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I don't expect you to sit through a 20 minutes of me running my mouth but you can if you want. :L:

 

I just wanted to introduce some new tools I bought. And I'm curious was to what others are using and what you've collected over the years. 

 

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Impressive looking socket sets. But I am a retired professional aircraft mechanic and have been turning wrenches for over fifty years. You may use tools made in Taiwan or Japan which I have found to be inferior but, I would never purchase them for my own use.

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Lots of the import stuff is better now than it was in the past, and certainly will rival established brands.

 

There's a big Stahlwille socket set on the FB market place I'm drooling to get.  100% do not need, but can not turn down.

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I've heard a lot of very good things about those Grey Pneumatic Duo Sockets.

 

I'm lusting after Sunex's range of impact sockets recently.

 

My tools are a mix of consumer and old pro grade tools. Lots of Wright wrenches with some others mixed in. Mostly mid 90s and older made in the USA stuff. The import stuff is a LOT better than it used to be. I've broken lots of older import tools, had very few problems with the newer stuff. Out of the usual suspects, stuff made in Taiwan has served me the best.

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still rocking my older craftsman USA-made 1/4-3/8" sockets and wrench sets. :D  overall they have been good to me.  for 1/2" sockets I have a mix of harbor freight, Cobalt, and... miscellaneous.    I super-seriously need to upgrade the 1/2" stuff but until then I just stop by lowes when I break one.  :( 

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I explained why I bought those, or at least I tried to explain. Most of what I own are USA Craftsman which you'd have seen in my short and humble tool box tour. 

I've spend hours of recent scouring ebay for NOS and good used Craftsman tools, I got one good deal but otherwise rather fruitless. 

 

Even 20% of Snap-on tools are made in China now. See at 8:20

 

 

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Looking for or at USA made tools..........you might find this interesting- 

Tax alone on that would be $2,300.00 here in TN. 

 

 

 

https://www.grainger.com/product/42W717?gclid=CjwKCAjwpuXpBRAAEiwAyRRPgfhZZLPO54iFjc_LR8n__ZlvDuE9VezVnyOpCr9rtODe3DsVYS9N2BoCJh0QAvD_BwE&cm_mmc=PPC:+Google+PLA&ef_id=CjwKCAjwpuXpBRAAEiwAyRRPgfhZZLPO54iFjc_LR8n__ZlvDuE9VezVnyOpCr9rtODe3DsVYS9N2BoCJh0QAvD_BwE:G:s&s_kwcid=AL!2966!3!50916773277!!!g!71848863439!

850pc.-Mechanic, SAE, Metric, Tool Storage Included : No

  • Item # 42W717
  • Mfr. Model # 86850A-1
  • Catalog Page # 758
  • UNSPSC # 27113201
Master Tool Set, Mechanic, 850 Pc
Web Price Information$23,288.65 / each
This item requires special s

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The first complete set of tools I bought was a Snap-On top chest set in 1987 when I started the Automotive Technology program at Southern Illinois University.  Got the set through the school at a decent discount.

 

I'm not biased to high end tools though.  I bought these swivel head ratchets in 3/8" and 1/4" to carry in my junkyard toolpak (http://www.toolpak.com/html/PACKStoolpakoriginal.html) and to take on off road trips.  These ratchets are awesome, and a bargain.

 

https://www.harborfreight.com/1-4-quarter-inch-quick-release-swivel-head-ratchet-96781.html

https://www.harborfreight.com/3-8-eighth-inch-quick-release-swivel-head-ratchet-96782.html

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57 minutes ago, schardein said:

Automotive Technology program

Where did this take you? what did you do with it?

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1 minute ago, Jeep Driver said:

Where did this take you? what did you do with it?

I graduated in 1988 and joined the USMC.  Went into the Motor Transport field, and since I had a college degree to be a mechanic, they made me an... operator.  30 years later and I'm now retired.  But I've always been fond of telling people I have a college degree for my hobby (working on cars, mainly Jeeps).

 

I have great memories of SIU.  Every day I was excited to get up and get to class.  I've heard they have a new facility, but I haven't visited.

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This post caught my eye.  I've just been accepted in an Aviation program.  If all goes well, I'll finish and have my FAA A&P license in 2.5 years.  I'm currently gearing up for my tool requirements for an August 19th first semester.  

 

I get a very generous discount from Snap-On for being in this aviation program, about 50% on most stuff.  Snap-On is still pretty expensive even at that discount!  I already own quite a bit of tools that are required by the course, mostly Craftsman hand tools.  I've got only a few that I'll likely get from Snap-On and I'm definitely eyeballing an offset open wrench set from Mac Tools.  I'm having fun shopping and researching.       

 

I'm 50 this year and always thought it would be cool to specialize in a particular mechanics field and have formal training in doing it.  So Uncle Sam is paying for all tuition and I get a $500 stipend for books/tools per semester.  Top that off with my rich Uncle PAYING me to go to school ($1560 per Month) and as you can imagine-- I just couldn't turn it down.  The school was pretty booked up.  I was on a waiting list, and I was shocked that I recently got the call with a seat for this Fall semester.  

 

Now to pull off full-time evening school with full-time work during the day.  

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13 minutes ago, coolwind57 said:

This post caught my eye.  I've just been accepted in an Aviation program. 

 

[...]

 

I've got only a few that I'll likely get from Snap-On and I'm definitely eyeballing an offset open wrench set from Mac Tools. 

 

Buy them from Snap-On.

 

12 years working on helicopters. :L:

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I also get a student deal off the snap-on truck, but only once per year can I cash in on that. Haven't done so yet, don't necessarily have it in the budget and don't really care to lock into monthly payments. I've still been buying random stuff as it goes on sale, and when I say random I mean random. It seems snap-on corporate is pretty garbage at getting orders right, and frequently sends the wrong order, or duplicates orders, and it's more profitable for the sales people to liquidate the stuff they likely wouldn't be able to sell than to send it back. That and stuff they're discontinuing or updating for whatever reason. 

 

Otherwise I've had pretty good luck with cheap stuff. Some is definitely better than others, and quality isn't necessarily improving that much. In a lot of cases the stuff that breaks and gets returned doesn't get sold as often, but quality has gone downhill a bit on some of what were better makes. Craftsman for instance. Another example is the Stanley socket set I bought about ten years ago on clearance, 240-some pieces, 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 drive combo, about 80% off list. It's been my primary set of tools. I have no complaints about quality there, everything fits nice and snug, nothing's broken at all. In contrast, the current Stanley stuff has sockets that aren't concentric, corners that round off, etc. I wouldn't spend money on it unless I had to. 

A lot of the store brands though are getting good. The Mastercraft maximum line from crappy tire is decent, and the no-questions-asked lifetime exchange policy on broken stuff is good as well. I've got some napa UltraPro stuff that holds up decently (although I've shredded so many t50 Impact sockets on seatbelt bolts it's not even silly). The gear wrench brand stuff is excellent as well, so long as you don't use the ratcheting combo wrenches to bust stuck nuts. But once you've used the higher-end stuff, it's just, you know, better. Sockets and wrenches fit better, open-ends don't deflect as much, ratchets are smoother, with less play, finishes last longer... It's just better. 

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While I have plenty of Snap On and Matco stuff in my box, I have way more of the lower end stuff that I've been using without issue for years.

 

I find that it's much less the quality of the tool than how you're using it.

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How you use it is definitely part of it, but when you're dealing with rusty fasteners that were on the verge of stripping out before you got a tool on them, a good fitting tool can make the difference between bolts coming out and turning hexagons into circles.

That said, yeah, I definitely have more low-end stuff than high end. My collection was mostly amassed by buying things as I needed them, and the low-end stuff is usually cheap enough it's worth it even if I can only use it a couple times before it gets to the point it'll damage fasteners. 

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I've had this box since 1993. Mostly Snap-On stuff.

I had a bunch of tools for big trucks but sold them in 2004 since I have no desire to do stuff that heavy any more.

 

The movable lift has come in very handy. 

 

 

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On 7/26/2019 at 7:48 AM, Jeep Driver said:

 

On 7/26/2019 at 6:50 AM, schardein said:

Automotive Technology program

Where did this take you? what did you do with it?

 

Was this an honest questions? Or an attack on someone? I hope the first. 

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I’m guessing it’s iDeal MSC6K single post lift 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, 13 Legion said:

Or an attack on someone?

Seriously?

How did you construe this to be an attack?

 

I'm genuinely curious about everything (almost). 

 

The man answered the question fairly, however, I have more questions but I did not want to put him on the spot. 

 

He went through the process, time and energy and money, to receive an "education" and I'm curious how it benefited him and what he got out of it. 

 

 

 

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You can see how I interpreted your response by  you replying. If it was a genuine question my apology. I just read it as ‘oh you went to college, and you’re still flipping burgers...’ So if not , again my sincere  apology. Just seeing you put ‘education’ in quotes, I believe it to be the latter. The sarcastic way I read it.

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1 hour ago, 13 Legion said:

You can see how I interpreted your response by  you replying. If it was a genuine question my apology. I just read it as ‘oh you went to college, and you’re still flipping burgers...’ So if not , again my sincere  apology. Just seeing you put ‘education’ in quotes, I believe it to be the latter. The sarcastic way I read it.

 

 

 

My brother and his wife earn well into the 7 figures, neither of them do what they were educated to do. 

 

Conversely, I know more people who are wealthy who have no formal education.

I also know a lot of really stupid people with Masters and PHDs.  

 

What I'm really curious about-

 

How much does Dirty earn as a helicopter mechanic?

How much does coolwind expect to earn as an aviation mechanic?

As Dirty stated- "get the Snap-on", how much of this is based on social pressures? Does the aviation mechanic's culture demand Snap-on? Someone shows up with Cornwell tools, is he considered less-than?

 

Example- Typical farmer here may bail 100 rolls of hay per year, large round bail may be worth $60, annual revenue of $6000. 

Couple of years ago farmer I know took delivery of a $85K John Deere with round baler and a couple of other attachments. I stopped and asked him how he justifies spending 85K for $6000 of annual revenue?

 

Drive around here and you'll see relatively new excavators and front-end loaders sitting idle in fields for days at a time, $100K machines doing nothing.

I ask, who can afford this?

 

I watch a lot of SMA, Eric O's vids.........$15K for a Snap-on scan tool that does not work half the time. 

Eric has no formal education.........constantly refers to- "what memaw taught me". That said, he gets cars and trucks (jobs) that have left the dealer's mechanics more broken than when they arrived. 

 

 

Schardien is retired, I figured as much. I assumed he made his way in this world one way or another. My question was not a attack nor was it sarcastic. Nor was my question even personal.

 

I struggle to make money.......my problem is my problem, no one else's. 

That said, I look around and it seems as though others have money thrown at them. 

As I said, I'm curious, I like to know what people do and how they do it and why?

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Jeep Driver said:

What I'm really curious about-

 

How much does Dirty earn as a helicopter mechanic?

How much does coolwind expect to earn as an aviation mechanic?

As Dirty stated- "get the Snap-on", how much of this is based on social pressures? Does the aviation mechanic's culture demand Snap-on? Someone shows up with Cornwell tools, is he considered less-than?

 

 

I'll answer because it doesn't bother me and I get what your point is.

 

Last year I made about $100k and didn't work the last couple months.  This year I'm on track for about $120k.  The most I ever made was $146k IIRC, least was about $82k (quit from there after that).  That's in CAD, which was at or over par for some years, but lately has been well under.  I'm considering working for an American operator again partly because of the dollar disparity; I'd likely make a bit "less" but in USD, so it effectively would be more.

 

To do my job you literally only need a small bag of good tools that you use every day, plus a case of cheaper larger stuff, and a few odds and ends that should be of good quality, assuming you're working on the archaic crap that I do.  If you're routinely doing heavy maintenance in the hangar you will want more stuff, which I have, but I don't even take most of it when I do hangar work normally.

 

The comment for him to buy Strap-On for those wrenches was specific.  It wasn't me swinging my "I've worked on helicopters" dick to pressure him into paying more for something when he doesn't need to.  The SO wrenches in that form factor have a differnt angle on them than the comparables, or they did at least, they actually had a patent on the design, and they do work better than the comparables because of that.  In this case "better" may mean the difference between it working at all versus not.

 

Until this spring I had a set of import Craftsman combination wrenches that were ground down/mangled/etc that I bought when I was in high school (Craftsman in Canada has been made in Taiwan since the early 80s).  I finally retired them for a set of new Mastercraft wrenches (more import stuff but nicer).  People gave me crap for them but they always worked fine, and not caring if I had to grind them was nice.

 

Some hangars you go into will have nothing but $20k SO boxes with $100k of financed chrome in them.  These are hangar queens, and they do not do the work I do.  If it makes them happy then fine, but that is not my world and I'm sure it never will be.

 

Question answered? :peep:

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