At some point or another, your tool bag or box becomes unmanageable. A system that’s well-suited for everything is made, more tools are added, and then you find yourself in the middle of a scrapyard on a hot July day, facing the reality that you need to carry those tools and not-so-shiny new parts back to your truck. I’ve been there, cursing myself the whole way home. Why? Because I didn’t need half of the tools I brought with me.
If you watch professional mechanics, they know the strain that heavy tools exact on your muscles after a long day’s work. That’s why most only carry a few with them. If they don’t have enough to get the job done, they’ll take note of what they need and make a second trip. And that’s what we should all be doing. Multiple runs can sound like a pain, but not only does it reduce the strain of deadlifting the entire rear subframe of a Chevrolet Suburban and your overflowing tool bag, but it’s good for us to get the cardio we need in the digital age.
That’s where something like the Workpro 39-piece Socket Set shines. It has a limited selection, but it’s light and, at the time of writing, it’s only $22.99. It’s like EDC for your toolbox: throw it in your pack and carry it wherever you go, and you’ll be able to tackle a respectable amount of work without making trip after trip. Is it worth the trouble, though? After all, it’s not from a prestigious name, and the price tag does raise some red flags.
That’s what The Drive wants to find out.
Unboxing the Workpro Socket Set
I have to admit, I didn’t expect much when this kit showed up. Not just because it’s super affordable but because the case is a fraction of the size of many other tool kits. Even so, it manages to store a total of 39 pieces, and that alone is pretty impressive given its compact case.
I found the cardboard sleeve in which the case lived a nice touch. It’s certainly not as shiny or descriptive as others, but it really doesn’t need to say much, and the plain jane styling is something that I find appealing. It’s honest and does away with the gimmicks.
Obviously, a blow-molded case lives beneath that sleeve, but it’s not all that bad. I didn’t have any issues with the contents falling out of place or the case coming apart, which is a routinely annoying issue with many others.
Inside the case is a decent collection of sockets to match your ratchet and bit driver. You get pretty much everything you’ll need for small to medium automotive fasteners, including an extension for those hidden jobs. I half-suspected things might get a little awkward considering half of the selection consists of quarter-inch drives for the bit driver, meaning I’d run into some small fumbles when trying to use a ratchet. But the drive adapter helps to minimize headaches.
All of the tools in our kit are of pretty decent quality as well. There are some small surface imperfections, everything’s pretty basic in design, and the ratchet mechanism doesn’t inspire much confidence, but we really shouldn’t expect too much at such a low asking price. Besides, there are no issues that prevent the set from working, there’s no cheap laser etching, and the ratchet does have what I assume to be a 72-tooth mechanism.
Seeing as this is such a small kit, there’s not much else to say about that. The sooner I could put it to work, the better.
Getting After It With the WorkPro Socket Set
- Good: Affordable, compact package, handy selection.
- Bad: Low-quality ratchet, not meant for serious work.
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While I am attempting to make some progress with my 1969 Dodge Charger project car with The Drive’s tool reviews, I decided to take a break there. Besides, I didn’t have anything to throw on the car at the time of review.
Instead, I opted to use the tool set for goofy little tasks. That included installing a connecting rod to an RB Chrysler engine I have laying around, messing with various other parts that need disassembly or inspection, and getting myself out of a small lawnmower-related fiasco.
Something that stands out to me is how useful this particular socket selection is. This kit contains 35 sockets. Metric sizes run from 4 to 13 mm, and SAE runs from 5/32- to 9/16-inch. Workpro also attaches three Torx sockets for those odd run-ins with 1/4-, 5/16-, and 3/8-inch external star fasteners. I did use a good bit of the tools in this kit for the miscellaneous tasks I tackled, proving that it is a pretty handy collection.
Although I used the ratchet more than the bit driver, I still have to tip my hat to Workpro for throwing in something a little better than what some others in its league are letting fly. It’s not some revolutionary bit driver that’ll change the way you work, but it won’t cripple in your hands during the first run.
Even though I know there’s a twin-pawl mechanism within before even dissecting the ratchet, it’s only fair to pop the cover off and give the readers a gander at what’s inside. It is almost an exact duplicate of what other similarly priced kits have to offer, and the same is true for the internals. I guess that’s just the nature of the beast in today’s day and age.
What’s Good About Workpro’s 39-Piece Set
It’s really hard to find much wrong with this kit because it’s as affordable as it is handy. It doesn’t cost much more than a super-sized meal from your favorite fast-food joint, and you definitely won’t feel as loaded down after splurging.
The 39-piece count is to thank for how useful this little kit is. Even if I had to break out an extra socket or two, it’s not like I had to haul to and from the toolbox enough to make this set more trouble than it’s worth. Not only that, but I didn’t run into any issues with sockets slipping, mechanisms skipping, or even so much as a socket coming free from the case when it’s not supposed to.
Seeing as the case is also fairly compact, I didn’t mind toting it around. I could easily carry this set, a roll of shop rags, and some parts cleaner to whatever it is I was working on. If I needed extra sockets or extensions, I could just throw them in my pocket and get on with it. If you’re looking for an EDC socket set for your portable toolkit or mechanic’s go-bag, this Workpro set could be the one.
What’s Not Great About Workpro’s Socket Set
Even though this kit is pretty decent, I don’t think I’d throw it in a tool bag for any kind of serious work. I just don’t have enough confidence in the ratchet. Just as with EPAuto and Performance Tool, you’re working with the dated twin-pawl design.
It’s not that this system is terrible, I just don’t think the internals are strong enough to make do with such little contact with the drive gear. Furthermore, the holes in the case aren’t doing us any favors when it comes to keeping debris out.
You do get a decent selection of tools, but I guarantee that you’ll need to tote around larger sockets if you use this for automotive use. The largest sizes in this kit are 13 mm and 9/16-inch. That’s decent for light work on the run, but it’s almost a certainty that you’ll run into bigger nuts and bolts during any kind of suspension or drivetrain project. But that’s not the kind of work this set is intended for anyway.
Our Verdict on Workpro’s 39-Piece Tool Set
Is this the kit you should throw in your pack for your junkyard haul? I think you’d be OK if you brought along a spare ratchet and some sockets, but then we’re not talking about the same kit, are we? I think it is worth finding something of a similar size but better quality, if that’s your intent.
Still, this kit is not that bad. I love how portable it is and that it’s decently equipped. I don’t think you can beat something like this for the kind of work I was doing. If you’re in the market for an inexpensive (again, $22.99 right now), portable socket set to carry around, the Workpro 39-piece Socket Set might be the ideal choice.
If you’re in the market for an inexpensive, portable socket set to carry around, the Workpro 39-piece Socket Set might be the ideal choice.
FAQs About Workpro
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q. Is Workpro made in the United States?
A. No, its tools are made in China. Workpro claims to have “changed what it means to be made in China,” however. While these tools are better than many of those in its price range, it’s not miles apart. In fact, a few dollars more can definitely get you something of much better quality.
Q. Are Workpro tools any good?
A. I won’t say Workpro tools are bad, but I won’t say they’re great. They’re seemingly in line with any of its competitors, maybe a little better. However, it’s a good idea to go to Workpro over others if you just need something affordable or if you’re working with a shoestring budget. I’ve run into issues that render tools from other kits useless.
Q. Where are Workpro tools sold?
A. We got our Workpro set from Amazon, which seems to carry the entire line. You also have the option to source Workpro tools from Lowes and Walmart if you prefer to use those stores.
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