Ashley P

What's in YOUR toolbox?

26 posts in this topic

Locally Sears has closed it's doors.  I read where "Sears holdings" sold Craftsman to  Stanley Black and Decker.  I wonder what the future holds for the hand tools that (partially) fill my Craftsman tool boxes.

What tools to you guys use?  Probably 1/2 of my daily sockets and 3/4 of my wrenches are Craftsman, the rest SnapOn or super cheap stuff.

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My primary box is almost all Craftsman, with a couple of straps of Williams' Kobalt, and a couple of Pittsburgh Pro ratchets and a couple of parts house brand tools.  My portable tool bag is mixed with Popular Mechanics, Greatneck, Pittsburgh.  The vacation home :lol: a small set of Ironton from Northern, got tired of carrying tools back and forth or borrowing stuff all the time.

 

So far I have pretty good luck with the import stuff from HF, Northern, and parts houses, but I'm not really abusive to my tools.  I think most all of them have "lifetime warranties" but I haven't ever had to use it.  I have broke a couple of Craftsman breaker bars though, non-issue to have them replaced.

 

I guess if I could write the tools off I would have a bunch of Snap-on, Matco, or Cornwell.  Mac really isn't the tools they were before Stanley bought them.

 

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I had nothing but Craftsman stuff up until the the early 2000's.  When I actually made money with my tools, that was what I used.  At some point I finally broke one of my original craftsman ratchets and when i went to get it and some sockets replaced, they gave me to junk.  The sockets were broached off center and had casting flash.   The ratchet replacement was a "professional" piece, but it was junk too.  At that point I started buying snap on off ebay and eventually a snapon box to put it all in.  Now when I need one small piece I just buy the harbor freight stuff.  If I'm going to get chinese made stuff it's going to be the cheapest.  I'll pay for quality, but I won't overpay chinese junk with a fancy name.

 

Bean counters have ruined tools.

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And I have 6 tool boxes.

The original 3 drawer craftsman rally box I got when I was 12.  It's full of hole saws, rivet tools, tin snips and saw blades.

A Craftsman bottom box from a stack that I got when I was 19.  It's full of electric hand tools, random electrical supplies, files, tig welding parts and random spare parts

Craftsman hang on on side box that is full of random parts, plug wire parts, heli-coil sets, wire, random junk.

Kennedy machinist top box full of measuring tools, drills and random cutting tools

Kennedy machinist 2 drawer add on full of taps, end mills and random fixtures.

Snap on KRL-761 full of mostly snapon sockets and ratchets, craftsman wrenches, Blue point gear wrenches, snap on screwdrivers and pry bars, snap on pliers and other random pliers, IR and Campbell hausfeld  air tools, Hammers, punches, diagnostic equipment, a few random body shop tools.

I also keep a bag of tools in my truck that is mostly of what's left of my original craftsman set from when I was 12.  I like good tools.

I was fortunate to get to work for two tool manufacturers, Campbell Hausfeld and OTC and I stocked up on a few tools from each while working there.

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I've got mostly "Tool truck" hand tools. I'd say if I have craftsman stuff, it's pliers or the like. Snap on screwdrivers, Snap On, Matco, and Mac ratchets. About an even mix on sockets. Big stuff like torque wrench, big ratchets, etc. is Snap On. I also try to buy as much as I can off ebay. 

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1 hour ago, Mike said:

Bean counters have ruined tools.

I'd agree, and at the same time wonder:  Is Sears sinking because they didn't "count beans" sooner?

I was last in my Sears store a few years ago when "Mohammed" gave me grief about swapping out my broken 3/8" impact universal.  I ended up replacing the broken pin here at work.   The problem now is I've got a handful of broken tools and I wonder if "Craftsman" is gonna go Chinese junk soon.

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It already was. I haven't considered Craftsman to be a good tool since I was 18. The old stuff was good. Robust and made in the USA. The stuff from the mid 90's on, is junk.

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I hate ordering tools because usually when I need it I need it then.  Run to Sears, Lowes (when Williams was making Kobalt) or the parts house.  HF only was visited on weekends since it was out in Donelson, since we have one in Rivergate now more HF stuff may show up instead of parts house stuff.

I think Husky from Home Depot are pretty good but I haven't looked through their selection.  

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Posted (edited)

23 minutes ago, Disney said:

It already was. I haven't considered Craftsman to be a good tool since I was 18. The old stuff was good. Robust and made in the USA. The stuff from the mid 90's on, is junk.

To clarify, I'm mainly talking hand tools like sockets, ratchets, & wrenches.  I haven't bought (and kept) a "set" of tools....maybe since about the time you mention.  I bought a 200ish piece for about $150 about 5 years ago.  Thought it was similar to the "200 piece" sets I bought in the mid 90s, but it turned out it was almost all 1/4" stuff, with MUCH redundancy....I took it back for a refund.

I have had many sockets warrantied over the years and never noticed a decrease in quality.  Maybe I should look again?

And I know tools like drills and such are junk compared to what they were in the 80s or prior.

Edited by Ashley P

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I have whatever I can get my hands on.  If it doesnt break, it gets used and abused.  If it does break, it gets turned into something else and I refrain from buying that brand again.  I like a good name brand but some tools dont require it to work just fine.  Others do and I try to see what others are having good luck with so I dont have to spend the money twice if at all possible.  For what I do, my junk tools get me by.

Matt

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I need to start a fake business just to write stuff off.

I know a guy that pretty much writes off everything, he has one hell of a creative accountant.

Is there a dummies guide to creative accounting and cooking books? :lol:

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1 hour ago, 66sprint6 said:

I have whatever I can get my hands on.  If it doesnt break, it gets used and abused.  If it does break, it gets turned into something else and I refrain from buying that brand again.  I like a good name brand but some tools dont require it to work just fine.  Others do and I try to see what others are having good luck with so I dont have to spend the money twice if at all possible.  For what I do, my junk tools get me by.

Matt

x2 - tool #1 is a 3lb sledge.

1 hour ago, Cannon Fodder said:

I need to start a fake business just to write stuff off.

I know a guy that pretty much writes off everything, he has one hell of a creative accountant.

Is there a dummies guide to creative accounting and cooking books? :lol:

You just described the last 2 years of my life :lol: 

I started a camera business to justify buying camera gear :D 

the things we do when you get married.

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15 minutes ago, mstrpth said:

You just described the last 2 years of my life :lol: 

I started a camera business to justify buying camera gear :D 

the things we do when you get married.

Hmm.  Maybe a services business, then I could write just about everything off. :lol:

New Aventador-advertising

500 Acre farm-photo studio

Fully equipped garage-maintenance department, photo studio, video studio

Giant house-porn studio

.................. :rofl:

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5 hours ago, Ashley P said:

I'd agree, and at the same time wonder:  Is Sears sinking because they didn't "count beans" sooner?

I'd say it's because they decided to count beans instead of provide what people want.  Everyone here seems to have seen quality of Craftsman drop.  I'm sure most everyone else will too.  I'm sure the bean counters blame it on HF, but if Craftsman sold what they used to I would no doubt still buy it from there.

When accountants (with no soul) take over you loose all sense of quality, customer service and being able to provide what people want.

I did my work on my V at a friends house.  All he has is HF tools and honestly they weren't that bad.  I only broke one 3/8" impact swivel and HF replaced it no questions asked.

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5 hours ago, Ashley P said:

I have had many sockets warrantied over the years and never noticed a decrease in quality.  Maybe I should look again?

When they went to the laser etched numbers in the side is when the quality dropped.  You can see it in the raw forging on the ends.

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17 minutes ago, Mike said:

When they went to the laser etched numbers in the side is when the quality dropped.  You can see it in the raw forging on the ends.

Don't have many of them....I have some because of warranty replacement.  Have two 14 mm deep 3/8 drive, both cracked.  I can't tell a forging difference.:shrug:   

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80% of my Sockets are Cornwell all my Ratchets are Craftsman made pre1987 Screwdrivers also Craftsman Wrenches mostly GearWrench with some Craftsman

oddball tools for odd pieces of work range from Klein,Lisle to Wiss, and some Tessco pieces

 

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One of the best things I ever did was get real ratchets. The Craftsman standard ratchets are just too dang short. I have Mac 1/4,  Matco and Snap on 3/8, and a Snap on 1/2. That one is probably 20" long and gives you the leverage you actually need.

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So the Sears store here closed a couple months ago.  Since Craftsman is sold in Kmart stores, I swung by there yesterday to look at their selection and quality.  They had neither.  Of the few socket sets they had, all were MADE IN CHINA.   Wrenches MADE IN CHINA.   They still had a screwdriver set made in USA.  But boy, that chinese stuff looked like poo.  What a shame that a pretty good brand went to pot.

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Buy them used on ebay.  Lots of plants use them and they will have regularly checked the calibration.  They should be able to tell you if it's in spec or not.

 

I have the 1/2" version of the snap on you linked.  I still have my 20 year old 3/8" craftsman.

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