Have you chosen one brand's power-tools platform?

ilikeguns40

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why not just buy cheap, and use the tools until they give out.
I started to think this way on certain tools. For example Knipex vs Icon tools from Harbor Freight, I will bet Icon brand will hold up just fine compared to name brand Knipex. My coworker has some and they are surprisingly identical, also Icon come with lifetime warranty as well.

For the average homeowner that may only use tools occasionally, buying cheap is the way to go
 

bykfixer

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I started to think this way on certain tools. For example Knipex vs Icon tools from Harbor Freight, I will bet Icon brand will hold up just fine compared to name brand Knipex. My coworker has some and they are surprisingly identical, also Icon come with lifetime warranty as well.

For the average homeowner that may only use tools occasionally, buying cheap is the way to go

I had a teacher in high school who espoused cheap tools are the best unless you're working on something that the tool has to work. Pliers for example. "You probably aren't strong enough to break pliers" he said. "So why buy expensive pliers?"

Now for removing a stuck on exhaust manifold bolt a cheap ratchet is a bad idea. Same with a cheap socket and extension. I found that out one evening when the ratchet, the 6" extension and the socket all broke at the same time. The sudden release caused by wrist to fracture too. I used my dad's old Mac Tools breaker bar Snap On extension and S-K socket for the rest of them.
 

ilikeguns40

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Reminds me the time I used a cheap ratchet wrench tightening a beam clamp and the ratchet mechanism/gears inside broke and sent my fist flying against a steel beam, not cool. I basically punched a steel beam with my fist. Until that day I never bought cheap ratchet wrenches. Also, I've had similar accidents almost happen when working on a step ladder, if a tool breaks or slips, it can send you off a ladder.
 

Monocrom

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Nice! Glad to help convince you to buy good tools. :party:

Have a look at the GWX18v-50:

We use the Oceania version which has a different model code, but I assume there's precious little difference. It's a great tool.

Here's the slightly smaller brother, the GWX18v-10PSC (paddle switch - I like these better for safety and usability)

View attachment 62426
View attachment 62427View attachment 62428
View attachment 62429
NICE! Thanks again, Fuzzy.
 

Monocrom

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....And if they are cheap enough or if you don't care (speaking for all of us here), why not just buy cheap, and use the tools until they give out....
Unfortunately, you never know when they'll give out.
That's the big issue.

Also, certain tools are worth paying a premium for. I mean, extensive hand screwdriver set, Craftsman has a 12-piece for around $30.oo (no need to pay over $200.oo for certain other sets). But a tire-inflator, different story. You don't want a cheap one. It'll work when brand new, but stored in the trunk of your car, charge the battery up every 4-6 months. You go to use it one day after a few years.... You might honestly get nothing. A quality inflator, the components inside aren't cheap; and they'll likely last for many long years.
 

ghostguy6

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😬 Let it be known: I do not like anyone using my tools. No one takes care of them like I do. That's just the way I am. 😬
I'm the same way. I will however allow other techs to use my tools because they have to buy their own tools and know the costs if they abuse them. Generally they are only borrowing specialty tools though.
I had a teacher in high school who espoused cheap tools are the best unless you're working on something that the tool has to work. Pliers for example. "You probably aren't strong enough to break pliers" he said. "So why buy expensive pliers?"

Now for removing a stuck on exhaust manifold bolt a cheap ratchet is a bad idea. Same with a cheap socket and extension. I found that out one evening when the ratchet, the 6" extension and the socket all broke at the same time. The sudden release caused by wrist to fracture too. I used my dad's old Mac Tools breaker bar Snap On extension and S-K socket for the rest of them.
Cheap tools have their place if they are only used occasionally but in the long run they can do more damage than good. Cheap sockets tend to have more slop and round nuts easier. Tekton sockets are cheap but so far the fit has really surprised me. I would say they are comparable to my MAC Tools set. Of course the ratchets are just ok. Cheap screwdrivers have more slop and strip out the heads and sometimes the blades twist making them useless.

Ratchets on the other hand I will only buy Snap On from now on. Yes they are expensive but they will last you a lifetime if you take care of them. Buy once, cry once! I am still using the same ratchets I purchased over 20 years ago and the chrome hasn't even flaked off yet. Several of those years were heavy use in professional shops. MAC used to be cheaper but I managed to break one of their 1/2 ratchets and have the scars to prove it. MAC is now more expensive than Snap On here but a lesser quality.


Another factor to consider is the warranty. Some tools have great warranty but it doesn't help if the tool is always broken waiting to be repaired. Some require a receipt, some will only exchange for the same model number and your SOL if its been discontinued. Some warranties specifically do not cover professional use.

There is a brand here called Mastercraft ( aka MasterCrap) sold at Canadian Tire. At one time they produced decent hand tools with a lifetime warranty at a very reasonable price. Today they aren't even worth the cost of gas to go buy them but have quadrupled in cost. Now they will only replace hand tools if you have the original paper receipt. When I was young working at one of those quick change oil places I would wear out one of their "professional line" ratchets in a month. After the 3rd replacement they informed me (and showed me in the warranty) that the tools were not covered for professional use. So for $30 and 3 replacements which would have cost me about $90 plus my time for the exchanges, I could have just purchased a Snap on ratchet and I would have been better off to begin with. Their power tools specified a 3 or 5 year warranty. What they didn't tell you was once the Mastercrap brand tool left the store there was no exchange. Only a repair option. This meant you had to ship the tool to a warranty approved service center, pay a $25 service charge and hope they agreed it was a manufactures defect. If not you paid return shipping and the cost of the repair. So at best your out a tool for about a month and you only get back a refurbished tool.

Craftsman used to be really good for warranty when they were sold at Sears. Bring in any broken tool and get a replacement no question. Now that they are sold at Lowes you need the original receipt and they will only replace it if they have the exact part number available for individual sale. The local store only sold the tools in sets but other stores carried individual sockets and screwdrivers. If you bought a wrench only available in a set you are SOL. If the tool have been replaced by a new part number your SOL. Lost the receipt or its too faded to read your SOL. I hope their warranty if better in the US but it sucks in Canukistan.


Ok that was a little off topic but I'm done my rant for the day:)
 

bykfixer

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When Sears sold Craftsman to Stanley the tools were no longer US made but were made in the same factory as Rigid, Stanley and others.
I do like some of their fine tooth ratchets for working in tight places.
I also bought some Carlyle (NAPA brand) and Kobalt tools at one point. Both made in the same factory of the same stuff and their screw drivers hold up well.

If I break a tool I don't replace it. Frankly if it broke I don't want another one.

Back to battery tools, I like Ryobi but if I used them as part of my job I'd buy the red and the yellow tools. That's what I see the pros using these days.
 

letschat7

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I sell Mastercraft at one of my jobs. Somehow they end up across the border at auctions along with some other Candian market stuff.
 

Fuzzywuzzies

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I had a teacher in high school who espoused cheap tools are the best unless you're working on something that the tool has to work. Pliers for example. "You probably aren't strong enough to break pliers" he said. "So why buy expensive pliers?"

Now for removing a stuck on exhaust manifold bolt a cheap ratchet is a bad idea. Same with a cheap socket and extension. I found that out one evening when the ratchet, the 6" extension and the socket all broke at the same time. The sudden release caused by wrist to fracture too. I used my dad's old Mac Tools breaker bar Snap On extension and S-K socket for the rest of them.

A cheap tool almost cost me my life once.

I was working alone, at around 3 o'clock in the morning at a client's large workshop. (desperate times, desperate measures) I needed to drill a decent sized hole, about 16mm (5/8") if I remember correctly, in a machine bolted to a wall around 3m (10ft) above the ground.

At this point I realised that I had left my big Desoutter electric drill at home, and had run flat every single battery that I had with me for my power tools. This was many years ago, when battery-powered tools were fairly rare and expensive, and nowhere near as capable as they are these days.

So I cast about the workshop toolroom, and found a brand new electric drill with a suitably large chuck. I knew the branding, and it was the cheapest tool that could be bought at the local tool shop. But like I said, desperate times, desperate measures.

So I sharpened and loaded the drill bit, sorted my ladder and extension cord, and set to drilling. By the way, this is my trade. I know how to properly sharpen a drill bit, and how to manage pressure to quickly, efficiently and safely drill holes in most materials, steel included, as in this case. The old Desoutter drills especially had utterly phenomenal torque too, so grip and trigger control to be able to manage break-through jams was a must. The clutches and electronics on modern drills these days allow most people to just grab and go, and it's pretty hard to get hurt by kickback etc.
Back then Health and Safety was nothing like it is now, but still…

Anyway, I got in position and set to drilling. Unfortunately, access in the machine was extremely tight, and the only viable drilling position had the drill just a few inches in front of my face. This wasn't ideal, but it was the only realistic way the job could be done.
Needless to say, I was waiting for the inevitable breakthrough jam, ready to instantly brace my grip and release the trigger.

Well, of course the drill jammed. I braced the stabiliser handle and released the trigger immediately, but the drill failed to shut off.

It took about five seconds of my full strength wrestling the stabiliser handle of the drill as it approached my left eye socket, while simultaneously fighting to release the jammed trigger, (including checking the trigger lock-on, which was not engaged) for me to realise that I was in serious trouble.

Because of my position, I could not apply enough force on the drill handle, or move my head or escape down the ladder, as the drill had me pinned.
So I did the only thing I could think of: I pulled down on the drill with all my weight, and then shock-jerked it with every bit of strength I could muster. I snapped that big hardened steel drill bit off entirely, throwing the dril down to the floor. The cursed thing was still running when I climbed down the ladder and unplugged it.
I later disassembled the drill, discovering that part of the pivot in its cheap plastic trigger had fractured, and fully jammed the mechanism.

I made a cup of tea, and sat and nursed my bruises for a bit. As I looked up at the space I had been working in, it dawned on me that, had I lost the wrestling match with the drill, the leverage from the stabiliser handle would very likely have caused it to penetrate my eye socket, possibly even killing me.

I left the drill fully stripped down on the customer's tool bench, for them to puzzle over in the morning. I've vowed ever since to buy the best and most reliable tools I can reasonably afford. And yes, that includes Knipex pliers!
 

PaladinNO

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Cheap tools have their place if they are only used occasionally but in the long run they can do more damage than good. Cheap sockets tend to have more slop and round nuts easier. Cheap screwdrivers have more slop and strip out the heads and sometimes the blades twist making them useless.

Ratchets on the other hand I will only buy Snap On from now on.
When I do go cheap on my tools (and this is only for hand tools), I keep them in a box that is exclusively for indoor use. Such as fastening a TV-mount, or adjusting a screw on my monitor stand. Anything where excessive force isn't necessary.

The only outdoor-use exception is the $2 stubby screwdriver (with a $1 socket) I keep together with my impact wrench, that I only use with a hex-1/2" adapter to properly enter the lug nut threads before tightening them with the impact and a torsion bar. I do this little part by hand for best possible feel. And for this, I don't need anything expensive.

As for the ratchet torque wrench, I am in the market for a new one. The old one has been with me for years now, and I feel it slipping sometimes.
Any thoughts on the Wera C3? https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wera-Torque-Adjustable-Wrench-Square/dp/B07B7XXQHT?th=1

For sockets, I exclusively use Bahco. Got the S910 case for indoor work, and I got 7806 sockets in the sizes I need (17, 19 and 21mm. ~$30 each) together with my impact wrench. If weight is any indication of quality, then I won't ever break one of them!
 
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ghostguy6

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Are you looking for a ratchet or a torque wrench? I'll be honest I have never used a Wera ratchet or torque wrench. The maker of these video's, Project Farm has several great video's reviewing and testing all sorts of tools and is definitely worth checking out.
For ratchets I suggest you check out this video.

For torque wrenches check out this one.


If you ratchet is slipping you might be able to buy a repair kit. Round head ratchets usually aren't repairable though. If a toque wrench is slipping it might just need to be re-calibrated.
 

Monocrom

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A cheap tool almost cost me my life once.

I was working alone, at around 3 o'clock in the morning at a client's large workshop. (desperate times, desperate measures) I needed to drill a decent sized hole, about 16mm (5/8") if I remember correctly, in a machine bolted to a wall around 3m (10ft) above the ground.

At this point I realised that I had left my big Desoutter electric drill at home, and had run flat every single battery that I had with me for my power tools. This was many years ago, when battery-powered tools were fairly rare and expensive, and nowhere near as capable as they are these days.

So I cast about the workshop toolroom, and found a brand new electric drill with a suitably large chuck. I knew the branding, and it was the cheapest tool that could be bought at the local tool shop. But like I said, desperate times, desperate measures.

So I sharpened and loaded the drill bit, sorted my ladder and extension cord, and set to drilling. By the way, this is my trade. I know how to properly sharpen a drill bit, and how to manage pressure to quickly, efficiently and safely drill holes in most materials, steel included, as in this case. The old Desoutter drills especially had utterly phenomenal torque too, so grip and trigger control to be able to manage break-through jams was a must. The clutches and electronics on modern drills these days allow most people to just grab and go, and it's pretty hard to get hurt by kickback etc.
Back then Health and Safety was nothing like it is now, but still…

Anyway, I got in position and set to drilling. Unfortunately, access in the machine was extremely tight, and the only viable drilling position had the drill just a few inches in front of my face. This wasn't ideal, but it was the only realistic way the job could be done.
Needless to say, I was waiting for the inevitable breakthrough jam, ready to instantly brace my grip and release the trigger.

Well, of course the drill jammed. I braced the stabiliser handle and released the trigger immediately, but the drill failed to shut off.

It took about five seconds of my full strength wrestling the stabiliser handle of the drill as it approached my left eye socket, while simultaneously fighting to release the jammed trigger, (including checking the trigger lock-on, which was not engaged) for me to realise that I was in serious trouble.

Because of my position, I could not apply enough force on the drill handle, or move my head or escape down the ladder, as the drill had me pinned.
So I did the only thing I could think of: I pulled down on the drill with all my weight, and then shock-jerked it with every bit of strength I could muster. I snapped that big hardened steel drill bit off entirely, throwing the dril down to the floor. The cursed thing was still running when I climbed down the ladder and unplugged it.
I later disassembled the drill, discovering that part of the pivot in its cheap plastic trigger had fractured, and fully jammed the mechanism.

I made a cup of tea, and sat and nursed my bruises for a bit. As I looked up at the space I had been working in, it dawned on me that, had I lost the wrestling match with the drill, the leverage from the stabiliser handle would very likely have caused it to penetrate my eye socket, possibly even killing me.

I left the drill fully stripped down on the customer's tool bench, for them to puzzle over in the morning. I've vowed ever since to buy the best and most reliable tools I can reasonably afford. And yes, that includes Knipex pliers!
Oh my God! So glad to hear you weren't killed or lost your eye, Fuzzy.
Honestly, now that I stop and think about it, not only do I need a new angle grinder but I could use a new drill and a new Impact driver. I was going to go with a certain brand for the last two (You know the one, Fuzzy). But, not so sure now. Maybe the brand clearly made with cheap parts in it for the amateur DIY homeowner for a few projects a year at most.... maybe it's not good enough. Also, love me some Knipex pliers as well.
 

Monocrom

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Are you looking for a ratchet or a torque wrench? I'll be honest I have never used a Wera ratchet or torque wrench. The maker of these video's, Project Farm has several great video's reviewing and testing all sorts of tools and is definitely worth checking out.
Couple of issues with PF.
I used to be subscribed to his channel for a very long time.
No longer am. He's one guy, and there are issues with his testing.
One, most of them aren't realistic. A tool that fails his tests?
It could be perfectly good on the job-site for real world use.
Two, he only tests out new tools. That's great. But....
Something that's great new, could be crap with prolonged use.

He gave Kobalt's tire-inflator high marks. One CPFer mentioned having one that failed on him miserably years later when he needed it. No, the battery wasn't dead. Cheaply-made tools with cheap components don't last over time. But his testing never accounts for that. Buy it new, test it now, done! That's just not realistic.

Plus, he recommended the Pittsburgh old-fashioned tire-inflator that plugs into your vehicle as being a great substitute for a newer battery-powered one. Unfortunately, he only owns older vehicles. A mechanic told me not to use it on my 2009 sedan, after I already bought one. That inflator works well on older vehicles. But on newer ones it has a high probability of blowing a fuse. So, not only do you have a flat tire, but a blown fuse; making your stranded situation worse!

When you bring up these issues in his comments section, you get a robotic, "Thanks for your reply" comment from him. Also, he'll straight-up delete comments for no reason at all. Constantly asking viewers to make suggestions on what type of tools he should test. But if he doesn't like the suggestion, he'll delete your comment. Then he decided to become a shill for a particular YouTube content creator who in recent years has been called out for his scum-bag business practices. That was the last straw for me. I was done with PF.

Edit: Clarification.
 
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PaladinNO

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Are you looking for a ratchet or a torque wrench? I'll be honest I have never used a Wera ratchet or torque wrench.

If you ratchet is slipping you might be able to buy a repair kit. Round head ratchets usually aren't repairable though. If a torque wrench is slipping it might just need to be re-calibrated.
It's an adjustable torque wrench I'm after. Thank you, I see I used the wrong word in my above post. Corrected now.

My use will be to tighten lug nuts to the correct Nm for my car. And yeah, I check the adjuster screw every time before use. And I still have to apply some lateral force on top of the head, or it sometimes just makes a grinding noise without moving the lug nut.

I have ratchet in my tool kit too (Bahco 1/2" and 1/4"), that I use on hex heads.

"Ratchet", "torque wrench" and "impact wrench" are not words I write in English very often, so I keep mixing them up.
I'm not really a tool guy, so I keep mixing "impact" and "hammer" tools in my native Norwegian language too.

...Neither are tools that I use when i build PCs, not even when the PH2 computer case screws are seriously over-torqued from the factory. ^^
 
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tbenedict

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I'm still happy with my Ridgid collection (saws, drills, fan, blower) and they stood behind the battery warranty on two that were at 10+ years old. I could see a pro going with one of the higher tier lines for a few reasons, but I've been happy. I did get an M12 screwdriver on sale for its size instead of a small cheapo and it is quite impressive. I started with others before lithium based batteries and had a few die too early. I understood the batteries from RC planes in the day, but the cost/value had me looking at cheap stuff until I saw the battery warranty on the Ridgid line. Remember trying to erase NiCad memory through cycling ;)
 

Fuzzywuzzies

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Oh my God! So glad to hear you weren't killed or lost your eye, Fuzzy.
Honestly, now that I stop and think about it, not only do I need a new angle grinder but I could use a new drill and a new Impact driver. I was going to go with a certain brand for the last two (You know the one, Fuzzy). But, not so sure now. Maybe the brand clearly made with cheap parts in it for the amateur DIY homeowner for a few projects a year at most.... maybe it's not good enough. Also, love me some Knipex pliers as well.

If you need several battery-powered tools, it's definitely worth some careful consideration of brands, as others here have rightly said.

God has blessed us very generously, to the point where we are able to afford some very nice tools, even for just DIY. So as we expand and upgrade tools, I retire many of our business tools to the home tool shed, allowing to keep the same brand systems. There's some great economy in this for us, especially because of the sheer number of tools. Of course, all this comes from the perspective of business, where the tools literally pay for themselves with cash you earn by using them.

All that said, I have spent much of my life in a - how do I say this - significantly more restricted financial realm, so I definitely understand the need for a sensible budget, both for business and for DIY - where the tools do not necessarily or directly pay their way.

I would point to Milwaukee as a great alternative to Bosch, and Dewalt and Ryobi as more affordable brands that still hold some great quality offerings.
It's worth mentioning that Makita make some incredible drills, and woodworking equipment too…

If you want reliable tools on a budget, Ryobi is pretty hard to beat though.
 

Monocrom

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I would point to Milwaukee as a great alternative to Bosch, and Dewalt and Ryobi as more affordable brands that still hold some great quality offerings.
Agree with you all the way, but just a bit confused with the paragraph I quoted above. I was always under the impression that Milwaukee and DeWalt had a friendly rivalry among the Pros. That those were the two brands (although certainly not the only ones) that a lot of Pros selected for use on the job-site. Typically strongly preferring one over the other. But as years go by, things sometimes change for the worst; sometimes for the better. Do a lot of folks now associate DeWalt more closely with Ryobi instead of Milwaukee?

Not trying to stir up a hornets nest. Just genuinely curious.
 

iacchus

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Dewalt has a ton of product pointedly squarely at the entry level market, along w/ a more traditional pro-tier.
It's a questionable strategy, but hasn't seemed to harm their brand loyalty too badly yet.
Hook 'em young, I guess.

Keeps folks just starting out an option for a team color that won't get them made fun of or run off the jobsite w/o breaking the bank, and allows them to upgrade w/ a familiar platform.
 

orbital

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Contractors in my area mainly use Milwaukee.
I'd say most of them don't know their owned by a Chinese conglomerate (believe all Milwaukee tools are made in China also)
Does that change my opinion, no.

Many or most DeWalt tools are made in the good 'ol USA
1716557840352.jpeg


If my house was burning & I could take three cordless tools:
DeWalt compact recip saw
Milwaukee compact carbide chuck drill
36V Metabo angle grinder (easily corded power!!)

yep , three different brands, brushless
 
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