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Are Snap-On tools worth it?

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Old 11-04-2014, 03:45 PM
joegeds joegeds is offline
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Are Snap-On tools worth it?

I'm looking at some of these prices and can't believe it. Typical 1/2" ratchet set (ratchet, 2 extenders, and 10 or so sockets) Snap-on wants $284. I can get the same set by Craftsman for $40. Now, I'm not a professional mechanic, but use my tools every weekend. I have really hunkered down on Craftsman sockets with breaker bars and even pipes attached to the breaker bar for more leverage. I've never once broken a Craftsman socket. I could buy 6 sets of Craftsman for that price and still have enough left over for a few cases of beer!
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:54 PM
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For the typical backyard guy, I think Craftsman is good enough> Granted, it is FAR from what it was 35yrs ago. But, they still replace it if you break it. I don't think they are quite as forgiving as years ago. I haven't replaced more then a few pieces in near 40 yrs.
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:09 PM
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I work on my own heavy equipment. I have a variety of Craftsman, Snap-ON, and S&K tools. I buy alot of them from yard sales and flea markets. If I were going with new stuff, I would go Craftsman. They have decent quality and a good warranty. I like the other stuff, But new is just too pricy. Everybody says you are buying the lifetime warranty, but even the cheap parts store China stuff has that. There might be a few times I would rather have a specific tool made by a specific company and when that time comes that is what I do. Opportunity influences my tool purchases i.e. flea markets. I'm not running down or promoting any of them. That's just my $.02 worth!
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:15 PM
BocceMon BocceMon is offline
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I have a lot of OLD (~45 yrs) Snap-on tools along with a lot of Craftsman and others. Snap-On, years ago, was somewhat affordable IIRC. In my experience I have found that what is important is that they loosen and tighten a nut or bolt adequately. I am happy with both.
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:38 PM
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Snap-On is really good quality. I like the handles on their screwdrivers, especially, over Craftsman. I buy them when they have a clear usage advantage, like with the screwdrivers, but otherwise, I won't spend the extra $$$. Also remember that exchanging a broken Craftsman tool at your local Sears is way easier than tracking down the Snap-On jobber.
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:41 PM
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Excellent points, JAS88!
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:57 PM
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25 years ago I bought some used Snap-On ratchets, 3/8" drive, one is the standard length for $25 and the other is about 18" long for $35. That's all I've ever used since, and I use them with Craftsman sockets. Best money I ever spent was on those ratchets.

My first father in law sold me the ratchets and then gave me a set of three Snap-On Screwdrivers. A 1/4" straight, a #2 Phillips, and a prybar that is the same size as the other two screwdrivers. What he had were used handles and he went through a Snap-On dealer to replace the blades. WOW I am still using these tools and they are awesome. I have tried others (I work on stuff for a living) but nothing compares.

That being said I have looked around on Craig's list for used Snap-On tools and I wouldn't pay what they want. They are excellent tools but I cannot justify paying what they cost when another tool will do the same job. That's easy for me to say since I have Snap-On ratchets! They are works of art and when you use one you feel how good they are every time.

It works out for me to use Snap-On ratchets with Craftsman sockets.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:18 PM
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Snap on ratchets, screwdrivers and swivel sockets are money WELL SPENT. Anything else craftsman are just fine for.

Snapon quality has gone down the toilet in the past 10 years but the prices haven't topped any
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:11 PM
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I'm going to jump in here and say that as a calibration technician with a very strong background in torque and force, I strongly recommend Snap-On over Craftsman when it comes to torque tools. The difference is night and day in quality and durability between the two. I also highly recommend CDI (Consolidated Devices) and Proto for torque wrenches, now these will set you back a good bit, but they are a buy it once type wrench. Also these three are very easy to work on if you know a calibration technician who has access to a torque calibrator.
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:22 AM
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Most of my tools are craftsman, but my ratchets are snap-on. Most of their stuff is not worth the money IMO.
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:39 AM
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Most of my hand tools are Proto because I started out with a big giant set of them in HS. I love their hand wrenches and ratchets/sockets over any other, but I don't think their quality these days is as good as it was when Ingersoll-Rand owned them. They are owned by Stanley now.
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:07 AM
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Hard to be craftsman on value for your money, I have only ever broken a few pieces over 40 odd years of use and they always replace them.
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:19 AM
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i have been replacing my hand tools with harbor freight so when they get stolen i am not out a months paycheck.
i have beaten the snot out of the HF impact sockets, and they just will not break.
can't say the same for snap on or craftsman. and the cost $25 for a set compared to $250+ for snap on is a no brainer.
same with the HF wrenches. in 4 years i have yet to break one, and i am not easy on tools.
when it comes to air tools though, i only use tools that are at least 30 years old.
now don't get me wrong, i own over $10,000 worth of snap on, matco, and craftsman tools.
but for the stuff i use every day that stays in the trucks, it is all HF tools.
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjc transport View Post
i have been replacing my hand tools with harbor freight so when they get stolen i am not out a months paycheck.
i have beaten the snot out of the HF impact sockets, and they just will not break.
can't say the same for snap on or craftsman. and the cost $25 for a set compared to $250+ for snap on is a no brainer.
same with the HF wrenches. in 4 years i have yet to break one, and i am not easy on tools.
This is very good news indeed. I have been reluctant to buy a set of impact sockets due to the cost. Not anymore.
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:27 PM
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I've gotten turned off of the newer Craftsman stuff. Yes, they have a lifetime guarantee. But having to constantly go to Sears, or where they sell them, and replace the tool gets to be a pain.

A number of years ago I bought a new Craftsman screwdriver set after a little use I noticed that the tip of flat blade screwdriver was twisted. Brought it in for an exchange. The replacement bent within a couple weeks. Exchanged it again. When the third replacement bent I gave up on them. I was not abusing them. Heck, I wasn't even using a wrench on the shaft to gain extra leverage. I was simply twisting with one hand. The stuff is just junk. Sears gave me a 100% credit towards any thing else in the store for the entire set. I then paid $120 for a Snap On set. Ouch! But I never had one bend, they were comfortable to use, the tips gripped the screws better, in other words, they were great. They lasted 10 years of professional use before they were done in by an unfortunate incident with spilled battery acid.

Ratchet handles, same thing. The modern ones are junk and don't last. Sure they'll replace them or, depending on the store, rebuild them while you wait. But not being able to depend on your tools is a miserable feeling.
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