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02Pilot PowerDork
11/29/22 4:15 p.m.

I've got a bunch of different brands, most of which have served well. The HF Icon long 3/8 ratchet is really nice. I've got a few sets of Gearwrench sockets that are good; I especially like that their 1/4 drive deep set goes all the way up to 15mm. Sort of an oddball, but I have a set of 3/8 super stubby impact sockets from Astro Pneumatic that have been both very robust and surprisingly useful. If you can find them on sale, Wera makes quality stuff (some of their sockets are made in Taiwan, and most of the rest is Czech Republic), as does Felo (Germany), both of which were considerably lower-priced than the big money Stahlwille/Hazet/Heyco/Gedore stuff (I do have a 1/2 drive Gedore set that's great, but it was a gift; I never would have paid that much).

apexdc New Reader
11/29/22 6:07 p.m.

I agree that Harbor Freight is starting to have some much higher quality products in general. 

Sonic makes great high end tools, and I think the pricing is better than Snap-On and others in that level. I don't hear a lot about them outside of IMSA and other pro series, but they are definitely worth checking out. 



eastsideTim UltimaDork
12/5/22 5:27 p.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

TIL about stubby sockets, and now I may have to spend some more money.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
12/9/22 1:05 p.m.

In reply to NorseDave :

Williams is owned by Snap On.  The selection is smaller though.  Williams USA stuff is pricey their Taiwanese tools are about 33% of the price and about 90% as good.  You won't find a better deal in tools.

singleslammer GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/9/22 3:24 p.m.

One good option for comparison is Project Farm on YouTube. He takes a scientific approach to tool comparison. Tekton comes out near the top a lot of the time. I watched a bunch of his videos recently and am reevaluating my current tool set. 

Spearfishin New Reader
12/9/22 7:07 p.m.
EvanB said:

I've also had good luck with Tekton. And I have no complaints with the Harbor Freight sockets. 

If you want USA made, Wright Tool is good quality. 

Heads up on availability, they've apparently had a hard time with raw materials and as a result have some decent backlogs. I've been waiting on a wrench set for 3.5 months. 

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
12/9/22 8:13 p.m.

In addition to Project Farm, I watch these guys on YouTube: https://youtube.com/@TorqueTestChannel

They both have a very methodical, data-driven approach that I appreciate.

DarkMonohue HalfDork
12/17/22 6:06 p.m.
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) said:

In addition to Project Farm, I watch these guys on YouTube: https://youtube.com/@TorqueTestChannel

They both have a very methodical, data-driven approach that I appreciate.

I enjoy TTC videos, but have a really, really hard time watching Project Farm. The few I've watched seemed to spend a lot of time comparing absolutely trivial details that had nothing to do with the effectiveness of the tool. His voice over and delivery style/cadence is also incredibly hard to suffer through. Maybe it's just me.

Another vote here for Wright, and a hearty endorsement for Harry Epstein:




Nockenwelle New Reader
1/8/23 1:42 a.m.

I'll take 40+ year-old domestic tools over anything new. Williams, Matco, Proto, Snap-On, Craftsman, S-K, MAC, Bonney, and any of the other USA-made niche brands  for specific toolds there used to be. I shop estate sales and Craigslist for tools, not the internet...

BA5 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
1/15/23 11:04 p.m.

I have a pretty eclectic set of tools. Snap on, grandfather's Craftsman, Harbor Fright, Kobalt, etc.

Personally, I've found who makes the tool generally makes very little to no difference in it's performance or usefulness. Making sure you've got the right tool for the job (right length socket, angle of wrench, length of extension, etc) is really where it's at. Maybe those fancy sockets are great, but if the wall thickness is just a bit too much to fit in that tight space it doesn't rally matter how great they are. You'll be wishing you had some socket with a really thin wall.

To that end, I've found it petty useful having a mish mash of tools from different manufacturers as they all wind up having their use.

CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/21/23 10:33 a.m.

I'm overhauling my wrench/socket set and am between Williams, Snap On and Icon. 

Has anybody regretted spending the money on Snap On?

On the other hand, does anybody just break into a smile when they use their Snap On tools?

Nockenwelle New Reader
1/23/23 2:28 p.m.

Yes. I was lucky enough to score an A&P mechanic's lifetime Snap-On collection when he got hurt and was forced into early retirement for about 1/8 retail 25 years ago. They're still perfect and gleaming, and I do smile when I use them. They're the "nice" set that stays clean for tasks like engine building. Obviously thoughtful designs and ergonomics, and some decidedly special and useful oddballs I've not seen from any other brand. And the sockets are thinner.

Having said that, I would have to deliberate a good long time and have a convincing reason to buy them all new.

Folgers Reader
1/23/23 8:10 p.m.

I would spend the money again for Snap-On wrenches and ratchets. They are totally worth the money. 

The other "premium" brand tools I've purchased have not been so mind bowing awesome, that their job couldn't be done with more affordable tools at a lesser price point. 

Don't get me wrong, they are nicer. But not at the price point. Just talking about general hand tools. 


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