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Tool suggestions?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by BrianK5, Nov 20, 2001.

  1. BrianK5

    BrianK5 Registered Member

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    I need to buy a large amount of tools and a roll-around chest for the automotive courses I'm taking, and was wondering what you all think are the best to get. Through the college, I get discounts of 20% off Craftsman, 60% off Snap-On and 25% off S&K.

    What would you do?

    Brian

    1985 K5 Blazer
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

    60% off Snap-On

    <hr></blockquote>
    Well that should cut the mark-up on their tools down to only 500% I guess. Nice stuff, but personally I can't justify spending that much for 'pretty' tools.

    Craftsman is good quality...although a bit clunky compared to Snap-on, Mac etc.

    A mechanic buddy of mine is pretty impressed with S&amp;K and their pricing seems a little more down to Earth...

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  3. FRIZZLEFRY

    FRIZZLEFRY 1/2 ton status

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    60% off Snap On sounds like a god deal but Craftsman would be your ceapest deal I think.They both have lifetime waranty but unless you have a Snap On stopping by on a regular basis its hard to get stuff replaced.Sears is every where ,its just a matter of going there to turn in broken stuff.I prefer Snap On and Mac.

    Some people shouldnt drive anything bigger than their head.<a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/beaterwhang>community.webshots.com/user/beaterwhang</a>
     
  4. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    Cornwell is another good choice for the 'drive-in' tool shopper. I know you didn't mention them as a discounted vendor, but check with the teacher if they do. If so you will find their prices to be down to earth..........which you can't say for Snap-On. I own a few thousand $$ worth of both Snap On and Craftsman and think a hybrid collection is what you will have to do anyway. Some Snap On items are simply the best and you won't find that tool at Sears, but for other than those types of specialty tools, I would go with Sears or S&amp;K. As a pro mechanic you will want tools that do not wear out or break, and if they do you want a no hassle warranty/guarantee, like Snap On or Craftsman. Don't know what S&amp;K has as a warranty so can't speak to that. Sears warranty is unreal - I have brought mangled tools that were abused or 25 years old and got replacements no questions asked.

    <font color=blue>'79 ONE TON TPI K5 - See it at---&gt;<a target="_blank" href=http://www.blazzinor.rockcrawler.com>www.blazzinor.rockcrawler.com</a>
     
  5. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    I agree with the others on all points. Snap-on is WAY over priced and so is Mac. Unless a truck stops by your shop, they are both a pain to get replacements. Craftsman is much cheaper but, as was said, more clunky. They are also a bit easier to break but very easy to replace. Just remember, unless you are very conscientious and inventory your box each day, you will usually have more tools lost or ?disappear? (into someone else's box) than you will have broken so most of the time the breakage/replacement is not an issue. For the difference in price, I'll go with Craftsman almost every time. They win hands down value for the dollar IMHO. Things that break often and can wreck your day/rate when they do, I sometimes go Snap-on (Torx bits, etc.) and I can always run to Sears and buy a replacement Craftsman cheap if I need to in a pinch. That is for hand tools. For pneumatics and power tools, I look elsewhere most of the time.

    Russ

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, 205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Some day: 4" lift, 44" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  6. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I have watched guys pull their hair out trying to get Snap-on to warranty some of their tools. At one point we boycotted the Snap-on truck until a tool was repaired for one of our guys. (no the tool was not abused)

    Price out some things through Snap-on...one guy I worked with spent $3500 for an empty tool box. Yeah, it was big and it was upper and lower but that is just stupid IMHO!!!

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  7. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Craftsman. Cheapest and lifetime warranty to doesn't require you mailing them when you cant find a snap on rep. Replacement is as close as your local Sears. MAC and Snapon stuff is nice but pricy.
    Even with the 60% discount on the snap on you will pay less for the Craftsman. If they can afford to give you a 60% break think how much it is marked up over cost. Now FYI, the stores do not stock half of what craftsman offers. You need to get their TOOL catalog. It is almost a 1inch thick.
    From that catalog you can order the BIG boxes if they don't have them in the store. Being your doing this as a profession get the boxes with the ballbearing slides. If it was just for you at the house the cheaper ones will be fine but for a pro that in it 100 times a day the more expensive box is the way to go. The Craftsman boxes are still cheaper than the Snap on and Mac boxes.

    Women dig dents and flat paint!
    coloradok5.com/gallery/Grim
    75 Jimmy, Dollar
    Grim-Reaper
     
  8. Fully agree w/ Grim. Craftsman is the way to go. Convienence and good quality tools. And if you break it/wear it out, take it to Sears and replace it. I bought a tape measure from them four+ years, have replaced it better than 6 times, and bought it once. Best 12 bucks I ever spent.

    American by birth, Marine by the grace of God
     
  9. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I'd have to say Craftsmen is the best bet, for cost and availability, but their ratchets absolutely SUCK! I dropped the 1/2" I was working with about 6", and it happened to end on the head, where the lever is to select which direction it ratchets. The bronze (?) piece snapped right off! As well, on the smaller (1/4" and 3/8") I've noticed that the ratcheting mechanism grinds the teeth down, or breaks them, and you get knuckle busting "slipping" whne you hit one of those spots and you are trying to tighten them up.

    Unfortunately, like most everyone else, I think Craftsmen has gone with cheap volume instead of quality. Not only that, at least with ratchets, they must have a big problem, as they usually give you a "refurbished" ratchet to replace your broken one. My friend even had them give him a repair kit and send him on his way!

    I can live with broken sockets (usually have 2 of everything) but a broken or skipping ratchet that seems to happen often, is a no-go, and I will likely end up buying those from someone else, that I *hope* is of better quality.

    Dorian
    My tech/links page: <a target="_blank" href=http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html>www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html</a>
    Why insist on counting when the ring gear has the tooth counts stamped in?
     
  10. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Yeah I need to replace 2 ratchets for those problems. Mine are even the better quality ones. I had wrote off most of it on using a 3ft cheater bar on the 1/2 inch drive [​IMG] I have used the 3/8's to death.

    Women dig dents and flat paint!
    coloradok5.com/gallery/Grim
    75 Jimmy, Dollar
    Grim-Reaper
     
  11. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Those "better quality" ratchets to me look like they took the normal ones and just plated them with chrome. I asked last time I was there if I could "upgrade" for a few dollars (the price diff) and they said yes, but when I looked at the ratchets and saw that they had the same little lever on them, I decided against it. A lot of people hate the ratchets that have the flat piece you twist (hope you know what I mean) but I personally like them. No way thats going to break off like that lever.

    Hey, if they can't stand up to a cheater bar, what kind of tools are they? Can you imagine, I broke my 9/16" 3/8" drive socket trying to remove a bolt that was torqued to 180 ft lbs? Cheap tools lol. But seriously, my ratchets I'm not that hard on, and they still break

    Dorian
    My tech/links page: <a target="_blank" href=http://www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html>www.dorianyeager.com/index2.html</a>
    Why insist on counting when the ring gear has the tooth counts stamped in?
     
  12. '73 K5

    '73 K5 1/2 ton status

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    I worked for the largest Snap-On dealer in the state for a couple months this year...so I'm a little biased, but still reasonable. Let me explain it this way... If I won the lottery I would ONLY buy Snap-On. They make the best stuff hands down. But since me and you haven't won the lottery yet, you have to think about what you need to use 100 times a day versus a tool that you need once a week. I bought Craftsman for the regular tools and for the specialty tools or tools I used 24/7 I always got Snap-On. It was totally worth it. Craftsman hand tools have crappy grips that gave me blisters. Once I bought Snap-On crimpers, pliers, cutters my hands healed up. Since I was making 300-500 crimps some days, the tool made a huge difference. And alot of the other car stereo specfic stuff, Craftsman just doesn't make.

    '73 K5
    Chevy good...Ford bad
     
  13. '73 K5

    '73 K5 1/2 ton status

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    Yea the tool boxes can get pretty retarded. Its the kinda thing to where if you have a TON of really heavy tools and want to put them all in a rollaway then Snap-On is a great idea. But if you don't need the strength, then don't waste your money. Most of the medium sized Snap-On boxes I delivered were 500-700 pounds...thats what makes them so strong. Whenever we'd take a Craftsman box on trade, it would feel like a feather.

    '73 K5
    Chevy good...Ford bad
     
  14. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    The Snap-On stuff is better, with out a doubt. But $140 for 10 3/8 drive sockets? The guy on our truck had special deal last night, they were only $100. I just buy a set of Craftsman and replace the ones I use most with Snap-On. Even if they don't break the Craftsman sockets don't fit as well as the Snap-On. As far as boxes go look at Proto the make great boxes for the money. Also look a Waterloo, they make Craftsman and Husky (Home Depot) boxes and sell them for less. Buy a bigger box than you think you will need, it will fill up. If you can take the casters off the bottom of the box and weld up an angle iron frame that the box will drop into, then weld the castors to that. Now when some A-hole slams his box into yours guess whos box gets F'd up. Last engrave/mark ALL your tools and do an inventory at the end of every job and at the end of every shift. That will keep your tool bill down.

    Jim '80 GMC & '73 Blazer
    Body by Tellico
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.tellicok5.rockcrawler.com>www.tellicok5.rockcrawler.com</a>
     
  15. Gandolf

    Gandolf 1/2 ton status

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    I would also recommend Craftsman. They sell sets that can save you a lot of money. Just make sure you take a careful look at what's in the set, and make sure there aren't 100 allen wrenches in a 150 piece set.


    '89 K5 Silverado..."You can’t have a real adventure, unless the outcome is truly uncertain".
     
  16. Nitrodrip350

    Nitrodrip350 1/2 ton status

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    CRAFTSMAN!!!! I have about $1,700 in tools from them and really havn't had any problems. The rachets kinda suck if you put too much torque like ummm.. cheater bars!!! But you can upgrade to other ones if you want and they will give you credit for the one you currently have ....

    Shane

    79' K5 Body Hurting But Runs Great!!
     
  17. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    I forgot to say for ratchets look at Mac. They have got a great new one out. It is similar to the gear wrenches and only needs 5* to turn. It is awsome. Well worth the money, about $100 for three- 1/4", 3/8", &amp; 1/2". It has a lever on top but it is as big as the top of the head so it won't break off like the Snap-On &amp; Craftsman ones do.

    Jim '80 GMC & '73 Blazer
    Body by Tellico
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.tellicok5.rockcrawler.com>www.tellicok5.rockcrawler.com</a>
     
  18. 502Burban

    502Burban 1/2 ton status

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    I agree with everyone here. I buy Craftsman for most stuff, but only go Snap-On for anything precision. Snap-On for torque wrenches, any kind of measuring device like calipers, micrometers, etc.

    Craftsman is fine for end wrenches, sockets, screwdrivers and such. Definitely saves you money and much easier to return if there is a problem.

    Robb
    '73 GMC Suburban - 502DFI
    <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/robbrj>community.webshots.com/user/robbrj</a>
     
  19. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Well, maybe not the screw drivers. The Snap-On ratching is the best I have ever used. I like the old style one, the direction ring doesn't have the bumps to get hung up on things and swapp direction. IMHO Craftsman screwdrivers suck for turning screws, but they are good for opening cans of paint.

    Jim '80 GMC & '73 Blazer
    Body by Tellico
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.tellicok5.rockcrawler.com>www.tellicok5.rockcrawler.com</a>
     
  20. POWERMAD

    POWERMAD 1/2 ton status

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    Craftsman tools are ok I guess.
    Just keep a bottle of Super glue in your box to glue your knuckles back on when a tool fails.
    But you can tke it back and get another, and another , and another.
    If you plan on making your living being a mechanic sometimes it is worth it to shell out the $$$ for good tools that look pretty too. [​IMG]
    I just paid $70 for a 3/8 drive long handle flex head rachet.
    The Craftsman one that I was using broke and It was the 3rd time that I had used it. I have replaced it 5 times. It now resides in the scrap steel barrel. [​IMG]


    <font color=green> Too bad ignorance isn't painful </font color=green>
     

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