Hand Tools

Whyte Rhyno

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Just quick off-topic question/ discussion. Just wondering what everyone of you guys think about the hand-tool options out there. I've got a small suburban garage and I'm a "white-collar" guy who likes to tinker in the garage so I'm no professional but I do value quality. My focus isn't so much to buy the cheapest tools out there but I also don't think that the most expensive item is the best just based on price alone. I had a great set of vintage Anderson-made craftsman tools when I was younger but had to get rid of them when I went to medical school. When I graduated I was broke so most of my current tools were crappy and inexpensive harbor freight items that got the job done but left a lot to be desired when it came to fit and finish and tolerances. I've stripped many a bolt head due to the slack in their wrenches and sockets. So that brings me to my question. I'm looking to slowly update and upgrade my tool collection to some quality stuff from a reputable manufacturer. I'd rather stick to American made products to keep my fellow countrymen employed. Obvious options include snap-on, matco, cornwell, and sk. I'm favoring sk since they do make most if not all their hand tools in the USA and their prices are pretty good when compared to snap-on for example. Any opinions? I know i probably just let loose a grenade and I'm looking forward to the back and forth to follow. I won't be making a $20k bulk buy but will slowly buy up sets as I need them. Doing this Highboy restoration has left me wanting some better tools.
 

shoholasmokin

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While I am not a professional "wrencher" as a kid I had SK tools and at the time (70's) they were excellent tools and still have a great reputation. I have recently acquired some of the Gearwrench products and found them to be of excellent value. Mine are made in Taiwan. Some of mine came in metal boxes which I much prefer to anything in a blow molded case. My old SKs came in metal boxes at the time as well. For pliers and such I really like Klein. For screwdrivers I use Brownells and some old Facoms I got when I lived in France. I know you said you are looking at "hand tools" however I end up using a lot of battery powered tools around the house, barn, garage. I assume - as you describe yourself - you are in a similar situation. For me deciding on a battery platform was a critical and years ago I went with Milwaukee and have never looked back. My thought is if you buy right you only buy once. Value = quality per dollar spent.
 
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Whyte Rhyno

Whyte Rhyno

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While I am not a professional "wrencher" as a kid I had SK tools and at the time (70's) they were excellent tools and still have a great reputation. I have recently acquired some of the Gearwrench products and found them to be of excellent value. Mine are made in Taiwan. Some of mine came in metal boxes which I much prefer to anything in a blow molded case. My old SKs came in metal boxes at the time as well. For pliers and such I really like Klein. For screwdrivers I use Brownells and some old Facoms I got when I lived in France. I know you said you are looking at "hand tools" however I end up using a lot of battery powered tools around the house, barn, garage. I assume - as you describe yourself - you are in a similar situation. For me deciding on a battery platform was a critical and years ago I went with Milwaukee and have never looked back. My thought is if you buy right you only buy once. Value = quality per dollar spent.
I've actually got a few dewalt power tools like a cordless drill, angle grinder, orbital sander, and impact. I love them and use them all the time. Got a Milwaukee sawzall as well. Great tool. I agree on the metal boxes for sure but i'll be storing tools in a tool chest using a combo of Ernst and westling storage accessories. I've purchased a few channel-lock pliers and such and think they're great. No luck on locking pliers yet though. the vise grip brand doesn't seem as good as i remember and i've had a few break already. thanks for your input. much appreciated. i'll look into klein.
 
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PapaRaptor

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My dad was a mechanic in HS and thru college, I have most of his snap on tools. Most of my mechanic friends like the Matco for the overall value.
 
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