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Which tool brands do you like?

  #1  
Old 12-27-2006, 07:55 AM
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Default Which tool brands do you like?

There are several brands of tools available for automotive use. You
see them at auto parts chains, large retail chains, internet sites, mobile
tool trucks, roadside dealers, and flea markets among others.
I wonder which brands forum users have found to be good, and
which have been poor.
Which brands are durable and fit correctly, which break or bend,
which damage fasteners because they don't fit properly, which
wear out quickly, and which manufacturers don't honor their
warranties?
Are there any inexpensive brands that offer quality equal to
the top 2 or 3 brands that we usually hear about?

Thanks, John
 
  #2  
Old 12-28-2006, 10:01 AM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

I have bought alot of tools from Harbor Freight. Which are pretty good for the most part.
I have been using the tools from Harbor Freight for about 10 to 15 years now and have had very good luck.

For the better tools I buy Cronwell which is also good.
 
  #3  
Old 12-29-2006, 07:36 AM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

Hi tech,

Thanks for the info. I need to buy a set of 3/8 drive torx bits and
maybe some extensions. I've never heard of Cronwell, but I have
heard of Harbour Freight. Is Harbour Freight mail order or do
they have stores?

Thanks, John
 
  #4  
Old 12-29-2006, 12:10 PM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

ORIGINAL: J Telectro

Hi tech,

Thanks for the info. I need to buy a set of 3/8 drive torx bits and
maybe some extensions. I've never heard of Cronwell, but I have
heard of Harbour Freight. Is Harbour Freight mail order or do
they have stores?

Thanks, John
They have stores. There is one right down the road from where I live.
 
  #5  
Old 12-30-2006, 12:03 AM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

Yes they have stores find the Website and search for a store near you.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=5502
Just click on the home then go from there.
 
  #6  
Old 12-30-2006, 03:24 PM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

Thanks S70driver and tech. I used the link, found that there is a
Harbor Freight store a few miles from my house, and they had
just what I was looking for. I got a 9 piece set of torx bits (on
sale) for 7 dollars. The price at the large retail store where I
normally shop is around 40 dollars for a 7 piece set.
What a difference!

John
 
  #7  
Old 12-30-2006, 04:46 PM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

Glad you had one near you. Now you can go nuts buying tools huh? LOL
 
  #8  
Old 01-02-2007, 08:41 AM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

Yup, LOL.
But a danger to my budget.

Tools=Toys :-)

John
 
  #9  
Old 01-02-2007, 08:58 PM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

ORIGINAL: J Telectro

Yup, LOL.
But a danger to my budget.

Tools=Toys :-)

John
Agreed I don't even want to add my bill up for this year!!!
Might have been able to buy a good used Volvo for what I paid in tools.
 
  #10  
Old 01-05-2007, 03:15 PM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

I've noticed Husky tools look a lot like Craftsman, or is it
my imagination? I haven't compared prices yet.

Tech, you can say " Honey, I have to buy these tools
or otherwise I can't work...."
For the rest of us it's " I'm saving money on all these
repairs so I can buy the things you want..."

It seems to work-sometimes anyway ;-)

John
 
  #11  
Old 01-05-2007, 09:01 PM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

i use more snap-on and klein tools along with some husky tools as im just moving up in the tool world and have a tight budget. The Snap-on tools are my dads.
 
  #12  
Old 01-06-2007, 12:41 PM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

She knows when I buy them I need them for my work.
She is pretty understanding.
I usually never buy anything for myself. I leave the $$$ for her and the kids.
 
  #13  
Old 01-06-2007, 09:58 PM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

I know this information is probably not much use to anyone outside Australia (I don't know if they export), but there is an Austalian brand called 'Sidchrome' that gives a lifetime replacement guaranteeon all its tools.

I have never had to put this replacement guarantee to the test even though the Sidchrome toolsI own havebeenmisused by being levered,bashed and generally mistreated in more ways than I can remember - but I have not succeeded in breaking or damaging one of these tools - not one, ever!

Please believe me. I have no affiliation with Sidchrome whatsover, but I have to give credit where credit is due. These tools, some of which I've had for 40+ years have been fabulousbut they are starting to creep out of my price range now as they are getting quite expensive to buy.

IMHO, Ithink they areequal to,or better than, anytool manufactured in the world.
 
  #14  
Old 01-07-2007, 03:09 PM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

Hi laroqet, tech, and Volgrr,

I have heard of Klein (expensive?) but I haven't heard of Sidchrome.
I wonder if Sidchrome is here under another name.

Tech, I was teasing.
She knows when I buy them I need them for my work.
She is pretty understanding
I usually never buy anything for myself. I leave the
$$$ for her and the kids.
I don't doubt what you said for one moment.Anyone that
would come onto this forum and be as generous with their
time and knowledge as you have been is also going to
be generous and devoted as a father and husband.
I think your family is very fortunate to have you as are
those of us on this forum. I wish everyone had the attitude
and personal values for their lives that you do-the world would
be a much better place.

John

 
  #15  
Old 01-07-2007, 04:34 PM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

Thanks for the kind words.
I come here to Help others learn as I have through the years.
 
  #16  
Old 01-07-2007, 06:25 PM
reg
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

[quote]ORIGINAL: tech

Thanks for the kind words.
I come here to Help others learn as I have through the years.
[/

I agree with John. You do offer a ton of help without the B. S..
By the way, I have a complete set of Craftsman tools that I purchased in 1960! That's right, 1960. The only pieces that I have had to replace are the phillips screw drivers. Of course I had to add the metric tools when I went to the European autos and a couple of Whitworth ones for my Healey.

R.
 
  #17  
Old 01-07-2007, 08:26 PM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

Klein and snap-on do have a lifetime replacement as well as many of you know its the easy of the locations for which i buy klein tools as it right at the home depot in town for me to go in a get a replancement which i have only had to do once for a green rbertson screwdriver after abusing for a month or so with electrical work with my uncle who was the one who introduced me to the tools, snap-on we have the guy come to are house a fix the tools free or get new ones which i only believe was a few times which i think is pretty good considering my father is a mechanic. This is my history of the tools i use!
 
  #18  
Old 01-08-2007, 03:29 AM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

Here is a link to check outthe quality of Sidchrome tools

http://www.geraldtonindustrialsuppli.../sidchrome.php
 
  #19  
Old 01-08-2007, 05:30 AM
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Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

Hello John,

I did not come to this part of the forum until yesterday, so I didn't know that this part of the forum has so much useful info.

Anyway, here's the tools I've been using and I'll add some of my prejudices as well. Please be aware that this reply will be LONG.

For professional purposes (aircraft maintenance, no metric tools), I bought Snap-on. Snap-on seems to be the only tool company that is well known world-wide, and they are appointed by the U.S. military as well. As far as the price goes, Snap-on's are a bit too overpriced, not very affordable. I was able to buy a good set during my aviation college years, since Snap-on had student discount program and we were able to buy them at 60% off the retail. As far as the quality goes, some of them are good, some of them aren't. For example, their wrenches seem to have good reputation, as they were the first to innovate "Flank-Drive" wrenches that avoid rounding off the corners of bolts/nuts and boost torque by about 15-20%. Also, their chrome-plating is probably the best in the industry, as cheap chrome tools seem to have chrome platingflaking off when dropped. Their socket tools are also excellent, as they are the pioneer of interchangeable socket tools. However, I noticed that one of my universal sockets had a connection that was "frozen" and did not want to move. Also, some wrenches have 12-point hole off the centre. As far as the warranty goes, it could be inconvenient unless you live near shops where the Snap-on vans visit frequently. Even though Snap-on's are lifetime-warrantied, sometimes they seem reluctant to replace tools. But considering the price you pay for their tools, they should be happy to replace, because it's one of the reasons some people buy Snap-on tools. Snap-on pliers are not very good, your hand gets tired after a little while of use. But their ratcheting screwdriver is worth the money, they are smooth & durable. Their torque wrenches are ok, I just don't like the way it clicks (not very positive sometimes). Soft-handle breaker bars, especially the 3/8" drive, is an excellent one too. I use it very frequently when working on my 850. One last addition, during my aviation college years, my colleagues used to humiliate Snap-on tools, saying that they are overpriced (true), they have brainwashed the public, etc... But guess what, every time we had lab projects people wanted to borrow my tools! One of the downsides of Snap-on tools, other than the ridiculous price,is that they have tendency to disappear from your toolbox mysteriously.....

For automotive/home use, I usually buy Sears Craftsman Professional series. They've come close to Snap-on in quality, though if you look close, Snap-on still seems to do better job. But considering the price difference and generous warranty policy (you just bring the tools and they give you new ones, even without receipts/questions), I would buy Craftsman tools for home use, you can't go wrong with them. The downside is that they are readily available only in North America (this part you don't have to worry).

For electrical/electronic servicing tools, I've been using Fluke's entry-level digital multimeter (Fluke-112). Fluke is the leading company in electrical/electronic servicing/diagnosing instruments, but Actron seems to be better in OBD-II scanners. But for home use, Craftsman DMM's are more than sufficient. For electrical hardware jobs, Klein tools seem to have excellent reputation.

For lighting, I usually like LED lights. They are bright and the batteries last quite a while, and the LED's are good for some 100,000 hours (depending on the LED). Currently I only know 2 major manufacturers for LED bulbs, one is Luxeon USA and the other is Nichia Japan. The only problem with LED lights is that their beam pattern gets dispersed and not very good for long-distance use, they are usually handy for close-proximity use. For night-time aircraft exterior inspection, halogen-type flashlights are a must. The only downside is that the battery only lasts 10 minutes or so between charge. Mine was made in xxxxx, and I had to repair it quite a few times.

Here are some of the world's famous tool mfg's:

USA:
Snap-on, Craftsman, Klein, Harbor Freight (thanks to Mr. Tech), Mac, Matco, Proto, etc...
Starrett (famous for precision measuring instrument)
Fluke (famous for DMM's)
Actron (famous for OBD-II scanners)

SWEDEN:
Sandvik Bahco (famous for precision adjustable wrench)

GERMANY:
Hazet (famous for indestructible hexagon socket): Appointed by Audi, VW, Mercedes, Saab, etc...
Knipex (famous for various types of pliers, also sold under Blue-Point by Snap-on)
Wera (famous for screwdrivers)

FRANCE:
Facom (be careful on how you say it): Appointed by Airbus Industrie, TGV, etc...

ITALY:
Beta (famous for interchangeable torque wrench)
Usac: Appointed by Ferrari

AUSTRALIA:
Sidchrome(thanks to Mr. Volgrrr): Mr. Volgrrr,do you know if Sidchrome is appointed by Qantas?

JAPAN:
KTC: Appointed by Japanese Defense Force, Honda, etc... price & qualityclose to Snap-on.
Ko-ken (famous in Europe/Asia) Socket tools only but they make titanium tools for marine vehicle use.
Vessel (famous for screwdrivers)
Mitsutoyo (famous for precision measuring instrument)
Tohnichi (famous for torque wrench)

*(I'd better stop here, or end up spending a whole day)

I believe all of the above mfg's make excellent tools, but they are not as readily available in North America.

Some mfg's tools look identical, due to corporate M&A and they are made at the same factory (Mac & Proto & Husky, etc...).

Personally, when it comes to hand tools, I am a redneck and go with whatever is made in USA. I would personally avoid tools that are either unusually cheap or made in countries where labour is cheap. They are almost sure to break/bend/fail/explode.

Well, the best way to buy tools is to buy whatever feels right/comfortable for you, as well as availability, generous warranty policy and reputation. But again, I can say that you can't go wrong with Craftsman tools.

One last addition. Recently I bought a set of Torx sockets made by Lisle, USA. Their products never really attracted me, but this set seemed imperative to work on Volvo's, and the price wasn't bad either. It is Lisle's Master Torx Bit Set (12 pieces), P/N 27200. This set includes 1/4", 3/8" and one 1/2" drive Torx and they are shorter than many other competitors', means you get better clearance.

Well, enough burble. Good night.


JPN
 
  #20  
Old 01-11-2007, 12:05 AM
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Posts: 156
Default RE: Which tool brands do you like?

Wow,

JPN that was an excellent rundown on a lot of different tool brands.
I have always wondered how Snap On and Craftsman actually
compare in terms of quality. This is a big help to me as a novice
when it comes to tools for automobile repair. With your
experience you have come into contact with many different
tools.
As I mentioned elsewhere I have some Craftsman ratchets
that my father bought over 40 years ago and they still are going
strong. I agree on the Fluke meters. All the voltmeters I have
used for the last 30 years were Fluke. We have one Fluke
meter that is almost 25 years old, has been in continuous
use and still holds calibration to .03% (3/100 of 1%).
Agilent (HP) and Tektronix also make some excellent
test equipment but are far too expensive for the average
home hobbyist or mechanic.
Many times it is hard for me to even afford Craftsman, so
I have to look for something less expensive. On Tech's
suggestion I tried Harbor Freight, and even bought a 40
piece ratchet set on sale for $3! I've already used it at
work for light duty use. I don't think it will equal Craftsman
in strength but for $3 it's great for little jobs around the house
and they have much sturdier looking sets in the $30 range.
I wonder if anyone has had experience with S-K or
any of the brands that you find at xxx-mart, auto supply
chains, hardware chains etc.
Thanks JPN that was great and a big help to me and I'm
sure to a lot of others. This is a subject that is relevant for
everyone on this forum but you don't see many posts in
regard to tool brands. Also thanks Volgrr for the information
on Sidchrome tools, I will have to see if there is a source
in my area of the U.S.

Best regards, John
 

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