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Function over Form
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A lot of quality tools/wares have been pushed out of major hardware stores with the introduction of cheap Chinese products. Places like Harbor Freight feature a lot of stuff, but nothing near the quality of Greenlee, CK, SK, Channellock, Vise-Grip, Bosch, Makita, etc.

Who do you buy quality tools from? General hand tools for mechanical, cultivation/gardening, woodworking, carpentry, etc.? Power tools and shop tools?

There were a few good dedicated tool stores when I lived in a major metro area. I haven't tried to look around in this small metro area... but I need to! I'd also like to find some fairly priced online resources. New or used. Help me out, please!
 

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I've been buying Craftsman tools for many years and have always been satisfied. Good variety and prices when they are on sale are very reasonable. The warranty on their handtools is awesome, I've broken ratchets and wrenches and returned for new ones with no questions asked and no hassles.
 

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Garage Sales

I live in a small city full of older people, there are alot of good garage and estate sales. They practically give away hand tools that were made in America 30-40 years ago. Good name brands such as Craftsman. I once purchased a Plumb Boy Scout Hatchet for $3.00. I head straight for the garage or basement then check out the kitchen for old knives with Shefield or Kabar blades, usually a buck each. I bought my hand crank meat grinder at one for $4.00.
 

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Greenhorn
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96 Posts
I think it may be wrong to say everything from C.H.Ina is junk. Some of the everyday garden tools still work good. For mechanics tools, I wouldn't trust C.H.Ina tho. If you can get them, Craftsman, MAC, and Snap-On are among the best easily found brands. I heard Vice-Grips are now made overseas... so ones like that, yard sales and pawn shops. In fact, pawn shops work good for the other brands too, just sometimes you really have to dig through the C.H.Ina crap to find the good stuff....
 

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I agree with the above poster about Craftsman tools. I buy very few things from Sears, but their Craftsman tools are the best in the business.
 

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I'm a carpenter by trade. Here are the major tools I use and their brands:

Circular Saw - Ridgid
Air Compressor - Dewalt
Framing nailer 1 - Milwaukee
Framing nailer 2 - Porter Cable
Trim nailer - Bostich
Sawzall - Milwaukee
Cordless Drill - Dewalt
Table Saw - Makita
Miter Saw - Dewalt
Hammer - Douglas
Levels - Stabila, Empire

They're all professional quality and perform as well as I need them to. In 4 years I've burned through a porter cable compressor, and a dewalt circular saw. My porter cable framing nailer had been deemed "unrepairable", but I fixed it with RTV sealant so now its a backup. And I just replaced the trigger on my dewalt drill after many years of hard service. I re greased the gears and it should last awhile longer (knock on wood!). Good quality hand tools are available at Home depot if you know what to look for. I try to avoid Harbor Freight and the like unless its something thats disposable or for occasional use. Their quality and design can be disappointing. For bigger power tools I find the best prices online once I figure out what I'm looking for.
 

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Proud American
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12 Posts
ToolTopia.com has never let me down.
I try to remember this old saying:
"Buy quality and you may regret it once. Buy cheap, and you will regret it many times."
 

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I am a little teapot
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2,696 Posts
Sailaway hit the nail on the head. Garage sales and flea markets are the way to go. With Craftsman (and perhaps some others) offering their no questions asked lifetime guarantee, in the unlikely event that the flea market bought item does actually break, you can get it replaced.
 

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Craftsman Guarantee

I have a coworker who said that he tried to return a broken tool to Sears and that they changed their policy on replacements - have any of ou guys seen that, or have any of you gotten anything warranteed there recently?
Thanks
 

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I am a little teapot
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2,696 Posts
We took a ratchet back a while ago and they gave us a rebuilt one instead of a new one. All the guts were brand new and the thing works fine-just it doesn't look brand new. As I said in the earlier post, though, I get a lot of that stuff at flea markets anyway, so having a few scratches in the handle means nothing to me.
 

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performing monkey
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4,230 Posts
I have a coworker who said that he tried to return a broken tool to Sears and that they changed their policy on replacements - have any of ou guys seen that, or have any of you gotten anything warranteed there recently?
Thanks
I don't know what the exact policy is, but they gave me a bunch of flak recently after a series of 9/16 wrenches kept breaking & I kept having them replaced (7x), it must've been a bad batch :confused: but I kept the replacement receipt after the 3rd wrench busted.
 

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I am a little teapot
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2,696 Posts
Try going to a few different Sears stores if you have more than one in your area.
 

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performing monkey
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4,230 Posts
I have lots of Snapon stuff in my toolbox at work, but for home Im happy with generic stuff such as NorthernTool.com. They have a lifetime warranty on a good bit of stuff.
got a mix of high & mediocre quality stuff myself, my extensive snap-on section is mainly from mechanics that couldn't make the payments, a deal for me & got them out from under a large debt
 

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Tools that I use all the time I will look for high quality, tools that I need for one project or job I will look for something economical to get the work done and get rid of. My core tools are high quality, but I still look for deals such as Blob got.:)
 

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Gotta love those deals.........I drooped some things off at a Goodwill store and decided to go inside. I came across some Snap-On tools....................I "snapped" them up and ran to the checkout.......that is the fastest I have moved in a long time!
 
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