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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-16-2010, 03:08 PM
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If you are going to be an apprentice, I would hold off on buying a scan tool. That is a high dollar item. Most shops should supply big items like that.

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2010, 08:29 AM
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I agree that you should wait until getting a job first then buy tools as you need them. You will find out what specialty tools are needed depending on where you work and what kind of cars you are working on. As stated most shops supply the diagnostic equipment but not the specialty tools you will use every day. You may want to go to some auctions and watch the paper for estate sales. We have had some smaller shops close around here when the owner retires. The Snap-On and Mac hand tools always go for big bucks but the specialty tools go fairly cheap. Get there early and make a list of what you want to bid on and how much you are willing to spend.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2010, 08:39 AM
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Big ticket diagonostic tools may seem like a bargain at 50% off, but beware, software/firmware updates are expensive too, and need to be done on a regular basis, so even if you save a bunch buying a tool you may not really need for a while, by the time you do, you will probably have to spend MORE money to be be able to use it on later model stuff.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldBodyman
First, I would hold-off on buying ANYTHING until you find a job, the job will tell you what you will need better than anyone on the net.
This is Very True and Good Advice! It's hard to suggest what you need without having a job. Of course a lot of employers rather you have lots of tools before they will hire you. That's just not realistic though for a guy getting started!

I'm acutally in a similar position. I'm trying to get started being an Auto Collision Tech or regular Auto Tech. I have a basic set of tools, but I have made no serious investment in tools. If I don't have the job, it's not worth it!

Also I wouldn't take a Loan out for Tools. What would you do if you got hurt on the job and couldn't pay the loan? It would destroy you credit, and cause lots of problems! I would try to look for used tools from someone getting out of the business or estate sales.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bonzipenguins
I do work a fulltime job now in part as an assistant manager so I can afford the loan but I need the tool set so I can get hired at a shop most shops i apply for wont hire me without it so Im at a loss on the tools I might need I also get 50% off snap on retail price till I graduate

This sounds like its copied from the book of my career. I graduated UTI about 10 years ago, we got the 50% off deal on the Snap on truck too. I saved all the money I could. I was making 8 bucks and hours spinning filters, so that was a whopping 700$. That got me some basic screwdriver, wrench, pry bar sets, big railroad bar, 1/2 deep impact sockets and 1/2 drive impact swivel sockets (utterly indispensable) Since then, I've stepped onto a tool truck about 3 times. Another thing to take into consideration is warranty. The tool truck was coming around about once a week, Sears was open 7 days a week. It sucks borrowing a screwdriver for a week waiting for the truck.

*Don't get sucked in by the shiny tool boxes* The tool box is a right of passage you can only get a new if you have to shake the draws shut on the old one. I bought a 150$ special from Sears (no roller slides!). It took 7 yrs of abuse before the bottom drawers started falling out and I still have the top. Lots of money made out of that cheap-o box.

Also, KD tools = Snap on tools.

Last edited by juggernaut; 01-20-2010 at 11:23 PM.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 01-21-2010, 08:46 AM
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Lots of very good advice in the above post. I forgot just how indispensable those impact swivel sockets were. especially the 9/16", I went through probably five or six of those in the seven years I worked as an auto technician. Those impact swivel sockets are a must have.

Vince
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:13 PM
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lots of good advice i think the ethos is $1000 from snap on while in school and I might get a mixed set of tools from both I think it is hard I couldnt imagine what id use most I ford was interested in my application so im going to work in there I believe
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:35 PM
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Now is the time to take advantage of that 50% off from the tool dealer BEFORE you graduate. When my son did this about 8 years ago they only gave the students one chance at the 50% off.

We bought big tool boxes at 50% off. About $6K retail for $3K. HOWEVER, if you pay attention to local craigslist tools for sale you can find good boxes at 35-40% of retail. Way too many people are trying to get 60-70% of retail though. You have to be quick to get the 35-40% ones. No time to think about it or it will already be sold.

Besides the normal stuff my son bought both 3/8 and 1/2" Ingersoll Rand air impact wrenches. Highly recommend them. Then he got tired of hauling an air hose around all the time and spent about $250 for a good makita 3/8 battery powered impact. That is his go to impact for taking things apart and initially putting things back together.

The other indispensable (to him anyway) thing was a full set of 3/8 drive wobble/swivel impact sockets in both metric and US sizes.

He also bought a good Fluke meter to troubleshoot wiring with. Fluke has all kinds of meters and test gear.

The other thing you may want to do is start using good quality throw away latex gloves to protect your hands. My son would go through 10 pairs a day and bought them by the case(s). Kept his hands clean and he didn't have to worry about getting grease all over the cars he worked on. At 10-12 cents a pair it was still cheap.

What you will find is you will spend money on tools that help you do the job faster because time is money The tool trucks have all the specialty stuff that help you work faster. As you do a job you will later notice a tool on the 'truck' that will help you work faster/easier. So you buy it. The tool truck guy knows how to sell too. They always have something they are pushing on the mechanic.

I think most dealerships have all the scan tools and real special expensive tools. Don't buy them till you get the job and have some experience.

Good luck with your career.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 01-25-2010, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave5605
Now is the time to take advantage of that 50% off from the tool dealer BEFORE you graduate. They only gave the students one chance at the 50% off.
I believe you can only buy a specific item 1 or 2 times at that discount. They won't give you one chance to use it though. As long as you are enrolled in a school you can get it.

If it's not possible for you to spend the money now, sometimes teachers are willing to order you some tools through the school.

My friend is a Cadillac Tech, and went to Harbor Freight to buy some things when he got started. I would also checked Craigslist frequently.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:49 PM
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Tons of great information here, I agree with a lot of the guys saying not getting Snap-On tools to start with, Even at 50% off they're still just as Expensive as MAC, Matco, and Cornwell, etc. I graduated from UTI in 2006, and I skipped out on the 50% Discount.

You have to realize most Technicians start out with low end tools like SK, Craftsman, Harbor Freight, Stanley, etc. Rather then buying Snap-On tools, I just bought the Higher Grade tools of those brands I just mentioned.

Both Craftsman and Stanley have "Professional" Series tools, the finish is a lot tighter tolerances and the metals are on par with Snap-on and MAC. I personally own Craftsman Professional Series Screwdrivers, Pry Bars (3 pack), Combination Wrenches, Flare nut Wrenches, Timing Gun, Vice Grip multi pack (6 pack), Punches, etc. I bought Standard Craftsman Sockets and they work Fine, I bought Stanley Professional Series Sockets they fit tighter and I use those for Special situations (Higher End cars). I also Own Professional Series ratchet wrenches of both Stanley and Craftsman, both work just as good as a snap-on (some occasions I would still prefer a snap-on or mac wrench in this category though, mostly in the 1/4" size)

Hold off on Scan tools thats a 500 - 5000 dollar expense you don't need right now, plus they need to be updated every year and updates cost between 250 - 1000 per year depending on the model you get and the updates you buy for it.

I too understand the feeling of having many people tell you "You don't have enough tools for this position" or something similar, but rather then getting yourself into Extreme debt and not being able to Guarantee that you'll keep the job you have.. Spend a little, get a lot and upgrade as needed. Especially in the Economy we're in today. Also, Craftsman Professional 13 PC. Wrenches cost $99 or 28 PC set for 169.99 (Metric and SAE) for a set of Snap-on 11 PC. set its 169.99 and you only get them in Metric or SAE so to have a full set you're paying 239.98 (169.99 With 50% off) but you only get 22 Wrenches, Vs 28 With Craftsman professional. These prices are off Snap-on and Sears.com Websites

Craftsman Professional: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...ombination+Set

Snap-on: http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog

You'll need a set of Stubby Wrenches depending on what you're working on too. Probably the only thing I would buy that's Expensive is Air tools, Thats why I used my Approx. $1,000 in free Snap-On tools (from Graduating UTI) to get their 3/8" Air Ratchet and 1/2" Impact Gun, I would recommend you buy a Bottle of oil for it too while ur at it, standard Price is $22.XX, so bank on the 50% off for that.

Hope this Helps, and Welcome to the Wonderful world of the Automotive Technician Industry.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 01-25-2010, 02:15 PM
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I've bought Mac and Snap-On,and Matco air tools for many years, but now, almost everything I own, (and use regularly), is Ingersoll-Rand, for me, they last longer, work better, and are easier to get parts for if/when they do break down. I've got a couple of HIGH $$ Matco grinders I bought that broke within the warranty period, but we have no local Matco man to warranty them with any more.
I can tell you I've got a drawer half full of "name brand" air tools I can't get parts for any more. When somebody sells me a tool, they better bet, I'm gonna get every minutes use out of it that it's capable of, I still have the first 1/2" impact gun I ever bought, a Black & Decker, and it still works....my I/R Titanium 3/8" gun blows it away power wise, but it still works as good as it ever did,

Last edited by Rickracer; 01-25-2010 at 02:20 PM.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 01-25-2010, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoked Rubber
Spend a little, get a lot and upgrade as needed. Especially in the Economy we're in today.
Good Advice! This is what most Techs will do. Don't feel like you need "The Best" That will make you broke. Buy what you need when you need it.
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