View Full Version : what tool brand do you use, the age old question

12-06-2012, 7:49 PM
Husky, MAC, snap-on. kolbot, craftsman.

personally I like craftsman, just would like to know why you use them Im making my self a wish list of tools and slowly im going to build up the collection.

I like craftsman because when they brake you take them back and they replace them free. crapy thing is that you have to take the whole set now. but still that my poison whats yours???

12-06-2012, 7:51 PM
Hand tools I buy Craftsman because of the ease of exchange if one breaks. If my bills depended on my tools I'm sure I'd be using something along the lines of MAC or Snap On. But as a hobby I think Craftsman tools are plenty sufficient.

I just brought back a Socket Driver and had no problems. I had had it for well over 20 years, they didn't ask for the whole set back??? Hmmmm.

12-06-2012, 7:52 PM
Kobalt and Jims seem to be what I use most. Wish I $$ for snap-on

12-06-2012, 7:55 PM
Kobalt and Jims seem to be what I use most. Wish I $$ for snap-on

Does Kobalt do un-questioned exchange for busted shit? My buddy thought he read it someplace that they did.

12-06-2012, 8:00 PM
Does Kobalt do un-questioned exchange for busted shit? My buddy thought he read it someplace that they did.

thats a good question Im going to look into that tomorrow. call up a store or maybe do a search but I dout it man.

for hand tools I agree craftsman is the way to go but Iv come to like dewalt for drills and shit.

although that new drill from craftsman looks bad ass the one that interchanges the heads fucking thing looks sick. only if I had the cash

12-06-2012, 8:03 PM
im a mechanic for a living, i have snap on, mac, matco, craftsman, and harbor freight tools, they all work, but the way i see it is how long, mac and snap on wrenches and tools are guarenteed just like craftsman, but craftsman tend too strip and spread more than what snap on and mac do, so i prefer to spend the extra money and not have a wrench spread or a socket strip and split my knuckles open, i do that enough by myself, depends on how hard you are gonna use them, i beat my snap on and mac tools to death, my craftsman HF japan chinese...not so much....also most of the gear wrench wrenches i use are quality and hold up well.....pros and cons to everything

thin kobalt does stand by their warranty....they are also not bad....big differences in ratchets betweeen snap on mac craftsman etc...most the "big guys" have more teeth in the head of the ratchet which make it smoother to turn and closer turns, takes a wider swing for some of the other brands

12-06-2012, 8:09 PM
I use vintage Craftsman. They are what I was raised on and all made in the good ole USA. A lot of the new Craftsman tools are outsourced and quality is no where near the vintage IMHO if I break one of my vintage I don't even take it to Sears it's straight to eBay for a replacement. And Sears cannot make you return a whole set of tools because each tool is guaranteed to satisfaction of the owner.

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12-06-2012, 8:23 PM
I have a few sets of Craftman plus my dad's 60-y/o set of Snap-On.


12-06-2012, 8:24 PM
Mainly Craftsman but when I can get my hands on them, Snap On it is!

12-06-2012, 8:27 PM
I took advantage of my student discount when i went to school and blew a huge chunka student loan change on snap-on at the tool day, I love em, but honestly I really cant tell much difference between my snap on wrenches and my husky ones. the stuff that snap on also guarantees tends to be the stuff that'll never break in the firstplace. that guarantee didnt apply to my compression tester, or a couple screw drivers. Ive heard nightmare stories from an aircraft mechanic about having to dissasemble an engine because of chrome flaking off of his cheaper wrench and falling down into a motor but...for the money I dont think you can go wrong with craftsman, husky, or cobalt, and I had no problems exchanging a husky wrench at a home depot when the little direction lever broke off one of their ratcheting box end wrenches.

12-06-2012, 8:50 PM
actually after thinking about it, im gonna take some of that back. Ive never had a problem with mid level tools that where somewhat by their own nature indestructible (wrenches, hammers, some screw drivers) but theres been other things like allen wrenches where there has been an obvious difference. Ive had the tips of cheaper allen sockets round off while trying to remove the allen bolt that goes through the bottom of the fork leg and into the dampener, thus stripping out that bolt. granted I was using it with an impact gun which im sure was not a factory approved method but I havent had the same problem after replacing them with some cornwell ones.

12-06-2012, 9:05 PM
about power tools: i did alot of research on this a few years ago. there are (almost?) no power tools made in the US anymore. i looked for a long time, contacted alot of companies, nothing with an electric motor seems to be made anywhere but china at this point (i heard something about the rare earth in the electric motors only being in good supply over there). for awhile you could still get bosch stuff made in Germany but i think that's all moved to china too.

SO, i now buy refurb only. since i can't support a union, fare trade, american worker in the manufacturing side of my purchase, at least i know that on a refurb tool it's been passed across the bench of an american who got paid fairly to make sure its working right before it goes back in the box (that never happens at the factory, the chance of buying a DOA refurb are EXTREMELY slim). i contacted all the big companies and they all do their refurb work domestically.

as for quality, i like dewalt and makita. milwaukee for the sawzall. a Skil router (refurbed) and the first bit i put in got stuck in it and the chuck stripped.

as for hand tools, i tend to get stuff at garage sales and aim for craftsman (that's usually the best i see around), but when i worked in a body shop i remember SnapOn being extremely reliable and high quality (albeit pricey). i've learned the "buy once, save money" lesson already.

12-06-2012, 11:02 PM
Mostly Craftsman but have a bunch of Snap On also.

12-07-2012, 2:05 AM
The majority of the tools I have are Snap On, Mac, and Matco. My big roll-around Snap On top and bottom boxes are 30 years old, and have been dragged around by me from job to job, because I made a living out of those boxes for 30 years.

Then, I have a mixture of SK, Cornwall, Proto, Bonny, Thorson, Hutchins, National Detroit, and old Craftsman, when Vulcan used to make their mechanics tools. Most of my air tools like my impacts and such are either Chicago Pneumatic, or Ingersol-Rand, but those are all the older American-made versions.

I tell you, the oldest socket set I have is a 1/2" drive SK, bought in '71, and I've abused those over and over, broke only one socket. Most of my impact guns, air ratchets, and zip guns are over 30 years old, and they still hit hard. Very seldom have I had to replace any of the Snap On or the Mac sockets, wrenches, or ratchets. Craftsman tools have been replaced from time to time, but I don't think they're what they used to be. But, Craftsman are head and shoulders over any of that crap that comes from Horror Freight. Plus, Craftsman doesn't really cost that much more than the Horror Freight stuff does - well within the budget of everybody.

If I was a home mechanic, I wouldn't go for the instant gratification of the Horror Freight tool sets, I'd save my pennies a few weeks more and buy Craftsman, or SK. Especially at this time of year. Sears is always running killer deals on multi-piece wrench/socket set combos. You can get a lot of mechanics tools for a great price before Christmas.

12-07-2012, 3:10 AM
Matco, Snap-On, and Craftsman. Harbor Freight is ok for "disposable" tools.
My Snap-On rep that comes by the shop weekly is a cool dude that hooks up good deals, so my toolbox is slowly becoming predominantly Snap-On stuff.

Sent from hell

12-07-2012, 9:13 AM
i really like snap on and matco there isnt a problem with kobolt or craftsman for home use but when you work at a shop craftsman tools just break they get to much use(if you dont think so you never worked at a shop) even though they have free replacment for life you will be spending alot of time driving to sears now that i just work at home i dont care i use my welder and fab shit way more than any of my hand tools ill buy craftsman any day ......but i dont fucks wit kolbolt

12-07-2012, 9:45 AM
i'm a professional wrench and I use whatever I can. i hate snap on sockets on a snap on ratchet. impossible to pull off. i have a bit of everything. personally I think hazet makes the best shit but there super expensive. buying tools sucks ass.

12-07-2012, 10:06 AM
You really cant beat the affordability of Craftsman, plus being able to take broken stuff back to Sears with no questions asked. Ive had some cheapo tools that I picked up on a whim when I needed something, and usually they do ok. With wrenches its one thing to use a knock off, but you start buying harbor freight ratchets youre going to wish you saved your money. I cant tell you how many of my dads rachets ive broke by barely tightening stuff down, because he refuses to spring for a decent set lol

12-07-2012, 10:08 AM
I still use a lot of craftsmen tools in the shop, but there's a sears within a quarter mile so replacement is easy and quick. Kinda all depends on $ and convenience a lot of the time. Jim's for all specialty tools.

Sent from hell

12-07-2012, 10:21 AM
Craftsman or Snap On.

12-07-2012, 10:39 AM
I Stick to Craftsman, Kobalt and Snap On.
I have odds and ends from Harbor freight, stuff I use very rarely.
A guy I know who repairs snap on air tools told me that Sbap On is producing the kobalt tool line, he could be full of BS who knows I never looked into it.

12-07-2012, 10:58 AM
craftsman. i own snap on tools and they work just as good as craftsman which i also use but dnt cost an arm and a leg for a damn wrench. also snap-on is supposed to be getting all their metal from china and i THINK they were supposed to be making them out there aswell. CRAFTSMAN best bang for the buck.

12-07-2012, 4:18 PM

12-07-2012, 4:44 PM
Mostly craftsman, but I bought a set when I moved out of my parents house 15 years ago, and still have all them. I have been slowly buying snap-on as I find them on ebay, adn I really like snap-on quality. Since I have been workign as an electrician I have been using Klein and Greenlee. Pretty nice stuff, but I do like Snap-on better, but the Union guys and stuff all say Klei, so thats what I m buying now.

12-07-2012, 5:19 PM
I have a few vintage sk ratchets and love them. When I did mechanic work, I was stripping craftsman ratchets like crazy, ill never buy another. With regular wrenches, it doesn't really matter to me, they all pretty much have the same guarantee anymore. I mostly buy used American made tools, they are better quality all the way around.

12-07-2012, 6:16 PM
I wrench for a living too and I use snap on mac craftsman and the hf stuff. Tools have to justify their existance in my tool box, so if I need a widget wrench I buy one at hf if I use it a few times I will look for it from one of the "good" tool companies.

As for wrenches you need two sets, one set of snap on flank drive plus (your knuckles will thank you) and one from hf. Use the snap ons and lend out the hf

12-07-2012, 6:42 PM
i have a mixture of snap on, mac, matco, Wright, proto, bonny, craftsman, SK, Cornwall...mostly old stuff i've been collecting for 25 years and some my father had left me...

i bought my Wright deep impact sockets in 1990 for like 120 bucks, i've beat the fuck out of those things and never had a problem. that was still when things were built to last...

my air tools are a mix match too CP, snap on, matco & mac..things like air tools you will really notice the difference buying quality, more power and use less air so your compressor won't be running every 2 minutes, nevermind they last way longer...i made the mistake of buying a Kolbalt die grinder because lowes is two minutes from my house and the things a piece of junk i should have just spent a few extra bucks and bought a good used mac, snap on, matco or blue point on ebay...

now i don't use my tools for work so i buy whatever is convenient whether its craftman, husky, Kolbalt or i try to score one of the better brand name used tools on ebay on the cheap...if it's something you don't need right away and you don't mind driving to the deals searching craigslist is a good option too

i heard somewhere KolBalt, Craftman ,Husky, autozone tools and Advanced Auto tools are all made by the same Manufacturer anyways...it's like TV's and Battery's there only a few major manufacturers that make all the shit and put different brand names on them

12-10-2012, 7:46 AM
I Stick to Craftsman, Kobalt and Snap On.
I have odds and ends from Harbor freight, stuff I use very rarely.
A guy I know who repairs snap on air tools told me that Sbap On is producing the kobalt tool line, he could be full of BS who knows I never looked into it.

Snap-On owns Williams tool. When Kobalt was made by Williams but no longer.

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12-10-2012, 10:44 AM
I inherited all my uncle's snap on tools many years ago. I can kick the shit out of them and for the most part they don't break. The newer snap on stuff i've bought doesn't seen to hold up as good. Mac seems to be ok still. We have both Mac and Snap on guys come to my shop so I can warranty the broke shit. It's alot easier than driving to sears. I still try and find good deals on old tools before I buy a new one though.

12-10-2012, 11:05 AM
all of my impacts are snap on, everything else is a mixture of those, matco, HF, craftsmen, and even a shit ton of stanleys

12-10-2012, 2:43 PM
Snap On, Craftsman and a few Cornwell. I'm not a big Mac guy just becuase the two Mac guys I've delt with were royal cunts. I've made my living with my tools for the last 15 years but for the average guy I think craftsman are fine. But I would upgrade to a nice ratchet my snap on and cornwell ratchets are so much nicer then a craftsman. And if your going to spend money on a tool from a truck find a good dealer. When I lived in Denver my Snap-on guy would hook use up. He'd cash our checks give us bronco tickets and if you were thinking about buying a tool but being wishy washy if you were actual goen too buy it he'd flip you for it. The Mac guy on the other hand wouldn't come buy for a month then want all his money. Always pissed and moaned about replacing tools and half the time wouldn't have a replacment on his truck.

12-10-2012, 5:18 PM
i have a majority of craftsman, because it really is the most easily accessed brand for someone who is working on stuff for fun. the other brands tend to need more access. I also have other brands, but for stuff that i know will be abused its up in the air on what i buy.

12-10-2012, 5:40 PM
I have mostly Snap-On, started buying them in the '70s. Inherited a few, too. I have some other tools,but always reach for the Snap-Ons first. Could just be habit.

12-10-2012, 6:30 PM
I have snap on. I also use stahlwille they have real nice spanners that are dirt cheap, they have a thinner head than snapon and are just as tough.

Recently bought a tool off ebay by Vim. HBR3, Superb bit holder for those awkward to get at places.


Beta and facom make some nice tools
Teng also have reasonable stuff fairly priced.

Was hoping to get a 41 piece craftsman sears screwdriver set from a friend who visited austin but he didnt get time to visit the store. Those thing beat the shit out of euro screwdrivers for the money.

bondous for allen wrenches and converting snapon chocolate cap head sockets.

Outside of wrenching i got an estwing framing hammer that is fuckin ace.

Makita for cordless drills, hitachi make an awesome impact driver too.


12-10-2012, 7:11 PM
i have like the 255 piece craftsman set and i love it!

12-10-2012, 7:49 PM
mastercraft "canadian tire house brand". same warranty deal as the craftsman.. no questions asked exchange

most of their stuff is stanley's private label

got some gray canada, gearwrench and one lonely snap-on circuit tester too. I'm pretty pumped to get one of the new gearwrench 120 tooth 3/8 ratchets right now..

12-10-2012, 7:57 PM
Never had much luck with craftsman stuff. I like SK. Especially the older stuff. I think the quality is right there with snap-on, MAC, etc.......just a little cheaper. For stuff that i dont use much, i lean towards Gear Wrench. Plus there's an Eppy's tool club right by my house........so it's super easy to run over there and grab something from either brand......but I usually buy from swap meets.

12-10-2012, 9:07 PM
I make my living with hand tools.

Matco, Mac, Cornwell, and even Craftsman make good tools, ....but there is a difference with the Snap-On sockets and wrenches...

If you look at the new snap-on sockets and wrenches the 6 corners, or 12 corners are opened up looking like a hole in every corner, this is called "Flank drive" it is a Snap-On only thing that really makes a difference with older nuts and bolts,
most other brands use the points of a nut or bolt to grip on, and when the points are gone they slip,

Snap-on uses the flats to drive on in both the wrenches and sockets, ask a Snap-On dealer to show you the difference on a rounded bolt test, they have all the other brands of sockets on a test board and then a rounded off bolt to sample it, (and they will let you go get one of your sockets and try it too...)

I know.... I sound like a Snap-On salesman, but i found there is a difference. I spend a lot of money on the Snap-on truck...but I get free socks and T shirts, so I'm actually saving money......Right?

12-10-2012, 9:32 PM
have some older SK stuff, but there is no place to get SK around here, any more. I have a lot of Snap On, Mac and Matco. But then again, every guy that has ever worked in a shop does. There is convenience to having the trucks stop at the shop, and walk back to your work area. If I have to have something and cannot wait for a truck it is craftsman. The local guys are great, and there is never even a question about warranty. Any tool, no questions, satisfaction guaranteed.
I also like that I can go into sears and get one wrench, or other tool, when I need to make a specialty tool, and I know I am getting good steel to work with. We all have had to modify a tool for a special purpose. I have built up quite a collection of specialty wrenches.

I pick up drill bits and such like that where ever I happen to find them. Flea marts are great. Probably 90% of people who use drill bits have no clue how to sharpen them. I pick dull bits up dirt cheap, and sharpen them myself. Auctions are another good place to find lots of stuff like bits Personally, I find the high speed wheel on the surface grinder works best for sharpening them. (safety shield must be removed to do this. ). Obviously you have to have some idea of what to look for when buying bits this way. That is just something that comes with time and experience.

12-11-2012, 12:58 AM
For the most part,I use Harbor freight crap, and build rad shit. "You are only as good as your tools" but I feel the same about the tools only being as good as the person using them.

Feel free to look through my blog to see what I can do with what I got.

BLOG HERE (http://kingdeadbeat.blogspot.com/)

12-11-2012, 6:03 AM
I'm far from a tool expert, and even though most my tools are Craftsman, I don't have a loyalty to a particular brand. I have seen many topics on what people prefer as a brand as a whole. What I would really like information on is what brand is best at what:

For Example a few of My favorites:
Allen keys/T-handles = Bondhus
Screwdrivers = Milwaukee
Ratcheting Wrenches = MasterCraft from Canadian tire

12-11-2012, 9:44 AM
I have Craftsman....they are now carried by Ace Hardware and there is a Ace about 2 miles from me...I always break the breaker bar...just take in the old one and get a new one...no questions asked.

12-13-2012, 3:03 AM
about power tools: i did alot of research on this a few years ago. there are (almost?) no power tools made in the US anymore. i looked for a long time, contacted alot of companies, nothing with an electric motor seems to be made anywhere but china at this point (i heard something about the rare earth in the electric motors only being in good supply over there). for awhile you could still get bosch stuff made in Germany but i think that's all moved to china too. .

Maybe it's because all the companies that make magnets (very important part of an electromagnetic motor also called an electric motor) are now made in China. The last company that made them here was bought by the Chinese with an agreement to continue manufacturing in the USA as we need the magnets for things like targeting systems etc. The Chinese honored the agreement for about a month then shut down boxed up the entire factory and shipped it to China.

12-13-2012, 8:51 AM
i work at a diesel repair shop, craftsman are holding up fine, only thing ive had to upgrade was my 1/2" impact.

12-13-2012, 9:29 AM
Anybody notice Craftman's quality slipping?
Their old stuff was all metal. Their newer ratchets have plastic selectors and socket releases. I have an old Craftsman 3/8" ratchet that belonged to my Grandfather, and it's still going strong. I've broken 2 newer ones.
It's not so bad since they will exchange them no questions asked, and it's a minor inconvenience for me since there's a store about 20 minutes away. But if you live out in the middle of nowhere and depend on your tools.......

Now I am a big fan of the ratcheting box end wrenches. I had an early set years ago that were utter shit, but these are really nice. Obviously you can't use them in really high-torque applications, but they have saved me a lot of headaches and have yet to let me down. The Universal wrenches are also pretty slick, and work well on rounded off bolt heads. You learn all about this with an older Jap bike.