10 Best 3/8 Socket Sets For Professional Mechanics

Last updated: Aug 10, 2020 Johnathan Cokerrecommended products

As a professional mechanic, your sockets are important. You should invest in some good ones. Let’s break down what makes a good socket and then look at a couple of good options to add to your toolbox.

I took a poll of 30 mechanics Automotive and Heavy equipment and asked them what the best Standard 6 point 3/8 socket set was. I ranked them 1 to 10 based on their answers. While we only listed the 3/8, you can bet if this set is good the 12 points and 1/4 and 1/2 will be the same.

best socket

What makes a good socket

Durability

This is possibly the most important feature in a good socket. As a pro, you need a socket that is going to last. The last thing you want is cracking or wear making the socket not fit right.

The main thing that kills chrome sockets is using them in an impact. Chrome sockets are made for hand tools and will last a long way if used properly.

Accurate sizing

That Chinese set you bought may have been cheap but sometimes you get what you pay for. Take the time to find sockets that are sized correctly

Finish

Different finishes will translate to different wear and usability.

Thickness

This will not only make a huge difference in wear it will also make it more or less difficult to get into tight areas depending on the thickness

Warranty

Almost all tools nowadays will proclaim their lifetime warranty but it is important to note that not all are hassle-free. I will note in each tool how good the process is. Some will do an instant swap out and some will require you to mail them in.

List disclaimer

This list is based on value for the money. You may see some that surprise you but remember this list is compiled to give you the best socket for the money. So don’t get upset when snap-on isn’t number 1. 😆

1. SK Professional Tools 4613 13-Piece 3/8 in. Drive 6-Point Standard Socket Set

sk

Best tools for the money? The survey says SK! SK has been around a long time and they have hung around for a reason. Their stuff lasts!

Don’t believe me? Ask around your shop or buddies and see just how many guys have them. They are very popular and are made with a pro mechanic in mind. I would not recommend their ratchet but their sockets are great.

sk1

They take pride in the technology that goes into the sockets and the durability they get from them. For the longest time, I only had SK impact sockets but since I have had their chrome set I have not looked back. I give these things a hard way to go and they are hanging in there.

Plus the warranty is a breeze. Had a couple of broken impact sockets took no time to get them replaced.

Check out the latest price on Amazon

The Specs

  • Durability -This set is manufactured to give superior service year after year and to last a lifetime with proper care. Quality tools manufactured for the American technician
  • Finish -High polish “SuperKrome” plating results in a showroom finish, providing long life and maximum corrosion resistance for your 6-Point Chrome Socket
  • Design - This set has SK’s “SureGrip” hex drive design, it drives the side of the fastener, not the corner. This gives you increased strength and keeps you from rounding of rusted or damaged fasteners, which can occur when using a sharp cornered hex tool
  • Thickness - Typical Profile
  • Warranty - Mail-in. It is a decent process.
  • Where is it made? - USA with American Steel

2. Gearwrench 80552 14 Pc. 3/8” Drive 6 Point Metric Standard Socket Set

gear

Gear wrench has to be one of the more underrated tool manufacturers. How often are you replacing those ratchet wrenches? Never. I use their ratchets exclusively. check out my best ratchet for pros blog. You will see that video that shows just how strong they are!

This set of sockets is durable, accurate, and even a bit thinner profile than others. It’s a great choice on a budget and not a bad choice overall. As long as you don’t abuse them they will last you a very long time.

Check out the latest price on Amazon

The Specs

  • Durability - The most used sockets will for years if you keep them out of your impact.

  • Finish -Bright, full polish chrome finish easily wipes clean and resists corrosion

  • Design -Off-corner loading design reduces fastener rounding. Chamfered opening quickly guides fasteners into socket

  • Thickness - Thinner profile

  • Warranty - Mail-in. Decent process.

  • Where is it made? - USA with American Steel

3. Blue Point 11pc 3/8” SAE Shallow Socket Set 6pt 1/4”-7/8”

blue

Ahh, the old Snap-on knock-off. Bluepoint really is a decent tool. I have several in my set and they have held up to loads of torture. If you need a great set of sockets and have a few bucks extra but not the whole mint then bluepoint is your best bet.

They come with the same Snap-on warranty and convenience if the truck is stopping by your shop already with about 25% off the price tag. You can’t go wrong here it really is just a matter of finding it at a workable amount.

You will find the price varies. Bluepoint is on Amazon every once in a while and eBay. This will save you a ton if you plan on buying them on the truck. Have a look around the old inter-webs first.

Check out the latest price on Amazon

The Specs

  • Durability - Last a lifetime. Very well made
  • Finish -Full polish chrome finish easily wipes clean and resists corrosion
  • Design - Tough made for pros
  • Thickness - Typical profile
  • Warranty - Truck trade out. A super easy process if you have a good owner.
  • Where is it made? - USA with American Steel

4. Snap-on 211FSY 11pc 3/8” SAE Shallow Socket Set 6pt 1/4”-7/8”

snap

The only reason this snap-on set is not at the top of the list is the price. They make very good tools. No one questions this. Is it worth the 300% higher price than other tools? Doubtful.

This set is great and the only way I recommend buying it is off eBay. Above is a link to an eBay set for around 120 bucks. Check it out. If it’s not still there, there are always sets around.

One thing to note is if you haven’t bought anything from your Snap-on guy they don’t like to warranty stuff. I have been told by some that they won’t replace tools they didn’t sell. But not all are jerks lie that.

Check out the latest price on eBay

The Specs

  • Durability - Last a lifetime. One of the best in the business
  • Finish -Full polish chrome finish easily wipes clean and resists corrosion
  • Design -Snap-on patented design. Tough made for pros
  • Thickness - Typical profile
  • Warranty - Truck trade out. A super easy process if you have a good owner.
  • Where is it made? - USA with American Steel

5. Matco SBM126TA 12-Piece SAE, 3/8-Inch Drive, 6-Point Socket Set

mat

Matco makes some decent stuff. They are not cheap either. I have always enjoyed the few Matco tools I have. They make a great low profile ratchet.

This socket set will last you forever and will hold up to professional abuse. It really just depends on whether or not you have the cash 💰and you have access to a Matco truck for warranty.

You can’t always count on a Matco truck coming around to your shop. So it is something to consider with their tools.

Check out the latest price on matcotools.com

The Specs

  • Durability - Opti-Torque™ applies torque to fastener sides, not corners which allow more torque to the fastener and longer life
  • Finish - Full polish chrome finish for corrosion resistance
  • Design - Counter-Torque™ distributes the torquing stress uniformly throughout the socket extending socket life
  • Thickness - Thinner profile
  • Warranty - Swap on the truck. Easy Process if you have one.
  • Where is it made? - USA with American Steel

6. Mac Tools SXM146BRPT 14-Piece SAE, 3/8-Inch Drive, 6-Point Socket Set

mac

Another great option is the Mac tools set here. Mac is a great somewhat cheaper than Snap-on truck choice. This will also be based largely on whether to, not a Mac truck comes by your shop. It would be extremely difficult to get a warranty if you don’t have a regular truck guy.

This set is going to be a great set if it works out for you. I would try to get them on eBay or craigslist before I bought them directly from Mac.

Check out the latest price on Mac Tools

The Specs

  • Durability - Great set. Last you a long time.
  • Finish - Full polish chrome finish for corrosion resistance
  • Design - Patented Mac Tools design
  • Thickness - Typical profile
  • Warranty - Swap on the truck. Easy Process if you have one.
  • Where is it made? - USA with American Steel

7. Kobalt 0338615 11-Piece SAE, 3/8-Inch Drive, 6-Point Socket Set

kobalt

Kobalt stuff is great. It is as inexpensive as they come and it has pretty good durability. I have used all kinds of Kobalt tools and get a lot of life out of them.

They are definitely not top of the list but a great choice for the tight-fisted mechanic.

Check out the latest price on Amazon

The Specs

  • Durability - Medium at best. Sockets are made from drop forged, heat-treated chrome vanadium steel for long-lasting durability
  • Finish - Full polish chrome finish for corrosion resistance
  • Design - No special design.
  • Thickness - Typical profile
  • Warranty - Walk into any Loews. Easy Process.
  • Where is it made? - USA with American Steel

8. Crescent 11-Piece SAE, 3/8-Inch Drive, 6-Point Socket Set

Crescent

Crescent Looks like they are gonna be a good choice moving forward. They are made by Apex tools which also makes Gearwrench. They are pretty tough and really make a great socket for a budget price.

Check out the latest price on Amazon

The Specs

  • Durability - Medium at best
  • Finish - Full polish chrome finish for corrosion resistance
  • Design - No special design.
  • Thickness - Thicker profile
  • Warranty - Walk into any Loews. Easy Process.
  • Where is it made? - USA with American Steel

9. Husky 11-Piece SAE, 3/8-Inch Drive, 6-Point Socket Set

Husky

I owned Husky sockets for over 10 years. Over my first years as a mechanic. They really make a decent product for mechanics. I did have a few of them replaced over the years but not as many as you think.

Check out the latest price on Amazon

The Specs

  • Durability - Medium at best
  • Finish - Full polish chrome finish for corrosion resistance
  • Design - No special design.
  • Thickness - Thicker profile
  • Warranty - Walk into any Loews. Easy Process.
  • Where is it made? - USA with American Steel

10. Craftsman CMMT12042 11-Piece SAE, 3/8-Inch Drive, 6-Point Socket Set

crap

So last and least. This Craftsman set has been used in shops. I have seen a couple of guys give them a shot. Some lasted quite a while.

You can save some bucks here and the warranty is great. So if money is tight 💸 This may be your set. You could do worse. They are at least made in the USA.

Check out the latest price on Amazon

The Specs

  • Durability - Medium at best
  • Finish - Full polish chrome finish for corrosion resistance
  • Design - No special design.
  • Thickness - Thicker profile
  • Warranty - Walk into any Loews. Easy Process.
  • Where is it made? - USA with American Steel

Summing up

Your sockets are important tools in your box. You use them so often and your knuckles are constantly in jeopardy. You will notice a huge difference between a cheap one and one made for pros.

Remember just because I recommend a set doesn’t mean it would be perfect for you and your job. It really is a personal experience.

You need to try and see with tools like this. They really are like boots. Lots of boots are great but I like certain ones. So, take my list as a great starter and find you’re awesome sockets that work for you.

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John Coker

Johnathan Coker is a ASE and EVT Certified Mechanic. He is married with two kids and lives in sunny Florida. He loves taking stuff apart and teaching others how he messed it up.

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