TTT -- The Tool Thread

GLTHFJ60

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I love tools. I love collecting tools, using good tools, cleaning tools, looking at tools, anything with tools. I think we should have a thread to pay tribute to the awesomeness of tools by posting tool recommendations, tool reviews, funny tool stories, how you used a tool for something other than it was designed to do or anything else related to tools.

I have a small collection now, but I'm always looking to expand if I find a gap in my tool selection. For example, I need a better set of snap-ring pliers, because I fought with my current set on a recent external snap-ring extraction job. I'd ask here for recommendations and see if anyone has a really good set they like, etc. Post up when you buy a new tool even, to show it off or explain so others can learn!

There's a correct tool for every job and I firmly believe that jobs are faster, and less frustrating, with the correct tools.

Horray for tools!!

 

GLTHFJ60

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As a first recommendation request, I fought with a set of external snap-ring pliers on saturday for 30 minutes, which is way too long IMHO. I ended up resorting to small screwdrivers. Does anyone have a set of snap-ring pliers that they really like?

I was looking at Knipex pliers like this (I really like my Knipex nippers, ha), however I wanted to see if anyone else had a better recommendation:

http://www.amazon.com/00-20-04-SB-Precision/dp/B005EXNT38/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1455471425&sr=8-1
 

NCFJ

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Hands down the best tool I have purchase in a very long time is the lift. Game changer for sure. They have come way down in price over the years and you can now get one for under $3K If you have a place to put one in, do it and you'll never regret it.

When I first came out of school I went to work for a company that built and serviced trash trucks, street sweepers and compactors for stuff like cardboard. I ended up building new trucks all the time, kinda like a big kit truck. One thing that struck me right out of the box was how half the guys I worked with owed their soul to the snap on man.

Of course there were the tool boxes that cost as much as a car and 4 piece wrench sets that were a weeks pay. One of the older mechanics gave me some wisdom early that I have held on to since. A huge box full of pricey specialty tools will not make you a good mechanic, years of practice with the right basic tools will do that. He had a modest lower/center/upper box set up, Craftsmen and it was old. It was filled with a mix of brand name basic tools and a few well used specialty tools. That man was hands down the best mechanic at the place.

The point to me is buy what you actually use, not what you think you may use or someone else tells you that you need. In the shop the rule was, "if you borrow it twice, buy one for yourself"
 
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roadstr6

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I got a set of snap ring pliers from HF. They work fine. Not the best but I've not had any real issues. Not a tool that I use a lot either so I'm cool with "cheap and okay" vs. "expensive and will outlast my great grandkids." The HF ones can be taken apart and the hinge point re-configured to either pull out or push in the ends when you squeeze the handles.
 

GLTHFJ60

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I got a set of snap ring pliers from HF. They work fine. Not the best but I've not had any real issues. Not a tool that I use a lot either so I'm cool with "cheap and okay" vs. "expensive and will outlast my great grandkids." The HF ones can be taken apart and the hinge point re-configured to either pull out or push in the ends when you squeeze the handles.
That's the set I have now unfortunately :(
 

roadstr6

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Yeah. Doesn't surprise me. They aren't exactly works of art but they do the job for my purposes. There are much better ones out there.
 

NCFJ

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This is one of those specialty tools. I just bought this a little while back and love it. It comes with a 45 degree die, an additional 37 degree die allows you to make AN flares for fuel and fluid lines.

 

NCFJ

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Cool purchase Jim, a drill press can make life soooooo much easier in the shop.
 

RedHeadedStepChild

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Jealous! Was just looking at drill presses this weekend.
Been putting it off for years. Finally I reminded myself that I NEVER regret purchasing a good tool.

This is one of those specialty tools. I just bought this a little while back and love it. It comes with a 45 degree die, an additional 37 degree die allows you to may AN flares for fuel and fluid lines.
There's one right there I've been hemming-and-hawing over for about a year. Want to redo all the lines on the 44, and a few on the Runner could use some work too.
 

NCFJ

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It is pricey Jim and it will gather dust between uses for sure, but wow, what a difference compared to the old school flaring tools.
 

RedHeadedStepChild

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It is pricey Jim and it will gather dust between uses for sure, but wow, what a difference compared to the old school flaring tools.
That's whats been holding me back. BUT, not wanting to deal with other crappy tools has been holding me back from doing the jobs.....
 

GLTHFJ60

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Rice

 
 
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Jealous! Was just looking at drill presses this weekend.
Would a 1960's 5 HP free standing drill press interest you?

(Disclaimer ... I don't want to be a tease but I really do have to evaluate if there is any room for this thing in my future before I let go of it)
 

GLTHFJ60

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Would a 1960's 5 HP free standing drill press interest you?

(Disclaimer ... I don't want to be a tease but I really do have to evaluate if there is any room for this thing in my future before I let go of it)
Yes please. PM me and we can work something out.
 

Mtbcoach

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This thread can be addictive. As any of you who've been in my garage, know that I have an addiction to tool.

Being one who has wrenched since childhood, being dad's toolboy for someone who NEVER paid for service for any vehicle we owned. If I wanted a bicycle to ride, I was expected to get out to the shed and build myself one. One thing I'll never forget is the first time I tore apart a bendix coaster brake to rebuild the hub and discovered the intricacies of mechanical technology. I also discovered the significant advantage of owning for the right tool for the job. Continuing my passion for 2 wheeled transportation, building knock-offs of the Schwinn "Krate" series bikes, putting extended forks, ape-hanger bars and banana seats, putting together Heavy Duty bikes for my 3 paper routes and building my first "10-speed", learning how to build wheels, venturing into the world of mountain bikes before they existed into maintaining my motocross bikes, not having the right tool for the job became a constant frustration as a garage mechanic.

Fast forward 50 years, still feel the same. I'd rather have a tool sitting on a shelf collecting dust but be available than jack the part up, using the wrong tools, costing me more $$$$ time and massive frustration. My current philosophy is to pick up the obscure tools that may be needed once or twice, it's Harbor Freight since one can get the tools for half or less than a "quality" tool. If I wind up wearing that tool out (means I used it more than I anticipated), I replace it with a high quality tool.

Best example is a tubing notcher, started with the typical device that can be picked up for under $100 and use readily available hole saw blades. Yeah, I know "real" fabricators don't need such a thing, use a cutoff wheel, a bit of grinding and one can do a fine job. Yet, always took more time than I thought it should, couldn't get clean cuts and angles that didn't match. And, seemed to burn through hole saws. After going thru 2 of these, ponied up for the Beast made by JD2, amazing. Yes, 4 X the cost, yet the speed, accuracy and precision offered by the Beast, I kicked myself for not doing it soon. The most surprising thing...uses the exact same hole saws, yet, due to the precision, the last 2 X longer and cut way faster, go figure.

Best/most recent purchase follows those lines. After going through sooooo many blades on my cutoff/chop saw, I ponied up for a cold saw. No sparks, heat and need to clean up the cut after it's done. One tool at a time and I'll have a pro garage in time to move into a home where I can have a "real" shop...
 
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since working for many years in a old school machine shop (running turret lathes with leather drive belts) I have an affinity for older tools but have also embraced technology. after inheriting many tools over the years on top of all that I have bought, my biggest problem is I cant find the tool I need in the pile of all the other tools I have.....lately I find myself using the technology most often, screwgun, nailgun, impact gun....hence I claim to be the "tool" using the machines....lol
 
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