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Fasttrack
11-09-2009, 11:00 PM
So it's been a while since I've priced hand tools. My set consists mostly of Craftsman with a little Snap-on, Proto, Armstrong, and S&K mixed in. I find that I really like Armstrong products and Snap-on products, but Snap-on is prohibitively priced for my budget. (What Snap-on I do own was won at a Skills USA competition).

So, what are some of the other good brands out there? I'm looking for a set of small metric impact sockets, must have a minimum size of 6mm and include a 7mm socket. I'd like to find something comparable to the older Craftsman tools - something in that price and quality range.

andy_b
11-10-2009, 09:46 AM
What's wrong with new Craftsman? Or, if you are only going to use these on a semi-regular basis, just buy some from Harbor Freight. I don't think I've ever seen a 6-point socket break or round off unless you were really abusing it (or they were the biggest pieces of Chinese junk I had ever seen).

andy b.

Ken_Shea
11-10-2009, 10:05 AM
Stanley/Proto/tools are a good tool
http://www.stanleyproto.com/default.asp?TYPE=CATEGORY&CATEGORY=J72216&strSiteName=PROTO&strDefaultCatalog=PROTO


On the must include the 7mm is a reminder of how much it annoys me to see tool sets skip sizes. Usually don't see that in the higher quality sets though.


EDIT:
Meant to add:
Your out of touch?, I am re-opening my auto repair again after 12 years and 32 years in the field before that, WOW, prices have changed, and the companys that I used to deal with have changed too. not for the good IMO.

Highpower
11-10-2009, 10:12 AM
On the must include the 7mm is a reminder of how much it annoys me to see tool sets skip sizes. Even more annoying is the fact that they skip the most commonly used sizes and load you down with the odd sizes that you'll never use! :mad:

davidh
11-10-2009, 10:16 AM
look up ozat. made in mid east. excellent qualty, priced about the same as proto, order individual. i discount about 20%
davidh

pgmrdan
11-10-2009, 01:43 PM
You might want to go to Lowe's and check out the Kobalt hand tools. I like what few of them I have. I assume they have impact sockets in Kobalt brand.

I bought my DeVilbiss impact sockets and tools there before they started selling Kobalt. Maybe they still have DeVilbiss. I dunno.

FWIW,
Dan

wierdscience
11-10-2009, 02:00 PM
Martin and Williams both make good stuff,also an import brand Fabisa.

For chrome sockets I buy Stanley,never have busted one and less than $25 for a FULL set from 3/8-1"

I also have a Gearwrench set,the pass through kind.They don't fit everywhere,but boy do they come in handy on long full threaded bolts.

S_J_H
11-10-2009, 02:33 PM
The "Husky" name tools at the HomeDepot are actually pretty decent.
I have bought several of the wrenches and sockets from them with the Husky brand name. I also have Craftsman and Snap-on.

Steve

Mark Hockett
11-10-2009, 03:27 PM
Another brand that is very good quality and reasonably priced is Grey Pneumatic, http://www.gpsocket.com/. Every tech in the shop I work in has at least one set of GP sockets and there have been no complaints. My set is holding just as good as my Snap On stuff and in our environment we wear sockets out on a regular basis. They are imported but very well made. The Mac and Matco dealers sell them but you should be able to order them online.

On a side note many of the Mac and Snap On brand tools are now made in Taiwan but sold at domestic made prices. Last month I bought a new Snap On 3/8" ratchet for $80 and it does not say USA on it anywhere, found out it is imported. I don't mind paying for quality tools but at that price and sold under that name it better be made in the USA. That will probably be the last Snap On ratchet I buy as I can go online and buy any number of other brands at 1/3 the cost and have it here quicker than waiting for the tool dealer to show up. I think that Snap On, Mac and Matco choosing to start manufacturing their tools overseas might be a bad decision with the ease of purchasing the internet provides. The only reason I was buying from the tool dealers was I could get USA made tools.

macona
11-10-2009, 03:35 PM
Youre not going to believe this but the impact sockets from HF are actually really good.

chief
11-10-2009, 06:28 PM
Buy SK, pay for qaulity and cry once.

Ken_Shea
11-10-2009, 06:44 PM
Youre not going to believe this but the impact sockets from HF are actually really good.

Your right, I don't :D

murph64
11-10-2009, 07:14 PM
Youre not going to believe this but the impact sockets from HF are actually really good.


Your right, I don't :D

I picked up standard/deep SAE/Metric sets from HF maybe 10 or 15 years ago, all for 30 or 40 clams...And I split all of 1 deep socket, and that's because it was repeatedly used as a drift.


Andy

Black_Moons
11-10-2009, 07:38 PM
Impact sockets are from large amounts of *soft* steel thats more flexable.
Exactly what you expect/get from chinese.. everything.

Hand sockets are thin walled to get into tight spots and be lighter to carry around, and well hardened. Chinese.. Don't seem all that great at making thin hardened things that don't explode :P

I believe this is why the import impact sockets are decent, because impact sockets themselfs are just normalish steel and dirt easy to make.

Ken_Shea
11-10-2009, 10:26 PM
I picked up standard/deep SAE/Metric sets from HF maybe 10 or 15 years ago, all for 30 or 40 clams...And I split all of 1 deep socket, and that's because it was repeatedly used as a drift.


Andy

Andy,
And these impact sockets, you use a HF impact gun :D

Just messing with you Andy, although, I was in the auto repair trade for over 30 years, my experience with cheap impact sockets and a quality impact gun was not so good.
Perhaps, things have changed since then.
Ken

murph64
11-10-2009, 10:58 PM
Andy,
And these impact sockets, you use a HF impact gun :D

Just messing with you Andy, although, I was in the auto repair trade for over 30 years, my experience with cheap impact sockets and a quality impact gun was not so good.
Perhaps, things have changed since then.
Ken

Focker... :D


Doing the math, I got these sockets 10 years ago, not 15. I think each set (7/16 up to 1.25") was 5 or 6 bucks each, how could I *not* get them?

While I do have a HF gun, it's somwehere in the debris pile I call a garage :( . My 3 year old daughter has more oomph turning a Fisher Price ratchet than it does.

What I do use, is a 10 year old (made in Japan) Husky 1/2" running on 150 PSI air. It's no IR2131, but it hasn't failed me yet. It took a couple of seconds to break loose the yoke nut on the 44 rear in my Jeep, but it did the job.


Andy

Ken_Shea
11-10-2009, 11:41 PM
Focker... :D

Andy

My favorite Bi-Plane :D
http://www.clasohm.com/aviation/big/97-09-46_Focker.jpg

gnm109
11-11-2009, 02:19 AM
Youre not going to believe this but the impact sockets from HF are actually really good.


Ditto on that. I have Metric and US HF sets and they have been used extensively for more than ten years. They are still in good condition.

hardtail
11-11-2009, 10:41 AM
I've bought the cheap sets and have had mixed success, but I will say that for sockets that I use repeatedly they fail and are a consumable item, then again I'm using a 1" impact on old bulldozers.......I will say what a mechanic buddy told me years ago, on impact tools buy quality you only lose an eye once.

Heres some Canadian products, interesting the wordplay on Gray/Grey?

Their statement doesn't guarantee that they are still made here? Maybe McGyver or others could say?????? Brampton is their home plant.

http://www.graytools.com/company_profile.htm

Roy Andrews
11-11-2009, 12:43 PM
i have about every make of impact socket and run them on IR guns at max pressure and when a gun gets weak i buy a new one. older Chinese/Taiwanese sockets were trash plain or impact. but the newer ones i have are not bad including a couple sets of deep swivels. i avoid their plain sockets and ratchets though i tend to abuse tools and they don't survive. the problems i have had were in loose fit. you measure the socket and it is way oversize. this causes you to destroy bolt heads. i haven't run across it a lot but when i do the socket goes in the garbage. the best impact sockets i own are proto. i have a set of deep and standard that go from 3/8 - 1 1/2 that i have had for about 25 years and they have served the test of time. the problem is i don't know if new ones would. the mac tools i have received when i broke my old ones have been a serious disappointment.

hardtail
11-11-2009, 01:15 PM
Part of the landmines of corporate business these days, a few years back I heard BluePoint was now offshore but SO was still American made, looks like even the flagship is hit and miss these days, not a problem but lower your pricing and divulge the source......if anything their probably making greater profits now but one has to wonder if the vortex is just getting started for yet another icon to start swirling down the drain.......

This is part of my admiration for Glacern, their not trying to hide behind it, a compressor company threatened legal action against individuals for divulging that the reciever had the USA flag and stampings proudly made in America but their pumps were offshore.......when that started to leak out they tried to use all their muscle and leverage to make the peons crawl back under their rock, thankfully they stood up against them.......I will never conduct business with the likes of them.

I bellied up to the counter and bought a Kurt D675 brandnew and felt good about getting a quality piece that would be used countless times over a lifetime and really part of a good milling machine foundation, that and MY vote at shopping domestic exercised with MY wallet. Then I ordered some Kurt dial indicators and other stuff, all rebadged offshore, really for the prices I wasn'r surprised.....

Fasttrack
11-11-2009, 01:19 PM
Thanks guys. My BIL has a set of 1" and 3/4" drive impacts from HF. They've held up pretty well and were significantly cheaper than a name brand in that size!

For no more than what a name brand costs for a small set, I think I'd prefer a name brand over HF, if for no other reason than that it will give my joy knowing I've got a quality set ;)

I had not heard of Grey Pneumatic, Martins or Williams. I'll have to check them out. I always like hearing about different tool/machine manufacturers!

Fasttrack
11-11-2009, 01:24 PM
Stanley/Proto/tools are a good tool
http://www.stanleyproto.com/default.asp?TYPE=CATEGORY&CATEGORY=J72216&strSiteName=PROTO&strDefaultCatalog=PROTO


On the must include the 7mm is a reminder of how much it annoys me to see tool sets skip sizes. Usually don't see that in the higher quality sets though.


EDIT:
Meant to add:
Your out of touch?, I am re-opening my auto repair again after 12 years and 32 years in the field before that, WOW, prices have changed, and the companys that I used to deal with have changed too. not for the good IMO.

Yep - skipping sizes is annoying. My first experience was when I was in 6th grade. I bought a Craftsman ratchet set because I needed a particular size to work on a little lawnmower engine that I planned on using for a go-kart. I saved up for a good little while before I could buy that set. I got it home and realized that it skipped the size I needed :( It was a good lesson, though. Be sure to read the back of the box before purchasing :D

I know what you mean about change. It's only been a few years since I last priced hand tools, but it seems like the cost is up and the quality down. I became suspicious of Craftsman after someone posted here about the new sockets being thinner and softer. (I realize Craftsman aren't the "bee's knees" of hand tools, anyway, but they had been about the right price/quality ratio for me!)