I would say my "Must Have" is a Met-rinch set. Awesome set, small, and very versitle. I have been using it for about 10 years now. Never a complaint and will work on 90% of the vehicle. Runs about $160, but well worth the money.
Another item, which will not quite fit in the tool box, would be an air compressor. Simplifies removing old rusty bolts. I spent about $350 for my Craftsman Air compressor, tools, and sockets.
A good Torque wrench (I use a Craftsman Digital.)
Also I would look at what type of vehicle you have, and maybe pick up some speciatlity Ford tools that you forsee needing on e-bay or a cheap parts store. When you have the right tool it save time, energy, and blood.
I kin do jus' 'bout anyting wif a hammer and a vise-grip! Want me ta fix yer transmission? Seriously, depends on what you want to do. For working on old cars, I have socket sets and combination wrenches, adjustable wrenches, vise-grips, a 2# copper hammer ($ but it won't wreck stuff) the usual screwdrivers, pry bars, a can of some kind of rust-buster (WD-40 isn't very good) a chisel (really) and a few power tools, like an angle grinder and a drill. That's the portable stuff; if you get serious you can use an air compressor, air tools, jacks and stands, torches, welder... it just goes on and on. For today's cars you mostly need a cell phone and a credit card IMHO. For hand tools, you can't go wrong w/ Craftsman; they're reasonable, and they'll replace anything on the spot. I've moved away from their power tools to pro level stuff- Bosch, Milwaukee, etc. Oh yeah- safety goggles and mechanics gloves save a lot of wear and tear on the bod (yours!)
You should get those socket strips the sockets snap too, I couldn't live with out mine. Unless you're a pro, stay with craftsmen, husky or anyone that'll replace it for free. i remember a friend in high school who worked in a shop with his dad, knew his stuff, but could barely afford anything, had to fianance a ratchet from snapon.
Buy Craftsman for tools you'll use often. Go to Harbor Frieght for tools you use sparingly (once every other year or so). Also, simple tools like sledge hammers and jack stands are pretty cheap at Harbor Frieght and don't break like their power tools.
not all craftsman place will exchange on the spot anymore. the one in town has to send everything in to replace it even though they have it on the shelfs. they say you have to got to this certian store to change then out. i quit sending them in because i have gotten all my stuff back before from them saying i didnt give them to the dealer. but other than that problem, i love craftsman hand tools. dont cheap out on tools
A year ago or two my answer would be different because they weren't invented yet but the most indispensable tools in my box now are Gear Wrenches. They are ratchet wrenches but nearly the same physical size as a standard wrenches. I don't think I could do without them any longer. They save a lot of time.
There are many brands now days but the original was made by "Gear Wrench" I think the brand stamped Craftsman and available at Sears are made by Gear Wrench as well.
I've been using Gear Wrenches since they came out and have yet to wear one out.
My personal tool "box" that I take I take to jobsites and use at home is a Klein canvas riggers bucket with multiple interior pockets. I keep a set of Crescents' style of gear wrenches, set of Klein nut drivers and screwdrivers, sae and metric allen wrenches, adjustable wrenches, vise grips and sloted pliers, duct tape and electrical tape and any specialty tools I might need for a particular job. My most used tool is my big ball peen hammer that always sits on top. I can do 90% with my bucket. The other 10% can be taken care of with something out of the tool trailer.
Like paden was saying, I don't think I could do without my Gear wrenches either. The price is dropping on them . They've come a long way since the old style knuckle busters they used to have.
what tools should i have on my tool box?
what brand you Recommend?
My first instinct would be to say that if you have to ask then you probably better have a mechanic in there.
But on a brand question then I would have to go with what you intend to use them for and how much. Snap-On are probably the best but you will pay a hefty price for them. Craftsman on the other hand are very good and a lot less money. There are lots of others out there that can do the job and hold up somewhat for even less money. So basically it is up to you and how much you want to spend and how well you like your hands. Cheap tools will work but you can expect them to break and then what happens to your hands, hopefully only a knuckle skinning.
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