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  #1  
Old 08-19-2002, 01:56 PM
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What Tools do You Use?

Just a simple general question - what brand or brands of mechanics tools do you own and use or have used?

If you switched from say Craftsman or Husky (Home Depot's house brand) to Snap-on or MacTools, (or vice versa) why?

Are you using all hand tools or have you gotten a compressor and gone to air powered impact tools? (this is for the home mechanics as I imagine all of the professionals in our midsts use air)

I ask this mostly out of curiosity as I have most of the tools I need at the moment (muscle powered Craftsman).

jlc
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2002, 02:43 PM
Bud
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The only Snap-ons I have are from my Porsche days. I use Sears but the old ones seem much better than the newer ones. If I were in the business of car repair, I'd use a better quality tool than Sears.

One tool I wouldn't be without is a torque wrench. I hate impact wrenches but I wouldn't mind having one so long as I used it only for REMOVING things.
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2002, 05:08 PM
LarryBible
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I have some Snap On that I bought about 25 years ago while mortal man could afford them. Mostly combination wrenches and a few ratchets.

The rest of my hand tools are a mix of Craftsmen and others. My air tools started with an Ingersoll 1/2" that I got about 25 years ago followed by cheap versions of 3/8 butterfly, 3/8 air ratchet. The cheap ones have held up okay because I keep them lubed and don't use them every day to make my living.

I use air wrenches during disassembly, but very rarely for assembly. Except for the air ratchet that I can run a bolt with, then tighten it by hand so I can feel how tight I'm getting it. My tool box is a large Craftsman that I put quality casters on before I put any tools in it.

If I were a young pro tech, I would buy nothing but Snap On tools. They are clearly the best. If I started as a pro at my age, it would be difficult to justify $45,000 or so in tools for only the ten or so years I have left to work.

My $0.02,
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  #4  
Old 08-19-2002, 05:51 PM
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Over the years (since high school), I have collected a lot of Craftsman tools. Sears was a staple back then for those of us who did light wrenching on our cars but couldn't afford Snap-On tools with a McDonald's salary.

I even have a couple of nice Craftsman screwdrivers left by some thieves attempting to rip off the stereo in my VW...I guess they got spooked in the process and left the tools behind! :p

I just started doing work on my MBs for over a year now, so my set has increased to accomodate metrics and metric allen socket sets. I even bought a few MB specialty tools.

My wife has been nice about all of this, as she got me a Craftsman rolling tool cabinet to keep it all organized.

Then for our 10th wedding anniversary, I was greeted at the garage door by a Husky 125psi air compressor!!!

When I find the time to bolt it down and hook up the connections, I plan on checking the local tool center and getting a few air impact tools!

If cost were no object (I would have a 2003 SL in the garage, hee hee) I would probably have a huge Facom tool kit in my garage, and the best air tools money could buy!

But I don't do 15 head gasket jobs in a week, and most of my repairs involve tightening a bolt on a child's bike, replacing a leaky faucet seal or removing a light fixture cover to get at a burned-out bulb...therefore, there is no reason for me to have an E-class investment's worth of tools!
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  #5  
Old 08-19-2002, 06:21 PM
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G-Benz ,

FYI, I just bought an air impact driver. The best deal I found was actually at Home Depot. It's sold as a Husky, but Sears has the exact same one as a Craftsman. It was $20 cheaper at HD, and the real selling point for me -- it's guaranteed for life. (at Sears, it was only guaranteed for 1-2 years)

To answer the original question: most of my tools are Craftsman, but I've also been very happy with price and quality of Husky. I too would love to have a chest full of Snap-on tools. But as a weekend warrior, I just can't justify the cost.

Jeff Pierce
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2002, 06:32 PM
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G-Benz,

Does your wife has a sister? ...Oopps, never mind I am married. :p
To answer the question. I am a DIY'er so I have mostly Craftsman and a few NO name brand for a one time use tools. Since I got the Benz, I bought a few MB specific tools. Not necessarily from MB.
I do not have a compressor but, I do have access to one and a lift for a minima hourly fee. A life saver sometimes...
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2002, 07:01 PM
1992300e
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Tools tools tools, love tools

Hi guys,

I am a hardy DIY, plenty of blood stains on the gararge floor to prove it.

I have mostly Craftsman tools, lifetime warranty has proven valuable. I do not consider their quality on par with snap-on, never really used them, but they do look nice.

Using the correct tool for the job is really the key. My most valuable tool is a 1/2 drive breaker bar, nothing compares when getting off big stuck bolts.

No air tools, I want to wait and get a quality compressor, looking for a used one from a gararge or factory, I think the wiring at the house will be an issue too.

I do want to get some new open end box wrenches though, can never seem to have enough of those. Bigger tool chest would be great too. Finaly, I really really want to install a lift, but would need to build a second gararge for that. Got a backhoe two months ago to dig the foundation with (wife bought the rationalle) but instead I just have a bunch of big holes (experimental digging, wife bought that one too) around the yard.

Can never have enough tools.
Joel
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  #8  
Old 08-19-2002, 07:51 PM
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i've got your standard craftsman as well.also...

...i was in the market for torque wrenches and looked long and hard at snap-on,but when push came to shove i bought sears again reasoning that i could get two wrenches for less than half of what a snap-on would cost.i know people out there will say there's a reason thta the snap-on's are expensive and i'm sure they are right(let's be serious-isn't that how we justify our cars?).anyway for what it's worth sears will do me fine with some specialty tools thrown in from time to time.do i wish i had snap-on's?duh!! great question,it's nice to see what others are using !
by the way there is a snap-on store in toronto but i haven't been able to get to it----YET!!!but you can bet i'm thinking about it more and more!
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Last edited by daddiojiggy; 08-21-2002 at 09:24 PM.
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  #9  
Old 08-20-2002, 06:54 AM
LarryBible
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This thread reminded me of an interview with Chocolate Myers. He was one of Dale Earnharts crew members for many years and his Dad, a NASCAR driver was killed while he was a young boy. He is a very well known individual around NASCAR.

He said that one time he was talking to Dale on the radio during a caution. Dale said "hey there's a 9/16 Snap On wrench on the track in the back stretch!" Chocolate said he just couldn't believe that Dale could see that there was a wrench on the track, even while slowed down for the caution, much less able to tell what kind of wrench and what size.

As soon as the race was over he and another crew member drove to the back stretch where Dale said it was, and sure enough there was a 9/16 Snap On combination wrench.

To appreciate this you have to understand that Dale Earnharts Dad was a racer in the days when there was very little money in it. Dale grew up wrenching on cars and for the most part, built his first race cars himself.

Now to be clear, someone might get the idea that I was an Earnhart fan. I was not and am still not a Dale Earnhart fan, but there are many things about him that I have found intriguing over the years.

Have a great day,
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  #10  
Old 08-20-2002, 09:59 AM
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I use mostly Craftsman - can't beat the warranty and availability, plus I used to work @ Sears while in college.

I have a Makita cordless drill/driver with a 10" flexible extension that I use to speed fasteners on & off with (a trick I learned from a professional mechanic friend) and I can't imagine working on a car without it. The flex extension is like a thick piece of wire rope with 3/8" drive on both ends. It is Armstrong brand; I bought one from Sears in 1/4" drive size and it is much too stiff and cannot handle much torque without wrapping up on itself.

My latest tool quest is for a cantilever tool box to carry around my most used tools. I saw this one at Griot's Garage but I think a bigger box would be better.

-Tom
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  #11  
Old 08-20-2002, 10:53 AM
LarryBible
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aTOMic,

The cantilever tool box you show is as common as dirt in Europe and quite inexpensive. I bought one in Germany before I got out of the army, but it was stolen from my personal goods in shipment. They are a very good tool box.

Have a great day,
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  #12  
Old 08-20-2002, 01:58 PM
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When you make your living from your tools, you want the BEST! Snap-on is the only way to go, Mac, Matco & others are good but fall short in most cases. Air tools are good BUT most line techs use battery powered tools for dis-assembly & assembly. I have a battery powered 1/2" impact that can remove lug bolts.
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  #13  
Old 08-20-2002, 02:20 PM
1992300e
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tool box

Hi all,

I have had great luck with my Walmart special plastic (some kind of polymer or something) toolbox. Is just the right size to carry all the necessary tools to the junk yard. Long enough for my breaker bar and deep enough for my mini-sledge hammer.

Fits all my 1/2 drive sockets and wrenches.

Does not rust and has not cracked even during the coldest winter days.

It's yellow so I won't get shot by hunters.

Joel
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  #14  
Old 08-20-2002, 02:37 PM
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Talking

You mean you won't get shot BY ACCIDENT by hunters. One could argue that the yellow box just makes you an easier target.
(he he)

Jeff Pierce
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Last edited by tvpierce; 08-20-2002 at 05:28 PM.
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  #15  
Old 08-20-2002, 03:58 PM
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After breaking several sockets at the most inopportune moments, I got fed up, and bought a Snap-On set. 13 years later, I would rate them as one of my best investments.
Once, I even broke my big breaker bar by adding a pipe to it, but the socket was fine!
It would be tough to justify the added expense in general for the shadetree mechanic, but you use sockets for everything.
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