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A.K. Boomer
04-20-2012, 01:57 PM
Iv always defended snap on tool corp., and I still think they are amongst the highest quality tools one can buy but the service just plain sucks...

Iv been carrying around a couple tools I needed replacing - a broken plastic handle ratchet and a 12mm short socket and I wanted to buy a 12mm deep cuz I lost mine under the hood of something or somewhere,

Anyways - so yesterday I see the snap on guy pulling into a sub shop - by the time I get all turned around he's already in there ordering so I waited patiently outside so he could eat in peace --- about a half hour later he comes out and I tell him I need to buy a socket and get somethings replaced --- it's been years since Iv had too, So - he immediately tells me NO-GO on the ratchet cuz they only warranty the heads, then he does not have a replacement 12mm shallow well --- then he doesn't have a 12 deep that I can buy,,,, so were batting 3 for 3 here... and there's not a care about any of it - just the way it is... :mad: So --- im done ------ that's all, now I join the many of you who have ranted in the past... great tools - but they need to clamp down on the guys peddling them if they want to re-gain my loyalty...

camdigger
04-20-2012, 02:13 PM
................I still think they are amongst the highest quality tools one can buy but the service just plain sucks...

great tools - but they need to clamp down on the guys peddling them if they want to re-gain my loyalty...

Kicked Snap-on to the curb over 20 years ago. Same reasons. I worked for a company that had $50,000 in snap-on tools among 3 other brands. Dismal servcie and warranty issues up the wazoo until we stumbled on the Western Canada office and distribution warehouse. then we dealt with the warehouse direct, but the whole experience soured me on Snap-on. The only snap-on on my place was a freebee...

waterman28
04-20-2012, 02:24 PM
Yep I worked in the auto business for a dealer for 10 years and about the second year I kicked Snap-off to the curb. I found NAPA and Sears had a better replacement program.

Mcgyver
04-20-2012, 02:34 PM
isn't it spelled Strap-on? I see these things hit kijiji, boxes they paid thousands for with nascar drivers or harley paint jobs, or the strap on 'collectors edition' of gold wrenches, man someone drank the Kool-Aid.

I'm not a mechanic but I have some strap on stuff, picked up along the way with other purchases. They're nice, but the fit and finish on Canadian tire's high end line seems to be as good as is the warranty, probably similar to Sears for my American friends. For all we know it all comes out of the same plant.

The stunning part is after creating the best known, highest margin brand of mechanical Kool-Aid they're not 100% "yes sir, no sir, three bags full" when it comes to service. If ever there should be a firm embrasing the business model of 'the customer is always right, keep the customer happy' theyh should be it. Dummies.

MotorradMike
04-20-2012, 02:38 PM
They never warranted the ratchets as far as I know, I had to pay for new guts for mine that was a gift(broken).
The Snap-on guys around here were not like the one you had though.
I never had a Snap-on tool break anyway.

John Stevenson
04-20-2012, 04:07 PM
Funny story but true about Snap On.

On the Ford D series truck the stabilised supply for the instruments was a small module on the back of the Tacho.

Because they never gave you enough cable to work with and they were sealed both ends, the dash only pulled out about 3" and that was all the space you had to work with.
The two hex head screws holding this module was 1/4" A/F, a size not common here.

So I bought a tiny double open ended spanner off Snap on just for this job. Beautiful looking spanner about 1 1/2" long with two different offsets on each end for working in a confined space.

So next D series came in with instruments going haywire [ dead common fault ] and I get my lovely spanner out hold it between index finger and thumb and proceed to undo said screw.

PING

One jaws snaps off !!!!!!!!!!!!!! :eek:

Managed to find it and stuck it onto the spanner with a bit of blu-tak to stop it getting lost.

Next time the Snap On guy calls in gave it him to swap, he takes one look at it and says I've had a tube on it !!!!!!!!!! :rolleyes: A tube on a spanner 1 1/2" long in a place you can only get a finger and thumb ?

Got it swapped eventually and pissed him off.

To be honest I didn't like the stuff, too high priced and too tempting when out on site, working on trucks you can't keep an eye out all the while because you are too spread out.

I used to buy a brand called Kamasa Industrial, they were black, not shiny, no chrome to cut your hands, hardly ever broke, decent returns policy for breakages but a 1/4 the price of snap on and the tea leaves never stole the black ones.

383 240z
04-20-2012, 04:16 PM
As a former line tech with WAY more Snap-on, Mac, Matco, than I will ever fess up to. I have had my share of dealings with simple minded chrome slingers.

However, I need to know the meaning of this statement " tea leaves never stole the black ones" Keith

Alistair Hosie
04-20-2012, 04:31 PM
cockney rhyming slang tea leaves =(thieves.) :DAlistair ps I am sure the kamasa ones I bought in the past were chrome John.

justanengineer
04-20-2012, 04:37 PM
They're nice, but the fit and finish on Canadian tire's high end line seems to be as good as is the warranty, probably similar to Sears for my American friends. For all we know it all comes out of the same plant.


Ive been through the Kenosha plant several times, and have said exactly that due to the lack of activity, but its only in recent years that theyve been forced to admit that a lot of it is made offshore.

A personal favorite rant of mine has been their ownership of the JH Williams name (bc I collect it). They bought the rights to the classic US company and put it on tools that were made 100% offshore (mostly China) initially to play games with their "domestic" product line. They then got caught mixing the products, so now you can buy Chinese SO and US Williams or vice versa. The hilarious part to me though, is that they must be forecasting their own demise as last year they changed the name of the parent company from "SnapOn Tool Group" to "JH Williams Tool Group," taking on the name of the originally "cheap" subsidiary.

Ive had a lot of SO, but in recent years have sold most of it to fund buying a higher quantity of other better quality and less expensive brands. I think Strap-On would be appropriate, scarey what the goonies find "collectible." Personally, if a tool is in production, its not considered a collectible to me.

John Stevenson
04-20-2012, 04:52 PM
cockney rhyming slang tea leaves =(thieves.) :DAlistair ps I am sure the kamasa ones I bought in the past were chrome John.

Yes Alistair me old mate.
Kamasa did a general DIY range that were chrome but also did an industrial range and all the tools in this range were black.

Kenny G
04-20-2012, 04:58 PM
As a former line tech with WAY more Snap-on, Mac, Matco, than I will ever fess up to. I have had my share of dealings with simple minded chrome slingers.

However, I need to know the meaning of this statement " tea leaves never stole the black ones" Keith
"Tea Leaves" = Thieves. Rhyming slang! Wait till you embrace the equivilent in Parliamo Glasgow. A similar slang from Glasgow, Scotland. Only a 380 mile distance between the Cockney vernacular in and around London, England and Glasgow?? :D
Click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMnKPnPhhYw

interrupted_cut
04-20-2012, 07:54 PM
The behavior of Snap-On reps only mirrors the corporate attitude. I was the site manager for a facility that was sub-leased from Snap-On. We were putting in a new air conditioning system (central chiller) and power transformer, as well as replacing the leaking 400' x 4" gas main that went from one building to the other, all at our expense. This all required some significant excavation, and as the facility sat on an EPA Superfund site, a geotechnical company was required to monitor all excavation and make sure that any contaminated soil was properly disposed of. Ultimately, the cost of monitoring and disposal was to be paid by Shell Oil, who are the successor company to the synthetic rubber plant that made the mess in the first place. The current property owners were indemnified by Shell, Snap-On was indemnified by the property owners, and we were indemnified by Snap-On, all per the terms of our sub-lease with Snap-On, their lease with the owners, and the EPA's agreement with Shell. Except Snap-On refused to honor the terms of the sub-lease that they wrote and signed. All they had to do was pass the bills up the chain, but that was too much hassle for the Wisconsin pricks! We were under the gun to get the facility up and running, so we just sucked it up and paid, as we couldn't afford to wait. We actualy had our attorney call their attorney,who said that "yes, it says we will, but we won't." My only consolation was they had already lost a ton of money on this site. They had set up a training and sales facilty there to showcase the big emissions, body shop, and service lifts, as well as be the regional warehouse. the problem was they were depending on the route salesmen to send customers there for training, but then they would sell anything from the catalog directly to the customers, cutting out the route guys. It was less than 1 year into a ten year lease that they had to bail. Serves them right!

J Tiers
04-20-2012, 08:02 PM
As far as I know, Snap-off HAS no warranty........

The route guys handle the warranty, at their discretion. If a new guy takes over, he can (and often does) refuse to warrant anything the prior guy sold.... he only has to cover what HE sells (at his discretion).

If you didn't buy it on that route at all, you can basically forget it..... they'll tell you to go find the guy who sold it and talk to him.

Mebbe the Snap-off guys are different elsewhere.

motorworks
04-20-2012, 08:36 PM
Snap-on....
30 years ago I purchased a #2 philips screwdriver from them...
back then most motorcycles had the phil-slips screws..
the snap-on was the only one at the time any good...
at $10.00 my dad though I was crazy...still got it
and it still is in perfect condition

" could unscrew everything but the girlfriend..."

J. Randall
04-20-2012, 08:50 PM
Although I worked for some yrs. as a mechanic I never joined the cult, and that is what it has become. I suppose the quality was good enough, but those sharp edge wrenches hurt my hands if I really had to bear down.

There were the two Old Maids that got excited when they heard about Snap On tools.
James

sasquatch
04-20-2012, 08:52 PM
Never heard that one before!!:D :D

914Wilhelm
04-20-2012, 09:14 PM
The two HF hand tools ( an impact socket and a crescent wrench) that I managed to break in the past 15 years were replaced no questions asked when I took them in to the HF store. I didn't need a receipt an I think I got these items mail order. Although we will always argue that we're shipping money to China on these tools I wouldn't be surprised that a significant value of the transaction occurs in America.

oldtiffie
04-20-2012, 09:19 PM
You buy them (Snap-ons) in an "adult (sex?) shop or in Ladies "support/shaping" under-wear shops - female adaptions/versions of male "belt and braces"??? - corsets too?.

If your are looking for your fukung spanners - here they are.

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Shop_and_tools/Shop_tools1.jpg

I have the full sets of the range and they are excellent.

I, like a lot of others, when we were in the Far East bought loads of them at the Communist (Red) China shop in Hong Kong in about 1959.

They have given excellent service over 50+ years. I've asked others over time who I knew had bought them - same result.

So, if you are looking for you fukung spanner/s - Ive got 'em - and I'm keeping them.

sasquatch
04-20-2012, 09:44 PM
I'd "BIN" those danged things!!

A.K. Boomer
04-20-2012, 09:56 PM
Fine Tiffer -- nobody want's your Fukung wrenches anyways... :rolleyes:


reminds me of my brothers little portable genset he bought years ago, called a "wangdong"

sasquatch
04-20-2012, 10:00 PM
re: Wangdong:

I saw an adjustable wrench once it was labelled "Golden Monkey" !!!:D

Void
04-20-2012, 10:46 PM
Thirty+ years ago I started as a mechanic and opened my own shop a few years later. There was just me and a helper for a couple of years. Sears was 30 minutes (one way) away and there was a good hardware store about 5 minutes from the shop. There was also the usual assortment of auto parts stores that carried tools. The difference was, the Snap-On guy would come by once a week, regular as clockwork. Same with the Mac guy. The terms were very easy and both of them had a good stock of tools on their trucks. They warranted (teed?) screwdriver blades but not the handles. They replaced sockets and wrenches when the chrome flaked. Never any questions or hassles.

If some tool broke on a Friday night or there was something I had to have on a Monday first thing in the morning all I had to do was call and leave a message. My Snap-On guy would put the tool in a paper bag and toss it over the fence. The tool would be there the next morning. That Snap-On guy gave me great service. It kept me in the shop working on stuff I could bill customers for.

After a few years I moved my location to a different route. No problems with the billing, he just transferred it to the new guy. I got the same great service even. The new location was now 5 minutes walking distance from Sears.

Only tool that Sears had that was, IMO, better made by Sears than Snap-On was the ignition wrenches like the one John Stephenson broke.

The Snap-On warranty was not like Sears. It was not "unconditional." If you cracked a chrome socket by using an impact gun on it they wouldn't cover it because they have perfectly good impact socket sets for $$$$$. Only Snap-On I used to break with any regularity was their chrome "flexsockets." I broke them removing transmission mount bolts (14mm and 17mm 3/8" drive) on foreign cars. All with regular hand ratchets and muscle, no cheater bars. The problem was the bolts were often so damn tight and I was using a looong extension sometimes two or even three feet. The extension would wind up like a long torsion spring and when the bolt finally let go all that energy would unwind with a loud snap... and the wall of the socket would crack. The Snap-On guy grumbled about the first one and I just told him, "You need to make a better socket." He replaced it and I bought a backup for each of those sizes.

I like my Snap-Ons. They don't make the best tools in every category and style but their wrenches were always more comfortable in my hands than Mac or Craftsman. Their ratchets are very smooth and reliable. Craftsmans really suck at ratchets. Their (now out of patent) "flank drive" sockets and box end wrenches were superior and real knuckle savers. The make some super comfy box end wrenches for the aircraft industry. At one time all of their wrenches were available in "industrial service black" but I had to order those if I wanted em. Most were plain chrome.

Hazet and Wiha make far better screwdrivers. Snap-On hex drivers (hex key with 1/4", 3/8", or 1/2" drive) absolutely suck. They are way too soft. Best hex key and spline drivers are Hazet and Stahwille. Knipex, Stahwille and Belzer make the best snap ring pliers except there is one that Snap-On makes very well that I needed for Porsche and Alfa-Romeo syncromesh snap rings.
Knipex also makes the best "water pump" pliers ever.

Since I stopped wrenching for a living I haven't been on a Snap-On truck for over 15 years. Perhaps things have changed since then. The Snap-Ons and mix of other quality tools have stood up well over the past 15 years. If one fails or goes missing I will replace them with same.

Sears is now over 30 minutes away again. I am far more likely to pass a Snap-On truck on my way to work than a Sears. Then there is the internets for either one.

-DU-

I still have all

wierdscience
04-20-2012, 11:02 PM
The only SO product I ever liked or had use for were their double offset box wrenches,the ones with the really thin walls.Those are/were great,still have the ones I bought 20 years ago.
Their ratchets are complete crap,any 1/2 ratchet that can be stripped pulling with one hand is garbage IMHO.

Jim B
04-20-2012, 11:19 PM
When I was 14, in Newton Mass, that was 64 years ago, my uncle Tom showed up at the door one day with a Snapon 1/2" breaker bar. He had broken it and he had welded it with the square at right angles. It was a "Gift". (Actually my mother had to give him $10 for it.)
My other uncle Jack said that if he had just given it bacl to Snapon they would replace it with a new one, now it was useless.

I used that bar with and without breaker bars until 1987 when it finally broke again.
My son was working as a dispatcher at the Milwaukee Journal, and he gave it to the Snapon man who replaced it with a nice new one.

I have (most of) a set of Williams Deep sockets I bought around 1961. I am missing one or two. The old ones have a cross drilled hole through the square so you can use a "Tommy" bar in tight spaces. I have found that very useful. I got a "new" one on ebay. No hole.

EVguru
04-21-2012, 04:06 AM
When I started working on cars at age 17, my Mother bought me a socket set from Halfords. It didn't take me long to snap the drive off the 1/2" drive ratchet and I took the set back for replacement. The same thing happened and when I went back this time the manger wanted to know how it's broken it. I was stick thin at the time and he simply didn't believe that I could possibly have broken the ratchet single handed as claimed, but I demonstrated doing so with another new set in thier stock room. I was sent on my way with a much more expensive set at no extra cost.

That set lasted pretty well and I've probably still got most of the sockets, but the ratchet didn't last much more than a year and I went to a motor factors who also had a repair business. They were Snap-On and Britool dealers, but pointed me in the direction of Teng, which was what they were using in their workshop. The ratchet was about 1/3rd the price of the premium brands, but is still doing sterling duty well over 20 years later. I've also got a pair of Kamasa stepless ratchets that I've had nearly as long. They don't work quite as well as they used to as the little mylar 'spings' in the clutch mechanism have fatigued.

I bought a bit more Teng, particularly deep sockets which were slimmer than almost anyone elses. Once I was working on the drive, hauling away on some cylinder head stretch bolts when a Snap on van pulled up. The guy wandered up and asked how much torque I was applying. I knew I was maxing out the cheap torque wrench, so I knew it was over 150ft/lb. The Snap-On rep then commented that he thought that was too much torque for 1/2" drive Teng.

That's a shame I said, this is 3/8 !

Some of my tools are a bit tired and could do with replacing. If I can't get a good deal on Beta, I'll probably go for Halfords Professional which are actually pretty good these days. I'm very tempted to go and buy a set of flex head ratchet rings today.

firbikrhd1
04-21-2012, 10:07 AM
I'll probably get slammed for sticking up for Snap On but as a former Snap On, later Mac then Matco dealer over 30 years ago I feel I should say something. Things may have changed since I was a Snap On Dealer, but having sold all three major brands I can say that all three brands made good tools but Snap On supported their dealers better than the other two. If I turned in a broken tool, 99% of the time Snap On made it good, not always so with Mac nor Matco. Therefore, (again, unless things have changed tremendously) it is the dealer who made the decision not to warranty an item for you. The exceptions to the above are abuse, i.e. chrome sockets used on an impact wrench (they aren't designed for that use), screwdrivers used as pry bars or cheater bars used on ratchets or breaker bars and equipment such as gauges, meters, etc. which have their own limited warranty. I can hardly blame any tool manufacturer if the deny warranty based on abuse. When I was a dealer if there was any question of whether it was abuse or defect, I ate the cost and made the warranty good, particularly if they were a regular customer. If a guy stopped me on the street (not a regular customer) with a broken tool I replaced it unless it appeared to be abused. In that case I did refuse the warranty claim, attempted to give a lesson about what caused the tool to fail and offered a replacement at my cost.
The tool dealer is just a businessman and there are good ones and bad ones, just as there are in any industry. I would make a small wager that if you sent your broken tool directly back to Snap On they would make it good. They might even make it good if you called them and complained.

tlfamm
04-21-2012, 10:49 AM
@firbikrhd1: "...it is the dealer who made the decision not to warranty an item for you"


My son is quite happy with the warranty support he receives from his Snap-On dealer - but this is a relationship groomed over the course of a decade. Another (or newly minted) dealer might be a different story.

Mcgyver
04-21-2012, 11:18 AM
When I was a dealer if there was any question of whether it was abuse or defect, I ate the cost and made the warranty good, particularly if they were a regular customer. If a guy stopped me on the street (not a regular customer) with a broken tool I replaced it unless it appeared to be abused. .

I'm glad you did post, good to see the other perspective. a few questions...

So if you, as a dealer, decided to honour the warranty, it came out of your pocket? I think denying for abuse is fair ball, but understand sometimes it would still be better to eat it....but for non abuse warranty, snap on ate it not you, correct?

gizmo2
04-21-2012, 11:39 AM
I never had any luck w/ Snap-On for the simple fact they always sprout legs and walk off. Too shiny perhaps, but simply irresistable to anyone with sticky fingers. Never had the 'marbles' to go to the Snap-On truck asking for a replacement for a stolen tool, but I do wonder how that conversation would go...

moe1942
04-21-2012, 11:51 AM
re: Wangdong:

I saw an adjustable wrench once it was labelled "Golden Monkey" !!!:D


Could be worse...could have been named a Dongwanger...

moe1942
04-21-2012, 12:00 PM
I have been sears since 1960. Istill have most of those tools andn they have served me well. I've have had to exchange some over the years and the replacements were the newer version. They weren't as good as the old one in feel but worked great. I have one snap on ratchet that followed me home when I retired from the USAF.

John Stevenson
04-21-2012, 12:02 PM
Don't care how good snap on are they never made one of these.

http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/stilsons.jpg

Pherdie
04-21-2012, 12:17 PM
Don't care how good snap on are they never made one of these.

Yeah, but once the battery goes dead the damn thing is useless.......

Limy Sami
04-21-2012, 02:30 PM
Don't care how good snap on are they never made one of these.

http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/stilsons.jpg

Niether did Record ;)

Snap On - Tried em and don't like em, collassaly over priced - they'd have to be with the free replacements (no such thing as a free lunch;))

Britool aren't bad, Facom have gone the SO cult route, never tried Mac .

I've several war issue Blue Point - very good, but they dropped off later on.

My favorite wrenches are the old Williams Superslim - I keep my eye open for NOS or barely used.

2nd fave is Elora or Gedore

Jim B
04-21-2012, 07:32 PM
I never had any luck w/ Snap-On for the simple fact they always sprout legs and walk off.

I happen to be a British Car nut. (1951 MG-TD) Most of my BSF/BSW tools are Snap-On. My son bought me a partial set of open end wrenches back in 1968.
Not long after he FOUND a 5/16 BSF combination wrench on the street. (Perhaps that one had very long legs.) I never had a set of BSF combinations but I found I kept using that one almost more than the S-O open end or the Bedford deep box (I picked the deep box set up on a trip to the UK in 1968) that I have.

I have been collecting S-O BSF combinations for several years now. I do have one Bedford (1/2 BSF) that is the equal to the SO. But the SO's just have a nice feel to them.

I have one King Dick open end and its not very good but that might hve been do to mis-handling by a PO

sasquatch
04-21-2012, 08:03 PM
i've had about 10 different brands of wrenches, sockets etc, and Snap On to me is still the best,, but i,m not in the trade of using them daily.

I pick up every Snap On tool i find at garage/ yard sales etc, and there are some deals to be found there.

Last year i found a set of Snap On combination wrenches wrapped in tape , 1inch up to 1 1/2inch for the sum of $10.00 .

One of the strangest Snap On finds i had was i bought a GM truck that had sat, but it had been saftied two years before that.
When i got it home and started checking it out there was a 1/4 -5/16 long 6 point snap on wrench still stuck on the rear brake bleeder.:D
Must have been on there for two years!!

J. Randall
04-22-2012, 12:28 AM
i've had about 10 different brands of wrenches, sockets etc, and Snap On to me is still the best,, but i,m not in the trade of using them daily.

I pick up every Snap On tool i find at garage/ yard sales etc, and there are some deals to be found there.

Last year i found a set of Snap On combination wrenches wrapped in tape , 1inch up to 1 1/2inch for the sum of $10.00 .

One of the strangest Snap On finds i had was i bought a GM truck that had sat, but it had been saftied two years before that.
When i got it home and started checking it out there was a 1/4 -5/16 long 6 point snap on wrench still stuck on the rear brake bleeder.:D
Must have been on there for two years!!

I have one a little stranger still, was under a 58 Chevy 1 ton rigged out as a winch truck, noticed a short S O 3/4 end wrench on the nut of a hydraulic line, the moron had used the box end, and could not remove it.
I took the time, still have it.
James

firbikrhd1
04-22-2012, 05:42 PM
I'm glad you did post, good to see the other perspective. a few questions...

So if you, as a dealer, decided to honour the warranty, it came out of your pocket? I think denying for abuse is fair ball, but understand sometimes it would still be better to eat it....but for non abuse warranty, snap on ate it not you, correct?

Mcgyver, to clarify, if the item was clearly abused, I made a choice whether to warranty the item with the cost of the replacement coming out of my pocket. I often did this in order to offer support to my regular customers (read good customer relations). In the end these warranties that weren't covered by Snap On were a tax deduction as a loss. If a stranger on the street stopped me and asked me to warranty an obviously abused item I would refuse, unless it was a very small item or he was a prospective future customer (i.e. worked in my territory and asked me to come by his place of business)

Abuse such as chrome sockets used on an impact or a cheater bar used on a ratchet or breaker bar are generally quite apparent. There was some leeway here and a way to get around Snap On refusing a warranty. If, for instance a ratchet was obviously abused but the handle not broken, I would repair the ratchet by installing a pawl and gear kit. Snap On always warrantied these so it was no problem. The same was true for breaker bars. If the square drive end was twisted off the pin was driven out and a new drive end installed, again, with Snap On replacing the broken parts at their cost. Obviously, abused sockets had no possibility of this type of "warranty" so either I chose to eat their cost or didn't warranty the item. Any item that wasn't obviously abused was replaced under warranty and Snap On bore the cost of replacement. At that time Snap on had a local branch office near my territory so I dealt with the Branch face to face. Generally, they were pretty liberal in honoring warranties.

A little trivia here on the subject of warranties: During my time as a Mac Tools dealer I would be approached with ratchets and breaker bars that had lost the spring and ball which holds the socket to the drive end. Believe it or not, Mac had swedging tools as well as balls and springs as available parts so rather than replace the ratchet (which was made by Blackhawk at the time) the ball and spring were simply replaced.

Things with Snap On, Mac and Matco have probably all changed since I was a dealer for any of them. Snap On is now a franchise whereas in my day it was a Dealership (you owned the truck, carstock (inventory) and customer accounts, Snap On owned the name). Mac Tools was originally two companies with an agreement, Mac and Mac Allied Tool Corporation. Mac manufactured the Hard Line (sockets wrenches and screwdrivers) while Matco was really a large purchasing agent that bought the Soft Line items like meters, gauges and specialty tools from other manufacturers with the Mac Tools name and Logo on the tools as part of the purchase agreement. After Mac and Mac Allied Tool Corporation split up, Mac Allied became Matco. Neither was financially able to live on alone so they were eventually each bought up by larger companies, Mac by Stanley and Matco by Chicago Pneumatic.

That's about all the tool history I care to pass along and more than most of you probably want to know.
Steve

cuemaker
04-22-2012, 06:46 PM
Wright Tool in Ohio still manufactures its tools in the US from US melted and poured alloy steel (4140 I believe)...

From my time at Fastenal here in Ohio, I sold a fair bit of Wright tools to major production facilities.. Particularly Honda and a few outfits that work at or with Honda....

I had a facility that loaded the cars on the trains. The straps that held the cars down where all tightened via Ratchets. So there are 10 to 20 guys running around using the crap out of the ratchets.. I sold them maybe 1 or 2 replacement internals a month. The primary reason they need new internals is because they guys would drop the ratchets quite often and they would bang their way down to the track.

In my time there, various reps would let them try their ratchets (Armstrong and Crapsman are 2 I remember) but none held up as well.

Just a FYI for those that may care.

saltmine
04-22-2012, 06:57 PM
Ten years ago, if somebody complained about Snap-on tools, I would have fought them like a badger. But, somewhere between then and now, the attitude of tool mongers has changed....drastically. Snap-on Tools used to be American made. The company was founded in 1920 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. And they've been there as long as I can remember.
All of their tools were manufactured at the Kenosha factory, and if there was something that Snap-on couldn't or didn't want to manufacture, they had very stringent requirements before the tool could wear the Snap-on name.

Recently, I saw a Canadian program "How it's Made" where they followed the manufacturing process of some Snap-on extensions....at the Snap-on facility in Canada. I have no problem with Canadian manufacturers. From my experience, they produce products as good as, or better than American made.

But, recently, I've been reading about Snap-on dealers in the field being very abusive, and not taking care of their customers. To add fuel to the fire, some of my web friends have been complaining that they have been getting Snap-on Tools that are manufactured in China (clearly marked, too)
Dealers refuse to warranty these Chinese tools, and literally all of the Snap-on torque wrenches sent in for repair or recalibration have been judged "obsolete" and the company offers a "generous" trade-in on a newer model tool. Unfortunately, the "Newer tool" is quite a bit more expensive than the original.

I used to buy a lot of Snap-on Tools. The main reason I was willing to pay a little more for them is because the higher quality of the tools and the "Lifetime Warranty". It's becoming apparent that both the quality and the warranty have folded up their respective tents and stole off into the night.

Nice photo of the "electronic" pipe wrench....Reminds me of a gag we played on one of the guys when I worked at a dealer out on the "left coast".... I found a rusty old RigidŽ pipe wrench in the trunk of a junk car. So, I degreased it, and buffed the rust off with a wire wheel, and drilled & tapped a hole in the end of the handle for a 1/4" pipe thread. Then I painted it a nice shade of red, and when the paint dried, used a grinder to remove paint from various flat areas on the wrench... When I got done, it looked brand new. As a "finishing touch" I screwed a 1/4" AmfloŽ air fitting into the handle.

We presented it to one of our older "flatraters" for his birthday...

sasquatch
04-22-2012, 07:37 PM
I think many of us here realize that companies like Snap On, S-K, Mac, Herbrand, Grey, Starrett --" All " of the old major companies that HAD a quality product, backed with decent waranty, have taken "BRUTAL" hits from the invasion of import/offshore tools.
And it appears this fierce competion is not going to away anytime in the future.

Many of the good name brand tool companies may eventually disappear, as they just cannot compete if they continue manufacturing in N. America.

As i've said for quite sometime,,, tools and machinery have never been so cheap to purchase to the average guy based on todays wages, compared to say 30-40 years ago.

BigMike782
04-22-2012, 08:01 PM
I was having the water pump replaced on my truck by a friend.He was having a terrible time getting one bolt out,fairly long and threaded into the aluminum head.We talked one night and he said he needed a bolt extractor the the Snap-On dealer sold.I knew there was a dealer down the road from me so I drove down there and got his cell from his wife,I called and left a voice mail.......will someone let me know when he calls?
Business must be so good he doesn't need piddly sales from people with cash.

Jim B
04-22-2012, 08:19 PM
Many of the good name brand tool companies may eventually disappear, as they just cannot compete if they continue manufacturing in N. America.

I must dissagree. The Issue in manufacturing here is investment in automated tooling.

As long as companies and managers are judged on ROIC everything will go elswhere but given some reasonable investment USA can compete with anyone.

J Tiers
04-22-2012, 09:27 PM
I must dissagree. The Issue in manufacturing here is investment in automated tooling.

As long as companies and managers are judged on ROIC everything will go elswhere but given some reasonable investment USA can compete with anyone.

Of course..... but since "everyone knows" you HAVE TO go to china to get things made, that investment is NOT made by the folks who make the decisions.

A.K. Boomer
04-22-2012, 10:58 PM
Im a simple guy and it doesn't take much to make me happy - if I just got 1 out of 3 of the things taken care of that i was looking for I would not have written this topic - and keep in mind its just one vendor - but Iv had issues in the past with others,
so Im pushed over the edge now, I mean geeze - no 12mm hand socket deep or shallow - that's like the most popular metric size...:rolleyes:

and just the "that's just the way it is" attitude - so - im done, I will now hunt down a hodgepodge of various brand name tools that iv learned to trust over the years and will most likely end up with some craftman/mac/SK wayne/JCP/proto/cornwell/ ect. ect. Maybe even a Fouker or whatever, and most will be used and cost about 1/10th of what a new S.O. would have...

my loyalty has ran out, and once that happens I move on.

flylo
04-22-2012, 11:28 PM
I think the US companies that produce outstanding products & service to match are doing great. People don't mind paying for the best if that's what they get. Look at Lodge cast iron cookware. It's high priced, made in the US from US steel.
It's pure greed & short sighted bean counters that crawled in bed with offshore manufacturers & now they're (we're) paying for it. We've given away our manufacturing capacity & remember in any war the victor has the most ability to produce.
So is now a good time to learn chinese?:D

J Tiers
04-23-2012, 08:34 AM
I think the US companies that produce outstanding products & service to match are doing great. People don't mind paying for the best if that's what they get. Look at Lodge cast iron cookware. It's high priced, made in the US from US steel.


Bought the wife a Lodge CI pot...... guess where it was made?

CHINA

Void
04-23-2012, 09:32 AM
Bought the wife a Lodge CI pot...... guess where it was made?

CHINA

Oh darn. There goes another one.

I bought a couple of Lodge CI skillets two years ago from Target. They were US made then. They were actually a couple of bucks cheaper than the made in China brand on the other side of the aisle. The Lodge were also slightly heavier and better finished.

About 4-5 years ago I bought a wormdrive Skilsaw at Home Depot (the steel based one.) IIRC the price was about $150. A year later I was looking at the saws and the exact same make and model was made in China. There was also a Bosch brand wormdrive that was almost identical to the Skilsaw which was made in the USA. Bosch owns Skil now.

As an aside... Bosch is an interesting company:

Robert Bosch GmbH, including its wholly owned subsidiaries such as Robert Bosch LLC in North America, is unusual in that it is an extremely large, privately owned corporation that is almost entirely (92%) owned by a charitable foundation. Thus, while most of the profits are invested back into the corporation to build for the future and sustain growth, nearly all of the profits distributed to shareholders are devoted to humanitarian causes. More info here. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bosch_GmbH#Corporate_affairs)
Damn socialists. Who are the hell are they to buy up our corporations and use the profits to improve the company and support humanitarian causes.

-DU-

flylo
04-23-2012, 10:00 AM
Bought the wife a Lodge CI pot...... guess where it was made?

CHINA

I just bought 2 & both said made in the US from American iron. 2 different venders?

Void
04-23-2012, 10:08 AM
From the Lodge website:
Lodge History (http://www.lodgemfg.com/lodge-history.asp)

Well into our second century in business, Lodge now imports two lines of enamel coated cast iron cookware from China.

The Lodge stuff I bought was the plain CI, not the enameled stuff.

-DU-