Apparently Crescent has been around for a long time; over 100 years. I hadn’t really heard about them till fairly recently. A couple of years ago I was gifted a small socket wrench set of US standard sockets. I liked them enough, but my Canadian lawn mower and newer European and Japanese cars mean that I use Metric a lot more. I’ve ended up with a clutter of boxes and a small collection of large-sized loose standard and deep sockets. So I was very happy to get this 30 piece socket wrench set that covers all the bases.
The set has a range of US and Metric sockets from 5/16 through ¾ inches and 8 – 19 mm sockets and a small selection of deep sockets plus a spark plug socket.
This box is similar in design and style to the smaller one I got with smaller set a couple of years ago. It’s made of hard ABS type plastic and has recessed compartments to hold each item individually. It also has a loose foam sheet on top to stop them rattling. They made one major improvement with the new box. The older one didn’t have proper hinges, just folded plastic instead which eventually weakened along the seam. This set has proper plastic hinges that are quite sturdy. You can’t pull them appart even with a fair bit of force. The latches are also hinged and work well.
The wrench is a 3/8 inch drive. So it’s great for medium to heavy duty wrenching. For me the standout feature of the Crescent wrenches is the quick release button on the back of the wrench head. It makes switching sockets a breeze even in really tight cramped spaces such as under a car supported on jack stands.
The mechanism for quick release is simple and elegant. It works similar to a standard wrench with the ball set in one side of the square drive shaft that snaps and locks into the socket. Only the crescent has a shaft through the middle. A shaft that has a small recessed section that will fit the ball inside. So when you press the button on the back of the wrench the shaft slides down till the recess lines up with the ball and allows the ball to slip inside so the socket will slip on. Release the button and the shaft rises forcing the ball out and locking the socket in place.
It works really well and basically makes the socket impossible to remove once the button is depressed.
The handle itself is about ½ inch in diameter with a slight recessed taper to the ½ inch butt. So your hand won’t easily slide off the end when you exert some force. And the shaft is thin enough that you can easily slide a tube over it if you need some extra leverage.
The sockets are good quality 3/8 inch drive shaft and clearly labeled with engraved text. The size socket is engraved with numbers approximately ¼ inch tall and pretty legible even with my not so great eyesight.
The range of sizes is great for working on my cars. My Mazda uses mostly 10mm and 12mm throughout the engine and chassis but uses larger 14 and 17mm in a couple of places. This set covers everything I need including the deep recessed spark plug sockets and wheel studs on both my Mazda MX-5 that I do all my own work on as well as my Mini which is still under warranty.
The set also comes with a 3 inch and 6 inch extension. That’s basically all I need. The 3 inch extension is exactly what I need to clear the oil pan when removing the oil drain plug from my MX-5.
This socket set is a joy to use. The sockets and extensions fit effortlessly. There is no force require at all to attach the sockets, if you press the button they just fit; release the button and they are locked in place. The sockets will just fall off with gravity if the button is pressed while the sockets are hanging down. It’s that easy. This makes them a joy to use in cramped spaces like under a car. Especially removing the sockets. With a regular socket set you often have to pull on the socket with some force, when the socket is finally released you risk you hand still pulling with the tension backhanding into something under the car which can be painful if you hit something with an edge.
This is a very nice set that is extremely easy to use. The 3/8 shaft is strong enough for light through heavy duty. The rachet is pretty fine so you can work in small increments while the wrench is 8 inches long, so quite short and good for tight spaces. The handle is thin enough to slide a steel pipe over it to give you more leverage is needed.
Quality, fit and finish are very good and the box is sturdy enough to last. The components do rattle a little in the box but they won’t get mixed up. The only damping is a loose quarter inch thick sheet of grey foam which isn’t quite thick enough to prevent the contents jiggling around. I’ll probably find a ½ inch sheet of soft foam to hold everything a little more snugly. But otherwise this set is really good. It’s small enough to not be bulky or too heavy or cumbersome. I really like it.