Mechanic tools!

rustyj14(W/PA)January 14, 2011

Somebody wrote in, asking where to get mechanic tools for a new mechanic. I was in the Costco store today, and i saw a complete set of mechanic hand tools, including ratchets and sockets, box wrenches, open ends, and screw-drivers. Metric and American. For $100--plus tax!

Now, those tools looked pretty good, and would be the thing to buy, so if you bought them, and later on found you weren't "cut-out" to be a mechanic, you wouldn't be out a lot of cash. And, if you went into another trade, those tools would still be handy to have around. Also, if you became good at mechanical work, and the teasing of the older mechanics finally got to ya--then you could spend the big bucks and buy the great American made tools. (if there are any!)

You can also usually find good used tools at a flea market. by: Rustyj

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I agree, especially about the flea markets, garage sales, and estate sales for shopping for good tools for less, but the problem would if person could tell what was good or not?

I found the best 1/4" ratchet made by Pronto at flea market on time for three bucks, this this sounds like a swiss watch when ratcheting and don't reverse directions in tight spaces. I have 1/4" snap on and it's very sloppy. So sometimes price don't mean Quality.

I once brought some good open end wrenches at flea market to make extended crowsfeet by welding 3/8s extensions on them. I had to laugh when I told the guy I was going to cut them up and make some special tools. I thought he was going to start crying and made the comment your not going to cut my tools up! I said after I buy them they not yours any more! He laughed and said your right! I even made some odd ball angled crowsfoot from 1/2" plate steel for a specific tasks when not other combination would work. You know a square 3/8s or 1/2" hole is hard to make my hand.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 9:01AM
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Snap-on , Westward , Craftsman , Cobalt lots of quality hand tools out there at reasonable pricing . I actually now buy Canadian Tire Tools since they have the same lifetime warranty as the Older Brand Name Manufacturer's . So if they fail just return the defective product no questions asked. I imagine that numerous other Box Stores throughout North America now also provide the same Quality Assurance .

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 8:40AM
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My tools are almost all Snap-on; some dating to the 70s. I like how they fit exactly. If you're maintaining things that you have to remove the nut/bolt many times, you don't want to round off the edges with cheap tools.

I do have a set of Harbor Freight impact sockets, at least 20 years old (Taiwan), that are almost bulletproof.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 6:22AM
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I buy craftsman tool sets. when they break I replace with snap on.I have many snap on tools but not sets. 9/16 and 10mm wrenches but not any other wrenches. I have not ever in 25 years as a salt water mechanic replaced a snap on socket but many chraftsman mac and pronto. Baymee I to have harbor freight impacts I bought for throw away uses and I still have them all.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 9:11PM
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All the comments made have a lot of merit. I am a retired Motor Mechanic and would caution everyone with buying cheap tools if only for the safety factor. Cheaper tools often break easily causing some severe accidents at times. I started my apprenticeship with high quality tools that I purchased after a qualifying period. You can get away with a very basic medium quality range in the early days of an apprenticeship but I would highly recommend using good quality tools as early as possible. I found a website that was especially helpful just the other day and it explained very well what I am saying. The site was and has articles on Mechanics Tools, Woodworking Tools, and others. I note that it must be a fairly new site as some of the pages have not yet been completed but the one on Mechanics tools looks like it is finished.
All the best from jmrinoz

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 5:20AM
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Sage advice given so far. My favorite tool is a 4 inch 1/4 drive SK ratchet. I picked it up on the side of the median whilst doing the stall and crawl to work one morning. As mentioned earlier, I also have a set of Chinese impact sockets.20 $ for 7/16- 1 and 12- 25mm. Bought them 15 yrs ago to be expendable and haven't broken one yet. I just use big hammers and pipes, I have no air tools. The core of my tools is the remains of a 45 yr old 100$ Craftsman tool set. Serious sockets are 6 points and made in the US same with the wrenches. Get a Grainger catalog, they sell industrial grade tools.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 5:40PM
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