Over at Home Depot, there’s a new “special buy” deal on this Gearwrench 232pc mechanics tool set (model 80949). This is a 1/4″ and 3/8″ tool set with a good selection of ratcheting combination wrenches, 6pt sockets, and 90T ratchets. I want it.
I have only come across empty displays at my local Home Depot stores last week, and now I want to buy it even more. I already thought this set would be a good fit for my needs, but now I’m going to chase one down.
Please let me know if you have any questions! I say this because I’m writing this post a bit differently than usual. Instead of talking about whether this set is a good fit for your needs, I’m going to tell you why I believe it closely suits my needs.
Note: Gearwrench is a ToolGuyd sponsor (thank you!). An email or phone call could probably land a test kit at my door in a couple of days, but I like to buy the tools I intend to use. Samples are one thing, tools that I own and use, that’s another. Thus, I’ve been approaching this as a personal purchase decision.
First, here’s a breakdown of what you get. If you want more details, here’s a PDF of the full list of tools.
- Ratcheting combination wrenches – 22
- Ratchets – 2
- Universal joints, extensions, adapters – 6
- Standard SAE sockets – 23
- Standard metric sockets – 40
- Deep SAE sockets – 16
- Deep metric sockets – 21
- Spark plug sockets – 1
- Hex bit sockets – 15
- Torx bit sockets – 9
- Tamperproof Torx bit sockets – 2
- E-Torx sockets – 8
- Long-arm hex keys – 22
- Bit drivers – 1
- Nut driver bits – 14
- Screwdriver bits – 30
Now, why do I want to buy this set so badly?
To start, I have a long history with Gearwrench tools, and they’ve served me well. So, already, I trust the brand. As far as I’m concerned, if it says “Gearwrench” on it, it’s good. Not all of their tools appeal to my needs or wants, but I’ve got no doubts about their quality.
Here’s how Gearwrench describes their tools:
GEARWRENCH mechanics tools have all been designed with the professional user in mind to increase productivity, access, and strength.
Sounds about right.
I previously purchased Gearwrench’s 94pc foam-lined mechanics tool set (which is back on sale for $199 at Home Depot), and I’m loving it. It has everything I need (for how and where I intend to use it) and nothing that I don’t. The tools filled a hole in my kit and have been working out well for me.
But, I also been having the itch to upgrade my portable kit, which consists of an indeterminate hodgepodge of smaller tool sets combined with a different brand’s portable tool set I bought last year for ToolGuyd analysis.
I mainly use mechanics tools on machinery, assembly tasks, fabrications, and all kinds of odds and ends, including light maintenance and repair tasks. Tool strength, quality, ease of use, ease of access, and easy cleaning are all important to me.
Gearwrench tends to be the sweet spot for my needs. The tools aren’t exorbitantly priced, but they’re also built with demanding users in mind. I see the brand as catering towards more serious users who shop for quality first, as opposed to consumers who first look at pricing.
Lots of different mechanics tool sets can fit my needs. This time of year, there are plenty of different “special buy” tool sets at $100 and $150 pricing. So why buy this one for $199?
For me, here’s what sets it apart, aside from Gearwrench quality.
- 90T ratchets with cushion-grip handles
- 90T Ratcheting combination wrenches (22)
I have had good experiences with Gearwrench sockets and accessories, but that’s a given. Here, the main appeal is in the 90T ratchets and ratcheting combination wrenches.
Gearwrench’s 90T ratchets are great, and I also really like the cushioned handles – and the same goes for their screwdrivers.
You might be surprised to hear that I am NOT a zero-offset non-reversible ratcheting wrench kind of person, although I do use the ones available to me. However, although I prefer reversible ratcheting wrenches when I have the choice, I also use non-reversible ones when it’s convenience.
I say this because it’s actually the ratcheting wrenches that sealed the deal for me. I normally don’t like it when mechanics tool sets come with wrenches, because they’re usually short non-ratcheting combination wrenches that I don’t need any more of. These are different.
My reversible ratcheting wrenches – Gearwrench-branded – are the kind with a special hex fastener-stop feature that helps prevent the ratcheting box end from slipping past a fastener. Sometimes that comes in handy, sometimes it doesn’t. So, tend to use my flex-head ratcheting wrenches – also Gearwrench – and they’re not reversible.
I’ve also been using other brands’ non-reversible ratcheting wrenches, and although I prefer the reversible type, non-reversible wrenches do come in handy, too. I sometimes wish my flex-head wrenches were locking, or that they were, you know – fixed.
With that in mind, I know I will find use in the ratcheting wrenches that come with this set. This is one of the things that opened to my eyes to this set being a good upgrade for my needs. How many of these tools will I actually use? I believe I’d get more use out of the tools in this set, which makes it a better value for my needs.
You know, this Gearwrench mechanics tool set gives you even MORE ratcheting wrenches than the 18pc set special buy that Home Depot also has in stores right now. That wrench set looks to offer a good selection for the money, and I considered buying it. But, I saw the signage for this mechanics tool set, looked it up when I got home, and realized it would serve me even better.
So, I now have my heart set on this 232pc mechanics tool set.
In a recent post, a reader scoffed at the uselessly few wrenches that came bundled with a certain mechanics tool set. How do you feel about the 22 ratcheting wrenches that come with this set?
This tool set includes ratcheting wrenches from 8 to 19mm and 1/4″ to 3/4″. It even comes with an 11/32″ ratcheting wrench, which I regularly need for machine screws.
My approach has traditionally been to start with a smaller tool set and then add to it over time. That worked out for me when I was building up a tool collection on a smaller budget. But now, as I’m shopping for a better portable mechanics tool kit that I can move around, I’m not willing to compromise as much anymore.
Speaking of portability, there’s one more feature that I like about this set – the tool box has removable drawers and side flaps that lock them in place. Some portable tool kits do NOT have any type of retention, and I learned the hard way that cheaper storage boxes can and will dump their contents when tilted.
At this point in my life, I’m tired of compromising. I don’t need a super-premium tool set from a truck brand, but I do need good tools, great features, and I still like a good value, although that’s not my highest priority anymore. I have found Gearwrench to be reliable as well, which is important.
I bought another set of wrenches a couple of months ago – SAE and metric combination wrenches. The brand is not Gearwrench, but one of their more value-tilted competitors. Frankly speaking, the quality is okay, but the wrenches are a bit cheap. Their tolerance is acceptable, the finish quality is okay, and the markings are readable. Granted, I went with the other brand for ToolGuyd/editorial/exploration purposes, but I feel that I would have been happier with a new set of Gearwrench wrenches instead.
I don’t want another value-oriented set; I’ve used enough of those over the years and can justify a step up.
My main tool set is in pretty good shape, and my portable kits are usable. But is any of that what I would buy today? No, this Gearwrench set is what I want in a portable kit.
It predominantly features 6pt sockets, I already know the ratchets are great (I upgraded my main kit with similar a few months ago), and the ratcheting wrenches will complement my existing kit.
So that’s 232 pieces including 22 ratcheting wrenches (90T), 2 ratchets, 6 drive accessories, a screwdriver handle, 134 sockets, and 67 tools and bits. This set does come with the typical assortment of hex keys, screwdriver bits, and nutdrivers, but these inclusions are also useful on occasion.
This is the portable set I’ve been waiting for, I just need to either find it in-store or pony up the $9 for “scheduled delivery” where a Home Depot associate picks the order and someone drives it up from the closest stocking store.
10 different users might be best suited by 10 different mechanics tool sets. This one looks to be the best fit for ME right now. Maybe it’s a great fit for you too. If you have any questions, please let me know and I’ll try my best.
If this set does not perfectly fit your needs, that’s okay, Gearwrench has something for everyone.
I should also point out that this is a special buy at $199, with a “was” price of $299. The same set is currently $287 at Amazon. I would assume that Home Depot’s price will bounce back up after their Black Friday Savings promo period ends – if these sets don’t sell out first.