Socket sets can be a funny thing. If you look across different brands, you’ll find dozens of configurations covering different drive sizes, sizes, accessory selection, some metric only, some SAE only, etc, etc, etc. It’s common of store brands to offer catch all sets covering 2 or 3 drive sizes and both metric and SAE, but in the professional tool market the offerings are usually (but not always) broken down into individual or “Service Sets”.
Service Sets are a great option to have. They allow you to get more of the stuff you need, and less of the stuff you don’t, especially if you’re building a set for a specific purpose.
In their ongoing effort to provide professional functionality on a DIY budget, Tekton has brought to the table three new Service Sets that give you more of the stuff you want, and none of the fluff like nut setters, insert bits, and small hex keys, that tend to bog down a lot of sets.
When it comes to Tekton sockets, I can offer you the perspective of experience. I’ve been using Tekton sockets for a good while now, including on our race trailer, and they’ve never disappointed me in the slightest. They’ve got a nice quality “heft” to them, flanked corners that divert the contact points away from the corners of the fastener, the fit & finish is always flawless, and the price is always right.
These sets don’t include any newly released products, but they do offer some super convenient new configurations.
45 Piece 3/8″ Set (# 13101)
I can’t deny that deep down I’m a 3/8″ guy. I can’t really tell you why, but I find myself using 3/8″ even in situations where a 1/4″ or 1/2″ is probably better suited for the job. Tekton’s new set is well suited to my taste. Offering all 12 metric sizes from 8 – 19mm, and all 8 SAE sizes from 5/16″ – 3/4″, in both deep and shallow, with no skips, for a grand total of 40 sockets, it’s pretty much got you covered. Ok, so it doesn’t have the 32nds sizes, but when was the last time you saw a set that did and how often have you needed one?
Coupled with both 3″ and 6″ extensions, a universal joint, and Tekton’s standard 72 tooth ratchet, in a case compact enough to fit in some of the larger glove boxes, it’s a pretty great little set and travels well.
51 Piece 1/4″ Set (# 13001)
1/4″ sockets are one of those things I find that even people who are fairly well stocked with tools sometimes lack a comprehensive selection. Many store brand sets people commonly buy as a starter set lack 1/4″ drive completely. Such was the case when I started out, and a 1/4″ set became my 2nd ever tool purchase.
Tekton’s 51 piece 1/4″ set gives you just about every 1/4″ piece you’ll ever need. With all 11 metric sizes from 5 – 14mm (including 5.5), all 11 SAE sizes from 5/32″ – 9/16″ (including all 3 of the 32nds sizes), in both deep and shallow, we’re talking 44 sockets!
Again, you get both 3″ and 6″ extensions, a universal joint, and a 73 tooth ratchet, but you also get a driver or “spinner” handle, as well as an adaptor for use with 1/4″ insert bits. The bits are not included, but if you’re anything like me you’ve already got roughly 3,000 you aren’t doing anything else with that tend to pop up in every drawer and box you own. The compact case features a storage area, so you can throw a couple hundred in there if you like.
I like the fact that the set goes all the way to 14mm and 9/16″. A lot of sets seem to stop at either 12 or 13mm and 1/2″.
45 Piece 1/4″ & 3/8″ Set (# 13501)
This set goes in a little different direction. It has a very impressive range of sizes covering all 16 SAE sizes from 3/16″ to 3/4″, and all 20 metric sizes from 5 – 19 mm, but like many sets of it’s type, it utilizes a reducer to allow for the set to function with 1 3/8″ ratchet, 1 extension, and 1 universal joint, for both drive sizes. It also has the spinner handles, and insert bit adaptor. Unique to this set is a 5/8″ spark plug socket and a 1/4″ hex x 3/8″ square drive power socket adapter.
The real difference in this set is that it doesn’t (with the obvious exception of the spark plug socket) offer any deep sockets. Is that a good or a bad thing? That really depends on the user. I use deep sockets a lot, but I understand that a lot of people don’t.
Naturally, this set comes in a little bigger case:
If you’ve read my reviews, you’ve figured out by now that I’m a Tekton fan. Any time I’m looking for an affordable solution, they’re always my first choice and these sets are a testament to why that is. They’re good quality, incredibly comprehensive, and very affordable. These sets all travel well, and those of you that have a phobia of 12 point sockets (duodecadaphopic?) will be happy to know these are entirely 6 point sets. As with all Tekton hand tools, these sets are backed by their truly hassle free lifetime warranty and if you’ve never dealt with Tekton’s customer service, I can tell you it’s top notch. You won’t find a manufacturer on the planet that doesn’t have occasional issues with tools, but if you ask anyone who’s ever had an issue with a Tekton tool, they’ll tell you that Tekton made it right. In this day and time when customer service seems to be a lost art, that’s worth supporting.
For more information on these, or any tools in the ever improving Tekton line, follow the links above or check out their homepage @ Tektontools.com.
You can also check out our previous Tekton reviews HERE.