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Best hand tools for mechanics

Best mechanic hand tool  

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I voted Snap-on as the gear I bought 40 years ago is still in daily use today, I have loads of other firms gear as well but it is mainly to supplement the main kit.



Edited by alantoon
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I can't really vote as to give it fair judgement would mean I'd tried them all, or at least a fairbunch of them! I would guess maybe Snap-On as that's what you see a lot of mechanics use?

Me, personally, I'm fine with my Halfords Pro stuff. Had it for years and it's as good as new, all the ratchets function perfect, and they honoured warranty for me once (on the bloody box of all things, not a tool), and it's sensibly priced. Certainly for a home enthusiast...

Sealey stuff seems overpriced to me, what bits I've had (inspection lamp/etc) didn't last well.

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Mechanics generally have Snap-On tools because the S/O van calls at their place of work weekly & the guys can buy "on drip".

We sold Britool, Facom , Elora & Draper Expert --- didn't have many returns in over 25 years of sales --- most failures were probably due to mis-use.  

( I only put a 6 foot scaffold pole on the end to get more leverage )

Most large tool boxes were back then all produced in Canada & the importer/wholesaler put their own label on.

It was a big con on spanners --- an awful lot of brands had all their forgings made in Spain & so long as the the most value was added by the end brand they were allowed to sell it as "their " manufacture. 

Spanish Stilson Wrenches were exactly the same as most other brands --- the new name was stamped in after manufacture, we could buy them at less than half the price of "known" brands.

Final note -- lost kit is LOST --- doesn't matter which brand there's no free replacement.

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The make of the tool matters less than using the right tool for the right task, and possible the ability to use them.

Seen some huge tool boxes with lots of shinny spanners, but they are of no use if the biggest spanner is the owner.

Just my opinion of course, but 47 year in the motor trade, does have an effect on you 🤪

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Snap on spanners and 1/2 sockets, Halford Pro 3/8 sockets. Everything else is a mix. I'm not to fussed about brands because most will do what I need and I'm pretty sure I could break most brands if I abuse them. 

That said, some of my oldest inhereted tool have seem some serious use over the years and are still going strong. 

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Bought a Kasamas socket set over 40 years go, what I haven't lost still works fine, I have some of my Granddad's Whitworth spanners which logically must be coming up 100 years old. But I do now tend to use Halfords only as that was a set the son bought me, they do replace stuff even if you abuse them

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If you get the chance --- at next purchase of spanners --- compare Draper Expert against Halfords own --- out the same stable ??? Maybe a worth-while price difference.

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I find age makes a difference. Old Britool tools are excellent but their new stuff is land fill in the making. They do an ‘expert’ range that is a lot better but not exactly outstanding. Draper is exactly the same. 

Great brands are Facom, Halfords professional, king dick, snap on, Gedore. There’s loads of others I’m sure but I like those brands. 

It’s a shame but across the board quality has dropped on most brands because consumers buy Chinese crap and they have to find a way to compete in the market. 

Some Specialist tools are specific to some brands too. Irazola make exceptional screwdrivers. Draper Knipex for silver grips and side cutters. Bacho adjustable spanner’s (one size rounds all you could say, or one size fits none). Doesn’t matter what brand tho we all have favourites from personal choice. 

As already mentioned mechanics use a lot of snap on because they deliver and let you have the stuff on the never never. Their chests are excellent but £££££££WOW.  

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Britool, M & W, Eclipse, Stubbs Files all Sheffield products by James Neill,  sad to say most British "Names" in tools are now foreign owned &/or produced.

A lot of British companies we dealt with back in the years 1979 to 2005 have switched production to over-seas to save on manufacturing costs, often at the cost of quality as well.

Most companies,  for both hand & power tools; manufacture for other brands; it the global way of reducing costs. Years ago, visited the Scintilla factory in Switzerland  ( Bosch owned ) who were the manufacturer for most brands of jigsaw blade found any-where in Europe, the differing packages covered all walls of 

As with shopping on-line helping the demise of local high streets, we are all probably guilty of shopping around for the bargains; myself included.

I'm glad not to be involved in retail to-day. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

My cousin is a heavy lorry mechanic, yes he has a lot of Snap-On stuff but also uses Mac just as good a bit cheaper. He buys Sealey and often takes advantage of Machine Mart VAT free offers.

There is no 1 right answer.

for the keen amateur Halfords is an excellent choice but I will also buy Aldi or Lidle stuff if it won’t get hammered to much

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