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jte1130 02-11-2008 11:51 AM

Favorite Hand Tool Brand
Looking to expand my toolbox of basic tools. Was wondering what the hand tool brand of choice is for everyone out there. Carftsman? Stanley? Store brand such as Husky or Kobalt? or something else?

Rehabber 02-11-2008 01:02 PM

I like Snap-On, Expensive, but you can't beat the quality. Yea I'm a quality tool whore.

wfischer 02-11-2008 01:04 PM

For me it's Craftsman, hands down. My dad and his dad both use them exclusively... some of grandpa's hand tools are over 60 years old and they're just as good as the day he bought them.

Store brands are okay for the wife's toolbox, but not for mine. I've actually snapped the tip off a store brand flat head screwdriver trying to open a paint can. You get what you pay for, I guess.

47_47 02-11-2008 01:55 PM

When I was an auto tech, my basic hand tools were mainly Mac, specialty and test tools Snap On and air tools IR. There is a difference between the specialized tool manufactures and the others (Craftsman...) as far as feel, durability and cost. For home use, I would probably go with Craftsman for price and warrantee.

End Grain 02-11-2008 03:05 PM

I no longer patronize Craftsman or Sears for that matter but their tools were always a good value, at least until they became the stepchild of Blue Light Specials everywhere.

Snap-On tools are excellent but cost-prohibitive for tradespeople unless you're a vehicle technician who uses the same types of tools on a daily basis or who requires a lot of specialty wrenches, sockets, accessories, etc.

Stanley from the UK still offers well made tools. Not so good overall for Stanley of CT, China and Mexico, particularly their retail line of screwdrivers. But, their latest Super HD twin pack (Phillips, straight) of large screwdrivers have a metal core and metal end that beg for smacking with a hammer. Stanley carpenter's saws are a good value and the teeth last a long time, especially on their sharktooth line. Stanley anti-vibe and graphite hammers are decent but IMO there are better hammers for the same money or even less. Their wood chisels are a good value too.

Buck Bros. wood chisels and backsaws are pretty decent.

Cooper (Plumb, Lufkin, Crescent, Nicholson, etc.) tools are by and large very good, even the ones made outside the USA. Carpenter's hammers, folding rules and tape measures, adjustable wrenches, Hi-tension hacksaws, bowsaws, woodchuck chisels, rasps and files.

Irwin has some very good tools including a multi-bit screwdriver, twist and spade drill bits, vise grips and specialty pliers. Their plastic clamps are only so-so.

Channellock makes excellent pliers, decent diagonal cuttters, very good linesman's pliers, good slip joint pliers, etc.

Klein hand tools are among the very best, especially for electrical work. Surprisingly, Greenlee's line of imported electrical hand tools at HD are much less $$ than Klein, yet are made well and perform well.

Husky and Workforce (both HD) are strictly hit or miss. The Husky sockets and screwdrivers are better than those of Workforce but still won't stand up to daily rigorous use by tradespeople.

Empire along with Johnson still makes the best and most affordable aluminum and plastic levels in the general trades class. Fuller hand tools by Johnson are still decent but hard to find.

Ridgid plumbing tools are still well made. In direct contrast, HD's Brasscraft line of plumbing tools across from Ridgid's are not that well made. Although not offering as many models or as much alleged "HP" as Shop Vac does, Ridgid consumer and general trade wet/dry vacuums are, IMO, superior to Shop Vac's, dollar for dollar and pound for pound.

Estwing hammers are IMO among the best, with the wrapped leather handles even better than the formed grips. Ditto for the wood-handle line of Vaughan hammers that offers excellent framing and ball peen hammers as well.

Surprisingly, ACE Hardware's brand of hand tools is pretty decent but you have to look closely at the price difference between their imported version and a popular brand name. Their 1/4" drive sockets and box/open end wrenches are a very good value for occasional use.

Then there are those hand tools that are bought because of one specific job or project and end up sitting around for years collecting dust. Sometimes, depending upon the size of the job or project or the punishment the tool might get in the process, the bulk China-made versions of more expensive branded ones can be a good and economical alternative. I've got a few of them myself and I'm happy to say that they have handled the wear and tear I've dished out and stood the test of time.

MrRSBM 02-11-2008 11:41 PM

End Grain Besides being in the same business, I think our tool boxes are a close match. I have almost every brand you have listed exsept "Mac", But in that place I have SK. My most favorite set of ratches and sockets has to be a set bought from Wally World "Wal-Mart" under the name "Populor Mechanics". It was a 150+ set with sae, metric, tork, and alen, deep & shallow, 1/4" & 3/8. Bought it on a clearance sell after Christmas one year. I use then on my Panasonic 12 volt impact driver daily. Driver puts out 1062 inches lbs of tork, and after 4 or 5 years, they don't show excesive ware.

jte1130 02-12-2008 11:02 AM

Thanks for the recommendations.

EndGrain, thank you for that very detailed list. I think I now have a guide for each and every tool I would need to buy.

Thanks again.

electrician man 06-21-2009 10:59 PM

electrician man
Hi End Grain I liked what you said about the tools you mentioned.
I am curently taking a home study course in electric. I have been
looking for some new tools for my tool box. I have some channellock pliers that I use and want to add some screwdrivers and nut drivers to the list.
I liked what you said about Greenlee tools and their price.
Thanks a lot.

Electrician man:thumbup:

PaliBob 06-24-2009 05:12 AM

I don't have a favorite brand. There are some graeat tools to be found from all over. For Electrical tools my new favorite is the wire stripper from KNIPEX

Here's a closer look:

abbyjhon1 05-09-2011 02:49 AM

Thanks for info.......

Testing Equipment, Screws

canadaclub 05-12-2011 02:41 PM

There are mutation problems with some of the best tools. Estwing and Klein for example, if you're not very careful they grow legs!:furious:

Leah Frances 05-12-2011 05:32 PM


Originally Posted by PaliBob (Post 292145)
I don't have a favorite brand. There are some graeat tools to be found from all over. For Electrical tools my new favorite is the wire stripper from KNIPEX

Here's a closer look:

Love the ALL the knipex pliers.

For hand tools I pick 'made in the USA' over just about anything.

PaliBob 05-12-2011 07:25 PM

Knipex Fav
The old 2009 Knipex Link for a Wire Stripper is kaput.
here is the UPDATE

Leah Frances 05-12-2011 08:34 PM


Originally Posted by PaliBob (Post 646717)
The old 2009 Knipex Link for a Wire Stripper is kaput.
here is the UPDATE

OOOOOO. I don't have one of those :eek:! Better let the Husband know. He gets me tools instead of flowers. :thumbup:

PaliBob 05-12-2011 08:59 PM

1 Attachment(s)
This type of Stripper excels at reaching into a crowded box but because it needs to be adjusted for different gauge wire it is not so useful if there are many tasked wire size changes. Most useful for me on 14 or 12 awg.

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