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i love tools

Old 12-26-13, 10:06 AM
  #26  
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One of my favourite tools is my brazing torch... Victor 300 series that I picked up for a fraction of it's MSRP.

I am also a bit of a Leatherman / knife addict... I always have my PST1 with me.
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Old 12-26-13, 10:36 AM
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I have always been a tool fan. I have 3 generations of hand tools, many of which I still use. Those are primarily woodworking tools. I have two large tool chests in the garage, one holds all mechanical tools with a drawer dedicated to bike tools. The other chest is is fine woodworking tools. My favorite tool is actually a set of machinist set up blocks my great grandfather made. I use them for precise set up of router and planer bits.

The rest of my tools are in canvas bags divided by the type of work. ie, Plumbing bag, Electrical bag, Framing bag etc. Power tools are all in cases on shelves. Never been a fan of peg boards.
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Old 12-26-13, 10:50 AM
  #28  
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I haven't bought a new tool in years (except bike specific tools) Between my father and uncles I am fortunate to have been bequeathed a couple of shops worth of quality hand tools. I have filled the occasional hole in my arsenal with garage and estate sale finds. I avoid everything but the best and most obvious brands. Good tools will save you hours and money in the long run. A cheap tool will get you hurt too!
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Green is the new "CHEAP"
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Old 12-26-13, 12:37 PM
  #29  
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I don't think Craftsman tools are as good as they used to be either, and neither is there warranty. I've got some of their tools I inherited from my grandfather that are great, and he got them when he retired in 1968. I have more Craftsman tools I got in the mid 80's to replace some that were stolen, and the 1/4" drive rachet broke when I was working on the GFs snowblower again. She took it to Ace hardware to get a replacement (Ace sells Craftsman tools in this area and is supposed to honor the warranty) and they told her they couldn't honor the warranty unless we brought in the entire set (like I'd remember that all these years later) and they still made all the components in the set and suggested we take it back to Sears.
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Old 12-26-13, 12:43 PM
  #30  
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I like Craftsman Tools, but my lady friend likes Ridgid tools.
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Old 12-26-13, 03:57 PM
  #31  
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These are about my favorite tools.

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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 12-27-13, 07:09 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Amazing! I got the same kit right around the same time that you did. I can remember my Dad driving me the 20 miles or so across town. I believe it was Heathkit. I still have most of the original tools with the exception of maybe a stubby nut driver which I finally recently replaced and my diagonal cutters which my little brother broke years ago but were never replaced.

I was recently heart broken. I lost the handle and screwdriver out on our community property while installing a solar lighting system I designed and built. I looked everywhere and could not find it, But wouldn't you know it, one of the landscapers found it and turned it in!

Is that the original case? If so it looks darn good. I finally replaced mine. It got to beaten up. It saw lots of TV and radio repairs in the early years. Two I remember the most.

One I was working on the HV section of a TV. It was late, I was tired and not thinking. Stuck a screw driver under the HV cap to test for HV. I forgot to ground the screwdriver! I then became ground and got zapped with about 30KV. Knocked me on the ground, I couldn't see for a minute or so, pretty scary. These young pups today don't get to experience that joy. With SMD, I doubt anything is really repairable today anyway.

The other incident. It was a bit later in live. Was on a sailing trip and someone stumbled below deck and bumped into the TV and broke the volume control. The owner agreed to allow me to repair it and then return it on our next trip to the bay. Saved us a bundle.


I also agree with your assessment on Craftsman. The quality is poor and I just don't like the feel of the new handles on the socket drives. The old ones are so much better. I still have most of my tools back from when I was a teen (purchased in the mid to late 70s).

A good source for tools is Harbor Freight. Decent quality and cheap prices. Most of the stuff is made in China today anyway so no sense buying from the big box stores and paying the markup. Are tools here are all the Pittsburgh brand tools. I would be curious if in other cities Harbor Freight tags them with that city's name.

Oh, that picture is just a catalog picture I linked to. My original roll up case wore out after about 27 years! This was the result of being left in lockers in places where I worked
over the years, and being left in the trunks of various vehicles I've owned. I replaced the roll up case a few years back. Note that the new cases have a velcro closure, not that
elastic that stretched and broke off. Some small places where I've worked as a contract tech provided no tools at all, so I had to bring my own to do my job. Nice companies, those. (Not!) Hard to believe that this Xcelite tool kit is over $200.00 now?

Harbor Freight... Never heard of it, but I will check it out. It is interesting to note that so many American tool companies are having their products made in china now, probably by one enormous factory somewhere, in a town with a name most of us cannot even pronounce. That aside for a moment, it does seem that craftsman has lost it completely.
If you have Craftsman tools that you bought in the 70s, hang on to them! The quality, finish, and feel of the tools back then was fine indeed.
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Old 12-27-13, 07:25 PM
  #33  
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I'm doing a lot of contract work, too. Tools I've acquired recently mainly have to do with networking. Recently bought a crimping tool for RJ-45 &11, cable tester, punchdown 110 and 66, line toner, console cable and loopbacks. Still a little afraid of telco stuff and call a buddy with 30 years with AT&T to bring his buttset if the job involves touching POTS.

And then there's the software. A bunch of little computer widgets for consoling and emulating...
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Old 12-27-13, 07:35 PM
  #34  
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Oh, Harbor Freight! That's what caught my eye in trackhub's post.

Some of their stuff is a serious deal. Some is real junk, though. When I got a CF bike I realized I needed a torque wrench in the low pressure end. Park wanted like $110 for what I picked up at HF for around $20. For my way low usage of this tool, and it's seeming accuracy for the application it was a real value.
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Old 12-27-13, 07:42 PM
  #35  
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My father bought me a complete set of Craftsman tools when I graduated from high school in 1973. Probably the best present I got. My dad passed away a few years back, I waited a few weeks before I could venture into his workshop and pick out some of his old, well used hand tools. Well, I was too late. My nephew threw them all out, thinking they were just old fashioned junk. I was devastated.
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Old 12-27-13, 08:44 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by otg View Post
My father bought me a complete set of Craftsman tools when I graduated from high school
I worked in my father's garage in high school, when I left for college he bought me a small set of SnapOn tools to take with me. At that time there was no need for me to have metric tools so that helped keep the set small. About 10 years later I realized that they were too expensive to carry in my car all the time so I bought a set of Craftsman tools to carry, now including metric, and put the SnapOn tools away. For my occasional use I don't feel hindered by the Craftsman tools but if I was using them every day I would stick with SnapOn.

We recently moved and had to have a new fence built at our new house. They were finishing it today and I was home so I helped them. They were cutting small boards around the gate with a circular saw so I brought out my miter saw and let them use it. They were fitting the gate latch on the fence and the handle part needed to bend so I took it inside and bent it with my vice. Then we found that where it fit put the bolt holes right over joints in the wood so I took it back inside and drilled new holes in it with my drill press. At one point they were having trouble putting the lag bolts in because their socket was too deep so I went inside and got a shorter socket for them. They were almost finished with the whole project when it was getting dark so I went inside and got a good flashlight to help them with. You never know when a good selection of tools can help.
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Old 12-27-13, 08:48 PM
  #37  
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I got a 12" draw knife for my 40th birthday. Took some explaining...not exactly something that most folks can picture.

The best tool for moving a lot of wood quickly.
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Old 12-27-13, 10:30 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by trackhub View Post
My original roll up case wore out after about 27 years! This was the result of being left in lockers in places where I worked
over the years, and being left in the trunks of various vehicles I've owned. I replaced the roll up case a few years back. Note that the new cases have a velcro closure, not that
elastic that stretched and broke off. Hard to believe that this Xcelite tool kit is over $200.00 now?
Yeah I forgot all about the elastic band. I think mine broke within months of getting the kit. I was shocked at the current price to. I know I paid for the kit with my own money. It is hard to imagine I would have paid the $200 equivalent back then. Do you recall what you paid?
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Old 12-28-13, 02:48 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
Oh, Harbor Freight! That's what caught my eye in trackhub's post.

Some of their stuff is a serious deal. Some is real junk, though.

The primary difference is usually that the good stuff is made in Taiwan, and is in fact good enough that much of it will stand up to years of abuse in a professional environment, especially if you don't live in the rust belt. Anything they have which says that on it is usually of decent quality. Anything else, especially from china, should be bought and used with great caution, because it's likely garbage, so check the reviews before hand.
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Old 12-28-13, 04:26 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by trackhub View Post
Ahh, tools. What is more manly? I've always thought that when women are having baby showers or bridal showers, us dudes should be entitled to have
tool parties. Who's with me?

So, tools I love:

For electronics, Xcelite. Been using them for thirty plus years now. Pricey, yes. But, always the best, and an industry standard. Parents got me this toolkit for my 18th birthday.
I still have it, although I did replace the roll up pouch some years back. Tools still going strong, under near daily use. Price paid for this set in 1975: $35.00. Sorry kids.



For cycling: Park. Just the best, in my own experience. Pedro's also makes some decent cycling tools.

General work, automotive work: Craftsman used to be a fave, but something happened to the quality and they just aren't that good anymore.
Husky, from the Home Depot, looks and feels like a better tool. Klein is also a pretty good tool outfit. Of course, in any discussion about tools,
Snap-On must be mentioned. Very, very expensive, but if you can afford them.. Yeah, might as well go for it.

A brand you don't see much today: Matco tools. They have an Active website but I rarely see their trucks
on the road anymore. They were once a fixture at gas stations and car dealerships in my area, but they seem to have all but vanished. Anyone know
anything?
I used to sell tools... during a brief stint in college, one of the many jobs I held was as a clerk in a Tool R Us... stupid little franchise shop, but none the less I had a passion for tools... and good hardware, that this brief stint fulfilled. I could have worked in a good old fashioned hardware store too...

I love the idea of a tool shower. A man needs good tools... one never stops acquiring tools if you are a handy person with your hands. I bought a boat a few years ago, and with it came a cheap tool set... one of those sets of 101 tools where 20 pieces is a set of bits for a magnetic screwdriver... not really an honest set of tools. I had to do some heavy engine work, so I went on down to Sears and yes, I bought Craftsman. I knew they would have something that might be a bit harder to find in some other brand... captive sockets and extensions. I didn't want just any set of tools, I wanted to make sure that a socket or extension wouldn't fall off when I needed it and roll deep into the bilge or overboard. Craftsman didn't disappoint me; they still had tools with a special lock that allows all sockets to be locked on to the ratchet or extension... just what I was looking for.

I also was looking for something that was a Snap-On exclusive many years ago... sockets that grabbed the flats of nuts and bolts vice the corner... it is too easy to have rusted nuts and bolts on a seagoing vessel, so I wanted tools that would grab the flats... well that old Snap-On patent must have expired years ago, and sure enough all the sockets were the flat grabbing style. Perfect.

I keep everything in a cloth bag, but ideally I'd love to find a set of good rollups for my selection of vital tools. Guess I'll keep shopping.

BTW the tools I used to sell... Proto and Challenger... good enough at the time.

Love that Xelite set. Nothing like proper tools to get the job done right.

Last edited by genec; 12-28-13 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 12-28-13, 05:41 PM
  #41  
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a Silver Smithing Studio please.. with cheap natural gas (if its a dream, dream Big)
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Old 12-28-13, 05:47 PM
  #42  
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I love tools ////// I was riding today and some TOOL threw his pop can at me
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Old 12-28-13, 05:48 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
a Silver Smithing Studio please.. with cheap natural gas (if its a dream, dream Big)
Jeeze, I gave one of those away. kiln, centrifuge and furnace and all kinds of tools and mandrels. Probably about 5 lbs of silver too.
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Old 12-28-13, 07:45 PM
  #44  
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Man! My mate broke the tip on a boning knife the other night taking the lead off a bottle of wine.

Of course I gave her (a rare turn of events so I had to work it to the MAX) a bit of grief and showed her the nice un-corking knife that

Oh, never mind.

She asked me what to replace the knife with and I suggested a small chefs knife because we never have real need of a boning knife.

She brought home the coolest, sharpest knife; a ceramic chef's knife about 15cm long (with handle). Wicked sharp. Light.

I love this thing!
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Old 12-28-13, 07:49 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
Man! My mate broke the tip on a boning knife the other night taking the lead off a bottle of wine.

Of course I gave her (a rare turn of events so I had to work it to the MAX) a bit of grief and showed her the nice un-corking knife that

Oh, never mind.

She asked me what to replace the knife with and I suggested a small chefs knife because we never have real need of a boning knife.

She brought home the coolest, sharpest knife; a ceramic chef's knife about 15cm long (with handle). Wicked sharp. Light.

I love this thing!
there sharp as hect and holds a edge but dont give em sudden impact to bones etc etc
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Old 12-29-13, 11:43 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
Man! My mate broke the tip on a boning knife the other night taking the lead off a bottle of wine.

Of course I gave her (a rare turn of events so I had to work it to the MAX) a bit of grief and showed her the nice un-corking knife that

Oh, never mind.

She asked me what to replace the knife with and I suggested a small chefs knife because we never have real need of a boning knife.

She brought home the coolest, sharpest knife; a ceramic chef's knife about 15cm long (with handle). Wicked sharp. Light.

I love this thing!
I've had a few of those... two chef's knives and a small utility knife... don't drop them or use the side of them to crush garlic... None of mine have a tip anymore. And they do lose their edge over time... supposedly you send them back to the manufacture for sharpening...

I can have an edge put on my metal knives any Wednesday at the local market for $5.00... and I can maintain the edge with a steel... so the promise of ceramics I found is somewhat empty... just not worth the hassle.
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Old 12-29-13, 04:51 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
The primary difference is usually that the good stuff is made in Taiwan, and is in fact good enough that much of it will stand up to years of abuse in a professional environment, especially if you don't live in the rust belt. Anything they have which says that on it is usually of decent quality. Anything else, especially from china, should be bought and used with great caution, because it's likely garbage, so check the reviews before hand.
As a goldsmith, I have a vast array of tools. These tools come from virtually every country that manufactures tooling; Germany, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Japan,Taiwan, Inda,Pakistan, US, UK, even Ukraine and China. Certain forming tools, like mandrels,stakes/anvils or die blocks require proper finishing and polishing and (quite importantly) proper hardening. Guess which country consistently makes the best (IME)? You might be surprised.......
Hands down, Taiwan- made finished steels are the best!! They always retain their polish, don't deform or dent and leave a flawless finish. This experience has led me to better appreciate Taiwan-made bikes or tools, in general. Buying Ace branded or Harbor Freight's Pittsburgh branded tools(most generally from Taiwan), to be fairly reliable decision. The Chinese made stuff, however, is a total crap shoot. There are cases where certain specific jewelry tool types are consistently better made in specific countries. Burs or rotary files (for example) are best made by either the Austrians or Swiss, pliers by the Swedes, etc..
I usually only utilze The Chinese stuff when I am going to modify it in some way or it is a tool type where precision or finish is unimportant, i.e., hammers or punches. Indeed, the softer, less properly hardened faces will not spark or slip when driving a punch or tool.
Obviously, YMMV, but most of my tool wielding friends agree with this assessment.
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Old 12-29-13, 05:03 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by elcraft View Post
Harbor Freight's Pittsburgh branded tools(most generally from Taiwan), to be fairly reliable decision.
OK so the tools I see here just aren't branded that way because I buy them here? I wonder why they chose Pittsburgh as the brand name? Maybe because of steel in Pittsburgh?
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Old 12-29-13, 05:09 PM
  #49  
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I beat the living crap out of my nut spinning tools since I am a mechanic in the rustiest part of the US, and I agree heavily. US and chinese made craftsman is at best on par with harbor freights Taiwan sockets and wrenches and such, maybe even of inferior quality for some of them. If you want higher quality, there are some other budget options like sunnex through tooltopia, but generally for a significant upgrade I've found that higher quality means tool truck grade tools. And why bother, especially for an amateur/DIY sort, when you can get a full line of SAE and metric sockets, both impact and chrome, plus extensions and wrenches, for well under 300 bucks?

The one thing I did notice is that their axle nut sockets are chinese. Probably a good idea to go with CLC or KD or something instead.
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Old 12-30-13, 01:04 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by trackhub View Post
General work, automotive work: Craftsman used to be a fave, but something happened to the quality and they just aren't that good anymore.
Husky, from the Home Depot, looks and feels like a better tool. Klein is also a pretty good tool outfit. Of course, in any discussion about tools,
Snap-On must be mentioned. Very, very expensive, but if you can afford them.. Yeah, might as well go for it.
There are a lot of great Euro brand tools that are cheaper than Snap-on (but equivalent quality). Wera, Wiha, Knipex, Felo, etc. all sell great products. http://chadstoolbox.com/ is a good place to get the -real- products. I've seen some lower quality Wera stuff in local stores (made to USA quality standards?).
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