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It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye
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l hear ya deadeye...it is expensive. But l am now in a career where l will use the tools regularly, and therefore l believe the higher quality tools are cheaper in the long run, and l will not have to replace them like l would the cheap Pittsburgh brand, for example.

Where it gets difficult is finding certain tools that they just do not make here. For instance, do you know of a right angle drill attachment or a razor knife that is made in the USA?

When you say razor knife. Is this what you're speaking of?




I have one at home, threw away all my others.
 

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518 Posts
It is correct that a lot of American name brands are now made elsewhere. What I've noticed is that those products are usually still better quality than something concocted totally elsewhere or even something that was conceived here but was never made here. Craftsman vs the "chrome clubs" is a good example. The better quality American name brands tend to keep their QC when they move elsewhere.

Elsewhere is catching up. They see what they are capable of making under American name brand supervision, and learning to match it as their own overall standards increase. And elsewhere does make some pretty good stuff. Japanese cars are great. There's no arguing their bikes, either. (Hahhahaha! Right. Like that's not a huge argument) Oh, they use more plastic. Yeah? A plastic fender on a motorcycle never seemed to matter.
 

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Charlie Tango Xray
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763 Posts
Our local Matco Guy and I have been riding buddies for years. Our Snap On guy (as well as the Napa guy, come to think about it) will show up today exactly at noon with a 12 pack of Pepsi and maybe a pasta salad or chips. Not because we're their best customers, but because we usually fire up the grill every Friday for lunch....:biggrin: I'm not necessarily a flag waver, but I will support friends if they sell quality products.
 

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Gone.
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Most of the hand tools in the US are produced by several huge companies that source the tools themselves or their components to many different places. The largest tool companies are the Apex Group, Danaher Corporation, and the Stanley Group, with Danaher being the largest. (Yet I don't think you'll ever turn a wrench marked "Danaher.")

Snap-On is independent of those 3 groups as far as I know, but they still do the same thing themselves. There are a couple of tools on their trucks that are made at the same factories in China as a few Harbor Freight tools are. Not many, but there are a few. They also have a factory in the UK.
 

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I use Craftsman and Stanley because I get them for free. Where I work we have a safety program and each month without anyone getting hurt I get to choose from a list of "safety prizes". I always choose tools.
 

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It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye
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8,668 Posts
Most of the hand tools in the US are produced by several huge companies that source the tools themselves or their components to many different places. The largest tool companies are the Apex Group, Danaher Corporation, and the Stanley Group, with Danaher being the largest. (Yet I don't think you'll ever turn a wrench marked "Danaher.")

Snap-On is independent of those 3 groups as far as I know, but they still do the same thing themselves. There are a couple of tools on their trucks that are made at the same factories in China as a few Harbor Freight tools are. Not many, but there are a few. They also have a factory in the UK.
Some of the Blue Point stuff is outsourced and to my knowledge Snap-on still gets their electronic torque wrenches from Danaher, other than that and of course some of the specialty stuff Snap-On still makes their own stuff.
If my memory serves correctly, Danaher also makes Kobalt.
 

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I had heard that Snap-On actually owns the Kobalt brand, but that Danaher makes them.

Sometimes it can be pretty hard to keep up with this stuff as it seems that some companies get bought and sold yearly and contracts get switched weekly .
 

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It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye
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I used some Kobalt stuff at a friends a while back. It ain't half bad, I'd buy it if I were a weekend wrench.
 

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Troublemaker
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I buy what I can afford, if I can't justify union wages to buy American, that's not my problem. Harbor Freight warrants all the stuff they sell, I just haul it back and get it replaced, no questions asked. Only had to replace a couple things in the last 25 years.

When I was wrenching, Snap on replaced a lot of tools, great service, great warranty, but the prices were out of line once I quit wrenching for a living.

I do have to agree, when it comes to tools, quality costs more money.
 

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Female Rider
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9,324 Posts

Great Neck Sheffield Lockback Knife, 1 Utility Blade, Red (GNS58113)

My daughter has this utility knife and bought us one for Christmas. She loves hers and that is one tool she really does keep up with. I think it is made in the UK and not China.
 

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Gone.
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Another advantage of buying from the tool trucks is that they have some things in their hand tool line that you just can't get at Sears or from Kobalt, Husky, or HF. I've got a couple of Snap-On and Matco ratchets of a certain design and configuration, that I use daily, that you just can't find anywhere else. Particularly small sized flex heads that are great for working on bikes.

One of the most expensive lines, for me, are Harley specialty tools from Kent Moor and JIM's. They can be ridiculously expensive, but for some there's no other choice. I've hunted Ebay for them and always have my eyes open at swap meets. When I can I've made measured CAD drawings and shared them with others in case it might help someone to machine their own tool. Luckily, the average weekend wrench or rider will never need anything like those.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Yep, I got my "T"handle allen set years before they ever started showing up in stores. Now they all have them. I think they came off a Matco truck but it's been 40+ years ago so I'm not sure. It was a specialty tool then. May have been snap-on cause I'm not sure Matco was around then though.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Blades are a disposable item Eye so Chinese might be okay. That's what their bikes are. Disposable but last a few months.:D
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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2,730 Posts
Yeah, I'm gonna disagree, AS USUAL.

I've got two 3/8" RATCHETS that are Snap-On. They're the best, they justify their $100+ price, and they're warrantied. I've already used the warranty one one of 'em. (And I didn't even over-torque it!)

My SOCKETS are virtually all Craftsman. I've broken ONE in my lifetime, casting flaw, or whatever.

Ok, air impact wrenches, I go for Ingersol Rand, or other high end.

Air impact sockets (hardened steel, black) no-name, wherever I find 'em.

Combination wrenches: Generally Craftsman, but JUST ABOUT any forged, chrome-vanadium steel combination wrench will last a lifetime. I happen to LIKE the WWII era ones with decorative scrollwork, etc.

I do NOT need to pay Snap-on, Matco, ... $10 per socket when I can get perfectly good used Craftsman sockets at the pawn shop for .50 apiece. Or an entire 139 piece blow-molded CASE of Craftsman for $79, on sale.

I find the socket stick that allows me to carry one of EACH SIZE out to my jobsite is more valuable than the sockets themselves. (plus a swivel, 2" extension, wobbly, etc.)

As a young wannabe auto tech, a Snap On Stealer charged me nearly $50 for an air hammer bit. Got one later for $7 at NAPA or somewhere.
I have kept that $50 bit in my toolbox for 20+ years as a reminder that unneccessarly overpaying for tools (and boxes) is throwing money away.

(BTW,my roll-around boxes are ALL used pieces of junk. I put my money in the tools. I don't need to impress ANYONE. I try and impress them with the quality of the WORK I do, not the tools I own!

And I use a $69 (on sale) Harbor Freight OBDII scan tool, which does 99% of all the code reading/decoding I need. Came with 2 years of online updates.

Buying an entire box full of Snap-On is simply throwing money away, I'm sorry, it's indeed the best, but the very best simply isn't necessary in 99% of all situations.

(But I will buy SO at Pawn shops when I can get it for ten cents on the dollar.)

And if you actually know how to use one, the FREE DMM from Harbor Freight will do everything a $500 Fluke will do. Except get stolen out of your box!
 

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It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye
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8,668 Posts
I bought quite a few of my Snap-On tools back when my brother used to manage a Pawn Shop. That's the good thing about quality tools, the warranty follows them.
In my books, there is only one 1/2 impact worth buying. That would be the IR231C.
 
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