Tool Company Recommendation

Othello7213

Member
Messages
19
Hello all,

I'm looking to start buying professional grade and would like to know what companies to stay away from due to price, quality of tools, poor customer service, etc.......

snap-on
MAC
Matco
cornwell

Are just some of the companies I'm being introduced to. I'm open to hear what else is out there.

Thanks in advance
 

Marc

""The Chopped Baggers Guy""
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ChoppedBaggers.com WORLD HEADQUARTERS.
I use snap on ,craftsman, Mac, and some cheapies too.

Imo Snap on has a better residual value. So if you plan on selling then that's what I'd stick to.

I've accumulated tools all my life and have preferences for different work..
 

Iowabagger319

Site Supporter
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829
Location
Burlington iowa
Snapon if I want high dollar stuff. Or kobalt if I'm going cheap yet still lifetime garunteeed.. I had a mac set that was in my race car trailer that was nice but not as nice as snap on if u ask me


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Wanna Ride

Well-Known Member
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3,141
Location
Chicagoland
Age-old debate about the real need for high-end, name-brand hand tools. I no longer make a living with my hand tools anymore, but I did my entire life until just about nine years ago.

Had all the Snap-On and Mac stuff about 30 years ago, when I worked on customer vehicles every day. And in all honesty, I really think it's over-rated and a status symbol, but some guys are going to flame on that. Had to sell that stuff to finance a divorce, and lost my ass. You can't buy retail, and resell/recoup your "investment", no matter what the item is. And since you have to go through an authorized (and closely monitored) dealer to buy those, you pretty much can't buy new Snap On and Mac for less than retail. Biggest downside of stuff that's expensive as Snap On, is you seem to always be concerned if a piece is lost or lifted if you work in an environment with a lot of other guys. When a wrench costs four or five bucks, you tend to not be so concerned if it gets lost.

As for electrical and pneumatic tools (drills, saws, welders, impact wrenches and ratchets, etc)... always buy name-brand. Milwaukee, Lincoln, Ingersoll, etc. are all good manufacturers with long, dependable history.

But that being said, if you're not working on customer vehicles day-in and day-out, there are some pretty good brands that certainly get the job done efficiently. Craftsman is my go-to brand. In fact, I used them exclusively for over ten years as a professional, full-time crew-chief on a high-profile race team. Never had any issues at all. And you can walk in hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores any day of the week, to buy a replacement. No waiting, no ordering, no shipping.

Lately, I've noticed some pretty decent looking stuff from some various big-box store brands like Husky and Kobalt. There's also some item-specific brands that are pretty good, like GearWrench, Crescent, Vise Grip, etc. A lot of those have gone to manufacturing overseas now, but still seem to be pretty decent quality. Recently, companies like Milwaukee and DeWalt have also started marketing some hand tools. I have some of those too, and they work pretty well and are competitively priced.

Even Harbor Freight has some decent stuff for the budget-minded DIY'er. I buy a lot of their stuff as disposables for supplies at work, because in that environment, that stuff gets misplaced, before it ever wears out. But it's good enough to get the job done, and economical. A lot of guys despise HF stuff, but when you're out in the field and need a wrench, an HF wrench is better than none at all. I have one rule with HF tools; if it has a cord or needs an airline - don't buy it.

At the end of the day, you need to determine how much you'll use these tools, how frequently, and how much you want to spend. But there's always going to be a few items that you can break, no matter who made it or how much it cost.
 
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Warped

Well-Known Member
Messages
972
Location
Reno,Nv
Buy stuff that is easily available, i use to swear by snap on because they are local to me and i could make payments
However i do think they are like anything else, more of a status symbol then better quality
and you can buy a whole set of nice wrenches etc for the cost of one payment to the local snap on vendor lol
I really like the Husky and Kobalt stuff and there is a Lowes or Home Depot on every other corner for warrenty replacement if needed.
I actually had so many tools, when we bought our house and moved last yr i organized everything, i had tool boxes i had not opened
in probably 15 yrs and finally said i dont need store this shit any longer.
I spent about 3 days just going through tools, i took the suff i hadnt used in yrs to the scrap yard...$60 for 420lbs of wrenches and sockets etc lol
and couldnt be happier to have all the clutter gone.
 

OneSlickGlide

Site Supporter
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2,805
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Chambersburg, PA
Very well put Wanna Ride.

I personally do not have any need for the big name tools as I do not use them as a daily job so SnapOn and MAC are out for me.
I was getting craftsman tool however their policy changed and you now had to send broken tools back now instead of replacing them plus Sears closed around me. So I have been getting Kolbalt tools recently. Extremely happy with them and full replacement at Lowes. I recommend them for the non professional usage.
 

PAhumbug

Site Supporter
Messages
221
Location
Meadville, PA 16335
Channellock! They are built in my hometown, still a family business (4th or 5th gen now I think). Lifetime guarantee. And it helps that my childhood friend and his brother are the current generation running it. But they are great tools.
 

Zach

Site Supporter
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5,785
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Portland, OR
Mine are 80% craftsman. The rest are made up of mostly Husky. Sears/Kmart are not convenient for me, but Home Depot is 5 minutes away. I've been happy with Husky and their lifetime warranty is no questions asked in my experience. Tested that this weekend breaking 2 breaker bars over the course of 10 minutes trying to get a trans pulley nut off. Guy at the store said "just keep breaking them, we'll keep replacing them".

Zach


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BLACKIZZLE

Site Supporter
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1,029
Location
Tempe, AZ
I have all snap on stuff for my aviation job. I love my blue point stuff for my at home fixes. And craftsman stuff is getting nicer all the time except for their ratchets. The ratchets are junk in my opinion.
 

Toxtreme

Well-Known Member
Messages
308
All snap on here. Expensive but worth every penny


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WILLIAMJRDN

Member
Messages
9
Snap-on hands down if you use them everyday, then i'de go Mac, cornwell, and matco last (at least the ratchets are junk) And you can get Snap-on less than retail just have to have a good tool guy, i'm ordering another 4k from my snap-on guy next week.
 

Wanna Ride

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,141
Location
Chicagoland
And you can get Snap-on less than retail just have to have a good tool guy
Sure, if you've already spent a considerable amount. And even at a discount, it's difficult to justify hundreds of dollars for basic wrench sets and the equivalent. They're certainly some of the finest hand tools money can buy, but that doesn't make them necessary. I had thousands wrapped up in mine when priorities dictated that I liquidate them, over a couple decades ago. I've made a damn-good career, and a very comfortable living with a whole let less than what I had "invested" in their tools.


Not trying to discredit them, just saying it's just as easy to repair vehicles with a whole lot less money spent. A lot of new, or young guys in the industry easily get wrapped up in the "Keeping up with the Jone's" when it comes to boxes and tools. It ties up a whole lot of cash in some already small paychecks.
 
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Warped

Well-Known Member
Messages
972
Location
Reno,Nv
My buddies boss has a$10'000 snap-on box sitting in his shop
that he had to have, last wkend I looked it was covered with dust and what's in it..
A box of unopened garbage bags a few zip ties and a broken
claw hammer lmao..but it's somthing to see when you walk in
the door..
 

WILLIAMJRDN

Member
Messages
9
Sure, if you've already spent a considerable amount. And even at a discount, it's difficult to justify hundreds of dollars for basic wrench sets and the equivalent. They're certainly some of the finest hand tools money can buy, but that doesn't make them necessary. I had thousands wrapped up in mine when priorities dictated that I liquidate them, over a couple decades ago. I've made a damn-good career, and a very comfortable living with a whole let less than what I had "invested" in their tools.


Not trying to discredit them, just saying it's just as easy to repair vehicles with a whole lot less money spent. A lot of new, or young guys in the industry easily get wrapped up in the "Keeping up with the Jone's" when it comes to boxes and tools. It ties up a whole lot of cash in some already small paychecks.

Oh I agree you can do a lot of jobs with the cheaper tools, but if you depend on them to make a living i'de buy a better quality. As far as tool boxes go a cheap one will last if you dont have to move from bay to bay (at least in a heavy equipment shop) seen it too many times the casters cant take the abuse and fall apart and dump the box and tools. I've yet to bent my 1 1/2" snap-on wrench even hooked up to a overhead crane, but the cheaper tools i've seen spread and bend with just the tech pulling on them. But for home use ide get craftsman pro (if it's in the budget) over the normal craftsman, i'de never tell someone to buy snap-on if they dont make a living with them.
 

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