I have been watching for new Amazon.com AmazonBasics tool introductions for a while, and it seems that I missed their broad entry into the mechanics hand tools and combination wrench market.
Feast your eyes on these new sets! What do you think?
There a LOT of new listings too, with many different options when it comes to standard, ratcheting, and SAE + metric wrench sets.
Each of the AmzaonBasics wrench sets that I’ve been looking at come bundled with a handy nylon roll-up case for portability and convenient storage.
I see these wrench sets as budget-focused entry-level offerings, although the marketing is a little unclear.
This quality set of wrenches is the perfect addition to any tool box. With exceptional torque, steel construction, and easy-grip handling, the wrench set is a reliable essential for both the professional and DIY handyman. Keep in your garage, tool shed, or work truck for quick accessibility and convenience.
They’re advertised for use on all kinds of work:
From putting together furniture to working on heavy equipment, you’ll appreciate the diverse range and dependability of the AmazonBasics combination wrenches.
While these look perfectly fine for general budget-shopper use, I don’t know how well suited they’d be for professional use.
The warranty isn’t quite inline with the industry:
Backed by an AmazonBasics limited one-year warranty.
A one-year warranty? Crescent, Husky, Craftsman, Kobalt, and other brands offer lifetime warranties against defects – at the least. Even Harbor Freight’s Pittsburgh wrenches ($15 for a 22pc set) come with a lifetime warranty.
Here’s what I’m wondering: who makes these wrenches for AmazonBasics?
Looking on Amazon at some of the unfamiliar straight-to-Amazon brands, I see a resemblance with the “Hurricane” brand of wrenches, but not quite exact.
Here is a set of “Toolman” wrenches with similar but not-exact roll-up case styling.
There are so many of these unfamiliar brands on Amazon, and they all look very similarly generic.
I’ve purchased some AmazonBasics products before, with HDMI cables and a paper shredder coming to mind. I stopped using the HDMI cables after one failed and drove me crazy with a bizarre troubleshooting process.
I’d like to think that the AmazonBasics brand is reasonably trustworthy, but find myself needing to be convinced again, especially in light of recent controversies.
These AmazonBasics combination wrenches could be a decent low-end buy. But, I can’t help but feel skeptical. There are plenty of entry-priced wrench options out there, many from established names.
Crescent. Stanley. Craftsman. Harbor Freight. WorkPro. Sata (Crescent and Gearwrench’s sibling brand). These brands all have very affordable entry-priced wrench sets.
What makes the AmazonBasics wrenches any different from others’ entry priced listings?
I hope you can forgive the slight digression, but here’s a Tekton combination wrench set, featured in a more premium roll-up case.
Nearly 7 years ago, I spoke with a Tekton manager, and we talked about how they were working to change their image. Or rather, they were shifting focus, away from “cheap tools at cheap prices” and towards “tools for demanding users on budgets.”
Speaking now, after years of period review samples and quality check purchases, I can see that Tekton has indeed changed. They also steadily release new USA-made tools, resulting from an increasing number of partnerships.
Why buy Tekton tools now? Great quality for the price and, from what I’ve heard, exceptionally good customer service.
Why buy these AmazonBasics wrenches? Because they’re low-priced (if that’s what you’re looking for) and from Amazon? Those can be compelling reasons, but is it enough?
Both brands, Tekton and AmazonBasics, have similar imagery demonstrating the wrenches’ 15° offset box end, a feature that is shared by most brands’ combination wrenches.
Check out how Tekton (top) and AmazonBasics (bottom) use similar imagery to demonstrate how their wrenches’ 15° offset provides hand clearance. In the Tekton image, the model’s hand is positioned above the table surface. In the AmazonBasics image, the hand is shown resting slightly above the table surface except for one knuckle that’s touching.
It’s not clearance if your knuckles contact and potentially scrape a flush worksurface. Somebody at AmazonBasics should have caught this.
Why buy AmazonBasics tools? Because they’re cheap? Because you trust Amazon and should automatically trust AmazonBasics?
AmazonBasics came out with a broad selection of combination wrenches, ratcheting wrenches, and some specialty wrenches.
For now, it looks like AmazonBasics wrench sets just another entry-level option for users shopping solely on price? That’s okay, I guess. There was a time when I did the same for certain hand tools.
CAT, which is tied to many licensed tools and tool-related products, apparently has a new line of cordless and brushless power tools coming out.
I often ask so what? about new tools and especially whenever there are unconventional entries into crowded tool markets.
What’s the point of these AmazonBasics wrench sets and their other new (newish) core hand tool offerings? Are the low prices the only selling point?
Amazon and AmazonBasics have the potential to really disrupt the tool industry. I’m serious – with the right leadership and strategies, they can grab market share and severely reshape the competitive landscape.
Unfortunately, at this time, there doesn’t seem to be any such strategy.
There’s something to be said about the “Amazon” brand familiarity, but is that it?
It’s as if Amazon looked at wrench sets that had high sales and low return rates and then contracted with the manufacturers to sell the same under AmazonBasics branding.
At this time, there’s not even any kind of unified color scheme that I can tell, or any cohesive branding effort. No design distinction.
These Crescent full-polish wrenches are priced lower than Amazon’s sets. Why spend more for AmazonBasics?
Amazon is the world’s largest retailer, and there is so much potential here.
I suppose that I might find AmazonBasics’ more specialty and niche wrenches more interesting, but not really any more appealing.
AmazonBasics offers a range of different combination wrench set options. So what? Why should budget shoppers care? I haven’t found a good answer to this question yet.
Everything Amazon does has impact. But for consumers, what’s the impact of these entry-priced wrench sets?