Snowblower Forum banner

1 - 20 of 65 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
772 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am interested in why people buy snapon matco, mac tools vs inexpensive brands home depot, harbor freight, craftsman.

i personally dont own any expensive tools. it seems silly to me especially in hand tools. screw drivers, box wrenches ratchets sockets ect .

i have never really broke anything working from my home garage except some socket step down adapters and a cheap breaker bar.

ive used non impact rated inexpensive sockets with impact guns when i was younger. who breaks a box wrench or a screw driver? never seen or heard of it happening.

i just think its silly when i bought a $30 Pittsburgh pro 3/8 ratchet and compared it to my friends $150 snapon ratchet . it feels the same has about the same teeth. neither of us has broke it in 5 years of owning it .

so whats the point?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,698 Posts
Simply put, different grade of materials and quality.

I personally hove mostly Craftsman for wrenches and sockets, along with some Husky's. Also some Pittsburg, which also work fine for what I do.

The homeowner is fine with these type of tools, but many of the mechanics that work in the profession prefer Snap-On, Mac and the such. There is no doubt that Snap-On and Mac are superior in quality.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,855 Posts
The average homeowner uses a wrench about 10 minutes per year. (quality far less important)

Professional mechanics use their tools 8 hours a day. (quality far more important)


I have an eclectic collection of tools gathered over the years..
I got a lot free from Kodak when they were tearing down the buildings I was working in..
good quality US-made tools from the past half-century. I got a nice collection of wrenches, allen wrenches, screwdrivers, sockets, etc.

I think the only thing I bought new was a socket-set about 5 to 10 years ago..
I sought out US made tools, and was only able find a Kohler set made in the USA, at Lowes.
I try to avoid anything made in China whenever possible..

A local church has a "thrift store" that specializes in tools! I try looking there whenever I need anything specific. I generally look for old Craftsman tools.

Scot
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,803 Posts
I've learned the hard way too many times.

buy cheap - buy twice. depends on what the tool is needed for. I have bought a lot of tools from HF with no issues , Craftsman work pretty well but i don't use these tools 8 hours a day .maybe a couple.

You don't want to go cheap on drill bits, taps, bolt extractors . These are usually "one and done" expensive in long run so I buy high quality for these.

After watching a donyboy73 video on tools i bought some Vampliers ($25) . One of the best tools in the box. it paid for itself first time I used it by saving so much time.

Another tool I splurged on was a Knipex adjustable channel lock pliers ( $30) . It's a great tool. You can waste so much time trying to do something with the wrong tools so a tool like this pays for itself. My Dad was always telling me to get the RIGHT tool for the job and he was so right.

As I go along , I am constantly upgrading to better tools. I like Gearwrench and they are not too expensive. I love going to yard and garage sales and finding old Craftsman made in the USA tools or other such tools.

My Dad passed on his tools tome that were 60-70 or more years old , all made in the USA , and all still in excellent or very good condition. Some of these tools are specialty tools which i have no idea what they are for .....haha.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Look at your hands, your knuckles and the fasteners when your done..

I guess I fit into the part time professional field. I am a professional, but I only I use my tools 4-6 hours a day.
back in my younger days, $9.99 bought a decent (in my mind) set of tools.
In all honesty only own a couple of Snap On sockets or drivers (purchased for specific jobs).
Most of my tools are Mastercraft Professional (sold by Canadian Tire), which I have acquired over the years.
I also have a fair number of tools I purchased from Princess Auto (their brand name) that I use on random occasions and had a need for once or twice.
There are different reasons to prefer different brands of tools. My first choice is fit on the fastener and comfort of my tool. If it does not fit correctly and/or is uncomfortable to hold while pushing or pulling..I don't want it.
Also, if the finish is going to oxidize, or loose it cleanability...not wanted.
I have used Pro Point, Seattle and Snap On tools while taking different courses, and seldom did I find them uncomfortable to use, but even more important..they fit snugly on the fastener and I seldom encountered that feeling of "gonna round this fastener".
There are many good quality "store" brand tools out there..and with Amazon being as "efficient" as they are, you can also order tools on line..to your door within 48 hours..for "free delivery if you have prime".
All I can say is choose the correct tool for the job, don't use a 1/2 driver on a 1/4 inch bolt, impact is nice, but ensure all final torque is done with a wrench (preferably a quality torque wrench) and your machinery will last much longer, require less fasteners replaced and be there when you need it.

BTW, yes a blue wrench, PB Blaster and a BFH should also be in every tool kit...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
772 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
idk i guess i can see it for a guy who uses his tools everyday for hours. i just dont really see the reason for most people and DIY homeowners. when you can go to home depot and HF and get quality tools that do the job and dont break in my experience for 1/5th the price or less.

i know some of the real cheap stuff from harbor freight is junk. what do you expect when you get a pliers set for $10.

one thing the quality gap has got pretty close from cheap to expensive. if i had to buy new now i would probably buy TEKTON for everything and call it a day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,482 Posts
probably because it is more convenient to buy off someone that come to the shop regularly instead of having to go to the store to get stuff replaced under warranty. at one point they may have been good quality but i have heard a lot of mixed reviews about some of the big brand names over last few years.
 

·
Account closed by member request.
Joined
·
9,612 Posts
All I own is SNAP-ON and older MAC Before they got shipped over seas. Back on Dec 7. I went to that Harbor Freight tools to get a 3 Jaw Puller that is made in India. THE BLOODY FREAKING THING Was all rusted up and missing a part. so I returned that the next day. and they Exchanged it for another 1. The Fake Chrome finish was flaking off and after 1 use The BLOODY FREAKING started to strip the threads. The only reason I went there Because I was in a Hurry. And it was a Saturday with No SNAPPY IN Sight. So that Puller turned out to be A 1 Trick Pony. the price was 16 or 17 Bucks. Never going Back there again. And every Sears store here in The HOOD Is nothing but a distant Memory. and even that crap is made over seas now. :banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead: And I own Stock in SNAP-ON TOOLS ALSO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,803 Posts
idk i guess i can see it for a guy who uses his tools everyday for hours. i just dont really see the reason for most people and DIY homeowners. when you can go to home depot and HF and get quality tools that do the job and dont break in my experience for 1/5th the price or less.

i know some of the real cheap stuff from harbor freight is junk. what do you expect when you get a pliers set for $10.

one thing the quality gap has got pretty close from cheap to expensive. if i had to buy new now i would probably buy TEKTON for everything and call it a day.
Have tekton tools. they are very good for what I need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
I have various brands of tools, none of which is high end. I don't earn a living with them, they are used to fix my own stuff. I do not buy the cheapest either since I don't want to buy it again the second time I need it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
I am interested in why people buy snapon matco, mac tools vs inexpensive brands home depot, harbor freight, craftsman.

i personally dont own any expensive tools. it seems silly to me especially in hand tools. screw drivers, box wrenches ratchets sockets ect .

i have never really broke anything working from my home garage except some socket step down adapters and a cheap breaker bar.

ive used non impact rated inexpensive sockets with impact guns when i was younger. who breaks a box wrench or a screw driver? never seen or heard of it happening.

i just think its silly when i bought a $30 Pittsburgh pro 3/8 ratchet and compared it to my friends $150 snapon ratchet . it feels the same has about the same teeth. neither of us has broke it in 5 years of owning it .

so whats the point?
As you say, it is obvious that you are NOT a mechanic. I have a lot cheap tools at home, I break more cheap tools on a weekend at home than I do in a year at the shop. And just yesterday I twisted off the end of a screwdriver.
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
871 Posts
worked as dealer/factory master , in dealers most techs have snap-on,mac ,matco, cornwell , older craftsman. mostly a major combo of all. it's more of the conveyance and quality. payments . if we striped a bolt or nut the extra time needed is on the techs dime, and thats because we work piece % or flat rate,"per book hour" wasted time from bad tools can't be put up with for long till it hurts one wallet.another is the need for specialty tools the stores don't sell. trucks do most of the time

today if one looks at craftsman you will see several models each of a better to worse quality, the better have a life time warranty the lower not so, harbor tools is the same way, they 3 grades of tools, the higher priced are pretty good. HT's 3 jaw pullers are junk as 93 spoke,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
772 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
As you say, it is obvious that you are NOT a mechanic. I have a lot cheap tools at home, I break more cheap tools on a weekend at home than I do in a year at the shop. And just yesterday I twisted off the end of a screwdriver.
i am not a mechanic but i have fixed and sold upwards of 160+ units of power equipment mowers, blowers, chainsaws snowblowers ect. the last 3 years

i have cheap harbor freight screw drivers and never broke one even using it has a pry bar? guess i'm just lucky
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
I also have lots of mid range tools like Mastercraft (Canadian Tire house brand), some Craftsman, Gray (very good old brand). Works fine for me. We have a Princess Auto store opening here tomorrow, which will add to the options.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
As a heavy equipment mechanic for 30 + years, I have everything from Snap On to Horrible Freight. The nice thing about the top of the line tools, at least with Snap On, is the tool doesn't even need to be all the way broken. The criteria for a new tool is when I'm not happy with it. For example a pair of side cutters or dikes that may have a nick in them, or a screwdriver blade that is getting worn or maybe a bit rounded. These are just a couple of examples and I'm sure it varies from dealer to dealer. You can never have too many tools !!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,803 Posts
i am not a mechanic but i have fixed and sold upwards of 160+ units of power equipment mowers, blowers, chainsaws snowblowers ect. the last 3 years

i have cheap harbor freight screw drivers and never broke one even using it has a pry bar? guess i'm just lucky
I would say you must be a good darn mechanic if you have sold that many units. Maybe you and I are not certified mechanics but if people are buying our stuff you can still be a mechanic.

heck I started at around age 8 .( 55 years ago ) lawnmowers, go carts , VW's ( my first cars ) , Harleys ( my only brand motorcycles ) Subaru's, Buicks , wood splitters, generators , chainsaws , power washers , some tractor trailer and trailer equipment , snowblowers , dishwashers , dryers, washing machines, gas water heaters and furnaces , etc etc etc anything that breaks I can usually repair ( with the help of you-tube sometimes )

no, I ain't a mechanic either. :devil:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,189 Posts
Mechanics buy Snap On or Mac because they warranty their tools. My friend Daniel keeps record of all his Snap-On tools. His half inch 3/8 drive was replaced 21 times for free, his 10mm 3/8 drive was replaced 17 times. His lug nut 19mm and 22mm 1/2 " drives were replaced over 100 times. He tells me where they win is all the other sockets that are barely used.

When I was working for CBC RC I purchased Snap On tools for my guys with lifetime warranty. Their tools for electronics was terrible. After 7 years the salesman pulled our contract and refunded me the original cost. We were going through small diagonal cutters like crazy to the point they were replacing 10 pairs a week. I then went with Lawson tools, man what a difference in performance and later I found and even better tool company called Precision Tools from Korea originally then moved to Taiwan. Those are the same tools I use in my shop to this date. They are still life time but I've had mine for 11 years now and still not a scratch on the edge and I use them every day, several hours at a time.

In this picture you can see both pairs that I use the most. They are on the top left of my battery pack. The ones with the green and black handles. A pair of flush diagonals and a pair of flat long nose.

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
278 Posts
Nobody would ever accuse me of being a "mechanic" but I do prefer "better" quality tools for two reasons.

As a kid we didn't have a lot of extra money so my father made do with a hodgepodge of worn out, cheap tools. Unfortunately he was relying on them to maintain a part-time farm (Mom called it the world's biggest private petting zoo). Gouged fingers, bleeding knuckles and brute force were everyday events. Later, when I got my first real job and started a family I bought a nice set of Craftsman tools (USA made). They were a pure joy to use so I bought the same set, along with a few Channelocks pliers, for my dad. He was delighted to get them and it sure made my life easier when I helped him with projects.

Secondly, when I'm working on a project my focus is on completing a specific set of tasks and I don't want to be derailed by a poor quality tool. I'm not mechanically gifted enough to waste brain cells trying to "make do" like we did when I was growing up.

My "go to" basic tools are:
Tekton - wrenches and torque wrenches
Gearwrench - ratchets and combination ratchet wrenches
Sunex - impact sockets
Klein, Felo and Wera - screwdrivers
Knipex, NWS - pliers
Wilton's B.A.S.H mechanic's hammer set, Estwing - hammers
Milwaukee power tools

I do have a quite a few Harbor Freight tools. Their $15 breaker bar, for example, is a bargain. Likewise, their 3-set hose pliers are far superior to several more expensive brands. Finally, their 1,000 lift cart is THE difference maker for me. Being able to work on a snowblower, lawn mower, etc. at eye level is absolutely critical for old guys like me.
 
1 - 20 of 65 Posts
Top