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Old 05-28-2015, 11:58 AM   #1
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Mechanics Tool Set

I'm looking to buy a mechanics tool set and i've narrowed it down to these two sets:

Craftsman 230-Piece Mechanics Tool Set, #35230 - - Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/GearWrench-809.../dp/B005MVB7HM

Any thoughts on which is better. I'm leaning towards the grearwrench set because it looks to have less filler, but the craftsman might be slightly better quality (still made in US?).

Thoughts?
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Old 05-28-2015, 12:44 PM   #2
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I would personally recommend putting together your own. But the 230 piece mechanic set isn't too bad for a generic set
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Old 05-28-2015, 12:50 PM   #3
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Power tools will also make the job go a lot faster. I picked up a Ryobi 5 piece kit last year that I've been abusing the hell out of during the demo phase of my build. At the very least, drill, driver and job tool with a right angle impact driver head, and an angle grinder for cutting stubborn bolt heads off.
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Old 05-28-2015, 01:00 PM   #4
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Power tools for sure. I dont have electricity available where i will be converting the bus. I considered buying a set of battery powered tools, but i think for the extra money/reduced lifespan, i'm better off getting a cheap generator and sticking with my corded tools. I'm going to need power anyway to run the shop-vac, compressor, etc

I have an angle grinder, drill, impact wrench, sawzall, skillsaw, compressor, air chisel. Just looking to add a set of manual tools ( i lost a smaller set in the move a few years back).
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Old 05-28-2015, 01:41 PM   #5
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i was gifted a set like the craftsman one.

my complaint about it is its very redundant.
you might have 3 or 4 sockets of each common size in there. 1 - 3/8 dvrive socket 6 point, one 3/8" socket 12 point, one 1/2" socket, 6 point, and a 1/4" socket..... all for the same size nut.

honestly, i'd buy a 20 piece set, and fill in with sockets that are outside of the range you got.

the craftmans set would be good for filliing in a lot of holes of common sized sockets. as starter set... its overkill.


here is a link for a basic set without all the stuff you don't need. this set is on the small side..... personally the use of 1/4" sockets never happens here. i'd look for a similar set with 3/8" and 1/2" ratchets.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GLELF3U?psc=1

i would be much better if the sizes didnt stop under3/4"
the big ones i dont have are the ones i want.
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Old 05-28-2015, 02:03 PM   #6
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Thanks, that makes sense to me. I found this one, but dont know much about this brand (kind of pricey). I may just do as calmingcrow suggested and piece one together.

Klutch Impact Socket Set - 59-Pc., 3/8- and 1/2-Drive, SAE/Metric - Power Impact Wrenches - Amazon.com

edit: Just realized that all the SAE sockets on this set are deep well and all the metric are short.
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Old 05-28-2015, 02:35 PM   #7
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I had a 200 piece Craftsman case set like the one above... If it hadn't been a present for Father's Day, I would not have bought it.

As mentioned, it's a pretty redundant set, with 6 point and 12 point sockets in short and deep well. But, my biggest complaint was the molded case. You could not pick it up without sockets falling to the bottom.
And a major point deduction is all those allen wrenches and black nut driver sockets. those little 5 cent pieces sure add up to make the number of pieces look bigger than is usable. I didn't look at the specs, but I'd bet 40 pieces are hex keys and nut driver sockets.
I'd rather have several hex keys sets in metric and standard. And a 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 inch socket doohickey for my drill.

And omg, don't even get me started on cordless drill batteries! it's a TOTAL RACKET!!! lot of youtube videos to show how to repair "dead" batteries.

Love my Makita 18 volt, but I had an electrician bypass the sensor that tells the battery charger to not take a charge. I use it several times weekly for home repair and maintenance on a friend's rent house (13 houses)

My dewalt hammer drill doesn't get used as much, but it's sure handy when needed.... it seems I've loaned it out more than I've used it, and the higher speed works great for wire cup wheels, buffing wheel, sanding disks, and such.
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Old 05-28-2015, 02:44 PM   #8
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The Technology Center that I substitute teach at receives Kobalt donations for their automotive class, and give students large tool sets & tool carts as awards... If I search for tools that I need, they'll be the first ones I look for simply because of that.

Also, I like the more ergonomic feel of their ratchets
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Old 05-28-2015, 02:58 PM   #9
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the clutch tools look real heavy duty, built for an impact wrench. but yeah..... you're on the right track.
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Old 05-28-2015, 03:29 PM   #10
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Between the first two sets I would go with the gearwrench set over the craftsman
because the craftsman set has so much fill and only six end wrenches. As to the
impact sockets you will find that they have a thicker wall on the socket making it
hard to get onto some bolts or nuts in tight places. Neither set has a set of screw
drivers except the Sears set but those are only drivers and not something you can
use as a chisel or a pry bar. You might check craigslist or garage sales for used
tools. If they are name brand i.e. Snap-On, Mac, Matco, Cornwell, Sears, Kobalt.
The hand tools have a lifetime guarantee so you can take broken or worn out
items to the nearest dealer and get them replaced. I've taken broken craftsman
screw drivers from a garage sale to sears and gotten new replacement. Kmart also
carries craftsman.
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:58 PM   #11
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I would first think of this

You will not use 90% of that, I would and have been buying cheap, ugly black impact sockets made by Pittsburgh tool for last 20 yes, they don't break like chrome sockets and are safe for air tools (chrome sockets can and do break with impact wrenches)

Harbor freight has them, also gear type wrenches (I have had best luck with gear brand, I will use a regular to break loose and gear ratchet to finish)

On you bus you will find you need big sockets wrench and cheater bars, a tourqe multiplier is a life saver and you will discovery why 1 inch sockets have 3 ft handles, be safe
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Old 05-28-2015, 06:42 PM   #12
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If you intend to be using these tools much... get a Snap-On 80-tooth ratchet. Use whatever sockets you find laying in the gutter, at harbor freight, whatever. A high-quality ratchet makes all the difference even if the sockets are cheap. List price on the Snap-On FX80 3/8" is $140 but it can be found for much less. I wish I had bought this one years ago and I also wish I had the 1/4" version!

Also, it's nice to not have a giant set. When a piece becomes lost, broken, or worn, as inevitably happens, it's much easier to replace when you're not worried about trying to match the set!
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Old 05-28-2015, 06:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil View Post
I would first think of this

You will not use 90% of that, I would and have been buying cheap, ugly black impact sockets made by Pittsburgh tool for last 20 yes, they don't break like chrome sockets and are safe for air tools (chrome sockets can and do break with impact wrenches)
My primary hand tool box is Pittsburgh's 105 piece set (50 bucks @ Harbor Freight) with some others from Craftsman, Husky, and Pittsburgh extensions and long handled wrenches.
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:01 PM   #14
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Be sure to add any "special" tools that your bus requires but may not be included in a given tool set. My Ford is mostly metric and uses lots of Torx bolts and some bolts that can only be removed with a 12 point socket.

As Bansil said, a decent sized pipe and a breaker bar is handy for cracking loose lug nuts.
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:09 PM   #15
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Oh yeah, and #2 square driver bits are a godsend. Almost every panel that's gotten pulled came off with a #2 square
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Old 05-28-2015, 07:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooternj View Post
Oh yeah, and #2 square driver bits are a godsend. Almost every panel that's gotten pulled came off with a #2 square
X2

And MAGNETIZED!
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Old 05-29-2015, 02:43 PM   #17
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I'd like to add that if your bus is Canadian made then grab a pack of Robertson (square) #3 as well as a pack of #2s. My bus had fat #3 Robertsons all over the exterior and some inside. They are set tight, so an electric impact driver or hammer drill is useful.

Also, for those of you who live in Canada you'll be using those #2 Robertson driver bits for practically all of your wood screws. Bulk boxes of utility screws almost always have a Robertson head instead of the Phillips head (good riddance!), which is common in the states..
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Old 05-29-2015, 03:36 PM   #18
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Just make sure you check on your biggest socket in the set. Some sets sound fancy but top out at 3/4 or 18mm. That's border line useless. Find one that gives you high variety as well as large capability.
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Old 05-29-2015, 05:47 PM   #19
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#2, is that the same as what many people call a mobile home bit? #2 square
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Old 05-29-2015, 05:49 PM   #20
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Don't forget the extensions. My socket sets have multiple extensions, various lengths. Magnetic is always a plus.
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