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What tools do you recommend?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by White_Attack, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. So here I am, Feeling a bit embarrassed about this. I came into this world without any support for my love of classic cars and I am just starting out.
    So, as Friends what tools do you recommend I use to work on my Car? I really have no help around here and gave up looking and decided I should just fix my car myself like I've always wanted. You guys are my only help.
    What tools are you using? Know of any good brands?
    Anyway, Wanna save cars? Help me and I'll save them too.

    Thanks for your understanding!
  2. slickhale
    Joined: Dec 19, 2010
    Posts: 766

    from Phoenix

    cant go wrong with craftsman hand tools. the husky from the depot and kobalt from lowes aint bad either. start off with a small set and build from there, you'll figure out what you like.
  3. Ghost of ElMirage
    Joined: Mar 18, 2007
    Posts: 758

    Ghost of ElMirage

    Snap On prices are just stupid don't buy SO unless ur working in a garge full time making a living with ur tools. Listen to slickhale

  4. bagged36
    Joined: May 27, 2011
    Posts: 21


  5. brushape
    Joined: Aug 26, 2011
    Posts: 118


    Can't beat craftsman and there guarantee
  6. Ghost of ElMirage
    Joined: Mar 18, 2007
    Posts: 758

    Ghost of ElMirage

    damn right about craftsman guarantee
  7. i may be a strange duck but have been in the repair business for 46 years and for some tools bought the cheaper ones, but sometimes you will need a snap on to get certin fitting loose and bought them individually and also bought snap on six point wrench from 5/16 to 5/8 for those stuck fastners get the long ones you will need the leverage

    i have got S/K , a bunch of Proto a few, Macs and very little Snap On except for a dial back timing lite and a few other pieces

    and even have some HF and buy a lot of spare pieces at fleet farm

    you might try a pawn shop for some craftsman until you really start to make better tool buying decisions

    i have several show cars on the road and who knows what i have in the tool boxes, and many times dont even try to get to the box , just go out and buy something convienent so i accumulate a lot
    and have a few breakdown on the road and have to buy more stuff then
    even have accumulated 4 lightweight aluminum jacks and carry then in the cars and the show trailer, and that trailer has tools to fix the hitch tighten the wheels and the ball and even have a HF tork wrench for the wheels
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2011
  8. Ghost of ElMirage
    Joined: Mar 18, 2007
    Posts: 758

    Ghost of ElMirage

    Great advice eugene vik
  9. Morgan91
    Joined: Sep 12, 2010
    Posts: 560

    from Australia

    youll need a really big hammer
  10. gtkane
    Joined: Jan 25, 2009
    Posts: 327


    Yup, Craftsman...and don't waste your money on "no-name" vise grips!
  11. Grumbler
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 358


    Snap Ons are the best, but unless your a professional mechanic (or have money to spare) the price is prohibitive. Craftsman are good enough for most anything and if you have to "trim" the wrench a bit for a certain job, no big deal. I'd never be able to bring myself to grind a Snap On. Sockets are a different story, I don't like Craftsman much for them at all, especially as you can no longer get 12 point.
  12. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478


    i was lucky and my Dad bought me a large tool box full of proto tools back 40 years ago, i still have 95% of them, i have bought a second set of 1/4" and 3/8" sockets, a set of 3/4" sockets, lots of hammers large and small, lots of screw drivers some multi bit and some just normal, i have 20 or 30 files, also 3 or 4 sets of of cheap wreches, i have a couple good 9/16" and 1/2" wreches, a couple of times i have gone into the free store at our local dump just as someone was dropping of their dads tools after he passed, once i got maybe a 40lb tool boxe full of nice hand tools, another time i must of picket up 20 short/deep box end wrenches, can you still buy a tool box full of tools?
  13. rom828
    Joined: Apr 6, 2011
    Posts: 34


    Look for older USA made tools at yard sales, pawn shops, etc.. Craftsman tools are still decent and get a list of what you need to friends and family before birthdays and holidays. Hard to go wrong with a basic 3/8" ratchet set and combo wrenches. A set of S-K sockets that I bought when I was sixteen, thirty years ago still get used and are my favorite. Acquire good tools and they'll outlast you. Years ago I heard that only a rich man can afford to buy cheap tools.
  14. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,032

    from California

    all I have is a rock and a pointy stick.
  15. Kmart now carries Craftsman and some are cheaper than Sears. Watch for the large combination sets Sears has on sale before Xmas. Those are good starter sets.
  16. Rebel 1
    Joined: Oct 25, 2010
    Posts: 568

    Rebel 1

  17. I'm a professional auto technician and 50% of my tools are craftsman....mostly sockets, ratchets, and open end box end wrenches.
  18. Craftsman, from pawn shops when you can find them.
  19. fbama73
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Posts: 989


    I have no overall preference for any one tool manufacturer. I have tools from many manufacturers, and some of them are because I prefer that manufacturer for a certain type of tool, and some of them are just because I've stumbled on a great deal.

    As you build your collection, you'll learn what you like best. As many have said, it's hard to go wrong with Craftsman, and their warranty USED to be unbeatable. I say USED to because I had a problem with a worn out torque wrench last year. I sent the wife to the local Sears hardware to replace it, and they refused, saying it wasn't covered. I went back, got the same line of bullshit, and had to get a little loud (and a lot of attention from other shoppers) before I got my new one.

    I still say Craftsman are a good tool. They're really not the best at anything, but they're very good at just about everything. Just save your reciepts, since they're starting to show signs of getting stupid over what has always been their best feature- the warranty.

    Tool truck tools (Snap-On, Matco, et al) are almost always great tools, but they're always way overpriced. They carry a great warranty, but it's more difficult to exchange, because there's no store to go to. In some instances, they make a tool that does a specific job that other manufacturers do not. In those cases, they're unbeatable.
  20. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,545


    Yep, Craftsman sets when they are on sale to start and then buy what you need when you need it. They usually put a 99 or hundred and something piece set on about this time of the year for Christmas.

    My oldest son picked up a Craftsman top and bottom box at Sear's scratch and dent sale for less than half price when he was starting trade school so looking for bargains like that helps too.

    Snap On is great and I have a lot of it but Snap On and Mac and Cornwell tools are tools you use to make money with and not a requirement for the guy working out in his garage but keep an eye out for them at yard sales and other places. My 15 inch Snap On 1/2 drive ratchet that I use all the time and paid 40.00 for in the early 70's is now 143.95 by it's self and that is a bit much to pay for something that isn't making money for you. I looked and the two 3/8 drive ratchets I have would cost 61 each to replace.
  21. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,282

    from Minn. uSA

    Hey, WO;

    What are you looking for? Just a guide to a mfgr/seller? Or recos on explicit tools themselves? & then for what kind of jobs/repair do you want to get into?

    In general:

    As mentioned, Snap-On & Mac are stupid $$$, warr can't be beat. Nor fit n finish, or quality. & they *do* hold their value. Also, they're designed to work on the "flats", instead of the corners. Not a real big deal when everything is new, but old n rusty... = hello rounded corners, skinned knuckles, + lots of fancy cussing... & then you need the *good* tool anyways.

    I've used Stanley (so-so $$), & a few Proto (lots of $$). Decent stuff.

    I've not used husky or kobalt, but I think I'd go w/them before the std Craftsman stuff. Wrenches, sockets, etc. Which I have at home, & really don't care for. My work stuff is all S.O. & Mac. I've been buying used S.O & Mac at swapmeets, some at pawn shops, flea markets, etc,... as I can find them to make a decent set to replace the Crapsman stds I got years ago. Which were better than nothing, but not a whole lot.

    Just starting out & low budget, that's different. & understandable.

    Sears "Professional" line is close in quality to Matco, which I don't particularly care for. But at least the tolerances are a *lot* better then the std stuff. (Which is anybodies guess/bet as to where they're made, & out of what, to what specs. All low-bid spls.). &Which if I had to, they'd be the only Craftman hand tools I'd buy. Sears/Craftsman warr isn't all that great, at least anymore. ( In actual use/need ). They get really pissie about returns. Like it's coming out of their personal pockets. I don't want, or even need, the attitude(s). Not to mention, there aren't all that many Sears or even Kmarts around me, w/in easy traveling distance. Might work for you, though.

    Of course, Craigslist, or 'maybe' ebay is an option. Used tools, are in my opinion, a *lot* better deal than new. Usually - if a bit of common sense is applied.

    FWIW: If you've got, or can get, a decent budget, one *very* slick trick, if you can pull it off, is to find someone at a VoTech in auto mech. &/or maybe auto body. Twice a yr, S.O, possibly Mac, has their tool sale for the students. Around here, it's 40% of new. As in, 60% off of new (list).Tools, boxes, etc. Idea is, have a student(s) order more than he/she can afford, w/you covering the additional cost. Make it worth the students' time/effort. Since not every student can afford the whole deal right away.

    For specifics, we'd need more info.

    But, if you don't have anything right now...

    A range of 3/8 to 1 1/4" in 3/8" drive sockets. Short & long reach depth. Same in 1/2" drive if you can afford them. Prefer 6 point. Ratchets & breaker bars to match. I like flex head ratchets, the newer ones have locks so they don't have to flop.
    1/4" drive are nice, not 100% necessary at 1st.
    You can add impacts later, when you get air tools, or even electric.

    Same range in hand wrenches in/the open end/box end style.

    Double-drop box-end & angle-open wrenches are quite useful, but a bit specialized. Add as needed. I usually do this in full sets, when I have to, if I can afford to. Sooner or later, if you need one, you'll need the others too.

    Metrics are useful, as they do cross to std. Not perfectly, but close enough. ~ 6mm -> 21mm will get you started.

    For hand wrenches, 12 points are a bit more useful if you only have one set, 6 point are stronger & won't round corners as easily. Both if you can swing it.

    A good selection of flat & cross-point screwdrivers, 0 ->#3.

    A good hacksaw.

    A decent selection of files, flat & round.

    A selection of *good* drills.

    A range of vise-grips, & also, adjustable pliers.

    A small range of ball pien hammers, & a 3lb hammer.

    A selection of cold chisels.

    Plus, of course, a decent tool box.

    Tools can be addictive, & a real $$$ drain, so unless you're getting them at a real good price &/or you've got $$ to burn, buy what you need when you need it, after the starting set. Just the above, is a good chunk of change.


    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  22. Go to Craftsman . com and pick a set. You can get enough tools for a good starter box for under $500.
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,029


    When I started wrenching about 13 years ago the head mechanic told me to make an investment. Take $200 and go to Sears and buy a mechanics set. I still have almost all the tools it came with and my only complaint is the ratchets. I use a plastic harbor freight and a steel Duralast ratchet, both with a fine ratcheting mechanism. There is lots of ratchet info on garage journal.
  24. craftsman and some snap on if you can afford them. i will occasionly use a few off brand things but when your gona buy a tool buy something that is of high quality because you will probably be using them again. cheap sockets and wrenches seem to break
  25. knotttty
    Joined: Sep 2, 2010
    Posts: 422


    sears has this one for $249....309 piece set.... thats not even a dollar a piece......


  26. put me in the "anti-snap on" basket. i think they're over priced, you can buy just as good tools for alot less money (aside from a few specialty tools, which you won't need if you're just messin around at home). i'm a qualified mechanic and in my opinion the best tools you can buy are stahlwille, a german tool (although they are fairly expensive) one of the guys i work with has a snap on tool set and he is always borrowing my stahlwille spanners because he can't get something undone with his spanners. however most of the cheaper tools that offer a lifetime warranty are perfectly fine for home use.
  27. Not sure if you can get them over there - but Teng and Facom are top quality.
  28. darkk
    Joined: Sep 2, 2010
    Posts: 456


    I use a big rock, but I may move into the iron age and buy a hammer...
  29. 48fordnut
    Joined: Nov 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,939


    made a lots of money at the airlines with craftsman. Grind on them, but leave the name intact. works for me.

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