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  #26  
Old 06-15-2017, 10:09 PM
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I recently got tired of not being able to see the size of sockets. I would write on them, put stickers on them, etc. So one day I saw the colored sockets at HF. I bought them thinking they would not last. They have lasted over a year now. The 3/8 drive show zero wear. The 1/4 drive, smaller sizes look worn. However, I love the color coded. Wonder if anyone else makes a better set?
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  #27  
Old 06-15-2017, 10:34 PM
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Garage and estate sales....be picky, but you can find good stuff for a reasonable price. Proto is good if you can find it. Was Stanley's pro line.
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  #28  
Old 06-15-2017, 11:41 PM
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I work in a chemical plant , most of the time sockets are worthless except impact sockets. My wrench sets are every type and name brand. Have wrench size up to two inch. Electrical tools are all Klein
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  #29  
Old 06-16-2017, 05:15 PM
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Some good news on Craftsman which has been (or will be soon) bought by Black and Decker. "Stanley Black & Decker CEO James Loree said his company will increase the availability of Craftsman products through other retailers (brick and mortar and online) as well as through industrial partners. He added Stanley Black & Decker will expand its manufacturing presence in the U.S. as a result of the deal as well and that would lead to an unspecified amount of new jobs in America too."
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  #30  
Old 06-16-2017, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artfuldodger View Post
GearWrench, Armstrong, Proto, Stanley, are all in the medium price range. Some of these are made by the Apex Tool Group.
Klein, Channellock, Cresent, Irwin Vise Grip pliers, Allen, etc.

If you want to get into vintage brands, search the flea markets for Bonney, Herbrand, Williams, New Britian, Utica, S-K, Husky, Blackhawk, Bluegrass, and a few more I'm sure I'm overlooking.

I've got a few Snap-on tools. I think their cheaper line is Bluepoint. Other tool truck brands are Matco, Mac, and National.
I can understand buying them if you are a mechanic working in a garage. They have great customer service.

Back in 1971 and 1972, I worked for UTICA TOOL MANUFACTURING COMPANY which was a Division of the Triangle Corporation in Orangeburg, South Carolina. It was a really large plant that was basically split in half with 1/2 being the PLIERS SIDE (and I do mean every type of pliers known to man) and the other side was the WRENCH SIDE (which included every type of wrench, sockets, extensions, hammers, screw drivers, circular saw blades, torque wrenches, "adjustable wrenches", tool boxes, and most any other type tool every imagined. My brother-in-law was the Foreman of the PLIERS SIDE of the plant and he had worked for UTICA TOOL COMPANY when they were located in Utica, New York. He relocated with the plant when they moved to South Carolina.

We manufactured Utica, Bonney, Herbrand, Channel-Lock, lots of special runs of JOHN DEERE tools and LOTS OF CRAFTSMAN TOOLS. The funny thing is that we would run maybe 50,000 parts for Bonney or Herbrand and then would just CHANGE OVER THE NAME STAMP TO CRAFTSMAN and run another 30,000-50,000 pieces. They were the EXACT SAME SPECIFICATION FROM THE TYPE OF STEEL, MANUFACTURING DETAILS SUCH AS CHROME PLATING OR BLACK OXIDE AND ALSO THE MEASUREMENTS, INCLUDING THE ALLOWABLE TOLERANCES AS WELL ETC.

The ONLY difference was the fact the you had to pay 3 times more for the price of Craftsman tools because they had a "lifetime replacement warranty" on a tool that "failed during normal use". The bottom line is that Craftsman got your money up front and laughed all the way to the bank because very rarely did a tool break during "normal working conditions" so they never had to replace very many tools at all in the grand scheme of things. They made out like BANDITS in the process by doing it this way.

I gave my boss a 30 day notice before I quit working there and the Company gave me the opportunity during my last month to pick out whatever tools that I wanted along with a big new toolbox to keep them in. All of this was FREE to me. Some of these tools are Bonney, Herbrand, Craftsman, and John Deere (which were super "glossy" because of a new refined chrome plating that had just been developed at the time).

I still remember when I left on my last day as the Plant Superintendent wrote me a "gate pass" for this entire bunch of tools including the tool box and I gave it to the Security Guards before saying farewell to all of them. I still have all of these tools and toolbox and I have continued using them since 1972. On several of these tools, I actually performed various operations in the manufacturing process of them. The good news is that I have never broken any of these tools since back in 1972 either and I use them every week in one way or another.

If I ever needed to buy a new tool now, you can bet it won't be a CRAFTSMAN because of what I have known since 1971-1972.
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  #31  
Old 06-17-2017, 01:35 PM
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Pawn shops are a great source.
yep....
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  #32  
Old 06-18-2017, 08:52 PM
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Every time I go into Lowes I browse the hand tool section looking for those yellow tags. About 2 to 3 years ago I was making out like a bandit on closeouts. Flat ratchet sets, socket sets, etc for about 1/3 of the normal price. I bought 3/8 and 1/2" socket sets for about half of what the ratchet would have cost. I really like their ratchets. All the Craftsman ratchets I have are out in the shed in the box that only gets used rarely when working on something out there or cleaning parts in the parts washer.

Most of the Kobalt mechanics tools are made in Taiwan not CC.
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  #33  
Old 06-19-2017, 12:17 AM
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Bought a 300 piece Craftsman set from Sears close to 20 years ago, .25 to .75 with wrenches in both metric and standard. All but a few sockets have lasted, the most used have been replaced for free. 15 years of autobody work is rough on them.
I now work part time at cotton picker repair shop, the owner provides all the tools. He is 95% Snap-0n. They are expensive and we have to keep up with them, but they are quality.
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  #34  
Old 06-20-2017, 06:55 PM
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You can buy good German made hand tools online. Look around, best time is when they change the grips or something.....same stuff just the old model at half the price.
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  #35  
Old 06-20-2017, 08:22 PM
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  #36  
Old 06-21-2017, 01:57 PM
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  #37  
Old 06-21-2017, 09:06 PM
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Growing up all my dad ever bought was Craftsman. I'm not really close to a Sears, and it seems like the quality is gone now anyway. Not looking to get professional grade stuff, but not looking for the harbor freight stuff either. I've got a few socket sets from Lowe's and the kobalt tools seem good, but would like more of an automotive selection of tools, not just basic sockets and wrenches.
Northern tool and equipment or tractor supply or Walmart who ever has the best price.
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  #38  
Old 06-25-2017, 12:03 PM
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You can buy Craftsman many places now adays. I believe Craftsman was one of the things Sears sold trying to stay afloat. Quality seems still there.
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  #39  
Old 06-25-2017, 06:59 PM
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You can buy Craftsman many places now adays. I believe Craftsman was one of the things Sears sold trying to stay afloat. Quality seems still there.
I do believe that most all of the Craftsman tools that we made back in the early 1970's were for SEARS Roebuck. Later, Western Auto was the next company that sold a tremendous amount of Craftsman products. Ironically, BOTH of those companies are pretty much not in existence today with Sears barely hanging on by a thread and most stores will probably be closed soon across the nation.
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  #40  
Old 06-25-2017, 08:01 PM
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lol,, told my dealers that quite a few times over the years, but for sockets, mostly impact sockets and specialty sockets they are hard to beat, you'll pay three times what it would cost in a normal store, ( if they carried it ) but you'll never have to buy another one, and don't have to travel to a store and deal with a clueless employee to get it warrantied,,,, if you make your living with sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, snap ring pliers and the like, there is really no other logical choice. Having said that, I will not buy their air tools, or their diagnostic equipment, Ingersol Rand makes the best air tools, and you can buy them online or a lot of places, and Snap On scanners constantly have software issues, and will lie to you from time to time, add to that they cost 2 to 3 times what other companies cost.
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  #41  
Old 08-01-2017, 05:29 PM
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Like some of the others I was an Auto Tech. I only bought and still only Buy Snap-on Tools. I have a lot of Money invested in them and I see them as an investment that one day my daughter will be able to liquidate if needed. If your interested join some of the yard sale groups on facebook. I see tools for sale on there all the time where some young kid thought he wanted to repair cars for a few months.
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  #42  
Old 11-19-2017, 09:16 PM
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I've bought a few rock river brand from fastenal when on sale.
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  #43  
Old 11-19-2017, 09:45 PM
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Since this thread just got revived...I'll throw this out there. With Black Friday coming up...you can get some AWESOME deals on hand tools during these sales. A few years back, I scored an entire SAE and metric Gearwrench set at Sears for $20. Will be a good week to keep your eyes open for some bargains.
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  #44  
Old 11-20-2017, 09:37 PM
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I pulled wrenches on helicopters in the Marine Corps from 94-00, so I've seen them all break in a million ways. What little Snap-on stuff we had did break less often than the rest, but they still broke. Warranty don't mean nothing when the nearest guy driving a Snap-on truck is 5000 miles away with an ocean in between you. This experience taught me that it's better to "buy cheap twice" up front than to "buy cheap, buy twice" or to depend on a warranty. If I can get two sets of anything decent for the same price as one with a lifetime warranty, I'll take it!
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  #45  
Old 11-20-2017, 09:49 PM
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I have a brewsters mix from over the years that have survived and kept going. And I have broken every brand out there. Lol Any one know any one who makes undestructable 3/8 rachets?
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  #46  
Old 11-20-2017, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EAGLE EYE 444 View Post
Back in 1971 and 1972, I worked for UTICA TOOL MANUFACTURING COMPANY which was a Division of the Triangle Corporation in Orangeburg, South Carolina. It was a really large plant that was basically split in half with 1/2 being the PLIERS SIDE (and I do mean every type of pliers known to man) and the other side was the WRENCH SIDE (which included every type of wrench, sockets, extensions, hammers, screw drivers, circular saw blades, torque wrenches, "adjustable wrenches", tool boxes, and most any other type tool every imagined. My brother-in-law was the Foreman of the PLIERS SIDE of the plant and he had worked for UTICA TOOL COMPANY when they were located in Utica, New York. He relocated with the plant when they moved to South Carolina.

We manufactured Utica, Bonney, Herbrand, Channel-Lock, lots of special runs of JOHN DEERE tools and LOTS OF CRAFTSMAN TOOLS. The funny thing is that we would run maybe 50,000 parts for Bonney or Herbrand and then would just CHANGE OVER THE NAME STAMP TO CRAFTSMAN and run another 30,000-50,000 pieces. They were the EXACT SAME SPECIFICATION FROM THE TYPE OF STEEL, MANUFACTURING DETAILS SUCH AS CHROME PLATING OR BLACK OXIDE AND ALSO THE MEASUREMENTS, INCLUDING THE ALLOWABLE TOLERANCES AS WELL ETC.

The ONLY difference was the fact the you had to pay 3 times more for the price of Craftsman tools because they had a "lifetime replacement warranty" on a tool that "failed during normal use". The bottom line is that Craftsman got your money up front and laughed all the way to the bank because very rarely did a tool break during "normal working conditions" so they never had to replace very many tools at all in the grand scheme of things. They made out like BANDITS in the process by doing it this way.

I gave my boss a 30 day notice before I quit working there and the Company gave me the opportunity during my last month to pick out whatever tools that I wanted along with a big new toolbox to keep them in. All of this was FREE to me. Some of these tools are Bonney, Herbrand, Craftsman, and John Deere (which were super "glossy" because of a new refined chrome plating that had just been developed at the time).

I still remember when I left on my last day as the Plant Superintendent wrote me a "gate pass" for this entire bunch of tools including the tool box and I gave it to the Security Guards before saying farewell to all of them. I still have all of these tools and toolbox and I have continued using them since 1972. On several of these tools, I actually performed various operations in the manufacturing process of them. The good news is that I have never broken any of these tools since back in 1972 either and I use them every week in one way or another.

If I ever needed to buy a new tool now, you can bet it won't be a CRAFTSMAN because of what I have known since 1971-1972.
I've ran across a couple of guys in Augusta that worked in that plant as well. I enjoy looking through old tools in junk barns and flea markets. I don't believe I've ever seen any John Deere branded tools.
I found a Plomb socket the other day. My Dad bought me my first socket set in the mid 70's. It was a Herbrand set.

Plomb was challenged by Plumb and changed to Proto.
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  #47  
Old 11-20-2017, 11:49 PM
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The OP was looking for a step up from entry level. I did find a list for entry level socket sets to include;
Tekton, Westward, Gearwrench, Craftsman, Crescent, SK(made in America), & Stanley.

Many of the Apex Tool Group tools are now made in China instead of Taiwan.
I do like the laser etched markings some companies use to identify the size. My vision is bad and I can't hardly read the markings on my sockets. I have them on plastic rails which suck because they don't stay put. The old school metal rails suck too.

I do like my Stanley/Armstrong/Blackhawk Rotator Ratchet. You can twist the handle either way to turn the socket after you get the nut loose. The head is bigger so it doesn't always fit on everything. I bought mine for $12.00 when Advance Auto changed to Gearwrench branded tools. Plastic handle will probably fall apart 30 years from now.

https://www.amazon.com/Stanley-89-96...70_&dpSrc=srch
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