In the past I have been critical of Stanley Tools due to some of my past experiences with them. During the 70’s and 80’s, they were considered to be high quality tools, and some of them were at one pint made in Australia. Then in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, their quality declined. Fortunately today, the overall quality of Stanley Tools have improved somewhat. However in my opinion they are great for home and DIY (do it yourself) use, for trade use, it will vary. Some of their tools, such as their Stanley knives, tape measures, screwdrivers and chisels are quite good. Others, such as their power tools, ratchet spanners, and spanners are average. I have noticed Stanley Socket Sets and other tool being sold in various trade outlets. Based on my research and speaking with various sale reps and other people who have bought and used Stanley Socket Sets, this is what I have found:
- Overall the quality of Stanley Tools has improved.
- For their price, Stanley Sockets Sets are quite good.
Recently, I have bought a Stanley Socket Set while I was at Super Cheap Auto. The socket set was on sale and at a price of $60, I decided to purchase the socket set. The Stanley Socket Set I am reviewing in this blog post is the Stanley Black Chrome Socket Set 1/4 & 3/8 Drive, Metric, 40 Piece set.
According to the Stanley, the Black Chrome Socket Sets are marketed towards the trade professional.
(Above) A few examples of Stanley Products.
The socket set I purchased has the following features.
4 metric combination spanners:
- 10 mm,
- 11 mm,
- 12 mm, and
- 13 mm.
1/4 inch drive socket accessories:
- 1/4 inch drive extension (75 mm),
- 1/4 inch drive 6 point Socket(4 mm to 13 mm), and
- 1/4 inch drive 6 point Deep Socket (6 mm to 12 mm).
3/8 drive socket accessories:
- 3/8 inch drive ratchet (74 tooth),
- 3/8 inch drive extension (150 mm),
- 3/8 female to 1/4 male adaptor,
- 3/8 inch drive spark plug socket (16 mm),
- 3/8 drive 6 point socket (8mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm,17mm, 19mm), and
- 3/8 drive 6 point deep socket (10mm 14mm).
The socket set comes in a blow molded plastic case with a foam insert and removable pins on the hinges. This allows the case to be taken apart and used as a stand alone tray for tools carts.
Upon first inspect, I found the kit to be very well presented, the sockets were covered in a light coat of grease. The sockets, spanners, ratchet, adaptors and extensions fit snugly within the blow molded case. The black chrome finish makes them really aesthetically pleasing and the large etching on the sockets made the sizes easy to read.
Inspecting the ratchet, the fit and finish was really good and the ratchet feels well made. It is of low profile and as a top button that is pushed to release or attached sockets or extensions. The ratchet has 74 teeth which is nearly on par with some of the high end manufacturers, such as Snap-On, whose ratchet have 80 teeth. This allows for a smaller arch of swing, which makes it handy for tight or restricted places.
The sockets are metric and come in both short and deep sockets, with 1/4 inch drive and 3/8 inch drive. The sockets are the 6-point type, which allows for greater contact and reduced the chances of rounding your nuts.
The spanners appear to be solid and well made, it is a combination type with an open end and a closed ring.
I have been using this socket set for a few minor jobs and assembling a bicycle. So far it has held up well with the finish seems sufficiently durable. The only issue I had was with the ratchet seizing up and not working. Fortunately I managed to get a replacement ratchet.
In conclusion, the set is of decently quality, and is equipped with a good variety of standard and deep sockets which is enough to cover a variety of different jobs your might encounter around the home or the car. This set is definitely ideal for the trade professional starting their career, or the DIYer building up the first tool kit.
The only thing that bothered me was the faulty ratchet, but overall this was a very good set for the money.