Tools. Everybody needs a good set, and the Kobalt 154 piece socket set is aiming squarely at the consumer market with their new line of sockets. This 154-Piece Socket Set includes all of the basic and extended sockets you could want for basic automotive and household uses. One of the things that is a constant annoyance is not having deep sockets for use with carriage bolts or other situations that require a deeper socket to clear the end of a bolt. With the Kobalt 154 piece socket set you have a solid 2 inches of depth past the ratchet.
The Kobalt ratchets are made from forged steel and are very durable in feel. They are almost identical in feel and functionality to other teardrop style ratchets we’ve used from Craftsman. If you know those tools, then you’ll realize this is compliment and a statement of how well-built we felt the Kobalt tools were.
The 1/2″ ratchet was of particular interest to us since it represented the most heavy duty aspect of the tool. Gripping the ratchet, we felt that it conformed almost perfectly with the human hand. It was almost amazing that a forged piece of steel could feel so comfortable, but it did. There is a quick-release button on the back of the tool head which can be operated simply and with one finger. This button must be used to both insert and eject a socket. A thumb switch just below the eject mechanism switches direction from loosen to tighten.
As far as sockets go, you may be able to find a few sockets not included in this set, but our bet is that for 99.5% of all jobs you’re going to find what you need. The presence of a full complement of both SAE and metric in normal and deep socket sizes makes for a rather robust kit. In addition, the appropriate sizes are included for 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ sockets. In our testing the 3/8″ ratchet did seem to bind up after only minimal use. It continued to function, but (assuming this wasn’t just a bad sample) it let us know that this is probably not a tool you’ll want to use on a daily basis or for professional work. The mechanism to switch the ratcheting direction also binded up on us and became a bit unwieldy.
The included 1/4″ hex bit driver comes with 10 handy bits ranging from Philips and flat head, to Torx & square bits. It’s a nice addition to an already full toolbox, but it does aid in those quick jobs where you want to get in and secure something. What we found odd was the lack of a 1/4″ adapter for sockets. While you can certainly buy this separately, it would have made this set even more useful for those jobs where a straight insertion would be preferable to using a ratchet. We used the 1/2″ ratchet to remove and replace a back seat on our SUV and the 1/2″ ratchet did wonders for several household projects. Both tools felt good and worked perfectly each time. The grip is solid and it never once slipped, meaning the sockets gripped well and tended to stay on and not easily strip out the nuts we were working on.
The Kobalt 154-Piece Socket Set Contains
- 1/4″ hex bit driver with 10 bits (Philips, flat head, Torx & square) (11)
- 1/4″, 3/8″ & 1/2″ ratchets (3)
- 14-piece hex key set SAE (14)
- 14-piece hex key set MM (14)
- 3/8″-7/16″ and 1/2″-9/16″ crescent wrenches (2)
- 10/11mm and 12/14mm crescent wrenches (2)
- 1/4″ & 3/8″ 3-inch extenders (2)
- 4-12mm 1/4″ sockets (10)
- 5/32″-1/2″ 1/4″ sockets (10)
- 8-14mm 3/8″ sockets (6)
- T15-T30 1/4″ Torx sockets (4)
- T40 & T45 3/8″ Torx sockets (2)
- 4-10mm 3/8″ hex sockets (6)
- 1/8″-3/8″ 3/8″ hex sockets (7)
- 7/16″-3/4″ 1/2″ sockets (6)
- 14-19mm 1/2″ sockets (6)
- 3/8″-3/4″ 3/8″ deep sockets (7)
- 10-17mm 3/8″ deep sockets (6)
- 7-11mm 1/4″ deep sockets (5)
- 3/16″-5/16″ 1/4″ deep sockets (5)
- 1/4″-11/16″ 3/8″ sockets (8)
- 12-19mm 3/8″ sockets (8)
- 7/16″-7/8″ 3/8″ sockets (8)
- 5/8″ & 13/16″ spark plug sockets (2)
Overall this is an excellent kit with some limitations on heavy duty use, which we feel these tools are not designed for. Kobalt Tools are a Lowe’s brand and are manufactured in both the the USA and China depending upon what you’re buying. These particular tools are fully domestic. We can’t recommend this tool enough except to say that while the included plastic case is nice, you’ll want to spring for a serious tool chest that is worthy of this ratchet and socket extravaganza.