If you are a professional mechanic, your shop will likely provide the auto tools for your work. For home use, it’s up to you to compile the necessary tools to work on your own vehicles. Like any other do-it-yourself work, the tools you can purchase are available from different brands at different prices and qualities. Just as you may have a preference for a certain brand of woodworking tools, people develop affinities for certain auto tools as well. Quality and dependability is at stake, so it’s wise to choose brands that make auto tools to last. Auto work requires heavy duty tools. The last thing you need is to have tools break on you in the middle of a job or fail to live up to their claims.
As is often the case, the higher the price, the better the quality. This is not always true, but with auto tools it certainly is. Snap-on tools, the company that drives around to mechanics in a conspicuous van, makes the most expensive auto tools, but they are also among the very best. Made in America with precision craftsmanship, they are extremely durable and constructed of the finest steel. Some mechanics use Snap-on tools exclusively, because they’re built for pros.
Similar in quality are Mac tools. Mac tools are also made in America, designed for professionals and made of high quality materials. They are, however, more affordably priced. If there is a relationship between lower prices and lower quality, Mac tools are not as good as Snap-on, but for the hobby mechanic they are adequate.
Other quality brand name auto tools include Matco, Cornwell, Husky and Craftsman. Much will depend upon a particular mechanic’s tastes and preferences. In short, auto tools should have a lifetime warranty, should be made in America from quality steel and they should feel durable when held in your hand. All tools listed here meet those criteria.
It is hard to specify which brands of auto tools to avoid, since their names are so obscure. Any auto tools that use a cheap derivative of a well-known brand are poison. For example, “Kraftsman” with a K or “Mack” tools. Cheap auto tools will often be packaged with similar colors as the known brands. Knowing which brands of auto tools to use can help weed out the ones to steer clear of. In addition, keeping apprised of where cheap auto tools are sold can help you save money by not purchasing them. Auto tools found in dollar stores are worth avoiding. If you have never heard of the brand, chances are there is a reason for it. Be wary of tools you see displayed as new in thrift stores, flea markets or junk shops. Import markets are not a good place to buy auto tools. Tools made in China or elsewhere in Asia should be avoided.
When buying auto tools, stick with the known quantities. Tools should be American made, of high quality and come with a lifetime guarantee. Avoid the cheap knock-offs. Invest in quality tools that will last you a lifetime.