DeWalt showed off its new line of professional mechanics tools, a set of several different kits, each containing ratchets, sockets, and wrenches. Here’s the kicker—they are only available at Sears. This is new for DeWalt and at the company’s press event this year, the company said these tools aren’t competing directly with Sears’ Craftsman mechanics tools, but rather presenting a premium model that is better suited for professional contractors and MRO professionals. The new mechanics tools are designed to be tough and t0 back that claim up, DeWalt implemented a full lifetime warranty. In particular, we like the shape of the ratchet handles, which are wider than normal, and perfectly smooth so as to give you a comfortable grip. We got to use them to remove an exhaust manifold from a small Hyundai (why not?) and the tools handle well. The big points are that they feature a 72 tooth gear, giving them a short 5 degree arc and making them easy to work into tough spots. The larger kits come with some nice extensions which make working on tough-to-reach bolts that much easier.
DeWalt Mechanics Tools
DeWalt produced three socket sets for the new DeWalt mechanics tools. There are two basic 118-piece (DWMT72163) and 156-piece (DWMT72164) sockets that include both 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch ratchets, and a 204-piece socket set with an additional 1/2-inch ratchet (DWMT72165). Each of the sets features a variety of the pear head ratchets, sockets, combination wrenches, extension bars, bits, universal joints, and adapters.
Three New Ratchets
The new ratchets are available in three sizes: 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, and 1/2-inch drive. DeWalt claims they offer three times the life of standard ratchets, but it’s tough to understand exactly how they quantify that statement or what constitutes a “standard” ratchet. The pear head of the ratchets give them the ability to handle and be optimized for high torque ratcheting. They have anti-slip grooves on the handle which will give them a decent grip. The ratchets feature a low profile directional lever and the socket eject button made one-handed operation not only possible but quite simple. The two smaller kits include both 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch ratchets, but if you want to step up to 1/2-inch you’ll need to pick up the 204-piece DWMT72165 kit or buy the tool and sockets separately.
DeWalt’s new sockets come in the expected range of SAE and metric sizes. Though the company touts the deep laser etching on the sockets, we th0ught a bit of color or some more drastic contrast would have made the sizes a bit more easy to identify—one of the biggest gripes we have with using sockets. A thin cross-etched knurled beauty ring is located around the very top of each socket and tilting rails are included in order to help keep them organized, secure and easy to access. The larger kits, including the 156-piece DWMT72164 and the 204-piece DWMT72165, are the only kits to include both Allen and star drive sockets, so if you need those, be sure to go for the bigger sets.
Each of the three kits come with various wrenches, however DeWalt is also offering dedicated wrench kits in four sizes as well. DeWalt’s new combination wrenches utilize an anti-slip design on the open end jaw that locks the wrench on the fastener. It aids in gripping power and helps to prevent slippage that results in scraped knuckles. Engineered with high-quality steel and long panel forging, users will enjoy the leverage and high-torque provided by these wrenches. Also, available with reverse ratcheting technology, these wrenches are offered in both SAE and metric sizes.
The new kits are available now. Here are the various kits and configurations as well as the retail prices:
- DWMT71803 – 1/4-inch Drive Pear Head Ratchet – $24.99
- DWMT71804 – 3/8-inch Drive Pear Head Ratchet – $29.99
- DWMT71805 – 1/2-inch Drive Pear Head Ratchet – $39.99
- DWMT72160 – 23-piece 1/4-inch Drive Socket Rails with Ratchet- SAE/MM – $39.99
- DWMT72161 – 25-piece 3/8-inch Drive Socket Rails with Ratchet- SAE/MM – $49.99
- DWMT72162 – 25-piece 1/2-inch Drive Socket Rails with Ratchet- SAE/MM – $59.99
- DWMT72166 – 10-piece Combination Wrench Set- MM – $59.99
- DWMT72167 – 10-piece Combination Wrench Set- SAE – $59.99
- DWMT72168 – 10-piece Reversible Ratcheting Wrench Set-MM – $99.99
- DWMT72169 – 10-piece Reversible Ratcheting Wrench Set-SAE – $99.99
- DWMT72163 – 118-piece Socket Set-(1/4-inch & 3/8-inch Drive) – $149.99
- DWMT72164 – 156-piece Socket Set-(1/4-inch & 3/8-inch Drive) – $199.99
- DWMT72165 – 204-piece Socket Set-(1/4-inch, 3/8-inch and 1/2-inch Drive) – $299.99
These look to be decent ratchets, wrenches and sockets, though the limited distribution may be a challenge to getting them into the hands of contracting professionals. In either case, we’re intrigued at the notion of a DeWalt-branded mechanics tool set. The only real problem now is: where’s the DeWalt-branded tool chest? I mean, if I’m going to have my set of DeWalt mechanics tools, I don’t want to be storing them in a Craftsman of Kobalt tool cabinet, do I?