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Sparky

Truck tools....thoughts?

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Sparky

  My new truck has cool tool storage under the rear seat. Time to fill it! 
  I’m not in the trades anymore and don’t make a living with my tools, so...looking for a mid grade tool set that will stay in the truck all the time. 
  What’s decent? I won’t go super cheap and buy the Harbor Freight Pittsburg stuff (ask @Docwheelhorse about the Pittsburg ratchet I zinged into the woods behind my house after the first use :lol:) but what about the new ICON brand Harbor Freight is braggin about now? Anyone have it and are they any good? 
  Haven’t ruled out Husky or Kobalt either.

  Craftsman...eh, probably not. 
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pullstart

Hopefully it’s not a sign of the times, but my new Craftsman 3/8” ratchet bought around Christmas time in the 24 pc kit is already binding up, whether loosening or tightening.  I have never had such poor performance from Craftsman.  I also have a Pittsburgh set from Harbor Freight and have never had a lick of trouble with their ratchets.  I’d say whatever you can find locally that has a lifetime warranty is worth sticking in there... but you still need to be confident to get home if a roadside repair is needed...  Thatnks for the reminder that I need to bring my virtually still new ratchet in!

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stevasaurus

Mike, you are better off just buying what you need.  Buy a tool box that will fit.  You want some 1/2" drive sockets and a rachet with a couple of extensions.  You don't need 35 sockets you will never use.  One for the lug nuts...truck and trailers.  The tools to change out a bad trailer bearing...side cutters, carter pins, punch, crescent wrench, ball peen hammer.  Maybe some electrical stuff in case trailer lights aren't working.  Some rags, hand cleaner, tester for bulbs, bulbs.  Maybe an extra bearing and seal.  Basically the stuff you wish you had if you broke down.  Don't buy a set, just buy what you may need.   :occasion-xmas:

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elcamino/wheelhorse

I have had problem with HF sockets so I don't use them . Kobalt are pretty good , have not checked out the Icon tools. Got to flea markets and yard sales and buy the old tools , much better quality.

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Sparky
23 minutes ago, pullstart said:

Hopefully it’s not a sign of the times, but my new Craftsman 3/8” ratchet bought around Christmas time in the 24 pc kit is already binding up, whether loosening or tightening.  I have never had such poor performance from Craftsman.  

  I think Craftsman’s hey-day is long over. In an effort to remain competitive they simply cheaped out on all aspects of quality and only sell tools on the reputation that the old Craftsman tools had.

 They are not even a consideration for me. 

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Sparky
24 minutes ago, stevasaurus said:

Don't buy a set, just buy what you may need.   :occasion-xmas:

  Funny enough Steve I was thinking about that while I wandered the tool kit section.  
  Either the kits I saw had stuff I would never use or it was missing what I felt was important.

  Probably will just buy the tools I think I’ll need and a “slim” tool box to house em all. 

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ProfessorBurden753

I would have to agree with Steve, if it was me I wouldn't buy a whole set with a bunch of crap you will never use. That being said, I would not rule out the new Icon tools at HF. I have not purchased any of them yet, but have picked them up and looked at them when I picked up my new box for work. I'd be wary of their cheap Pittsburgh sets, however I bought one each of their Pittsburgh flex head ratchets in both 1/4" & 3/8" drive, and they have quickly became my favorites to use on a daily basis at work. Much tighter and hold the sockets much better than my Craftsman ones do. Craftsman used to make a great quality tool, but since they began producing their tools in China the quality has went way downhill. 

 

 

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squonk

I've got so many tools I'll never use anymore I'm thinkin about having a garage sale in the spring.

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pullstart
41 minutes ago, stevasaurus said:

Mike, you are better off just buying what you need.  Buy a tool box that will fit.  You want some 1/2" drive sockets and a rachet with a couple of extensions.  You don't need 35 sockets you will never use.  One for the lug nuts...truck and trailers.  The tools to change out a bad trailer bearing...side cutters, carter pins, punch, crescent wrench, ball peen hammer.  Maybe some electrical stuff in case trailer lights aren't working.  Some rags, hand cleaner, tester for bulbs, bulbs.  Maybe an extra bearing and seal.  Basically the stuff you wish you had if you broke down.  Don't buy a set, just buy what you may need.   :occasion-xmas:

 

18 minutes ago, Sparky said:

  I think Craftsman’s hey-day is long over. In an effort to remain competitive they simply cheaped out on all aspects of quality and only sell tools on the reputation that the old Craftsman tools had.

 They are not even a consideration for me. 

 

 

Shopping sales and buying a kit though might be more cost effective... even if you don’t pack em all in the truck.  For example the 224 pc kits were down to $99 with an Ace rewards membership.  The ratchet I just replaced (thanks again @Sparky) was $24.99 as a single item.  

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Tractorhead

I choosing Vigor equippment now as my „Roadside toolset“.

 

use the 17mm nut most,  several times also with impact wrench and it still lasts.

(opening force 390 nm) change Axleparts on my Cars i opened allways with impact wrench.

so far i‘m satisfied with the quality.

 

image.png.ecddff82b2ccb4c5c41140814daad215.png

 

 

The ratchets are finely toothed and rubber insulated, good if you needed in cold weather with bare hands

and they had a good grip and a nice haptic too.

All Things lasts my uses and also survived few times „rapes“ by enlarging ratchet lenght with pipe enhancements

or the impact wrench.

I got it as a Gift from my Wife on christmas 5 years ago and it looked - hum a firstly bit cheap to me,

but it becomes more and more my favored Brand.

 

i bought a few more tools from them now, and be all in all each time positive surprised with the Quality.

the things seems cheap, but they last also harder daily use.

Things are also available in inch sizes not only in metric.

 

If they still available on your side i just can recommend after my experiences with.

This are good tools for your Bucks and tools they last, sure not the cheapest, but good toolset for a reasonable price.

The complete Toolbox even with some Car specific torx inner and outer and special multi tooth bits and and and...

 

 

 

 

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Tractorhead

I had few older stuff bought on flea markets in old Germany High quality, Gedore and Hazet

but the new toolset was same strenght. 

Another issue was the hadie box, they came with, allway‘s available and if immediately resorted after work, each piece has it‘s place.

you can grab blind if you work few times with.

 

that was my issue of a complete set.

on roadside use, you maybe mostly never knows ahead what you need in that case.

 

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Stepney

Personally I hunt Evilpay for vintage S&K sets, store the nice little tin cases and use a home cheapo kit-case. Fill it up with cheap, good quality old sockets that will last a lifetime. 

I keep a full set of metric/standard deep and shallow sockets, small sockets, alan keys, hand tools, fuses, wire, fittings.. etc in an old Black/Decker case behind the seat in my cab. Even enough room for a pair of ratchet straps and a roll of the handyman secret weapon.. 

I drive an antique. Knock on wood I've never had to open it, but darned if I'm not prepared.. 

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Digger 66
1 hour ago, stevasaurus said:

Mike, you are better off just buying what you need.

 

X-2 on that ^

Sit down , grab a coffee and think about the "worst case scenarios".

My first things were:

The correct size fuses .

3 ton bottle jack with handle 

A few blocks of hardwood 

A folding lug wrench 

Extra serpentine belt and the correct tools to change it 

Duct tape

 

It's a waste of space carrying a "whole socket set"

A 1/4 & 3/8 drive ratchet with adapters and 8 10 12 13 14 15 & 16 mm sockets 

A good set of locking pliers and of course

A hammer  

 

 

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bcgold

An inexpensive OBDII reader to find out what caused the check engine light to trigger, I use the Bluetooth model below paired to an old smartphone with a free app.

 

obd2.png

Edited by bcgold
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D_Mac

You guys are forgetting the most important tool to carry with you in case of an emergency........ big roll of duct tape.

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ZXT

I have 3 HF sets - not the dinky $4.99 set. They're the $40ish ones with 1/4-1/2" drive. I've beaten the heck out of them with no complaints. I have broken one socket. HF tools have a lifetime warranty, but I wouldn't feel right taking that socket to be warrantied. It was a 3/8 drive 18mm socket, on the HF 3/8 ratchet with a 6' cheater pipe on it. The socket snapped right as the bolt broke loose. Not the right way to treat tools, I know, but I needed the bolt loose and didn't have a breaker bar with me where I was. Definitely zero complaints, and I see no need to buy a more expensive brand. 

 

I own plenty of Craftsman wrenches and assorted sockets, but none that were made in my lifetime. All old stuff and they are good as well. I know their quality has declined in recent years, but I have hope for them yet. They're building a 425,000 sq foot facility right here in Fort Worth, TX, where they will be moving production of all craftsman tools to from China. Excellent to see that more and more companies are moving production back to this side of the world now. 

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tom2p
5 hours ago, Stepney said:

Personally I hunt Evilpay for vintage S&K sets, store the nice little tin cases and use a home cheapo kit-case. Fill it up with cheap, good quality old sockets that will last a lifetime. 

I keep a full set of metric/standard deep and shallow sockets, small sockets, alan keys, hand tools, fuses, wire, fittings.. etc in an old Black/Decker case behind the seat in my cab. Even enough room for a pair of ratchet straps and a roll of the handyman secret weapon.. 

I drive an antique. Knock on wood I've never had to open it, but darned if I'm not prepared.. 

 

ditto on SK

 

I've found a lot of quality tools at flea markets and garage sales - including SK sets - ratchets and sockets 


then if required can find missing extensions, sockets or whatever on eBay 

 

can also upgrade old SK ratchets with the DT mechanisms (DT80, DT100, DT120) to increase tooth count and reduce arc swing 

 


can also find old made in USA Craftsman tools - including the polished Professional ratchets and wrenches, etc


Years ago tools were almost always passed down to younger generations in a family - but now it's not uncommon for families to sell or give away tools because they apparently have little value to the younger generation ... less interest in tools

 

 

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ZXT
12 minutes ago, tom2p said:

I've found a lot of quality tools at flea markets and garage sales - including SK sets - ratchets and sockets 

 

:text-yeahthat: There is an excellent pawn shop fairly close to me that has a ton of old tools. Any time I need something, I go digging through their endless bins of sockets, ratchets, and wrenches.

 

One old brand that I've taken an exceptional liking to is Thorsen. I have a number of their wrenches (I hope to have a complete set some day) and I love them. There are a couple of different styles, but the ones I have are excellent. They're pretty thick, and just feel right in your hand. I don't think I've ever rounded a head off with one of them. They seem to be made out of really good material.

 

If you ever come across any of those wrenches for cheap, I wouldn't hesitate to pick them up. 

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tom2p


ChannelLock adjustable wrench 
 


I'm not a big fan of adjustable wrenches - but I got a drawer full of them  lol

 

most are older made in USA adjustable wrenches - but if you are looking for one adjustable wrench to carry in your truck consider a new ChannelLock adjustable wrench - the newer ChannelLock wide opening ('WideAzz') models with the blue handles

 

they are among the best quality adjustable wrenches available - and the jaws open wide as a wrench that is much longer 

 

one example is model 8WCB 8" adjustable wrench that opens as wide or wider than much longer wrenches and requires less storage space



 

also recommend Knipex pliers wrench 

 

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ZXT
2 minutes ago, tom2p said:

ChannelLock adjustable wrench 

Are we speaking pliers or crescent wrenches? ChannelLock pliers are excellent, but I don't know that I've seen a crescent (Yes, that's just a brand, I know) made by them.

 

While we're on the subject of pliers, old Vise Grips are something that I consider indispensable. There have been so many times that I've come across something that is rounded off (Such as a brake line that hasn't been loosened in 50 years) or other bolts where nothing will get them loose... Except Vise Grips. I know Irwin sells Vise Grips now, but I have no experience with them. I do know that every off brand imitation of Vise Grips that I've encountered have been absolute garbage. Every time I go to a yard sale or estate sale, I buy what they have. They're usually priced between $.25 and $1.00! One use and they more than pay for themselves. I probably have 20+ pair, and keep at least one pair in every vehicle I own. 

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tom2p
29 minutes ago, ZXT said:

Are we speaking pliers or crescent wrenches? ChannelLock pliers are excellent, but I don't know that I've seen a crescent (Yes, that's just a brand, I know) made by them.

 

While we're on the subject of pliers, old Vise Grips are something that I consider indispensable. There have been so many times that I've come across something that is rounded off (Such as a brake line that hasn't been loosened in 50 years) or other bolts where nothing will get them loose... Except Vise Grips. I know Irwin sells Vise Grips now, but I have no experience with them. I do know that every off brand imitation of Vise Grips that I've encountered have been absolute garbage. Every time I go to a yard sale or estate sale, I buy what they have. They're usually priced between $.25 and $1.00! One use and they more than pay for themselves. I probably have 20+ pair, and keep at least one pair in every vehicle I own. 

 


yep - ChannelLock adjustable wrench  ( 8WCB )

 

( they are made in Spain )

 


 

FB831821-6BBE-4107-A9AD-6C02C7EF3A6A.jpeg

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tom2p


Knipex pliers wrench 

 

 

 

7B441F02-448C-491C-89EC-99E499AFB5C2.jpeg

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tom2p


ChannelLock 13 bit ratcheting screwdriver 
 

not a big fan of multi-bit screwdrivers - but this ratcheting multi-bit screwdriver is a great tool to carry in your vehicle 

 

 

ChannelLock 131CB 13 bit ratcheting screwdriver 

 

 

 

323DC12A-83A8-45EC-9FBF-697EBA5CA73E.jpeg

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tom2p
19 minutes ago, ZXT said:

Are we speaking pliers or crescent wrenches? ChannelLock pliers are excellent, but I don't know that I've seen a crescent (Yes, that's just a brand, I know) made by them.

 

While we're on the subject of pliers, old Vise Grips are something that I consider indispensable. There have been so many times that I've come across something that is rounded off (Such as a brake line that hasn't been loosened in 50 years) or other bolts where nothing will get them loose... Except Vise Grips. I know Irwin sells Vise Grips now, but I have no experience with them. I do know that every off brand imitation of Vise Grips that I've encountered have been absolute garbage. Every time I go to a yard sale or estate sale, I buy what they have. They're usually priced between $.25 and $1.00! One use and they more than pay for themselves. I probably have 20+ pair, and keep at least one pair in every vehicle I own. 

 

 

agree about vice grips - great must have tool 

 

like you - I buy them when I see them ... have a drawer full 


I look for the old / original made in USA Petersen / Irwin vice grips 

 

 

 

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