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Cheap tools are ok if you aren't doing much technical stuff. Trying to use a cheap wrench at the wrong time can become very expensive at times. I own both, most of my cheaper stuff is all Craftsman, but can an open end Craftsman wrench compare to a Snap On flank drive when it matters...ummm no, not even close and it can make the difference in getting something apart or damaging a component.
For example, you will seldom see anyone doing heavy compontent rebuilds with anything but quality stuff. A lot of what determines what you should buy is based on your skill level and what you intend to do with them. Spend the money on what matters. For example, only Snap On 3/4 and up I have is the chrome socket set with ratchet, and swivels for the 3/4 and 1" impact guns, all the rest is Jet with a few Westward adapters ect, they're less than quarter the price of any high end stuff and stand up just as good. But then I also have high end guns and they are expensive...thats where you get into prioritizing what needs to be quality so it lasts, stands up and is accurate. Another example, all my torque wrenches up to the 3/4 are Snap On with one Mac. Won't waste my time with anything else. Accuracy is huge.
Actually very few manufacters of many things like pullers, some wrenches and more. For example, Canadian Tire will blow anyone out of the water on price for the Gear Wrench wrenches...Gear Wrench is owned by Snap On...do your homework and some research and you can save some big bucks. Things like pullers, rethreader sets, tap and die sets are other examples.

And of course my good stuff never leaves the shop unless a specific situation. Even my service body is mostly Craftsman ect. we all lose them from time to time, and theft is a concern as well.

Good tools are a life time investment, but only if you are going to use them, most should spend the money on something else. Expensive to insure as well, especially when for replacement value.

Speaking of Craftsman, hear Lowes is supposed to be carrying them now, but seems like warranty on older stuff is none existent, anyone have actual experience with such since Sears sold them off?
 

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From some reading of other forums the quality of craftsman has gone down over the last couple of years.
I like to keep a set of cheap wrench’s around in case I have to cut or bend them for a special application.
I bought a 16mm Mac wrench since my set didn’t come with it and I never really needed it till we got a lexion combine. It will grip a worn of chopper bolt better then any craftsman/master craft/westward I’ve tried There is a reason they are more money.
 

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Bahco, Williams and Diamalloy if scrounging yard sales. I think Bahco is European snap on.

For taps a spiral point tap and a 3/8 cordless impact will tap a hole quicker than it can be drilled.

And for 12 point studs, a spline socket is usually a better choice with less stripouts
 

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Another example, all my torque wrenches up to the 3/4 are Snap On with one Mac. Won't waste my time with anything else. Accuracy is huge.
How often do you calibrate your torque wrenches?
I took mine in to town yesterday and I couldn't believe nobody in Manitoba can even check them? They send them all to BC?
 

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We were pulling the engine on our D6 and thought I had close to most bolts out. That was until our mechanic friend came with his picker and there was considerably more to remove. Anyway, he being in the business forever was equipped with lots of snapon tools. These had many years of use and still they fit the bolts tight, the ratchets clicked with no effort, the impact swivels busted nuts loose in precarious angles, and the feel of them in the hand was amazing. I kinda sound silly saying this but I’ve always used cheap tools and am a little careful for fear of another trip to the emergency but these old tools you felt safe using them.
After a trip to the emergency room I pitched a sprung cheapie and bought a set of Jet pro series metric wrenches. For the cost these are a good bang your buck. The open end has the grooves like a snapon flank drive and they’re not too thick. They’re on my truck and get the most use cause I like them. Same goes for gearwrench ratcheting wrenches versus princess propoint. Have a set of each, and no difference in price but the gearwrench has a better ratchet mechanism and isn’t so thick. I’m no mechanic by any means but better tools seem to give a guy more confidence to tackle more jobs.
 

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How often do you calibrate your torque wrenches?
I took mine in to town yesterday and I couldn't believe nobody in Manitoba can even check them? They send them all to BC?
When used lots its recommended every two years, which most large shops usually follow. But for the most part if you look after a good wrench you can go for years and it will keep its accuracy. Also depends on what type of wrench it is as well, preset click, or the live dial type.
Two things that throw them out is misuse and improper storage. Leaving a spring type loaded up for extended periods will weaken the spring, and storing them in changing temps and moistue will throw them out as well.
You want to store them where it stays warm and dry year round. I only store mine in the shop at all times.
Another thing that can often mess one up is if you back it off too far when releasing the spring pressure, only ever roll it back to the lowest setting, never less. Overloading the dial type is a huge no no as well, you never want to wrap the needle all the way around. Most torque wrenches are not really intended to be repeatedly used to their limit either. If that is happening, go up to a bigger one. Some say lowest to about 80% capacity is the most accurate zone for most reputable wrenches.

I also will always get a newly purchased used wrench tested before I use it. All my click style were bought new off the tool trucks, that 3/4 Snap on was over 700 for just the handle 20 years ago, you use the ratchet head from your socket set for the head, and back then when I was working out still, co workers would borrow them, so when I was done the company I was contracted under offered to pay to have them all recalibrated which was appreciated. I've never had them done since. I also had all my dial type Snap On torqometers tested when I bought them, as they were all bought used online. Those are the ones I use mostly for measuring things like rolling resistance and preload ect, so accuracy is important. And some are inch pounds and others are foot pounds so you have to pay attention you don't use the wrong one. Got a couple of the little 1/4 inch ones for setting injectors and valve train, again same size package and look the same, but have different capacity ratings. So if you're looking to buy one, make sure it will do what you need it too.
Proper torque is one thing I get kind of anal about I suppose, not only do I always check things three times over again or more, be it bolts or bearing preload, also have my paint marker handy and each bolt gets a dab on the third pass. Like Snapper said about the rod cap in his D6, had they done such, most likely it would never have come apart the way it did.
 

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My favourite cheap tool I've found lately is a Canadian Tire Crescent Wrench ( OK, open end adjustable wrench). As soon as you apply any torque to it, the adjuster wheel starts turning and the jaw opens up. Looks like a well built tool, but completely useless.

The cheap titanium coated taps, dies and drill bits are another bargain that isn't. They work great the first few times, but under the titanium, they are pure butter. Work adequate as thread chasers, but can only tap a couple of holes before the titanium is gone.
 

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My favourite cheap tool I've found lately is a Canadian Tire Crescent Wrench ( OK, open end adjustable wrench). As soon as you apply any torque to it, the adjuster wheel starts turning and the jaw opens up. Looks like a well built tool, but completely useless

Any vise grip that isnt an Irwin. When i find one kicking around i just throw it as far as possible.
 

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Knipex for water pumps pliers, instead of channel locks. Stanley makes an adjustable wrench with a vice grip lock. Rigid for pipe wrench. If you are into heavy sockets, #5 spline drive outworks 1 inch on an impact
 

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Auction sale tools are the best just buy them by the pound or pailful.

you can check your torque wrench with a fish scale a foot pound is a pound a foot away from the socket.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Not all screwdrivers are equal, can’t stand a cheap one that strips out screw or rounds off the end of screwdriver.
Really like Klein screwdrivers as well as pliers
 

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F#*cking water pump pliers. Haven't found one yet that isn't a finger pinching piece of sh*t.
 

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The sets your clearing out, if they are half missing then replace them with the same
cheap stuff! ?

I get a kick out of one of my neighbors. Has one of the most complete snap on sets I’ve ever seen and can’t fix for ****.
 

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I have never used a fish scale that’s been accurate yet, they always read light
Apparently bathroom scales always read too heavy. So then, you will have to test it once with a fish scale, and once with a bathroom scale, and average the results to be perfect.

Do you have trouble with the tape measure also reading short when fishing, apparently that is also a common problem, probably due to the moisture?
 

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Do you have trouble with the tape measure also reading short when fishing, apparently that is also a common problem, probably due to the moisture?
The cold also makes a tape measure read short.... cough cough.
 
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