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7 Best Spanner Sets (2021 Review)

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The best spanner set should form an integral part of your toolkit. Ideally you should combine a solid set of traditional ring spanners with the convenience of a ratcheting spanner set. Spanners are typically manufactured from tool steel with either a chrome vanadium or nickel-plated coat to make them waterproof.

Imperial measurements have largely been replaced with metric sizes these days. The most popular sets include spanners ranging in size from 8 – 19 mm. Size markings stamped into the steel are very useful and colour coded sizes are becoming increasingly popular too.

Ratcheting spanners are very popular – you don’t have to disengage the spanner head from the nut or bolt each time you make a turn. Look for a reversible ratcheting spanner so you can change direction from tightening to loosening or vice versa, again without removing the spanner head from the bolt. Flexible heads are also great as they allow access to really tight spots.

Whether you need space age technology in your ratcheting set, or just a solid set of ring spanners, I’ve found the best available right now. Read on to see what I’ve found out…

What is the Best Spanner Set For You?

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Comparing the Best Spanner Sets

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Best For
  • No. of Spanners
  • Metric/ Imperial
  • Size Range
  • Ratcheting
  • Storage
  • Cost
  • Our score
  •  

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In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Spanner Sets

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Wera Joker 4 Piece Metric Combination Ratchet Spanner Set Wera Joker 4 Piece Metric Combination Ratchet Spanner Set

Best ratchet spanner set

Build Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.6666666666667
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Wera Joker 4 Piece Metric Combination Ratchet Spanner Set Review

Specifications

  • No. of Spanners: 4
  • Metric/ Imperial: Metric
  • Size Range: 10-19mm
  • Ratcheting: Yes
  • Storage: Fabric Tool Roll

Wera are well known for making the highest quality screwdriver bits, and this Combination Ratchet Spanner Set is full of innovative and useful features. The metric spanner set comes in four popular sizes: 10, 13, 17 & 19 mm. It features an open-ended spanner on one end, and a high-quality ratcheting ring spanner on the other.

The quality of the finish is superb. This spanner set isn’t just well made but it even looks good in the smart carry case. Comfortable to use, colour coded by size and completely weather-resistant, it’s the best spanner set on the market and worth the high price point!

The feature that makes this the best adjustable spanner set available right now is the plate attached to the open end. By turning the nut slightly, you can hold it captive in the end of the spanner, allowing you to start it on a bolt without holding it. This makes it ideal for hard-to-reach areas.

Pros

  • Having colour coded spanners is a game changer for anyone who uses them constantly. Being able to pick out the 19 mm at a glance saves a lot of time and head scratching.
  • It’s worth noting just how good the case is. Whether it’s rolled closed or fully open, the spanners can’t fall out. You can hang the open roll up for easy spanner access too. It’s great.
  • Any ratcheting spanner beats an ordinary one in my book. Especially when access is tight! The ratcheting action is smooth, and the 80-tooth ring gives you 4.5° of turn per click.
  • The “Joker” end of the spanner gives you 12 points to grip on to a bolt head or nut. This gives you a wide angle of access to bolts in hard to reach spots.
  • Flip over the “Joker” end and the black insert has serrated edges for gripping nuts or bolt heads, a nit like a pipe wrench. If you need to grip something, this does a great job.

Cons

  • Even hardcore DIYers might be put off by the price of just four spanners. Even though these cover four of the main sizes you’ll find, it’s an expensive set of tools to splash out on.
  • It’s hard to find things not to like about this spanner set. However, if you want to change the ratcheting direction of these spanners, you need to flip them over. It’s not got a switch.
  • Several users have complained about the straight spanner head on one end. Angled spanner heads stop you from scraping your knuckles in tight spots.
  • The satin finish on these tools mean you can find rust spots after storage. Several users have been disappointed to find these on a premium tool, but they clean off easily enough.
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AZUNO 12 Piece Flex-Head Ratchet Spanner SetAZUNO 12 Piece Flex-Head Ratchet Spanner Set

Best flex head ratchet spanner set

Build Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
5
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AZUNO 12 Piece Flex-Head Ratchet Spanner Set Review

Specifications

  • No. of Spanners: 12
  • Metric/ Imperial: Metric
  • Size Range: 8-19mm
  • Ratcheting: Yes
  • Storage: Plastic Case

You can get a full set of ratcheting spanners in Chrome Vanadium for less than you might think from AZUNO. Their 12 piece Flex-Head spanner set is well-built and looks great in a blow moulded case. The mirror-like finish is impressive and should keep rust at bay too.

AZUNO haven’t skipped any metric sizes from 8 – 19 mm, which should hopefully mean you won’t get caught short by odd-sized bolts! The flex-head system means the ratcheting end of the spanner can pivot through 180° without losing performance

The design of them is good as well, the spanners have a nice low profile compared with some flex-head spanner sets. Each click of the 72-tooth ratchet end gives you a arc of turn, so there’s enough scope for reaching awkward bolts and nuts.

Pros

  • Having every size from 8 – 19 mm in your toolkit is vital, because you know it’ll be the one size you need on a job. Skipping sizes saves space but can get you stuck on occasion.
  • The flexible heads can get you into really tight spots and out of seriously tight jams! Once you’ve used spanners that can flex through 180°, you won’t want to go back.
  • Compared with the Wera Joker four piece set, you get a much wider range of sizes to play with. It’s also more affordable to buy twelve of these than four of them.
  • I like the directional arrow that’s been machined into the side of the ratchet head. It makes it easy to see what side you’re working with, and it won’t rub off over time.

Cons

  • Some users have complained about the case the spanners come in. It’s a blow moulded plastic storage box, that might not last for as long as a tool roll.
  • Another issue some users had with the case is the individual spanners can work loose from their holders. If they do, they rattle around in the case.
  • There seems to be more slop in some of the flex-heads than others. Most of them are stiff enough to not flop around, but there are a few per case that feel loose.
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Bahco S4RM3T 3pc Reversible Ratchet Spanner Set Bahco S4RM3T 3pc Reversible Ratchet Spanner Set

Best ratchet spanner with 4 sizes per head

Build Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.6666666666667
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Bahco S4RM3T 3pc Reversible Ratchet Spanner Set Review

Specifications

  • No. of Spanners: 3
  • Metric/ Imperial: Metric
  • Size Range: 8-19mm
  • Ratcheting: Yes
  • Storage: Fabric Tool Roll

This Bahco S4RM3T Reversible Ratchet Set is made from chrome vanadium steel and comes with a satin finish that helps with grip and will remain rust-free without maintenance.

The large ratcheting head gives you good knuckle clearance, so you can always tighten a bolt or nut down tightly without getting your fingers stuck. The ratcheting rings have stops on them as well, so you won’t miss the end of the bolt like a regular ring spanner. This is a really handy feature!

My favourite feature of these Bahco spanners is the direction-changing lever. With most ratcheting spanners you need to flip it over to change direction, but the best ratchet spanners change direction with the flick of a switch.

Pros

  • Each ratcheting spanner is designed with four different sizes on it. That means 12 different sizes in a three tool roll! It makes this an incredibly streamlined and versatile bit of kit.
  • The ratcheting action in each spanner is quality. You get 5° of arc per click which makes them convenient for tight spots as well. They feel incredibly well machined and strong.
  • Even if it’s just personal preference, I am a big fan of reversible ratcheting spanners. When getting into the tightest spots, being able to change direction with a switch is handy.

Cons

  • Each end of these spanners is a closed ratcheting “ring”. That means you don’t get open ended spanners that are useful for when you can’t get the end of the spanner over the bolt.
  • More than a few users have commented that this set isn’t going to replace 12 dedicated spanner sizes. They’re excellent to have in addition to a full set, however.
  • The extra sizes in each end make them bulky and quite heavy. For a spanner set that’s designed with easy access in mind, they can be hard to fit into narrow spaces.
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VonHaus 12 Piece Rachet Spanner Set VonHaus 12 Piece Rachet Spanner Set

Best budget ratchet spanner set

Build Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.3333333333333
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VonHaus 12 Piece Rachet Spanner Set Review

Specifications

  • No. of Spanners: 12
  • Metric/ Imperial: Metric
  • Size Range: 6-17mm
  • Ratcheting: Yes
  • Storage: Plastic Case

This VonHaus 12 Spanner Set is the perfect thing to buy for the keen DIYer and will perform all the jobs needed around the home and in the garage. The ratcheting part of the spanner is solid and has plenty of teeth, so it’ll be easy to use when there’s limited access.

The ratchet spanner set comes in a sturdy plastic case to keep everything organised, as the best flexible head spanner set should be! The ratchet spanners have the spanner sizes clearly stamped into them, which is excellent for a budget friendly spanner set. I highly recommend this spanner set, it really should last you forever.

Pros

  • You get 12 ratcheting spanners that start with 6 mm as the smallest and 17 mm as the biggest. They haven’t left out any sizes, so you won’t get caught out any time soon.
  • Compared with the Bahco S4RM3T set, these spanners come with open ends as well as ratcheting rings. I’m a fan of having both options on the one tool.
  • The satin-like finish on the steel is handsome, and I like that the sizes have been stamped in. It’s a preferable way of marking than etching or some other way that can rub off.

Cons

  • I find it really irritating that these are fixed direction ratchet spanners, but the direction hasn’t been made clear. Without arrows, you need to guess what way it’s going to ratchet.
  • The case is big and bulky for a simple set of spanners. There seems to be a lot of wasted space in the blow moulding. I would probably siphon them into my toolbox soon.
  • Some users have complained that the ratcheting system doesn’t always work properly. It might be that they’re stiff and need lubricating compared to the smooth Wera Joker action.
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Neilsen CT0126 25 Piece Combination Spanner Set Neilsen CT0126 25 Piece Combination Spanner Set

Best non-ratcheting metric spanner set

Build Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4
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Neilsen CT0126 25 Piece Combination Spanner Set Review

Specifications

  • No. of Spanners: 25
  • Metric/ Imperial: Metric
  • Size Range: 6-32mm
  • Ratcheting: No
  • Storage: Fabric Tool Roll

If you need a large set of spanners, with the whole range of nut and bolt sizes, you can’t go wrong with this Neilsen 25-piece set. All the ratchet spanners in the world can’t make up for having the most popular metric sizes at your fingertips in their own handy wallet.

The feature I like the most about this combination spanner set is the huge range of sizes on offer. They should cover you for 99% of home DIY applications.

These chrome vanadium spanners have rings on one end and are open on the other, with a bi-hex configuration. This means they grip in 12 places on any bolt or nut. The quality of the mirror finish is excellent, and the jaws feel well made and solid.

Pros

  • It’s hard to beat having 25 spanners in a handy tool roll. You’ve got from 6 mm all the way up to 32 mm at your fingertips. The only ones missing are 29 and 31 mm.
  • The spanners feature a silicone sleeve along the middle section. This makes them a lot easier to grip and stops them from being cold to touch on a freezing February morning.
  • The tool roll is made from a tough ripstop canvas material. It’s more than capable of keeping everything safe, and the reinforced hanging eyes make it easy to stow away as well.

Cons

  • Compared with the Bahco S4RM3T or Von Haus set, these are not ratcheting spanners. Once you’re used to using a ratcheting set, it feels really slow with a standard set of ring spanners.
  • Several users have complained that the silicone sleeve gets slippery when covered in oil. They need cleaning with a degreaser to get back to their normal grippy state.
  • Other users have found that the stitching on the tool roll isn’t always great. It can come away at the ends and let a spanner fall out.
  • Compared with the Azuno spanners, the sizes on these ones are printed on the silicone sleeve. I prefer the stamped sizes on the Azuno set because they can’t rub off!
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Laser Tools 6795 32pc Combination Spanner Set Laser Tools 6795 32pc Combination Spanner Set

Best metric and AF combination spanner set

Build Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4
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Laser Tools 6795 32pc Combination Spanner Set Review

Specifications

  • No. of Spanners: 32
  • Metric/ Imperial: Metric & Imperial
  • Size Range: 6-19mm, 1/4"-7/8"
  • Ratcheting: No
  • Storage: EVA Foam Tray

If you need a big set of spanners, with the whole range of nut and bolt sizes, you can’t go wrong with this Laser Tools 32-piece set. All the ratchet spanners in the world can’t make up for having the most popular metric and imperial sizes at your fingertips in an attractive foam tray.

The most popular spanner sizes come in regular and stubby length, but the feature we like the most about the best cheap spanner set on this list is just how much you get for your money.

Proudly made in Britain, these chrome vanadium spanners have rings on one end and are open on the other, with a bi-hex configuration. This means they grip in 12 places on any bolt or nut. The quality of the mirror finish is excellent, and the jaws feel well made and solid.

Pros

  • Working on a classic car? You’ll need this set of spanners compared with the Wera Jokers. In fact, you never know when you’ll meet a set of imperial bolts, so this is an ideal set to own.
  • Having stubby versions of popular sizes is brilliant. It saves you from needing to buy a separate set of stubbies for those seriously hard to reach spaces.
  • The foam tray is the ultimate way to display your spanners in a workshop or garage setting. They’re laid out to be easy to find, and you can tell in seconds if one has gotten lost!

Cons

  • To save space, the spanners are all laid out on their side. Unfortunately, you can’t see which one is which at a glance. You’ll need to pull one out to check the size.
  • Compared with the Neilsen spanner set, these chrome vanadium spanners will be cold to the touch. For mechanics working in the winter, it can be very uncomfortable indeed.
  • Unlike the Wera Joker set, these aren’t ratcheting spanners. You need to remove the open or ring end from the bolt head to tighten or loosen it every time.
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Silverline SP1236 12 Piece Combination Spanner Set Silverline SP1236 12 Piece Combination Spanner Set

Best combination spanner set for value

Build Quality
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Overall
4.3333333333333
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Silverline SP1236 12 Piece Combination Spanner Set Review

Specifications

  • No. of Spanners: 12
  • Metric/ Imperial: Metric
  • Size Range: 8-19mm
  • Ratcheting: No
  • Storage: Plastic Storage Rack

Silverline make good quality tools at the budget end of the tool spectrum. This set surprised me with the quality and finish found on the combination spanners. If you’re looking for the best cheap spanner set, you can’t go far wrong with the Silverline SP1236 Combination Spanner Set.

All spanner sizes between 8 and 19 mm are included with a drop forged chrome vanadium finish. They’re rust-proof, and the included hanging case keeps them all organised when not being used.

It’s not the best spanner set in the world, but it includes 15° offset bi-hex ring spanner ends that are of solid DIY quality that should last for a long time with due care.

Pros

  • It’s hard to beat this set of spanners for the money. You get all the sizes from 8 mm to 19 mm, and it still costs a lot less compared with the Wera Joker’s set of four spanners.
  • Spending lots of money on specialist ratcheting spanners isn’t usually justifiable for the average DIYer. If you want a solid set of combination spanners, these won’t break the bank.
  • Silverline haven’t left out any sizes in this set. It’s always annoying when sets skip a size or two. It’s invariably the size you need for the job, so I’m glad this won’t happen here.

Cons

  • I’m not sure how long the blue plastic holder would last in a toolbox. It’s fine if you want to hang them up but compared to the Neilsen tool roll it’s not strong enough.
  • They’re not the heaviest duty spanners you can get. The steel is quite thin, so I wouldn’t buy these if I was a professional mechanic. They’re fine for DIY jobs though.
  • Some users have complained that the stamped sizes are difficult to read. Compared with the colour coded spanners in the Wera Joker kit, it’s hard to find the right size!
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Things to Know Before Buying a Spanner Set

A toolbox is not complete without a set of spanners. When nuts or bolts need tightening or loosening, you need the best combination spanner set that you can lay your hands on.

Construction

The best spanner sets are usually made of tool steel, with different coatings to make them weatherproof. Usually this is chrome vanadium, but the best adjustable spanner set on this list, the Wera Joker, is nickel plated.

Features

The function of a spanner hasn’t changed since it was invented, but there have been many clever innovations and inventions added over the years.

Ratcheting is a game changer; it stops you having to remove the spanner from the bolt head or nut to reposition it. The best ratchet spanner sets like the Bahco S4RM3T are going to tighten a nut down quicker than a traditional spanner set, just because of this.

When access is tight and you can only get a few degrees of turn into a nut or bolt, the best adjustable spanner set will employ a double hex set of jaws like the spanners in the Silverline SP1236 Spanner Set. This means “double hexagon”, giving you jaws that fit a hexagonal bolt head in two separate positions.

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