: Best Reasonably Priced Socket Tools?



Pete1996
04-14-11, 06:41 PM
Hi all, I've always bought Craftsman tools and am reasonably happy with them but I read on here that they are not the best. Is there a better brand that is also reasonably priced? Any tips on where to get the best price for them.
I'm specifically looking for a metric deep socket set. My last set is not Craftsman since I bought it in a rush and they are junk - time to replace them.

Hope you don't mind my asking the group here.

Thanks in advance, Pete

ThumperPup
04-14-11, 07:15 PM
auto zone is having a sale this week i forget the brand but i think i rememebr the name being said to me about being greaat
the price i saw for the one near me was 35.00 for a 24 pc set

Pete1996
04-14-11, 07:32 PM
Thanks, I have a fairly complete set of SAE and metric non deep well that are Craftsman.
It was just the deep socket set that was not Craftsman so I don't need a full mechanics
set or anything less good than Craftsman. I will take a look at AutoZone, thanks!

I notice that Stanley Sockets make some mention of how they grip on the bolt and
put less stress on the points or something like that - any truth?

00 Deville
04-14-11, 07:51 PM
Pete, There's nothing wrong with a Craftsman socket set for the occasional wrencher. I would go with a six point set instead of a 12 point set. The 12 pointers have a tendency to slip on the smaller sizes. Most of my tools are snap-on... I bought them when I was was turning wrenches every day to make a living... but they are way over priced unless your going to use them everyday.

JoeTahoe
04-14-11, 07:56 PM
Craftsman for home use, Snap-on at work. So at home I mainly use Craftsman and it is fine just get the 6-points

jimsbox
04-14-11, 07:57 PM
I have had good luck with Kobalt tools, Lowes house brand and they don't seem to be too pricey. I agree with 00 Deville, only buy 6 pt sockets, Stanley are good but over priced in my opinion and I suspect marketing spiel for their claim, I have never had any problem with a quality 6 pt socket.

JoeTahoe
04-14-11, 08:06 PM
hey pete, what did ya do with that STS??

Ranger
04-14-11, 10:26 PM
Autozone sells cheap off shore junk. You'd probably do just as well at Harbor Freight. Nothing wrong with Craftsman.

tateos
04-14-11, 10:53 PM
I have had good luck with Kobalt tools, Lowes house brand and they don't seem to be too pricey. I agree with 00 Deville, only buy 6 pt sockets, Stanley are good but over priced in my opinion and I suspect marketing spiel for their claim, I have never had any problem with a quality 6 pt socket.

I was in Lowes recently, and I noticed that they had a bunch of Kobalt sockets on clearance - decent price, not dirt cheap...they seemed nice and they are made in US - maybe they are transitioning to a cheaper line from China...

I have also had good luck with Husky, and I have a number of Gear Wrench like this that I bought at Sears that I like:

http://www.gearwrench.com/catalog/wrenches/ratcheting/flex_combination/setdetails.jsp?part=9700

I guess they make socket tools also.

Ranger
04-14-11, 11:09 PM
Never used Gear Wrench, but I like what I see. I would not hesitate to buy a set (if I needed any more tools).:bigroll:

jimsbox
04-14-11, 11:42 PM
Gear wrench tools are priceless in tight quarters, I have both the standard ratchet gear wrenchs and the flex head, don't know how I ever got along without them.

Pete1996
04-15-11, 12:41 AM
All I needed was 3/8" drive deep metric and if you can believe it Walmart has a 10 piece 6 point set for under $20 with a lifetime guarantee that I just got.
I'm fairly sure I can return them if they don't work well.
Most of my others are probably half 12 point and half 6 and yes the 12s do tend to slip so that is a good tip. Now it seems I should probably get a few more 6 point sets.

Will also look into those Gear Wrench tools, I have heard good things.

Thanks for all the tips men!

Pete1996
04-15-11, 12:52 AM
hey pete, what did ya do with that STS??

Junked it, most wanted to pay about $250 for it, one local junk company paid $300 cash.
Tried to sell it for over two months.
There is a guy who said he'd buy it for $400 and that he would come here and
fix it good enough to drive in half an hour in my driveway using one of the
goop in the coolant fixes. He was not that anxious to come and get it and for the $100
difference is was simpler to just let the local guy tow it away. Claims he's done something
like 30 or more. I think he said he was willing to pay quite a bit more for newer Caddys
with failed HGs, something like 2000 or newer.

NHRATA01
04-15-11, 11:31 AM
Autozone sells cheap off shore junk. You'd probably do just as well at Harbor Freight. Nothing wrong with Craftsman.

This. I've been using Craftsman stuff for 10 years, and I wrench A LOT on my T/A. Only thing that ever broke was an 8mm 6 point 3/8 drive socket, which I drove to sears and they replaced on the spot (love the lifetime guarantee). My 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 drive ratchets have a ton of mileage and abuse on them and they still work beautifully.

Craftsman may not be a Matco or Snap On, but I'll take it anyday over the junk like Kobalt and Duralast they sell at the big box hardware and autoparts stores.

tateos
04-15-11, 11:55 AM
I agree NHRATA01 - if I want good tools, made in USA, Craftsman is normally my first choice, but the OP asked for other options.

I had planned to get the Craftsman flex head ratcheting tools, but while at Sears, I saw the Gear Wrench ones and found I preferred the feel and action of the Gear Wrench ones, so I got those in Metric. I like them so much, that on Black Friday last Fall, I got a second set in Metric for the 2nd home, plus 1 set for each place in standard inch sizes - they were something crazy like $29.99 per set - I couldn't pass up that deal!

Ranger
04-15-11, 12:03 PM
Most of my others are probably half 12 point and half 6 and yes the 12s do tend to slip so that is a good tip. Now it seems I should probably get a few more 6 point sets.

I just threw away all my 12 pts a year ago and replaced them with 6's. Got tired of rounding off bolt heads.

Submariner409
04-15-11, 01:43 PM
Bottom line: Tools are the prime example of "You get what you pay for". Anything from Craftsman (life warranty, no questions asked) and SnapOn is worth the money. As others have posted, Harbor Freight, Auto Zone, other chains - their bargain tool lines are the worst sort of offshore junk made. I use Craftsman and SnapOn tools - all sorts of sockets, drives, and wrenches - that I bought in the late 50's - and it's all still good. My grandsons will get it all, eventually. Anyone remember INDESTRO and S-K (Wayne) tools - they weren't too shabby, either.

:sneaky: I still use 12-point sockets - on ARP 12-point high tensile bolt heads.

00 Deville
04-15-11, 02:13 PM
Anyone remember INDESTRO and S-K (Wayne) tools...

:sneaky: I still use 12-point sockets - on ARP 12-point high tensile bolt heads.

S-K makes good stuff... so does Proto (Stanley's industrial line) I too have a bunch of snap-on 12 pointers... a lot of aircraft turbine engines use 12 point nuts and bolts made out of lightweight exotic metals. I've never seen anybody round off a 12 point bolt head with a quality 12 point socket... no matter how tight it was.

Ranger
04-15-11, 04:19 PM
Anyone remember INDESTRO and S-K (Wayne) tools
I still have and use the first set of sockets I ever bought at around 17 yrs old. They are Indestro.

I thought S-K was still around.

Ranger
04-15-11, 04:21 PM
I've never seen anybody round off a 12 point bolt head with a quality 12 point socket... no matter how tight it was.


But how about a 12 pt socket on a 6 pt head? Especially the smaller sizes.

vincentm
04-15-11, 05:02 PM
Yup, HF, cheap crap, here's what happened recently on my HG project.

http://i52.tinypic.com/25p3cyp.jpg

STSS
04-15-11, 05:11 PM
I'm pretty sure some of my SK sockets are older than my Dad...

JoeTahoe
04-15-11, 06:38 PM
S-K went chapter 11 but I believe they were sold to IDEAL just a couple months ago. I have alot of S-K. Have not been abill to get them warrenty for a year now. So I have been replaceing the broke ones with MAC and MATCO.

Pete1996
04-15-11, 08:00 PM
All I needed was 3/8" drive deep metric and if you can believe it Walmart has a 10 piece 6 point set for under $20 with a lifetime guarantee that I just got.
I'm fairly sure I can return them if they don't work well.
Thanks for all the tips men!

I forgot to mention in my long description above that the Walmart set is Stanley, lol. They are heavy and have a really nice feel, about the same as Craftsman as far as I can tell. The 1 cheap set that I am replacing are light and obviously a much softer metal - total junk.

I see several good comments about Craftsman, so I must have misread something here or forgot and read it somewhere else.
Mine have been good to me over 20+ years. The only failure was a drive lost the ball in it and they replaced it no questions asked probably about 15 years after it happened with the exact same one!

One annoying thing about Craftsman is that while the large sets are reasonably priced, the more basic sets are usually not. Don't remember if the smaller ones go on sale as often either.

Thanks again everyone!

Pete1996
04-15-11, 08:04 PM
Yup, HF, cheap crap, here's what happened recently on my HG project.

http://i52.tinypic.com/25p3cyp.jpg

It looks like that steel is so soft that they actually punched the lettering into it.

jimsbox
04-15-11, 11:44 PM
I don't understand why that previous poster called Kobalt junk. they look to be well made and I have had no problem with them. I also have alot of SK and craftsman tools, I think they are all 3 comparable.

JoeTahoe
04-16-11, 12:43 AM
I bought Kobalt impact sockets for home use and let me tell ya, I have beat the crap out of them and they are doing very, very well. Have yet to break one and i am useing a Snap-on impact rated at 700+Lbs at 160psi. They are over 2 yrs old now

mmidyette
04-16-11, 01:22 AM
I bought this (http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00930036000P?prdNo=12&blockNo=12&blockType=G12) set (GearRatchet) from Sears several years ago, and have not had any trouble out of them. I like them better then deep wall sockets.

00 Deville
04-16-11, 02:11 PM
But how about a 12 pt socket on a 6 pt head? Especially the smaller sizes.

That's a whole different outcome. I've been down that road many times... taking off a gazillion 1/4" and 5/16" bolts with a air ratchet when I was rewiring aircraft. The snap on 12 points would hold up pretty good before the sockets would wear out and start spinning the craftsman didn't hold up quite as well under this abuse. Never had this problem using a 6 point on a 6 point.