Author Topic: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted  (Read 5539 times)

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Offline RobBob

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2017, 10:17 AM »
I also bought one of the HF hand trucks with the leaky tires.  Finally got tired of it not being ready to use because of the flat tires and replaced them with flat-free tires.  Now it is never flat and always ready to go.

Marathon Tires Flat-Free Hand Truck Tire
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 10:20 AM by RobBob »

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Offline Peter_C

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2017, 01:49 PM »
I also bought one of the HF hand trucks with the leaky tires.  Finally got tired of it not being ready to use because of the flat tires and replaced them with flat-free tires.  Now it is never flat and always ready to go.

Marathon Tires Flat-Free Hand Truck Tire
Hmmf...guess I got lucky. I bought HF's biggest tyred hand cart years ago and put air in the tyres maybe once a year. It gets used fairly often and has been an excellent ROI.

As someone who was a professional technician for decades, I have a disdain for crappy hand tools and bits. Snap-on is most often the best. Craftsman is good for when you need to cut up a wrench, grind a socket, weld onto a socket, or need a screwdriver to hammer on. SK I found out their flare nut wrenches spread more than the open side of a Snap-on box wrench. Gave them away, and bought Snap-on flare wrenches. So does quality matter as much to a non professional? Maybe more! If a nut doesn't want to come off who do you think is going to be more adept at removing a stuck nut? A professional with years in the field or a person who has never come across something like this?

Warranty is very important to me. I can break just about anything. I have a spot in my tool box for broken tools.

Wrenches should be very good quality. Impact sockets, who cares buy HF. Chrome sockets use 6 point of reasonable quality (12 points are only for 12 point bolts which are rare). Screwdrivers use good quality as extraction is a pain. Get an impact driver for removing stuck screws, as in the type you hit with a hammer, and use top quality bits with it. The Bluepoint kits from Snap-on are decent and come as a full set. They do carry a warranty, but the stores are mobile aka Snap-on tools trucks. Bluepoint is far superior to Craftsman (Other than maybe their ratchets which often are the same as Matco). As stated above there are a lot of good tool companies Wera, Wiha, Stahlwille, Proto, Knipex, Hazet, and many others. Look for replacement or warranty availability.

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #32 on: March 22, 2017, 02:01 PM »
I'm surprised how many people are into the Harbor Freight junk over at the other forum.  I can't stand walking into that store, it literally stinks of cheap plastic. 

I think I'll be investigating the Gear Wrench lineup.  I have some of their stuff and like the fit and finish of it.  I'll also investigate some of the brands listed here that I've not considered in the past, see how they perform.

Thanks for all the insight.

Ken
. WHATtttt.... That's the smell of Victory...... [wink]
Okay, more like a smell of light oil that permeates every Harbor Freight on the Planet.... [embarassed]
I never dismiss old HF, there are strange, almost indestructible deals lurking in there. You just have to be daring at times and buy it , to try it....
I would actually really miss it if they went under.... [sad]

Yup. I wear dark glasses 8) every time I go there, but when I can buy a 4.5" angle grinder for $18 they are basically disposable. Why bother changing out the grinding disk when you can replace the whole grinder... Same goes for brad nailers.

Seriously though I did grab a second grinder so I could leave it set up with a cutoff disk and use my DW for flap sanding belts.

AND - they have Morse Portaband blades (3) for $20, same air fittings you get elsewhere, and locally available parts tumblers and abrasive media. HF Definitely has it place in the ecosystem.

RMW

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Offline RobBob

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2017, 02:49 PM »
Buyer beware....Big headline today says that Sears and K-Mart are near bankruptcy and may not have funds available to restock shelves.

Offline them700project

  • Posts: 63
Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2017, 03:03 PM »
In my opinion if it has moving parts spend the money on something that works well.

I have owned everything from lowes brand to snap on on both socket wrenches and sockets
A cheap ratchet isnt worth buying. Get yourself something name brand when it comes to that I really like the snap on ratchets. And get some craftsman level sockets.

Offline TOOLTOWN

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2017, 03:12 PM »
Buyer beware....Big headline today says that Sears and K-Mart are near bankruptcy and may not have funds available to restock shelves.

True for Sears/K-mart,  but the craftsman name has been sold to Stanley.  So even if those two stores shut down Crftsman will live on in some way. 

I am a bit dubious about the future quality of the brand.  And even at it's peak there were better options.

Ken

Offline JimD

  • Posts: 322
Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2017, 09:05 PM »
I carry a tool roll filled with tools from HF in my BMW and I am happy with them, at least most of them.  I do not like the screwdriver much but it works.  The combination wrenches are good quality.  The sockets, 6 point, are also very useful.  I use the plastic ratchets in both 3/8 and 1/4.  I also carry an extendable 3/8 I use for wheel nuts.  If they are torqued correctly it works fine.  I also have 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 inch torque wrenches from HF, jack stands, and jack.  For heavy iron type things, I think HF if fine.  I am not surprised a Festool dealer would not be attracted to the place, their stuff cannot be considered in the same league as Festool, but the prices aren't either. 

I have other tools, including some old Craftsman which are definitely nicer than newer Craftsman, but nothing I like significantly better than the HF.  For something reasonable in cost, I think they are a good deal.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2017, 09:11 PM »
I carry a tool roll filled with tools from HF in my BMW and I am happy with them, at least most of them. 

BMW + Harbor Freight...those are truly strange bedfellows. Kind of like jumbo shrimp...

Offline Claimdude

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2017, 11:36 PM »
+1 Wera. Check KC Tools and Amazon

Jack

Offline Bob D.

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2017, 08:47 PM »
"... Harbor Freight actually has cheap all metal clicker style torque wrenches and they are accurate and consistent!  At $10-12 they are a bargain and a fraction of the cost of the others.  Usually this isn't a place you want to economize, but I know several people that have bought these and I checked every one. ..."

I am curious how you checked these, do you have a calibrated torque tester or just doing a comparison torque check on a bolt which has been torqued with a calibrated torque wrench?
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Samo

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #40 on: March 25, 2017, 08:59 PM »
"Harbor Freight actually has cheap all metal clicker style torque wrenches and they are accurate and consistent!"

No offense, but not on something I (or someone I like) would drive.  [blink]

Offline Rollin22Petes

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2017, 09:10 PM »
There cheap for a reason I have personally never bought a tool at Harbor BREAK  that was worth the time it took me to drive to the store. 

Offline Samo

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2017, 10:19 PM »
There cheap for a reason I have personally never bought a tool at Harbor BREAK  that was worth the time it took me to drive to the store.

A good friend of mine, who is not usually stupid, bought the Harbor Freight Mechanics Pry Bar Set.  You know, the type that you would use to pry on a part that you need to pop off without too much force, like Aluminum heads etc.

Half of the largest pry bar, popped off when we were working together and bonked him in the head.  Could have easily hurt him if it had not hit in the middle of his fat forehead.

Offline Rollin22Petes

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2017, 10:42 PM »
I'm glad your buddy is OK but I couldn't help but laugh at that. But that also brings up a good point he could have been seriously hurt or lost an eye. Simply not worth it just to save a few bucks I'm willing to bet his next set was of a better quality. 

Offline RKA

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2017, 10:43 PM »
"... Harbor Freight actually has cheap all metal clicker style torque wrenches and they are accurate and consistent!  At $10-12 they are a bargain and a fraction of the cost of the others.  Usually this isn't a place you want to economize, but I know several people that have bought these and I checked every one. ..."

I am curious how you checked these, do you have a calibrated torque tester or just doing a comparison torque check on a bolt which has been torqued with a calibrated torque wrench?

Just checking against my PI split beam (not calibrated) and a digital torque meter.  No scientific testing here.  The consistency was there. 

-Raj

Offline Samo

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2017, 10:54 PM »
"... Harbor Freight actually has cheap all metal clicker style torque wrenches and they are accurate and consistent!  At $10-12 they are a bargain and a fraction of the cost of the others.  Usually this isn't a place you want to economize, but I know several people that have bought these and I checked every one. ..."

I am curious how you checked these, do you have a calibrated torque tester or just doing a comparison torque check on a bolt which has been torqued with a calibrated torque wrench?








Just checking against my PI split beam (not calibrated) and a digital torque meter.  No scientific testing here.  The consistency was there.

Tool Trucks have a more precise method.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 11:17 PM by Samo »

Offline PreferrablyWood

  • Posts: 850
Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #46 on: March 26, 2017, 02:51 AM »
I'm a son of a master fixer, so even though I have limited need, I went and outfitted my setup with the recommended brands, Stahlwille 1/4,3/8,1/2 6 point socket sets, Box and open ended wrenches up 32mm, ratcheting stubby screw driver, Cold chisels and punch pins set, inspection mirror, Hazet Deep 6 point sockets mini bit ratchet, Wera screw drivers and  a impact bit set. Felo 1000v screw driver kit with drivers that kan be used with the smaller speed handle or inserted into a holder. Gedore odd things. I want so heavy duty pry bars either Gedore or Hazet. Will get the Hazet 1/2" telescoping ratchet. Bought a proxxon ratcheting wrench set. This was done over a couple of years. Knipex Cobra 150,180,250, combination pliers, wire cutters cable cutters, precision flat needle nose, ringlclip pliers. no mane needle nose.. Additional things not yet acquired a couple of Stahlwille torque wrenches, prybars in various sizes..
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 02:57 PM by PreferrablyWood »
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Offline RKA

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #47 on: March 26, 2017, 11:12 AM »
"... Harbor Freight actually has cheap all metal clicker style torque wrenches and they are accurate and consistent!  At $10-12 they are a bargain and a fraction of the cost of the others.  Usually this isn't a place you want to economize, but I know several people that have bought these and I checked every one. ..."

I am curious how you checked these, do you have a calibrated torque tester or just doing a comparison torque check on a bolt which has been torqued with a calibrated torque wrench?








Just checking against my PI split beam (not calibrated) and a digital torque meter.  No scientific testing here.  The consistency was there.

Tool Trucks have a more precise method.

You and I aren't the first people to raise a brow at the HF torque wrenches and if one is so inclined, one could do more homework to see what [better] testing has revealed.  I certainly didn't recommend it based on my idea that a $12 tool could supplant a $130 tool.  I was equally skeptical and despite my efforts to find its failings, it works quite well.
-Raj

Offline Samo

  • Posts: 528
Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #48 on: March 26, 2017, 01:45 PM »
"... Harbor Freight actually has cheap all metal clicker style torque wrenches and they are accurate and consistent!  At $10-12 they are a bargain and a fraction of the cost of the others.  Usually this isn't a place you want to economize, but I know several people that have bought these and I checked every one. ..."

I am curious how you checked these, do you have a calibrated torque tester or just doing a comparison torque check on a bolt which has been torqued with a calibrated torque wrench?








Just checking against my PI split beam (not calibrated) and a digital torque meter.  No scientific testing here.  The consistency was there.

Tool Trucks have a more precise method.

You and I aren't the first people to raise a brow at the HF torque wrenches and if one is so inclined, one could do more homework to see what [better] testing has revealed.  I certainly didn't recommend it based on my idea that a $12 tool could supplant a $130 tool.  I was equally skeptical and despite my efforts to find its failings, it works quite well.

 [scratch chin]  My apologies.

I may be guilty of being a little judgemental and have not been inclined to look further at HF.  My friend's little accident and the fact that I smelled this horrible off gassing the last time I was in there is mostly why.

I do have a few things from them, small jack stands and a long 1/2" breaker bar.  Just be careful and safe using their stuff and I don't think the product is at all consistent.  If I want something again, I'll mail order it or have my friend pick it up.

Thanks for the heads up on the torque wrenches and I do pay attention to the recommendations for the various manufacturers.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 01:51 PM by Samo »

Offline JimD

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #49 on: March 26, 2017, 06:38 PM »
It may not be something for the FOG but other forums I participate in have threads where people report what they think are good buys at Harbor Freight (HF).  It is definitely a place where you can get useless junk (like a woodworking dado set I bought there once).  But it is also a place where you can get very usable tools at a good price.  I tend to avoid them for power tools but I needed a hammer drill with a demolition mode and bought one at HF for less than $100.  The mode switch is a little baulky but it has taken down one chimney and about 8'x8' of brick veneer so far.  It also drills large holes in concrete without me having to push on it.  My son gave me a cordless impact wrench from HF when we were replacing floats on the dock a few years ago.  It drove 3/8 lags into 2x4s with no pilot hole.  Did about 20 floats (so 80 lags) on one battery.  I still use it to quickly spin on or off larger bolts. 

The composite, plastic covered, ratchets are actually pretty decent.  Others not so much.  I don't like their 12 point sockets (don't seem to be machined well) but the six point haven't rounded a nut for me yet.  I actually like their combination wrenches.  They are all smooth so they are easy to clean.  Markings may come off, however.  Hasn't happened yet. 

I thought somebody might like the contrast of HF tools in a bimmer.  I use a HF torque wrench on it too, but so far only for drain plug and filter cap tightening.  The drain plug is going into aluminum so I do not want to overtighten and the filter cap is plastic - but must be adequately tightened.  If I rebuilt engines for a living I would get better torque wrenches.  But for my uses, HF is fine. 

Offline demographic

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Re: Mechanics tool recommendation wanted
« Reply #50 on: April 02, 2017, 03:40 AM »
One thing I've noticed with the soft grip stuff the tool manufacturers use ( even the posh manufacturers like Wera) is that if it gets oil or solvent (remember, mechanics tools here) on the soft grip part it STINKS like puke and goes like a chewing gum consistancy. Ugh.

I prefer the square hard handle screwdrivers over that.