Torn between tool brands

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Apr 7, 2011
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Hey all, Happy Thanksgiving and hope all of you are staying warm and safe. Anyway, I am a freshman currently in a Diesel Technology program, where I am becoming a diesel mechanic. By August of next year my savings will be more or less drained by tools. Luckily, I get 50% off of tools through the school from either Snap On, Matco, or Mac tools. Between the 3, are any of them any better then the others? Matco runs around $1,700 for the whole set, while Snap On is $2,700. I haven't received Mac prices yet, Thanks guys!
 
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beaver land EH?
Matco or MAC should be good. When I was a mech back then, I used US made Craftsman exclusively. Too bad now Sears is going down and most Craftsman tool is made in china. Q.
 
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Instead of buying new buy used at the pawn shop. No reason to go into dept before you have a job. Later on you can replace your used stuff with whatever brand you choose. IMO any of those brands will serve you well. Im a snap on fan myself.mainly because I grew up with the snappy guys parents and his service is great. Matco is also good. Mac man plain sucks here.
 
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I'm a journeyman semi diesel mechanic for UPS. Even at 50% off, I suggest you look at S&K on Amazon.com. Mac is a dieing brand and the Mac tool truck doesn't come by often where I work. Example: http://www.amazon.com/SK-Hand-4053-30-Pi...pact+socket+set The tool chest is what will cost you a boatload of money. Look at Homak if you need something decent that doesn't cost what a used car goes for. Use your education to eventually get a high paying job with good benefits. Don't get stuck at a cutthroat trucking outfit like Swift. Work up to being a bus mechanic at a public school system where you will get paid good money and have a pension as an example.
 
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What exactly is "the whole set"? $2700 doesn't buy a whole lot of professional quality tools. Most mechanics don't have one brand exclusively. My stepdad was a tech at a Ford dealer and he figured he had about $50K invested in tools, and that was 20 years ago, not today's prices. He had mostly Snap-On but also had plenty of Mac, Matco, Craftsman, and some other brands.
 
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Originally Posted By: renegade_987
I get 50% off of tools through the school from either Snap On, Matco, or Mac tools.
Use that discount while you can!!
Originally Posted By: renegade_987
Between the 3, are any of them any better then the others?
That depends on which specific tool it is. For example: I like Snap-on wrenches, but I'm not thrilled about their ratchets because of the grooves machined into the handle; the way I grip it, those grooves cut into my middle finger. Cornwell ratchets are WAY more comfy.
 
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Ya maybe use your discount for specialty stuff like tq wrenches.I still recommend pawn shop or yard sales for regular hand tools. My big wrenches(1 inch and larger) all came from a yard sale. Made by proto and I paid $5 ea for them. There's no rule that all tools must be from the same manufacturer. Mines probly got something from every manufacturer.
 
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NJC

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Originally Posted By: Quest
Matco or MAC should be good. When I was a mech back then, I used US made Craftsman exclusively. Too bad now Sears is going down and most Craftsman tool is made in china. Q.
I've never or rarely used MAC or Matco. And I won't buy Craftsman because of their current quality. But I do have an old lever style 1/2 drive ratchet Made in USA.
 
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I have purchased tools from all 3 brands over the past couple of years. Ive had the best quality and service through snap on. I have more of my matco and mac tools break than snap on. Ive also noticed my local snap on guy normally has a whole plethora of replacement tools on the truck. My matco guy usually has to order replacements and it takes about 3 weeks. Milwaukee has also been great for me as well. Ive actually broke all of my craftsman ratchets and they give you referbed [censored] that breaks again. Craftsman sucks. period.
 
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Feb 15, 2003
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I work on aircraft. Snap On is an absolute necessity. I swear, they build these things with just enough room for Snap On tools and no other brand will fit. Unless ground down. To make matters worse, fasteners corrode in place and lesser brands often struggle with tool strength. For example, prop removal requires an open end that fits well and won't spread. Only Snappy works on older props. Sears Craftsman, Mac and Matco all fall short of having the strength to remove some props. Yet the snappy OEXL wrench works every time.
 
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Washington
When I was in school I only had Snap on and Matco, I mostly bought from Snap on at 50%. I gave Matco a try and the wrenches, sockets and Compression/Vacuum gauges I got were made in Taiwan. Stock up on Snap on hand tools .
 
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So Snap-On is all it is cracked up to be? I keep hearing that Craftsman Pro will get the job done. *as I read, I see that this MAY have been true of Craftsman. Brands like Husky? Verdict? ..
 
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Originally Posted By: Cujet
I work on aircraft. Snap On is an absolute necessity. I swear, they build these things with just enough room for Snap On tools and no other brand will fit. Unless ground down. To make matters worse, fasteners corrode in place and lesser brands often struggle with tool strength. For example, prop removal requires an open end that fits well and won't spread. Only Snappy works on older props. Sears Craftsman, Mac and Matco all fall short of having the strength to remove some props. Yet the snappy OEXL wrench works every time.
Try Hazet wrenches, thinner than Snap-On and just as strong.
 
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Buy and use whatever brand of tools that YOU feel comfortable using. Also remember that the tool truck that makes the rounds today might not be around tomorrow. (The last place that I worked had a Snap On man just stopped showing up) Don't be a person who has to buy a certain brand of tool just because it would make you feel more uppity than the guy in the next stall.
 

Bud_One

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Personally , I use and like Matco. No other reason than the tool truck owner is friendlier and is more reasonable with his prices.
 
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Originally Posted By: MalfunctionProne
So Snap-On is all it is cracked up to be?
I have tried a lot of brands and snap on works best for me.I took all my other brands(Mac,Cornwell,matco,SK) home
 
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When I started I purchased most of my tools from pawn shops and swap meets and retiring mechanics or shop owners. I was a tool junkie and because of that I could not afford to buy all new tools. The one thing I did do from day one was keep receipts and an inventory with photos. I did the same when I opened up my shop. It paid off when I had a break-in and some of the tools were stolen. Not only did the inventory and photo's help with the insurance claims it also help me to list things I would have otherwise forgotten about. I lot of the were retrieved and returned by the Sheriff's department because of the markings.
 
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Everyone has their preferences. One of the things that I think Snap-on truly has the best is their Dual80 ratchets. Nothing else I have used compares.
 
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