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Ok guys,, have a tool question. Our home burnt to the ground and we lost everything. Everbody is safe ok no injuries . So starting to inventory and make lists of tools, had almost all craftsman before but between the heat and the mess most are lost in the ruble,
So just a lawnmower , compact tractor and snowmobile maintenance what brand would you guys replace tools with? Sears are far and In between now Matco and snap on are wow! Kobalt? Pittsburgh? Ideas? I’ve looked at craigslist and eBay . I’m going to buy a good box but damn
I know I do want good ratchets but what’s your guys opinions?
Thanks
 

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Sears online is a great source for craftsman tools. They have sales regularly.

Kobalt is a relatively good line for homeowner use- I have a kobalt 1/2" breaker bar that I haven't managed to break yet. Matco and snap-on are way overpriced- stay away. Pittsburgh are 'beater tools' that are best suited for use in service trucks and abusive applications because they're so cheap.

Also, keep in mind that lowes will begin carrying craftsman sometime this year- hopefully around June or so.
 

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ACE hardware also sells Craftsman tools, at least in upstate NY.

With wrenches, sockets and screwdrivers, it is hard to screw up a forging, though my prejudice says tools from Harbor Freight will probably find a way to do so. For specialty tools like pullers, I've broken so many I now look on eBay for used Snap-on tools for stuff like that. They might be scratched and dirty, but they don't break.

And 6 point sockets are almost always stronger than their 12 point (and more common) brethren.

Al
 

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Sorry to hear about fire......that sucks plain and simple, happy to hear all are safe.
I have been on the sears website lately and the have some great deals on sets, for a homeowner I would go with them.
My box is full of craftsman stuff as far as wrenches, sockets and screwdrivers.
All else I tend to go with Brand names like estwing, channel lock, vice grip and the like.
Good luck
 
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The SnapOn and MATCO tools are what you want if you're working with tools every single day. They're designed and priced as professional level tools and they hold up. Most of us aren't doing that and the Craftsman/Kobalt level tools are good quality for a lot less $$.

Personally, I think Kobalt and Craftsman are pretty much equal (Kobalt tools were designed to compete directly with Craftsman) but they have their quirks. I prefer the Kobalt ratchets but Craftsman wrenches.

The biggest problem I've found with the Kobalt stuff is that Lowe's doesn't dedicate a whole lot of shelf space to them and they change them up constantly. So if you buy a set thinking you'll go back in a few months and buy matching tools to complete a set, you may be out of luck. The matching tools might be there, or maybe not. The same thing comes up if you go into a store for a replacement for a broken tool. You'll walk out with something but it may not be the exact same tool you walked in with.

I only buy the Pittsburgh/Harbor Freight stuff for tools that I only need one time. I had to buy a weird 34mm socket for something and it was cheap (like $3) at HF. It would have cost me closer to $15-$20 at Sears. It's still sitting in my tool box and I haven't used it again in the last 20 years.

There is a huge Sears store about 3 miles from me and hadn't been in there in a while. Walked in last summer and found that they have a whole aisle dedicated to clearance tools. I picked up 2 really nice Torque Wrenches for short $$. If you want to stretch your money, something like that might be worth looking for.
 

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Sorry about your loss,,


Usually buy Craftsman hand tools, Stanley, and the other name brands. My thought was always buy the best you can afford and for tools only need once or twice over a year time spam buy toward the lower end price. Yea it looks great (that highest price tool) laying on the shelf or hanging on wall collecting dust. That cheaper one looks just as good but the money in your pocket looks better.
 

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What is your closest local source? That's what I would go with.

I like Matco for the ratchets, as they do stand up better (but you pay for it) but for all else I have mostly craftsman as that's what was easily locally available. Now I'm adding in some Kobalt as well
 

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I've got some 10+ year old craftsman stuff, but everything new is Kobalt (lowes), Klutch (northern tool), or Pittsburg (hazard fraught). I don't buy husky because Home Depot's orange offends me. :lol: The more mission critical a device is, the more I'm willing to spend.
 

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WOOOOO, REALLY sorry for your loss. I can't imagine losing a house due to fire down to the ground.

Regarding tools, most of mine are lots of years old, some Craftsman over 50 years. I also have some 30 year old Snap-on. Can't beat the old Craftsman for price and quality. I've accumulated a lot of tools over the years, and I'm not hard on tools, so most will last my lifetime and whomever I will them to. That being said, for any newer acquisitions, I have always stuck with the name brands and try to find Made in USA as much as possible, not too many left. I'll check Craftsman, Klein, Channellock, Lisle and others when the need arises, and drool over Snap-On and Matco. As mentioned, check Craigslist for used Snap-On, old Craftsman, Matco, etc.

I only have 1 piece of Harbor Freight, their long 1/2" breaker bar. Good reviews, and it lives in the trunk of my wife's car with a HF socket to get her wheels off.

Glad everyone's safe, replacing stuff is a pain ... but it's just stuff.

Good Luck on your recovery from this loss. I'd say rebuild your tool collection slowly, and get what YOU want, you deserve it.

Just my 2 cents on the tools.
 
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When I was a kid ...

Now that was very long time ago. I grew up working on farm and lumber yard and all our tools came from the local NAPA Parts House and were a very good tool at that. They were Husky. They were the only source of tools unless you wanted to drive 40 miles to a large city. When I finally left home for the Life in the Army I discovered Craftsman Tools and the fact that they were available most every place I found myself for a long time. I have no complain with Craftsman Tools and still have most of those original Craftsman tools. I do have a few Kobalt but I find myself going back to my roots and using more and more Husky!
Leo
 

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I found a really, really nice wrench/socket/SAE-Metric set 'made by' Cresent at my local Tractor Supply on clearance. The ratchets are among the best I've ever used. The set came with a handy box with pull out trays. Agree with the guys, Craftsman are good tools and Kobalt is okay. Blue Hawk is Lowes 'budget' line - maybe a notch above Horror Freight.
 

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I have mostly Craftsman hand tools. most are over thirty years old. still going strong , My son got my fathers tool last summer when mom passed on he made the comment that they were in great shape but they were all SAE not metric. That's the way things were back then. I do have a 52" Harbor Freight tool box lower and upper. I bought craftsman from sears last spring got it home and took it back it was 900$ and very flimsy. the harbor freight ran around 700$ and I am very happy with it. Sorry for your loss glad no one was hurt.
 

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Since I'm not using mechanics tools every day, I've been buying Craftsman tools for over 30 years. The past few years, I've been frustrated by the lack of selection at my local Sears store(s). My wife bought me a set of SK ratcheting wrenches for Christmas - I'm wishing I'd bought SK instead of Craftsman. I'm not planning on replacing all my tools w/ SK - can't justify the cost. But, when I need a new tool and I have to order it online because its not in the store, I'm likely to pick the SK on Amazon and get two day shipping if the cost isn't outrageous. I learned a long time ago there are few things more frustrating than a tool that doesn't work or breaks easily.

With respect to replacement warrantees: Yes, Sears has always honored that. However, since the shelves are bare, they have to order it. Not helpful if I'm in the middle of a weekend repair. My local Ace Hardwares are stocking more Craftsman tools all the time so maybe I'll be more inclined to buy them.

BTW, I saw a recent thread on wire stripping and crimping wire/connectors- I tend to purchase the same brand of tools electricians use if I can afford them.

As a side note, I once broke my snap ring pliers and bought a replacement set at my local Advanced Auto - really nice tool at a reasonable price. Don't remember the brand.

It is very unlikely I'll ever purchase another Craftsman electric tool (drill, saw, ...). The last one I had was a cordless drill somebody gave me as a gift. Tool worked great for two years and then the trigger broke. No parts available. Replaced it with a Milwaukee and never regretted it. I've owned two Craftsman gasoline powered tools - not buying any more of those either- getting parts is an exercise in frustration and case study on poor customer service. I never have trouble getting parts for my Honda mower and my Husqvarna dealer is a model of good customer service. I can still order parts for my 40+ year old Troybilt.
 

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I'm sorry for your situation; I'm glad to hear your insurance is working for you though.

I have all the tools I'll need, but I've been VERY impressed with the DeWalt had tools I've bought. The finish is excellent, well shaped handles on the screwdrivers and ratchets, and very sturdy cases.

I also kinda like the Bosch stuff, but it's part of the (something something) tool group, differs in name only.
 

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To buy a full line of Snap-On would be crazy, but awesome. Personally, like most people, we all start with what was given to us, what we scrounged up when having a need and what we replaced over time. I love my snap-on ratchets with soft-grip handles. They are soft, yet super grippy with oily hands. The rest of my sockets are Craftsmen I got as a college kid from my uncle for Christmas. (IMO, their ratchets suck...)

Otherwise, SK. I have Lowe's, Tractor Supply and Ace, plus a large, local hardware/farm supply store and the local place deals with SK. I think for the money, they are a proper cut above any big box store brand. Their ratchets are nice, and they have lifetime warranty. I have two of their torque wrenches as well, and they have held up quite well.

Lots of opinions out there, of course, but my approach was towards a quality ratchet since you use it all the time....the sockets are relatively cheap....buy what works.

If you have the time/inclination, I'd shop on e-bay for a couple snap-on ratchets or. I bought my first snap-on 3/8 on ebay and ended up trading it in on the local snap-on truck...he gave me $20 bucks more on trade than I paid for it. Don't believe all the "Snap on is over-priced, stay away" people. Yeah, their stuff is expensive, but it is quality. The only reason I'd call it over-priced is from a homeowner perspective.

My Dad always tells me to "buy the best you can afford." I think you should do the same...if that means pick and choose higher quality for a couple specific tools and go a little cheaper on sockets, then so be it...you'll spend similar money and be further ahead with tools that will last and treat you well when you need them most.

:cheers:
 
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