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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting ready to move to a new place with a garage within the next 6 months, and I'm starting to think (read dream) about setting up my new shop. Now I have a some sets of wrenches and sockets that are pretty decent, but I want to keep them together as a travel set. So, pretty soon, I'm going to be in the market to setup a new toolbox. I'm talking about hand tools as well as air and power tools such as cut off saws, bandsaws, etc.

That leads me to my question: I'm wondering what are some brands, and where are some places to get some decent tools for home use?

I'm not going to be buying a set of Matco, Snap-on, or Mac due to the fact that I don't have the money to pay the prices, even if I thought they were worth it.

I want these tools to be tough enough for heavy weekend warrior use. I want to make sure that they are from a reputable place that will be around long enough to warranty the tools, if and when I break something. Ultimately, however, I want to make sure these tools will last a long time.

I would like to buy American made if at all possible, but I am on a limited budget, so that may not be possible for everything.

I've checked out a couple of places. Sears/Craftsman, of course, is the old standby, but I've heard here and elsewhere that their quality isn't what it used to be. There is also Harbor Freight, which is ok for somethings, but a lot of the stuff is questionable, plus where I'm moving there isn't one withing a reasonable driving distance. Third, I've checked out Northern Catalog, which is a fun catalog to look at, but it seems to me that a lot of their stuff is coming from the same place that Harbor Freight is getting their stuff. The similarities between the pictures and the prices, lead me to this conclusion.

I also know about ebay, garage sales, and auctions, and I will be looking for some things at these places, but I'm still interested in finding a reputable manufacturer and a dealer.

So anyway some websites, catalogs, brands of tools, etc. would be appreciated and helpful. Please don't try and sell me on the benefits of the high end tool makers. It really isn't an option for me financially at this point and I've been hanging around enough gear-heads to know that they aren't needed to work on and build cool cars/motorcycles.

Thanks,
mR
 

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For yourself, you can't go wrong with Craftsman for the price. If you want a little better quality (or polished prettyness) go for the Craftsman Professlioan line.
Craftsman Professional is just about all I use for hand tools and I have nothing to complain about. Their thin line ratchets seem to break once in a great while if you abuse them or spin them too fast backwards, but its easy to take the head apart and put the spring back in place if it happens. And its so easy to exchange them if there is a problem. Just walk in to Sears and give them your old one, they give you a new one.
As far as power tools go, Hilti and Milwaukee are the ones I buy. Both are truly a quality tool that will last decades. From my experience DeWalt is very overrated. Lots of professionals use and reccomend them, but I've found them to be no better then the Black & Decker crap.
I also really like Porter-Cable tools for wood stuff.
 

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well im my shop i have snap on only becasue i got them from my good old dad. but i got a kit to keep with me in my truck and go to pick n pull with and i got craftman and its been good to me
 

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Engineer
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Ebay or craigslist. people list tool boxes full of tools all the time. Buy the tool box, keep the tools and sell the box for close to what you paid
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the reply's so far guys.


Ebay or craigslist. people list tool boxes full of tools all the time. Buy the tool box, keep the tools and sell the box for close to what you paid
May by things are different at MTU, but down here I haven't found much in the way of deals yet. I've been looking at craigslist everyday for quite sometime, and so far no luck. If things are different up there, I may wait until I get to MTU to buy something.

Anymore views and opinions would be appreciated.

mR
 

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Engineer
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May by things are different at MTU, but down here I haven't found much in the way of deals yet. I've been looking at craigslist everyday for quite sometime, and so far no luck. If things are different up there, I may wait until I get to MTU to buy something.

Anymore views and opinions would be appreciated.

mR
I dont have any money and the yooper craigslist sucks but my buddies in the detroit area buy and sell stuff everyday practically. Gotta be in the right place at the right time. You still coming up to Tech?
 

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RIP Spring Creek Off Road
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craftsman would be the way to go then... buy a large set and save $$ instead of piecing it together too... they always have sets on sale... if the one you want isn't on sale this month it probably will be next month... hell or just have em look up 6 month price history of the item and a lot of times the cashier will give you the low price (done this with several bigger ticket items at sears)... bonus is replacement is easy... no fun trying to chase down a snapon truck to get ratchets or whatnot replaced

milwaukee for power tools... not the cheapest... but you will save money and time by only having to buy them once... power tools don't usually have very long warranties
 

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has no skidplate
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at work i used a combo of craftsman hand tools, dewalt power tools, grizzly table saw for wood, craftsman table saw for aluminum, an assortment of HF tools, some scary stuff we built.

i don't see where the people that say craftsman is crap are coming from, some of the tools in the box were older than me and used daily, sure we had some snap on but we traded a guy a truck for all of his tools which he didn't need after he retired
 

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In Front of Jopes
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I like S&K too besides craftsman, so my hand tools are mostly craftsman and some S&K, I don't own any Craftsman power tools.
 

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FSB's Bastard Child
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For wrenches and sockets, Check out Lowes. There Kobalt line is very high quality, and not to badly priced. Their wrenches and sockets are made by the same manufacturer as snap ons tools, and if you hold them next to each other, Youd never know the difference.
 

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In Front of Jopes
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For wrenches and sockets, Check out Lowes. There Kobalt line is very high quality, and not to badly priced. Their wrenches and sockets are made by the same manufacturer as snap ons tools, and if you hold them next to each other, Youd never know the difference.
I believe you are wrong, they used to be Blue Point, now they are Danhar same company that makes Allen, Craftsman etc.
 

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Kitteh Commandaar!
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I have a good many Craftsman myself. I recieved a few Duralast brand as gifts a few times, so far, they are working good.

kC
 

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I always go to Canadian Tire and pick up Mastercraft tools when on sale. I've got full SAE and Metric wrench sets for $20 and Ratchet sets (100+ pieces) for $30.

Can't go wrong with a lifetime warrenty, and I've only ever broken my 3/8ths ratchet.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I dont have any money and the yooper craigslist sucks but my buddies in the detroit area buy and sell stuff everyday practically. Gotta be in the right place at the right time. You still coming up to Tech?
Yeah, I got accepted and will be moving up in August. I'll be up to take a look at your house sometime next month, if everything goes as planned. Hey is there a Sears to get tools from anywhere up there?


Well it seems there are a lot of craftsman users here. May be the reports I heard of them being crap were from Snap on and Mac snobs. Keep the opinions coming, they are helpful.

mR
 

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Most of my hand tools are craftsman and with a small percentage of MAC toosl I inherited from my grandfather. I've broken a few craftsman tools and being able to walk into your local Sears and walk out with a brand new one is really nice.

For power tools I usually go with Milwuakee.
 

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Lick my
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Coming from someone who once worked for Stanley, that cheap crap is NOT made in the US. I had bought a tool set when I worked for them. Right out of the box the ratchets were garbage and had to be replaced. Within a matter of a few weeks after I got the replacements, I broke both the 1/2" and 3/8" ratchets. They both werent being used improperly, I was just doing brakes and they both blew apart while tightening.

Plus the warranty sux big time when you break something. You have to send the items out for evaluation and you see the replacement or repaired units in 4-6 weeks.

Trust me, stick with Craftsman hand tools and you cant go wrong.
 

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From my experience DeWalt is very overrated. Lots of professionals use and reccomend them, but I've found them to be no better then the Black & Decker crap.
I also really like Porter-Cable tools for wood stuff.
black and decker owns both of these companies, thats why they are crap.they also bought out porter cable, so you will see the quality on those start to go downhill soon also.:shrug
 
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