View Full Version : socket- to me

04-18-2008, 02:01 AM
I came into posession of probably 30 lbs of sockets today, sizes from 3mm up to 1-1/4 inch, 1/4 inch drive up to 1/2 inch, plus lots of spark plug socikets and related items. A lot of these are craftsman, mastercraft, some are grey, westward, proto, snap on- a few are blackhawk, one I've never heard of. Is this brand any good?

Oh, and there's ones named taiwan, china, japan- many are not graced with any info except the size. These are the real keepers, right:rolleyes:

04-18-2008, 02:07 AM
Blackhawk used to be a pretty good name sold mostly by parts houses (in my experience, that's where I saw them). But, my impression is that, much like Craftsman, the modern Blackhawk has been outsourced to China and the MBAs running the conglomerate that bought Blackhawk are now just living on the inertia of the name rather than quality. If these are older sockets, then I would rank them along with older Proto and Husky.

04-18-2008, 02:11 AM
Keep the ones you can pick up with a magnet and sell the rest to China for scrap.

04-18-2008, 02:20 AM
The ones with china or taiwan are probably junk. Japan maybe so, maybe not. Some of the older stuff was pure garbage. Blackhawk is good.

04-18-2008, 02:51 AM
"Back in the day" Blackhawk was a quality USA manufacturer and made tools for others. I think that Blackhawk is now a Stanley owned brand and mostly a "quality" import line. None of the Blackhawk tools I own are "china", but they are not all USA made. They have given "good service".

Also, I think, but am not sure (that is I have no real proof) that "mastercraft" was/is a different company/brand in the US and Canada. So there may be no fair comparisons to be made.

04-18-2008, 08:54 AM
Yep.. Older Blackhawk tools were good ones.
I have a partial set of wrenches that I bought in 1972 and they are still going strong.

04-18-2008, 09:33 AM
I believe that "Mastercraft" is a housebrand of Canadian Tire Corporation, and you may think what you like of the product, but they come with a "lifetime' warranty, thus competing with Craftsman.

04-18-2008, 11:17 AM
I always keep a bucket of old sockets around, including the worst Asian ones, for various uses. There's often a need for a particular diameter socket for pressing something out of a hole, for example. In addition, as a substitute for those fancy removers for rounded bolts, you can take a cheap socket just slightly smaller than the nominal head size, and hammer it on.

04-18-2008, 11:34 AM
I believe that "Mastercraft" is a housebrand of Canadian Tire Corporation,

they have at least two quality levels, the better stuff is very good imo, it has the nice fit and finish of the really good stuff. As I can guarantee you crappy tire doesn't own, say, a wrench forging plant, for all we know they've got Snap-on or Mac or whoever makes those co's stuff now supplying them. The modern global supply chain is a funny thing, a brand increasingly is just and idea and a promise, often broken, with no physical manifestation. the infamous German car maker BMW stuff GM made electronics into cars made in Mexico, those no name brand alkaline batteries, chances are they came form a Duracell plant, etc . Can't trust anybody anymore :D

04-18-2008, 12:54 PM
Another good use for cheap sockets is welding them on specialty tools that you build at home and then need a square drive to fit your ratchets. I have many home made specialty tools I have made this way, Pin spanners etc. Also the cheap sockets are soft and can be machined easily. I have several that I have machined about an 1/8 off the face which takes the lead-in taper part off which allows them to be used on very thin nuts like radio faceplate nuts or the oil filter adapter on most older Ford engines.

04-18-2008, 12:58 PM
I believe Canada tires top of the line sockets and wrenches are made in Tiewan, and is very nice stuff. They look and feel like Snap-on tools, and if you by them when they are on sale, are an incredible value.

Grey tools are still made in Canada and are very good quality. Most of my tools are old Craftsman and Grey. Anything I buy now is Mastercraft's best on sale, I think they are called Maxium?

I can't even dream about buying Snap-on or Mac tools, they are way out of my class money wise.

I used to work in probably 50 different machine shops, fab shops, compressor shops ... a year in my job as an industrial service Electrician. I don't ever recall seeing anyone in those shops who owned their own tools that used anything but Snap -on or Mac tools. Mostly they were Snap-on.

04-18-2008, 01:20 PM
I believe that Mastercraft used to be a the house brand for Montgomery Wards.

04-18-2008, 01:31 PM
I believe that Mastercraft used to be a the house brand for Montgomery Wards.

Close, but no cigar...
You're thinking of POWERKRAFT, Wards house brand.

The Japanese brand TRUECRAFT used to be good when it was still made in JAPAN, they may have gone Chinasian by now. Same goes for SUNEX, when made in JAPAN they were good quality, I still have a partial set of wrenches from
25 years ago that I've never broken one of, only lost several.

John Garner
04-18-2008, 04:19 PM
Back before Monkey Ward used the Powerkraft (or was it Powrkraft?) brand on their top-of-the-line tools, they called those tools "Ward's Master Quality".

04-18-2008, 04:30 PM
Toss the snap-ons ... they're junk. Actually, since I'm such a nice guy, I'll give you 10 cents a lb for the snap-on sockets. :D

Like others have said, Blackhawk used to be very good, but I've not used anything from "recent" times. Those crumby sockets are definitely worth keeping around for misc projects. I bought a set of sockets for 6 bucks from ACE, made in china, for the express purpose of mutilating them :)

04-19-2008, 02:56 AM
These sockets were all sorted into plastic bins by size and inch/metric, about 40 containers in all. I suppose it's now time to sort out my socket sets, and replace missing sizes with the best of this lot.

One of the containers must have 50 or 60 sockets- all of the same size. That might qualify as a lifetime supply, even if I lose one every time I use it. What do you do with that many 3mm sockets? There's probably about ten decent ones in that bin.

Found a couple neat tools mixed in with these- one is a lenox step drill, looks like it goes from 3/32 up to about 3/8. I've never seen one that small before. Another tool is a driver which holds a two ended holder- one end has a drill bit with countersink cutter, and the other has a magnetic driver bit holder. All the parts of this tool have a fine fit and finish, so it's probably not a piece of junk. There's also a miniature brass trowel which may have been an award of some kind- I'll have to look more closely at that.