Tools for beginners

For a beginner socket set, like the first set a person owns, would a 45 be better or would you go for a 99 piece?

More tools are always better. I have 3 toolboxes each 5 feet tall full of tools.


You will also need a quality set of screwdrivers and Allen wrenches.


Thank you for your thoughts!, are there any specific brand when it comes to allen wrenches or does it not matter?

I have no comment on either of those two sets specifically, but the 99 piece set has 1/4” and 3/8” sockets plus a screw driver handle for the sockets. It also has 5 each metric and inch open end/box wrenches. I use all of those and then some, and I’m a DIY guy doing simple repairs at home.

As to the specific one to buy, I suggest you check your local stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot, or whatever similar store is near you. They will have product info on line. When you find something you like, make sure the store has it in struck and go take a look at it. I have Craftsman tools that I bought mostly 40 years ago. They are good quality tools. I can’t vouch for the current quality of Craftsman tools because I haven’t bought any lately. I did buy Craftsman Professional line screw drivers more recently, and they are excellent quality tools. Stay away from cheap stuff u less you don’t mind replacing them in a few years.

1 Like

Mine happen to be Dewalt. Mustangman, Testor, and many others are much more knowledgeable than me.
I only do light maintenance on my vehicles.

1 Like

Black sockets and accessories are specifically made for impact work and while they will remove and install nuts and bolts just like the chrome sockets they have thicker walls that will often make them useless due to confined spaces.

And whether black or chrome I strongly suggest that all sockets are 6 point except for those used specifically for 12 point fasteners.


I guess if I had to choose, I’d pick the first set but then add the combination wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, allen wrenches, and the 1/4" set. A torx set is also becoming more necessary depending on what you want to do. I guess I agree to just check Lowes, Ace, local farm store, etc. rather than sight unseen.

It’s nice to have everything all at once but I think I was 50 years old before I really finally got everything. Piece by piece usually as needed. As a kid all I had was my dad’s Craftsman sockets and a breaker bar plus a monkey wrench. Made it by but broke a few head bolts. In college was when I bought my first ratchet. The pros may disagree but I bought a set of wrenches at Harbor Freight for about $20 to have in the car. They really aren’t bad. interesting though it didn’t include a 15mm common for bike pedals. So no set will have all the stuff you will need from time to time. So sometimes cheap and then buy quality for the stuff you use a lot.

1 Like

The Chi-Com tools from H-F and other retailers are adequate for a lot of DIYers or even professionals who want to keep common tools conveniently at hand. I have several off brand sets of combination wrenches and socket sets scattered upstairs and down and in each of my vehicles. And while I once had several well stocked tool boxes when earning a living busting my knuckles I sorted then all out and have one nicely stocked box of Snap-On and Mac tools in my shop here at home along with the wall behind my work bench covered with nicely hung combination wrenches, various pliers and specialty tools and screw drivers. Having good tools (not necessarily expensive tools) handily in reach takes the agony out of getting things done.

The hand models are all OK, brand-wise. Even Harbor Freights allen T wrenches are OK. The ones driven by the socket wrench, you should buy better ones. My 3/8 allen set came from Craftsman, the “old” Craftsman along with a Torx set. I really don’t use them all that much.

I might even suggest Matco or Snap-On for those bits. A rusted Torx or allen can snap the bit right off so a warranty is useful.

If you own a VW or Audi, triple-square drives are mandatory… AVG engineers LOVE triple squares for some reason.

Costco recently had great set of Dewalt tools on sale for the same price.

Black sockets and accessories are specifically made for impact work and while they will remove and install nuts and bolts just like the chrome sockets they have thicker walls. ,
I have very few of the black impact socket’s and always thought the same thing that they were thicker wall’s. For as long as I can remember I have carried a 4 way lug wrench in every vehicle I have owned for changing tire’s. When I got my 82 Dodge PU many year’s ago that I still have it has some kind of after market wheels of what make or brand I have no idea what they are. Any way back to my question the lug nut’s are inset so the 4 way would not work I went to NAPA and got a deep well 3/4 chrome socket and breaker bar but the socket was too big to fit in the hole I went back to NAPA and they pulled a NAPA brand impact socket of the shelf and it was thinner walled than the chromed one was and it fit .so my guess differennt brand’s of impacts are made different.

There’s a lot of “nominal” going around @Renegade. I have several double ended sockets specifically made for lug nuts and some are as thin as individual chrome sockets and some are much heavier. But “as a rule” black impact sockets are thicker walled than chrome especially the deep wells as I recall.

1 Like

“as a rule” black impact sockets are thicker walled than chrome especially the deep wells as I recall.

As I said earlier I always thought the impact’s were thicker I thought that it was ironic finding the the thin walled impact that I did know about just when I needed it.

The black sockets OP linked to are just painted black. They aren’t impact sockets. As such I wouldn’t want them on the off chance that I have a brain fart in the shop and grab a black socket thinking it’s impact.

But Stanley is a fine brand for non-continuous use.

1 Like

more is better… in this case. Actually, you will want to have MUCH more once you start working on your car.