Choosing The Right Tools



Let me start by stating that everything I write in this blog is my personal opinion. I am a loyal Snap-on customer so I have a biased opinion and I will explain why. I started purchasing tools in 2003. My first tool box was a craftsman tool chest and it was filled with all craftsman tools. The tool chest was about 24 inches high and 30 inches wide so  it didn’t take much to fill. At the dealership where I was working at the time, there was two tool men which would come in once per week. Snap-on tools and Cornwell tools. After I finished technical school I took out a $10,000 personal loan and purchased my second tool box which was a craftsman as well. It was a top and bottom box, about 5ft high and 3.5ft wide.

I purchased mostly Snap-on tools with that loan, but i also purchased alot of Craftsman and Cornwell tools. I think the Snap-on tools had the best quality, but the prices are ridiculous compared to the others. The Cornwell tools I purchased were good quality and a good price. I would have continued to buy from Cornwell but one day the tool man just stopped showing up and 10 years later I have yet to see another Cornwell tool distibutor. The Craftsmam tools I own are pretty good quality, but not as good as Cornwell or Snap-on. My biggest problem with Craftsman was whenever a tool broke and I brought it back, Sears wouldn’t have them in stock. So I used to either call around to different stores or order it and wait. The biggest reason I stopped buying Craftsman was the inconnvinience  of getting broken tools taken care of and the quality has suffered over ther years.

After a few years I started a new job. At this shop there was two tool men, Snap-on and Matco. I figured I’d buy some Matco tools because they were a reputable company and the other guys I worked with in the shop owned and liked the tools. I purchased a few tools from Matco. I think the quality is better than Cornwell, but defiitely not as good as Snap-on. So one day the Matco guy Dave came in and said he was going out of business and tools that I have that break in the future will have to be sent to Matco through the mail which is a big inconvinience. At this point in time I told myself that I wont purchase anything but Snap-on tools because I was tired of buying other brands and having to deal with the inconvinience. I developed a good relationship with the Snap-on tool man. Probably due to the fact that I was paying his mortgage (If you do or have purchased Snap-on tools you know what I’m saying). I would joke with him all of the time telling him what a rip off him and Snap-on were. He would always have some smart ass comeback of course, but one of his comebacks has held true to this day. He said “Just remember, whatever shop you go to there will be Snap-on”. He was right! I’ve switched jobs twice since then and theres been a Snap -on guy and both. There was also a Matco guy at one of those dealerships and he wasn’t too fond of me because I wouldn’t purchase tools from him. It wasn’t the tools, it was the not knowing how long he’d be there before he went out of business. He didn’t like when I told him that either but sure enough after about six months guess what! He was gone.. Never said a word. just stopped showing up. These reasons are why I buy only Snap-on tools at this point of my career. I pay much more for them, but not only do I feel they are the most reliable tool, they are also the most reliable tool distributors.

There are many different tools out there that can be purhased from Harbor Freight, Home Depot, Lowes, and auto parts stores. The list can go on forever. I have purchased random tools from some of the places above which I use at home, but would never use them at work every day. I have worked with guys who buy tools from companies like the ones mentioned above and they love them! Most hand tools you buy from anywhere have a lifetime warranty. These guys always say ” They have the same warranty as Snap-on and they are less than half the price. If they break ill bring them back, and the ones that aren’t under warranty, I’ll buy new ones  cause they are cheap” I’ve never disagreed with them because they are right about the warranty, but some of the no name tools I’ve seen these guys use are just flat out junk and I wouldnt use them as a paperweight . I believe for the most part, you get what you pay for when it comes to just about everything. There are tools out there that arent made by Snap-on or Matco but they both put their names on it and the Matco one is cheaper so sometimes you get screwed and are paying for the name, not the quality.

If you are new to this business or buying tools in general, I recommend purchasing what you can afford. Don’t go out and buy the big Snap-on toolbox to look cool and not be able to afford to put tools in it. You’ll look like an idiot and piss the people off that you keep borrowing tools from. As time goes on and your increases, then start purchasing expensive tools if that is what you want. I would have still been buying a different varierty of tools if it werent for the inconviniences i’ve dealt with in the past. There are certain tools that companies like Snap-on only sell and you wont be able to get at Harbor Freight so try and pick and choose wisely what you buy from where unless you want your entire pay check going towards your tool bill. Buy your tools as you need them based on how much you use them. DO NOT go and buy a tool like a digital torque wrench that does degrees when all you do is oil changes and don’t own an oil filter wrench. The guy with the biggest tool box and the most tools is not always the best mechanic in the shop.  You need the knowlege and skill to go along with all of those tools.



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