Being stuck on the side of the road with a broken down vehicle is a situation nobody wants to find themselves in. It is inconvenient, and more importantly, it can be dangerous. Fortunately, there are tool kits that are specially designed to stay out of the way until you need them.
Roadside tool kits come in many different sizes, all with different selections of “essential” tools to help you get your vehicle going again. They are basically a mini mechanic’s tool set that you can stow in your vehicle at all times.
So how do you know which tool kit is right for you? The first thing you need to consider is your vehicle itself. Is it older and American, and thus more likely to use all SAE fasteners? Conversely, in late model cars and trucks, it is pretty rare to find any nut or bolt that isn’t metric, no matter which brand you are driving.
Another consideration is space. Roadside tool kits are great, but we don’t want to sacrifice a lot of trunk space in order to have some tools on hand just in case we need them. The best roadside kits that we have found all contain the tools we believe are most commonly needed in a breakdown situation, but no extra tools we will most likely not need. Every extra tool in the kit is more space lost in your trunk.
The Best Roadside Tool Kit
From kits that were the size of tool boxes, to miniature tool sets that looked to be the size of a sewing kit, we have seen them all. We were amazed at what some kits considered “essentials” as well. While it would be great to have all of your tools at your side whenever a breakdown occurs, it just isn’t practical. We just don’t think an entire set of impact sockets or extended length wrenches need to be included in an emergency tool kit.
After weeding out the ridiculous, and using a lot of kits that we considered good quality tool sets, we found the one that we believe to be the best.
The Wilmar W1197 38 piece Compact Auto Tool Kit won the battle for the best roadside tool kit.
For starters, the kit doesn’t contain anything we won’t need. It is, in all honesty, a bare bones tool set designed to be used when you are stranded in a parking lot or along the side of the road. You won’t find any fancy tools here, and that is exactly why this little kit is so perfect.
In the kit, you’ll find a set of 9 metric and 9 SAE sockets. There is no ratchet included in the kit. Instead, the sockets are used more like a nut driver or screw driver. Also included are an adjustable wrench, screwdriver bits and driver, pliers, breakaway utility knife, a compact flashlight, tire gauge, 12 volt test light with clamps, and electrical tape. With these tools, you can address many problems that could come up along the side of the road which will spare you from having to call Roadside Assistance or AAA.
Perhaps the best part of the Wilmar tool kit is the size. This roadside tool set measures 9” x 2” x 7” and weighs 2.2 lbs. Not bad for an emergency tool kit in a zippered nylon tool case. In fact, this tool kit is small enough to fit in many glove boxes, center consoles, and spare tire wells.
The quality of the tools contained in the Wilmar kit is pretty much what you expect. While not the high end tools that you use at home, the Wilmar tool kit is certainly built to be used and won’t let you down when you need them. Are they going to stand up to years of daily abuse? Probably not, and that isn’t what they are designed to do. These tools are the last resort, save your neck, get you out of a bad situation, there when you really need them tools, and we are confident that they will do their job well when we need them. Considering the circumstances, after just one use they have paid for themselves.
As far as best places to buy a roadside tool kit, Amazon has the best price we have found for the Wilmar Roadside Tool Kit. Overall, we think you’ll be highly satisfied with the Wilmar Roadside Tool Kit. While we hope your car never leaves you stranded and you never have to use it, if you ever do you’ll be glad you got it. Happy wrenching!