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Due to my job and wanting to add to my tool collection lately and I have been trying to stick to high quality USA made tools and Craftsman used to be the standard but for the last year or so I have noticed that more and more of their tools are coming from China. This has led me to look at other places for tools. This has come up as well looking for other types of tools beyond the standard socket. In most cases I was able to find USA made tools but sometimes like for Vise Grips you have to go to Germany to find good quality tools that were not from China. In other cases like Wera I found a really good screwdriver that no one else matched.

Here is a list of some of the tool companies I have found and most of have used or will be using. I made this list for if anyone is looking for good quality tools. If anyone else has any other tools you can share feel free.

Screwdrivers:
Wera- http://www-us.wera.de/-They are made in Germany and they make great screw drivers. The shaft goes all the way through for when you use the screw driver for other means. The handle is also contoured for more force.

Hex Keys:
Bondhus- http://www.bondhus.com/index.html-US based and make some great hex keys that go beyond your standard hex key.

Misc:
Lisle- http://www.lislecorp.com/- They make a lot of testing and miscellaneous tools and most are US made. I have seen a couple of tools where the forgings were imported.

Torque Wrench:
CDI- http://www.cditorque.com/ - They are a division of Snap-On so you get the same quality but 1/3 the price.

Air Tools:
Dotco- http://www.apexpowertools.com/brands/material_removal/- They are the standard for air tools. They are expensive and worth every penny. I have seen tools work day in and day out and last 20yrs.

St Louis Pneumatic- http://stlouispneumatic.com/- Good quality tools and some come built in with lights powered by the air.

Pan American- http://www.panamericantool.com/ - Made in the US with imported parts. Good inexpensive tools.

Air Cat- http://www.aircat.com/ -USA made tools. They have a 1150ftlb impact gun.

Vise Grip:
Knipex- http://www.knipex.com/-German made Vise Grips and pliers

Sockets:
Armstrong- http://www.armstrongtools.com/ -USA made sockets and wrenches.

Super Krome- http://www.skhandtool.com/ - USA made sockets and wrenches with the SuperKrome finish.

Snap-on- http://www.snapon.com/ - Professional USA made tools.

Mac Tools- http://www.mactools.com/- Professional USA made tools.

Pliers:
Channellock- https://www.channellock.com/ - USA Made pliers.

Punches:
Mayhew- http://www.mayhew.com– USA made punches and pry bars.

Thread Checker:
S&W manufacturing Company- http://www.swmanufacturing.com/parts_list.asp?CAT_ID=5 – USA made thread checker for both nuts and bolts.

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Very nice list!

I too used to love Craftsman. But they've been going cheap, it's what the shareholders want. :(

 

 

Some of their stuff is still US Made, I haven't had any issues with those...

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Rachets_zps45611fc1.jpg

 

Got these in a box of very old Craftsman sockets and extensions and such. Garage sale, $15 and others walked by and did not notice.

Anyway, I took these apart and cleaned them. The difference can be seen. SnapOn has more theeth, wider wheel, double pawl engagement, and much stronger handle.

 

The shorter swing between clicks saves your temper in tight spots.

 

Tools_zps75a0f60d.jpg

My total find that day. Took the Craftsman flex handle to Sears and traded it for a new one. The detent did not work. Of course I already had a full set of Craftsman OLD SCHOOL sockets SAE from long ago. They are good.

 

-chart-

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If you could harvest the anger my dad has experienced with cheap, flimsy, china-made, breaking drill bits and turn it into useable energy, our family wouldn't have to pay for electricity for the rest of the year.

Nice list!

Edited by it'sthatcar
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You want the best American made tools, you have to spend the big bucks and get Snap On. Hard to beat their quality, when I use my buddies Snap On stuff and then go back to craftsman or even nicer stuff it's like using toys. Anything goes bad with their stuff and they just send you a replacement.

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Thanks for the list.

 

Haven't used any of their other products, but Knipex makes excellent cutters.

 

I like Channellock's pliers and am probably going to start buying their adjustable wrenches now that Crescent has been destroyed by indifferent consumers and shortsighted management.

Bought the last genuine Crescent wrench that was on the rack at Ace Hardware last year. As I walked through the aisle I noticed the packaging and the finish looked funny and I thought they were counterfeit at first. Nope... just 1/4 the quality at the same price, coming from China under the auspices of Apex Tool Group. It's probably only a matter of time before Allen, Armstrong, K-D, Lufkin, Nicholson, Wiss, and the others they own meet the same fate if they haven't already.

 

The Snap-On, Mac, and Matco trucks would stop at the junkyard once a week when I worked there. I wanted to buy at least something from one, but they were just so expensive, especially in relation to my wages at the time.

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Its so nice though, its very hard to use those premium tools like that and then go back to regular tools.  My friend just invested in $6500 worth of Snap On gear to take advantage of his 50% discount ending this month.

 

I was actually using this torque wrench to install the wheels on the car last week, hard to believe I was holding over $400.

 

http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?P65=&tool=hand&item_ID=640965&group_ID=675227&store=snapon-store&dir=catalog

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They are nice, my grandfather had some Matco wrenches and a Snap-On torque wrench and you can feel the additional quality. Hard to justify $6500 in tools unless you're using them for a business though.

 

I'm going to spend that kind of money eventually but unfortunately most of it's pretty specialized.

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I like a good tool, but I can't spend that kind of money for something I can get from Craftsman for cheaper. Sure, the tool won't last as long... But... It's still lifetime warranty. Sears isn't that far away, and I think for most purposes, they'll last for me, and when I deal with a rough job that does break them, I can just swap them out for a new one.

 

I've had good luck with Craftsman, granted my sets are older, but I know when I finally break them, I can just walk in and get a newer one. :(

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100# I have had since my teen years. Craftsman. (I'm 74)

200# I got for $2 up the street at a garage sale. Do not know the brand but quality looks good. Only used it one time.

Spindle nut on the Lin Cont. 200# so just to the end of the scale.

 

For lugs, I use the #100 and end of the scale.

 

No reading glasses, just do it right the first time.

 

-chart-

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He's a diesel and heavy equipment mechanic, it's justified. He wants the best tools he can get.

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Ahh. I'm a backyard mechanic/handyman, as long as the tool offers a lifetime warranty, and an easy process to swap a broken tool, I'm fine with it.

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I like a good tool, but I can't spend that kind of money for something I can get from Craftsman for cheaper. Sure, the tool won't last as long... But... It's still lifetime warranty. Sears isn't that far away, and I think for most purposes, they'll last for me, and when I deal with a rough job that does break them, I can just swap them out for a new one.

 

I've had good luck with Craftsman, granted my sets are older, but I know when I finally break them, I can just walk in and get a newer one. :(

 

That is why I have been looking at the other brands. The quality has been good but not the cost of Snap -On. The CDI Torque wrench is a great example of this as well.

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