I was working on my brakes the other day and ran into a issue with one of
the rotors. I called a mechanic friend for some advice and he stopped over.
He asked me for a 14mm socket, so I handed him a 12 point Craftsman
socket. I had already used it to R&R the caliper bracket, but it started
slipping on one bolt when he tried to use it.
He went back to his truck and brought out a Snap On 6 point socket and it
spun the bolt out with no problem. The bolt head was a little rounded, but
the Snap On socket gripped it firmly. When he left, he let me hang onto the
socket so I could finish up the job. He also suggested I get some some 6
point sockets of my own.
Later that day I went to Home Depot for some stuff and picked up a Husky
14mm 6 point deep wall socket while I was there. When I got home, I noticed
2 things that were different between the Snap On and the Husky.
First, the Husky has a tapered opening. The actual gripping walls of the
Husky socket do not extend all the way to the open end of the socket.
You can the difference in these 2 pics, although I think my socket has an
even deeper taper than the one in the picture.
The other difference was how much tighter the Snap On gripped the bolt
head. Holding the socket on the bolt head, there was considerably more
"wiggle" with the Husky socket vs. the Snap On.
Even though both brands carry a lifetime replacement warranty, the quality
difference was readily apparent. I can certainly see why a professional
would spend the extra money on the Snap On tools.
On Friday, April 25, 2014 10:51:38 AM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:
Maybe, but the question is whether the Snap-On is really worththe price difference. Whenever I've looked at SO, the
price difference isn't 10, 20%, it more like 2X or more.
IDK if pros get a discount that could help even it out.
I've used mostly Craftsman and can't recall a time when
I felt the tool was the issue. A lot of it is using the
right tool and using the tool right. In the case in point,
where you have a bolt that is hard to get out, critical,
etc, a 6 point is the preferred choice. And making sure
you have the wrench square on, all the way on is important
too. I would think those factors are going to make a bigger
difference than the Husky socket vs the SO. If I had the
choice, I'd go with the SO, but I'm not so sure they are
worth the huge price differences that I've seen.
replying to trader_4, CMD wrote:
Snap-on tools are worth the price if you value quality and functionality, which
most professionals do. IMO the only viable, readily available tool is Craftsman.
However the are several good second choices for the professional, such as Matco
and Proto, for example. These manufacturers make specialty tools where Craftsman
and (ugh) Husky do not. And as far as Husky tools go, I would not waste my money
on them. They are absolute junk. There is a reason Snap-on tools (generally)
cost ten times what a Husky tool does.
To your comment on "have the wrench square on" I think that the full walls
of the SO have an advantage there. By that I mean that the tapered end of
the Husky socket makes it easier to be sloppy. I think it would be tough
for the full walled socket to be at an angle. This would be extremely
important where visibility is an issue, like the caliper bracket bolts
where you doing it mostly by feel.
Another advantage for the pros is that big truck that shows up during
working hours. No lost time to run to the store when a tool breaks. Keep
working and wait for the truck. No lost free time by having to shop after
work. Not having to wait on the Returns line and/or check out line at Home
Depot is worth part of the extra cost.
On Fri, 25 Apr 2014 14:51:38 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03
My son is a professional mechanic. He has some Snap-On, but not
wrenches. Doesn't see the value. The truck is convenient.
He's still using some of the Craftsmen wrenches I used when I was a
mechanic. And plenty of Pittsburgh brand from Harbor Freight.
You can't tell anything from those pictures. Have to mic them.
12-points are nut-rounders for automotive use. I used them for
packaging machines in tight spots. Could have just used a finer tooth
ratchet. You don't need them.
Nothing against Snap-On, but many mechanics never use them.
I never did, and never rounded any nut that wasn't rusted to hell
OK, a serious discussion.
I've been pulling one brand of wrench or another for 55 yrs. I know
my wrenches. Snap-On? They buy from major companies and rebrand 'em
to "Snap-0n". They usta buy from Bonney. Bonney was awesome, perhaps
the best. They're gone. Bonney also invented the flank drive. They
called it something else, but that is what Snap-On labeled it when
Bonney's patent ran out and they allowed SO to sell the wrench
technology under SO's name. Now, most companies have a flank drive
equivalent. Even Craftsman. If you can afford the increased cost,
buy a flank drive combo/box wrench (may have another name). It's
worth the extra cost.
As for quality wrenches, who still makes good 'uns? Hard to say, as I
don't wrench professionally, anymore. I jes baught a set of US made
SAE sized Craftsmens. My serious wrenches? Proto. S&K. Seems
everyone else has either disappeared or sold out to the Chinese.
Here's the bottom line. Even Chinese tools have a "replacement
guarantee". Napa, Sears, True-Value, etc. I learned, when I lived 90
miles from the nearest Sears, that the old Craftsman guarentee is not
worth spit if'n you gotta drive 3 hrs to replace that wrench. And
I've broke more than a few Craftsman tools. So! ....iffin yer a pro,
on the clock, you don't wanna wrench that may break. Iffin yer an old
geezer, like me, who is tired of wrenchin', but does it if necessary,
go with "replaceable". Not cheap, jes replaceable at a place that is
Years ago I had a cheap set of sockets that cost around $ 5. They had a
guarantee that if you sent them $ 5 for shipping and the broken part they
would send you a new one. That made it more than the set cost if you add
what it cost to send the old part back.
From a snap-on webpage
"From the revolutionary idea of detachable sockets to the invention of
the Flank Drive Wrenching System, the dedication to innovation has
created a socket to fit just about every need. Snap-on tools
manufactures over 1,500 different sockets in nine drive sizes and
approximately 200 styles and types. Innovation helps us keep pace with
the ever changing needs of the professional tool user. "
I guess, based on what you said, that Bonney invented the flank drive
and Snap-On invented "the Flank Drive Wrenching System,", which is a set
of flank drive sockets and some handles. Hey, got to give credit where
credit is due.
Did Snap-on r eally come up with the idea of detachable sockets? I
gotta say that is a good idea. Otherwise, I'd have to have 16 ratchets
in SAE and who knows how many in metric. More with built in extensions.
Plus a set of breaker bars and a set of speed handles.
On Fri, 25 Apr 2014 16:08:46 -0400, "Ralph Mowery"
Before Chinese tools became common, there was a guy standing in the
middle of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, just before a viaduct that iirc
led to Conduit Parkway, selling such things for $4. The only place at
the time I ever saw the cheap ratchet socket sets at any price.
On Friday, April 25, 2014 5:16:23 PM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:
For the record, I see your point. It's obvious from the pics. The slight
taper is probably so it's easier for the socket to align with and get
on the bolt head. How much difference it makes in the socket staying
on, is it a good thing or a bad thing, IDK. It sure doesn't look
like something that was done to make it cheaper however. Also, with
regard to the tightness of the fit, that can cut both ways too.
If you make for a tight fit, then if the bolt head is rusty, corroded,
etc it may be harder to get the socket on.
Snap-On is good quality, but people should be aware that much of their
touted quality lies in the fact that they had a patent on their "flank
drive" wrenches and sockets.
In both the USA and Canada a patent only lasts 17 years. Snap-On's
patent has expired and now other companies are making "flank drive"
wrenches and sockets, notably Cobalt tools, which I understand is Lowe's
brand name just as Craftsman is a Sears brand name.
If I were in the market for a set of wrenches or sockets, I would buy
the Cobalt from Lowes because they have the flank drive without the
Snap-On price tag.
SK, Snap-on, Herbrand,Proto, Craftsman, Gedore,all make pretty decent
tools. Well, Herbrand DID - I guess they are no more. I still have
most of my original Craftsman set from 1969.I love my SK spark plug
socket from about the same time (ball type swivel) Both 6 and 12
point sockets have their place, but GOOD six pointers that are both
thin and strong, are not so very common.
If one makes living depending on those tools. Only best will do.
I have only few Snap 0n impact wrench sockets which more than adquate.
I prefer good 6 point socket than 12 point one. Only exception is
when working in limited space.
On Fri, 25 Apr 2014 16:27:14 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03
The Husky is a lot easier to get onto the nut or bolt in tight
quarters/in the dark. Aim it at the nut, wiggle it a bit, and it's on.
With a straight socket you need to line it up, line up the flats, and
push it on. You DO need to make sure either one is on all the way
before putting the beef to it.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.