Jump to content
e30ftw

Quality Tools and Kits?

Recommended Posts

Anyone got any recommendations for tool kits / socket sets?

Looking for Socket sets, Ring spanners, Screw Drivers, Pliers etc or the whole lot in a metric tool kit since I have problems losing sockets and stuff all the time I want a proper complete set to start off with instead of the random tools and things i've picked up along the way, sitting in a generic toolbox that I can't for the life of me tell when I've lost something until I'm looking for it.

Pretty much looking for a quality branded set which includes a mix of 1/4 3/8 and 1/2 drive, Deep sockets / 6pt and 12pt that will last me for quite some years.

Something like this is quite appealing which seems to include everything you could need really

http://www.qualitytools.co.nz/255pc-metric-tool-p-55.html

So far I have been looking at SP Tools, Teng Tools, Toptul and SnapOn (which my flatmate tells me is one of the best, however seems quite overpriced)

Considering either buying a kit like above, or buying a box and adding the trays etc with specifics that I want depending which works out the best. Any recommendations for sites / shops or brands ?

Edited by e30ftw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read somewhere that it is preferred to have 12 point spanner (good for tighter spots) and 6 point sockets (more sturdy, less likely to strip).

Stanley and Crescent hand tools, socket set has been serving me well over the years. Have heard those brand you've mentioned but seems to cost a lot to me.

If you already have some tools, why not lay them all out and see what you want to upgrade/need/missing then go from there? Then workout what size tool box you'll want to put everything in. Maybe you need one this big?

post-450-0-55648700-1408533015.jpg

Edited by SpikeyLemon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if your after really nice socket sets, hands down go for Koken or Toptul ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend has nothing but snapoff, but f**k spending $300+ on a powerbar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of my stuff is King Tony, never let me down, and you can buy it in sets or by the piece so you can build up a good collection without spending a huge chunk of cash at once. Most engineering places stock it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All my tools are either snapon, koken or toptul.

However snapon is bloody expensive

Edited by Luke P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

spend the $ on the branded expensive stuff for complex and important tools.

$300 for a power bar. ffs.

Snapon trade on their lifetime warranty. So really worth it for those in the trade. but less so for the home mechanic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive had good runs out of lifetime warrenty toolpro stuff from supercheap for bits like power bars and ratchets etc.

But found more expensive sockets fit the bolts better. Less chance of rounding. even more sp with torx.bits etc.

Was very impressed by both snapon and jonnesway tools.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

spend the $ on the branded expensive stuff for complex and important tools.

$300 for a power bar. ffs. 

 

Snapon trade on their lifetime warranty. So really worth it for those in the trade. but less so for the home mechanic.

Even then some times they are reluctant to replace parts under warranty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SnapOn and BluePoint are pretty much the same thing, but with a significant price difference.

Heard good things about Koken, but haven't used any.

Stahlwille spanners are the absolute business (imho), but you may need to buy in from Germany to get decent prices. They are typically slimmer than most, but so well made they are less likely to cause problems.

I have a couple of sets of 'Halfords Professional' spanners which are really nice to use. Very similar to early Kamasa kit. (Halfords are like a UK version of Repco.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was a mechanic for ten years, I advise you not to buy the super expensive stuff. You don't need it if your not on the tools for a crust.

If I were you if go and buy a set with tool box and draws with the foam inserts. I never had these as they take up too much room but It's easy to see if you've misplaced anything at the end of the day. A real money saver if you've lost tools in the past.

Find a friend who has an account with Repco or BNT I find there both good brands and will be plenty good enough for what your after. They sell a sh*t ton of different kitsets. Get your mate a bottle of something for there troubles. Most people are happy to help out.

If you want a list of tools or me to suggest a kit send me a pm and I'll have a closer look.

Just a couple more notes:
Go for single hex sockets, you can put more torque through them with out having to worry about rounding the head off.
If you want to spend some money on somthing... get a snap-on ratchet, there increadably fine an worth the money.
Make sure you have a good 1/4 socket set, deep and normal sockets. Out of all my tools I have (I have lots) I use a simple BNT set with snap-on ratchet the most.

Hope that helped.

Edited by Steve K-B
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still using my powerbuilt set I got 11 years ago. Never had an issue. Lifetime warranty. Can buy all the pieces as individuals which is handy when they go wandering at the racetrack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought old sidchrome and teng tools for socket sets 1/2 and 3/8. The quality there is decent. A new teng screwdriver collection. My spanners are an assortment of crap right through to sidchrome. I spent money on quality t-bar alen keys loose alen keys and torx bits, both the keys and 3/8 sockets.

A decent toolbox is an overlooked item. Any day on trademe theres a great quality used toolbox full of quality tools for bargain prices. If you shelled out $600 - $800 depending on contents for a used set inc 9 drawer toolbox youd be laughing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an interesting (and potentially challenging) venture and there are a lot of variables and opinions. In fact I've recently asked (and answered) this question for myself and started building up my "lifetime" collection. I spent about 2 months researching and learned a few things that I thought were important, some of which are covered above:

  • There are as many opinions as there are brands, almost all of them wrong to some extent! :D
  • Home mechanics do not need top tier tools, the need mid/upper level tools (e.g. spending $50 on a 14mm combo wrench is stupid)
  • Very few brands have modular storage (and that was important to me)
  • Some brands are not readily available in NZ (or their range is limited) and you have to import them
  • Almost all (good) brands have a lifetime warranty, the acid test is how realistically you can claim against it
  • It's best to stick with one brand where you can for general tools as this impacts organisation and storage
  • BMW uses some uncommon sizes that you may have to augment your tools with (try 7mm 1/4" hex bit)

I also learned that there's some general brackets of "quality" in hand tools:

  • Crap
  • Handyman
  • "Pro"
  • Workshop

And the enthusiastic home mechanic should be targeting #3. Most of the DIY stores (Bunnings, Mitre 10, Repco, SCA etc) sell #2 however some of these are now approaching #3 level in terms of quality (but they're not quite there). I've now just about replaced all my #2's with #3's and expect them to last for (my) life.

In the end my criteria came down to:

  • Strength and durability
  • Local availability (and range)
  • Cost
  • Storage options
  • Reputation

And... drum roll please... I settled on Teng and am happy I did so. They're high quality, their range is superb, I can 'try and buy' just down the road, they're cost effective and always have killer deals, their modular storage is second to none and they've established a solid reputation for both quality and after sales service.

I don't have a roller cabinet or top box yet but the Teng modular system lets me build up to that. And at the moment you get a free carry case with any 3 tool trays. Once I have enough trays I'll get a cabinet or top box, migrate them to there and keep going. They even have very cool EVA inserts for their full depth drawers.

Tools.jpg

Final note... you will need 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" drive 12 point, 6 point, deep, stubby, flare etc to work on a BMW... :)

Edited by M3AN
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The king tony set I bought about 10 years ago has handled most of the abuse I've given it. Find a sale and go hard. This one was half price at 1600. Added some other bits like torque wrench, hex, spline, torx bits etc and some drives for the battery drill.

+1 for 1/4" deep and normal set.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers guys, definitely a lot to take in and consider but not in a rush to sink into anything.

Dave, that is some solid advice. Im for sure after the #3 "Pro" type tools rather than Workshop level - I will definitely look into the Teng tools range as I was considering building up my own set and that sounds quite ideal. And yup deep sockets and all that are on my list, too many times I've come across those hard to get bolts which would be a breeze with the right sockets!

My current tools consist of random sockets and ratchets I've picked up along the way, bought individually. I once had a complete Jonnesway kit which I still have the ratchets, but the sockets are mostly gone because I kept them in a small throw-all-in box instead of seating them back into the proper tray box. I'm basically missing all the common e30 sizes 8mm, 10mm, 13mm etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those king tony tools aren't bad actually. I've a 1/2 inch ratchet I've had for probably 25 years. I've abused the living sh1t out of it and it functions fine. By abuse I mean I've used it as a power bar and a hammer on occasion. That's probably not saying much, but I've used crap ratchets that I've sunk a bit of weight into to shift a nut and the teeth have let go inside it and I've ended up punching my knuckles into a rusty chassis or engine block..

I'm not too fond of my 1/2 inch Teng ratchet, it works but it's not that smooth, it has a rubberised 'outer' that I can tell will get pretty tatty with use and time. The selector for left/right on it is just a puny little switch. Unlike a nice solid clunky button of the OG Aussie made Sidchrome.

I have one snapon screwdriver, strangely I bought it solely to swap binding screws on my snowboards :-/ I've had that 20 years too and it's had a hard life, functions like brand new and I'm confident I'll abuse it until I die without it failing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers guys, definitely a lot to take in and consider but not in a rush to sink into anything.

Dave, that is some solid advice. Im for sure after the #3 "Pro" type tools rather than Workshop level - I will definitely look into the Teng tools range as I was considering building up my own set and that sounds quite ideal. And yup deep sockets and all that are on my list, too many times I've come across those hard to get bolts which would be a breeze with the right sockets!

My current tools consist of random sockets and ratchets I've picked up along the way, bought individually. I once had a complete Jonnesway kit which I still have the ratchets, but the sockets are mostly gone because I kept them in a small throw-all-in box instead of seating them back into the proper tray box. I'm basically missing all the common e30 sizes 8mm, 10mm, 13mm etc.

Mate bnt is having a sale on jonnesway tools atm, my mates and i use them all the time... pretty good on the price side of things and the tools aint sh*t

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ I have some Jonnesway jack stands and I love them, great quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a pity you're not in Auckland, I can highly recommend Wallace Heron engineers in Pukekohe for tools. Extensive range of Koken and King Tony kit, will bring in Stahlwille on request, no obligation to buy either. The shop is stocked by former tradesmen so they know what they're on about.

Avoid Bahco, my experience with a 1/4 & 1/2 inch set was less than satisfactory. 6 point sockets have been ok, but the 1/4 inch ratchet blew its gear after a couple months, both ratchets seemed to have pretty coarse gears compared to my koken replacements

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blackwood & Paykels is a good co to keep an eye on too. Good brands and often have clearance and big discounts on hand tools.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dunno what Teng really costs, but I got shitloads of it really cheap. I can break ANYTHING, but haven't broken anything Teng... yet.

I once snapped the ring in half on a 17mm spanner - It was possibly related to having the meter long handle from the jack on it, but I'm not sure.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use Bahco, have had my main set for about 6-7 years now, all the bits also available individually for replacing stuff

I also have a Repco Trade card so i can get it for you if needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My kit is built up of many sources over the years. Nobody regrets buying quality. I managed 'reasonable quality' most of the time.

Spanners:

Aigo R&OE metric set, very traditional design (read heavy and well-ribbed) and made in Japan, had them 25 years and they're still going strong, augmented by Powerbuilt and Craftsman for those funky euro sizes like 16 and 18mm. Recently added King Tony offset ring spanner set, bought in preference over Teng as it was 25 bucks cheaper and had a more useful couple of sizes. It's not beautifully finished, but is very serviceable. I have Craftsman flare nut spanners that have had light duty over 20 years and look new.

Sockets:

I have plenty of Craftsman (unconditionally guarenteed forever), some Halfords (time served in UK), Powerbuilt, and odds n ends from Proto, Sidchrome, Koken, King Tony, repco. Recently acquired Jonnesway (impressive finish and reasonable pricing from BNT) sockets. latest acquisition: Powerbuilt flex socket set 3/8" on rail, beautiful. Ratchets - mostly craftsman. You can't go past a good ratchet.

Screwdrivers:

Belzer (unobtanium these days), Witte, Snap On (indestructible and likely to outlast me), and the Powerbuilt seem pretty strong-tipped these days.

Sets? Here's my 2c worth:

Get a couple of good quality ammo boxes military surplus. 5.56 box for 1/4", 50 cal for 3/8". They're strong, easy to carry, and have a O-ring seal. Buy cheap socket rails in 1/4, and 3/8. lay out your sockest on the rails in order, make a list of the gaps - go buy them (on sale). Now you know/can see if anything's missing. No need to throw out your baby (your current tools) with the bathwater. Always have a rag in your toolboxes to clean your kit before putting it away - then its ready to go next time.

Sizes? All of them.

As somebody else said, you're going to need the lot working on Euros. 1/4 and 1/2, though I've been finding the really tight stuff 1/2" is just too big - 3/8 is called for also. Torx, Deep, standard and even flex sockets. Wobble extensions and Universal Joints.

Brands?

Of the brands I've isted above, they're all very seviceable. Never broken a socket. Plating has chipped on a couple of sockets through abuse on rattle gun or very long bar. Buying in NZ, Powerbuilt, Teng, King Tony, Jonnesway, even Repco seem pretty reaasonable.

Facom and Stahlwille look beaut, but not justified on my budget. I like Koken but am too tight to buy a set.

Rather than select a fave brand, I'd find a good tool supplier and stick wth him. When I started acquisitions I had a tool rep who had me on his monthly calling list - I was in an office environment rather than a workshop, but he knew what I wanted and my money was good enough for him, and I got good kit at good prices.

Hope you enjoyed my brain-dump.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×