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Old 12-20-2009, 07:57 PM   #1
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Tools...

Hello everyone..
Wondering what kind of tools I will need in the long run, right now I use most of my dad's and friend's tools... but I want to be able to use my own.. What kind/brand of tools are great but cheap... (not SnapOn tools, way too expensive).. College kid level,

Also about Air tools.. What kind will I need to work on Jeeps and such.. Anything will help!

Thanks
Mike

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Old 12-20-2009, 08:05 PM   #2
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Hello everyone..
Wondering what kind of tools I will need in the long run, right now I use most of my dad's and friend's tools... but I want to be able to use my own.. What kind/brand of tools are great but cheap... (not SnapOn tools, way too expensive).. College kid level,

Also about Air tools.. What kind will I need to work on Jeeps and such.. Anything will help!

Thanks
Mike
"Great" and "cheap" huh? Well if you find out I'd like to know myself. Actually Harbor Freight sells some decent tools, and some junk - but it's all pretty inexpensive. They will usually warranty tools that break too...I think.

Their air tools seem decent too. There was a Harbor Freight thread around here somewhere. Ahh, here it is... Harbor Freight Tools

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Old 12-20-2009, 08:08 PM   #3
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My ole grampa used to tell me "Buy a good tool and it'll last you entire life, buy a cheap tool and you'll buy it over and over and over again". He was a master mechanic & tool and die maker. He knew what he was doing. This pretty much holds true with car/truck tools but boat tools are the exception. Most don't float!

Craftsman tools are a pretty good bargain. I use those and MasterCraft from Canadian Tire.

Air powered tools eat up a lot of air. I've got a 6.5 gallon 5HP compressor and it can't keep up to the die grinder or tin nibblers. Impact wrench & ratchet are ok.
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:37 PM   #4
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As far as good but cheap...Craftsman is prolly gonna give you the best bang for your buck. They are much cheaper than Snap On or Mac...they aren't as good quality wise, but they still have the lifetime warranty so if you break em, you're not out all that money.

As far as air tools go...can't help ya there. I'd read reviews and find something with good reviews and a good warranty thats in your price range. And I agree with the above...if you get into air tools, you'll want a big compressor. I think we run an 80 gallon compressor at work...runs on 220v. Operates all our basic air tools without any issues. You'll also find that while a larger compressor may use more energy...it will run less than a smaller compressor which may end up causing it to be cheaper to operate in the long run. Keep your eyes open on car dealerships going out of business...you might be able to score one of their compressors for cheap.

I also don't recommend Harbor Freight for any tools you will use frequently and want to last...I've had too many bad experiences with them. Typically they break at the worst possible moment when you need them the most.
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:43 PM   #5
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Check out Sears Evolv line. They are cheaper versions of the Craftsman with a limited lifetime warranty. I use the actual Craftsman line for most things since they are full lifetime warranty. I wouldn't bother with air tools, you won't need them often enough to justify the expense.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:18 PM   #6
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Ok, thanks guys!
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:37 AM   #7
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Check out Sears Evolv line. They are cheaper versions of the Craftsman with a limited lifetime warranty. I use the actual Craftsman line for most things since they are full lifetime warranty. I wouldn't bother with air tools, you won't need them often enough to justify the expense.
Hey Ray, what's the difference between the warranties...not looking for the fine print differences, just the overall difference?
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bignuke View Post
Hello everyone..
Wondering what kind of tools I will need in the long run, right now I use most of my dad's and friend's tools... but I want to be able to use my own.. What kind/brand of tools are great but cheap... (not SnapOn tools, way too expensive).. College kid level,

Also about Air tools.. What kind will I need to work on Jeeps and such.. Anything will help!

Thanks
Mike
I own 3k in snap on tools... I regret every penny spent on them

I use the craftsman tools I have about 1500 in them. they seem to fit the bolts better, easier to find someone to fix em... and 1/10th the price of snap on

I can't believe I payed like 10 bucks a socket... they don't even fit
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:40 AM   #9
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I started buying tools when I was about 17 (27 now). At the time I only had the money to buy a few wrenches at a time but over a few years I accumulated a complete set, wrenches, sockets, etc of good quality tools. Since you have access to other tools to use I would buy a little at a time and slowly build up to a complete set of good quality tools.
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:10 AM   #10
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Hey Ray, what's the difference between the warranties...not looking for the fine print differences, just the overall difference?
I couldn't tell you the difference, I haven't broken one of the Evolv's yet. I can tell you that the feel of the wrenches is a bit rougher like they didn't spend as much time in a deburr drum as the standard Craftsman tools. So far I'd place the quality well above the cheapo-delux stuff you can get at the flea market, and a step below Craftsman.
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:48 AM   #11
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Since you are not a shop - or rely on your tools to make a living, then I'd say Craftsman is the way to go...

Biggest reason, for the average person the tools are decent and priced fair. The lifetime warranty is pretty handy. As you brake things you bring them back and get them replaced, usually without hassle. If you think you won't brake them, you are fooling yourself - you'll bring back more rachets and screwdrivers than you care to.. Stay clear of some of the gimmickee things they have, like robo grip etc.. those are good for around the house but not garage duty..
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:55 AM   #12
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A really cheap source is swap meets and garage sales. You can get good used Craftsman tools for cheap. If it's craftsman, even if it's broken when you buy it they'll replace it free.
Deals like open or box ends - 50 cents, ratchets, $1, I even found a hub puller for $5. I sold it that afternoon for $60.

They have to be broken, not stripped like rounded out sockets, dull, or worn out. If it's worn out, break it!
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:05 PM   #13
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make sure you get a set of star or hex sockets (what ever there called) the darn jeep's have those useless bolts all over the place thats where I would start!!!
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:09 PM   #14
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I would go with Craftsman on the hand tools. They will replace them if you break them. I would buy the El-Chepos at Harbor Freight for the air tools. They work but not forever but they are cheap.
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:52 PM   #15
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craftsman tools. you don't even need the receipt to do an exchange for damaged stuff. Just bring it in and they pull the latest version of it from the shelf and your on your way again.

I prefer snap-on for ratchets and screwdrivers. I got my dad a set of both and the ratchets are VERY nice and way better than craftsman. lots of tiny ratchet clicks instead of big sloppy ones that don't hold. But for the money you can't beat craftsman
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:01 PM   #16
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make sure you get a set of star or hex sockets (what ever there called) the darn jeep's have those useless bolts all over the place thats where I would start!!!
Called Torx bits. Get good ones (Craftsman warrantied) though because they are easy to break.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:59 PM   #17
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In the shop, Snap-On, pretty much an exclusive there. Cordless, DeWalt and Snap-On. On the service truck, Snap-on mainly, Craftsman, Mac, some Matco (hate them) and el crapo from the hardware store that was close to the job site when I needed to bend a wrench to fit or something. On that note, I have bought stuff at NAPA when needed it, no idea who makes them, but hold up OK. Harbor freight is junk, a waste. In the jeep, truly, almost all craftsman. They come in a pretty cool case, quality is good and you have an organized tray/box affair to keep it in.
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:50 PM   #18
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:26 AM   #19
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For a "cheap" starter set of tools, consider cruising pawn shops. You should be able to pick up some quality tools fairly cheap. They probably won't match, but they will get the job done.
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:45 PM   #20
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I have a large shop full of all types tools mostly craftsman , stanley,pm pittsburgh from harbour frieght . I think the pittsburgh tools are well built especially for the price. the rachets are better than craftsman, fine tooth rachet and holds up good even with cheater pipes on the end a good starter set is the 300 something piece set in a black case sells for around 200.00 and on sale often for 170.00 has torx except t55 bit needed on some bolts on jeep . selection of end wrenches in the set leave something to be desired
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:04 PM   #21
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90% of my tools are Craftsman and I'll never switch brands (unless I won the lottery ) but I am considering buying a better brand of 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2" ratchet wrenches. It just seems I have more problems with my Craftsman ratchet wrenches ever since they went to that cheap black plastic toggle lever, not to mention the number of degrees between clicks is excessive. I have returned probably 6-7 ratchet wrenches for exchange ever since they went to the cheaper black plastic toggle lever.

One more thing... you'll need both metric and SAE size wrenches, our TJs use both pretty much equally.
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:21 PM   #22
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I like how Gear Wrench makes the ratchet wrenches for Pittsburgh(HF), Craftsman, Husky, and some others. Has their name on one side and one of the said names above on the other side. Then HF sells them for around $40, and other places sell the same wrench set for around $90. The package is almost identical too. Funny paying for names.

I have been using the Pittsburgh set for around 5 years now, daily. No problems here. I keep one set in my service bag and one set in the Jeep.
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:12 PM   #23
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Tools

I have been a longtime Craftsman fan ... I wore out a 3/8" ratchet ... walked into the local store and they swaped it on the spot ... no questions asked.
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:14 AM   #24
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What I do for tools, is about twice a year I will buy a 40-50 set of tools that I don't have, but either that I need or something that will be usefull the next time i need it.

Here are some Nifty tools that I have found "extra" but extreamly helpfull:
Sears: Online department store featuring appliances, tools, fitness equipment and more (english and metric)
Sears: Online department store featuring appliances, tools, fitness equipment and more (oil filters and similar)

For a basic starter set I would start with english and metric wrenches, 3/8" and 1/2" drive socket set w/ 1/2" breaker bar, a torx bit set up to T55, an assortment of flat and philips head screw drivers, vice grips, a pliers set, a hammer, and if your intending to do any electrical work, a crimping/striping tool, some wire and quick connects, electrical tape.

Air tools can be worth their weight in gold, if you use them. other wise they are several hundred dollars worth of space in your garage.

But back to my original point, for your birthday or christmas, ask for sears gift cards if you decide to go for craftsman. They really do last a lifetime. I'm 23, and I've been using the same craftsman tools since I can remember, and if you NEED a specific socket/tool/wrech or some special thing to reach a certain place a certain way, then you look at a set, or just the one wrench size that you need.

A good garage takes YEARs to set up, and decades to perfect.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:12 AM   #25
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Another vote for craftsman. I have 3 different sets. I have some huskey sockets and I like them and have had no issues in 10 years. Stay away from harbor freight sockets and hand tools. I have stuff from them, but only the weird stuff that you hope you don't need to use. I have a large set of air tools. The most useful is the nailers, but those are worthless for jeep stuff. I have a bad ass snap on impact that works great, but many times I just bust them off by hand because I'm too lazy to drag out the hose.
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A good garage takes YEARs to set up, and decades to perfect.
+1. I've been collecting tools for about 18 years and "building" my garage for the last 9 years. I probably have spent more on tools than my jeep is worth. Maybe even double. My 4 post lift and my kinpex wrench are my favorite.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:23 AM   #26
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Grew up with Snap On tools (my dad's) and LOVED them... NEVER had a problem with them in the 15 yrs or so that ive worked with them...

But Im on my own now, and cant afford those things. I currently have alot of Home Depot tools... a mixture of Stanley/Husky and had very few break on me....

I hadnt really cared for Craftsman in the past (probably bc i had Snap On at my disposal), but after reading this thread i may be looking into them...
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:58 AM   #27
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I have used mainly craftsmen tools and I have returned 3 ratchets in my life, it was always a no hassle experience. One time I had a older man who actually new things about tools help me when I took in a 3/8 drive ratchet, he took one look at it and said " you used a breaker bar on this to take of your tires didn't ya?" He caught me red handed lol.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:35 PM   #28
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I have a hodgepodge. Basic socket set and those star driver that the Jeeps use all over are a must. A wobble head spark plug socket in the right size is nice. As for brands I have mostly Husky (Home Depot) and Stanley. I have taken Husky’s back for exchange when broken without receipt and they swapped it with no questions. I have about worn out my Husky socket wrench over the last 10 years or so and will be taking it back for exchange.


I have bunch of air tools from Harbor Freight. I say Harbor Freight sells really cheap tools really cheaply. I even have several nail guns from Harbor Freight that work well. For the frequency I use air tools it works for me. If you use the air tools frequently them maybe another brand is worth it. If you go pneumatic get a compressor with as high of CFM as you can afford or fit. I have a Porter Cable pankake that I picked up rebuilt over the internet for $99 that works great. I think it is 4.5 CFM at 90 PSI and works continually for my casual work I do other than if I am really grinding something. If running the grinder I may have to stop for 45 seconds to let it rebuild pressure.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:40 PM   #29
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I vote for Craftsman. I'm still using many I bought 40 years and more ago. I think I bought my first Craftsman socket set at age 13, in a nice little metal tray, mail order from the catalog. Still have it and use it regularly, I'm 58 this year. My ratchets are the older metal toggle type, so be aware of what others say about newer versions.

Ya'll remember the big thick Sears catalogs that used to come every spring and every fall, right? How I used to race to the mailbox every day to see if my next package of tools had come.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:22 PM   #30
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Another vote for craftsman... hand tool. I've bought other craftsman tool (power, air, table), but mostly as backup. I wouldn't use craftsman drills in the garage, they just don't seem to hold up. But coming from someone who has 2x in his tools than his jeep, you will never need to go better than craftsman for home use. As far as air I go IR, and for power Dewalt. I would first start with a good socket/wrench set. Craftsman has a 263? piece that goes on sale quite often. That'll cover most of your nuts and bolts. A good corded dewalt will cost ya 120, and air tools can wait until you're fed up with bloody knuckles.

Sign up for the Craftsman Club. It's free, and has some good deals. Most of the deals are the same every month, but is a great way to get started.

It is much more expensive to buy a 150 piece set then buy individuals as you need them. Keep using your dad's tools until you can get a larger set. It will save you tons in the end.

The limited lifetime with evolve only protects against breaks caused by manufacturer defects.
It will not replace the 3/8 ratchet you put a 6ft pipe on.

Automotive specific tools are also a great investment, but make sure they will work with your vehicle. Craftsman auto tools are also covered by the unlimited

And when you get some extra cash, you'll never regret buying some reversible ratcheting wrenches... best purchase you can make IMO... better than air tools.

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