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Tools & Tool Brands

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by crew_man, May 8, 2020.

  1. crew_man

    crew_man Active Member

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    Hey guys,

    I was reading another thread and it got me thinking - what are your favourite tools/tool brands and why?
    What is your experience like and are you a tinkerer, advanced-DIY user or a tradie?

    I'm a tool-nut myself and love my Kincrome tools. I have a couple of racing motorbikes so spend a fair amount of time in the garage, but would consider myself an advanced-DIY user.

    I found some older threads on this subject but they were old and generally focused on specific tools like socket sets.
     
  2. losh1971

    losh1971 Well-Known Member

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    I love tools and am not particularly biased with what I buy. I tend to buy mid range Taiwanese tools these days, Sidchrome, Teng, ABW. I also have a range of SCA specialist tools, like pullers and other things. These look almost identical to Toldeo, in fact if the box didn't have SCA on it you would struggle to know the difference. I have a bit of Toldeo gear too but will buy SCA equivalent in future if they have another 60% off like they did a couple of months ago.
    I'm only a tinkerer. I used to pull engine transmissions, transfer cases, diffs and everything in between but these days I don't have the time and can't afford to have my DD off the road for anymore than a day or two.
    This might change when I move and my new shed is accessible during the week. As it is my shed and pit are around 2hrs away and can only do minor repair unless I take annual leave or have a long weekend. I'm about to build a 10.5 x 9 x 3.5, 17deg roof in the coming months. But it could be a year before I move $30k or more worth of gear to a shed where I won't have insurance until the house is built.
     
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  3. EYY

    EYY Well-Known Member

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    Really just depends on what type of tools you're looking at and what sort of jobs you're wanting to do. For example these are a few basic tools that I've had good luck with:

    Pliers (circlip pliers, multigrips etc): Knipex
    Spanners: Sidchrome, old toolpro (not new stuff as it's nowhere near as good)
    Socket sets: SPTools - again, only their older style stuff from their motorsport range. So far survived about 10 years of daily use. The plastic tray has given out but I repaired that with some expanding foam lol
    Screwdrivers: Tang-thru craftright seem to be very good for the price from Bunnings. Not scared to give them a hard time and haven't damaged one yet.
    Torque wrenches: Warren and brown deflecting beam gives me the most confidence.
    Tap/die sets: Sutton only.

    Some things you can go cheap with, but just remember: when that tap snaps in a blind hole, you're going to wish you spent that little more. Same goes for cheap ratchets that slip, and sockets that split.
     
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  4. losh1971

    losh1971 Well-Known Member

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    I'd love a Warren Brown but for 330 bucks for torque wrench you'd want to get some use. I have a Repco one that was about 150 but it doesn't go low enough.
     
  5. marty351

    marty351 Well-Known Member

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    Old man has/had a set of Japanese taps/dies that are as good as, if not better than sutton or p+n brand.
    Can't remember the brand name, but they would be 1970's manufacture. As for the old spanners... never broken one.
     
  6. Trevor loves holden.

    Trevor loves holden. Well-Known Member

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    One brand to stay away from is Daytona from Sydney tools, my friend had to replace his O2 sensor yesterday so he wasn't getting anywhere with it so I had ago on the breaker bar and the tool cracked in half, he got a refund so anyway what I did was cut the sensor down to fit a deep impact socket on and got my 3/4 inch torque wrench, bloody tight, it went crack and she was loose. My advice if you going to buy sensor sockets to replace them don't bother getting cheep ones, I wouldn't even bother unless you need too normal tools do the job.
     
  7. Drawnnite

    Drawnnite Obviously Unsensible

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    As I learnt from fitters (both old school elec ones and mechanical fitters) was to have a copper hammer to use on a spanner.
    Copper being of a softer material means no damage to your spanner.
    Works a treat.

    Same as EYY.
    different brands for different purposes. Mixed and matched.
    But definitely Knipex for cutters. Have had other sets last 2 weeks, these have lasted 9 years of heavy use.
     
  8. shane_3800

    shane_3800 Active Member

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    I had a Kinchrome breaker bar and I snapped the drive off it probably a $20 part on a $250 tool. They refused the warranty so I sent them an email it three weeks to reply so I went and bought a snap-on one. Breaker bars will do the job reguardless of brand but I needed mine fixed asap. I'll never buy kinchrome again.

    I have a set of Irwin vice grips the 7WR broke at the part where the fixed jaw meets the body common issue. So snap-on was selling a version with steel pins there to stop that happening I bought a replacement then saw just recently Endeavour tools are selling the same tool at less than half price I know what I'll be buying next time. With the pinned vice grips I found the next weak spot is the thread in the body for the adjuster rod I'm thinking about welding an acme nut there.

    I have a lot of tools from tool force who sells Endeavour and a few other brands.
    I get all my Knipex through them although Snap-on is starting to sell Knipex too. I have a mix between Snap-on and Sunflag screw drivers. All my impact sockets are either Action, T&E or ABW (now Sidchrome). I have a full SP shallow 12 point 1/4 to 1/2 socket set two Action 6 point sets. I have a 6-36mm 1/4-1-1/2 SP spanner set a 8-21mm Stahlwillie spanner set a Snap-on 10-19mm flank drive plus spanner set.
    I have more tools I just don't want to write them all out as I'll be here forever.
    Point is there are plenty of high quality non Snap-on tools out there but some tools like my Snap-on ratchets are great and I haven't seen a contender yet except maybe Gearwrench. I do own two Snap-on torque wrenches but the next one will be a Gearwrench.
    My tool box is an 86" epic yep the big boy.

    I'm a technician by trade and I'm not like you grandad I use my tools hard like smacking my ball pein on my SP spanners and doubling up on them which still look great for all the abuse.

    Oh my file set Bacho was bought from tool force but Snap-on own Bacho lol so I got Snap-on files for half price.
     
  9. shane_3800

    shane_3800 Active Member

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    I'll list some of my other tools 8-24mm Blue point ratchet spanners 1/4-15/16 Blue point ratchet spanners. 10-22mm dual box extra long flex head Blue point ratchet spanners a similar design can be bought out of Tool force under the brand Kabo and are just as good.
    SP 6-19mm 1/4-3/4 stubby flex head ratchet spanners these are crap because the flex joint goes loose and it won't tighten up yet to try another brand.
    Stahlwillie and Snap-on pipe spanners the Stahlwillie ones are better imo but in roe it's the reverse???
    T&E allen drive impact sockets these are rock solid.
    Snap-on T-handle allen and torx wrench set these are great.
    A no name set of allen, torx and spline (tripple square) drive tools that all have a 10mm hex so you can drive them with the socket or a spanner these are one of my most used tools bought out of Tool force.
    Repco through socket set this has been handy but is poor quality.
    Shirly Brigham 4lbs copper hammer this is my beast :) bought out of Tool force.
    Various Blue point ball peins the 36 ounce is my favourite.
    A set of Channel locks out of Tool force.
    Irwin vice grip set out of TF
    Full set of Knipex cir clip pliers TF
    Knipex side cutters TF

    There is more I should just take pictures lol.
     
  10. vs-lover

    vs-lover Well-Known Member

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    I've been a Sidchrome person most of my life but only Australian made Sidchrome. All their post 1990's stuff that's made in Taiwan is just rubbish and to be over looked.

    As EYY has suggested there are brands that specialise in certain areas and that I'm also onboard with as Sidchrome didn't excel in everything they made that's for sure. Their vices which was a bought out brand in Dawn (as they previously sold rebadged Joplins) you just can't beat, especially the SG (green version) range is better than their normal Dawn Red stuff, but I wouldn't sneeze at a red variant either. You just can't go past a Fabricated Offset Dawn in either 6 or 8 inch variants, yes I've got both along with some Quick action variants as well.

    Snap On make some really good gear and are "America's Sidchrome" in the tool area with their reputation. Stahlwille have some great stuff which I've incorporated over the years as well.

    Yes in Tension Wrenches you just can't go past a Warren & Brown can you ?

    I use a few hammers, but sparingly I might add, mostly Thor and Huckson variants and also quite a few assembly hammers that are plastic faced dead blow hammers. Quite a few Copper and lead hammers as well. Like I said I'm not a huge advocate of hammers.

    Allen keys are all Unbrako's and power tools are mostly Makita's Japanese made stuff not Chinese.

    If there's one thing I've learnt and that is tools are only as good as their operators, but I treat my tools like good friends and thus they never let me down. Opposed to how some folks treat theirs and spend their life cursing tools when they should be really cursing these selves.
     
  11. losh1971

    losh1971 Well-Known Member

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    I have to disagree about the Taiwanese Sidchrome. I have a 3/8 drive socket set and it has been brill as are the spanners in the same kit. If I could pick one flaw it would be the 3/8 open end spanner. If the nut or bolt is really tight and you can't use a ring end on it then it can round the head. But is saying that my very early Sidchrome 3/8 combination spanner does the same thing.

    I feel while yes there are top of the line brands on the most part they are not needed these days. If you buy Teng, Sidchrome and maybe some other brands they have lifetime warranty and immediate swap at a retailer who sells the brand.

    Now some things you need Snap On as nothing compares and I would say the Snap On scan tool fits into this category as it can do more than just scan and reset computers.
     
  12. shane_3800

    shane_3800 Active Member

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    We have a Snap-on a G-scan a Autel and a old hanna tech at work and not one is a do it all scanner each has their strong points and weak points. All cost about 8k new. I have my own Snap-on Solus Edge I bought when I was operating my own buisness it's over kill for what I use it for now but it's handy.

    With the open end spanners if you spend much time around mechanic shops you'll hear the same thing repeated and thats Snap-on flank drive plus are the best. The 16mm nut on the back of commodore P/S pumps is notorious for being tight and the FDP spanners crack them like nothing.
     
  13. Trevor loves holden.

    Trevor loves holden. Well-Known Member

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    My $3.00 19mm ring spanner been hit with a 4 pound hammer dropped and still its strong as the day it was made.:D
    That's my old ones from when I was young and broke that I lend out to people as I've giving out good tools before and had them not returned, I know you don't lend out stuff but I guess I like helping when I can, things like power tools comes with owner only and any other thing I own that's not cheap. Kinchrome and Supatool are what I use in sockets and screwdrivers and ratchet spanners, I'm in the hunt for a new set of combination ring spanners I got my eye on a 30pc set made by NDI they have a lifetime warranty and look very nice problem is because of SARS 2.0 they have no stock in yet.
    I have that Stanley air compressor the big one from supercheap paid 100 second hand as the guy couldn't work out why it was leaking air from the regulator, he brought a replacement part but he thought he stuffed it trying to replace it. It was a easy fix but it still leaked air out of the new regulator, in the end it was just a dirty stop valve so happy days.
    I have a CIG welder and many of goodies to do most jobs, If I need to I just buy tools as I need them now.
     
  14. vc commodore

    vc commodore Well-Known Member

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    I have an SP brand tool kit, which was a large kit when I bought it...Can't remember the exact piece, but had sockets, spanners, screw drivers, pliers and a few other things, in 2 seperate boxes, that go together..

    To date after 10 years or so, the only issue I have struck is the 3/8 drive ratchet stopped ratchetting about 3 months after buying the kit....It was replaced free of charge with an improved design and haven't had a problem since.

    I do have a 3/8 drive snap on ratchet and the lever that is used for the direction the ratchet is going, has broken off...Trying to get the contact number for a rep that does my area of work or home, so it can be replaced, as the number I have, he doesn't do either area and won't do either area.....Won't even pass on the reps number that does either area too.

    For the car I have a cheap 100+ Toolpro kit from Supercheap....Had it about 12 months and so far so good....But in fairness, haven't used it much, as it's there for emergencies....Majority of the time I use my Sp tools
     
  15. shane_3800

    shane_3800 Active Member

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    I bought a SP tool kit as an apprentice. I was cutting a shock wire that they used to hold new shocks with and the side cutters snapped in half never had that issue with Knipex. Every other tool except the sockets and spanners broke. My SP roller cab had a draw F out and they couldn't find me new slides so I went with Snap-on.
    If any of my Snap-on ratchets die I get them rebuilt within a few days my Snap-on guy Mick will usally stop past and pick it up and do it for me. If I was desperate I could even go to his house.
    I've never had to pay for about 7 rebuilds on my ratchets.
     
  16. vc commodore

    vc commodore Well-Known Member

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    Firstly with snap on...Having to wait for your tools to be repaired, isn't really good service.....In this state, sometimes you have to wait a week for the rep. I have found with sp, the only issue I struck, it was replaced that day....

    Reps....I have discovered I have to have the rep that does my areas.....The reps that do my areas, won't touch it....Must be the rep from that area....Again pathetic service

    Rebuilding a ratchet 7 times in 11 years? Might be wrong with time frame, but I'm sure you've said that's how long you've been mechanicing.......It's saying it's not built too well to begin with....So it's put me off that product....

    Lastly using side cutters on shock wire....Stupid....I use pliers, not side cutters....Side cutters are designed for electrical wire, not fencing style wire....That being said, I have used my side cutters a few times on fencing wire and they haven't broken....
     
  17. Trevor loves holden.

    Trevor loves holden. Well-Known Member

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    I thought you just slip them off, I haven't once needed to cut one. But in saying that I don't no what car it was for. This shows you used the wrong tool for the job side cutter ant for hardened steel rods.
     
  18. shane_3800

    shane_3800 Active Member

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    They're mild steel and I cut them to size to make hooks.
     
  19. shane_3800

    shane_3800 Active Member

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    I have 8 or 9 Snap-on ratchets.
    Knipex sales people promote how they can cut a 1/8th drill bit so they're made to cut wire.
     
  20. vc commodore

    vc commodore Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately you posting this about ratchets confirms the product isn't as good as what it is being claimed it is.....Personally I only have 2 of each drive, which to me should be sufficient no matter whether you are a casual mechanic o a full time mechanic...

    And Knipex...I use this brand in the service van, to get crap out of tyre treads...I don't cut the stuff with them as it'd make it more difficult and time consuming getting the rest of the foreign material out, prior to commencing the puncture repair
     

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