A reader asked about this Husky 30pc ratcheting wrench set deal, part of Home Depot’s Black Friday 2020 tool deals. I’ve been giving it some more thought, and have concluded that this is a crazy-good and hard to pass up deal for anyone looking to buy their first ratcheting wrenches.
Candidly, I prefer reversible ratcheting wrenches, and have from the start. When I bought my Gearwrench wrenches more than 12 years ago, I don’t quite remember what gave me this preference, but I liked them better in theory. I have reversible combination wrench sets and non-reversible (flip to reverse) flex ratcheting wrenches.
Most of the time, flip-to-reverse wrenches are perfectly suited for the tasks at hand.
I’ve used my non-reversible flex wrenches just fine over the years, and am wondering if I made a mistake with my preference. Then again, the zero-offset ratcheting wrench deals we have today weren’t available when I was building up my tool box.
With this 30pc set, you get a 20pc set of ratcheting combination wrenches, and a 10pc set of stubby wrenches. The 20pc set is currently priced at $80 via Home Depot, but they’re not in stock. Husky’s 10pc set of stubby wrenches is priced at $30.
$60 for 30 wrenches comes down to $2 each. That’d even be a good price for quality non-ratcheting combination wrenches.
Over at Amazon, they have a Gearwrench 20pc ratcheting wrench set priced at $66 and change, and a 34pc set including stubbies for a little over $90.
These Husky wrenches look to be identical, and given that Apex Tool Group – Gearwrench’s parent company – makes a lot of mechanics tools for Home Depot’s Husky tool brand, there’s a chance that these are made at the same factory.
The Husky wrenches feature 72-tooth gearing, for fine ratcheting action, and are said to have a slim design that fits into tight spaces. The Husky wrenches have 12pt box ends, which is standard for combination wrenches.
For someone without any ratcheting wrenches in their tool box, this set is an incredibly deal. Heck, I’m tempted to buy a set for myself – there were times recently when the zero-degree offset would have come in handy.
This isn’t the type of set I chose when building up my ratcheting wrench set, but they also didn’t have big set options a few years ago. Looking back at older Home Depot Black Friday sales flyers, they used to have Husky 7pc sets on sale for $20 or $25. Starting in 2014, they had a Husky 20pc set on sale for $50.
Around 2011, I first noticed Gearwrench 20pc sets selling for $50 during the holiday season, first at Sears and then at other retailers.
So, $50 sale pricing for a 20pc set is the “baseline” to consider the value of this deal against.
For this Husky set, you get an extra 10pc stubby ratchet set, valued at $30 given current Home Depot pricing, for only $10 more.
$60 for a 20pc ratcheting wrench set and 10pc stubby ratcheting wrench set.
Do you need the stubbies? Can you use them? Will they come in handy? That’s the $10 bet you’re making with this set, over waiting to see if Home Depot or other retailers bring back a 20pc set for $50 deal option this year.
I don’t own stubby ratcheting wrenches, but I can say that there were a couple of times when I wish I did. I usually improvise with the one stubby wrench I do have, or with short ratchets, crow’s foot wrenches (I only have SAE so far) or smaller adjustable wrenches or pliers.
This is a very good deal, and if you want the same selection of tools, you’re probably never going to see it for any less than the current $60 Black Friday 2020 sale pricing.
I would say “don’t buy it if you don’t think you could use the stubby wrenches,” but there’s a risk you won’t be able to get a 20pc set for $50 if you do want those.
If you’re on the fence, check out the reviews for Gearwrench’s 20pc set at Amazon. There are currently 1857 user reviews, with 86% 5-star and 10% 4-star reviews. The Husky set has 343 user reviews, also mostly 5-star.
Buy Now via Home Depot
See Also: Gearwrench via Amazon
If you’re still on the fence, I’d say don’t buy these if you’re intent on reversible switch ratcheting wrenches. For that, I’d likely consider Tekton these days, or the smaller Gearwrench sets if on a budget. I’ll be on the lookout for deals, but the flip-to-reverse ratcheting wrench sets, like the Husky discussed above, have become far more popular.
“Candidly, I prefer reversible ratcheting wrenches [….]”
That was exactly my one caveat with this deal too. If someone was saving up for their first ratchet-wrench set and planned to use them a lot, I might suggest spending more for reversible wrenches. EXCEPT, I can’t really dispute that this looks like a great deal.
When I bought my first ratchet wrenches many years ago, I was still in high school and lusting after the Craftsman/Gearwrench reversible set. I saved up and waited a long time for them to go on sale. I’ve never regretted that purchase and I still enjoy using them today. Other than a bit of a dent in the open-end of my 8mm wrench, the set still works perfectly and has held up great.
Over the years there’s been lots of time when I was glad to have more than one wrench set so I could use two of the same size at the same time, so it’s not like a set of non-reversible ratchet wrenches would be a wasted investment if someone later upgraded. You probably don’t need double ratchet wrenches in those situations because one wrench is usually just holding the bolt when you tighten the nut, but it’s not going to hurt anything. The only situation I can imagine where this would be an issue is those times it’s nice to have non-ratcheting wrenches as a second set when a lot of torque is needed.
Saw this in stores and heavily considered it just for the stubby’s
Aren’t non-offset wrenches okay without reversibility? Clearly, offsets wouldn’t work right without reversibility, but for flat wrenches it seems fine…
Yeah they’re fine. I just prefer the offset of reversible wrenches because they feel easier to use and give your fingers some room to fit around the wrench when you’re using them on a flat surface or a little space to clear other obstacles. Plus there’s no thought about which way the wrench goes to tighten or loosen.
There are some very tricky scenarios where one style can potentially be a better fit than the other.
I’ve had my bias for so long, but would be hard pressed to defend the position today.
The stubbies may make it worthwhile, don’t know. Sadly the long ones are not flex-heads, which is my preferred style (if, at the cost of some strength) and makes a big difference in tight spaces.
Flat, non-offset flip over ratcheting end wrenches. Good for that occasional nut out in the wide open (they’ll loosen or tighten a bicycle axle just fine).
For most other serious wrenching?
Nope. MORE bloody knuckles…. I have enough already.
I have tons of ratcheting wrenches, but only regular stubby wrenches. Having a set of ratcheting stubby wrenches would be very welcome. It’s a waste for me to get this set since I have so many regular ratcheting wrenches.
There’s 2 issues I have run into with the non-reversible ratchets. First, they don’t have the 15 degree offset, which really helps protect your knuckles. Second, I have wedged wrenches into places where I couldn’t get them off because I couldn’t reverse the ratchet; so far twice. The 2nd time that happened convinced me to spring on a reversible set.
In our metal fabrication business we did a batch of work on aircraft sub assemblies – using Hi-loks . The fasteners were often located in tight spaces against bulkheads etc. The ratchets for these seemed to all be non-reversible using a roller bearing clutch instead of gear and tooth ratchet. I guess that allowed for a very small ratchet head – but no backing up. We’d sometimes have a gripe session with the workers and these tools would often be on the list. Back then I could not find a hand tool alternative that would fit.
HD has a 10 piece set that also works out to $2 per wrench:
Yes, but 5pc sets can be very limiting. Adding in smaller and larger sizes will usually be much more cost prohibitive.
Those smaller sets can be a good buy for secondary wrenches.
I’ve regretted buying smaller tool sets in the past, having to spend more later on, and sometimes rather quickly too.
I guess that smaller set might still be good if one already has non-ratcheting wrenches and sockets to cover more sizes.
True enough. Its like building a car from parts. If you could do it – a Chevy would probably end up costing more than a Ferrari .
The other side of the coin – is that in some businesses or jobs you may find that you only deal with a limited number of sizes of fittings and fasteners – so storing lots of sizes of wrenches might be a waste of space and money. Contrasting to that – you might find a need for oddball wrenches not covered by even what are sometimes called “complete” sets. I’m thinking here about my working on my old British motorcycles.
Anyway – at $60 for 30 wrenches of decent quality – you will not have invested a lot to have some decent coverage. So I agree with you that this can be an excellent purchase if you need wrenches.
Ace Hardware has the 20 pc Gearwrench Ratcheting set for $49.99 online and in-store.
I’m returning my Kobalt 20 piece for these. Great value.
I bought this kit when it was on sale last year. I like the feel of my Gearwrench set better but I didn’t have any stubby wrenches so I bought this. I keep the full length wrenches in my work van as a backup kit. They work well and I haven’t had one fail yet.
I think last year’s sale was better because it came with a roll-up pouch.
Still a great deal no matter how you parse it out… I bought it just the get the SAE long set and the metric stubbies. Sold off the Metric longs and the SAE stubbies for $50 – so a great deal at $15 for the rest. Never assume other’s are completely tuned in to the deals available… I literally had 20-30 replies about the Husky sets listed individually at $15 and $35…
Canadians have the same set available for $98 in the upcoming Black Friday flyer:
Not a bad deal.
Canadian Tire’s Mastercraft or Maximum brands (Gearwrench co-branded) will likely have a deal on a similar set at some point too, but I doubt it will be much (if at all) cheaper.
They are OK but I wouldn’t buy them for myself.
Like said before offset and reverse are not just nice to have. Offset especially
I will say I sort of like the flex head double box ratchet wrenches as the new go too.
Now in larger sizes say 20mm and above straight non reverse is probably fine. I don’t see much need for this around the home and I see them ore as a mechanical repair tool.