Register now to get rid of these ads!

What tools do you recommend?

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

  1. 48fordnut
    Joined: Nov 4, 2005
    Posts: 4,089


    made a lot of money at the airlines with craftsman. Grind on them, but leave the name intact. works for me.
  2. ZZ-IRON
    Joined: Feb 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,964

    from Minnesota

    Get a holiday deal on a large Craftsman tool set
    pick up some Vise Grips & Nicholson Files & Milwaukee power tools
    you can't go wrong with these tools they last
  3. Six-Shooter
    Joined: Jul 12, 2010
    Posts: 341

    from Ohio

    Duct tape. It will fix anything.
  4. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,856


    My father and grandfather were both mechanics and I inherited two lifetimes worth of handtools, plus alot of specialty stuff. Years ago there were alot of tool companies and some were very good quality -- Husky and SK Wayne for example. You can probably find some good quality at good prices at swap meets and yard sales.

    That being said, I bought a 260 piece Channellock set in a carrying case at Sam's Club for about $60-$70 to carry in my trunk. Wouldn't you know, I use that set more than anything else I have.
  5. oldschool59
    Joined: Jan 3, 2008
    Posts: 51


    I have mostly Snap-on.Being a profesional mechanic for the past 25 years I have amassed quite a collection,the best deal with Snap-on is the warranty and the ability to pay over time with no interest (truck account).For the home guy Craftsman are ok but do not like the screw driver handles.I have a set of Proto Proffesional wrenchs given to me by my Dad when I was 16,use them everyday since and they are great.
  6. Bfh, welder, body hammer and dolly, imagination, $$$$$, internet for parts
  7. Big_John
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 333

    from Upstate NY

    That's the set to buy right there. You can't go wrong with that.

    I've used Craftsman stuff for a lot of years and I've been happy.
  8. I work on heavy equipment, I have not had any trouble with kobalt, husky or craftsman, sometimes I have even had to put a cheater bar on their ratchets and they all still work. You can beat the hell of of them and they are cheap enough to replace.
  9. MikesIron
    Joined: Apr 27, 2011
    Posts: 62

    from Union, OR

    Agree w/ most of what's already been said:

    ~ Craftsman has good stuff for the money, and their sets on sale are usually the best deal. But you've gotta be discerning about what is included in 'sets' they offer, at any time of year. Lots of useful tools, usually, but too often they throw in a bunch of stuff you'll likely never use. So watch out for that.
    ~ Back when I was in your shoes, just starting out (~1970) Craftsman tools were hard to beat. I own lots of their stuff, and have had it for many years. Still good stuff, but they sub lots of tools out overseas these days. Watch out for slick new stuff from them, especially screwdriver sets. Most of that is inferior steel, and won't hold up.
    ~ Garage sales, etc., are a good place to pick up additional stuff that you generally don't find in the sets.

    Several guys have said here -- and it's great advice -- that it really depends on how deep you want to get into this. Hand tools are one thing, shop tools are entirely another. Space will soon become a premium, if it's not already, so consider how much room you have for what you intend to do. Use it wisely, 'cause you'll fill lit up in a heartbeat, no matter how much you have!!! I've had to move my shop a few times in my life, and each time I started over, I began w/ a floor plan of the shop space, and carefully planned out where stuff would go for the best fit and function. Scale models of tools (your crib, compressor, bench(es), etc.) go a long way to this task, and are well worth the time it takes to put something like that together.

    My hats off you you, tho, however you make it work out!!!
  10. metalix_421
    Joined: Mar 24, 2010
    Posts: 890


    ill take my craftsman over snapon anyday at least they will warrenty my screwdriver when I use it as a prybar:rolleyes:
  11. Simple.
    Joined: Dec 3, 2007
    Posts: 186

    from Troy, MI

    Dont forget an air compressor. In my opinion though, stay away from the oil-less models. They are so freaking loud my neighbors hate me. I have been anti-air compressor lately and bought myself a nice electric (corded) drill for drilling spotwelds, an electric grinder for grinding metal, and a bench grinder. Still use my compressor for my cutoff wheel, and DA sander.

    So yea, I think a corded drill is a must, and a nice electric grinder.

  12. 56oldssuper88
    Joined: Mar 3, 2010
    Posts: 213


    +1 on a craftsman tool set. Im in school for auto tech and our teachers even recommend That we start out using craftsman or husky due to the price of snap on. They told us that they will be just fine and that later on you can buy snap on or matco tools a little bit at a time. They will due the same job especially when it comes to hand tools. Ive only broken one tool( an extension) and I was surely abusing its use. I had it on an impact trying to break lose a rusted chassis bolt. I have learned not to do that anymore i was only 14 at the time lol.
  13. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    Mainly, you just want to stay away from Japanese or Chinese tools, especially with things like rachets and sockets. They are sometimes not made of the same strength steel, do not fit tightly, and will bust your knuckles when they slip off. I do occasionally buy a Harbor Freight tool, but I pick and choose carefully.

    I think SnapOn has a place, and that would be for the pro who uses them day in day out to earn his living. For us hobbiests, even serious hobbiests, Craftsman, Kobalt, and tools like that are more than fine. I have a real mix of tools, SnapOn, Proto, Mac, Craftsman, etc and usually reach for the Craftsman tool first. I treated myself one day when the SnapOn truck came to work and bought an $80 3/8 rachet. I rarely use it as I like the feel of my other ones better.

    Pawn shops can be a good source of buying tools. I found out there are two different kinds of pawn will take every socket and tool out of a box and label it and the other will just sell you the whole box. You have to dig through and assess how many good tools are in there vs the japanese throwaways and make an offer based on those tools.

    I do keep some of the offbrand tools in a drawer that I heat, bend, and grind when I need a one time tool to fit somewhere tight. They are fine for that purpose and I am not wasting a good tool.

  14. Gator
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,016


    I have mostly Crafstman stuff but lately more and more shit seems to break on me.

    I think if I had a sack full of money and was starting over I'd buy all new Kobalt tools from Lowes. I have a couple of their items, good shit.

    I also have a set of 1/2 inch drive Stanley sockets I got several years back, I think they actually came from WalMart. Believe it or not they have a lifetime warranty and haven't had a socket or the ratchet fail in the years I've used them (and I USE them - even with an impact wrench and a 4 foot breaker bar)

    Not sure if they're still the same quality but if you're on a serious budget you might check out Stanley tools.
  15. chopt top kid
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 959

    chopt top kid

    Forty something years ago, I took my tax return and bought the biggest set of craftsman tools that I could buy and a box to put them in. I still have my craftsman tools. A few ratchets have worn out and had to have been replaced along the way and a couple wrenches have been lost and a few dozen screwdrivers have been broken. I've added to them over the years and now they do well to fit in my 10 drawer chest and my 5 drawer roll around, but if I had to do it over again I'd do it the same.
    My mechanic friends have tool boxes full of shiney Snap On's, but my Craftsman's will twist nuts with the best of 'em...
  16. damagedduck
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 2,342

    from Greeley Co

    Pawn shops can be a good source of buying tools. I found out there are two different kinds of pawn will take every socket and tool out of a box and label it and the other will just sell you the whole box. You have to dig through and assess how many good tools are in there vs the japanese throwaways and make an offer based on those tools.

    I do keep some of the offbrand tools in a drawer that I heat, bend, and grind when I need a one time tool to fit somewhere tight. They are fine for that purpose and I am not wasting a good tool.


    ^^^^^^^^^damn right!:rolleyes: but i'm really surprised that no-one mentioned ACE hardware tools,,i been using them for years & they DO NOT give me the sh*t that sears gave me when replacing broken tools,broken by me being stupid-not a poor designed tool,& harbor freight you get what you pay for-great for an outing to the local bone yard where if ya lose one {ohwell}
    the rest of the tool stuff like::hammers,jack & stands,SAWALLZ, at least 2-4 pry bars,a small propane torch,chisels,4" side grinder{not from harbor freight}alot of spray lubes/rust penetraters, old clothe hangers{better than baling wire} creeper,old carpet to lay on {for when ya can't get the creeper under the car,floor clean{AKA kitty litter}
    these are just some of the random stuff from the shop floor,
  17. damagedduck
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 2,342

    from Greeley Co

    oh i forgot duct tape/super glue{for cuts}all those old shirts/grease rags,i also use a lot of the dollar store totes for storage,& maybe a small bottle jack.
  18. Buzzard II
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 354

    Buzzard II

    Craftsman from Sears. Look out for sales.
  19. davidbistolas
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 962


    I have no brand preference. Buy the best you can afford.

    But for the tools that you're going to need:

    a really good set of 3/4 and 1/2 deep sockets - get them all the way up to 1".
    a really good set of 3/4 and 1/2 shallow sockets - get them all the way up to 1" too.
    a really good set of short and long box wrenches.
    A good torque wrench.
    A good set of channel lock / vice-grip pliers
    A good set of needle nose pliers.
    A large magnet
    Timing light
    Beer fridge
    Vacuum Gauge
    Compression Gauge
    A scraper
    A large hammer
    A larger hammer
    Breaker bar

    As you progress, you'll want to get yourself a good compressor, and a good impact gun and impact sockets.
  20. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    from Benton AR

    I work with my tools everyday. Most of my tools are S-K, IMO the wrenches, sockets, and screwdrivers are very good quality. The only S-K tools I have broken over the last 3 or 4 years is a screwdriver tip and a couple of ratchets. (Their fine tooth ratchet handles are kind of fragile imo) S-K tools are good, mostly all American made, affordable, and carry a lifetime guarantee.

    I own some Snap-On and Mattco, and own a little more as time goes by, ("the truck" stops every week or so) these tools are top notch but not "as better" than S-K as their price might indicate, (but their ratchet handles are very nice....)

    Short story is that I think craftsman tools are good, but kind of bulky in the hand. I have broken lots of Craftsman sockets over the years, and imo their quality control on their new tools has slipped a lot.

    For the money, and for a person who uses their tools, S-K is a much better value for entry (and far beyond) tool than TODAYS Craftsman tools.
  21. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    from Benton AR

    I KNOW you meant 3/8" and not 3/4".... :D
  22. mrjynx
    Joined: Nov 24, 2008
    Posts: 971

    BANNED for tool stuff.

    I spent most this year & last collecting tools. Some stuff off the top of my head.

    Hex keys
    breaker bar
    long screwdrivers
    fire extinguisher
    jack stands, buy the strongest you can get.
    die grinder with guard & adapter can take 3" cutoff disks. (alternate to using compressor)
    hex shank screwdiver set. so you can ratchet on it.
    sandpaper, masking tape
    welding protection for yourself & something to cover things up
    heat gun - heat shrink - crimp pliers - electricians side cutters.
    pliers, duck nose, bent nose, cutters.
    funnels, pump of some sort to empty liquids.
    grease gun.
    tie wraps
    blow torch, low temp weld
    measures, micrometer, levels. (inclinometer)
    hole cutters
    tin snips, nibbler
    nut splitter
    cherry picker, load lever, straps.
    adjustable spanners
    crock leads
    guage feeler
    welding clamps
    pop riviter
    spot weld drill bits
    tyre levelrs

    Thats all I can think of off the top of my head including waht others said sockets mole grips etc.
  23. Nothing can prepare you for your personal needs. All we can do is give our own experience. I agree with Fbama, and I've had some "cheap" tools for years with no problems whatsoever.

    Definite guidelines:
    Buy top quality ratchets (I use Snap-On, because they ARE the best)

    Start out with a set of Harbor Freight sockets (really). You may never upgrade. Keep an eye out for their "mil-spec" sets that come up every few years. They are some of the best quality sockets I have ever seen (and I've owned Snap-on). Throw the HF ratchets directly in the trash.

    Combination wrenches: Bonney (if you can find them). By far the best designed wrench out there. Snap-On a distant second. If you are dealing with old used bolts, Snap-On wrenches will piss you off (too tight tolerances) far more than they will help...

    Screwdrivers, anything with a hollow ground tip (you can usually tell by the grind marks and black oxide finish on the tip). Any mfr that goes to that trouble (even HF) is trying to make a quality product. I have bunch of Beta screwdrivers that I'm very fond of.

    Get yourself a pair of Knipex Alligator pliers, They will double as a crescent wrench in most any situation (it will make sense when you see them). For all other pliers I stick with ChannelLock, although HF's Pittsburgh Professional line looks pretty good I must say.

    Get a good quality set of files, punches and chisels (DON'T scrimp here), a 2lb cross peen (single jack) hammer, a 2 lb dead blow, and a 16oz ball peen.

    Again, everyone has their own opinions, and that's all this ^ opinion.
  24. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,559

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    The one use a lot is gas weld set and bandsaw,had them for the longist as well,got them in 1957,still going. But you'll find as ya go what ya need.
  25. bcook07
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 140

    from Illinois

    If you want an idea on tools you could use to work on your car, this is the list that students get at southern Illinois university Carbondale for a student tool set.

    NOTE: we work on late model for class so you might want to consider the optional standard socket and wrench sets just as important as the metric. (if you are working on older cars)

    Required Tools List
    On the first day of automotive classes, each student is required to have an automotive tool set that includes:

    1. Safety glasses * (must be stamped with a Z 87 specification). Prescription glasses should have impact resistant lenses & side shields.
    2. Locking toolbox (Roll Cabinet/Cart) with at least three main drawers
    3. Metric/English 6” steel rule (mm & 64ths graduations) *
    4. Soft face hammer
    5. Ball peen hammer, 24-32 oz.
    6. Punch and chisel set (at least 9 piece)
    7. Blade type feeler gauge (.0015 - .035)
    8. Pick or Pick set *
    9. Pickup magnet
    10. Inspection mirror
    11. Tire pressure gauge
    12. Tire air chuck

    14. Metric hex key sets (at least 10 piece set)
    15. Metric combination wrenches, 6mm thru 19mm
    16. 1/4" drive ratchet, extension bars & driver handle
    17. 1/4" drive, shallow sockets, 6mm thru 13mm
    18. 1/4" drive, deep sockets, 6mm thru 13mm
    19. 3/8" drive ratchet, extensions, & universal joint
    20. 3/8" drive, shallow sockets, 9mm thru 19mm
    21. 3/8" drive, deep sockets, 9mm thru 19mm
    22. 1/2" drive ratchet, extensions, universal joint, & breaker bar
    23. 1/2" drive, deep sockets, 10mm thru 19mm
    24. Spark plug socket, 5/8" with protective inner sleeve, 3/8" drive. (extra length preferred)
    25. Torx T-10 to T-50, (tamper-proof suggested)

    26. At least 3 Slotted
    37. At least 3 Phillips

    28. Slip joint pliers, 6" to 8"
    29. Diagonal cutters, 6" to 8"
    30. Long nose pliers, 6" to 8"
    31. Arc joint pliers, 9" to 10" (Channel Lock)
    32. Vise grip pliers, 8" to 10"
    33. Brake spring pliers

    34. Jumper wires *
    35. 12 volt test light (not high impedance) *
    36. T-pins (Typically available in sewing or craft department of discount stores) *
    37. Adjustable (or electronic high energy) ignition spark tester *
    38. Spark plug gauge (wire type) with sizes through .080"
    39. Digital Multimeter
    Features should include:
    Diode check function, continuity test, fused overload protection, and spare fuses.
    (Optional features may include: Hz and duty cycle measurement, Min/Max, and protective case)
    Minimum Specifications:
    Input impedance (10 mega ohms for DCV/ACV)
    DC Volt accuracy:  0.5% of reading
    Range specifications:
    AC/DC Voltage 200 mV 200 V
    DC Amperage 200 mA 10 A
    Resistance 200 Ohms 2 Mega ohms
    Meters meeting or exceeding above specifications can be found at:
    Radio Shack
    Snap-on Tools
    Matco Tools

    Optional Items:
    1. Hacksaw with replacement blades
    2. Dial caliper, 6” metal, .001 accuracy
    3. 18mm spark plug socket
    4. Metal gasket scraper
    5. Plastic gasket scraper
    6. Double end brake bleeder wrenches, sizes 3/8"-5/16" and 8mm-10mm
    7. Rubber tip air nozzle (blow gun)
    8. Tire tread depth gauge
    9. Standard hex key sets (at least 10 piece set)
    10. Standard combination wrenches, 1/4" thru 1"
    11. 1/4" drive, shallow sockets, 3/16" thru 1/2"
    12. 1/4" drive, deep sockets, 3/16" thru 1/2"
    13. 3/8" drive, shallow sockets, 3/8" thru 13/16"
    14. 3/8" drive, deep sockets, 3/8" thru 13/16"
    15. 1/2" drive, shallow sockets, 1/2" thru 1"
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  26. r7bis
    Joined: Mar 12, 2011
    Posts: 36


    At school most of the teachers try to get us to use the student discount for SO and Matco (50% everything) but craftsman is the way to go for price/warranty if something does break. altho i do love the 88 tooth ratchet from matco so little movement in those hard to reach spaces
  27. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    Member Emeritus

    I think most of the old guys stated with Craftsman unless they worked in a garage that Mac or Snap-on visited weekly. When my club garage burned down taking all my tools I bought a good sized Craftsman starter kit and another 10 drawer box and started over again. I was always getting the Sears sale flyers looking for a good deal.


    It was 10 years after buying my Craftsman tool kit that I figured out what this socket was used for and that I had a car that it was needed for.:D It was included in the kit.
  28. bcook07
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 140

    from Illinois

    I personally love my snap on wratchets. Most guys i think will agree that they are hard to beat. matco, mac, cornwell and craftsman makes alot of great tools also.

    most guys buy snapon, matco, cornwell, or mac simply because of the ease of buying it. The tool truck shows up to where you work and you can make payments. If something breaks you don't have to take it to a store to get it replaced.

    I have bought alot of snapon and matco in the last couple years because the truck showed up to work. Its that simple. If you have access to a truck or a dealer, I would say look into snap on, matco, or the others. If you are just doing it as a hobby craftsman is just fine.

    This really only applies to buying new tools. If you get a awesome deal on any of them, dont hesitate.

    you can always find awesome deals and reviews on tools at
  29. Captain Chaos
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 596

    Captain Chaos
    from Missery

    FOr guys starting out Craftsmen is the way to go , great warenty and lots of locations open 7 days a week. Great set sales all the time on box sets , try to get the proffessonal series and they will fil most fo your needs. Specialty tools can be bought at harbor freight for that one time use.
    If you buy crap-on you will pay a ton, have to wait for the one day a week or every other week they come by and the jerk on the truck will harrass you about the warrenty .
  30. 94hoghead
    Joined: Jun 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,290


Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.