The Best Socket Sets: We’ve Got Your Hardware Covered

You’ll have all the tools you need within easy reach thanks to these complete socket sets.

byLisa Conant|
The best socket sets
It’s time to ratchet up your toolbox. Amazon


We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

One of the most frustrating things about any DIY project is to be caught without the one socket that you need and don’t have (why is it always the 10mm?). Wasting time searching high and low, and then going on yet another trip to the hardware store gets annoying. You’re putting the task on hold and spending more money than you need to in the process.

Suddenly, what was a quick project turns into an all-day—or multi-day—ordeal.

But how do you avoid that? Preparation. And in your garage, you prepare by building a solid collection of organized sockets. While we might not know what you're working with, we can fill you in on what can round out, or fully build out, your current collection and find the missing link for your soon-to-be bulletproof hardware loadout.

Best Overall

Craftsman 27 Pc Sae Standard And Metric 3/8" Drive 6 Point Socket Set

One 16-piece metric and one 11-piece standard, 6-point, deep-well socket sets for 3/8-inch drive ratchet, making this set very versatile.
  • Affordable pricing
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Respectable quality
  • Decent socket selection
  • Doesn’t include a hard storage case
  • Deep-well sockets only
Honorable Mention

GearWrench 1/4 in. and 3/8 in. Drive 6-Point Ratchet and Socket Mechanics Tool Set

A premium quality tool set that comes with a solid selection of SAE and metric sockets as well as a ratchet, accessories, and storage case.
  • Comprehensive kit with almost every size socket you could want
  • Includes metric and SAE sizes
  • Storage case included
  • Only designed for use with hand tools
  • Storage case could be better made
  • Somewhat pricey
Best Allen/Hex Drive

DeWalt 3/8 in. Drive Bit Socket Set

This comprehensive kit is priced quite well for everything it offers.
  • SAE hex, metric hex, and Torx
  • Great price
  • Great quality
  • No drive tool included

Summary List

Our Methodology

We can’t put our own hands on every item available. In these instances, we put our collective experience in journalism, research, and prior product testing to use to make our product picks. Items that are used by our own staff may get earnest endorsements as well, but we’ll never accept fees or bonuses to sell you stuff we’re not actually excited about. Affiliate revenue is always disclosed.

The Drive aggregates reviews and research from all over the internet to figure out which products are worth buying. We also put out shopping guides to help you understand how to assess the value of these things on your own. Remember, friends: Knowledge is horsepower!

Best Socket Set: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: Craftsman 27 Pc Sae Standard & Metric 3/8" Drive 6 Point Socket Set



Lifetime warranty

Respectable quality


No case included

Deep-well sockets only

As far as paramount quality goes, you really can't beat Craftsman. This set, while not as extensive as some of the others in this guide, packs a lot of value for what you get. First off, 3/8th inch is a great universal size with so many applications. Then, 27 sockets covers a very wide range, which makes it quite universal. Finally, because it's Craftsman, they carry a lifetime warranty.

Though, it's a bummer that a hard case isn't included. Also—and this is really being picky—deep-well sockets aren't the most universal option.

Best Value: GearWrench 1/4 in. and 3/8 in. Drive 6-Point Tool Set


Comprehensive kit with almost every size you'd need

Metric and SAE

Case included for organization


Case is a little flimsy

Only designed for hand tools

If you’re looking for a complete socket set that covers all the bases, the GearWrench 1/4 in. and 3/8 in. Drive 6-Point Ratchet and Socket Mechanics Tool Set deserves your attention. This set is a comprehensive 106-piece set, netting you a good selection of deep-well and shallow-well six-point sockets with SAE sizes spanning from 1/4 inches to 1 inch and metric sizes ranging from 4-15mm and 6-19 mm. GearWrench also throws in a couple of extensions and a universal joint to really tie things together. You'll also walk away with a limited lifetime warranty to protect your investments.

There's no pulling the punches of that price tag, though. Unless you get it on sale, this set is pricey compared to some others on the list. It is more inclusive than most, however. One drawback seems to be that while this set comes with a blow-molded case, it doesn’t seem to be very well-made and there’s no handle for easy carrying, making it cumbersome to lug around.

Best Impact: Neiko 65-Piece, 1/2-Inch Drive, Master Impact Socket Set


Heavy duty yet affordable

Includes adapters for improved versatility

Case included



No warranty

Sturdy, but not professional grade

When it comes to a heavy-duty, reliable impact socket set, the Neiko 65-piece 1/2-inch Drive Master Impact Socket Set won’t disappoint. Despite the relatively affordable pricing, you’re getting quality tools. These impact sockets are constructed with drop-forged chrome vanadium steel and will certainly take a good amount of abuse. This set is comprehensive, with SAE and metric sizes covering most fasteners you could expect to find on a typical passenger car. Each socket also features large laser etching to call out sizes with stamping to help out if it wears away. Neiko also throws in some adapters, extensions, and a 1/2-inch drive ratchet, which all boost the versatility of this kit.

Does this impact set compare with a pro-level tool? No, but it’s hard to beat for the money and is good enough for the average consumer. You will pay more for it than other similar kits, but it’s worth the couple extra dollars. However, you should be aware that there is no lifetime warranty and the case is absolutely massive which may make storage an issue.

Best Torx: Husky 1/4 and 3/8 in. Drive Torx Bit Socket Set


Good quality, basic set

Heavy duty chrome finish

Lifetime limited warranty


No 1/2 inch option

No drive tools included for the higher price

The Husky 1/4 and 3/8 in. Drive Torx Bit Socket Set is an affordable set of torx bit sockets that includes a variety of 1/4- and 3/8-inch drive bits. You can easily address a wide range of projects with this basic set. The sockets attach to your own drive tools to provide more leverage and a longer handle than standard screwdrivers or hex keys. Chamfered lead-ins allow for fast and easy placement onto tools.

Made from chromium-vanadium steel with heat-treated S2 steel bits, this socket set is strong, durable, and long-lasting. A polished chrome finish provides excellent corrosion resistance and is quick and easy to clean. A plastic storage rail and a lifetime warranty are added benefits to this already well-priced set. Keep in mind, however, that this set is a basic socket set and doesn’t include any drive tools. It could also be improved by offering some 1/2-inch options to make it a bit more versatile.

Best Spark Plug Socket: Ares 3-Piece 3/8-Inch Drive Magnetic Swivel Spark Plug Socket Set


Ready for any spark plug job

Sturdy chrome vanadium finish

Easy to use


Foam is very flimsy

We wish it included a sturdy case

For spark plug-specific work, the Ares 3-Piece 3/8-Inch Drive Magnetic Swivel Spark Plug Socket Set is a well-made kit that gets the job done. It includes one 14mm 4-inch extension thin wall socket, one 5/8-inch 10-inch extension socket, and one 9/16-inch 6-inch extension socket, making this a versatile kit. Each socket is constructed from chrome vanadium steel with chrome plating for easy cleaning and corrosion resistance. 

Each socket also features an interior magnet that provides a secure fit and won’t wear down over time as typical rubber gaskets can. As an added bonus, Ares is part of the ASPCA Business Ambassador program, so a portion of proceeds from your purchase goes to help needy animals. You also get your investment protected by a limited lifetime warranty. The one drawback is that the EVA foam tray that holds the set could be much more substantial. Including a storage case for protection and easy transportation would really take this socket set to the next level.

Best Allen/Hex Drive: DeWalt 3/8 in. Drive Bit Socket Set


Includes metric hex, SAE hex, and Torx bits

Meets or exceeds ANSI standards

Lifetime warranty

Great price


No drive tool included, though that's being picky for the price it's offered at

The DeWalt 3/8 in. Drive Bit Socket Set is an affordable, ultra-durable, and well-composed set of metric, SAE, and torx bit sockets. Like every DeWalt product, this 17-piece socket set is backed by a full lifetime warranty for added peace of mind. Each component meets or exceeds all ANSI specifications for quality and safety. Even better, the entire set is housed in a lockable, stacking case with a durable transparent lid for easy part identification.

Each socket is etched for easy size identification. There’s not much to be desired about this comprehensive hex socket set. However, it could be improved by adding a drive tool that stays in the kit and doesn’t need to be borrowed from your pre-existing set.

Our Verdict on the Best Socket Sets

If you’re looking for a rugged, dependable, and affordable socket set, my top pick has to be the Craftsman 27 Pc Sae Standard & Metric 3/8" Drive 6 Point Socket Set. It offers one 16-piece metric and one 11-piece standard, 6-point, deep-well socket sets for 3/8-inch drive ratchet, making this set very versatile.

If you’re in the market for a socket set with more contents and value, that won’t blow your budget out of the water, consider the GearWrench 1/4 in. and 3/8 in. Drive 6-Point Mechanic's Tool Set. It’s a comprehensive set that comes organized and stored in a heavy-duty carrying case for easy transportation.

What to Consider When Buying A Socket Set

Drive Size 

We suggest that the first detail you look for is the drive size. This tells you right away if the set you’re looking for will work with the ratchet you have. In most cases, drive sizes will be 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, or 1/2-inch. However, 3/4-inch, 1-inch, and even larger drive sizes do exist. 

This detail is usually easy to hash out, and most sockets intended for automotive use will stick to the first three sizes mentioned. 

Included Sizes 

The next thing you need to be sure of is that the sockets will work for your application. Most vehicles work exclusively with metric fasteners these days, but that’s not a guarantee. Many domestic cars rely on metric and SAE sizes, and you don’t want to realize that halfway through a job. Being familiar with your car will take you a long way here. 


Quality should be on the back of your mind at all times. Sockets are simple, and it doesn’t seem like much can go wrong. Trust us, that’s not the case. Manufacturers can fail to get the sizing just right, leave behind all kinds of defects, or simply use junk materials for construction. It’s a good idea to read into manufacturers before you buy. Take the time to see what names generally fit into your price range, then narrow it down from there. 

Point Count 

We’re not going to put on a front and pretend like you absolutely cannot use 12-point sockets on six-point fasteners. We do it all of the time, and it works out just fine—mostly. Those 12-points do make it easier to slip a socket onto a 6-point socket in many situations.

It isn’t the right tool for the job, though. The best practice is always to match the point count of your sockets to the point count on the fastener. This will ensure you have the best fit possible, making a major difference under high load.  

Socket Set Tips and Tricks

As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and socket sets. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.

  • Always buy a more extensive socket set than you think you’ll need. Even if it covers all of the faster sizes you typically run across, there are those oddballs that will ruin your day. Go with the bigger set to be safe.
  • It’s a good idea to buy socket sets from the same brand that made the tools you own and stick with them for future investments.
  • Take the time to research the warranties. Figure out what works for you and go with that. Otherwise, you can be caught off guard by a warranty that doesn’t work quite as well as you’d expect. 


You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!

Q: What size socket set should I get?

What size of set you should consider depends on a few factors. If you’re just starting out, or have multiple applications to work between, it’s best to go with a larger selection. You might even consider a large mechanic’s tool set. Otherwise, you can work with smaller sets. Our advice is to think about what the most common fastener sizes are for your application and find a set that covers those at the very least.

Q: What's better: 6-point or 12-point sockets?

Neither. They're designed to work with 6-point or 12-point fasteners, so you can consider them equal. However, you will most likely encounter 6-point fasteners, making them the clear choice for most situations. 12-point sockets will work fine on 6-point fasteners, but they won't have much contact and are more likely to slip. Still, people often use them anyway because that's not very likely under normal circumstances.

Q: What's the difference between impact sockets and hand tool sockets?

There are quite a few things that separate impact sockets from hand tool sockets. Primarily, it’s down to their hardness. Hand sockets are usually made from much harder materials than impacts. That does boost durability, but the hardness doubles as brittleness under impact forces, and the sockets may crack or shatter when used on impact tools.

Q: Should I just get impact sockets?

It might not be a bad idea to just buy impact sockets if you use both impact and hand tools as they are compatible with either. Impact sockets are much thicker than hand sockets, though. Even if by only a few thousandths of an inch, that can create clearance issues in the right circumstances. If you use both impact tools and hand tools, you should buy impact and hand sockets.

Q: Will chrome sockets rust?

Chrome plating is used on sockets because it doesn't rust. So long as you buy from a reputable supplier, you shouldn't have this issue. Some low-quality brands might use something else as a substitute to replicate chrome, or the plating quality might be questionable, which will likely lead to the tools rusting up.

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more