Craftsman/Kobalt/Tekton/Pittsburg Sockets/Wrenches -- General Thoughts/Question

sunandsand

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"You can over do it"

Yeah, probably I have. But so what? I almost always have the tool or tools I need, I have the space to store them, and I don't need the money. Everyone has to have a hobby and we've got no kids to leave all this stuff to and make their lives miserable disposing of it.

Eventually, we are going to have to do some kind of estate planning, it would be a shame if some of the good stuff wound up in the dump because nobody knew what it was.

Mike/Florida
 

Torvy

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Stanley/Black and Decker owns the main Craftsman brand.
They are in the finishing stages of building an automated tool factory in the Alliance business park outside of Fort Worth.
Our place 'in town' is about 5 minutes from there. For NASCAR fans, its just down I35W from TMS. Alliance isn't really outside FTW, the city sprawls way up North.

As for Craftsman, I always had good luck getting things replaced. They even upgraded when they didn't have the exact thing in stock. Even replaced an Axe handle I broke due to being young and dumb. I'm not a mechanic, so they were always good enough for me. I used to only buy Craftsman just because of the warranty. Now, I just get what I can at the best price. Maybe when we retire next year I will find a need for higher end tools, for now...not so much.
 
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wheelbuilder

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I've got a bunch of Craftsman from the 80s, and some harbor freight. I've not broken any craftsman yet, even doing thing like cheater bars on a 3/8 ratchet. I have broken harbor freight not doing that kind of abuse to them. The last time I went looking for hand tools, I spent somewhat more on Proto. The Craftsman I was comparing to just didn't feel as finished. I think I'd go back to craftsman if they can clean up some of the rough edges the got when they left the US.
 

DJ54

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Auctions, swappers days, and flea markets, with vendors that have used items is where I have picked up many USA made tools. I never seem to have enough 1/2" or 9/16" wrenches. Too many little jobs of tearing something down, and I leave the tools I used with that little project, until it's put back together, so I'm not hunting, or have to go to one of the other shops to retrieve tools. I have 3 shops here, and all pretty much outfitted the same, except the main one. Plus a decent assortment in the basement house shop for inside home repairs.

All have double sets of standard combination wrenches. The main shop both combination and metric. 2 years ago at a small local auction house, I bought 4 sets of older, but look like new S-K metric wrenches, in the roll up's. Combination set, double box end, and a set of shorties in both. Got them for $20 a pop. Struck gold that night, as I also got 3 sets of USA made thread chaser's in both metric, and standard. The one standard set goes up to 1". Got those for $10 a set. Just got to be in the right place, at the right time I guess.

Labor Day weekend this year, I picked up more 1/2"-9/16" Crafstman/SK wrenches for $1 to $2.50 ea. Deal of the day was a set of, I'd have to guess late 70's era, 3/8" drive short standard MAC 6 point sockets, w/ holder for $35. The guy was a maintainace worker in a factory, and had just retired. He was selling off his work tools, as he didn't have room for them at home in his shop, which from the sounds of things is pretty decked out. He said he didn't want to take them back home. That set went to the main shop in the tool box, right beside my 3/8" clicker torque wrench, for small enginere pairs.
 

Torvy

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^Thanks for the reminder...I need to expand my tool inventory.
 
  
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diesel85

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Vernon, NY
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Very interesting responses... I find this thread quite enjoyable to read. I'm was hesitant on asking, because anytime someone brings up brand names of tools, folks often times get very, very defensive.

In any event, one thing I do know is that HF doesn't sell many 18mm wrenches for some reason (except ICON). It's like they skip certain sizes for whatever reason. I wanted another one (as a set) to accommodate my Craftsman set at one point, and I still got the 14 piece SAE and 14 piece Metric sets, but I went elsewhere to add the 18mm. Just like 13mm long reachers... I really wish HF would sell individual pieces at times.

I love tools... I have this fascination about having tools for some reason. Always wanted to have as many tools as I could since I was a little kid.

As far as the Sears locations, I have two that are about 50 miles from me. They are the independently owned stores -- mostly appliances, tools, etc. Not a "real" Sears stores as many of us remember. The folks in those stores really like the Craftsman brand, and will bend over backwards to help with any problem or question with them.

One more thing I'll add, is that throughout my years of wrenching, having the right fitting tools is what counts. I've demonstrated to myself the importance to use the correct tool for the job -- especially rusted nuts and bolts. With that being said, the importance of 6 point and 12 point in terms of proper removal without strippage, and likewise fastening them. I tend to reach for my 6 pointers first, before the 12 pointers and paying attention to how they initially fit before applying torque.
 

JWR

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Not that there is consistency to it but 17 and 19mm wrenches are more common than 18mm. Probably has to do with the statistical frequency with which the 17 and 19mm nuts occur compared to 18mm.
 

PILOON

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I never buy any tool that claims 'professional grade' as that is but marketing hype and just the ones that'll bend or break under even normal conditions.
OK, I do have a few but I keep those as loaners.

Flea market and yard sales are my best finds but then I'm a tool junky.

Love it when a vendor suggests that if I can determine what that tool is used for then it's mine free. LOL, have got a few at that price.

Have one, marked BABCOCK-CW20 that was given to me a while back. Just recently I found out that it is a solderless wire splicing tool and that they are still available @ $2000.+, crazy! I can't imagine how or why this was in my neck of the woods as there is no industry locally that would come near using such a tool.
 

RancherGuy

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... I also have a box of crap tools as loaners. I do not EVER lend out my good tools because they just don't come back. ...
Looks like you have learned a basic rule in life: people wanting to borrow your stuff are in their situation because they don't know how to care for them. It doesn't matter if it is tools, saws, trailers or pickup truck. They live life differently than those who have carefully saved, purchased and cared for what they have. Those items, if lent, are likely to be returned used, abused, with an empty tank, or not at all.
 

sunandsand

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Bad idea of the decade . . . the "sharing economy". Internet idiots pushing the "brilliant" idea that you can rent out your tools, your car, whatever, for "extra money!"

No, I am not going to rent my M-B convertible to some rando living in his momma's basement who has somehow managed to scrape together $20 so he can go refill his pill-mill oxycodone prescription.

What amazes me is that people who should know better actively support this idea. Hagerty insurance, which does ONLY special interest, antique and classic vehicles has a program to "rent out your ride". This is beyond stupidity because THEY get to pay the claims when these vehicles (invariably) get damaged or destroyed.

I also have a 70 year old motorcycle in my hangar. If some moron rents it and wrecks it, presumably I'll get a check to "replace" it - except where precisely do you find an exact replacement for a 70 year old motorcycle? I'd rather have the motorcycle, not the check.

I prefer not to stand next to a twisted, smoking pile of scrap metal that used to be my vehicle, expecting a check someday and saying "Well, gee, it seemed like a good idea at the time."

And you know you're going to get sued because any sharp attorney will say "You rented out a vehicle that was 70 years old, how could it possibly be safe? This accident is totally your fault and you owe my poor, innocent client twenty bazillion dollars!!!!" Of course, the evidence has been long scrapped, so YOU better think about writing a big check.

Mark Twain said "It is easier to stay out than to get out". The "sharing economy" idea is a shining example of that.

(My wife, who IS an attorney, agrees with Mark Twain on this.)

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida
 
 
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