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Can you Recommend a good tool set for a beginnert


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10-28-01, 06:18 AM   #1  
Can you Recommend a good tool set for a beginner

Nice forums!!! I love vBulletin.

Anyway, heres my question. My girlfriend wants to fix up a '64 Ford Thunderbird coup that she has her eye on. I don't think it needs a lot of work but she is determined to do the work herself. So it's her birthday soon and I was looking to get her a decent set of tools for her to do the work with. I was looking at some craftsman sets, around 140 pieces or so, but I just don't really know enough to know what to get. If someone could recommend a good starter tool set that I could pick up for around a $150 I would be very grateful. Thanks.

 
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10-28-01, 07:36 AM   #2  
Charles E.
Ben
She sounds like a keeper!!! Craftsman has a good tool set and if memory serves me they are garanteed for life. I don't know if that means that if you break one they come out and kill you or what. Snap-on tools, Mac tools, Lowes handles Kobalt tools (which I am told are made by Snap-on). Any of these brands are good tools. A basic starter kit would include rachet & breaker bar, several different length extensions, sockets - deep well & shallow well (S.A.E or Metric depending on what you are working on) a 3/8 inch drive is most popular. At least 2 sets of pliers one straight and one slip joint (I recommend Channel locks). A good set of screw drivers 3 or 4 phillips and 3 or 4 straight. A set of combination wrenches (open on one end box on the other). A set of allen wrenches (I recommend the set that folds like a pocket knife they are bulky but less likely to loose). A set of line wrenches ( for fuel line removal ). Given this I don't think it will be more than 2 hours before you find something else you will need. Anyway Joe or Knuckles will be along shortly and they can tell you any thing that I missed. Good Luck Charles

 
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10-28-01, 10:30 AM   #3  
Good info from Charles. Adding my two cents worth; go with Craftsman. Their gaurantee is solid and you can replace a tool without trying to find the Snap-On or Mac guy's route truck. You break a Craftsman tool you walk into any Sears store and hand it to the salesman and he hands you the replacement or suitable substitute if the same item is no longer carried (rare). No receipt required, no forms, nothing. Hopefully she's a keeper, because tools can get expensive; you'll get into $200 easy on just basic sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, and pliers. Sears always has several different sets of basic tools and with Christmas fast approaching there will be more.

 
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10-28-01, 10:45 AM   #4  
Charles E.
The_Tow_Guy is right! About twenty years ago I broke a 3/4 inch ratchet wrench, walked into Sears and the salesman said "Man you must have really been putting some more tork on that wrench, I don't think I have ever seen a 3/4 inch ratchet broken". And he handed me a new one no questions ask. I said "Yes" but I never told him that I had an 8 foot piece of pipe on the handle as a cheater. It almost killed me when that sucker turned loose, I ran over a work bench and two other tool boxes. Charles

 
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10-28-01, 11:01 AM   #5  
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I agree with all posted: Craftsman is the way to go for most DIY people.

I have varied tools, but mostly Craftsman. Home Depot's Husky is also good (made by I believe the same vendor as Sears), as long as you get the US made Husky pieces. Home Depot will exchange a Snap On, Stanley or Craftsman tool for one of their own...another convenience.

I find that the Sears sets are the best value for the money. Join the Craftsman Club and you'll get 10% off (free).

I will be featured in a future Craftsman Club mailing, I won a contest with Sears on a 1960 mechanic's toolchest combination that I completely restored .

The other night while out for a walk, I found a 1968 top Craftsman tool chest discarded . I grabbed that one and restored it. A couple cans of Rustoleum and a few hours at the air grinder to remove all the dirt and rust and I have one presentable tool cabinet (and free too).

Sears has some good sets with all the sales they run. Check the local paper and their website...

Yes, Craftsman HAND tools (must be hand tools) are warrantied for life. Watch out: Companion tools (sold by Sears) are imported, similar to Craftsman, of lesser quality and ARE NOT guaranteed. Stick with good old Made in the USA Craftsman and you'll be ok.

Joe's 2 pennies

 
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10-28-01, 01:54 PM   #6  
Thanks for all the advice guys. I'll look into the Craftsman tools and also try to hang onto the girl.

Should I just go for one of the standard mechanic's sets they have or is that not going to do it? I do have my limits in terms of cash but I would like to get her a set that could really get her started.

 
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10-28-01, 03:36 PM   #7  
Joe_F
Rule of thumb on tools:

Don't try to buy it all at once, it will bankrupt you. Also, garage sales and estate sales (how I got my stuff recently) are a hotbed for deals...as are bankrupt mechanics and retiring ones (not to be mean). Check local yard sales, ebay and the like....and for sales on new sets from Sears.

Home Depot was giving away a 100 dollar Husky set when you bought a rollaway cabinet. I got the cabinet (originally 300 bucks) for 120 bucks (display model which I fixed up), but no socket set (didn't need it...took the discount on the cabinet instead. Now I've got 3 toolbox rollaways, and two other cabinets I found or were given to me. .

I bought probably 700 worth of tools (maybe 1000) for under 250 bucks from an estate sale. I grabbed everything Craftsman he had...I got a metric "emergency" set for my Oldsmobile for 3 bucks. And I brought half of it back to freshen it up for new stuff. No questions asked if it says Craftsman!

To give you an idea...The first time I went to this guy, I spent 55 bucks. I filled up a box of a case of oil (it was a Castrol box). I RETURNED in value (according to their register) over 110 bucks in tools from Sears. All exchanged for new ones. In fact, I helped the guy pull out the new ones based on the stock # on the old tools! .

The deals are out there, do your homework. Tools are a great investment, especially ones like Sears. Can't go wrong as long as they have this warranty!

 
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10-28-01, 04:12 PM   #8  
he he, pretty sneaky Joe. I used to be an employee of LL Bean here in Maine and they have a similar return policy. Basically, they know it's going to cost them some money when people return 30 year old gear, but they also know that a hell of a lot of people are going to buy their stuff just because they know they can return it anytime, no questions asked. I say take advantage of it, they make the statement, lifetime guarantee, you might as well take them up on it.

Craftsman tools are sounding like the way to go.

 
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10-28-01, 11:38 PM   #9  
Joe_F
Sneaky or truth in advertising?

In all reality, the tools are US made, give a good value for sizes/pieces in a set, and are reasonably priced. It's more than most DIY people need.

My neighbor is a mechanic. He has plenty of Craftsman tools in his toolboxes (which are also Craftsman). My dad had a decent amount of Craftsman tools which I started using when I got of age and after he passed away. I have added to them over the years. Still have all of my original screwdriver set from when I bought them 11 years ago . I think I exchanged one or two over the years! Lol.

Craftsman or Husky (Home Depot) is the way to go. I think the Sears sets are a little bit better value for the money.

My neighbor bought a nice "suitcase" style set for about 100 bucks. Each drawer has sockets and rachets of a different drive size. Add some wrenches, screwdrivers, and pliers, and you should be good to go as a starter set.

Good luck, Ben.

 
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10-29-01, 11:02 AM   #10  
Tools to use daily



Just thought I would throw my 2 cents in. In 1971 I was advised by veteran Mechanics, to stay away from Craftsman. That was good advice for a new Mechanic at that time because Craftsman was not as robust for a daily driver as was Mac & Snap-on. Also Sears did not give you revolving credit, like Mac & Snap-on. So in todays tool world, a Mac tool man tells me that if I want a better price on a Mac ratchet go to Lowe's and buy a Stanley same tool no Mac name. The last time I had a socket replaced by Snap-on it looked like a cheap imitation of a snap-on. So as far as I'm concerned Craftsman is probably just as good as the rest. I still find great deals on like new Snap-on tools at garage sales. Old habits die hard, and the non rounding feature of the 6 pt Snap-on sockets helps keep that profesional look to the nuts and bolts you have to remove and replace. It is a pain chasing the truck around, when you can just walk into Sears and they will even rebuild your ratchet that you have had for 25 years, now that's good service. Marturo

 
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10-29-01, 11:15 AM   #11  
Joe_F
Hi Marturo

Yes, Snap on is "Better" but in some cases, the difference is not worth the price.

The local Snap On guy wants to charge me 200 bucks for a used tool cabinet. I know the shop that owns it now, it's bound to be rough.

However, I can go buy a Husky one 300 bucks, 13 drawers, BRAND NEW from Home Depot and get a 100 piece rachet set for free .

My neighbor is a mechanic. He'll tell you to buy Craftsman and save your pennies from Snap On's high priced stuff and put your kids through college. Lol. There are differences, but I have wiped out Snap On tools the same as Craftsman...and you don't have to contend with "This is tool abuse" with the Sears folks. You always get a new one. Sometimes you get an upgrade if they are out of what you bring in. Now that's a home run .

I like Snap On, MAC, S-K, Proto, and the like, but I find for the weekend DIY'er, Craftsman fits the bill for most people budgets.

I think all of us "in the trade" in some regard agree that garage and estate sales are the way to go. I sure found out that goldmines exist there!

 
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04-19-03, 09:47 PM   #12  
mnkywrench
Originally posted by Joe_F

I find that the Sears sets are the best value for the money. Join the Craftsman Club and you'll get 10% off (free).
Would it be possible to use your Craftsman club # so I can get a discount? I signed up for the club a couple of weeks ago, but I havent recieved anything yet. There is a set of tools on clearance that Im afraid they will sell out. Thanks

 
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04-20-03, 05:54 AM   #13  
Joe_F
Go to the store manager of the local Sears store and explain the situation. If you have proof you signed up, they will gladly give you the needed discount. Most of the folks there are quite reasonable.

If you have proof that you did sign up, they shouldn't give you a problem with the discount. Tell them it must have gotten lost in the mail and should be there by now .

 
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04-20-03, 08:06 AM   #14  
mnkywrench
Originally posted by Joe_F
Go to the store manager of the local Sears store and explain the situation. If you have proof you signed up, they will gladly give you the needed discount. Most of the folks there are quite reasonable.

If you have proof that you did sign up, they shouldn't give you a problem with the discount. Tell them it must have gotten lost in the mail and should be there by now .
Well, the set I want is available online only. Its on clearance on the website for $149.99, while the catalog has it for $199.99. In-Store pickup is not an option, since I live in Louisiana and the nearest store that carries it is in New York!

Does anyone have a club# they would like to share?

 
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04-20-03, 09:56 AM   #15  
Joe_F
Numbers like that should be guarded. You might want to e-mail Sears customer service and see what they can do for you. Try to find a store that can do a transfer and get it for you.

 
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04-20-03, 10:06 AM   #16  
darrell McCoy
I believe you can go online and request a craftsman club card and it should be sent ASAP. I have a few snap=on, mac and williams tools left over from long ago. But my tools have always been craftsman. Any tool has gone up inprice over the years, but myself I think craftsman has as good product and warranty as you need for the price, true, maybe some do not have the chrome look, but they are for use and durability not looks. Had a 6" chrome crecent, craftsman I used for probably well over 45 years. About 3 bucks new, loaned it and you know the rest. Had to replace it, newer one was a dull finish and was 12 bucks. Morale to story. When you loan tools, remember who borrowed them. Mine has my name on them and Maybe in time this wrench may find its way back.

 
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04-20-03, 11:21 AM   #17  
If you added up all of the money I have in lost tools over there years I could probably buy a new truck.

 
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04-20-03, 01:41 PM   #18  
Joe_F
I go to swapmeets and buy up the Craftsman stuff for half the price, and still get the full warranty .

 
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