Best Socket Set

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A good set of sockets is one of the essential items you need to build a worthwhile shop. It's not as simple as grabbing the first set you see on the shelf at your local home improvement depository. Socket sets vary so much that you could buy the most expensive one in the shop with more than 200 pieces and still wind up missing the one socket you really need. Whether you are looking for a set of deep impact sockets to do some heavy-duty auto work or a budget set for the most common household tasks, we have the information you need to make the right decision.

Be sure to also check out of list of the best socket wrenches.

Best Socket Set Overall:

There are countless socket sets on the market with practically infinite configurations which can make it hard to find the one best suited for your needs. When you’re on the hunt, remember to stay focused on what you really need and don’t let fancy packaging steer you down the wrong path.

For this list of best overall socket sets, we looked for quality materials, functional design and a minimal amount of chaff in each set. Each set on this list is manufactured from quality, high strength materials such as heat treated steel topped off with good plating allowing for a long working life. Each of these sets will also feature functional design which we’re defining as a 6 point cup and relieved points; two attributes which increase the life of the socket by solidifying grip and reducing wear as a result. Finally each set has minimal chaff meaning all the extra junk manufacturers pile onto a 12-socket set (screw bits and pliers) to transform it into a “bargain” 100 piece set (but 88 of those pieces are cheap junk.) These sets will be practically chaff free.

SK 4147-6 47 Piece 1/2-Inch Drive 6 Point Standard and Metric Socket Super Set

It's a bit more expensive than many people want to pay for a socket set, but the quality is well worth the extra cost. High quality materials and smooth function make this set a pleasure to use and you'll soon understand why everyone loves SK tools as much as they do. Read Full Review

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    SK 4147-6 47 Piece 1/2-Inch Drive 6 Point Standard and Metric Socket Super Set

    Stanley 92-824 Black Chrome Socket Set

    This socket set gets right to the point sparing you annoying excess chaff; You simply get a set of good sockets at a great price and nothing more. The black coating on these tools can rub off on your hands but a quick polish easily remedies the situation. Read Full Review

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      Stanley 92-824 Black Chrome Socket Set

      ATD 47 Pc. 3/8" Drive 6-Point SAE and Metric Pro Socket Set

      A great set of tools at a reasonable price packed in a durable carrying case. From the garage to the cellar, this set should have you covered with many of the most common sizes. The 3/8" drive is extremely durable but lighter in the hand than other 1/2" options. Read Full Review

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        ATD 47 Pc. 3/8" Drive 6-Point SAE and Metric Pro Socket Set

        Stanley 92-804 30 Piece Socket Set

        Lighter than the other options on this list but with a solid feel in your hand, this set is a great purchase for the home DIY enthusiast. The large number of sockets will cover most jobs around the house and there’s very little chaff. Read Full Review

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          Stanley 92-804 30 Piece Socket Set

          Snap On General Service 6-Point Socket Set

          High quality is a staple of the Snap-On brand and this set is simple and chaff free with very durable sockets and a ratchet which easily outperforms most others on the market in regards to durability and fluidity of action. Read Full Review

          Snap On General Service 6-Point Socket Set

          Best Impact Socket Set:

          Sockets are one of the most important tools in a dedicated toolbox but some jobs need a little more power than normal sockets can handle. This is where you need the assistance of an impact driver along with a good set of impact sockets to go along with it.

          The best impact socket sets were selected for their durable thank to quality metal construction, well designed to handle the rigors of long term, high stress use. The durability of these best impact socket sets comes from their high strength steel construction tempered to the right hardness and coated in an additional layer of protection, usually chrome or electroplating to prevent rust and corrosion. Each of these sets will be designed well meaning 6 point construction to maximize surface-to-surface contact with the fastener and minimize wear on both it and the socket; this durable design is further improved with relieved corners to reduce wear twice over. While these sets can be expensive, their value is definitely proportional to their cost.

          Ingersoll Rand SK4H13 1/2-Inch Drive 13-Piece SAE Standard Impact Socket Set

          A reasonable price for a quality set of sockets. These sockets from Ingersoll Rand are strong enough to stand up to years of wear and tear without a single failure and well designed so solid grip is never lost. Read Full Review

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            Ingersoll Rand SK4H13 1/2-Inch Drive 13-Piece SAE Standard Impact Socket Set

            Stanley 97-125 11 Piece 1/2-Inch Drive SAE Deep Impact Socket Set

            A basic set with great selection and an attractive price, it's a great choice for a mechanic or car enthusiast. These impact sockets are built to last and will endure the many tough jobs coming through your shop. Read Full Review

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              Stanley 97-125 11 Piece 1/2-Inch Drive SAE Deep Impact Socket Set

              Chicago Pneumatic SS3113 3/8" Drive 13 Piece Metric Impact Socket Set

              This set of impact sockets strikes a pleasing balance between quality and price. The walls of the sockets are very thick and can endure the toughest jobs you can apply them to. Read Full Review

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                Chicago Pneumatic SS3113 3/8" Drive 13 Piece Metric Impact Socket Set

                Matco SBP426V 3/8" Drive 42 Piece SAE & Metric 6 Point Deep Impact Socket Set

                The price is a bit steep but the quality and durability of these impact sockets makes this set worth the investment. Strong enough to stand up to the rigors of a professional shop environment, this versatile assortment of sockets will cover a wide range of jobs in both SAE and metric sizes. Read Full Review

                Matco SBP426V 3/8" Drive 42 Piece SAE & Metric 6 Point Deep Impact Socket Set

                Snap-On 6-Point Impact Socket Set (12 pcs.) (5/16" to 1")

                Very expensive but extremely durable and well designed. Snap-On durability is backed by their stellar customer service and a solid replacement program. The set is small but will definitely stand up to serious use and abuse in your shop including the sizes you’ll use most. Read Full Review

                Snap-On 6-Point Impact Socket Set (12 pcs.) (5/16" to 1")

                Best Budget Socket Set:

                The mechanical and rhythmic clicking of a ratchet is the sound of assembly meaning something new added to your shop. But imagine you’re carefully putting together a new machine and those old sockets are stripping the corners off every nut and bolt you try to tighten. Buying junk tools makes for a junk job so what should you look for in a good set of budget sockets?

                Do you need to have the most expensive set with over 3000 individual pieces and more adapters than there are days in the year? Not a chance. The right set for you is high quality, does the job and affordable all at the same time. Find the right balance and you'll find the best set of budget sockets.

                These best budget socket sets are simple and clean; consisting of pieces you'll actually use and are free of extras which will clutter up your shop. These sockets are also all durable thanks to quality steel manufacturing and 6 point socket design which grips fasteners with more surface contact to reduce slippage; in the long run this means less wear on both the fastener and the socket.

                Most importantly, these socket sets earn the title of “budget” by being affordable while still being useful. There's no point in saving a few dollars off the bottom line if the set doesn't include the sockets which will have you covered on common jobs.

                Stanley 92-804 30 Piece Socket Set

                This is probably the best balance between price and number of useful parts you're going to find when shopping for sockets. It's a light duty set but perfect the vast majority of daily DIY jobs. The weight of these tools in the hand lets you know you got a good deal. Read Full Review

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                  Stanley 92-804 30 Piece Socket Set

                  Powerbuilt 640087 1/4-Inch Drive SAE 14 Piece Socket Set

                  This 14-socket set includes the seven most commonly used sizes in both SAE and metric, covering the majority of jobs you'll find on your workbench. The quality of these sockets is very high for the price and they are well designed. Read Full Review

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                    Powerbuilt 640087 1/4-Inch Drive SAE 14 Piece Socket Set

                    TEKTON 1201 1/4-Inch 9 Piece Drive Socket Set

                    This socket set offers the most commonly needed sizes without any frills. The sockets themselves are of a high quality and have the nice, 6-point design with corner reliefs. This set is supported by TEKTONs lifetime replacement guarantee. Read Full Review

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                      TEKTON 1201 1/4-Inch 9 Piece Drive Socket Set

                      Stanley 89-199 16 Piece 1/4-Inch Drive 6-Point Socket Set

                      This is a light duty socket set which performs well and has enough durability to stand up to a good amount of work. 1/4 inch drive is enough for the average fastening job around the house but too light for heavy duty work. Read Full Review

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                        Stanley 89-199 16 Piece 1/4-Inch Drive 6-Point Socket Set

                        Craftsman 58 Piece Mechanics Tool Set with Storage Case 20058

                        A wide range of sockets in metric and SAE sizes as well as 14 inch and 3/8 inch drive. This set covers a lot of bases and does so at a great price. A good set for the trunk of your car, the wide variety and durable carrying case make this a lifesaver in a pinch. Read Full Review

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                          Craftsman 58 Piece Mechanics Tool Set with Storage Case 20058
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