Basic Mechanics Tool Box Setup For Under $1000 – Ballers on a Budget


Recently we did a few reviews on tool boxes and needed to fill those tool boxes.  I wanted to come up with a budget tool set up for just about anyone including those who are fresh out of tech school.  You probably have student loans to pay off so the last thing you need is to get in debt with a tool truck.  You want to start out with the basics and work your way into the high-end tools.

After giving some TEKTON tools to the local marina and getting good feedback, I decided this was the route to go.  The features that stood out for me was quality, price and warranty. TEKTON has all this with a lifetime warranty.  For a tool box, you are on your own but you can get great deals especially at big box stores. We used a $279 Husky Mobile Work Bench for this project.  Below is a list of the tools we got.  The links are to Amazon and the prices are current as of this posting.  They may vary.

5866 12 in. Oil Filter Pliers $ 13.12

30709 3 pc. Dead Blow Hammer Set $ 31.99

30812 Double-Faced Soft Mallet (35 mm) $12.08

7063 5-pc. Detail Brush Set $5.25

7068 3-pc. Wire Brush Set $3.99

37523 7 in. Groove Joint Pliers $9.00

37524 10 in. Groove Joint Pliers $12.99

37525 12-3/4 in. Groove Joint Pliers $14.99

37124 10 in. Slip Joint Pliers $9.99

3350 5-pc. Mechanic Pry Bar Set $24.98

3361 36 in. Jumbo Bent Tip Pry Bar $34.30

2841 135-pc. Everybit ™ Ratchet Screwdriver and Bit Set $34.99

27042 16-pc. Screwdriver Set $24.99

24320 1/4 in. Drive Click Torque Wrench (20-200 in./lb.) $38.98

24330 3/8 in. Drive Click Torque Wrench (10-80 ft./lb.) $38.53

24340 1/2 in. Drive Click Torque Wrench (25-250 ft./lb.) $59.00

25253 30-pc. Hex Key Wrench Set $13.98

25282 26-pc. Long Arm Ball Hex Key Wrench Set (Inch/Metric) $16.99

2529 19-pc. Star Key Set (T10-T50) $8.99

90191 30-pc. Polished Combination Wrench Set (Inch/Metric) $99.99

1457 3/8 in. Drive x 8 in. Composite Ratchet $14.80

1458 1/2 in. Drive x 10 in. Composite Ratchet $17.98

14967 3/8 in. Drive Flex Head Bent Handle Ratchet $24.56

15353 3/8 in. Drive x 12 in. Breaker Bar $11.52

15356 1/2 in. Drive x 25 in. Breaker Bar $24.99

1606 3-pc. 1/2 in. Drive Extension Bar Set, Cr-V $15.98

14385 4-pc. Adapter and Reducer Set $8.67

13001 51-pc. 1/4 in. Drive Socket Set (Inch/Metric) $44.99

13101 45-pc. 3/8 in. Drive Socket Set (Inch/Metric) $48.99

1255 1/2 in. Drive Deep Socket Set (1/2in.-15/15 in.), Cr-V $23.98

1260 1/2 in. Drive Deep Socket Set (13-22mm), Cr-V $24.05

4950 4-pc. 1/2 in. Drive Impact Flip Socket Set $25.99

47920 3/8 in. Drive Deep Impact Socket Set (5/16 in.-1 in.), 6 pt., Cr-V $28.98

47925 3/8 in. Drive Deep Impact Socket Set (7-19 mm), 6 pt., Cr-V $30.72

4880 1/2 in. Drive Deep Impact Socket Set (3/8 in.-1-1/4 in.), 6 pt., Cr-V $48.69

4885 1/2 in. Drive Deep Impact Socket Set (11-32 mm), 6 pt., Cr-V $49.99

We came in just shy of $1,000.  Now you might want to change some things like add needle nose pliers, drill bits etc. But we basically covered a broad range of basic hand tools that will work for just about anyone from the DIY type to the professional.


  1. Good set for under $1000. Tekton is good stuff. Good choice with the ratcheting wrenches. I like the “Thru” sockets so you don’t need to have short and deep. Those are good to carry in the car.

  2. I have those oil filter pliers and I don’t recommend them to someone using them professionally. The teeth don’t grab onto filters sometimes and cause headaches when you’re trying to do a job quickly. I bought a Matco pair for 18 bucks after the student discount. It has more teeth than the Tekton pair and a spring action that allows for easy loosening. The Tekton composite ratchets can also be bought at Harbor Freight just in a slightly different color. Harbor Freight also has a slightly longer composite ratchet that I found is easier for drain plugs because of the extra leverage. I have two 3/8 metric socket sets from Tekton. One is an older 6 point design that sucks and the other is a newer 12 point that isn’t that great. It gets the job done for some things but has rounded drain plugs off. I prefer using my Gearwrench set or a co-workers multi-color Harbor Freight set. He uses Harbor Freight sockets every day, even chrome sockets on a 3/8 impact, and I haven’t seen him have a problem yet. Tekton impact sockets are awesome, though. They feel high quality and come with a nice case while Harbor Freight sockets don’t come with one.

  3. I have the 3/8 short and deep 1/2 short and deep impact sockets that are freakin awesome and bought all of them for almost the same amount as my exspensive ones at the shop. T.I.A#1!

  4. nice tool set..have few of tekton tools been great ..impact sockets 1/4 torque wrench are
    tekton ..also like neiko pro own few of them to in torque your husky toolbox.
    black paint and chrome ..hmm wonder if a vise could be mounted on top .be mobile on
    wheels..thinking about doing for my garage…like dewalt rollaway to…want 20 volt dewalt
    weedeater to. lol wish list keeps getting bigger.cheers TIA…Keep great videos coming.

  5. Drop any standard sizes, upgrade screwdrivers to Felo for $10 more and source a boroscope and meter with savings from standard sizes. One will also need a wider selection of filter sockets, any universal filter plier will barely work if not damage (crack or round flats) the plastic filter housing caps on most newer vehicles. Nice list idea though, sourcing quality tools at budget prices can be an art but pays off with persistsnce.

  6. Wow, that is an awesome setup of Tekton tools like you guys mentioned you got a ton of great tools on an a budget. Even better Tekton is a Michigan company so your helping my states economy out. I have been trying to buy more Texton tools because of the local connection. I like to support local companies. They are headquartered on the west side of Michigan but they are still doing business here and that is a great thing. I know Dan and Eric keep on saying that Klein show bail from Illinois because of high taxes.

  7. I think that was overall a very good idea….No matter what you include there will be someone who thinks you should have included something else (Boroscope…Really?…I have a high end one but didn’t think it was needed on a basic tool set) I have no experience with the Tekton line of tools but I will say this as a professional mechanic and fabricator, cheap Phillips head screwdrivers (not saying Tektons are) drive me crazy…I have basically thrown out everyone of my Craftsman ones. Enjoy your vids!


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