Cheap vs Expensive tools

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Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
Originally Posted By: bchannell
I was so surprised at the lack of quality metal in the Klein drivers, they just don't hold up at all.
They have improved their screwdrivers since making the ones you were using. The ones you were using are from an older batch. The new screwdrivers have improved steel. See link: LINK
I wonder if Klein is willing to exchange these "secret sauce" screwdrivers with the krappie ones they sold me.
 
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Originally Posted By: KzMitch
I wonder if Klein is willing to exchange these "secret sauce" screwdrivers with the krappie ones they sold me.
I would certainly hope so. Their "secret sauce" comment was an attempt to make light of their screw-up.
 

bchannell

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I emailed Klein and told them about my lack of satisfaction with the phillips screwdrivers and they are replacing them with no hassle. Of course, I have to mail them the old ones, which is reasonable. If you think about it, it will cost me $5 to get two screwdrivers replaced, so not too bad. In the future, I'll talk to Home Depot and see if they can replace them, if not, I'll just save up my returns and mail them all at once, so it's cheaper. I will say, the tips on the new screwdrivers does look completely different than the ones I'm returning, maybe there is some improvement, let's hope so.
 

bchannell

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I have some more info on the expensive tool subject. I'm still tooling up for school and found some good and some bad. The good, the new Klein All Purpose pliers, are really a neat tool, long nose pliers, wire stripper and cutter all in one, really useful, and if you give up spring loaded handles, you can get a crimper too. The bad is that the jaws on the All Purpose pliers were really crooked, and didn't close properly. I was able to file them and straighten them out, to at least useful, but that's a shame at $42 a pair. Also, when buying wire strippers/crimpers, I see that a lot of them are made by the same manufacturer and just branded Klein, Craftsman, Wright, KD, Greelee, whatever, so go for the Craftsman, they're the best price. There's just no way to buy blindly from one manufacturer and expect and receive, the best quality. You have to shop around, and I will not be ordering too much more mail order, as I will have to inspect them first before plunking down the money for the big name brands.
 

bchannell

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Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
Originally Posted By: bchannell
I was so surprised at the lack of quality metal in the Klein drivers, they just don't hold up at all.
They have improved their screwdrivers since making the ones you were using. The ones you were using are from an older batch. The new screwdrivers have improved steel. See link: LINK
Just a heads up, Klein replaced my worn screwdrivers and the new ones do, at least, "look" to be much better than the originals I had. I'm happy they stand behind them, and the new ones do stick to a phillips screw like glue, so I'm guessing they're made right! Great tools, for sure. I must have had a couple from the softer steel batches, cause they would literally not hold onto a phillips screw no matter how hard you tried.
 
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Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
Did you have to mail the old screwdrivers to Klein ?
I can't speak for the guy you directed your post to, but we have a Klein rep who comes to our shop a couple of times a month. If we have a problem with a Klein tool, he picks it up and (usually) gives us a replacement the next time he stops in. Perhaps it's just good PR, but I've yet to pay for a replacement Klein tool that needed replacement.
 
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Oregon
Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
I suppose if you enjoy supporting a country that has a history of poor product quality and safety, horrid labor standards, and some of the worst environmental issues imaginable, then making a point to purchase something from Harbor Freight is acceptable. They are a leader, along with WalMart, in making China a world power. If you are comfortable with a company that has a history of disregarding the dignity of their employees, and has been in the midst of a family ownership squabble for the last few years (the son managed to leverage the father out of the business) then financially supporting Harbor Freight is probably acceptable to you. For the above reasons, as well as a myriad of quality issues, I don't financially support Harbor Freight, and as often as possible I choose not to financially support Chinese manufacturing.
Any more I'm happy to see "Made in Mexico" or "Made in Canada." At least those jobs are kept in North America.
 
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I've been thinking about this a lot. I think that cheap tools, made in China or other low cost manufacturing zones, serve a purpose. If ALL tools were made in America today the companies would mostly be located in non-union states paying fast food wages, or the only people who would be able to afford tools would be people who needed them to earn a living. As long as customers are willing to buy there will be niche products made wherever the money follows whether it's the U.S.A., France, England, etc. If enough of us really WANTED high end tools we would find them - it's not difficult at all - and buy them and more manufacturers would enter the market. The truth is that the vast majority seem to want the cheapest things they can get their hands on. Most will use them only a few times. I do agree that the bargain hunting has become a disease, but it's a disease practically promulgated by industry with all its promotions, rebates, and competition. It's all about profit maximization and rarely about social responsibility. It's pretty tiring to hear all this whining about the "good old days." The good old days were not so great and they are in the past. We can't go back.
 
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I was shy about buying HF tools at first. One day I needed a tool fast and HF had it. So i got it. Worked fine. I have bought several tools since and no problems. I am not hard on stuff so saving some cash at HF works out well for me. My dad had bought me a Craftsman set of tools decades ago as a wedding gift. As time has gone by I have lost some of the original set. So replacing it became necessary. The stuff from HF is mixed in with my old Craftsman tools now.
 
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Originally Posted By: DBMaster
I think that cheap tools, made in China or other low cost manufacturing zones, serve a purpose.
They do by recycling the amount of low value mixed scrap metal.
 
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Mar 22, 2008
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los angeles
To me, it's about time vs. money. I can try the cheaper tools, but its possible that the cheaper tool doesn't work and I'll need to waste time driving back, returning it and buying another. It's possible a cheaper tool breaks, and I'll need to drive back and get another. It's possible a cheap tool breaks my work, requiring me to drive around to get more parts. On the other hand, it's possible the cheap tool works just as well as the expensive tool. Therefore, if I buy all expensive tools. I'll be missing out on cheaper alternatives. But if I buy all cheaper tools, I've got to expect a higher rate of drive-backs to a store to return something. Drive backs, well, they can ruin the day. This is not to say that an expensive tool doesn't fail you. In my tool experience, I've never had to return a premium brand tool. I've warrantied maybe <1% of my craftsman tools. However, maybe 10% of the HF items I buy go back to the store for one reason or another (flimsy, doesn't work well, broke, underpowered etc.) or I wish I had never bought them. I just choose one or the other. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don't.
 
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It depends on the tool and use. If you are making 100$ an hour with the tools.. buy top of the line stuff. If you use it once a month for an hour.. buy inexpensive. IT also really depends on the exact tool.. some you really get your money's worth $$$$ and others not so much. Example Angle grinder .. some people use it for hours a day. Go buy the 12.5amp dewalt or similar Makita. Others use it for an hour a month.. maybe the 15$ HF would be ok. or the 50$ dewalt. Sometimes I'll step up to a really nice tool because its on clearance for 50% off.. etc. Not going to go out and plop 900$ on a snapon battery impact anytime soon when you can get a similar Dewalt for 265. So to me the tool has to be useful and provide me with value for its price. I wouldn't hesitate to drop 50$ on a nice set of Pliers or other hand tool I use often. Once you get up over 100$.. kinda iffy.
 
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Sep 11, 2004
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snowblind in TX
To echo above- If you are a pro, get a core set of top flight stuff, ratchets, sockets, extensions, combo wrenches, screwdrivers. This is your bread and butter. This is the stuff you actually use on a regular basis. After that pick and choose where you spend your money. Front end guys need a reliable impact, and good impact sockets. Electrical techs need good DVOMs/test equipment. Yes, there are some cheapie tools that get the job done. Kills me to admit, but the best screw driver set I ever used was an impulse purchase from Harbor freight. Love them more than my Matcos and even my....Wihas. They don't look expensive, even the "bead blasting" on the tips is nothing but flat grey paint..seriously, but they are comfortable as heck, and indestructable. They must be made of adamantium or something.
 
Last edited:

CT8

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Originally Posted By: Trav
Originally Posted By: DBMaster
I think that cheap tools, made in China or other low cost manufacturing zones, serve a purpose.
They do by recycling the amount of low value mixed scrap metal.
+1
 
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whats the difference between a 35$ HF CRO-Moly impact set and a 300$ snap-on set for the DIY mechanic? 265$ more in the wallet. Now if you are Pop_riviting to estate sales and getting them for pennies on the dollar.. More power to ya.
 
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