set, 8-Piece is worth considering. It has a 12-point box end, which is good for preventing accidental rounding, though it’s not offset as the box ends on other models. That means you don’t get the same level of knuckle protection. This set also has a lifetime warranty, so you can exchange the tools if they were to break.
These tools have a generally comfortable feel, though that’s not something most people are looking for in their wrenches. Unfortunately, this set doesn’t come with a case or a bag, which makes it unsuitable for gifting. It also suffers from damage issues in the factory. Many times, people receive tools that are scratched or dinged. While cosmetic damage may not hurt the tool’s longevity, and the warranty program covers the damage, it’s a sign that the manufacturer doesn’t take enough care. Overall, it’s an okay set, but you can get better value with a different set.
The Crescent CX6RWS7 Combination-Wrench Set, the 7-Piece set has an interesting concept, but it doesn’t work well enough to make it a great buy. The concept is that of ratcheting open-end wrenches. Typically, you only see ratcheting functions on closed-ended wrenches, so something novel is presented here. When it works, it’s a useful feature that can save you some time. However, it doesn’t always work. When bolts get stuck or even merely tight, this tool often fails to work at all, which is a huge issue.
These wrenches look great and have redesigned shafts and laser-etched size markings that will never wear off, but if the function isn’t great, the tools aren’t worth the money. Overall, they just don’t work as well as they should, which means they’re not a good buy. They’re subject to some of the same cosmetic problems that plague other wrenches. Unfortunately, you can’t pop into a local store to trade them for new tools. Overall, this set isn’t one most people will enjoy using, and you can get better tools for the same price.
If you’re still not sure which wrench set will cover your needs, have a look at this buyer’s guide. We cover everything you need to know about these great tools, so you can make a decision that leaves you satisfied with your purchase for years to come. This guide also includes some tips on getting great value for your money, so if you’re looking for a great deal, read on.
The material your wrenches are made from is easily the most important feature. Wrenches made from high-quality materials rarely break or corrode, and they last for decades. Those made from low-quality materials frequently have issues with durability and corrosion. If you’re looking for tools that can take a beating and keep on going, invest in high-quality wrenches.
The best wrenches on the market are typically made from chrome vanadium steel. Chrome vanadium is featured in a lot of tools for a reason. It’s extremely durable, but it’s not brittle, so it can stand up well to use and abuse. It also has some natural resistance to corrosion, so you can expect tools made from it to last for decades.
Be wary of product descriptions that claim the wrench is made from “high carbon” steel. Carbon steels vary greatly in strength and durability, so it’s unclear whether the company is using something strong, or something cheap. High carbon steels also typically need an outer corrosion-resistant coating, or they rust easily, so make sure you’re getting a coated tool.
Other small features can make or break a wrench set for most people. The most noticeable of these is the offset box end. These ends are set at around a fifteen-degree angle relative to the handle. While an offset end won’t always be a useful feature, it comes in handy when you’re trying to remove a nut or bolt that’s sitting near-flush with a surface with obstructions. It lets you clear little bumps that would frustrate a straight wrench, but also gives your fingers some clearance over the surface as well.
Many combination wrenches come with 12-point box ends, as these are less likely to round bolts or nuts, and give you an overall better grip, which can be great for loosening really stuck fasteners. However, not all models come with these, so be sure you know what you’re getting before you buy.
Many people try to get great value by investing in the most expensive or least expensive sets they can find. While this sometimes works out, there’s a good chance that following that strategy will result in you getting a set you don’t like using, or that you paid far too much for.
Instead, it’s a good idea to start with your needs. Determine whether you need metric or SAE tools, and how many sizes you’ll need to get your jobs done. Spend some time thinking about the quality standards your tools will need to meet to leave you satisfied with your purchase.
Make a shortlist of combination wrench sets that meet those standards, and then rank them by price. Eliminate any that don’t have everything on your wish list. Then, choose the lowest-priced model from that list. It may not be the most affordable set on the market, but it has the lowest price for sets that meet your needs. That makes it the best value for you.
Some of our other wrench-related posts:
The TEKTON Combination Wrench Set is the best overall set due to its great wrench variety, off-set ends, and high-quality chrome vanadium steel bodies. In second is the GearWrench Combination Wrench Set. It has long wrenches, with the sizes stamped in multiple places. These tools are coated in nickel-chrome, though the occasional manufacturing defect hurts their value. The EFFICERE Master Combination Wrench Set is made from chrome vanadium steel and includes a nice pouch. Since you can get it for a low price, it’s the best overall value for the money on our list. The Performance Tool W1099, 32-Piece has great wrench variety and includes a case, but the occasional missing tool and likelihood of cosmetic damage drop it to fourth place. The Craftsman 12 Point Combination-Wrench Set, 8-Piece’s lifetime warranty is the best on our list, but the lack of a case and frequency of cosmetic damage hurt its value. Last place is taken by the Crescent CX6RWS7 Combination-Wrench Set, 7-Piece. It has an innovative open-ended ratcheting wrench, but this feature doesn’t work well enough to justify the price.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!