Starter tool sets are a great way to gift someone the power to work on their own car. While there are a lot of junk tool sets sold out there, there are some really reasonably priced great starter tool sets under $100. I am usually a proponent of buying individual components from different companies, as you can see in my post where I outline all the tools an entry-level mechanic needs here. However, from my research, the absolute best deal for a starter DIY mechanic tool set is the Apex tools CTK170CMP2 on Amazon for an amazing deal here. Both the Dewalt DWMT72163 and the WorkPro 164 piece mechanic toolsets come in a close second and third place, respectively. The main things I looked for in what toolset to recommend was price, durability, and socket/wrench sizes.
As of writing this post a lot of these toolsets are on sale right now, and the price may go up over $100. Just click the links below to check the current price and reviews on Amazon.
My Favorite Starter Mechanic Tool Sets Under a $100:
- Top Favorite: Apex Tools (Crescent) CTK170CMP2 Mechanics Tool Set, 170-Piece
- Comes with everything you need to get started including a 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″ Ratchet
- Comes with a very neatly laid out carrying case (tools won’t go flying)
- Has extremely good reviews and comes with a lifetime defect warranty. Seriously, if you’re just looking for an AWESOME deal that is PERFECT for the starter mechanic grab this set here on Amazon while it is still on sale.
- DEWALT DWMT72163 118 Piece Mechanics Tool Set
- 6 Point Sockets (which is what you want for working on cars)
- Ratchets have 72 gear teeth (fine-toothed) which is great for cars as well.
- Does not have the same amount of Phillips head and torx/allen offerings as the Apex tools set.
- Very high-quality, awesome reviews, and really a great price. If you like Dewalt, then grab this set.
- WORKPRO Socket Wrench Set 164-piece Mechanics Tool Kit
- The Workpro Starter Mechanic Tool Set comes in right at around the $100 mark. I do not too much about the WorkPro brand, but it comes very well reviewed and you get a TON of tools with this set.
- You won’t go wrong buying this tool set to get started working on cars.
- 1/4 Inch, 3/8 Inch, and 1/2 Inch Drive Quick Release Ratchet
- Also, 72 gear toothed ratchets with Quick Release
What To Look For In a Starter Mechanic DIYer Toolset:
- A brand that stands by its lifetime warranty
- Tools that mechanics actually use (ratchets, metric socket sets, wrenches that go up to 19mm)
- Accessory Items like screwdrivers, bit sets, and Torx/Allen bits
- An Adjustable Wrench
- High-quality STURDY case
- Real Reviews from Non-Paid Reviewers!
- At least one pair of pliers (or buy separately)
Are Mechanic Tool Sets Better Than Buying Tools Individually:
I would argue that inevitably you are going to need certain tools that won’t be in your beginner starter set. Unless you are buying a huge toolset that costs $6,000 dollars and literally has everything possible, even still you’re probably going to be buying certain specialty tools. For me, starter tool sets only make sense if you’re really just getting started working on cars and are on a budget. Or if you’re looking to gift someone a starter tool set under $100 and then they can fill in what other tools they need separately.
There are tons of mechanic tool sets on the market in 2018 under $100 perfect for Christmas gifts. I did a lot of research and found that the three sets I listed above have the best choice in tools for starter mechanics while also being quality toolsets. The last you want to do is spend your money on a gift for someone and find out that the tools are junk and don’t work.
The main problems to look out for on these starter tool sets is that the case they come in is sturdy and holds the tools.
Ever opened one of these up and all the tools fall out? It can be super frustrating when toolsets don’t come with a sturdy case that actually HOLDS the tools in place.
I did the research and found that these tool sets listed above each didn’t have problems with tools falling all over the place. I highly recommend if you’re researching what toolset to buy as a beginner starter mechanic to make sure people aren’t complaining about tools falling out.
Also, stick with a reputable brand that comes with a lifetime warranty. A tool set that is under $100 isn’t going to be filled with the highest quality tools money can buy. Therefore, it is very important to know that you can warranty any broken tools. That is why I highly recommend the Apex tools box and the Dewalt box. They are both brands sold in Home Depot and will not be going out of business anytime soon leaving you stranded with broken tools.
Just getting started with car repair?
Check out my list of 5 common mistakes new mechanics make. Or if you want to learn some old school mechanic tricks check out my 10 part article here. I spent hours researching all the old school tricks and compiling them just for you.