Best Watch Repair Tool Kits

Updated September 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

35 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
168 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best watch repair tool kits

Last Updated September 2019

If you’ve ever tried to replace a watch battery or adjust a watch band, you know how difficult simple watch maintenance can be without the right tools. Bringing your watch to a professional to perform such tasks can quickly add up. If your watch is still under warranty, you’re in luck. After the warranty expires, however, you’re stuck with a dead timepiece or a hefty bill if you can’t do the work yourself.

Enter the watch repair tool kit. These kits ship with tools to help you solve the majority of common watch ailments. This guide will help you wade through the wide variety of specific tools and other issues you need to consider when setting out to purchase a tool kit for your watch.

We also offer our own suggestions for some of the best kits out there and what you should expect to pay for a quality set of watch repair tools.

The tools in a watch repair tool kit can also be used to repair eyeglasses and similar items with small parts.

Key considerations

Durability

Watch repair tool kits vary in quality; low-quality “knock-off” options abound, so be careful when shopping for one. All included tools and the case should be durable and not break or bend easily. Less-expensive models tend to feature more plastic and fewer durable metal parts, so it may be worthwhile to pay up for tools largely constructed from stainless steel. Not only are these tools more rugged, they are also rust-resistant.

Number of pieces

The more tools in the kit, the better the chances that you can fix not only your own watch but a wide variety of watches. Some manufacturers include extra parts, like spring pins that are also handy to have around in case of mishaps when you’re working on your watch.

Ease of use

It can be hard to have a feel for this until you have the kit in hand and are using it. That’s actually why BestReviews exists: to provide you with this type of information. Are the individual tools large enough to use and comfortable in your hand? Are they sturdy? Does the kit include enough tools that you can perform all the maintenance tasks on your list? To make the most of your money, try to learn the answers to these questions before you fill your shopping cart.

Watch compatibility

The size of watch a kit can accommodate can vary quite a bit, so be sure that any kit you buy can handle yours. This is particularly true for oversized watches, which may require a larger diameter case wrench to open them.

Quality starter kit

This option provides a wide range of tools geared toward the beginner. The 41-page manual included offers a step-by-step illustrated guide to watch repair that’s better than you can find in other kits.

Features

Tools

While not all tool kits contain everything you need to cover all watch repair tasks, the majority offer a sizable array of tools that should cover numerous situations. These kits vary somewhat in terms of actual components, but some common tools you may find in them include the following.

  • Case wrench or knife/opener: Some watch backs pop off, some twist off, and some screw on with tiny screws. Any decent kit should provide you with a variety of ways to remove a back. With something like a case wrench, it should be adjustable enough to cover a range of watch sizes.

  • Screwdrivers: A kit should contain multiple screwdrivers — preferably both flat edge and Philips — to handle the variety of tiny screws you run across in your watch repairs. Anti-magnetic screwdrivers are safer to use for the watch. The kit receives bonus points for including extra screwdriver heads in case you break one.

  • Spring bar tool: This is for use in removing the spring bar and thus the watch band.

  • Link remover: As the name implies, a link remover can remove links from metal watch bands so you can resize them.

  • Case or band holders: These holders can help you to secure either the watch or the band so you can work on them without having them move around on you.

  • Tweezers: Non-magnetic tweezers for use with various watch components are standard in these tool kits.

  • Loupe: A jeweler’s loupe is available in some kits help you to better focus on tiny watch parts. Magnification can vary here, usually from 3x to 10x. The more compact the watch, the higher a loupe magnification you should shoot for.

  • Pin punch or pusher: For removing difficult spring pins in a watch band.

  • Jeweler’s hammer: These are usually two-sided to give you a choice of hammering surfaces. Other tools such as pliers, hole punches, etc. sometimes show up in a kit.
     

As mentioned, some kits also include a variety of sizes of spring bars to cover you in case one breaks during your repairs.

Case

A sturdy case not only protects your watch repair tools and other components, it also keeps them together in one place. This is actually a big deal since some of these kits contain 150+ pieces.

The majority of cases are zippered cloth, although some are constructed from hinged plastic. A case should be rugged enough to hold up over time and any zipper or other securing method should also be durable.

Guide/manual

An illustrated guide or manual is a big plus. These guides walk you through common maintenance and repair tasks, providing real help for those with limited watch repair experience. A decent guide also shows you how to use all the tools contained within the kit.

Not all kits include something of this nature, but those that do add additional value to a kit.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some watch repair kits are specifically designed to be used to open and work on oversized watches.

DID YOU KNOW?

It is less expensive to buy an entire watch repair tool kit than to try to create your own by buying individual tools.

DID YOU KNOW?

A factory-installed watch battery can last up to four years, while replacement batteries generally last between one and two years.

Watch repair tool kit prices

Watch repair tool kits are generally moderately priced. The majority are between $15 and $25, with a few reaching up to $40 or slightly more.

Higher price points feature better-quality tools and more tools and accessories within the kit. Some higher-priced kits also include a watch press for safely resealing watches.

Warranties vary here, so know what the manufacturer offers in terms of one before you purchase a kit.

Comprehensive and affordable

This watch repair kit from Vastar features 151 pieces in all. The anti-magnetic tools and 52 millimeter case opener are real plusses in a kit this affordable. It also includes an instruction manual.

Tips

  • Use a soft brush such as a toothbrush and soapy water to remove dirt and grime from the watch case and metal bands. You can also use a soft cloth between cleanings to keep your watch looking shiny and new.

  • If your watch is under warranty, check it carefully, as any repairs you attempt yourself may void it.

  • Go with a case opener that has three contact points instead of just two. With three points, you’re able to open the watch more easily and you’re less likely to damage the watch casing in the process.

  • To save money on a watch repair tool kit, try to avoid kits that contain tools you don’t need for your watch.

  • Watch spring pins can break easily. If you can, go with a kit that includes extra pins in case your repair attempts run into some difficulties in this area.

  • When comparing watch repair tool kits, be sure to compare the tools in each, not the pieces the manufacturer lists. Companies that tout a high number of pieces are usually including spare parts such as large numbers of extra spring pins or case opener pins.

  • To remove a watch back with a watch wrench, line up the wrench with the grooves on the back of the watch, push down, and turn counterclockwise.

Other products we considered

We have a few more watch repair tool kits we’d like to highlight. HAOBAIMEI Watch Repair Kit features 168 pieces in all and offers a 12-month warranty that covers both defective items and dissatisfaction. Stago Watch Repair Tool Kit is a bit pricier than other kits, but it includes extras such as a watch press and a rubber dust blower. On the other end of the price spectrum, the affordable EFIXTK Watch Band Repair Tool offers a limited set of tools if you are primarily interested in resizing or replacing your watch band.

Non-magnetic tools are the best kind to use, as magnetism can adversely affect a watch and cause it to run erratically.

FAQ

Q. How can I tell if a tool kit will fit my watch?

A. The majority of these tool kits are designed to work with a range of watches. One area you might have issues with is the case wrench. If your watch requires a case wrench to open it, be sure that the wrench will fit your particular watch. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer or search the product listing’s comments for your watch type.

Q. What kinds of repairs can you perform with these kits?

A. While they are not professional grade, you can still do much with these kits. You can take a watch apart to clean it, replace a battery, fix the crystal, and change gaskets. You can also do much with the watch band, including repairing, replacing, adjusting, and cleaning it.

Q. Can you use these kits to reseal a waterproof watch after you’ve opened it?

A. Not usually. You can easily crack a watch crystal when trying to reseal it on your own, and the majority of tool kits are not equipped to reseal these types of watches. What you need is a watch press. Some watch repair tool kits include a press, or you can pick one up separately.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Rich
    Rich
    Writer

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey