In every product group test, there’s one candidate that really surprises everyone. Milwaukee Tools is generally known for power tools. In particular, the company more or less invented the “Sawzall” handheld reciprocating saw and they make excellent professional grade power drills and circular saws, to name but a few items. So we didn’t really expect the Milwaukee wrench set to be a standout performer, but here we are.
RRP: $120 (£99) for an 11-wrench set in SAE or Metric sizes, buy now.
How was the Milwaukee Wrench Set Tested
The Milwaukee Wrench Set was tested as part of a group test to determine the best wrench set on the market in 2023. As such, all of the tools were tested in exactly the same way.
First, I tightened a set of standard SAE fasteners to the recommended torque and above to test each wrench under real-world conditions. I used a set of feeler gauges to determine their fit on nut and bolt heads. Then, performed a slip-test to see if the wrenches are likely to slip off a used fastener.
For the slip test, it involved overtightening fasteners to around 25% above the recommended torque. Using the wrench on the fastener, I then leant on each wrench until it became loose. I repeated the process again to then watch for flex on the wrench.
From the moment I opened the package, the Milwaukee tool set stood out from the crowd. For starters, the wrenches have an I-beam shape forged into them, and they’re extended length for great leverage. The finish on the Milwaukee tools is smooth and feels good in your hand. Because of the I-shaped design to the handle, the Milwaukee tool is lighter weight than the Klein, for example.
The 11-piece kit offers sizes from 1/4 through 7/8-inch, and while we would have preferred a 12-piece kit with a 13/16 option, this is a good assortment. If you really want the full set, Milwaukee offers a 15-wrench set that includes 13/16, 15/16, and 1-inch at the big end, and 9/32 and 11/32 at the small end. If you shop around, that set can be found at the same $120 price point as the 11-piece.
There’s also an 11-piece and 15-piece metric option, and those retail at the same price. The 15-piece metric set includes sizes from 8mm up to 22mm, which is handy for big jobs on any car that uses metric fasteners. The 15-piece set also includes the sometimes hard-to-find 16mm and 18mm sizes.
Testing the Milwaukee Wrenches
One feature I particularly liked about the Milwaukee wrenches is the paint in the size designation stampings. This makes the size of the wrench easy to read, and the SAE sizes are painted in red while the metric sizes are inked in black. Then, the metric set comes with a black plastic sorting tray, and the SAE set comes in a red tray. But wait, the trays are not the same. The trays are made in opposite orientation so that they fit neatly together in a standard full-size toolchest drawer. You can put all your SAE and metric wrenches in an orderly professional drawer, and that shows attention to detail.
On the box end, the Milwaukee wrenches use a splined design, and that’s good for applying torque to fasteners without rounding the heads. On the open end, they have what Milwaukee calls “Max Bite” design, which puts some shape in the corners and ridges along the jaws to grab ahold of the nuts on the flats and the corners. The shape allows the Milwaukee wrenches to work with an easy-fit 0.013-in tolerance (0.33mm) and still avoid slipping or rounding.
Milwaukee Wrench Set Verdict
The 11-piece wrench set I tested works out to just under $11 (£9) per wrench, but the 15-piece sets at the same price are definitely the options you want at $8 (£6.50) per wrench. For all these reasons and their great value, the Milwaukee Tools wrench set got our top ranking in the Best Wrench Set test, and the sample set will remain in our toolbox.
Milwaukee 11-piece Wrench Set Tech Spec:
- Open-end fastener gap: 0.013 inches/0.33mm
- Enhanced combination open/box end wrench set
- Extended length
- Lifetime warranty
- Mirror bright finish, color-coded size designations