What hand tool brands are the best quality?

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What hand tool brands are the best quality?
I'm speaking mostly about hand tools for home and auto repair. Although power tools are somewhat included, I'm mostly speaking of non-power hand tools.
When I buy hand tools I want something that is well made and will last. I use my tools regularly and I dont want to buy "one time use" cheaply made junk from some foreign country. I learned years ago that those cheap tools are no bargain. Not only are they a waste of money, but they can be dangerous. For example, if one of those tools break when I apply pressure, my hand ends up getting smashed, or some other injury, or damage to my project. On top of that it can delay completion of a job, and cause a lot of frustraion, especially if it occurs on a weekend or late at night, when there is no place to buy a replacement tool.
At the same time, I refuse to pay the price for some of the over-priced tools that are good quality, but extremely expensive. For example, a lot of auto service garages get SK Tools. I know they are good quality, but they are VERY expensive, even if the company does come to the service garage to deliver them.
My personal favorites have been Craftsman tools. I think their tools were better some years ago, but they are still good, and they still have their lifetime warranty. Another favorite is Diamond tools. They are limited to metal shears and plyers, etc, but I've been pretty pleased with their tools over the years. Rigid is another brand I consider good, but that's mostly pipe wrenches and similar. Stanley is a well known brand, and I have used plenty of their tools. I rate them lower than the brands I mentioned above, but they still exceed the quality (or lack of) found in the junk tools sold at Harbor Freight, or similar places. I avoid all those H.F. tools, and there are even worse tools made....
If I buy a tool, I am willing to pay more, as long as it's a quality tool. I'll pay double what they cost at H.F. as long as I get a decent tool. I'll pay more, because I want to be using that tool 10 years frm now, not toss it in the trash after one year or less. At the same time, I am not willing to pay 5 times the price for some of those overpriced brands, such as SK tools.
I thought this would be a good topic, since we are in the holiday shopping season and all the stores will be selling those NO-NAME brand junk tools. Maybe you can buy a large set of socket wrenches with driver bits and drill bits and lots more. The set looks impressive and the price is only $39.99. My suggestion is to take that $40 and either flush it down the toilet, or buy a much smaller set of QUALITY tools. You cant give me those junk tools for free. I dont care to bust my knuckles and get all pissed off while doing auto or home repair, because the damn tools are breaking, or are not the right size (sockets that dont fit properly), drill bits that barely drill thru wood, and wont do anything on steel, and so on....
What brands so you consider quality, yet still reasonably priced?
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WOW you're opening a real can of worms here! All I own are Snap-On & a few Craftsman. Both quality tools but NOT cheap.
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On Sun, 22 Nov 2015 12:22:15 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

Snap-On is another brand like SK which is good quality, but far too costly. And those are mostly just mechanic type tools, not tools for woodworking and so on.
Craftsman has tools for every need, and while they are more expensive than the junk tools, they are still a fair price and well worth the cost. Over the years, I have had little trouble with Craftsman tools. The biggest problems have been ratchets breaking inside the head. But that's after many years of hard use and sometimes abuse. Sears has always provided a repair kit free of charge. But one time they gave me a completely new ratchet. I have never cracked a Craftsman socket, but have cracked far too many cheap sockets.
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On Sunday, November 22, 2015 at 12:22:20 PM UTC-8, snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

Same here, with a couple from SK and some speciality tools mixed in
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On 11/22/2015 12:12 PM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc wrote:

If theft is not an issue, go with SK. (It's not like you're spending $500 on a smartphone you'll be trashing 3 years from now.)
With proper care, SK tools last virtually forever.
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On Sun, 22 Nov 2015 12:44:44 -0800, hombre increible

sizeable premium for the name. Proto used to be pretty good too, but I think they have lost a fair bit in the last 20 years or so.
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On Sun, 22 Nov 2015 16:50:11 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I recall Proto, and probably have a few sockets with that name. (which I got at auctions). I never saw any of their stuff in the stores.
I have never heard of Festool !
By the way, I forgot to mention in my original post that the TOOLSHOP brand sold at Menards is low priced and far from top of the line, but I have had fairly good luck with their tools, including their power tools. They're far better than Harbor Freight and other no-name tools. I'd not likely buy their sockets, but I do sometimes buy their carpentry tools, as well as sawsall blades and drill bits.
And you'll all like this one....... Back in the late 1960's or very early 70's I bought an offset box wrench set from K-Mart with the brand name FUKUNG. The name alone was worth buying them :) Yet, about 45 years later I still have them and they have worked fine all these years. They're a great conversation piece too. "HAND ME THAT FUKUNG WRENCH". :) I've never seen that brand again..... If I did, I would likely buy them!
(This was before K-Mart merged with Sears, but I wonder if they were already connected and these were an off brand of Craftsman ???)
These days, (Or the last time I was at a K-Mart), K-Mart sold Craftsman as well as some cheap brand (I dont know the name of the cheap brand, since I have not lived near a K-Mart in several years).
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Per snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc:

One caveat about Craftsman: watch out for tools where the box is integram to functionality. I had a set of taps and dies (i.e. many, many small parts) and the storage box disintegrated - leaving me with a pile of taps and dies. Went for warranty and they said "Sorry, we only warranty the tool, not the box it came in."
--
Pete Cresswell

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wrote:

In the old days, the guys would take a block of wood, drill a bunch of holes in it and put all their small tools (taps and dies, or drill bits) into it. Then mount that to the wall in your shop, or put it into a metal toolbox.
I hate plastic tool cases. The ones made for power tools are often way too big and it takes 10 minutes to fit the tool into them, so the lid will close. Especially corded tools, where the cord has to be rolled up to fit. When I get a power tool, I usually toss the case after the first use. When I want to use my circular saw, I want to grab it and use it, not mess with a case. But for smaller tools, sockets, and bits, a case is a PLUS. I have far too many loose tools that I have to dig thru to find the proper size.
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On Sun, 22 Nov 2015 14:12:45 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc wrote:

others as well) here in Canada is Mastercraft from Canadian tire. Lifetime warranty just like craftsman at significantly better price when they are on sale. They go on sale quite regularly - often as much as 70% off list.
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On Sun, 22 Nov 2015 16:48:17 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

A midwestern US store called Farm & Fleet either sells, or used to sell Mastercraft tools. (I think that was the brand name). I recall buying a few sockets, and I had no problem with them. But for just a few sockets, that's not much of a quality test. If I recall correctly, they have a lifetime waranty too.
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Some cut.
Have you looked at NAPA branded tools? They look reasonably good.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca posted for all of us...

+1000
My boss was a big Snappy fan. He showed me why. We went over to a random car on the lift and put my new Craftsman open end wrench on a nut. We watched the jaw spread and start rounding off the nut. Snappy did not do this and after both of us grunted and yanked & got it off.
I know unscientific but that is the extent of my consumer test. I bought Craftsman for use on road calls.
--
Tekkie

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I'm very happy with my Snap-On stock.
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wrote:

snappies when I bought my Craftsman tools. Before our apprenticeship was done he'd replaced a fair number of his, and I had not needed to replace a single one. They may have just been a bad batch - but he paid more than 3 times for his what I paid for mine. (and I still have most of mine - the ones I don't have were lost or pinched - not broken. (happens when you let apprentices borrow your tools, or when you don't lock your box when you turn your back)
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On Saturday, November 28, 2015 at 11:11:41 PM UTC-6, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

You also can't break people of bad habits...not using a breaker bar or using anything you have in your hand for a hammer. It's called respecting the tool, often learned when you are an apprentice to a good master (hopefully an old timer).
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On Sat, 28 Nov 2015 21:26:27 -0800 (PST), bob_villain

used his.
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I can say the same thing about Craftsman. I've never broke a Snappy, but have broke enough Craftsman open-end wrenches that I won't buy Craftsman fer commercial use. Fortunately, I'm retired.
Back in the 70s, I was doing a head job ona Sears Puch "twingle". Square head bolts (4) down in between cooling fins, so requiring a socket, which I didn't have. I'd borrowed a friends very expensive Snap-On metric combo wrenches. Being pretty green to mechanics, I made do. I put a crescent wrench on the Snappy's shank and used the open end of a combo wrench to fit down, end-wise, on the sqr bolt head. I got the first three bolts out, no problem. The fourth was a bugger. Wouldn't budge, so I increased the leverage on the adj wrench.
The bolt finally broke free, but not until the shank had twisted 45 degs from the head. Ewww! It not being my set, I was freakin, but continued on with my endevors. When I torqued the bolts back down (by feel), I used enough leverage on the adj wrench to straighten the twisted shank on the Snappy back to normal.
Despite all this abuse, the Snappy wrench never failed or even lost any chrome. When I confidently returned the set of wrenches to their rightful owner, I told him what had happened and that I would replace the wrench I'd abused IF he could identify which wrench it was. It was 10mm combo wrench and he couldn't tell. True story.
That's not to say ALL Snap-On tools are excellent. Since Snap-On has most of its tool line manufactured by others, a lot of it is now Chinese junk. Specially now that many US tool companies have gone under. The last tool I bought from Snap-On was cheap Chinese spring/pump oil can. It broke on the very first "pump".
nb
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On Sunday, November 29, 2015 at 8:05:47 AM UTC-8, notbob wrote:

Most all of my Snappy tools were bought 10-15 years ago, so perhaps they were made in the US. Had Craftsman sockets break on me (3/8" drive) and just tossed 'em. Only two Snap-On sockets have cracked and didn't even know it until I examined them up close. They still worked even after being cracked. Never had a SO wrench fail
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