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Old 10-12-2003, 12:58 AM
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Snap On Tools

I just recently had a chance to use the very expensive Snap On brand sockets and wrenches. To be honest I could not tell the difference in these and the Craftsman brand that I have been using for years. Can anyone tell my why or if this brand is worth paying the difference for?

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Old 10-12-2003, 01:00 AM
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Its not.

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Old 10-12-2003, 01:50 AM
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It depends, if you have the Snap-On truck pulling into the shop once a week, you tend to buy from him. A good tool man is every bit as important as a good parts man. Every mechanic that has been around a while seems to end up with those 'very expensive' tools for some reason.
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Old 10-12-2003, 07:56 AM
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Snap On makes great specialty tools. I have several of 'em, but then, so does Mac. I've got several of those too. Frankly, as far as SO's standard end wrenches, ratchets and sockets go, I think they're a rather slippery waste of money. I've already got more then enough tax write-off's as it is.. Snap On's lifetime guarantee is overblown. All mechanic's hand tools worth their weight, come with the same warranty. While shelling out $100 for a set of standard screwdrivers, one can expect a tool peddler to show up, on site, to change a broken blade since, $100 will buy three sets of most any other brand.

When you buy Snap On, you buy service, that's about it. Why, just the other day in the paper, there was this used Snap On commemorative Dale Earnhart signature top box listed for $7000.. I'd bet if I call 'em today, they'd still have it.
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Old 10-12-2003, 09:10 AM
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Wink

I've been using Sears Craftmen tools for over 35 years, and have never had a problem. I agree with the other replys, Snap are over priced, but do make great specialty tools.
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Old 10-12-2003, 09:28 AM
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I`ve found a lot of tight places where snap on was the only tool that would work. And after 50 years they seem to fit my hand better.

When your busting nuts to make money ( flat rate ) service is the key. They also have a good finance system, especially for a beginner. And they take trade ins when you want to update.

A lot of it is what you get used to.

Troy
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Old 10-12-2003, 09:39 AM
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I too have many Craftsman wrenches and sockets sets (both at work and at home). A big thing to remember is that the sears of today is not what the Sears of yesterday was. The quality of Sears tool line has increased drastically over the years but their price has remained fair. Years ago they did not offer polished stubby wrenches in metric/standard sizes, they did not offer the long polished Professsional Series wrench sets, no lifetime warrenty Craftsman torx sockets (only Lyle brand), no ratchets with comfort grip handles, etc., etc.. You could order stuff that the stores didn't carry but that was time consuming. Nowadays I can walk into most Sears stores and buy a great variety of quality tools in stock that I couldn't do years ago. It also seems as though they are constantly increasing their tool line for future markets. I have also heard that they are going to start running trucks to garages the same way that Snap-On and the other big tool guys do. This would explain their increase in product line. As mentioned for most specialty tools (alignment tools, diagnostic equipment, etc.) I still use the 'big guys' like Snap-On, Mac, or Matco, but most of my basic socket sets and wrenches are all Craftsman. I really believed in the power of 'service' as described in other posts. Yes it is nice to break something and know that your tool distributor would be in on Tuesday and would replace it. Unfortunately the prices have gone so out of this world ($150 for a set of screwdrivers) I would generally rather jump into my car and head to Sears. But there are things to be aware of. One example...I had a compression tester from Sears that took a dump. Sears would not warrenty it 'cause it was not Craftsman, it only said Sears on it. My Snap-On guy would have most likely warrentied it for me no problem. A lot of their diagnostic stuff (gauges, tools, etc.) are not actually Craftsman, even though they often say Sears on them. These items are not lifetime warrenty. On the average though, I like Craftsman.

PS. Good points by Troy about financing and trade-ups!


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Old 10-12-2003, 09:48 AM
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I agree with Troy,when you are making your living with tools you need to buy what works.Nothing is more irritating than grabbing a tool that breaks or won't do the job. Many of the cheaper tools will work fine for the hobbyist and I use some of them at home. Another way to look at it is how many good painters do you know that use a cheap spray gun to paint your car... Why do carpenters seem to use De Walt tools, the answer is quality.
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Old 10-12-2003, 10:09 AM
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And the snap-on man will finance, and you see him at your Shop every week. You can't even compare Craftsman hand tools to Snap-on period!!

Last edited by roys63; 10-12-2003 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 10-12-2003, 10:26 AM
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Last year, I got a great deal off the Snap On tool truck. He had an almost brand new pair of Craftsman "clicker" 3/8" and 1/2" drive, long handled torque wrenches. I got the both of them for $70, then checked 'em against the LT shop's Snap On torquers. The calibration was so close you couldn't see a difference.

Sears has financing too
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Old 10-12-2003, 11:47 AM
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Most of the mechanics where I work have an assorted mixture of tools. As one guy says tools don't make the mechanic. Snap-on's are nice! Is that polished chrome worth it-no! Our dealer won't warranty ANY cutting edge! Don't know if this is his policy or Snap-on's. If you work on job sites,as many of us do -Snap-on or any other tool mfg. dosen't warranty against loss! Cheap or expensive it's still lost.
Snap-on,like all tool sales places have financing. Same rate as your visa-visa good most anywhere. Snap-on is a good marketer,giving or selling real low to schools and such to set the hook in young people that you must have the "best" to be a mechanic. They do make great speciality tools,that others don't offer. Buy what you can afford!
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Old 10-13-2003, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by troy-curt
I`ve found a lot of tight places where snap on was the only tool that would work. And after 50 years they seem to fit my hand better.

When your busting nuts to make money ( flat rate ) service is the key. They also have a good finance system, especially for a beginner. And they take trade ins when you want to update.

A lot of it is what you get used to.

Troy
couldn't have said it better, they are high but well worth it when you use them everyday.
to do a test of how well build snap-on is over craftsman, take a craftsman 14mm and a snap-on 14mm wrench, and try and slide them both over a 9/16 nut. you will notice that the craftsman will just slide over it and the snap-on will not. what does this tell us? it tells us that the snap-on fits tighter on the bolt leaving less chance of rounding the nut/bolt.
just one of the many advantages of snap-on.
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Old 10-13-2003, 02:41 AM
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Try and find a fine tooth ratchet at Sears.

I agree Snap-On makes overpriced tools but they provide mostly excellent service to just about any location in Canada or the States. The last Snap-On guy who I bought from drove 120 miles out of town in a blizzard down a winding elevated rock roadway cut through a provincial forest to get replacement tools to me on a Saturday (overtime). He ended up ditching the truck on the way back home and it took three tow trucks to get it out of the ditch (all those tools must weigh a few tons), I was glad I followed him back or he would have been stuck in the middle of nowhere. His name was Bill and he was the best goll-dern tool salesman there ever was and ever will be.

Bill would do anything for you and give you any tool off his truck with nothing more than a name and work address, his explanation was "as long as he knew where you worked that was good enough for him". He was an ex-high school math teacher who could calculate taxes on any price (including pennies) faster in his head than you could by calculator, seen him prove it more than once. Every week he held a raffle for those who bought tools off the truck that month, this meant that almost everyone got a freebie from him at some point no matter how little you spent. I have two towels, a spark tester, a couple of mugs, and probably a dozen calenders from him over the years and gave away to other guys on my crews probably twice that amount. In total I may have spent less than $500 in total of my own money on Snap-On products and maybe another $10 000 in employer dollars. He was always fair and there was never a question asked about warranty, I think the idea of not honoring a warranty offended him.

I like to think that when I bought a tool from him that I got the best there was (they are) and also bought a piece of him, every time I grab my Snap-On 3/8" ratchet or my digital timing light I think of how he financed me as a first level apprentice at $10 every two weeks until I paid it off...no interest. When I quit one employer and realized I still owed him $10 I met him on the highway in-between jobs to give him the cash, he wouldn't take my money and I had to buy another tool to settle up. No doubt the smartest business man I ever met, I cherish the tools like I did the man behind the truck.

His truck pulling up meant a break for everyone in the shop and at least half an hour of BS as we milled around the inventory, later on when I became the new boss he actually asked me if it was OK for the guys to visit the truck on work time, like he actually needed my permission. Ole Bill was all about respect, pretty rare commodity these days. He had a funny story to tell us everytime we visited him, most of them had some history behind them and we all learned something evertime he told one.

Bill passed away a couple of years ago and a good friend from my old high school quit his job and bought out his route to continue the legacy, at the funeral there were hundreds of people from shops all over Manitoba who shut down just to see him off, I guess I wasn't the only guy he helped out. So when people ask me what kind of tools I have, I tell them I have mostly Craftsman...but...I ask..."do you want to have a look at my Snap-On collection?", small as it is. Funny, everyone seems to have a story about their own Snap-On tools.

Now, I'm not saying that every Snap-On dealer is gonna treat you the same but I'll bet there is an "Ole Bill" in your area selling tools to those that need him, I suggest you find him/her and buy what ever brand of tools he/she is selling. It just might be the best investment you ever make.

Rest in peace Bill, you helped me get started and got me out of many a jam. I'll bet he is the top seller of tools in heaven for his district and as everyone knows...

God uses Snap-On tools. With Bill around, he would have to wouldn't he.
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Old 10-13-2003, 06:01 AM
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Now that was right on the money, Chuck
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Old 10-13-2003, 08:54 AM
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I don't have many Snap-On tools, but the few I have are excellent. I have yet to break one. I've cracked a few Craftsman sockets, but never a Snap-On.

Back when I was a helicopter mech in the army, I went through #2 Phillips screwdriver bits like nobody's business when it came to removing inspection panels. I finally got cheezed off enough to give my son $5 and told him to buy me some bits from the Snap-On truck the next time it came to his shop. Eight years later, I still haven't broken one - I've lost 2, but never broke one. That $5 got me 7 bits, and is still the best $5 I've ever invested in tools.

Simple economics forces me to buy what I can afford. Snap-on is a great tool, but I still can't afford $14 for a single socket. I buy Craftsman for use here at home, and usually have no complaints. If I need a replacement tool, I can take it to Sears and get another - no problem.

This topic is much like the whole hot rodding thing to begin with. Sure, you can drive any car - it'll get you from point A to point B. But having the hot rod of your choice is just better. There's no explaining it - it just is. Forget trying to justify the time, money, sweat, busted knuckles, mosquito bites, greasy nails, and such - it's just better.

To me, a Snap-On palm ratchet is much like a Boyd Coddington steering wheel. Sure, you could spend less and probably still get the job done. But it just fits better, feels better, and is guaranteed to start conversations.

Just my 2 cents (minus shipping and handling.)
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