The Craftsman Evolv 101 Piece SAE and Metric Tool Set is an ideal starter kit since it comes with decent tools to tackle most home owner’s tasks that require turning a wrench or tightening a bolt. With a pretty wide variety of sizes in both the sockets and wrenches, this set is a pretty good gift for the young person moving out on their own for the first time.
Ironically, I had a buddy getting ready to make a move and he was trying to condense and also organize his tools. He lamented to me that he did not have a decent socket set and that what he did have was just cobbled together at best. Well this put a little challenge on me to be able to find what I think is an ideal starter wrench and socket set. After scouting all the local big box stores, I had pretty much struck out. Sure I found some decent socket sets and separate wrench sets; what I did not find was a mid size, fair priced set with both wrenches and sockets. To me you can’t have sockets with out wrenches because there are many instances where you actually use them together so it only made sense to find a set that had both. My last stop was at a local Sears store and after browsing the standard Craftsman sets that were in stock, it quickly became evident that I was not going to be able to afford what I set out to do. That was until I noticed the Evolv 101 Piece SAE & Metric Tool Set.
Now it has been a little while since I have been to Seers, and the last I remember was the Companion line of tools that seemed kind of cheap to me at the time. It looks like Sears dropped the Companion line and came up with the Evolv line of hand and power tools. I will say that the packaging and overall presentation of the Evolv line seems to have a good vibe to it. With simplistic packaging and a curious color combination of grey and green (think the Ryobi Lithium-ion line of tools). I figure I would give them a try.
The particular set I picked up was a 101 Piece SAE and Metric Tool Set that had both shallow and deep sockets along with some of the most common sizes of wrenches. Granted that nearly a third of the 101 tools are 1/4″ drive bits, the set still was a worthy starting place to start a tool collection.
The tool set came in a blow molded clamshell-style hard case with pockets and spaces for each item. There was no extra space to expand should you need to add more tools, though. The set includes both metric and SAE (inches) sockets and wrenches. The sockets can further be broken down into shallow and deep well and also 3/8″ and 1/4″ drive sizes. There is a total of thirteen3/8″ drive deep sockets, eighteen 3/8″ drive shallow sockets and eighteen 1/4″ drive shallow sockets. The socket sizes range from 4mm up to 19mm in metric and 3/16″ up to 3/4″ in SAE. All of the 3/8″ drive sockets are of the 12 point variety which means that they will fit pretty easily on most fastener heads. All of the 1/4″ drive sockets are 6 point style which means that they will pretty much guarantee you will not slip or round off the head on a bolt. All the sockets are polished chrome with deeply stamped Craftsman Evolv logos and sizes on each of them. When you get these all greasy, you will still be able to tell what size they are. Also included with the sockets are some adapters and extensions that make it easy to adapt the variety of sockets to fit the included 3/8″ drive ratchet. The ratchet has an easy grip handle and with just a flick of a switch, you can go from forward to reverse action. The wrenches in the set are also fully polished chrome and feature an open end and closed 12 point box end on each. The sizes range from 10mm to 15mm and 3/8″ to 5/8″ for a total of ten wrenches. The rest of the tools in the set are some specialty screwdriver bits like Torx, hex, Philips and straight bits. Pretty much almost anything you would need to get into your kids toys when it needs some new batteries.
Testing and Use
Pretty much the extent of the testing and use of these tools has been for a few very basic household tasks like taking the training wheels off of my daughter’s bike and tightening the legs on my kitchen table. Of course for these kinds of jobs this set preforms great. We would not expect you to be able to rebuild a car engine with a set like this but for the basic do-it-yourself type, this set is a good start. The overall quality of the tools appear pretty good. There are not sharp edges and the inside of the sockets are clean and smooth. Just in case there is a problem with these tools, they come with a lifetime warranty, but for all your die-hard Craftsman Hand tool folks out there, it is not the same warranty as the standard Craftsman Tool Warranty. With the Evolv tools, they will replace any broken piece as long as you come back to the store with the full set AND your original receipt. Yeah, that’s the kicker, because we all know that we all save our receipt for years and will be able to locate it down the road when we we finally break that 1/2″ socket and need a new one.
The Craftsman Evolv 101 Piece SAE and Metric Tool Set is great for the home workshop since it has many of the basic tools you need to get your garage started. Since this set includes both 1/4″ and 3/8″ drive sizes with a variety of other tools including 49 sockets, 10 combination wrenches, and 42 other bits you will not have to be borrowing the neighbor’s tools any more. For our Performance rating we gave the set a 6 since it does well give give a head start on a good tool set but it is a bummer the warranty is not quite as good as what we are used to from Craftsman. For our Value rating we gave the set an 8 since the tools have a quality feel to them and for the fact that there was such a variety of tools for a fair price.