Need adivice on a good starter mechanics tool set

Joker1919

Registered User
Oct 11, 2008
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Central Kentucky
#1
I figured this would be as good a place as any to ask this since I maybe pay too much attention to you degenerates on here. I am getting ready to graduate in May from the local tech. college with a degree basically in diesel repair. I was wondering since we have a few mechanics on here what kind of tools should I buy starting out? I really don't want to sell my soul to Snap on or Mac. I wanted to ask what you guys would spend good money on and what you would say let that slide a cheaper brand of tool would do. Any help would be appreciated.
 

weeniewawa

it's a man, baby!!!
May 21, 2005
12,076
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#2
I am not one to say which tools to buy but want to thank you for becoming a diesel mechanic

there are way too few out there and you should be able to pick where you want to work

maybe get on with one of the companies (pac-car, Freightliner International Volvo or Cummins) and they will train you on their new engine systems as they all have new engines coming out soon or just out and have no one to work on them

gone are the days of just Caterpillar, cummins and Detroit in all the trucks

they all have their own designs now and need specialized techs
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Aug 29, 2002
31,341
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#3
I know a guy who got a pretty complete Snap-On set from a pawn shop for about 1/2 of what it would cost from Snap-On.

You may be able to score a great deal on a nice used set.
 

maz

TRueWDTer
Feb 16, 2005
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#4
Cue BB1 and Fez Man
I'm a Mech for the P.O. for 20 years
So they provide me with tools
Not always top of the line , but usually decent enough to do my job

Personally , I have a lot of Craftsman stuff in my garage
Along with a shitload of other brands that I've accumulated over the years
Never been disappointed with Craftsman stuff though

But they have been making some shit in China
 

Joker1919

Registered User
Oct 11, 2008
2,455
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Central Kentucky
#5
Cue BB1 and Fez Man
I'm a Mech for the P.O. for 20 years
So they provide me with tools
Not always top of the line , but usually decent enough to do my job

Personally , I have a lot of Craftsman stuff in my garage
Along with a shitload of other brands that I've accumulated over the years
Never been disappointed with Craftsman stuff though

But they have been making some shit in China
I have the basics and what I need to work on my farm equipment. I was just wondering the guys that have to provide their own tools for the job what do they recommend?
 

the Streif

¡¡¡¡sıʞunɹɹɹɹɹɹɹℲ
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Aug 25, 2002
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#7
I but Craftsman and Klein a lot. Not the Klein that you get at Home Depot or Lowes, I'm talking about their linesman and ironworker tools and wrenches. And I only buy Craftsman simply for the fact that if it beaks you can go to any Sears or Kmart and walk in and exchange it for free with no questions asked. Craftsmans quality has gone way down in the past few years.
 

CousinDave

Registered User
Dec 11, 2007
25,297
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Ohio
#8
Just order a 1001 Mechanics Tool set from JC Whitney for $19.99

That should be all you need to work on anything



On a serious note, while pawn shops always have lots of mechanics tools they are often only a few percentage cheaper than new (obviously their prices are negotiable especially if you're paying cash and not trading as is often the case when it comes to mechanics tools.

Obviously the first place you should look is Craig's List

If you've gone through trade school you know what brands and quality and what aren't

and don't be afraid to buy a bigger lot of tools off of a seller on Craig's List than you need, as you can always take the ones you don't want or need and sell them on Craig's List.
 

Shootr

OOHHH, GNARLY!!!
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Dec 9, 2005
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#9

Joker1919

Registered User
Oct 11, 2008
2,455
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Central Kentucky
#10
I've looked at that line a few times. I know that snap on is good brand but you have to get your wallet out for any thing you buy. I am leaning toward getting mostly craftsmen tools. Thanks for all the help guys. I'll take all the advice I can get.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
41,033
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#11
i buy only snap on sockets (the ones i use every single day i have some china shit that i bought for working on strange stuff ) and wrenches, i have a few mac and matco ones only because they were on sale at the time, i have some craftsman wrenches but i have slowly been replacing them with snap on over the years because the spread out, i have mostly snap on air ratchets (although i dont use them much) but all of my die grinders are harbor freight because i fuck them up fairly quick. i also only have snap on tool boxes i decided 20 years ago that this is going to be my chosen profession. i bought the best and have never been disappointed, i did buy a cheep ass husky tool box to put on my fabrication bench but i have had to constantly fuck with it including adding plywood to the bottom of the drawers to keep them from sagging and added extra runners to take the weight, i have never had to do that with my snap on boxes, and ive got some heavy shit in them. i also just signed in blood a 4300$ note for a new (used but new to me) snap on MODIS diagnostic scanner. i looked into many other options and decided once again to buy the best, i dont fuck around with junk.

if i were to suffer a catastrophic loss of my tools i would have to come up with at least 100k to cover them, just to replace my tool boxes would run me somewhere around 30k if not more.
oh i should add though, all my "home" tools are harbor freight mainly because i never use them except for tinkering with stuff at home.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
41,033
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768
#13
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i know they look like shit but because we dont have a paint booth at my shop they get all fucked up with over spray so i gave up taking care of them years ago



i built the bench but the tool box is a husky and i hate it

right now i am so over stuffed with shit in my tool box i really need another one, i have one in my basement but it is built into my work room so taking into the shop is going to be a nightmare so ive considered buying another one. i am out of space at work to keep them with out a major rearranging of the shop and that will cause a fuck load of stink with the village idiot so ive been holding off
 
Jun 2, 2005
15,516
4
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Dallas
#14
I find the business of being a mechanic so fucked up. If I'm going to "work for someone" they're damn sure providing the tools of the trade, or I might as well be self-employed. I don't get it.
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
Jan 12, 2010
36,211
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Northern California
#15
I find the business of being a mechanic so fucked up. If I'm going to "work for someone" they're damn sure providing the tools of the trade, or I might as well be self-employed. I don't get it.
I'm not a mechanic, but have more than a few friends who have attempted to get into the business (some succeeded, most failed). A shop is not going to invest in tools for every new kid who thinks he wants to work on engines their entire life, and they're also not going to worry about keeping track of tools loaned to said kid, and I don't blame them.

I had a faller come out to a logging site once who straight up forgot his chainsaw at home that day. He asked to borrow one of ours, since no one wants to drive 90 minutes into the woods and then not get paid for the day. I was happy to rent it to him for $10/hour (that's what I felt my inconvenience of not having that saw available for my work was worth) after making him sign a contract assuming liability for all damage to it. He balked and said something like "but I work for you". I simply replied that no, we subcontract to you and expect you to show up with all the necessary equipment to fulfill that contract.
 
Jun 2, 2005
15,516
4
0
Dallas
#16
That's different, though. If you're providing a building which houses all the work, and you're writing paychecks and demanding someone punch a time clock, it's insane to me that they can't at least expense the tools.

I could understand if the mechanics were just renting a space like some hairstylists do, but to actually have a boss and the liability, suck a dick, establishment of bullshit.

FEZ MAN, do you guys at least work on commission? Keep your hourly charged?
 

Joker1919

Registered User
Oct 11, 2008
2,455
1,313
453
Central Kentucky
#17
i buy only snap on sockets (the ones i use every single day i have some china shit that i bought for working on strange stuff ) and wrenches, i have a few mac and matco ones only because they were on sale at the time, i have some craftsman wrenches but i have slowly been replacing them with snap on over the years because the spread out, i have mostly snap on air ratchets (although i dont use them much) but all of my die grinders are harbor freight because i fuck them up fairly quick. i also only have snap on tool boxes i decided 20 years ago that this is going to be my chosen profession. i bought the best and have never been disappointed, i did buy a cheep ass husky tool box to put on my fabrication bench but i have had to constantly fuck with it including adding plywood to the bottom of the drawers to keep them from sagging and added extra runners to take the weight, i have never had to do that with my snap on boxes, and ive got some heavy shit in them. i also just signed in blood a 4300$ note for a new (used but new to me) snap on MODIS diagnostic scanner. i looked into many other options and decided once again to buy the best, i dont fuck around with junk.

if i were to suffer a catastrophic loss of my tools i would have to come up with at least 100k to cover them, just to replace my tool boxes would run me somewhere around 30k if not more.
oh i should add though, all my "home" tools are harbor freight mainly because i never use them except for tinkering with stuff at home.
That is what I was wanting to hear, Thanks Fez.
 
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