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Thread: I went slightly crazy buying tools this season

  1. #1
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    Default I went slightly crazy buying tools this season

    For most auto repair tasks I already have what I need. My first tool set was a relatively small Craftsman socket set bought for me by my brother in 1989. None of the ratchets remain, one was lost, the other became faulty, and the replacement is semi faulty. I've added bits and pieces, lost some along the way. Commonly found tools, I do not care where they're made, aren't that high quality. So ... I was made aware of a Husky 268 piece mecanic's set with plastic "toat". 100$. While at Home Depot I saw a Husky 44 piece wrench set, some pretty small and some fairly large sizes, 50$. The stubbies are what impress me the most. Made in India, that's fairly uncommon. But it's like buying wrenches at a dollar store at that price. I did buy a few large sized wrenches at a dollar store about 15 years ago, I recently broke one. But otherwise they did the job. I think I'll keep the wrenches. But the 268 piece set I'm waffling over. It's nice to have a good percentage of what you need in one box. Shoot I spend as much time looking for the right wrench or socket as I do actually using them. But I probably could spend a few thoughtful moments (or hours) arranging my motley assortment. I have an old metal Craftsman tool box with the drawers and all. I never liked using it for some reason. It's not that the 100$ is crucial in any way. I just am of this anti hoarding mentality lately. Just another reasonably massive parcel of metal I habe to be concerned about.

    And I did buy yet another tool set besides. A Channelock 200 piece mechanics set for 77$. I always wanted 1 to keep in tne car. And that I'm keeping, though it's made in China by Allied Tools, not Meadville, PA. It's ridiculous to imagine I would ever need to effect a repair needing anywhere near that size a set. But it makes me feel happy. I could always keep that on if solely as backup, really just partial backup, for my older tools. There are only about 12 1/2" sockets though. Not much of a backup. Oi. It does have 20 ratcheting wrenches though.

    And 1 thing that bugs me about the Husky set is they put the wrenches inside the upper lid. And there's nothing stopping it from flopping all the way over when you open it. A similarly equipped Gearwrench set uses a 3rd drawer instead (and is twice as much, but probably better quality). At least the Channelock set opens flat, and doesn't keep going. A different animal, as all it is is a clamshell case.

    And correct me if I'm wrong but is that formaldehyde I smell when I open the husky set in particular? I don't think it's a preservative but rather something to do with the plastic? To my nose there's something strangely similar to thirs hand cigarette smell, especially a cheap brand like maverick.
    Last edited by tipc; December 27th, 2019 at 01:58 AM.

  2. #2

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    When i was in the trade i repaired cars for a living for 30+ years and rarely bought anything but Snap-On, 99% of my tool kit was Snap-On, These days some of the cheaper tools have gotten a lot better than they used to be, In the UK we have the Halfords stores and years ago their tools were crap but the last time i looked have gotten quite decent over the years like other places, For the home mechanic there's some pretty decent tools around these days at a price that don't break the bank.

  3. #3
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    Default

    For a professional something like snapon is sort of a necessity. I'd really rather not break something in the middle of a repair, but can afford to. Ratchets usually die incrementally for instance. I cracked one socket I think. But when that happened I still kept using it. And mind you it probably takes me 4 - 8x the amount of time it would take for a mechanic to do the same job. I work sloooooooow. And takes bloody loads of breaks.

    We have Harbor Fright here in the US. I don't consider their tools, which mostly carry the Pittsburgh branding, worth considering at all. These days they charge as much as a "reputable" brand would. Granted everything is Taiwanese, Chinese, or even Indian. I really don't know why Channelock loans out their name to a set that isn't made domestically, as they pride themselves on their mainstay being made here. But at least that set has a reputable name. For what that's worth.

    Did you keep your old tools? You mist have had thousands into them.

  4. #4

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    I had several thousand invested over the years, After i left the trade i sold off my 2 diagnostic kits as they cost me an arm and a leg and i no longer really needed them, After that i decided to sell the Tool boxes and a load of tools i didn't really need to keep, I kept enough to do repairs on my own car though and bought a cheap tool box.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malc View Post
    I had several thousand invested over the years, After i left the trade i sold off my 2 diagnostic kits as they cost me an arm and a leg and i no longer really needed them, After that i decided to sell the Tool boxes and a load of tools i didn't really need to keep, I kept enough to do repairs on my own car though and bought a cheap tool box.
    Still got some old Whitworth spanners, remnants of a love affair with a Matchless 500cc single. Found this link: https://www.samstagsales.com/whitworth_table.htm so I guess somebody still recognizes them.

    -CH-

  6. #6

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    Yep i should have some somewhere from many moons ago, Back in my younger days i used to enjoy going dirt tracking on some local waste ground. On an old "Raleigh Wisp" it didn't last long, After that i saved up enough to buy an old BSA Bantam 125cc and converted that, Fun days they were.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tipc View Post
    We have Harbor Fright here in the US. I don't consider their tools, which mostly carry the Pittsburgh branding, worth considering at all. These days they charge as much as a "reputable" brand would. Granted everything is Taiwanese, Chinese, or even Indian. I really don't know why Channelock loans out their name to a set that isn't made domestically, as they pride themselves on their mainstay being made here. But at least that set has a reputable name. For what that's worth.
    I snagged a set of screwdrivers in a nice plastic case from Harbor Freight (Pittsburgh brand) and the second to the largest Phillips head screwdriver broke after one use , the slightest bit of torque and the metal spins inside the handle. The rest of the set works fine and the set was cheap enough. I do like their Pittsburgh Pro 32 piece mini screwdriver set I use on computer equipment that has all the different style removable bits and an extension. Seems like they change suppliers every so many years and the sets are all different so I have like 3 of them.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
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  8. #8
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    I was doing great with my current selection of screwdrivers, wrenches and sockets for almost 20 years until my new car entered my life and I started to be forced to buy new tools. Princess Auto up here ins Canada is fantastic for most general purpose tools a a few more specialty things. Five years ago I was assuming that the click type torque wrenches were out of my league but now I can but now I can get a half decent one with a 1/2" socket for under $20 on sale.

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