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Old 10-19-07, 12:58 PM   #1
Michigander
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Is buying Snap On tools paying for a name?

Not that I'm considering buying any, I'm only wondering if broad brushing them as a rip off is fair. I talked to a rep in the student excellence program, and he went off on why Snap On and Blue Point tools were the best on the market. I don't get it. I've used Snap On/Blue Point tools, and they never seemed to work any better than any other good tools.

Is paying 10-15 times what other brands cost actually worth it in some cases? Anybody have any opinions on Snap On/Blue Point tools?
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Old 10-19-07, 12:59 PM   #2
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Good warranty, but the main issue is convenience to a working mechanic. Snap On comes to them at the shop in their little van. Sears doesn't.
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Old 10-19-07, 01:01 PM   #3
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Good warranty, but the main issue is convenience to a working mechanic. Snap On comes to them at the shop in their little van. Sears doesn't.
That and they've probably got a pretty firm hold on the marketshare. Most shops go with the status quo because that's what everyone has done for years.
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Old 10-19-07, 01:03 PM   #4
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back when i was a motorcycle mechanic the snap-on guy took care of me, i still have my 1/4 snap on ratchet. i was going through a craftsman one about every 3 months. plus most of the snap-on tools have rebuild kits
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Old 10-19-07, 01:04 PM   #5
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Snap-On also has a much better design than say Craftsman when it comes to having to use a tool in a very confined space.
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Old 10-19-07, 01:04 PM   #6
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I actually know a mechanic who broke several Snap On wrenches, and now swears by Craftsman. On the opposite side of the equation there is me. Craftsman tools have broken on me several times, and I have heard more than a couple stories of their mechanics trying to scam people when people bring in motorized tools for repair work, since obviously the motorized tools aren't covered by their famous warranty.
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Old 10-19-07, 01:06 PM   #7
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Snap-On also has a much better design than say Craftsman when it comes to having to use a tool in a very confined space.
How so? I've found confined spaces call for using a wide variety of tools, not just one specific brand. Is there a specific tool you're talking about?
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Old 10-19-07, 01:06 PM   #8
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Yes it is. My father was the vice president of a domestic hand tool manufacturer. They made their own line of tools and tools for others under private label. They also imported tools. His contention was that many of the house brand tools all came from the same sources in the Far East.

As long as you stay with similare quality you are probably not going to notice much difference. Snap On spends a ton on advertising and promotion (racing, etc.) to create the "professional' image. I think that Cobalt, or Craftsman or the Home Depot brand will serve you just as well.
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Old 10-19-07, 01:08 PM   #9
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My 1/4 Snap-On socket driver is the best I've ever had or used. I didn't pay full price though, it came from a garage sale.
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Old 10-19-07, 01:12 PM   #10
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How so? I've found confined spaces call for using a wide variety of tools, not just one specific brand. Is there a specific tool you're talking about?
Ratchets for example. Take a look at the head size of a Craftsman and a Snap-On 1/4 ratchet, the Snap-On is far smaller, allowing it to be used in smaller spaces. For the shade tree mechanic it's not really an issue, but for someone who wrenches all day it is.

I have a Craftsman set which I putter around with. My very good friend who is a professional mechanic uses Facom.
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Old 10-19-07, 01:12 PM   #11
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As long as you stay with similar quality you are probably not going to notice much difference. Snap On spends a ton on advertising and promotion (racing, etc.) to create the "professional' image. I think that Cobalt, or Craftsman or the Home Depot brand will serve you just as well.
I have a set of PowerBuilt rachets I got from Murrays. I've tried very hard many times to break them with hard use. I've used the socket wrench as a hammer to remove brake discs, I've hit them with a hammer on them to pull motor mounts, and no problems. I broke Performance Tool's crap with much less hard use.
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Old 10-19-07, 01:16 PM   #12
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Ratchets for example. Take a look at the head size of a Craftsman and a Snap-On 1/4 ratchet, the Snap-On is far smaller, allowing it to be used in smaller spaces. For the shade tree mechanic it's not really an issue, but for someone who wrenches all day it is.

I have a Craftsman set which I putter around with. My very good friend who is a professional mechanic uses Facom.
Do you mean like a gear wrench? I don't have much experience with those. I've always used regular wrenches when the space gets that tight. I can see the investment paying off when you work on cars all day.

Edit: Brain fart, you said 1/4" ratchet. I actually used such a set recently, and in several instances it was still too big. Sometimes a flat wrench is the only way to go. Especially with PITA American front wheel drive cars.
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Old 10-19-07, 01:17 PM   #13
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I have a set of PowerBuilt rachets I got from Murrays. I've tried very hard many times to break them with hard use. I've used the socket wrench as a hammer to remove brake discs, I've hit them with a hammer on them to pull motor mounts, and no problems. I broke Performance Tool's crap with much less hard use.
You are a carpenter, no? Can you notice a difference between Skilz brand power tools and Mikita?
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Old 10-19-07, 01:21 PM   #14
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Being a screw machinist I've always preferred the finish on Craftsman. The smooth finish on Snap On is too slick with oily hands.

I like my older Craftsman from the early 80's. The newer stuff does not seem as good.
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Old 10-19-07, 01:31 PM   #15
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You are a carpenter, no? Can you notice a difference between Skilz brand power tools and Mikita?
Carpenter, roofer, window installer, electrician, HVAC tech (haven't done that in 4 years) abatement worker, and recently I've got into auto mechanics.

Do you mean Skill brand? I have a Skill table saw and a Makita belt sander. Both are good tools. Although, I never did like Makita drills. In the world of Construction tools, a lot depends on what type of tools you're talking about.
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Old 10-19-07, 01:32 PM   #16
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I like my older Craftsman from the early 80's. The newer stuff does not seem as good.
I've got a Craftsman Industrial Grade reciprocating saw from the early 80's. I use it hard, all the time. I had to fix the trigger, and a couple times fix the cord, but it refuses to quit. I should call that thing Old Faithful.
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Old 10-19-07, 01:38 PM   #17
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Snap On .. Matco .. Mac .. SK tools..
i have them in my box.. all the places where i worked for always has a truck that comes by every week to collect money an tease you with new tools.. saves me alot of time then going to Sears.. the Sockets an wrenches are much better fit on the hands an on tight spaces
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Old 10-19-07, 01:41 PM   #18
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I suppose if you're making 125 grand a year saving an hour trip to sears every few weeks would be worth it. But I still don't see the tight spaces thing. Any gear wrench will fit into as tight of a space as anything.
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Old 10-19-07, 01:47 PM   #19
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I've always liked the feel of a Craftsman wrench over a Snap-On. Their combination wrenches are wider thru the cross section whereas Snap-On seems to be more knife edge. The ratchet handles on a Craftsman wrench are boxy, Snap-On's are round. The wider profile is easier on the hand when you have to bump the wrench with the heel of your hand to break a nut loose. The box section of the Craftsman ratchet makes positioning a socket with greasy hands more positive and the wrench doesn't tend to roll between your fingers.

Just my $0.02
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Old 10-19-07, 01:51 PM   #20
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I've always liked the feel of a Craftsman wrench over a Snap-On. Their combination wrenches are wider thru the cross section whereas Snap-On seems to be more knife edge. The ratchet handles on a Craftsman wrench are boxy, Snap-On's are round. The wider profile is easier on the hand when you have to bump the wrench with the heel of your hand to break a nut loose. The box section of the Craftsman ratchet makes positioning a socket with greasy hands more positive and the wrench doesn't tend to roll between your fingers.

Just my $0.02
Yeah, what Stacy said...
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Old 10-19-07, 02:03 PM   #21
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Here's what I like for breaking nuts loose

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Old 10-19-07, 02:26 PM   #22
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Show off!
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Old 10-19-07, 02:37 PM   #23
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I don't have much to show off. Few of the tools I use to work on cars are mine.
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Old 10-19-07, 02:52 PM   #24
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The installation crews that used to do work on projects I oversaw used Craftsman all the time. They'd buy a bunch of ratchets, adjustable wrenches, flat wrenches, etc., break them on one or two installation jobs and take 'em back to Sears to get new ones.
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Old 10-19-07, 04:14 PM   #25
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Yeah, what Stacy said...
I second that!
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