*sigh* Why do people by crappy tools?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by kornkob, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Much More Better

    Much More Better Active Member

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    People buy crappy tools because

    1) can't afford better
    2) don't do enough to warrant a $$$ tool
    3) don't know better
    4) not demanding of precision
    5) lack of space for larger power tools

    My main beef with woodworking is my obsessiveness with accuracy. Without a jointer, planer, and table saw, you can't have accurate stock. But when you have those kinds of tools, you pretty much need shop space with dust collection, blah blah blah. It can be an expensive hobby.
     
  2. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    I watch craigslist and ebay every day for tools. Big name, high quality tools usually go for 25-50 cents on the dollar vs. new.

    Unfortunately, most $9.99 and under tool sets are marketed towards women. But it is not the fault of the ladies. Rather, it is the accursed men of the world that have refused to treat their daughters like they have half a brain and teach them a little bit of the guy stuff.

    Craftsman is great for that first set of sockets and ratchets -- buy a set with 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 drive metric when the come up on sale to be set for life. Harbor Freight is great for that tool that you only need to use once or twice. Amazon sells a surprisingly large assortment of professional level tools (OTC etc.)
     
  3. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    I agree that Craftsman hand tools -- the wrenches, ratchets, and screwdrivers -- are excellent. Non-Craftsman, Sears-branded hand tools, probably junk. And I agree that Craftsman power tools are usually so-so. I bought a sander that was good, and a Dremel that was obviously built by Dremel.

    I wouldn't call Craftsman wrenches "beginner" tools. They're really, really good.
     
  4. kornkob

    kornkob New Member

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    Not all Craftsman brand tools are created equal these days. They have some lines that aren't your granddaddy's Craftsman.

    But they still aren't cheap grocery store tools built to loose tolerances out of poor quality metal.
     
  5. priusgto

    priusgto Active Member

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    Tools need to be of sufficient quality and type to get the intended job done safely, efficiently and with as little aggravation as possible. My tools range from high dollar to low budget depending on how often I need to use the tool. I prefer Craftsman hand tools around the garage because I use them all the time but for my on the road emergency tools I buy a cheaper "okay quality" set for each car.
     
  6. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Super Moderator
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    Sometimes a tool is only required once or twice - EVER. I can't think of how many times I've use that twenty-something MM hex-drive adapter on my rachet since doing my last drain/fill on my 2nd gen transaxle. Why would I spend premium money for a Craftsman, Snap-on, etc. piece just to have it sit unused in my garage for an eternity? I'm going to buy something slightly less expensive.

    If you use your tools regularly, then get good tools (you'll end up replacing the bad ones anyway). If you only need it once - borrow or rent it, otherwise understand that an inferior product may be all you need.
     
  7. LIPriusFreak

    LIPriusFreak Can I haz JDM?

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    the Craftsmen power tools aren't so good because they aren't made by Sears...they are made by Ryobi and/or Black & Decker
     
  8. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Sears doesn't make their hand tools either. Last I heard they were made by a subsidiary of Danaher Tool Group here and in China.

    Craftsman power tools aren't so good because Sears specs them so low that they won't be good, then buys then from lower end power tool manufacturers.
     
  9. Eoin

    Eoin Active Member

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    There are very few things that can't be fixed with a pair of Visegrips, and those that can't I leave to the professionals.
     
  10. LIPriusFreak

    LIPriusFreak Can I haz JDM?

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    everything is outsourced to China these days...and they have such horrible consistency in terms of quality and reliability. One shipment comes in great...the next is fubar'd....

    In about 10 years, if I need a liver will I get one from China? who knows :rolleyes:
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Just to echo a few other responders:

    Somewhere in the middle, between cr*p and best works. As a general rule I'll get 6 faced sockets, vs 12 face. OTOH, I found a "bag of sockets" one time, in Value Village. Picked it up, and it's come in hand once in a while, for oddball sizes.

    And everyone will buy a few lemons, ie: stuff you're compelled to buy, and never use, or it falls apart. That's life.

    Just for giggles: what's your oldest tool? Probably a keeper too. I've got a pair of pliers that was my dad's I think, and maybe a few other things.
     
  12. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    A wimpy DIYer's perspective

    My Goldstar microwave oven has been working reliably since 1991 when I bought it new. The only part that has ever been replaced was a light bulb that got destroyed by wife's whole egg cooking experiment.

    When the batteries of the hand drills from Sears died I was pissed off that Sears changed the design of the battery and I couldn't buy the battery at the local Sears store. Of course not all things are bad from Sears. The rechargeable air compressor (for tires) I bought there more than 10 years ago still works well. I have no idea why the battery in the air compressor would last for so many years while on the other hand the power tool battery dies much sooner.

    Then I found Home Depot and the Ryobi brand. I bought their table saw, router and table, Miter saw, table drill, table jig saw, hand sander, hand drills, hand vacuum, drill bits etc. All at ~ 1/3 of the price of premium brands and all work fine for me and none has broken so far.

    The Stanley wrench and socket set I bought from Home Depot is probably one of the most expensive tool sets I own. It works well and feels high quality. A luxury for me.

    Then I found that Harbor Freight has tools at irresistible low low low prices. I bought a bunch of digital multimeters at $1 or $2 when they were on sale. They all agree well enough with the Fluke meter for practical purposes. Among many other things I bought hole punch, cheater bar, 1/2 inch torque wrench, and large metric size sockets that aren't included in the Stanley set. All of them work fine and none has broken so far. It is cheap stuff no doubt. The plastic container is often paper thin and gives off funny chemical odor.

    As they often say, YMMV.
     
  13. kornkob

    kornkob New Member

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    I have a 1920's articulated vice with a small anvil spot that I acquired from my old man.

    It will outlast the workbench I am sure.
     
  14. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    I have a pair of Klein electrical side-cutting pliers that I bought in 1967 when I first began to do electrical construction work during high school summers. With a little WD-40 on the swivel joint every now and then and they are still one of my favorite tools.

    I also purchase tools used infrequently from Harbor Freight. 3/8" breaker bar, 1/2" torque wrench, oil and ATF funnels, etc. My local store has begun Lifetime Guarantee on most of their tools now so that makes it a little better when one of their cheap tools breaks. You just have to be aware of your hands and knuckles when using the cheaper tools.

    I had a 3/8" breaker bar break at the knuckle joint trying to break a tire lug loose after the dealer rotated tires and used their 150 psi air wrench on the lugs:cool: Harbor Freight replaced it with no questions asked.
     
  15. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    I've seen other guys shear the drive off of the HF 3/8" breaker bar, doing the same thing, trying to remove lug nuts. There's a reason that most breaker bars are at least 1/2" drive. The maximum torque rating for 3/8" drive is somewhere around 120 ft-lbs, at least, that is the suggested requirement for tool makers. Save this tool for your spark plugs and the drain plug on the transaxle.

    EDIT: I looked it up, and proof loads are 37 ft-lbs for 1/4", 125 ft-lbs for 3/8", and 375 ft-lbs for 1/2" drive. The moral: do not use 3/8" drive equipment on lug nuts.
     
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  16. swi66

    swi66 Member

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    Since I was a kid, I was a tinkerer.
    At 15 worked at a garage, all the way through college.
    Saw the "tool men" regularly.
    almost all of them had "trade ins"
    Tools that a mechanic traded in on a better set.
    Not junk, some upgraded from crafteman to Mac.
    Some from Mac to Snap-on

    Then there were a lot of repo stuff when a mechanic couldn't make the payments.

    If you search around, you can buy great stuff, at an affordable price.

    And good tools appreciate in value.
    Example:
    Say I bought a new Snap On ratchet for $30 Thirty years ago.
    My tools are insured, I have an inventory.
    If someone robs my tools, it will now cost the insurance comnpany $60 to replace that ratchet.
    If I have a Snap-on wrench that cost $20, Thirty years ago, it breaks, and Snap-on will replace it with a wrench that now costs $40.

    I have found bargain tools at flea markets, yard sales, estate sales, and on the internet.

    Over the years, people know I tinker with cars and "gifted" me with Wal mart tools.
    Generally junk, OK for indoor household stuff, but not useful for anything that matters.
     
  17. swi66

    swi66 Member

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    Since I was a kid, I was a tinkerer.
    At 15 worked at a garage, all the way through college.
    Saw the "tool men" regularly.
    almost all of them had "trade ins"
    Tools that a mechanic traded in on a better set.
    Not junk, some upgraded from crafteman to Mac.
    Some from Mac to Snap-on

    Then there were a lot of repo stuff when a mechanic couldn't make the payments.

    If you search around, you can buy great stuff, at an affordable price.

    And good tools appreciate in value.
    Example:
    Say I bought a new Snap On ratchet for $30 Thirty years ago.
    My tools are insured, I have an inventory.
    If someone robs my tools, it will now cost the insurance comnpany $60 to replace that ratchet.
    If I have a Snap-on wrench that cost $20, Thirty years ago, it breaks, and Snap-on will replace it with a wrench that now costs $40.

    I have found bargain tools at flea markets, yard sales, estate sales, and on the internet.

    Over the years, people know I tinker with cars and "gifted" me with Wal mart tools.
    Generally junk, OK for indoor household stuff, but not useful for anything that matters.
     
  18. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    I've got stuff here starting at the "bottom basement" from Walmart & Harbor Freight all the way to some Ridgid and Kobalt tools. For screwdrivers, I tend to stick with Craftsman, but I also have some other brands around the house. I tend to have more than 1 of any typical item (screw drivers, sockets, ratchets, etc) because I have a few "sets" of tools that I set into plastic storage containers for specific tasks.

    However, some tasks require better quality stuff and in those instances I'm willing to pay for it.
     
  19. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Craftsman hand tools and the lifetime guarantee makes me think of a funny story. Back when I used to drive heavy equipment, one of our mechanics was trying to break loose a particularly stubborn nut. It was a big bastard, and required an even bigger wrench. In desperation, he finally chained the handle of the wrench to a bulldozer and gave it a good tug. It bent the wrench into a U shape.

    He returned the wrench to Sears. They gave it a surprised look, but replaced it without question.

    Tom
     
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  20. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    My Mom worked at Sears until she retired several years ago. She spent a year or so in the tool department. She could tell many stories like the above. She said that it would make her so mad at the condition some of these tools were returned but she had no choice but to smile and hand them a new replacement tool.
     
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