Hand tools

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I see a savings of over $70 on buying a $90 Master Appliance heat gun. For that big o' savings, I'll chance it. ;)
nb
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My son is a professional truck mechanic - suspensions. The hardest use. Fire, garbage, crane trucks. All of them. He uses a lot of HF Pittsburgh wrenches on a daily basis. And HF prybars. And HF impact sockets. They replace the ones he breaks. He buys some Mac and Snapon from the truck occasionally, when he needs a certain tool - impact wrenches eg. They are rebranded Ingersoll Rand. I only have a multi-tool from HF. It works well, but doesn't have much working history. My hand and power tools are mostly Craftsman. I have a Milwaukee Sawzall. Ridgid pipe wrenches. I've bought maybe 3 sets of Craftsman wrenches in my life - when they were on sale and came with a good tool box. If the HF wasn't 20 miles I'd shop there for some tools. Just have to select the right ones.
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Vic Smith wrote:

I have a set of their SAE ratcheting box wrenches . I try not to overload them not because they're HF but because I want them to last . My toolboxes are a polyglot of metric and SAE , Chinese and Craftsman , stuff my dad had and stuff I bought for a specific task .
--
Snag



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On Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 12:45:03 AM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:

Even though this subject has been discussed as many times as there are sources for HF coupons, I'll jump in.
I just bought a 25 inch, 1/2 in. drive Breaker Bar (Item #67933) for $9.59 by using the 20% coupon on top of the sale price of $11.99.
I then went home and replaced the rotors and pads on my Ody. That breaker bar paid for itself multiple times by busting loose the caliper bracket bolts with next to no effort. My old method was a piece of pipe over the ratchet handle which worked fine, but having a dedicated breaker bar, for less than $10 is a sweet deal. Less wear and tear on the ratchet handle too.
If I need to, I could slip the pipe over the breaker bar and gain another 2 feet. If I ever need to do that, it better be one strong bolt!
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On Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 9:51:26 AM UTC-5, DerbyDad03 wrote:

I've used a pipe over a 1/2" breaker bar, but a ratchet...WTF! You have no idea of the pressure you're exerting on the gear, pawl, and stud of that ratchet! You should have your amateur mechanics license taken away!
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On Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 1:54:57 PM UTC-4, bob_villa wrote:

Nor did I care. If it broke (which it never did) I simply would have replaced it. I've used the pipe of fixed head and flexible head ratchets, the same handles I've been using for years. Never broke a single one.

I'm working totally unlicensed. Please don't report me to RHP. (Ratchet Handle Police)
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Our local Naperville Illinois police department encourages folks to use its parking lot for transactions.
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On 10/20/2015 04:20 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

I lived in a small Maine town two doors down from the police station. They had a big lot and didn't mind me parking there. Then one night the locals rolled one of the cops personal ride over because they were pissed at him. I wasn't so confident after that.
Stephen King novels set in southern Maine aren't really novels, that's just how it is.
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You mean life in southerm Maine sucks as bad as Stephen King novels??
Thanks for the warning.
nb
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On Monday, October 19, 2015 at 11:45:03 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:
I have older Craftsman, S-K, and one very old Snap-On ratchet for hand-tool s. These were either inherited, gifts, or garage sale finds. Most of my pow er tools were close-out sale, Craftsman (they would regularly sell an older -style for $29.99). My shop grinder, orbit-sander, and circ-saw were all th at price...all-metal, and can run all day and just get warm! 45-50 yrs old.
I have 2 tie-rod tools from HF...I've never had a chance to use them.
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On Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 10:03:55 AM UTC-4, bob_villa wrote:

ols. These were either inherited, gifts, or garage sale finds. Most of my p ower tools were close-out sale, Craftsman (they would regularly sell an old er-style for $29.99). My shop grinder, orbit-sander, and circ-saw were all that price...all-metal, and can run all day and just get warm! 45-50 yrs ol d.

I used to buy the Craftsman close-outs and other sale items in the $29.99 class. Then I had the opportunity to try some *real* power tools and realized that price really, really matters.
I owned a $29.99 Craftsman circular saw when I had the opportunity to spend a day with a Porter Cable#743K 7 ¼" Blade-Left Circular Saw. Sure, it was at least $100 more than the Craftsman, but Holy Crap! what a difference.
Left blade for easy sight lines, blade brake for safety, directional dust p ort, case, power, low-noise, etc. I never looked back and eventually upgraded all of my power tools. The Craftsman stuff may still *work*, but not at the quality level of the more expensive tools.
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On 10/22/2015 7:47 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

I've not found a single circular saw to be "universally appropriate". "Blade left" puts the sight line in a convenient location for a right handed operator -- but, puts the weight of the saw over the "scrap piece" with normal cutting patterns; i.e., you have to learn to put the scrap end to the *left* when cutting with these saws.
[The same sort of argument applies for "blade right" sidewinders.]
Both tend to put the operator's hand *above* the blade.
I've found a worm drive often is easier at "getting the job done" as I can usually rely on its extra weight (they are probably twice as heavy as a sidewinder) and you can *push* from behind instead of leaning over the saw. It's also the only sort of saw with which I would even CONSIDER attempting a plunge cut!
As to your other comments re: tools, in general, I have found a noticeable difference in life expectancy from tools that were "inexpensive" (and CHEAP!) vs. "better investments".
One trivial way of deciding how much effort the manufacturer puts into his product is to look at a tool and see just how symmetric a tool that *should* be symmetric (by design) actually is, in practice.
E.g., common (flat) screwdrivers are often cold-formed (swaged). As such, their tips should be *perfectly* symmetrical -- unless the manufacturer didn't care where the raw stock was placed in the die!
So, a tip should look like ------+ / | -----/ | -----\ | \ | ------+
and not
-----+ / | ------/ | -----\ | \ | ------+
You'd see a similar pattern in a "cabinet tip" screwdriver; the flats meeting the cylindrical shaft at the same point, not offset by some amount.
And, of course, there are lots of not-visible characteristics that you will only discover from good/bad experiences: how hard is the steel? How robust is the finish? Why does this scredriver have a round shaft while this other is *square*? etc.
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On Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 4:36:36 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:

I have no idea what you're attempting to convey here??? I, and I think most, use Philips-head so you can power-drive them. Try using less words, and get to the point. Please!
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On 10/22/2015 3:03 PM, bob_villa wrote:

If you can't read WORDS, then look at the PICTURES. If you can't see the difference, then, by all means, buy your tools (and health care!) at HF!
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On Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 6:34:39 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:

There *IS* a difference, but your meaning is *NOT* apparent. (I commend you for getting to the point though!)
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On 10/22/2015 4:46 PM, bob_villa wrote:

Get a (typical) slotted screwdriver -- AS INDICATED IN THE TEXT OF MY POST.
Hold it up to the screen with the handle off to the left. Considering the limitations of ASCII art, can you see a resemblance between the shape of the screwdriver tip and the image on the screen:
------+ / | -----/ | -----\ | \ | ------+
Now, dig out a dictionary and look up the word "symmetry" -- also indicated in my TEXT. Study the above illustration and see if you can identify the SYMMETRY present in THAT image.
Now, consult the OTHER image in my post:
-----+ / | ------/ | -----\ | \ | ------+
With the SYMMETRY concept fresh in your mind, see if you can identify how this second image differs from the first.
Then, imagine how that would relate to the physical screwdriver in your hand!
Next, imagine how a machine would *intend* to produce a screwdriver having the original image's shape and why it might, instead, produce the shape of the second image.
Finally, imagine why a company would opt for #2 instead of #1 -- or, conversely, why a BETTER company would strive for #1 and consider #2 to be *scrap*.
Another way of thinking about it: there are lots of ways to put paint on a house. How would you decide on the quality of painter A's work vs. that of painter B?
[Of course, this has been yet another lengthy explanation so I suspect you're still stuck on image #1...]
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On Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 8:34:52 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:

The only thing I notice is a straight edge perpendicular to the shaft? Most flat-blades need to be "tuned" anyway on fine grinder...so it makes little difference.
________ ______/ | | ______ | Would it be more like this? \________|
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On 10/22/2015 7:22 PM, bob_villa wrote:

A *sloppy* product looks like:
_________ _____/ | | ______ | \________|
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On Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 9:34:36 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:

The spacing changes...it looks good on this reply! You're saying cheap-shit is not ground to a precise shape like old Stanley, wood handle drivers used to.
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On 10/22/2015 7:41 PM, bob_villa wrote:

Look at the original post and the difference should be just as obvious (count '-' characters if you must)

They aren't ground (well, the cabinet tip ones ARE ground) but, rather, are *swaged*. A round (assuming the shaft is round cross section) bar is put in a machine that *smashes* the bar to deform it to the shape that you eventually see.
If you put the raw bar stock in the center and the "die" in the machine is correctly positioned, an identical amount of material will smoosh out to each side. If you don't care about these "little details", then you'll get more on one side than the other, etc. and your QC folks will just shrug and let the items through.
Just like the house painting analogy: you can slop paint on a house any number of ways! But a *good* house painter doesn't slop it all over the window glass in the process! If you want to save a few dollars and hire a "less expensive" painter, then you're implicitly indicating your willingness to accept paint on your windows! Maybe even windows that are painted *shut*!
This doesn't significantly impact the strength of the screwdriver, etc. But, it's a detail that you can easily *see*.
Then, ask yourself, if a manufacturer isn't willing to worry about these little details, how do you know he's hardened the steel correctly? (can you verify the hardness of the steel in your tools at home? in the store??) Or, that the plating is heavy enough and the underlying metal prepared so that it doesn't flake off 5 minutes after you start using it? Will the handle *shatter* when you strike it with a hammer (because you don't happen to have a chisel handy)? Will the markings/lettering come off after a few minutes of twisting the handle in your palm? Can you verify the proper taper (how "unparallel" the faces are) of the screwdriver's blade?
Etc.
I could put a R&P screwdriver in your hand and, a moment later, a genuine Philips. Would you be able to tell the difference (without seeing them side by side)? Would you know the consequences of such a substitution? Would you notice it in the store if the set were marked "Special - $1.99!"
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