Hand Tools

pbraunpbraun Member Posts: 11
What brand of tools do you guys us? I have Craftsman. What do you think of the "Husky" line Home Depot sells? Anyone know of a quality brand that costs less than the above? Craftsman are the lowest price that I could find, that are professional quality. Snap-On, Mack, Proto, etc. cost much more.


  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    You get what you pay for.

    The Husky product is built by Stanley in the same plant as the upscale Mac line.

    Craftsman has a couple of different grades. If you are a serious do it yourselfer, buy the better quality Craftsman stuff.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I have a large mix of tools, and Husky is definitely okay for certain jobs...but when I need real strength I use Mac or Snap On...

    For instance, a cheaper open-end wrench will actually spread if you apply too much torque on it...and then it will slip off the nut and then you will lose some knuckle flesh. So my open ends are the very best I can afford. Same with my slot head screw drivers...only the best....but for box end wrenches or slip-joints or 3/8 drive sockets, sure Husky or Craftsman are fine for the hobbyist.

    So I'd suggest mixing the quality of your tools ot save money, but buying the very best for the following:

    Open end wrenches
    1/2" drive sockets, drives and breaker bars
    Slot head screwdrivers

    Make no mistake, cheap tools WILL injure you sooner or later.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    Yeah..or they will break at the worst possible time.

    Some people though think a "Lifetime Guarantee" means one socket is good as another.

    This is totally wrong. The best guarantee is the one you never have to use.

    Most breakage is due to abuse though..you can't believe some of the things I've seen.

    Another great brand is SK if you can find them. They are far superior to Craftsman and cost about half the price of Mac or Snap-on.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yes, true! I have some SK sockets that must be 15 years old or more and still work great. I've also broken Craftsman sockets using them on a lug nut of all things. Seems a 1/2" socket should take that amount of torque. But I'm not knocking Craftsman--for what you pay, you get your money's worth.
  • bort1bort1 Member Posts: 13
    I really like Snap-On Professional tools for sockets, wrenches, and ratchets; sure they cost a ton but will last darn near forever and handle mild abuse well. My favorite tool has to be a set of Vice-Grips locking pliers, the things are great for holding greasy parts still while trying to remove the bolts and about a thousand other uses. Even with the best of tools, I still have more than a couple of scars on my knuckels, some things just can't be avoided.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    Snap-On, Mac, Matco, Craftsman, SK, Armstrong and Proto aare all good quality tools. My preferance is Armstrong. My tools are from 1/4" wrenches to 3" wrenches,1/2" sockets to 1 1/2",3/4" sockets to 3" and 1" sockets to 3".
    When you break a 2 1/2" wrench or socket, it had better be warrantied and it will hurt. I have broken Snap-On,Mac,Craftsman and others.
    When you deal with large equipment, they have a tendancy to fight back. LOL!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    Armstrong ???

    Almost 20 years in the tool business and that's one I've never heard of??
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I have some tools named "C.K. Wilson" that have been great, too, but haven't seen them around.

    Never have broken a Snap-On tool except a screwdriver, and that was certainly my fault.

    My dad used to periodically look through my tool chest...once day he picked up a small pipe wrench, looking at it as if it were a dead animal, and said:

    "Now this....THIS...belongs in a plumber's toolbox!"

    Oh, that hurt!

    Obviously, he had never had to do an alignment on a Mercedes Benz!
  • cutehumorcutehumor Member Posts: 137
    what are good tools to remove old rusted bolts and screws that won't budge?
  • rs_pettyrs_petty Member Posts: 423
    The Kobalt tools sold at Lowes look and feel to be a bit better quality than the standard Craftsman or Husky - more in line with the Craftsman Professional series, but cheaper. I think the Kobalt tools are made by Snap-On. I'm saving to buy a 1/4" drive set to try them since I need that anyway. If they work well I'll slowly add a complete set. Unfortunately, they don't offer a complete set combination (without the plastic cases) - you have to buy the individual boxed set combinations. My craftsman have worked fine, but don't seem to have the accuracy of fit I'd like, but then that could be the nut's fault or more likely the nut with wrench in his hand! :) Everthing else is too expensive and would not allow me to tell the wife it was the tools fault!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    Of course, you needed the pipe wrench to turn the tie rod sleeves!

    The new Knipex pliers work great also. Sears sells these under some goofy name they picked.

    Very seldom will you see a professional mechanic using many Craftsman tools or using a Craftsman tool box. A ot of that has to do with image but when you are turning wrenches eight hours a day, you want something that feels good in your hand, isn't too thick etc...

    CK Wilson? another one I've never run into.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    Armstrong is the premium brand of Allen Tools.
    Allen is their budget tool line.
    Armstrong is pretty much an industrial line, some of heavy equipment mechanics, including myself, prefer them oover other brands, because the extreme sizes are considerably cheaper and I have never broken an Armstrong wrench.
    Armstrong is usually carried by most Industrail supply stores, especially ones that carry alot of hydraulic hoses and fittings.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    You said you have been in the tool business for 20 years? Strictly automotive? Do you sell tools? I thought you sold cars?
    I have been in the mechanic trade for close to 25 years and have various brands of tools, my favorite ratchets were made by Williams, unfortunately they are tough to find parts for anymore. At one time, Williams made the best (my opinion here) fine tooth ratchet ever made.

    Wilson tools, you are showing your age. HA HA.
    Great tools, I still have a lot of wilson 1/2" and 3/4" drive sockets.

    Guys can argue about the quality of tools all day long, what it amounts to is what is right for you.
    I know guys who prefer Snap-On air wrenches and love them, while I have a preferance for Ingersall Rand. Is one better than the other? Don't know, but do know that the Ingersall works for me.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Nope, not busted on age....my dad gave me those Wilson tools! Must be made of kryptonite...I still have fantasies about bringing some of my sockets to Livermore Lab, and the scientists bombarding it with lasers, then looking up in amazement and saying...."this metal is not of earthly origin". ...
  • hengheng Member Posts: 411
    They are 20 years old. Did Sears have a separate professional line back then? I don't recall.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    Only in the last 10 years did they start introducing the professional line, I think to try and compete with the high dollar tools.
    They did have a black finish industrial line though, I don't think it ever took off real well.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,338
    I spent almost twenty years with a very large tool company whose name has been mentioned here.

    I started as a dealer and ended up spending the last ten years as a regional sales/business manager. The company went through many changes and I was asked to take a different job and move to Chicago. I refused. I thought selling Hondas would be a fun thing to do for a few months while I decided how to spend my remaining working years.

    I looked at a couple of businesses, turned down a couple of offers, and six years later I'm still here.
  • bort1bort1 Member Posts: 13
    Broke my first Snap-On socket late last week, put a little too much torque on it and picked up two pieces later. Usually a bolt will shear before a socket, but it was old and beaten up, porbably simple stress fractures. Still like their tools though.
  • xfilesxfiles Member Posts: 132
    My friend from England has a set of open end wrenches he purchased there called "BIG DICK" (no joke...in big letters down the side of the wrench handle) that he uses as a machinist here in Canada now. He has had a few of his buddies at work willing to trade or pay cash just to get the set. They look kind of cheap, but they serve him well. The girls sure talk about him I bet. Hey, who wouldn't trade their snap-on for such a set? LOL.
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