Pittsburgh Pro tools vs Craftsman?

Want to preface this by saying that I am in no way a pro mechanic, just someone who's looking to start doing work on their own car.

First step are some tools. I've been looking up all kinds of different brands. Top of the line brands like Snap On are out of my price range and honestly are probably more tool than I'll ever need, at least for now.

I've read some positive things about the Pittsburgh Pro line from Harbor Freight, and from what I've seen Craftsman seem like a safe bet, especially given the lifetime guarantee.

I'd like your opinions. What do you think of these different tool brands? What would you recommend for someone who's looking to start a tool collection, with a focus on auto work?

Thank you all for your time!

Update:

Thank you for your answer, Hank. I actually am reasonably close to a few Harbor Freight stores, if that changes anything.

12 Answers

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  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I actually have a lot of different stuff and let me tell it to you straight.

    Craftsman stuff just isn't great anymore (impact stuff is okay though).

    Harbor freight tools do have a lifetime warranty but they aren't constructed well.

    In this (general) price range I recommend either the stuff you can get at lowe's (KOBALT impact or "chrome" (cr-v)) or the stuff you can get at autozone (duralast? impact). For some reason the duralast impact stuff is actually well built (impact extensions as well). I also have one of their long breaker bars which has held up awesomely. I wasn't really impressed with the home depot (husky brand) stuff so I can't vouch for that as far as durability but they do have some decent sets for a decent price.

    The whole point of having a lifetime warranty is so you never have to use it...they don't expect you to use it because it costs them money. But not all lifetime warranties are created equal. What snap on, mac, matco, cornwell, and others are really selling you is SERVICE (and their warranty) but I can tell you off hand that nowadays most of the hand tools they sell are no better than the higher quality retail stuff; they used to be though. And...these "truck" tool companies also sell a lot of (what I consider) specialty hand tools (not to mention diagnostic tools) that you won't find at retail which can make some jobs easier. But you will pay a steep price.

    Go to the stores and take a look, but don't touch those pittsburgh tools unless you're really close to harbor freight if you need to use that warranty. Anything impact (true impact) should be okay from harbor freight; I always use impact sockets on torqued bolts (and to torque bolts) because I've snapped sockets before, impacts can deform but generally won't snap.

  • 6 years ago

    Let's face it, Snap on is about the best you can buy! Mac, they are very good but I have heard issues about that company screwing people over. The tools Craftsman made back the early days up until the 80's had been just as good as Snap on, but now, in my opinion, they are a lower quality than Pittsburgh Tools (the sockets)! I'm a student at the University of Arkansas at Morriltion School of Automotive Technology. Granted I'm not a full time Tech, but I do spend as much time in the lab working on vehicles as a full time professional tech dose. I use Pittsburgh Tools, and I've seen other student that use Craftsman bust sockets right and left. I have not had any failures with my Pittsburgh Tools... EVER! Will my Pittsburgh last as long as Snap on? No. But once working and making good money, I will slowly replace my Pittsburgh with Snap on. For the DIYer, Pittsburgh tools are the way to go. Don't just walk into a Harbor Freight Store and start buying tools. Pick them up and exam them. Some Harbor Freights tools are junk! You will know what is good and not good. The Pittsburgh ratchets are junk, I have stripped out a lot of them, invest in a good ratchet! You will be happy with the wrenches and sockets. The diagnostic tools? by the best you can afford. DVOM, Innova 3340 is very good and accurate at a far price.

    • Mark2 years agoReport

      Proto, SK are Industrial their as good as snap off and cheaper

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Pittsburgh Pro tools vs Craftsman?

    Want to preface this by saying that I am in no way a pro mechanic, just someone who's looking to start doing work on their own car.

    First step are some tools. I've been looking up all kinds of different brands. Top of the line brands like Snap On are out of my price range and honestly are...

    Source(s): pittsburgh pro tools craftsman: https://tinyurl.im/e/pittsburgh-pro-tools-vs-craft...
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Pittsburgh Pro tools vs Craftsman?

    Want to preface this by saying that I am in no way a pro mechanic, just someone who's looking to start doing work on their own car.

    First step are some tools. I've been looking up all kinds of different brands. Top of the line brands like Snap On are out of my price range and honestly...

    Source(s): pittsburgh pro tools craftsman: https://tr.im/uk7rg
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  • 5 years ago

    Pittsburgh tools might not be the absolute best on the market, but they're by far the best *value* you're ever going to find. A 24" Snap-On 1/2"-drive breaker bar might theoretically last a little longer than that 25" Pittsburgh bar, but at $118 vs. $9.99, it's an absolute no-brainer. Throw in the fact that Pittsburgh has a lifetime warranty, and I don't see any logical reason for the home mechanic to bother with Snap-On.

    I've busted countless cheap tools given to me as Christmas presents or purchased at bargain stores. I've NEVER had a Pittsburgh tool fail on me, though. While half of the stuff at HF is frankly garbage, you can feel the quality of the Pittsburgh Pro stuff as soon as you pick it up. Everything is smooth, solid, and very substantial.

  • 6 years ago

    Fortunately for me, I bought Craftsman in the early 80's. Now some of what I have is broken, but cannot be replaced because Sears/K-Mart/Ace does not have these items. Seems, according to one sales person, that they made a list of the most likely tools to be replaced under warranty... and eliminated them. One example is the 18-inch cross-slide in 1/2-inch drive. The largest they had last time I checked was 12-inch. They offer more and more non-Craftsman tools, and offer to give me those for replacements. One example is a line level, no longer available in Craftsman but available in Great Neck or other brands. I have a lot of HF Pittsburgh impact sockets because I don't use them often enough to buy Craftsman or Snap On. I have purchased a truck set in Ingersoll Rand SK8H9T 1-inch drive impact -- primarily because I have the big impact wrench and because Amazon had an amazing low price on the large set of 9 large sockets. It was about half of what I see them for now. Keep wishlists on-line and wait for a sale? It sometimes works for me.

  • 3 years ago

    Craftsman Impact Sockets

  • 4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/Zf9Gn

    Im sorry to hear what happened to your father-in-law. Right now the logical thing to do is to get the replacement tools at a lesser price. Craftsman is a great brand for pro mechanics, they have a lifetime warranty, that is the brand I use. Snap On is a good product, but they are very high priced and do the same job as the craftsman. I wouldnt have Snap On for the very reason of the price of them, they are good tools, but the name is what you are paying for, not the quality of the tool, and they can break just as easy as a craftsman. Go with craftsman, if you break it, you can always go to your local Sears store and get a replacement free of charge and no questions. With Snap On, you have to wait for the service man to come around to get your replacement.....and could take as long as a month..........if you are lucky.

  • Ray
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    I've been a mechanic for many decades. My box is filled with mostly Snap-on and Mac. I have been buying Pittsburgh and they are a LOT better than Craftsman. I bought a 1/4" ratchet and I like it better than my Snap-on. Harbor Freights volt meters aren't very good, but what do you expect for under $5 (mine broke, but I fixed it).

  • 3 years ago

    Harbor Freight Impact Sockets

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