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Old 12-08-2011, 08:18 PM   #29
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I have found you buy cheap most of the time you buy twice from hand tools to yard equipment. So I've found buy it once and save the aggravation.
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:39 PM   #30
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Most of the tools I've bought myself are Craftsman. Good enough, reasonably priced, lifetime warrantee. They work for my use.

A few years ago, my brothers wife's brother ate his shotgun. He was a pro mechanic. My borther, always thinking on his feet, "Volunteered" to pick up the guy's toolbox from his former employer and hold it for the family.
Then he called me and asked if I needed tools.

I got the big snapon box wrenches. nice. smooth. just the right weight. unbelievaly better than the craftsman stuff. A snapon 200 ft-lb clicky torque wrench. Still a favorite. I use it a lot. A Snapon impact wrench. Produces 3 times the torque on half the air that mny cheap chinese crap one does. Too bad #1 son pawned it to buy drugs... Oh well, easy come easy go I guess.

I love the good tools. But I can't justify what they cost, for my level of use.
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:53 PM   #31
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O K, I will look at this from an owners side. I own an electrical contracting business. My guys buy their own hand tools and usually buy top quality, in fact I usually by them and take the money out of their check a little every week.

Any large tools I provide I buy top of the line if it will be used a lot of if it breaks down we loose production.

Some tools I buy cheap ones because they either get lost, stolen, or broken. (some people can tear up and anvil)

Personal tools I buy according to use, for the MH I bought cheap so I could buy extras and not have to transfer from my truck to the MH all the time. If I am am doing something that requires a special tool I will spend whatever it takes to do it right.
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:43 AM   #32
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I would love to have all Snap-on tools but do not have 25k to invest in tools. Also at work some tools 'disappear'. So the my tools include Bosch, Snap-on, Craftsman (but no more electric got burned by their 30 day), Dewalt, Klein.... but I also have the cheap stuff that goes in the RV, F350, Terrain, ATV..... hmmm think I would need more than 25k to replace them all.
By some other comments I could state that Craftsman are less comfortable than say Snap-on... so I should not buy Craftsman and go for the better tools?
There are some cheap tools that you would break the tip of a screw driver taking out a screw, but Harbor Freight also has tools with life time warranty and 30(?) day return.
A tool that is comfortable in my hand might not feel good in someone else's.
So I buy tools that will get the job done without hurting myself or destroying the parts.
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:46 PM   #33
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Alan, better check again.....if your a newbie tech, that's about the only way a tax deduction is going to happen. Also tool allowance from boss/employers is a thing of the past...just like insurance, 401k, retirements etc.

Greg, Did anyone state good tools made a good mechanic or visa versa?? NO
Well, I've been retired for over 3 years, and I was in the semiconductor industry, but I was able to deduct the cost of anything I bought that was work-related, that my employer did not reimburse me for. That included anything from software to pencils - fortunately my employer paid for just about everything. They also provided insurance, 401k, profit sharing, and a great work environment...
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:05 PM   #34
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I think that folks that use tools everyday in the line of work, work on their own cars, trucks, rv's, etc tend to use the top of the line tools. I on the other hand will need a wrench every couple of months (maybe), need to work on my lawnmower once or twice in the summer and am lucky if I can remember where the proper sized wrench is currently. I have tools in the house, tools in the RV, and tools in the storage shed. Some are duplicated and some are not. Inexpensive tools work fine for me. I have tools that I bought 30 years ago and some tools my dad bought over 50 years ago. If you rarely use them they don't have a chance to break...
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:46 PM   #35
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Same here, I have tools everywhere, good ones, cheap ones, and when my dad passed I got his 1940's Montgomery Ward tools which still were fine. Biggest problem is remembering where I put them, I always put them back but just can't remember where I got them from in the first place.
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Old 12-10-2011, 08:39 PM   #36
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Interesting discussion! One of these days I'm going to clear off the big table in the shop and then cover it with all of the hand tools in the shop, garage, cars, house, shed, and anywhere else they've gone. Maybe then I'll find all of the pliers that I've bought over the years.

Seriously, like many of you, I probably have far too many tools than what I need. I'll probably take the best of that collection on the table as the ones that will go with us when we retire and become full-timers. Then I'll distribute some of the rest to the various places where they are needed. The rest will be offered first to the kids and then on a yard sale.

Once we're in our FT coach, and on the road, I'll probably have to buy some tool or other. (Any bets that it will be one that I used to own, decided I'd never need it again, and got rid of it?) At that time I'll evaluate how much I'm likely to need it again and the cost of a good one versus a cheaper one. As a general rule, though, I'll buy an American-made item over a Chinese-made one, even if the American-made one is more expensive.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:33 PM   #37
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Interesting discussion! One of these days I'm going to clear off the big table in the shop and then cover it with all of the hand tools in the shop, garage, cars, house, shed, and anywhere else they've gone. Maybe then I'll find all of the pliers that I've bought over the years.

Seriously, like many of you, I probably have far too many tools than what I need. I'll probably take the best of that collection on the table as the ones that will go with us when we retire and become full-timers. Then I'll distribute some of the rest to the various places where they are needed. The rest will be offered first to the kids and then on a yard sale.

Once we're in our FT coach, and on the road, I'll probably have to buy some tool or other. (Any bets that it will be one that I used to own, decided I'd never need it again, and got rid of it?) At that time I'll evaluate how much I'm likely to need it again and the cost of a good one versus a cheaper one. As a general rule, though, I'll buy an American-made item over a Chinese-made one, even if the American-made one is more expensive.
I'm going to have to do the same thing. Being an ADD packrat, it will be like pulling teeth to decide which ones to part with.
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Old 12-11-2011, 02:53 PM   #38
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I use my tools as part of my hobbies. The longer you spend with them, the more your willing to spend on them.

Screwdrivers are a place you should never skimp. One pain in the but screw that you know a cheap screwdriver is going to mangle and you use a good screwdriver you will be hooked. I use Snap On and Craftsman Professional screwdrivers my self. I do keep a set of standard Craftsman around to abuse, like when you have a screw in a motorcycle case that just doesn't want to come lose. Grab the Standard screwdriver that fits and whack it a few good times with a ball peen hammer and it comes right out.

Good tools really are worth the money, and they don't sting as bad if you buy then gradual VS all at once.
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Old 12-11-2011, 03:48 PM   #39
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I earned my living with my tools for many years, I was a small engine tech, and like most of you bought the best for everyday use. I wasn't making money if I busted a wrench or a knuckle.
I still love the feel of a quality tool but can't justify the cost of Snap-On or Mac for the amount I use it. OTOH, I will not purchase at Princess Auto (our version of Harbor Freight) and have misgivings about Canadian Tire. Craftsman works for the most part although the 1/2" air impact was a complete waste of money. I am picky about screwdrivers and will pay extra for quality and fit.
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:21 PM   #40
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Personally, I just try to buy American (Craftsman, Milwaukee, Cooper), although those brands aren't exclusively made in USA. It's not necessarily a patriotic thing, but it is worth something to know you're making a donation to keep manufacturing in America cost-effective. It's more of a quality issue. I will buy German, Canadian, Mexican and Japanese, with a little reluctance. Anything made in China, India, or Vietnam I might buy if I don't expect it to last more than a few uses (and I have no other options).

There are times when I can get away with a cheap tool, and times when I need to replace something with a tool which I expect my son to give his son long after I'm gone. It's truly upsetting that in some product lines we no longer have the option to buy the good old USA-made product because China has completely priced US out of the market. I encountered this a month ago, when my 5 ton floor jack (overkill) finally died and I went out looking for a nice 3 ton replacement. Remember that old red-blooded company Lincoln Hydraulics, with the nice blue jacks? Yeah, they no longer sell anything a guy would buy for his home garage. Kind of hard for the average American homeowner to understand why you would pay $250 for a Lincoln floor jack when you can pay $80 for a floor jack with an even higher lift capacity that comes with two free jack stands. And this is what we're left with. I bought the Chinese "Kobalt" jack at Lowes, and took it back the next day since it was only usable if you had at least 60 degrees of handle motion (not an option when lifting from the rear diff on my Yukon XL). I bought some chinese bottle jacks which actually lift the truck off the ground, since I had no other choice. I'll probably have to replace them after five years of tire rotations. Now, if only I could find a local shop who can replace the seals on a 5 ton floor jack. I don't do hydraulics.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:12 PM   #41
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Try a local Napa store for the seal replacement job. If they don't do it there, they can probably steer you to someone who will work for you. HarveyP
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