Another Tool Thread . .

As I build out my race trailer I have quickly started to relize that I basically cleared out the tool box in the garage to fill the tool box in the trailer. So I’m going to start hunting and pecking to slowly restock the tools in my garage so I have redundancy.

The tools I use are pretty “primitive” and I’ve never been a brand loyalist/ fanboy, as I don’t make a living with tools. But I still like having quality stuff, being anything I buy now I’d like to pass down to my children. I guess thats kind of my benchmark for quality :man_shrugging:

So with that said what do you guys like to buy? Is there a specific brand you like, or are you more of an opportunist (like me) where you buy what you like from multiple different brands? I recently splurged on a set of impact socket sets from Tekton, and a few rackets from them as well and I am pleased with their quality.

For Christmas I got a GearWrench digital torque wrench I’m pretty excited to use.

I have mostly GearWrench stuff for ratcheting wrenches. I also have an enormous Dewalt socket/ratchet set. For Allens I have Craftsman t-handles, but I prefer the Beta ones my dad has. Craftsman used to have a lifetime warranty for their stuff, not sure if they do anymore. But as a family we’ve probably gone through about 3 or 4 sets of Craftsman t-handles over the karting years and they were all replaced free under warranty after the first one. I also have a set of pass-through sockets from Craftsman which are cool for long bolts.

For power tools I like the Porter Cable or Milwaukee impacts and drills. Donut just did a test of impact wrenches, comparing Bauer (Harbor Freight), Milwaukee, and Snap-On: $100 vs $900 Impact Wrench TORTURE TEST - YouTube
Not the most comprehensive test, but it was cool that the Milwaukee impact basically worked underwater.

One thing I’ve learned is that when it comes to tools, the mid-range stuff is kind of the best bang for your buck. It accomplishes 95% of what the really expensive stuff does and is durable and will last. The Harbor Freight stuff gets the job done but you’ll be replacing it more.

I kind of went through the same thing. However, I have a 3 drawer toolbox that I carry in the trailer and lug into the garage when home. I was always a Craftsman guy taking advantage of Black Friday deals over several years till Sears closed. Harbor Freight stuff runs the gamut, some stuff is decent, some not so much. Case in point; snap ring pliers. I started with the cheap HF set, they are worthless, bought the “good” HF unit it worked okay but it eventually wouldn’t apply enough force to expand snap rings. Recently bought a Channel-lock pair that works so well it makes me giddy when I use it. Instead of a brand look for the best combination value and quality.

I’ve recently fallen in love with my craftsman versastack system. Rolling big tub with two smaller tubs and a 3 drawer toolbox on top. Top tool box is usually $199 but is $99 on certain holidays. Comes with deep and shallow 1/2,3/8,1/4 sockets and ratchets. Wrenches, Allen keys, spark plug sockets, and screwdriver is also in it. Great bang for the buck IMO. Then for holidays and such I just ask for more tools to fill it up. As said above mid range tools seem to be the way to go HF has some hit or miss, love

their wrenches, hate their snap ring pliers after 5 uses.

Very similar to the Milwaukee pack out, it’s not cheap but a absolutely love mine, have the whole set plus some 3 drawer pullout boxes. It makes organizing so much easier and They have never let me down in the 3 years I’ve owned them.

To Answer your point Dean,

I honestly buy whatever when I need it, when I was first starting out I was all Dewalt, but now I’m buying whichever brand seems to have the best tool for my needs. I’ve quite enjoyed Tekton products, I use their torque wrench quite a lot on my car. But in the end I don’t really mind the brand as long as it’s good quality and can hold up to heavy use and my constant butter fingers dropping them, …just don’t drop the torque wrench….

As a tradesman the only thing I can really suggest (otherwise you’ll be spending $$$$$) is that for everyday tools try to stay away from House brands, tool brands unique to a specific retailer. (Husky at Home Depot for example).

Don’t get me wrong, they’re great for that “one off” tool that you use maybe once a race weekend or once a season. No sense in spending big money on a rare tool. But everyday ones, spend a little bit and get quality tools.

I would rather suggest to someone to even get a used ‘Commercial Grade’ impact driver (not ‘home-owner’ line) than to get an off-brand new one that runs for $20. You’re going to be replacing it often and the frustrations when it breaks is not worth it.

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In the professional Tool World, there are a few names at the top. Snap-on, Mac, Matco and GearWrench just to name a few. The prices for similar tools can vary between them with Snap-On near the top and GearWrench at the lower end of their spectrum. Unless you are planning on making a living with your tools, the average person does not need to spend money on a Professional Grade set. When it comes to hand tools, just about any grade will work without much of an issue. As you get into more specialty stuff like ratchets and impacts, I would look at a nationally branded choice like Craftsman or Dewalt for example. Milwaukee has come a long way over the years as well. Lastly you have some tools very specific to your brand. I am talking about clutch pullers, flywheel stops and seal install tools that are different from one application to the next. You will likely be limited on the source you purchase them from and will pay a premium to get them.

A little background on me. I am a third generation mechanic. Aside from growing up wrenching on our family’s race cars, I put myself through college working part time as a professional automotive mechanic. After graduation, I moved to the sales side of Service Repair and have held various positions from Advisor to Store Management with a combined 20+ years in the industry. Early in my career I amassed mostly Professional Grade tools, but grew up in a Craftsman house. Later after not wrenching for a living, I mostly buy name brand tools, because I know if I have a problem with them I can head to any hardware store and have them replaced. Now my toolboxes are a pretty mixed bag of Snap-On Hand Tools (leftover from my Mech days) along with Kobalt, Craftsman and Dewalt. I have had Husky, but was never thrilled with their quality and Harbor Freight can be hit or miss too.

…and yes, I own at least three 10mm sockets!


My dad bought an auction lot of a hardware store that went out of business for almost nothing, and now we have a pallet load of sockets, tools, wrenches, and odds and ends. I think we counted over 135 10mm sockets in there.

That should last us a couple years. :sweat_smile:


For some reason I feel attacked by the title of this topic :smiley:

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Sounds like maybe I should retitle it to ‘Show me you 10mm socket wrenches”


Its been a while, but was it you that posted this pic?
10mm break in emergency