Thread: Tool kit
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Old 05-05-2002, 10:43 AM
stevebfl stevebfl is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
I have never bought anything but the best in anything I can afford to do. As a result I have never used many craftsman tools except when I used my dad's growing up.

There is a lot to be said for the kit idea, but the best kits are more expensive than the sum of their components. Aquiring a set to carry on the road is a different condition. If I were gathering tools to facilitate real DIY / suspension, brakes, service/maintenance, electrical, diagnostic operations, I would first pick a tool storage system (box, cabinet, etc) that would accomodate twice my anticipated needs. I would then start with socket sets in 1/4 and 3/8s and two good ratchets. I would buy SK sockets from any of the tool warehouses online (I imagine they are cheaper than Craftsman but CM will be fine for sockets if the price is right). I might get nicer ratchets used or online.

Buying assortments of sockets and/or wrenchs gives the best overall price but as one gets to larger sizes a lot can be spent on sizes that are never needed such as18, 20 and 21mm (these are used on a lot of domestics and asian cars). To do much suspension work one will need 22 and 24mm all over the place. My suggestion would be to buy the smaller sets (up to 19 usually) and buy the larger sizes individually where ever you find them (a good place to look is at used tool in flea markets [STAY away from the new tools there!!!]).

From this point one should get individual tools or groups as they can be found or afforded. The online tool stores have many good lines of tools - SK, Visegrip, Channelock etc. I will find the appropriate brand for good long service and quality of use and then find the place to buy it right; sometimes used - I'm sure one could stock a box with Snap-On tools at Craftsman prices on ebay every day.

For many MBs a good spark plug tool and one to pull the boots can be real handy. If you buy a big general assortment these are the things that will suffer. A Hazet or Snap-On magnetic in the proper size is a good choice. Hazet and Stallwille (sp?) make some good pliers for pulling the leads undamaged.

Radio Shack makes good cheap durable DVOMs but my last Fluke 87 (about a $350 meter) was about brand new at 120 off ebay.

Buy as you have need and ask questions to make good choices; assemble that box all your life.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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