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Discussion Starter #1
My modest Snap-On collection.

I searched for "tools" in titles, but got mostly spam results, so I thought I'd start a new thread.

Working on cars requires a decent set of tools, and I frequently find myself adding to my collection - never start a project you can't get some new tools out of :) I hope others will chime in with their pics and stories.

In trying to build up a 2nd set of sockets, for carrying in my truck and/or taking to the pull-a-part, I've been taking inventory of what I have, making sure I only buy what's needed. In doing so, on the side, I gathered up all my Snap-Ons and took a pic.

These are all hand-me-downs from my dad, his brother, and their uncle. I assure you, I can't really afford to buy Snap-Ons :)

There are only two items in the set less than 45 years old - the 3/8" ratchet (near the top) and the 1/4" ratchet. The 3/8" I got as a warranty swap in the St Louis office over 20 years ago. It's nearly identical to the original other than having the added locking feature.

I'm not sure where the 1/4" ratchet came from, but I hope something will jog my memory one of these days.

The ratchet adapter, far right, does not get much use, mainly 'cause I never think about it. But having been thru this exercise, I expect to start using it some.

I use the Snap-Ons often enough in my garage, but, while they're good tools, I have many other brands I am very satisfied with as well.

Lastly, I saw the bottom pic on Facebook and just had to share - it seems to express the feelings some gearheads have about Snap-On :)

Doug

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There is nothing like quality tools!! And you can *never* have too many tools! I know that my tool collection has grown quite a bit in the past few years - unfortunately, I have almost no organization for them - so trying to find what I need usually takes longer than it should. :)
 

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The one time you need that specific tool which fixes the problem, the tool has paid for itself 10x over. In my experience, it usually happens at around 9:00pm on a Sunday night when all parts/tool stores are closed.

You can never have too many tools. As proof of my belief in this, I have a set of "clean" tools for inside-the-house use (assembling furniture, installing kitchen appliances, mounting televisions, fixing my daughter's toys, etc.), a second "clean" set for car interior work (not as dirty as regular mechanical/chassis work), and the rest of the tools for any kind of usually dirty mechanical work. The redundancy also helps on those rare occasions when you need multiples of the same tool in the same size for the same job.

A dear relative once told me: "...always use the right tool for the job..." - that adage has rarely failed me.
 

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My set grew exponentially as I worked in a shop. I started with a 3 tier Craftsman 36" wide tool box and quickly outgrew that. I sold that to a coworker for more than half of what I paid for it and bought a 2 tier, 42" heavier duty Craftsman box that was normally $1500, on sale for $699. I was ready to pay a $1000 for the polished box but I settled for black and like any other guy would do, I took the $400 savings and bought more tools. I still have the box today and its entire contents. Between Craftsman, Snap On, Matco, Harbor Freight, KD Tool and whatever else, there is probably 10-12K in tools and equipment there. I need new leads for my OTC charging system tester and a new plug in cable for my Die Hard jump box. Other than that, everything is complete and functional. I do need to get 2 torque wrench set fixed and calibrated but I have 2 others to use.

I will admit though... Everytime I go to Lowe's, I can't help but look at the big box with the LED lighting and the Pioneer stereo system on it.
 

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My father gave me these tools 40 years ago , I still use them.

Post #10,000

 

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Mostly craftsman stuff here but do have quite a few snap on tools as well. Snap on truck used to come to our custom interior shop I worked in back in the 80's and I bought a few things here and there.

In the garage I keep a box dedicated to nothing but metrics that I keep a couple sets of different deep well standard and 6 points in so I always know where to find them when I need them as well as a number of combo and line metric wrenches. Trying to re organize my main chest in my garage, have an additional benchtop 2 drawer box and a large snap on plastic box primarily for adjustable pliers and overflow tools that are duplicates, but have ended up once again with a number of duplicates in my main socket tray that I need to go through again. Have a 4 drawer craftsman rolling box in the basement that is mostly for rechargeable stuff and some regular use household stuff and some gun cleaning and reloading equipment. Have several other boxes for assorted stuff.

My uncle told me years ago that my dad had a nice snap on rollaway loaded with snap on tools before he died. No idea who got them, but he did have a snap on box with a few snap on hand tools he sent me.
 

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I still haven't figured out exactly when to use metric or SAE - or the different "styles" of each (6-sided, etc)... I just kind find one that fits and use it. :)

I did recently buy some inexpensive "racheting" wrenches (both open-ended an "box end") and have found those to be convenient.
 

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I still haven't figured out exactly when to use metric or SAE - or the different "styles" of each (6-sided, etc)... I just kind find one that fits and use it. :)

I did recently buy some inexpensive "racheting" wrenches (both open-ended an "box end") and have found those to be convenient.
A 6 point socket typically will give less chance of slipping on a nut or bolt, especially one that has been boogered at all. When having to put some serious weight on a nut or bolt a 6 point is better, a 12 point is more likely to round off the corners.

Have the same qr snap on ratchet as pictured in 1/2 drive. I know it is close to if not over 50 years old.

Also forgot to mention I keep all my air tools except for my nail guns in a plastic tote to keep from having dirt dawbers packing them with mud. Nail guns are all on a shelf in the basement. Can always use more tool boxes and storage. Have a couple nursing home bedside tables converted to tool storage for holding welding stuff and another for drill bits and saw blades.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
New feature, or problem?

Has anyone found this new feature to be a problem? Recent vintage Craftsman sockets have these extra cuts on the back opening, presumably to make it a little easier for the spring-loaded ball bearing in the mating tool to slip into the socket.

What I'm finding is that, all too often, my mating tool, usually the ratchet, gets lined up wrong. The four corners of the ratchet get into the four cuts on the sides of the square opening instead of the corners. What happens, I think, is that we typically touch the two tools together, then turn until we feel the ratchet begin to move into the opening, then push to make it go in all the way.

Of course, when it's lined up wrong and not moving, our first instincts are to push harder and move it around a bit. When that doesn't work, I have to stop and look at it, and re-align the piece.

Working with some of these tools recently, I find myself spending too much time tripping over this "feature". I'm thinking this is more of a nuisance than a feature - it seems to get in the way more than it helps when connecting the socket. What used to be a quick task done by feel becomes a distracting interruption.

I put this in the category of solution in search of a problem.

Anyone else notice this?

(Pic is a standard depth, 11mm, 1/4" drive socket.)

Doug

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Can't say I've ever noticed that before. I will have to pay closer attention, although I have limited number of Craftsman tools.

11mm ??? that's usually aircraft stuff isn't it ? kinda like 9mm as well.
 

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Not noticed any issues, typically most often use craftsman quick release ratchets. Gonna have to look at some of my craftsman sockets, never really payed that much attention to them. Have had some issues from time to time with some sockets not releasing easy from extensions and swivels, but flipside to that is that they do stay on and don't fall off, so that is a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Can't say I've ever noticed that before. I will have to pay closer attention, although I have limited number of Craftsman tools.

11mm ??? that's usually aircraft stuff isn't it ? kinda like 9mm as well.
It's interesting you should mention aircraft - I think some of my tools were hand-me-downs carried out of USAF hangars by a "relative" :)

I don't have any hands-on with aircraft, but I have noticed that, like the old SAE days, that most Detroit (at least, GM) fasteners nowadays are 8, 10, 13 or 15mm. Having those four sockets covers 75% of the stuff on my cars. (I suppose they take the place of 5/16, 3/8, 1/2 and 9/16 inches, respectively.)

So it wouldn't surprise me if the jet engine makers didn't try to focus on only a few sizes to cover most fasteners.

FWIW, in my limited experience with Japanese cars, it seems like there's not nearly as much thought put into that. I recall needing 3 different sizes of socket to remove an alternator, for example. Contrasting that with my Impala, it may have 2 or 3 lengths of bolts on the alternator, but the heads would all be the same size.

Doug

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My tools are a conglomeration of all kinds from craftsman to chinesium.

Not like I can do much other than maybe an oil change.... :D
Wow. I am closing in on post # 18,000!
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Redneck Tool Sets

My tools are a conglomeration of all kinds from craftsman to chinesium.
That brings me to my next topic in this thread: Redneck tool sets :)

The attached pic is part of my working set that I regularly use. It's a mix of hand-me-downs, pieces from a set, and pieces added over the years as needed.

These are mostly SAE, with ½" drive on top and bottom, and ⅜" in the middle row. To augment these, I also have (matched) metric sets including a set of ½" impacts.

Besides these in everyday use, I also have many duplicates (in size) that I keep in my stash, and they span an even wider array of brands and age. I keep them nearby but out of the way. You can spend too much time digging thru the clutter caused by too many redundant pieces in your tool chest.

While sorting thru all of these tools (hoping for the holy grail that would let me retire early) I came across some good websites on the topic of old tools - in particular, old sockets and ratchets.

I learned, BTW, sockets evolved first - the ratchets came later.

Here's one site I especially liked: Alloy Artifacts Tool History Page - lots of good info there.

In the pic, the Husky left-of-center is pre-Home Depot.

If you notice the orange coloring on the left end of the middle set, I usually apply a paint marker to the unused spots. That way, when I'm cleaning up from a project, I know _not_ to search for a piece to put there. </OCD>

Doug

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Couple of those I am not familiar with, but have assorted tools of most of those brands plus several not seen above. Usually try to buy craftsman when I need something just for the value, although I have to admit sears anymore SUCKS with many "hometown" privately owned store owners not honoring sears lifetime warranty policy or in cases when they do cheating you out of a decent product and giving you a refurbished piece of junk, which in my case makes for a most often inopportune 30 mile one way trips to the nearest decent sized sears store. Kinda wondering how lowes will handle craftsman lines since they are picking up more and more of those products.

I have bought "cheap" pittsburgh 3/4 drive impact sockets from rural king for heavy equipment work where the closest craftsman set was just too ridiculously priced. Never had an issue with those either(knock on wood).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
...or in cases when they do [honor the warranty] cheating you out of a decent product and giving you a refurbished piece of junk...
I have experienced that as well. Some of the Craftsman ratchets were sloppy loose when new - the direction switch doesn't have enough resistance and sticks out too far resulting in it being inadvertently flipped if you should brush against it in a tight space, and the socket retention (little spring loaded ball bearing thingy) is crappy to non-existent. And the refurbs are no better, usually worse.

I think I have 3 or 4 other ⅜" drive ratchets in my rotation, and the Craftsman is always the last one I grab, because of that.

I've rejected at least one refurb they tried to give me and made them give me a better one. It's abundantly clear we're now dealing with K-Mart - "satisfaction guaranteed or your money back" seems to have been abandoned.

Doug

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Discussion Starter #18
I have bought "cheap" pittsburgh 3/4 drive impact sockets from rural king for heavy equipment work where the closest craftsman set was just too ridiculously priced. Never had an issue with those either(knock on wood).
In the St Louis area, we had a very discount department store chain called Grandpa Pigeon's. They sold the Buffalo brand of tools. Your hope was that they'd last thru the project :)

That said, I'm seeing other store brands gaining respect. I completely trust Husky (Home Depot) and Kobalt (Lowes). In fact, my Husky ⅜" ratchet is my go-to now.

And I've recently added some Northern Tool Klutch brand sockets to extend some of my sets. I think these guys are slowly shedding their cheap import image. They seem to cater to not just DIY'ers, but also to garages - they sell lots of equipment that repair shops use.

One other note, many Walmart stores are carrying Stanley sockets packaged individually. For 2 bucks, versus 4-5 at Sears, I'll give them a shot when I need a deep well 10 mm socket. And Stanley makes Craftsman - they even bought the brand from Sears a while back. So I'd like to think the tools are of comparable quality.

Doug

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In the St Louis area, we had a very discount department store chain called Grandpa Pigeon's. They sold the Buffalo brand of tools. Your hope was that they'd last thru the project :)

That said, I'm seeing other store brands gaining respect. I completely trust Husky (Home Depot) and Kobalt (Lowes). In fact, my Husky ⅜" ratchet is my go-to now.

And I've recently added some Northern Tool Klutch brand sockets to extend some of my sets. I think these guys are slowly shedding their cheap import image. They seem to cater to not just DIY'ers, but also to garages - they sell lots of equipment that repair shops use.

One other note, many Walmart stores are carrying Stanley sockets packaged individually. For 2 bucks, versus 4-5 at Sears, I'll give them a shot when I need a deep well 10 mm socket. And Stanley makes Craftsman - they even bought the brand from Sears a while back. So I'd like to think the tools are of comparable quality.

Doug

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Have some buffalo 3 jaw pullers that never had an issue with.

Was not aware stanley bought craftsman, might explain why craftsman is being expanded into lowes stores. Last few times I have bought craftsman has been off ebay. Even burned on sears online, their parts direct is a scam, selling products they do not have on hand, taking over a month for them to get the part in and then being unable to cancel an order by phone or online with them. Where customer service used to be key with sears, they have seriously dropped the ball in this day and age. Local store is a joke, but then it is an appliance and tool only store. Being as such you would think they would be good to deal with on tools. Owner there refuses to exchange stuff when he clearly has stock on the floor to exchange with, yeah sears corporate folks are aware too, they don't care.

I have a couple qr craftsman ratchets, both 3/8 and 1/2 drive I would like to exchange, but prefer not to downgrade to their cheapy line non qr refurbs. Nothing like turning a ratchet where you cannot see your hands and the dadgum thing giving and causing you to smash your hands.

Lowes kobalt in my limited experience so far is decent, have not had to exchange anything there yet, but our local lowes store management is pretty decent.

Walmart here carries stanley stuff, but no individual sockets. Last time I have had to have a specific socket, needed a shallow well 1/2 drive 6 point 15 mm. I went to autozone and picked up single socket there, serve their purpose in those cases where you cannot find what you need.
 
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