Cheap vs Expensive tools

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It all depends on how picky you are with tool quality. Screwdrivers is one category of tools that I'm extremely picky with. When I go shopping for a screwdriver, I ask myself the following: 1. How accurate is the tip machined ? 2. Is the tip chrome plated or vapor blasted ? 3. Is there a well defined straight line around the tip ? 4. How well does the tip fit the fastener ? 5. How comfortable is the handle ? 6. How well does the handle fit my hand ? 7. Does the shape of the handle allow me to spin it fast ? 8. How much torque can I generate with the handle ? 9. Does the screwdriver have a bolster for added turning capability ? 10. How accurate is the bolster machined ? 11. How well is the screwdriver balanced ? 12. Does the screwdriver have a hole through the handle ? (Hopefully not!) When looking at Harbor Freight screwdrivers, NONE of that criteria is met.
 
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Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
It all depends on how picky you are with tool quality. Screwdrivers is one category of tools that I'm extremely picky with. When I go shopping for a screwdriver, I ask myself the following: 1. How accurate is the tip machined ? 2. Is the tip chrome plated or vapor blasted ? 3. Is there a well defined straight line around the tip ? 4. How well does the tip fit the fastener ? 5. How comfortable is the handle ? 6. How well does the handle fit my hand ? 7. Does the shape of the handle allow me to spin it fast ? 8. How much torque can I generate with the handle ? 9. Does the screwdriver have a bolster for added turning capability ? 10. How accurate is the bolster machined ? 11. How well is the screwdriver balanced ? 12. Does the screwdriver have a hole through the handle ? (Hopefully not!) When looking at Harbor Freight screwdrivers, NONE of that criteria is met.
I'm pretty picky about screw drivers too, I like your list. I keep the good sets in my toolbox for that reason. For work the cheap HF screw drivers are great for removing window treatments and switch plates. The added bonus is if one gets lost I don't freak out like I would if a good one got lost. Cheap tools have their place.
 
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I wrenched professionally for a long time. I started buying Snap On tools when I was a teenager. I knew I was going to be doing this and decided early on to buy quality. Over the years, I came to appreciate how good tools feel good in your hands, don't slip, break and hurt you and how they make the work easier. I have quite a collection of Snap On, Mac, Cornwell and Craftsman. My regular day job is less hands on now but sometimes I have to bring something from the private stock in to work. The rest of the crew can't believe what I have at home. My son is going to inherit a bada$$ set of tools for sure. I still have the original wrenches and sockets I bought when I was 17. I'll be 50 soon.
 
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I still have the combo wrench set I bought way back when I was 13, I'm 72 now. It was made in India, Fuller brand, never let me down as far as it's usefulness. Used it so much the chrome wore down to the copper plate in some areas. I have 2 daughters, little will be given to them as far as tools, but there is a collection of over 200 firearms that will bring a healthy sum. PS, I always sat behind a desk, and retired from my own retail business. Only wrenching I did was for myself or family. Sometimes value is found in not the expensive stuff. And not even the on the road salesman drives a Rolls.
 
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For those interested in screwdrivers. Everyone here probably knows this but on Japanese cars and bikes if you see a single dimple on the head on what looks like a Phillips head screw its a JIS head. Vessel makes nice screwdrivers that can used on both JIS and PH. Amazon carries some of them. The 980 series is an impact screwdriver you can hit with a hammer and twist the screw loose. I have the 930 series red handles and a couple of the 980 and am pleased with them.
 
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Originally Posted By: dlundblad
When did they start using these JIS heads?
No idea what year they started but its a long time ago, 70's anyway. JIS screwdrivers are almost a must have if you work on Japanese stuff. Look for the single dimple/dot on the screw head, that identifies it as JIS, you can use JIS on Phillips heads but not the other other way around.
 
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I used phillips drivers on JIS for years with no problems, maybe I just wasn't aware of the problems I created. LOL
 
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So has everyone else and almost everyone i am guessing has cammed a few out also and had to resort to vise grips, impact screwdriver or drilling the head off. Carb bowls, MC fluid reservoir covers and brake rotor screws being the most common, a correct driver usually gets them out without resorting to the alternatives.
 
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Some time back (over a year ago) I posted a review/test of a cheap, Chinese, Claw hammer. It cost $3. I intended to test it to distruction. In normal, hard use I failed! I still have that hammer. It's not my favourite hammer, but it gets used as a Beating stick for nasty jobs ie. Tapping home cement blocks when building a wall. Again, not the best tool, but it would serve it's purpose if you were cheap a just needed a hammer. I think many low cost tools available on the market these days fall into that category.
 
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Originally Posted By: expat
Some time back (over a year ago) I posted a review/test of a cheap, Chinese, Claw hammer. It cost $3. I intended to test it to distruction. In normal, hard use I failed! I still have that hammer. It's not my favourite hammer, but it gets used as a Beating stick for nasty jobs ie. Tapping home cement blocks when building a wall. Again, not the best tool, but it would serve it's purpose if you were cheap a just needed a hammer. I think many low cost tools available on the market these days fall into that category.
And there you go! I too need a hammer a few years ago and could not find either of my 2 16 oz. plumb hammers. So I bought a cheap chinese hammer and used it for what I needed, it worked just fine. Since then I've found both of the hammers I misplaced. Now then I doubt that I've had need for a hammer 5 times in the last 10 years, but if I do, I have the choice of 3 hammers that work just fine.
 
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At one time Snap on, Craftsman and American tools had the edge. Cheap disposable tools were coming out of China. Times have changed. Precision new equipment and of course more manpower has changed things. I recently saw a test on ratchets and strength and the new Duralast beat the old Craftsman my a country mile. New tools regardless of where they are made are made better than ever. If you chose Matco or Snap on, you are buying a name now, not necessarily better value tool.
 
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Originally Posted By: Panzerman
If you chose Matco or Snap on, you are buying a name now, not necessarily better value tool.
I'm buying a patent number that no other company has. That patent number works very well for me.
 

bchannell

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Are you sure you're talking about the Pittsburg Pro drivers from HF? Because if you use your criteria, at least on the ones I bought and saw in the store, then,... #1 very accurate #2 vapor blasted #3 not sure what you mean there, the tips are straight, square etc. #4 that pretty much depends on the fastener, right? #5 VERY comfortable handle, but that's subjective #6 again subjective #7 again subjective #8 A LOT #9 I don't do that, if I can't get it with a screwdriver, then I whatever tool is called for #10 n/a #11 again subjective #12 YEP! it does. So, you see, they're don't sound like the same screwdrivers you're talking about. NOW, I will say, that HF has some dismally horrible screwdrivers for sale, most of the others they sell, I consider trash. So, it's not like I'm a cheap tool ho.
 

bchannell

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These Kleins were fairly new from my neighbor, but I dunno. I read the website, but can't decide if it's [censored] or not. Seems to me, it is just more yadda, yadda, yadda, to justify a $12 single screwdriver. I might try another one or two, but I just hate to pay that for them and then find out I was wrong. They make you mail them in etc. I don't know if HD will replace them or not, but I'll see.
 
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Originally Posted By: bchannell
#3 not sure what you mean there, the tips are straight, square etc.
If you look at the Vessel screwdrivers that 1foxracing posted, you'll see a perfectly straight line around the tip where the black meets the chrome.
 
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Originally Posted By: bchannell
Are you sure you're talking about the Pittsburg Pro drivers from HF? Because if you use your criteria, at least on the ones I bought and saw in the store, then,... #1 very accurate #2 vapor blasted #3 not sure what you mean there, the tips are straight, square etc. #4 that pretty much depends on the fastener, right? #5 VERY comfortable handle, but that's subjective #6 again subjective #7 again subjective #8 A LOT #9 I don't do that, if I can't get it with a screwdriver, then I whatever tool is called for #10 n/a #11 again subjective #12 YEP! it does. So, you see, they're don't sound like the same screwdrivers you're talking about. NOW, I will say, that HF has some dismally horrible screwdrivers for sale, most of the others they sell, I consider trash. So, it's not like I'm a cheap tool ho.
I bought a set of the Pitt Pros a few months ago but haven't used them for anything yet. Bought the magnetic bar at HF and have them hanging off my garage wall. They look very cool. Also have a couple fancy Craftsmen hanging with them. I'm ready.
 

bchannell

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Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
Originally Posted By: bchannell
#3 not sure what you mean there, the tips are straight, square etc.
If you look at the Vessel screwdrivers that 1foxracing posted, you'll see a perfectly straight line around the tip where the black meets the chrome.
I too like the looks of perfectly made tools, but in the case of the vaport tips, or whatever treatment they think is best, what difference does it make if it is perfectly square where it meets the chrome? Am I missing something?
 
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Originally Posted By: bchannell
I too like the looks of perfectly made tools, but in the case of the vaport tips, or whatever treatment they think is best, what difference does it make if it is perfectly square where it meets the chrome? Am I missing something?
It shows attention to detail. It shows that the manufacturer is serious about quality.
 
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