Craftsman Tools at Ace Hardware

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I don't know you or said "pro mehcanics", but as a professional mechanic, myself, I can tell you Craftsman tools are not good enough to rely on for prolonged heavy duty use. Their guaranteed replacement policy is totally worthless if you live 100 miles from the nearest Sears store and are in the middle of a job. I know, I've been there. Never again.
I won't say your "pro mechanic" friends don't know what they're doing, but if I go to a mechanic and find him using Craftsman tools, I'm back out the door and looking elsewhere.
nb
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On 6/11/10 5:10 PM, notbob wrote:

The guys I'm referring to are in an opposite position. They are within a stone's throw of a big Sears at a really upsale mall, so they have a really good stock. I was talking to one of them and he said they prefer Snap-on (and have some), but they went through a time when the Snap-on truck was unreliable. Since the Sears was right next door, it was more convenient to go there for a new tool, replacement, duplicate, whatever.

Why would you go to a mechanic? :-)
In my experience in music and carpentry, the tools don't make the man, the man makes the tools.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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That sucks. Snap-On trucks are privately owned, so sounds like a bad businessman. That's unfortuenate.

I understand. I was a beginner once. ;)

I saw that coming! ;)
I've been wrenching since I was 10. My idea of "making it" is not a 26 room mansion, a fleet of hot cars, or a yacht and a villa on the Med. It's being well off enough to be able to pay a trusted mechanic to fix my car!
I'm old. I'm tired. I'm lazy. ;)

I agree a tool doesn't make the man, but a man that knows what he's doing knows a good tool.
nb
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re: "I agree a tool doesn't make the man, but a man that knows what he's doing knows a good tool."
So true!
A lot of what I do as volunteer work and as my main hobby (which very often cross paths) involves both hand tools and power tools. Very often, it also involves other people using their hand tools and power tools in close proximity to me.
When the guy next to me pulls out his brand new 47-in-1 ratchet handle- screwdriver-claw hammer-box wrench-paint brush tool and 9.6 volt screw gun-air compressor, I can pretty much tell the level of expertise to expect from him.
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On 6/11/2010 7:05 PM, -MIKE- wrote:

Personally I'd be more concerned about whether the guy knows what he'd doing than what kind of tools he uses. And part of knowing what you're doing is knowing when you need a premium-quality expensive tool and when something from Harbor Fright will be adequate to the task at hand.
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Bingo!
I have some Craftsman hand tools. Their screw/nut drivers are damn good. Can't beat their tool boxes for the price. Likewise their deep sockets when on sale. OTOH, I'm no longer making a living as a mechanic and have seen hard times causing me to sell off many of my better tools. Life goes on. Lesser brands are now enough.
Work with tools long enough and you will discover no one brand of tool is the best across their line. All of Snap-On's tools are rebranded from other suppliers. Their measuring tapes are Lufkin, which I will not buy. Their wrenches used to be made by Bonney, which is no longer in business. Many other great tool brands like Williams and Utica are no more. Things change. Life goes on. If a tool works for you, that's good enough. If it breaks, don't buy another. Pretty simple.
nb
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I've got my Dad's set(s) of Craftsman mechanic tools (c. 1950's-1960's) and a lot I've bought since. I've broke one socket (a 1/4" deep socket w/ a 1/4 drive w/ a 1/4"-1/2" adapter and an 18" 1/2" drive breaker bar). They replaced it.
If anything has declined, it's the "fit and finish". Most sockets I've seen lately are 6-point, rather than 12-point. That might be OK (who drives square bolts/nuts anymore?), or even better.
The tools to avoid (aside from power tools) are the "accessories", e.g: "router tables" or "dovetail jigs", &tc. They're crappy and a joke.
Also, I don;t think I'll buy their edge tools (planes, chisels, &tc.).
-Zz
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That's been pretty much my experience too. The Craftsman garden tools have really crappy fiberglass handles anymore. The resin cracks and the fibers separate. I've returned many shovels, pitchforks, and garden forks. The hickory handles stood up much better. Art
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Try the Craftsman socket chisels if you come across them at a yard sale or flea. They were probably last made in the 50's. They're worth the effort to flatten and sharpen, even if you have to make a replacement handle. Excellent steel, and somebody may have already flattened the back for you.
The black plastic handled chisels they currently sell are made from good steel. I spent a lot of time flattening the backs of the set I bought. Every one was convex. They're hard chisels, hold a good edge. Too much trouble to get flat though.
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"Zz Yzx" wrote:

I'll take 6 point sockets every time out of the box.
I have found over the years that 12 point are simply too easy to strip out.
The few I have are strictly for desperation usage.
Lew
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What you need are flank drive sockets. These are designed to grab more on the flat of a hex nut/bolt, not so near the corner. You can actually grab fasteners that have already been rendered useless by rounding by other wrenches.
I think it was Bonney that invented this design and it was patented, so no one else could make them. They were quite expensive. Now, the patent has expired and most good tool companies make a version. The wrenches are specially handy cuz they will give you the short throw of a 12 point but the non-rounding ability of a 6 point.
Flank Drive is the brand name used by Snap-On. I think Bonney used a different Name. Craftman now also makes this type of wrench/skt under still another name. Posi-Torque and Surface Drive are names from other tool companies. You can tell a flank drive cuz it looks more like a circular sine wave rather than pointed corners of a 6 or 12 pt.
http://machinedesign.com/content/conventional-12-point-1103
Like one person said, it may sound "gimmicky" but they do work. I have several sockets and wrenches of this type in the most used fastener sizes. When you need one, they are life savers.
nb
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Or, for those twelve-point nuts (don't laugh, they DO make 'em), and four-point nuts and lag bolts. For an impact set, all six-point makes sense. Otherwise, the twelve-pointers aren't always unneeded, and I'm usually not pulling so hard as to fracture anything anyhow.
If I have the right size, I drive square items with an eight-point socket...
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(Stanley, Danaher, & SnapOn) and the brands they make. I couldn't find the post but found the link. http://www.yotatech.com/f106/kobalt-vs-craftsman-tools-73587/index2.html About 1/4 of the way down. Poster is Claude_Suddreth. Art
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Thanks for the link, Artemus. Looks like I was misinformed about a couple things. I looked for Williams tools on the web many yrs ago and could find nothing and thought they had expired. Maybe they just hadn't discovered the internet, yet. Glad to see them still around.
I have Williams 4" adj wrench on my keychain that's been there for over 40 yrs. I've used it for just about everything imaginable including loosening some pretty rusty nuts. The thing has been beat to death, yet the jaws will still close down accurate and tight enough to hold a rolling paper. That's another story. ;)
S-K is another good brand. Used to be you hadda look for 'em at huge flea markets, as almost no establish stores carried the brand. They were amazingly inexpensive for the quality. Now, they can be found in many knowledgeable auto parts stores, even if prices have increased. I've never broken an S-K socket, even when incorrectly using regular S-K sockets on impact wrenches. That's tough.
nb
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doesn't otherwise cover, except by internet.
What luck - you can buy Craftsman's latest useless gimmick, at inflated prices, at the neighborhood Ace store.
I still like Ace but maybe a little bit less now :^}
RonB
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