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Are ratcheting/flex-head wrenches worth the price?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by T-Unit, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. Laderbuilt

    Laderbuilt NES Member

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    I have a couple of wrenches like that. Made by gear wrench and snap on. They are handy as hell.

    To the OP, certain tools may not be “needed” to get a job done but sometimes they save so much hassle and frustration that they are worth their weight in gold.
    Attached is a pic of one of my wrench drawers. Each type has its place and can save a lot of time in the right application. Some let me sneak in without taking a ton of stuff off or they allow more work room in tight spots etc.
     

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  2. mibro

    mibro NES Member

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    Oooo...time for toolbox pics. I scored this older KRL761 up in Maine for 800 bucks a couple of years ago. I'll take some drawer pics soon.

    I can load and transport an empty Snap-On toolbox in my Tundra by myself. I mounted a D-Ring in the center front of the bed and use a WARN PullzAll portable electric winch to pull the toolbox up a pair of 2x10 ramps. Unloading is the reverse.

    KRL761BPES 1.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
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  3. appraiser

    appraiser NES Member

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    IMG_20190323_192608071.jpg IMG_20190323_192653763.jpg OK we are doing pictures of way too much money spent on tools? I'm in
     
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  4. ProGun

    ProGun NES Member

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    Damn, that's a great price!
     
  5. mibro

    mibro NES Member

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    The box was filthy and he'd had it for sale for a month. The KRL761 was discontinued in March 2007 so it's an older box too. I took the whole thing apart and washed it drawer by drawer. Needed quite a bit of touch-up paint and both front corners were bent - removed the vertical trim and did some light reshaping.
     
  6. Laderbuilt

    Laderbuilt NES Member

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    Well it wasn’t meant to be just a more than one way to skin a cat type idea.
    However it could devolve into that so I might as well help it along.
    This is my work setup it’s an Epic series cart and master series box both in deep Cranberry.
     

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  7. T-Unit

    T-Unit

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    I thought it over and I concluded I don't need a full set of flex head wrenches, just the major sizes. Harbor Freight has a set of 10mm-15mm (minus the 11mm tho) of flexible combination wrenches I can get for $21. For 16-19mm, Tekton makes double box end wrenches for $25 a wrench, so $50 total. They're a bit longer than combination wrenches, so they'll give me more leverage on the larger bolts, which is a plus.

    Then I'm pretty much covered for everything 10-19mm and I doubt I'll need a flexible 8 or 9mm wrench. If I do, I'll buy it when I need it. For around $75 to have all those wrenches it's not a bad price.
     
  8. TrashcanDan

    TrashcanDan NES Member

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    If your getting into the trade, hit the flea markets.
    You can usually find snap-on, mac, proto, good "life time warranty" stuff. Albeit half of this stuff is either stolen or from some estate sale, don't let em try and pork you. Know what your willing to pay, then wear them down. Once you get into a place that has a mobile truck that comes around, set up an account and start trading stuff in as it breaks.
    Stay away from the cheap chinese stuff, I've bent more of those wrenches over the years than I care to admit to.
    Look for "fell off the back of the truck" deals. When they first came out, I picked up one of those composite housing IR 3/4" drive impact guns for $400 when they were selling for $650.

    Yes, flex head ratchets are sometimes worth it. Good example (from way back) Ford 7.5L exh manifolds in E-350/450 Cube vans.
    It also depends on which end of the trade your leaning towards. For light duty stuff (#10,000 lb and under) you'll very rarely stray outside of the 3/8" drive range and use 1/2" stuff "for when it won't move"
    For Med/Hvy (#20,000 lb and up) , start collecting 1/2" and 3/4" stuff. Let the shop owner buy the 1" drive stuff.
     
  9. radioman

    radioman NES Member

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    Some of these wrenches I’ve never used in 40yrs but most I have. Just told my wife I used s wrench I bought 40yrs ago for the first time. 7/16 deep offset. If I didn’t have it the job would still be undone. You never know what the future will bring.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    40yrs of obsessive tool buying here. In the early 80’s I was paying the tool trucks 200 a week! That was huge money for a 20yo at his first mechanic job.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
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  10. Rob Boudrie

    Rob Boudrie NES Member

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    I would expect this would only work if you are also a regular buyer. Those guys are franchisees who own the truck and will have little interest in servicing a homeowner who thinks they are a mobile warranty station and makes regular warranty claims but does most of the buying at fleas.
     
  11. tuna

    tuna NES Member

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    How much use do you actually need to put on a tool to break it? The stuff I’ve broken has been through misuse more than use; like standing my 220 pounds on a wrench and jumping.
    Like I said earlier, I lose more stuff than I break, but don’t think I’ve actually “worn out” any tools.

    How long do you guys that do this for a living get out of your tools? Hand tools and power? I’m curious about how long good stuff will last compared to 1/8th the price crap. Would a good wrench like a snap on survive me using it as a trampoline? Or are you seeing failures from repeated stress of normal use?
     
  12. appraiser

    appraiser NES Member

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    I have had Harbor Freight stuff that lasted one use and broke (bolt cutters) and other stuff I got from them that I knew I would abuse and destroy... Sorry guys I consider HF "throw away" single use tooling.... it should say Playschool on the handles.

    As for the rest of my stuff, which includes my Dad's Craftsman stuff that is older than I am, my original Craftsman stuff from 1971, and all the MAC, Snap-On, MATCO, Cornwell, S&K, Channel lock, Vice Grip, etc etc etc.... I think I may have split a chrome socket or two along the way from applying too much force... usually with an adapter and a breaker bar... I twisted the anvil on my MAC 1/4 inch air ratchet due to my abusing it... I have broken a couple of ratchet teeth that required replacement of the anvil. But other than that all my "good" stuff has never broken.

    The gentleman I work with is another story.... he is frugal, and old, and his tools have 4 lifetimes of wear on them. I have seen sockets that were almost round on the inside (craftsman) that when Sears was in trouble I made him go thru his box and I was running around getting warranty replacements for them.

    I miss the days when you didn't need to have a fortune in tools to work on your own car. When I was younger I could rip an engine out of a car and rebuild it with my Craftsman 200 piece ( 100 of which were allen wrenches) tool set and a Craftsman beam torque wrench. Cripes I have 8 oil filter wrenches in my tool box at home, one for each of my Toyotas, one for her Porsche, one for the Kawasaki, one for the 2 Harleys... and 3 universals.

    Did I mention the clip release tools to change fuel filters and remove fuel lines? Damn I miss flare wrenches.
     
  13. RumRunner

    RumRunner NES Member

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    Not sure if it's been mentioned already, but when buying ratcheting wrenches, make sure they have a switch on them to reverse direction. You don't want the ones you have to flip over to reverse because they will not have an offset to them. When gearwrench first became popular, they only had the ones you had to flip over, but then started to come out with the ones with a switch, which was more expensive. But well worth the extra money. I have a couple sets of GW and Craftsman ratcheting wrenches and both are good, but I prefer the Craftsman.

    I don't have and never found the need for the flex ones.
     
  14. mibro

    mibro NES Member

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    Nice flex. :)

    Yes, I'm a boomer but I try to keep up with my kids' vocabulary.
     
  15. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA NES Member

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    A decade ago or so. . . . back when Silver City Galleria was full of people. . . . my wife and then-11yo-daughter went Black Friday shopping. Picked me up a set of Craftsman flex-head wrenches (metric & standard). What a nice thing to have. Made in USA.

    I don't use them often, but it's 100x better than moving that stupid wrench all the time.
     
  16. mwalsh9152

    mwalsh9152

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    How do you like that Extreme Tools box? I'm going to buy a bottom cabinet for my workshop in the next few months.
     
  17. radioman

    radioman NES Member

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    I like it, but I don’t like the fact that it’s made in China. An equivalent Snap on box would be almost 20K. I paid 4K for the Mac box in the photo in 85. So I told myself I had no choice. I don’t know if it’s exclusive to this particular series of box or not. These people make a single box line that is built from a full gauge thickness heaver steel than its other boxes. I figure my box is made from the thinnest sheet metal that I could possibly be satisfied with. So I highly recommend getting the heaviest gauge thickness they offer. Other than that I’m fine with it. Keep the slides lubed and they run smooth and full open. The double draws have double slides. Holding the weight is no trouble. The top is a nice catch all for your cordless tools. Just pull the lid down and that locks all the draws. One key for the lid and that’s it for the top. Also a single key for the bottom box. Both work smooth. I’ve used it for a back up gun safe at one time. Top draw I’d i think 54in? I’m not 100% on that. If you need me to I’ll confirm.
     
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  18. appraiser

    appraiser NES Member

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    The last Craftsman box I bought was made in Mexico.....

    Unless you overload the drawers and bend the slides, most tool boxes will withstand home

    I have a couple of drawers in my 1985 vintage Craftsman bottom box that could new slides.
     
  19. -B-

    -B-

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    if a company has to tout their warranty first over quality run run run as you are going to pay 2-3x the price for the tool since you are buying a warranty up front for 3-4 new tools . Also any one who tell you a ratchet hand in comfortable in their hand never ever listen to them for they do not even know how to use it properly , because you are either pushing or pulling never holding in you hand that comfort matters /

    Proto are the only ones making a ratcheting wrench in the US other wise save money and by Grearwrech made in Tiwann .

    when it come to off set, long pattern short pattern etc there are a ton of brands to chose from not off the tool trucks that will not break the bank Wright, Martin, Proto, Beta, USAG, Stalwillie, etc. Basically avoid the too trucks as much as possible these days only use them for the very specialized tools.

    Pro tip on screwdrivers get European screwdrivers for every day use Felo, Wrea Whia, PB Swiss ( these are expensive) all these brand have top notch driver that can only be compared within Europe as the US lags far far behind now, besides most screws are now to DIN standard and no one in the US makes DIN screwdrivers
     
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  20. boatman

    boatman

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    Depends upon what you are doing. I do work on my boat in super tight spots, many times I can only feel the bolt head. Having a thin ratcheting wrench for this is great. If my engine room was on a cruise liner where that room is bigger than my whole boat and there is a ton of elbow room, maybe not that important to have that wrench..
     
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