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#4553746 - 10/25/17 02:23 AM Tools of the Trade
MathewC Offline


Registered: 02/26/17
Posts: 7
Loc: Ohio
I am not sure if this is the appropriate place to post this, but I just wanted some pointers for entering the auto tech field.
Starting with where you could get away with skimping and where you need to spend more. A top 10-15 tools would also be helpful.
Example: # Drill bit (Skimp)
Also, do most people prefer the ergonomic Snap-On ratchets or chrome-handled ones? I would also like to know if the weaker handle will imply a lesser warranty.
Thanks



Edited by MathewC (10/25/17 02:26 AM)

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#4553757 - 10/25/17 03:18 AM Re: Tools of the Trade [Re: MathewC]
Olas Offline


Registered: 12/11/13
Posts: 3932
Loc: Manchester, England
The stuff you use most often, ie turning gear, needs to be good.

Stuff you don't use every day, buy cheap. If it breaks buy better.

That way you don't waste money on good quality stuff you're not gong to use and all the stuff you do use is good.


Or give your wife and kids and house to the snap-on man, and have good quality tools throughout.
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#4553795 - 10/25/17 05:44 AM Re: Tools of the Trade [Re: MathewC]
JC1 Offline


Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 3001
Loc: Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Also remember that some tools "walk away" (get borrowed and never returned or stolen from others). I'd prefer to lose a cheap tool or wrench then to spend a fortune on something you need to replace.

Do your homework on what you need to buy. There is a lot of harbor freight bashing, but they do have some reasonable stuff you could start with.

Other options are to look online Craigslist etc. for buying used tools that aren't cheap Chinese junk.


Edited by JC1 (10/25/17 05:46 AM)
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#4553807 - 10/25/17 06:02 AM Re: Tools of the Trade [Re: MathewC]
DuckRyder Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 4206
Loc: Atlanta
What type of shop are you starting out at and do you expect any specialization? A wheel, brake and alignment guys top 15 isnít going to be the same as the drivability guys top 15.

Are you planning to attend a trade school (they may have both a required tool list and a discount program)?

I generally donít care for ergonomic handled ratchets, they are harder to clean and the handles tend to come off or get damaged.

I would buy the best I could afford in ratchets, sockets, screwdrivers, pliers (of all types) and drill bits at the very least.
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#4553821 - 10/25/17 06:32 AM Re: Tools of the Trade [Re: MathewC]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 17116
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I agree buy quality of the stuff you will use all the time and skimp or buy as needed the stuff you don't need.

That said my dad is a big Snap-On fan. He has been in the mechanic trade almost 50 years and still has some of his original sockets and most of his ratchets and wrenches are 30-40 years old. (Chrome type)




Edited by StevieC (10/25/17 06:32 AM)
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#4553847 - 10/25/17 07:11 AM Re: Tools of the Trade [Re: MathewC]
fenixguy Offline


Registered: 02/08/17
Posts: 307
Loc: NC
Don't skimp on drill bits!!!

I'm not a professional mechanic (my family thinks otherwise, their cars are at my "garage" every weekend), but I think it's best to start out with whatever brand is close by that offers warranty replacement. For me, it would be Kobalt at Lowes. That being said, most of my tools come from Harbor Freight banana and I don't break them often.

Again, I'm not doing it for a living but I don't think you need to sink a fortune into tools right from the start. Find out what you use the most with the "cheap stuff" and upgrade as your career requires.
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#4553849 - 10/25/17 07:14 AM Re: Tools of the Trade [Re: MathewC]
Chris142 Online   content


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16817
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
You want good hand tools. Nothing worse than a wrench or socket that slips and causes pain or more work. Snap on is the best here. But Mac and Cornwell are good too.

Is the shop going to supply a scanner? If so you can skimp and just buy a cheap code reader.

Air tools...Harbor freights Earthquake line work well. Same with the big HF tool boxes.
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#4553878 - 10/25/17 08:04 AM Re: Tools of the Trade [Re: MathewC]
DemoFly Offline


Registered: 06/03/12
Posts: 994
Loc: Bremerton, WA
Try and buy second hand. I bought my Cornwell 4150 for $40 and my SnapOn long patterns for $110. General rule is to not skimp on hand tools and impacts. They are your workhorses.

Wrenches
Air Impacts
Screwdrivers
Pliers
DVOM
Scanners
3/8ths Ratchets and Sockets. (Craftsman is fine for 1/4 and 1/2)

Skimp everywhere else. Harbor freight is only good for tool boxes, latex gloves and abrasives. I'd avoid anything else they sell.

Don't fall for toolboxes. That is the biggest and most idiotic purchase you could make.
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#4553890 - 10/25/17 08:15 AM Re: Tools of the Trade [Re: DemoFly]
Chris142 Online   content


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16817
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Originally Posted By: DemoFly
Try and buy second hand. I bought my Cornwell 4150 for $40 and my SnapOn long patterns for $110. General rule is to not skimp on hand tools and impacts. They are your workhorses.

Wrenches
Air Impacts
Screwdrivers
Pliers
DVOM
Scanners
3/8ths Ratchets and Sockets. (Craftsman is fine for 1/4 and 1/2)

Skimp everywhere else. Harbor freight is only good for tool boxes, latex gloves and abrasives. I'd avoid anything else they sell.

Don't fall for toolboxes. That is the biggest and most idiotic purchase you could make.
imo HF air tools are great! I use the snot out of my air cut off wheel and earthquake impact gun. Both have worked well for many years.
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04 Tahoe super-s 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
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#4553956 - 10/25/17 09:38 AM Re: Tools of the Trade [Re: MathewC]
DuckRyder Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 4206
Loc: Atlanta
Oh yeah, I totally forgot to include wrenches in my buy the best you can afford list.

Tool boxes donít make you any money if you can get a nice trade in off a tool truck or used for reasonable money fine, other wise USGeneral (the orange/red ones) from harbor freight will do fine. You only need it to be large enough to organize your tools so they are easy to find and have a place.

Without some trade school or significant work experience and ASE certs, I expect you are going to have issues breaking into the Automotive Technician field in any meaningful way.


Edited by DuckRyder (10/25/17 09:38 AM)
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#4554043 - 10/25/17 10:48 AM Re: Tools of the Trade [Re: MathewC]
CT8 Online   content


Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 10930
Loc: Idaho
Buy Snap on hard tools and buy exactly what you need. what you need.
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#4554074 - 10/25/17 11:19 AM Re: Tools of the Trade [Re: MathewC]
mightymousetech Offline


Registered: 04/03/17
Posts: 1444
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Not a fan of the foam handle ratchets. The foam WILL break down after a while.

Snap On: Sockets, wrenches and ratchets. Can often get the sockets on sale, or they include extension sets. Watch the monthly flyers.
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#4554136 - 10/25/17 12:26 PM Re: Tools of the Trade [Re: MathewC]
02SE Offline


Registered: 12/30/05
Posts: 2725
Loc: The Canyons
When I was starting out as a Mechanic, I was told: "Buy once, cry once". So I went with pretty much all Snap-On. At the time I wondered if such an investment was prudent. They served me well for the years I worked as a Master Tech on consumer vehicles. I still have those tools, and don't regret their purchase now.

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#4554212 - 10/25/17 01:52 PM Re: Tools of the Trade [Re: MathewC]
barryh Offline


Registered: 01/09/16
Posts: 310
Loc: Cheshire, England
You will eventually be an old guy like many here. I'm 63 and still have some of the tools I bought as an apprentice. The quality is remembered long after the price has been forgotten and anyway the feeling of using a tool you have owned for that long is priceless. They are like old friends.
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1979 BMW R45 (Triple QX 5W40)
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#4554242 - 10/25/17 02:38 PM Re: Tools of the Trade [Re: JC1]
Yah-Tah-Hey Offline


Registered: 05/26/14
Posts: 3396
Loc: Columbus,Nebraska
Originally Posted By: JC1
Also remember that some tools "walk away" (get borrowed and never returned or stolen from others). I'd prefer to lose a cheap tool or wrench then to spend a fortune on something you need to replace.

Do your homework on what you need to buy. There is a lot of harbor freight bashing, but they do have some reasonable stuff you could start with.

Other options are to look online Craigslist etc. for buying used tools that aren't cheap Chinese junk.
You got that right. Tools have legs and will disappear if you turn your back for thirty seconds. At our power plant handcarts were the big thing. Especially if we had contractors on site. You could chain them to the nearest pipe or equipment and they would still disappear. Our plant manager had more than one fit over the number of purchase orders he saw for handcart. He also liked to give sermonettes on how he had equipped every pickup in Moffat county with chokers and jacks. And it was true.

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