Tools & Fabrication - Starting Tool Collection..Need Your Help
12-06-2010, 09:56 PM
Alright so I'm really fed up with using the on base Hobby Shop to do all my work on the car. I have basically no real tools just hand me downs and what nots. I did get a new Craftsman Jack, Jack Stands and a creeper for my Birthday. Other than that I have no real tools.
Looking to start off with a nice set. Looking to spend $300ish. Should I buy Metric or standard? Also I'd like full sets of Screwdrivers... for example I found a Craftsman 42 Piece Screw Driver Set. Looking to get a nice Craftsman Roller Tool Box next year sometime. I didn't think it made sense to buy a $1,000 tool box when I have no tools to put in it. As you can tell I'm a Craftsman fan.. fire away with you opinions/advice. Thanks.
12-06-2010, 10:29 PM
welp craftsmans quality has went to sh!t. so you can throw that out the window. i prefer Kobalt over craftsman... and stanley-proto over kobalt.
12-11-2010, 03:19 PM
Look at Harbor Freight for a good inexpensive box
If you're just tinkering on the weekends, craftsman is fine - check out their sales and you should be able to find a decent socket kit for around $200 thatll have both metric and standard. Plus, you can't beat their return policy when you break a tool in a Sunday afternoon
12-11-2010, 03:51 PM
for a socket set I would go with craftsmen..their chrome sockets are pretty good and you can get a set for a pretty good deal if you get the right sale. You can cover all your 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 in sockets in one shot. you can replace the ratchets with whatever you want or just keep breaking and getting replacement craftsmen ones. Some sets also have combo wrenches which are okay. For extensions i would just go to harbor freight and get some impact extensions, dirt cheap and hold up well.
I don't mind craftsmen screwdrivers as well, as long as you use them like your supposed to they are fine. I use them over my snap on drivers actually.
Go to harbor freight when your ready for a box...you have to spend a ton of money at sears to get something quality...you can catch that 13 drawer bottom at the freight for well under 400 on sale with a coupon..it kicks ass for what it is.
I'd hit harbor freight also for a lot of the random stuff like hammers, certain pry bars, trim tools, even pliers. buy quality vice grips. buy quality drill bits and taps if your doing that stuff.
just my .02
12-11-2010, 08:58 PM
As you can tell I'm a Craftsman fan.. fire away with you opinions/advice. Thanks.
Nick, for the average non-professional, Craftsman tools are an excellent choice. I bought my first Craftsman entry-level tool set in 1970, still use the ratchet and most of the sockets now. Over the years I have accumulated 4 Craftsman roll around cabinets and 2 of those have 3 drawer & 10 drawer chests on top. For a good deal on these tools, sign up for the 'Craftsman Club' membership, I did mine in-store a long time ago but you can do it online now. It's free and you will get special sales flyers in the mail with memberís only sale prices, which are a lot cheaper than the Sunday newspaper sale ads. If you are not in a hurry, you can find great deals on ratchet and socket sets, toolboxes, etc. Here are a couple of examples of sockets sets I got for $9.95 each on sale. I've also included a couple of pics of toolbox organizers I use.
12-11-2010, 10:00 PM
Just make sure you don't use chrome sockets on anything that require a lot of tq.
Read the cheesy section at the front of the Haynes repair manuals - basically get what you need and if it breaks, then worry about going w/ a higher $ version.
Don't be ignorant by thinking that the world consists of SnapOn and Craftsman only (I hate the feel of Craftsman wrenches, ratchets and sockets and I hate high prices...) SK due to buyouts seems to be going downhill but they have a lot of nice tools; my main sockets & ratchets are SK. Mac is great stuff in a lot of instances. When you get into needing pullers, OTC are great. But if you're pretty casual, Harbor Freight stuff is better than it was 10 years ago and is worth a look.
12-12-2010, 03:06 PM
craftsman sockets are ok, but their ratchets are shit, whether it's the professional or standard, they suck.. When I started my first set, I bought craftsman and after breaking the 3/8" and 1/2" ratchets 4 times in a month I decided I needed a better ratchet. I bought a snap on 3/8", 1/4", and 1/2" ratchet and still use them today, never been repaird, replaced, or swapped. I now have an entire snap on set/box but fwiw, I would buy either snap on or mac, matco ratchet to replace the craftsman. While some will say oh, just go to sears and get a replacement....time is money, and when your constantly going to sears, you arent making money....and you are wasting time, even if it's your own...
12-14-2010, 04:23 PM
Best thing I can offer is be patient and give it time. I started buying tools In 2000... And have built a nice collection...but its come with a huge price tag almost 80 bucks a week since 2000... not to mention MAC Matco and the other countless fab and specialty tools I have... If you dont have to use these to make a living you can go about it two ways.First is buy higher end stuff as you can afford and in the long run have top notch stuff or build faster and trade off some quality for price and speed...I think most hardware store brands are good for home users if they arent abused... dont hook a chrome socket to a 1/2 drive impact... dont use a 3/8 ratchet when you should use a 1/2.... Use the box end to break loose a tight bolt I think that common sense and propper use is to blame more times than crappy tools...However even the best stuff fails.... go on any tool truck and you'll see a box of it most likley... I dont look at the fact that it broke.. I look to see how the replacement is handled.If you listen to people on here or anywhere they will bash highend tools for whatever reason..but those who do so are ignorant I hate to see someone putting parts on an airliner with a HF torque wrench
12-15-2010, 08:28 PM
I disagree on the harbor freight pliers. We buy a lot of them for our service truck and they are Knuckle busters, however in our truck they get lost or rusted with calcium cloride. I dont know if craftsman pliers are still made in the states but that is what I use the most of. I know for sure Mac and Matco pliers are imported these days. Sears used to sell Knipex pliers and they are about the best.
12-16-2010, 01:26 AM
I just started my collection about 2 months ago. I gave away, lost, or let some one borrow all of my old craftsman. So i bought all new tools I can be proud of. :P
12-16-2010, 06:11 PM
You won't need standard size when working on an LS1.
I would go with a good set of 3/8" drive metric chrome sockets. And a really good set of metric combination wrenches up to 19mm.
The high quality hand tools have narrow shoulders so you can into tight places. For these itmes, I would shell out for Snap On or Mac.
12-17-2010, 01:13 PM
Blue point is a good option if you want to save some cash.
12-17-2010, 03:40 PM
I picked up a set of 32 husky wrenches from home depot for 20 bucks. They are black chrome. Pretty nice quality. I have plenty of wrenches and sockets, just thought I'd let you know about that deal. Most of my ratchets, wrenches, sockets, and screwdrivers are craftsman. The pliers are stanley. I bought some cheap impact sockets from harbor freight and they've worked great.
I've broken a few of the new craftsman ratchets and sockets, that's about it. They've been replaced with no questions asked.
12-21-2010, 01:17 AM
A lot of the cheap stuff will do the job. I own at the moment approximately $20k in tools from snap on and Matco great tools but I use them at work.now at home I have harborfright stuff and it usually works good enough.one thing I can say though invest in a quality ratchet. My snap on and Matco ratchets take far more abuse than there intended for and no problems.another thing I'd suggest is buy a 10-12 inch pair of nepex channel locks they are very handy a
and you would actually be surprised how much you will use them. I'd say those two items would be $300 well spent. I can't even guess how many cheap ratchets I have broken
12-21-2010, 06:06 PM
yea nothing makes a job 200 times harder than it should be like a cheapo ratchet. Good ratchets are unfortunately a lot of money but they are worth they're weight in gold.
12-21-2010, 07:38 PM
let me start by saying i was on the matco truck and they had a snap on rachet (old style not dual 80) dissembled and a duralast (autozone) one next to it. same inside damb near same outside $30 as apposed to $80. both lifetime warranted. def something to consider. i wrote off craftsman when a brand new 14mm wrench boke and i broke my hand threw whole set away and spent 600 on snap on havent broke on yet 7 years later
12-21-2010, 08:09 PM
Gear wrench wrenches
Long combination wrenches. I have Mac and they are perfect
Mac 1/4 and 3/8 socket sets. Over 10 years of use never a issue.
Snap on 9 piece screw driver set. 10 years no issues
Crapsman 1/2 stuff
Crapsman line wrenches
Vice grip brand
Decent size drill index
Harbor freight 8" dial caliper, dial indicator and stand
I have a decent collection of odds and end stuff that is need for valve spring jobs, ring comp, leak down and comp tester
This is a good list of stuff to look for.
I spent the $ once on the snap on and mac stuff and have never had issues with them.
12-21-2010, 10:11 PM
Check out my thread about Sunex tools in this section.
And yes, Craftsman has went to complete shit. I wouldn't buy anything newer than 3 yrs old from that company. Their old stuff was unbreakable, their new stuff is garbage probably built by some 9 yr old kid in Brazil.
Also, I wouldn't even bother buying anything chrome if you're purchasing new. Get yourself all impact socket sets, and maybe a thin wall 3/8 drive set for tight places. Most newly manufactured chrome sockets can't handle any TQ.
You can also check out the pawn shops.
12-22-2010, 08:54 PM
I bought a rachet from autozone (Great Neck) and almost broke my hand removing spark plugs. I will never buy another rachet from them. I have a mixture of Craftsman, Harbor Freight, and Stanly.
I also have plenty garbage tools that are made in twaiwn.(gifts and crap from work) I think this is my most important set of tools. Because when ever my friends or family want to borrow tools, thats where they pick from.LOL
12-23-2010, 01:47 AM
My first tool set was craftsman and mastercraft. Since then I've replaced all my tools with mac and snap on. Sure its quite a bit more expensive but the quality is second to none. Napa sells some decent tool for the price aswell.
12-24-2010, 03:02 AM
As long as you use the right tool for the right job. I think craftsman will work fine.
01-08-2011, 11:17 PM
My prized tools are:
3-piece pick set (I can remove any connector, tab, push-type rivet, etc...way better than any screwdriver) $10
18" 3/8 drive flex-head 22 degree bend ratchet (craftsman)- free
Metric socket set (craftsman) $100
Torque wrench (craftsman) $100
Hose clamp pliers (Napa) $22
01-10-2011, 08:54 PM
What people dont realise about tools is yea A snap on socket is 35$ each and you can get a husky complete set for 30$.6 months later that 15mm socket from husky becomes a 17mm(Thats if you dont crack it before the 6 months).If you work 8+hours a day Id say get snap on.Its worth it.Dont get me wrong I use craftsmen at home but If i used it at work I'll be running back and forth to sears returning tools.I break snap on tools also its just convenient when the truck rolls up you give him your broken tools and he gives you new ones right on the spot.
01-25-2011, 05:24 PM
The Harbor Freight tool box is actually discontinued design that they purchased from snapon. It's a fantastic box! I used to be in management with HFT. That tool box is seriously a hidden gem in the tool world. We had a store-use box that probably had 1000 lbs of tools in it and every drawer rolled like a $4000 drawer. They made them in black too :secret2: ...
I'm sure that I would own some mac, snap-on, or matco tools...but I've never had an opportunity to buy them. I know their stuff is top notch, but I don't have time to track down a truck, plus I like to just browse shelves and look at stuff without feeling like I'm holding up someones career while I look at a screwdriver set.
I chose to get craftsman tools in the beginning, but now I'm looking for convenience of replacement (if needed). I have a bunch of tools from Advance Auto (used to work there too) and so far a lot of that stuff has been okay. I like tools that come from a physical location that I can go to if I want to replace or upgrade. Kobalt has some nice stuff and Lowes has some good store hours. Craftsman tools do seem to be worse, and their replacement policy has gotten worse... and you have to go to a mall to find a sears...
If you live near a harbor freight then you might go with the #45951 301-piece tool kit. It has EVERYTHING in it, and I made several comments about how it would be the perfect starter kit. I think it goes on sale for ~$180. You wont use them to make a living, but harbor freight has a hassle free return policy. Honestly, in the 2 years that I worked for them I could probably count the number of hand tool returns on both hands. Usually they were 3/4 drive sockets. Most of the returns were the cheap plastic things, or just improper maintenance (like not using oil). Yes, it's chinese, but you have to remember, china can make ANYTHING. They make stuff as well as the buyer is willing to pay for. Also, Harbor freight doesn't do a whole lot of research and development, so you're not paying for it. Copyright laws are different over seas... lol, that's about as far as I'll go with that :jest:
Their pliers look like the exact same thing you get at sears, seriously. I have nothing but good things to say about HFT. I've got their wooden workbench in my house to use as a reloading bench and it's sturdy as a brick.
I don't think I've ever owned a good rachet. Craftsman, Kobalt, AmPro, Pittsburg... they're all the weak link in a big tool kit. You'll break any of them. If you could ever track down one of those trucks that only cares about selling to mechanics then you could get yourself a nice set of ratchets.
01-26-2011, 12:24 AM
My vote for what you want to do is head to harbor freight. Ill take the standard walmart stanley over crafstman now a days.
With the harbor freight atleast you get lifetime warranty, and a dirt cheap price. With crapsman, you get a lifetime warranty but spend more. I HATE crapsman now. Years back it was fine, now in my experience it holds up about as well as a fisher price tool set :)
01-29-2011, 09:45 AM
Don't waste your time with Mac ratchets, they are junk just like most Craftsman ratchets. I've had three different models, and have had to rebuild them all several times. The final straw was when the head came apart on one and I tore a 2"x1/2" strip of flesh off my arm. Replaced them with Snap On ratchets and never had an issue.
You can also try to find out if anyone carries Cornwell or Matco tools near you, they are just as good as Snap On and the other big names and tend to be more economical.