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
He buys some Mac and Snapon from the truck occasionally, when he
needs a certain tool - impact wrenches eg. They are rebranded
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.
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 .
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!
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!
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
On 10/20/2015 04:20 PM, email@example.com 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.
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.
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
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.
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
So, a tip should look like
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.
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
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...]
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?
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?
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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