Buying a used 1/2” drive socket set (1 Viewer)

Dirt Ferguson

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Would anyone here hesitate buying a used high quality socket set on eBay? I’m looking at a few SK Tools sets,1/2” drive, some of the sets have socket sizes that go from 8mm to 30mm and they’re under $100 w the ratchet and a couple come with extensions.

I want to replace my junky Husky stuff with high quality tools, but I’d like to buy nice tools only once whenever possible.
 

e9999

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well, if it's a brand name and you know the price of new and what is included and its condition, then the only remaining issues are the usual ones associated with ebay purchases, as in dishonest sellers etc. So that seems fairly easily manageable if you take precautions. I would say that good hand tools are often one of those things that is good to purchase used over new.
 
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I have bought a lot of Snap On ratchets and sockets off ebay over the years. Never had an issue. I always went with something in excellent condition and sometimes brand new. Pretty hard to hide condition of hand tools if there are photos.
 

Dirt Ferguson

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Thanks guys, I’m looking for both a 1/4” drive socket set and 1/2” drive socket set (Metric). I have a nice 3/8” set from Wits End already.

I’ll compare between Snap On and SK and see what makes the most sense.
 

e9999

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If you have the option, I would also suggest that you keep an eye on (or perhaps better, put a wanted ad in) Craigslist and also check garage sales, the latter are where real bargains can be found. I've also found good deals at the local flea market too.
 

cruisermatt

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If I can offer an alternative to paying a lot for used tools, the Neiko, Tekton, and Sunex impact socket sets are incredibly good value for money, I just got my dad four different Neiko sets that created a complete 3/8 and 1/2" lineup, metric, SAE, short and deep-well and it was just over $200 for all of them

I actually use Harbor Freight 3/8 and 1/2 impact sockets daily for everything at my Cruiser shop, zero issues and great value for money, they don't come in complete sets which is minorly annoying, I mostly just use 10-12-14-17-19 so it's not a huge deal. a lot of my ratchets and breaker bars are Neiko and Tekton and they are great.
 

Dirt Ferguson

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@cruisermatt that’s good feedback. I actually have some larger Sunex sockets in my cart right now. It’s a small set of 24 -36mm sockets but I was looking at the reviews of a few of the Sunex/ Tekton/ Neiko sets and they are mostly positive.

I am a beginner as far as working on vehicles, but I can take my time, follow directions and I more inclined to spend a little more money once for reliable tools. But again, not a mechanic that will be using them daily. I mostly don’t want to create more work for myself by rounding older bolts and using flimsy tools.
 

cruisermatt

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@cruisermatt that’s good feedback. I actually have some larger Sunex sockets in my cart right now. It’s a small set of 24 -36mm sockets but I was looking at the reviews of a few of the Sunex/ Tekton/ Neiko sets and they are mostly positive.

I am a beginner as far as working on vehicles, but I can take my time, follow directions and I more inclined to spend a little more money once for reliable tools. But again, not a mechanic that will be using them daily. I mostly don’t want to create more work for myself by rounding older bolts and using flimsy tools.

I use this stuff daily as a professional. The cheaper tools have made huge quality improvements in the last 2-3 years. If you are rounding off bolts these days, it's not the tool
 

Dirt Ferguson

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Can you guys explain any reason why using a 3/8” ratchet with a 3/8” - 1/2” adapter for larger sockets is a disadvantage?
 

e9999

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^ I would think that in general, the bigger the tool -the more robust it is designed to be, and the bigger the nuts or bolts -the bigger the tool you need because you need more torque. So using an adapter to use a smaller ratchet for bigger sockets/bolts may result in damage to the ratchet. Conversely, if you use a large tool with a reducer in order to work on a small bolt you may end up breaking the bolt.
There is perhaps something satisfying in making do with the wrong tool for the job, but generally tools are matched to specific classes of jobs and it's best to respect that.
 

Dirt Ferguson

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^ I would think that in general, the bigger the tool -the more robust it is designed to be, and the bigger the nuts or bolts -the bigger the tool you need because you need more torque. So using an adapter to use a smaller ratchet for bigger sockets/bolts may result in damage to the ratchet. Conversely, if you use a large tool with a reducer in order to work on a small bolt you may end up breaking the bolt.
There is perhaps something satisfying in making do with the wrong tool for the job, but generally tools are matched to specific classes of jobs and it's best to respect that.

This is logical and makes sense, like most things I’m learning about DIY mechanics shortcuts rarely help out.
 

rhah

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If I can offer an alternative to paying a lot for used tools, the Neiko, Tekton, and Sunex impact socket sets are incredibly good value for money, I just got my dad four different Neiko sets that created a complete 3/8 and 1/2" lineup, metric, SAE, short and deep-well and it was just over $200 for all of them

I actually use Harbor Freight 3/8 and 1/2 impact sockets daily for everything at my Cruiser shop, zero issues and great value for money, they don't come in complete sets which is minorly annoying, I mostly just use 10-12-14-17-19 so it's not a huge deal. a lot of my ratchets and breaker bars are Neiko and Tekton and they are great.
Tekton for the win, my shop uses them as well and super cheap off the amazon

The alignment rack guy is using the Sunex wrenches and 100% loves them.

both those “cheap” brand of tools are now preferred over the strap on tool truck that comes weekely.

however ratchets are still a thing we buy off the Matco/Mac/snap on everyone has their preferred shape.
 

Dirt Ferguson

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@rhah I have found the Sunex stuff to fit the bill, for sure. I ended up buying a set of their 1/2 drive impact sockets and the quality-price ratio is very nice.

I also bought a 100 - 600 ft/lbs Neiko torque wrench for working on the harmonic balancer bolt. What a beast.
 

Elbert

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I've bought some things used, or NOS (tools) on ebay. Snap-on and Mac etc. Its now and then and I try to check out the pictures as best as possible and always look for what the present price is , if the item is still available new. I also look at the seller's rating. So far I've had good luck with that approach. Yes a gamble at times, but I never buy from someone on ebay unless their raiting is good (on tools and things). But these are things I just want. If you are trying to jump away from garbage tools then you money will be better spent on stuff like Williams brand or other good brands. I like and value snap on and mac , but unless its a specific tool I need or just want and I can't get it somewhere else...then I look to ebay. I will at times buy some sets of things on ebay (snap-on / mac) but it has to be a deal and I have to have a reasonably high level of confidence on the conditions. I'm sold on the Williams brand, if I need something and they have it, thats where I go (preferably the American made stuff but I also will buy the taiwan stuff too. IF Williams does not carry whatever I'm looking for, then I'll look at other brands. IN my case its not a need,more of a want.

as noted I think your money will go a long way on quality tools with Williams (in the game of looking for quality outside of Mac/Snap-on). I have bought a lot of willaims stuff over time and still do if needed. there certainly are some other choices too. A number of things I've bought like for a tool-bag for off-road I've bought stuff made in taiwan ...but the tools have been good, the logic there is if I loose something off-road I will not cry to much about it, given the price / replacement cost. I agree that a number of the brands made in Taiwan have really increased in quality in the last few years.

another place to get feedback on tools is garagejournal.com web site.
 
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LINUS

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I like SK - they have alot of different levels but there was one that was like German Snap-On.

For only carrying 1 fullset of tools, like in the 80 - I keep 6pt & 12pt Snap-on sockets & whatever quality ratchet you like as well as a good breaker bar, esp if the ratchet strips for whatever reason.
 
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Rule of thumb I was taught is that the socket and adaptor should match the application (e.g., bolt size). Too big a socket reduced to a smaller head will translate to way too much force being applied, and too less in the opposite scenario.

I just recently went though this process, and I decided to bite the bullet and got Snap-On. I'm super happy with them, but my bank account wasn't for a while.
 

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