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What's the Best Mechanics Tools Brand?

My last tool set (cheap brand) has been stolen and its time to get another. I feel I should reward myself with something a little better than crappy brand I had last time (socket wrench broke first day). But I'm not sure what brand to buy. I have a decent amount of money, but not enough to splurge on the best of best, heavy weight of brands.


I'm not asking for someone to just google and research the answer. I want an opinion from someone who has experience with tools.

18 Answers

  • br549
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    When I started as a line mechanic back in the 70's I bough mostly Snap-On tools. They are excellent quality, and they financed them as well.

    In the late 70's, my shop was robbed and most of my hand tools were stolen. The shop owner gave me a "dollar amount" settlement and I went to Sears and replaced all I had lost and much more!

    Craftsman (as has been said already, NOT SEARS BRAND) is a great choice. Quality is as good or better than Snap-On, MAC, Stanley etc, with a great warranty.

    If a Craftsman tool fails, you can replace it as soon as you get to a Sears store. If a Snap-On tool fails (and they do) you have to wait until the driver runs his route!

    Cost wise, Craftsman is usually much cheaper than the tool truck too! I believe also that K-Mart, and ACE hardware have started selling the Craftsman bran as well.

    My favorite ratchet though (3/8" drive) is a Sparta offset "broke back" that I bought at NAPA. Once it breaks loose the bolt or nut, it kind of turns into a speed handle!

    A good place to find tools is at flea markets and yard sales. Buy the Craftsman stuff and if it is rusty, worn or such take it to any Sears store and replace it!

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  • 4 years ago

    Snap-on is and has always been considered the best quality tool by professionals in both the automotive and aerospace industry. Right out of the box you can tell the difference between a Snap-On and a Craftsman ratchet as the sloppy play in the mechanism is large on the Craftsman. Also Snap-On makes a lot of specialty tools for cars and trucks that you just can't find in a hardware store selection.

    Professionals are more interested in durability and replacement. I have split many Craftsman sockets but I have split none of the Snap-On or Mac sockets.

    Granted most people can not justify the price of the Snap-On or Mac tools, and don't use them enough to need that kind of durability. But the original question asked what the "best" was for a mechanic. Maybe they were trying to find the luxury brand of the trade. Here is my quick list.






    No longer available but I have some Bonney tools that are still holding up.

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  • 9 years ago

    Like Art-t said, there is nothing wrong with a good set of Craftsman tools. They are well made, warrantied and easily available. Just avoid Sears' "Companion" brand tools, they are cheaper imported junk.

    I use mostly Craftsman, I have some Snap on, MAC and KD specialty tools that just aren't available elsewhere.

    I even use a few cheap bargain basement wrenches because I don't feel too bad using a cutting torch to bend them to reach difficult fittings.

    Source(s): Retired Army motor SGT/ASE certified master tech (heavy truck)
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  • 5 years ago

    Snap-On is still the premier maker followed closely by Mac and Matco. Craftsman are good tools if used at a hobbyist level and do have a comparable warranty. The only advantage in Craftsman is the number of Sears stores for availability and warranty. As with all products today you will have to do your research as to country of origin. All of the tool companies have contracted out select items to be manufactured abroad. VIM, Cornwell, SK, Thorsen, Armstrong, EZ-Red and GearWrench are all good quality tools and are a great value option for the budget challenged professional. If you depend on your tools for your livelyhood, Snap-On, Mac and Matco are still your best bet and you will find great tools by doing your research on each companies strengths in their products.

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Klutch brand from Northern tool are as good or better than Craftsman.

    They carry a life time warranty and cost 30% less than Craftsman.

    I have Craftsman tools and Snap on in my box, but recent purchases have all been Klutch. Priced right and are rugged tools.

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  • 9 years ago

    You won't go wrong with a set of Craftsman from Sears. I'm using a set I got from my father that are more than 50 years old. The ones they sell today seem to be the same quality and they still come with a lifetime guarantee. I've broken several over the years, usually by misusing them with a cheater bar or hammer, and they replaced them no questions asked. Actually there was one question about a broken screwdriver I replaced. The clerk took it around and showed it to a few other clerks. The manager came over with an new one and said the new one was free. He said "I've been working there almost 40 years and no one ever brought one of these back. I'm curious, what did you do to break it?"

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  • 5 years ago

    99% of Craftsman tools now (2015) are made in China and Taiwan, and ARE NOT the same as they were 5 or 10 years ago. See current tool reviews to see how the mighty have fallen. By the way, most C-man mech. tools are made by Apex Tool, the parent company of Armstrong, Crescent, and Gear Wrench.

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  • 4 years ago

    No matter what the guys tell you about craftsman quality matching snap-on our Mac this is dead wrong. I work in a tractor trailer shop and use and see tools used everyday. There is a easy test for this. Go buy the cheaper craftsman version of a ratchet and then go buy the equivalent snap on version of same ratchet. Trust me you will know immediately which of the two is the better.

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  • 5 years ago

    I'm confused, I didn't know there was a "Sears Brand" craftsman and regular craftsman, so where would you get the "real deal" craftsman and if the tool fails can you still exchange it at a Sears and how will I know I'm getting genuine craftsman if I'm exchanging it at Sears??

    • Sears brand tools are not marked Craftsman. They are a cheap alternative available at Sears and are marked as Sears or are unmarked. They are the equivalent of the junk you find at a flea market.

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  • 9 years ago

    Any brand with a lifetime warranty, Stanley are well priced, or the sears brand the other bloke mentioned.( I don't know the place, but you can't beat word of mouth)

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