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84 VT500C retro bobber
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
While not directly a motorcycle topic, if you work on your bike (or someone else's) you're going to need tools. Im a professional so I use my tools every day and they make me my money. Ive always been a firm believer that buying quality tools pays for itself in the end. To prove my point lets look at a Snap-On ratchet. Some people might look at it and wonder what makes that ratchet worth $140 cdn when you can pick up a who set of Stanley tools for that. Weelllll, aside from being a very well built tool, part of what you're paying for is their warranty. I have an old Snap-on 1/2 drive ratchet given to me by my father who Im sure got it second hand from someone. The ratchet ended up stripping out one day and I tucked in a drawer of my tool box and almost forgot about it. Today the rep was in so I decided to ask him how much to fix it. He took one look at it and said "Wow, thats an old one!" Went to his truck and checked the date stamp. The ratchet was from 1952. Not only was it still under warranty but he had the parts on his truck and its good as new once more. 68 years and who knows how many people owned it and still warrantied with zero hassle. That's a company who stands behind their products.
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I am by no means a professional, but I have worked on my own stuff over the years and I agree with you 100%. Good tools are worth the money. I can't tell you how many 3/8 and 1/2 drive "Mastercraft" ratchets and breaker bars I have had to replace over the years. Their lift time warranty isn't for my life time :p
 

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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3
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All the mechanics I know are Snap-On fanatics only using other tools when they are "one-use", manufacturer specific or going to get modified by welding or "heat and beat".
I think the only Snap-On stuff I have are some screw drivers, they came from an auction.

Canadian Tire "Mastercraft" stuff may be guaranteed for life, IMO it's mostly junk and they won't pay for your knuckles.

For my use, I find it hard to justify the premium Snap-On price and if I don't have what I want on hand these days, I usually end up at PrincessAuto or hitting Amazon.
 

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2002, Shadow Spirit 1100
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I like Snap-On but the price is totally out of my league. I usually have a heavy duty tool that will break something loose then I can use a better fitting more convenient wrench such as a Harbor Freight ratcheting boxed end. I have impact sockets and breaker bars that I have never broke, mostly Craftsman, used to be lifetime warranty, I'm not sure now.
 

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84 VT500C retro bobber
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Discussion Starter #5
Craftsman used to make great tools but that was a long time ago. Sears is altogether gone in Canada and the tools that are being sold under the Craftsman name now are made in china. But honestly, even before all that happened, their quality went down over the past decade or two. I still have some old Craftsman stuff because I never had to replace it but these are from the early 90's.
 

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I was a auto tech for about 18 years. I have some snap on tools some mac tools but most of mine is craftsman. Been using craftsman for years. A good tool is worth the price It was good to have the snap on truck come by once a week. Worked with one tech all he would have is snap on. A 10000 box and probably 30000 in tools in it. Good tools cost a bit. Sometimes you have to get specialized tool that you can’t normally get elsewhere from snap on or mac.


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1995 VT1100C2
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So far most of the posters have been, or are, mechanics and for them the value of good equipment is obvious. However, for someone using tools to DIY their own bike once or twice a year, there are many inexpensive sets that will get the job done. I just don't want someone to get discouraged from DIY due to the cost of quality tools. An extensive socket set can be bought for $50 - $70 and allow you to perform most maintenance items. There are sets that are $20 but miss a few items. I would rather see someone use an inexpensive but correct tool rather than use the wrong tool: pliers or vice grips when a socket should be used. I am sure most of my tools were bought on sale and inexpensive and have not had any fail but I use them maybe once a month. The one tool that I tend to ruin is Phillips screwdrivers and tend to throw them out if damaged. In Canada $70 is a good price for Stanley Professional Grade Socket Set, 99-pc | Canadian Tire



G.
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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Yes I was also a mechanic for many years. I never could afford to go in debt with ALL Snap On, so I bought Mac, Matco, Proto Craftsman, S-K, Stanley, and all of them held up well .
Some of them I bought because the shape was just right to get into a tight spot, and some brands had them and others didn't. Nowadays Stanley owns several companies like Black and Decker and Mac tools, etc. They all will work for everyday tools .
I worked with a guy with the biggest Snap On top and bottom boxes full of $50,000 worth of Snap On tools. But he wasn't a very good mechanic. So the tools don't always make the man.
For the average guy in his garage with general work even Harbor Freight will work fine. And they are guaranteed too.
 

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84 VT500C retro bobber
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Discussion Starter #9
My point was not that everyone should buy only Snap-on tools. In fact, unless you are a professional it doesn't really make sense because you can't go to a store and buy them. Snap-on tools are sold from Snap-on trucks that only frequent mecanic related businesses. So even if you bought them second hand or online getting warranty would be a bitch. I do however believe that hobbiest tools have no place in a professional environment unless its a single use item. I have destroyed tools like Stanley ratchets on a single job so to me they are a waste of money. If I have a bolt that rounds out because of a poor fitting socket or wrench, that costs me time and money. If my ratchet locks up or strips out during a job, that costs me time and ultimately money. Everything breaks eventually but I shouldn't be snapping heads of of a 1/2 drive breaker bar (Mastercraft) trying to take lug nuts of a Super Duty. Also, while on the topic, I think Mac tools are overpriced junk. I used to buy lots of them and have very little left because it all broke over the years and their warranty isn't very good. Never had a Matco tool in my hand so I cant say anything about them. Had some Proto tools that weren't bad.
 

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1995 VT1100C2
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My point was not that everyone should buy only Snap-on tools.
Agreed, I guess the confusion was your opening statement "if you work on your bike", and later "your going to need tools" that implied non-professional, periodic DIYers. I think if you are just talking to professional mechanics about Snap-On, you've provided a good testimonial for the brand. For the typical DIY the price may be prohibitive and there are alternatives.
 

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06' VT1100C99' GL1500C Valkyrie
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Having your torque wrench tested is a plus but not always an option. My Menards special tested 10 lbs. too heavy so to speak. Another words it was over torquing.
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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After seeing that video i bought the same scale off ebay and tested all my wrenches. Some are oldies but still within 2-3 pounds.
 

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1995 VT1100C2
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I recall reading that a torque wrench need recalibrating every 2500 uses. consider I use one maybe 25 times a year I need to borrow that luggage scale in 2120

G.
 
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