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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 08-30-2008, 03:43 PM
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An example of what I am talking about occurred on a 4 cylinder 5 speed Ranger truck sometime back and it did involve Craftsman tools but it could just as well have been any of the economy sets, I know the mechanic personally and everything he has came from Sears. This involved one of the top bell housing to block bolts that he could not get out because the head was almost completely rounded off after trying to remove it first with a socket, swivel and extension then with a boxed end wrench. They started trying to remove that thing early in the morning and the owner gave up that afternoon after the guy had spent all day fussing with it and was now talking about pulling the engine so they could remove the transmission. I got involved when the owner decided he wanted me to try to heat the bolt to loosen it which of course would have been next to impossible to do in that situation. I managed to get the thing out (without heat!) after hammering a socket onto the distorted bolt head (yeah I know, abuse) but it gripped the bolt and brought it out on the first try. The guy at the garage lost enough money on that job alone to have almost payed for a set of sockets not to mention the less than impressive rep he got for it. Another one more recently involved some exhaust bolts that a guy wanted me to cut off with a torch because, again, the heads were rounded off but I have no idea what brand of tools were used to do this. Just as with the bell housing bolt a 1/2" ratchet with an old S&K socket brought them out. I have seen this many times over the years involving just about every kind of tool out there including Craftsman and my whole point is even a beginner can not afford to use cheap tools because they will be more costly more often than not. Just as in the case with that transmission bolt even one failure can cost enough to pay for a tool many times over but they will still have it to buy and the damage to a persons reputation as to the quality of his work can be even more expensive. With these cheaper tools, including Craftsman, that scenario with the transmission bolt will not be a rare occurrence when trying to use them for everyday work and it will happen more often that a person might think. There certainly is a place for Craftsman and others in that class (for some things even Harbor Freight stuff may be OK) but none of these IMO, including Craftsman, should be in a pros tool box because the cheap tools are just too danged expensive!

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Last edited by oldred; 08-30-2008 at 03:49 PM.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 08-30-2008, 05:00 PM
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What I do with buying snapon stuff is I only buy a couple things at a time, pay that down, then get something else, that way I'm not digging myself a hole. I use mostly craftsman sockets and wrenches planning on getting some SK stuff in the near future. I have a big mix of stuff in my box because i pick stuff up at flea markets or swap meets alot, I think the only harbor frieght stuff in my box is hose pinch of pliers, a spark tester, and a fin comb. I have a craftsman box with my homebuilt side cab on it. The bottom craftsman box is kinda wore out but the top and side cab are holding up nice. My advice, buy the best you can afford but don't get too carried away at first, you'll accumulate stuff real fast.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 08-30-2008, 05:06 PM
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nutcase, I agree with oldred, buy the best. The only drawback I have with snapon tools is finding a reliable, dependable dealer. I have twenty plus years in aircraft maintenance doing everything from overhaul to line mx. Almost everything is snapon in my box but in all that time I have had only one snapon dealer that was dependable.
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Old 08-30-2008, 05:22 PM
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another point to be made is the comfort and fit of the tool. If for example you are using the old style of craftsman wrench a lot you get hand fatigue. Snapon spent a bunch of money in tool design slim as possible but comfortable to use all day long.
If I was starting out with little or no money (hey thats still me) I would talk to the guys doing the specific jobs that you will be doing and find out what the bread butter tools are. What you must absolutely have, then spend the money for snapon or equivelant on those tools. Where some get in trouble with their monthly tool bill is they buy every new thing that comes along. A little thinkin can most times solve the problem with basic tools not the latest and greatest high dollar tool truck tool.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 08-30-2008, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by postrucks
nutcase, I agree with oldred, buy the best. The only drawback I have with snapon tools is finding a reliable, dependable dealer. I have twenty plus years in aircraft maintenance doing everything from overhaul to line mx. Almost everything is snapon in my box but in all that time I have had only one snapon dealer that was dependable.
And here is the real problem with the tool trucks. They go on vaction, they are sick, they for got to order that tool that broke. We have at our shop right now a Snap on tool that broke. Yep they break too. It has been on order for over 6 weeks. i have seen this over and over with the tool trucks. You owe them big money and you get warranty. If you don't owe them a ton of money or you anf him don't get along for what ever reason, good luck.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 08-30-2008, 08:06 PM
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Sure you can break a Snap-On or Proto, etc tool if you try hard enough but again whether or not it will be replaced free is beside the point. The replacement costs (or not) or replacement availability is not the issue, it is whether the tool will do the job or not. Will it work when you need it? Will it hold up under the sometimes necessary abuse? In short CAN YOU COUNT ON IT! Fellows that little example I gave about the Ranger trans was not just something I thought up it actually happened and the guy at the shop not only lost a day's work he also lost a customer. I have seen similar things happen many times but I used that one because we had been discussing Craftsman and I knew that was what had failed in that instance. I am not trying to belittle Craftsman or any brand of tool here I am just trying to make the point that for the pro success or failure depends on the quality of your tools and when your financial future is at stake you can not afford to cut costs here. Just as with that transmission bolt the money lost on that job more than offset any thing he saved by going to Sears for the tools that he used, the tools that let him down. If you are working on hot rods for a hobby or just doing home mechanic work then Craftsman tools or similar may be just the ticket but the pro has his very career depending on what is in that tool box. Would you buy a cut rate price parachute or scuba equipment because of a lifetime replacement warranty? I would pay full price for Snap-on or Proto WITHOUT a warranty before I would take Craftsman or the like into the workplace because I have seen first hand what will happen and what you save now will cost you more when they let you down and it will happen sooner than you might think!
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 08-30-2008, 09:56 PM
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Mr.NutCase, I recommended Craftsman tools because when I was 18 I couldn't afford the expensive tools. I don't figure many 18 year olds have the money to invest in SnapOn tool sets and the like. How many 18 year olds have good enough credit to buy a real set of tools? Craftsman tools are good for a starter. In my opinion SnapOn tools are number one. But, buy what you can afford without going head over heels in debt. Good luck!
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 08-30-2008, 10:12 PM
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Nutcase, yes, SK tools are pretty good, i own a few myself & i have no complants with them. IMO, they would make a good starter set, they are hugly better than Craftsman.
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Old 08-30-2008, 10:53 PM
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You bet S&K are good tools and they don't cost what Snap-On costs but they will run more than Craftsman, etc. I do know that in some areas S&K can be hard to find but if you can get them for a decent price you can count on them. I have no idea where S&K is made these days and it seems most everything is getting sourced out to overseas manufacturers but the sockets and even that torque wrench you mentioned look to be built as good as they were 20 or so years ago. One S&K tool I was especially impressed with years ago was the socket type Allen wrenches for use with a ratchet, to say those things were indestructible is an understatement! I don't know what they made them from but there was one job we had to do on a regular basis that was simply abusing them and the S&K held far up better than anything else even Snap-On! Even with the small tools like Allen wrenches and Torx drivers paying the extra money for the good stuff can make all the difference in the world between taking something apart or having to deal with stripped fasteners. I bought Snap-On when I started and at first it seemed I was working just to pay my tool bill but I never regretted it once and it payed off for me, I still have most every hand tool I bought when I started in '68 and if they are needed I can still count on them today. What's in that tool box can make all the difference between success and failure.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 08-31-2008, 09:31 PM
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http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...nics+Tool+Sets

i bought this one last week. good for the money.

im a craftsman guy. My father has been using them for 40+ years. used them on a daily bases professionally and personally. he has had two tools go bad in that time. he was a machinist and mechanic

good and cheap
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 09-01-2008, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGM
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...nics+Tool+Sets

i bought this one last week. good for the money.

im a craftsman guy. My father has been using them for 40+ years. used them on a daily bases professionally and personally. he has had two tools go bad in that time. he was a machinist and mechanic

good and cheap
I have 76 piece set from Craftsman, that my dad bought like 7 years ago, since then I have added more sets, deepwells, and I bought an impact set
but I going to work as tech, I need good tools, suchs as Snap On, SK
Mac, ect.
That a good set, but I would replace the ratchets with the Craftsman Pro, thin ones, they are good.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 09-03-2008, 07:23 PM
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I got a 1/4" drive handle for 10 bucks, (Discount)
http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:12 PM
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You did well, keep on looking for bargains like that because they add up over time. You will never ever regret buying snap-On!
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 09-04-2008, 11:57 AM
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I also bought the extension set for 40 bucks, from the snap on man
I also bought the 3/8 metric socket set(deep and shallow) for 150 bucks
1/4 metric socket set(deep and shallow) for 124 bucks,
I also bought the the 1/4 24in long flex ratchet for 75, and the 10 in ratchet
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 09-04-2008, 12:19 PM
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Nutcase,

I would take a look at Matco Tools, I was a die hard SnapOn man for a while, then the SnapOn guy went away, and hasn't been back in over 10 years.

So I had to look elsewhere, I looked into Matco, all I can say is I'm sooooo happy with that choice.

Yes I do wrench for a living and I have for the last 20+ years. I agree that some tools can be from Craftsman, but in the long run you will be happier with one of the 3 tool truck tools. (Matco, Mac, and SnapOn)

Have you looked at EBay for tools? I have picked up a bunch of good buys from them, then the tool guys will still warranty them.

I say buy from a tool guy that you like and that has been around for a while.

Most of the special tools will have to come from one of the 3 mentioned above.

Just think, when you start getting into the scanners and lab scopes, that's when the real decisions start.

JMHO

Steve
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