Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 47

Thread: Are Snap-on tools really THAT good?

  1. #1
    EXPATRIATED
    Guest

    Are Snap-on tools really THAT good?

    As a guy who's starting his tool collection at the tender age of 34, I am shocked to see the price of some of this stuff. (Growing up, we fixed everything in my house with a phone, so I'm coming to the game late and with no experience.)

    Specifically, what makes Snap-on tools so much more expensive than craftsman? Sometimes 2-3x for a simple socket set?! I don't mind paying for quality if it's worth it, but is it really worth it to buy Snap-on (or some of the other high-end tool companies) vs Craftsman?

    Obviously I'm not a professional mechanic. The tools are for my RT, my Toyota and stuff around the house. I don't want to get taken but I don't want to unnecessarily be purchasing replacement stuff because it breaks, which is why what I've bought so far are Craftsman tools-I'm attracted to the lifetime warranty.

    What do you serious tool guys say?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Oakville, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    368

    Snap On

    Not a serious tool guy, but if you have a son that will inherit the tools then buy Snap On. I do not think worth it for non professionals

    I have a Rolex, probably wiser to buy a Casio and pitch it every 2 years....

  3. #3
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    WNY, Further fron NYC, than 6 entire states!
    Posts
    2,081
    Better yes, and if you are a professional worth it. Not having a ratchet slip and smash your hand, or a socket break and cause you to throw out your back is priceless. Plus the better fit causes less stripped nuts and bolts, and when you work flat rate stripped bolts can hit your pocket book pretty hard.

    That said, for the average tinkerer and home hack, Craftsman, Husky, etc are adequate.

  4. #4
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    1,751
    Quote Originally Posted by Expatriated View Post
    As a guy who's starting his tool collection at the tender age of 34, I am shocked to see the price of some of this stuff. (Growing up, we fixed everything in my house with a phone, so I'm coming to the game late and with no experience.)

    Specifically, what makes Snap-on tools so much more expensive than craftsman? Sometimes 2-3x for a simple socket set?! I don't mind paying for quality if it's worth it, but is it really worth it to buy Snap-on (or some of the other high-end tool companies) vs Craftsman?

    Obviously I'm not a professional mechanic. The tools are for my RT, my Toyota and stuff around the house. I don't want to get taken but I don't want to unnecessarily be purchasing replacement stuff because it breaks, which is why what I've bought so far are Craftsman tools-I'm attracted to the lifetime warranty.

    What do you serious tool guys say?

    Thanks!
    Snap-On is worth it if you use them daily to earn a living. They will stand up to use and abuse that many brands will fail under. When your just tinkering on your own time, having to go get a replacement tool to finish a job is inconnvienient. When your earning your wages by the job, a busted or worn tool can cost you more money than you saved buying the cheaper ones.

    For most DIY jobs, Craftsman tools and the like will serve you very well for most or all of your life. But if you want the Garage-Mahal bling factor in your home workspace, nothing does it like a fully equipped Snap-On tool chest.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  5. #5
    Tenifer HFD190's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Central NY State
    Posts
    111
    One of the things you are paying for with Snap-On is mobile service that is essentially a selling point for professional mechanics working at a fixed location. IE: The dealer comes by in his rolling showroom truck. Sales and warranty service comes to you.
    As a part-time home wrencher, I find it just as easy to stop at Sears on my way home from work and do what I need to do. I have had some Craftsman hand tools for 25 years and they are good quality. I have also broken a few Craftsman items (usually my fault for over abuse) and had no problems just dropping them off at the store and walking out with a new replacement with no questions asked. I also own a few Snap-On items like torque wrenches and they are really nice
    If you are talking about sockets and wrenches go with Craftsman. Take the extra money and go on a trip or buy some GM stock

  6. #6
    Registered User jshuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Westport, CT
    Posts
    275

    tools

    I just love they way the screwdrivers feel in your hand. Soemthing about the balance of the Snap On tools and the way they feel. My tools boxes are usually full of crap tools however, but for things you use all the time like screwdrivers or ratchets, they sure feel nice.
    John Shuck BMWMOA Ironbutt #31
    Co-Founder Dir. of Operations Fairfield County Concours
    Sept at the Fairfield County Hunt Club, Westport, CT
    02 GS, R90S's, R51/3

  7. #7
    Republic of Texas
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    League City (Houston), Texas
    Posts
    2,356
    Quote Originally Posted by Expatriated View Post
    Specifically, what makes Snap-on tools so much more expensive than craftsman? Sometimes 2-3x for a simple socket set?! I don't mind paying for quality if it's worth it, but is it really worth it to buy Snap-on (or some of the other high-end tool companies) vs Craftsman?
    It has been awhile since I have bought a Snap-On tool, but I think if you compare Snap-On and Craftsman side-by-side you will see indications of better fabrication and finishing, and also stronger materials (steel) . . . I think you will see that a Snap-On socket has a thinner wall than a Craftsman socket. I remember purchasing a Snap-On socket some years ago because the clearance was tight, and the Craftsman socket had too large a diameter to fit, while the Snap-On socket would fit.

    That said, I have a garage full of Craftsman tools, some of which I have owned for nearly 40 years since I first started buying my own tools. My original 3/8" ratchet still works like new. Snap-On tools are definitely prettier, but I agree with others that for most of us Craftsman is more than adequate.
    Mike White
    MOA Life Time Member #57882
    '13 K1300S "30 Years", '95 R1100RS, '88 K75S, '97 Ducati 916, '95 Ducati 900SS CR. Gone, but not forgotten, '75 R90S

  8. #8
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Spring Lake NJ, USA
    Posts
    7,708
    Part of the reason for the extra cost of SnapOn (aside from paying for the mobile store and it's owner - yep, these are all franchises..) - is the finish.

    If you're using wrenches, screwdrivers, tools all day long - a well finished tool is much easier on your hands. Do it 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, and well finished tools are a necessity, not a luxury.

    The normal grade Craftsman ratchet wrench feels good for a while, but if you start really using it, and repeatedly pushing it or pulling it hard - you will have a sore hand after a bit. The normal grade SnapOn, with the tapered handle, smooth finish - will be much easier on your hands, with the same sort of use.

    Craftsman has on occasion made some professional grade tools, with the same sort of finish as SnapOn, but the prices start coming close to SnapOn prices. There are other toolmakers who make this grade tool at a somewhat lower price point than SnapOn.

    Moral is - if you work all day with your tools, the best quality is a bargain. If you're a casual wrencher - a bit less in cost will be adequate for your needs. I would avoid most of the tools from Harbor Freight, except their stubby 6" rubber handle ratchet wrenches - these are great, and a set of 3 sizes will cost you about $10. I use these all the time to quickly loosen/tighten fasteners.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  9. #9
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Full timr RV'er, where we park is home. No fixed address or location.
    Posts
    2,223
    As others have said, if you are a pro they may be cost effective for you. I emphasize the term "may".

    Having wrenched for a living there were very few tools that snap on had that were markedly better for working than craftsman. One area they shine is in their socket sets. They have remarkably thin walled sockets for 1/4 drive that can come in real handy at times. Their flex sockets were the best for tight fit areas like exhaust nuts on aircraft engines (Continental especially).

    If you do not have a real need for them then I would pass. I don't have any myself and got along pretty well without them when I was wrenching for a living.
    DEFINITION OF A VETERAN A Veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve - is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a check made payable to "The United States of America", for an amount of "up to and including my life."
    Author Unknown

  10. #10
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Clovis,CA
    Posts
    4,214

    Snap On;

    You're paying for a very nice Snap On Truck and the guys wages, driving it...Thats simple. Then tools are very good indeed, but nothing that cannot be found elsewhere...Mac Tools is another drive around tool truck and fine too. Look where they are made! Overseas, most of it, including Craftsman. Randy

  11. #11
    ghostrider1964
    Guest
    I have been wrenching for years. I used Craftsman for years for a basic set and keep a Craftsman set in each of my vehicles. I am not necessarilly sold on one brand. I have a lot of Snap on sockets and wratchets. But I like S-K wrenches better, channel loc pliers, Klien Electrical tools Etc. I use what I have proven to work best for me and fits my hands. You should be comfortable with your tools. I got friends that for the money, they buy China, not in my box! I have stripped chinese wratchets, broke the sockets and rounded the wrenches more time than I can count! Same goes for power tools. A buddy of mine was working on BBQ at my house and he bought a Grinder from Harbor Frt. I burned it up in 2 minutes, but picked up my Milwaukee and ground non stop for another hour. He replaced it and came back with a new one. He got it out and proceeded to burn that one up in about 5 minutes. I have had that Milwaukee Grinder for about 15 years and had to replace discs... In short, you may be very happy with Craftsman tools, have excellent warranty. I have had Snap on toolsI did not like too...just a thought...hard to find one brand that makes the best of all tools...

  12. #12
    shire2000
    Guest
    I don't make a living with my tools, but have used them a lot, over way too many years to count. I love the feel and quality of most Snap-on tools. You just can't beat their screwdrivers. But I really don't care for the feel of their ratchets. I don't like a round handle on mine. I have 2 sets of old squarish handled Craftsman ratchets that just keep on working. Have broken the guts of the 3/8 ratchet a few times using it incorrectly. They were not really meant to use a long pipe on them, but didn't have a long enough breaker bar at the time. Finally broke down and bought one a few years ago.

    For home backyard mechanics, the Craftsman are just fine. If I was a mechanic making a living with the tools, I would go for the Snap-on for everything except the ratchets. Just keep a couple of spare Craftsman ones around.

    The one thing I really like about the Snap-on tools is that you can get those special extra thin wrenches and thin walled sockets which help make some jobs just so much easier.

  13. #13
    SNOONE
    Guest
    My company is the one that photographs those nicely laid out 299 + piece mechanics tool sets and makes them stand and look like soldiers.

    Buy Craftsman! Keeps me in business

  14. #14
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kingston, NH
    Posts
    5,725
    From a previous life i have collected Snap-On Mac and Cromwell tools - all very good and would recommend.

    Now as I don't make my living off of them I would be quite happy with high end Sears tools.

    If anything happens to them you don't have to wait for the truck - just take them back to any store for replacement.

    Next time you're in Sears get a tool catalog and take a look at the stuff they have, for weekend work they are more than sufficient.

    My $0.02
    2011 R1200 GSA Smoke Grey Metallic Matt
    2009 G450X White
    IBA #35651
    Rogue Moderator

  15. #15
    Bob
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Big Sky country (Montana)
    Posts
    1,166
    My best friend tried operating a Snap-On route and truck for a while.
    After listening to him, and dealing with a different Snap-On vendor on behalf of the government myself, I would not do business with them personally.
    I do appreciate a lot of their products, but do I think they're two to three times as good as Craftsman? No.
    Is their warranty as good? I don't think so. I could walk into Sears at my convenience and get a tool replaced (or even a refund if I just don't like it); or I could wait for my Snap-On vendor to visit, give him the broken item then, and wait for him to replace it on another visit if he doesn't have it on the truck. Incidently he replaces it, not Snap-On. If he pays the shipping to return it, they may or may not determine that it's covered under warranty, and even if they do replace it, he pays the shipping for the replacement as well.
    He also pays for the route, for the truck (which they supply, he can only pick from an option list, not from another source) he pays for the specified minimum inventory and bench stock, whether it's a seller or not, he pays for the promotional items they insist he carries, he pays all the operating expenses, fuel, food, lodging (out west the routes can be vast), and so on. He also pays them for every tool he sells you, if you default on financing, try to return it, or even skip town with your new $18,000 roll-away, he must still pay Snap-On for it. All.
    Recovering from you is his burden, not Snap-On's.
    I do have to admire their business accumen, and self-protection policies; it is a model of CYA.

    The irony is, my friend is an ASE certified Master Mechanic who mostly used Snap-On tools. He tried the business after the auto dealership he worked for went under, and he didn't want to be the FNG at the other shops. He sold the route and got out of the business after a little over a year and a lot of headaches. He still uses the tools, but doesn't buy from them any more.

    I'll continue to use the Craftsman set my father gave me over a quarter century ago, that has worked flawlessly.
    Last edited by 108625; 03-19-2009 at 10:21 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •