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Best Socket Set For The Money  
Everything You Need to Know to Get a Great Socket Set at a Great Price
Top Five for the Money (Based on our Frugal5 Formula)
How do we pick these products? We spend many hours doing unbiased research to only give you the highest rated products at the best price. We first come up with a list of features, which you can see below, that we feel the majority of people will need. We then look for the highest quality products with these features and only show you the top five with the best value. Our mission is to provide you with the best five options based only on the facts. Don't see the product you were thinking about getting? Click here to calculate it's frugal score.
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Product
Stanley 96-010 75-Piece Mechanics Tool SetTEKTON 1035 1/4-Inch, 3/8-Inch, 1/2-Inch Drive SetHusky 45-Piece Stubby-Handle SetStanley STMT71648 40-PieceAdvanced Tool Design Model ATD-1200 44 Piece
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Product Rating
 
 
 
 
 
Great
 
 
 
 
 
Great
 
 
 
 
 
Good
 
 
 
 
 
Good
 
 
 
 
 
Good
Average Price
 
 
 
 
 
Cheap ($40)
 
 
 
 
 
Cheap ($27)
 
 
 
 
 
Cheap ($36)
 
 
 
 
 
Cheap ($30)
 
 
 
 
 
Cheap ($34)
Frugal5 Score
Details
9.4
9.2
8.9
8.7
8.7
Features Needed
At Least 40 Pieces
- 75
- 52
- 45
- 40
- 44
Fully Polished
- Chrome
- Double Chrome Plated
- Chrome
- Chrome
- Chrome
Reversible Ratchet And Extension Bar Included
- 2 Ratchets, 3 Extension Bars
- 2 Ratchets, 1 Extension Bar
- 1 Ratchet, 1 Extension Bar
- 1 Ratchet, 1 Extension Bar
- 1 Ratchet, 3 Extension Bars
SAE And Metric Sockets Included
Features Not Needed
Deep Sockets
Extra Pieces Included
- Spinner Handle
- Combination Wrench, Screwdriver Handle, Chrome-Vanadium Bits
- Spinner Handle, Bit Holder, 6 Bits
Hard Carrying Case
- Blow Molded Plastic
- Molded Plastic
- Clear Plastic Cover
- Blow Molded Plastic
- Blow Molded Plastic
What You Need To Know In 5 Minutes

If you’re looking to start a practical tool collection, a good set of sockets is necessary. Sockets are handy because they can be used for all kinds of different jobs around your home and garage. When it comes down to it, your sockets will probably be some of the most used tools in your collection.    

The biggest problem you’re going to come across when looking to buy a socket set is price. They can get pretty expensive. Luckily, there are lots of decent “beginner” socket sets that are perfect for someone looking to buy them on a budget. Here are the features you should keep in mind while shopping around. 

A Large Number of Different Pieces  

A good starter socket set should have at least 40 different pieces in it. Since each socket is a different size, the more you have the better. This ensures that you’re more likely to have the correct size for whatever you’re working on (which means you don’t have to go out and by extra tools mid-job). 

Both SAE and Metric Sockets  

Sockets are available in two different measurements: SAE (or standard) and metric. Metric is the standard of measurement used around most of the world, and SAE is generally used here in the US. However, since fasteners are available in sizes marked with both systems, it’s important to have both standards represented among your sockets. So, sets that include both SAE and metric sockets are best. 

Included Ratchet And Extension Bar  

Whichever set you choose should come with at least one ratchet (if it comes with more than one they need to be different sizes) with a reverse switch so that you can use your sockets without buying another tool. Additionally, it should come with at least one extension bar (again, if it comes with more than one they need to be different sizes) so that you can use your sockets in places where a normal sized socket attached to a ratchet can’t reach. 

Fully Polished  

The sockets in your set should be fully polished. This ensures two things: 1) your tools will be easier to clean up should oil or something else accidentally spill on them because the mess will just wipe right off and 2) polished chrome surfaces offers a degree of rust protection, which means your sockets will last longer than otherwise.     

Now that we’ve established necessary features, what are some extra features that you don’t need?

Deep Sockets  

Some sets come with deep sockets. This means that they’re longer than regular sockets. It makes working in deep spaces (such as a fastener deep in an engine) easier. However, if you have an extension bar, your regular sockets will serve you just fine for this task. 

Hard Carrying Case  

Most socket sets come in some sort of hard plastic case, sometimes it’s even molded. This is cool, because it helps to keep your sockets organized. However, you’ll probably eventually just place your sockets with the rest of your tools in your toolbox, so a case isn’t really necessary. Plus, I’ve noticed that with most sets the plastic cases don’t keep the sockets in place, and they all fall out of their slots as soon as you pick the case up. 

Extra Pieces  

A lot of socket sets out there like to throw in extra tools as a bonus like adjustable wrenches or screwdriver bits. Again, this is cool to get as a bonus, but you’re buying a socket set. You don’t really need the extra tools. 

You should also keep in mind the size of the socket set you’re looking to purchase in regards to what you want it for. If you’re just looking for a set to keep in your trunk, then something on the lower end of the scale (closer to 40 pieces) will be better. 

Stanley, Advanced Tool Design, Tekton, and Craftsman all make decently priced “beginner” tool sets. Brands like GearWrench, SuperKrome, Wright, and Snap-On should be avoided because they’re a lot more expensive, and not well suited to those looking for “beginner” or budget tools. 

A good set of budget minded sockets isn’t difficult to find if you keep the above-mentioned features in mind, and don’t let yourself become swayed by unnecessary extras.

Features You Need
At Least 40 Pieces, Fully Polished, Reversible Ratchet And Extension Bar Included, SAE And Metric Sockets Included
Features You Don't Need
Deep Sockets, Extra Pieces Included, Hard Carrying Case
What You Should Pay
Between $27.27 - $39.99
Top Of The Line Price
Over $500.00