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Hello all,

I'm looking to start buying professional grade and would like to know what companies to stay away from due to price, quality of tools, poor customer service, etc.......

snap-on
MAC
Matco
cornwell

Are just some of the companies I'm being introduced to. I'm open to hear what else is out there.

Thanks in advance
 

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Well my advice seeing how i am a Snapon Dealer is.... Whatever company has been servicing your area the longest without fail is who i would go with. Another good idea is too pick one company and due business with them. I see a lot of guys paying each dealer 50 here 70 there and it really ads up. Each dealer is always going to have odds and ends of the things you need get that item and pay it off so you don't have multiple accounts. Just my 2 cents for what its worth. Been doing this for 12 years now.
 

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Around here Snap-On is always around. The other tool companies come and go, but they are all good tools.
 

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HF!!!...cuz I can buy multiples of the same tools that I needed NOW and rushed of to HF down the street only to find the same tool(s) (two weeks later:)) and its clones stashed here and there in their super secret special places so I'd remember where I stashed them the next time I needed it cuz I forgot where I stashed them before....and still be able to bling my bike with chromed Chinese knock-offs with the money I "saved" instead of buying top-tier tools! Yeah!....that's me!:p

Or is this "YOU"? :p







I KEED!!! I KEED!!!:D:D:D
 

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I've been out of the wrenchin' business for over 15 years but I still have all my tools. If you're gonna go big, the others are right; Snap On is the real deal. While I admire your attitude to get the best first, the professional tools are made to be used all day, all week. The other stuff just doesn't hold up. That being said, if you are just a do it your self'er a step or two down from the professional line will serve you well. If you want Snap On hand the man your wallet and smile.
 

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Snap on if you plan on working professionally every day.

I see the Mac and Cornwell trucks in the Class 8 truck shop where I work a lot also. Lot of Mac boxes in the shop, guess the Snapon boxes are big $$.

I have a bunch of older craftsman in my home shop, some kobalt also, but its for my own stuff, occasional use only. Wouldnt want them for pro use.

Owatonna makes a lot of the specialty stuff. Caterpillars premium hand tool line used to be Snapon, lower tier Owatonna, but not sure if they still are.

Lifetime warranty is the clue to higher quality.
 

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Any of the big 4 you mentioned will serve you well and last a lifetime. Quality don't come cheap tho.
 

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there is a huge difference between SnapOn and any other ratchet. I have a ton of SnapOn stuff and some other stuff like craftsman and kobalt and husky. Honestly, I always reach for my snapon stuff first. I feel a difference and have a great relationship with my dealer. I know im paying more than I should and really, what the hell do I need an $8000 tool box for? Well it sits next to $55k worth of bikes. I like nice shit and good for you for looking for quality.

Im not a mechanic by trade either FWIW.
 

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Agree with the general concensus here. My dad was a professional mechanic on everything from small engines to heavy construction equipment and he always swore by Snap-On. Late in his career there was a fire at the municipal airport equipment shop that he worked at and everything was a total loss. Because he knew he only hand a handful of years left using the tools daily, he choose to replace everything with Cornwall and was very satisfied with his decision.

Looking at your primary considerations, I'd say that they're all professional quality and no choice would be bad. At this point it's more about finding a dealer that you like and has been at the job for a long time. I think SemperGlide will agree that the economy of recent years has been very tough on many of these dealers and that there's been some significant shake-out that eliminated a lot of tool dealers. It's a very tough business, these guys have huge investments in their trucks, inventory, etc. I think choosing a dealer who's been around a few years and has a good reputation in the area with other techs is probably more important than what brand you choose.

And yes, do business with whoever you choose and stick with him if he does a good job. You have a lot more value to one dealer than you would buying from 2-3 different guys.
 

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I used to be sceptical about the professional grade tools. Craftsman carried the same warranty.

Then my son started school to be an aircraft mechanic. We spent about $2500 on a small tool set and I was in shock at how few tools there were. Then I held some of them (snap on). You could feel a difference.
Then I just had to put together a tool incentive plan for our mechanics at work. I solicited a lot of input from professional mechanics who work on garbage trucks everyday. I contacted and met with all of the professional grade companies and participated in demos. MAC and snap-on made the final cut. The consensus was both were great products and both had certain tools that were a little better.

I dont think you can go wrong with snapon or MAC, personal preference and finding a dealer you like will decide. And you don't have to use just one. Most of our mechanics have a mixed tool box.

I too will be replacing my craftsman over time as finances allow.
 

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I agree Snap on is the best however you can do a whole lotta wrenchin on your bike or truck with craftsman tools, I have a very good set of just about everything I need to keep both truck and bikes rolling, its a mix of mostly craftsman with a few specialty tools from snap on to keep the stroker rolling. the snap on stuff is easily 3-4 times more, just compare for yourself and purchase what you feel like you can afford. you can't go wrong with craftsman in my opinion, especially if your a working stiff like me.............
 

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If you're making your living turning wrenches then snap-on is the way to go. They are meant to be used every minute of the day all week long. However you will pay dearly for them. If you're a guy that works on your own vehicles occasionally then save your money because craftsman tools will work just fine and when one breaks, which you will break some, snap-on included, there's a sears store around somewhere to replace it. With Snap-on or other mobile dealers you'll have to either wait for them to be local (usually once a week) or make a special arrangement to meet up with him. If you can afford to buy snap-on then go for it but you'll be fine with craftsman tool if you're a DIYr
 

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My ex-father-in-law raised a family of four in dirt poor Arkansas as a professional mechanic.
He was a very hard working, leather faced man who used his hands for over 60 years working large farming equipment owned by rich men who paid little.
Like dig a 15 foot hole under a combine to pull a 10 ton motor/trans type farming equipment.

He loved Ford, John Deere, and the Razorbacks, but as far as tools, he used whatever he found at the local parts store or tractor supply and never complained about crap. Brand? pfft.

Once he retired at 74 I bought him a new little Craftsman tool kit for the house, you know the ones with like 150 pieces for 100 bucks in a cool little plastic case.
A "complete" new kit for a retirement gift thing. Man he loved it. Had never seen so many new sockets with actual readable numbers on the sides.

I found the kit years later after he passed. Brand new still. Apparently they were, "Too nice.... and he didn't want to mess them up."
 

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I have a mixed bag of Snap-on, Mac, Matco along with all of my fellow mechanics here. The Mac tool truck has not been seen in years, Matco is around regularly & our Snap on guy rarely shows. When he does, he's a pain in the ass to deal with. All are good quality tools. Some people will want to argue what lifetime warranty means. Hope you find a good dealer.
 

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As others have said it all depends if they will be used in your job or just around the garage for general mechanics,not being a mechanic by trade,but being a tool maker i can relate to the cost of quality tools,those of you who are in the machine trades will understand,Suburban in the tool trade is what Snap On is to the mechanic trade.
 

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I will always recommend Snap-On tools. Not only because they make terrific, quality tools but because when I was down (burglary in my shop wiped out 20 years worth of tools) Snap-On was the only one of the major tool companies that would extend me the credit to replace many of my tools and was willing to wait until I got my insurance settlement.
WF
 

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The OP did not mention if he was using the tools to make a living or just to personal work on his bike/car or truck.
If making a living as a professional mechanic you may want to look into the costly Snap On or Mac tools but if your just using the tools for personal use then Craftsman tools will work great.
Also you may want to consider having good tools for the tools you use the most often but in some cases specialty tools or tools that you may only use a few times a year or lifetime you can go cheap by going to Harbor Freight.
I just work on my own stuff and I use Craftsman tools as my main use tools and I been using them for years with no problems but I also have some specialty tools from HF.
 

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turned and still turning wrenches while I love mac and snap on quality there business model sucks for me when I got pretty much every thing I needed they show up once or twice a month . Now that I switched industry still on my tools working them 7 days a week 12 hour shifts months at a time . I have many 5 gallon bucket of snap on and mac tools that or broken . don't get me wron g they were and or the cream of the crop but now that I don't buy often enough or have my own shop there warranty means jack crap to me .

Craftmans latest tools aren't worth the time it takes to argue with the idiot in that department that doesn't know a rachet from a wrench . So gasp I buy Kobalt and some harbor freight tools and if they hold up to mill right abuse they cut the mustard . now granted the fit and finish sucks but they hold up and I don 't have to chase down a truck in what ever state I was in.

Now if they Snap on and Mac had some type of on line warranty I would hunt there trucks down and buy . And replace what I break with out having to find a truck hoping they have the parts or replacement .
 

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Being a little older and cheap I have wrenched on a lot of vehicles over the years. I would also suggest yard sales, most people have no idea what they are selling and you can find great deals. I have picked up snap-on and others dirt cheap because unfortunately someone passed away and the family had no use for tools or knew there worth. I am by no means a pro and I know my wrenching limits, but one man’s loss is another mans gains.
 
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