Humble Mechanic Tool Box

Hey guys!

I know that this post is coming in a little late and for that I am sorry. My work changed the customers WIFI to block all social media and email sites. STUPID! I could not access my Humble Mechanic Flickr account. I am home enjoying a tasty craft beer and watching my Carolina Hurricanes~ life is GOOD!

Ok, so I wanted to talk to you guys about mechanics tools! Not mechanics that ARE tools, I mean the tools we use to fix cars. Any mechanic will tell you that tools are the life blood of our jobs. We invest thousands and thousands and THOUSANDS of dollars in tools. Anything from a basic screw driver to a special tool to remove wires from connectors. I have been in the field for a while, and I still average about $1000 every year in tools.

There are several brands of tools that I use. I think that Snap-On tools are my favorite brand. I buy most of my stuff from my Snap-On rep. Part of that is because he is the most reliable of all our reps. Here is a little about some of the different brands of tools

Craftsman
Sold by Sears, they are really good hand tools. They offer a life time warranty on almost all of their stuff. I buy Craftsman when I know that I might lose it, when I need to modify a tool, or when there is no difference in quality. I also tend to buy Craftsman for at home tools. The only issue I really have is their power tools SUCK! I will never own a battery operated drill for Craftsman again!

Snap-On
Overall my favorite brand. I love their hand tools. They are built to much tighter tolerances than any other brand I have used. The fit and finish is great. The selection is unbelievable, and my rep is great. The only down side is you pay top dollar for everything. I feel like the quality is worth it on most stuff. Remember, every dollar I make come by way of these tools, cheaping out is not an option. I have not really bought any of their power tools. I do not think they are worth it for the price. I own 1 Snap-On air tool(1/4in air ratchet), it works great.

Matco, Mac, Cornwell
I grouped these together because I fell pretty much the same about all of them. They are good tools, well made and reliable. I don’t own many of these, but what I have is ok. I just think that Snap-On is a better product.

Stanley, Kobalt, Husky
Great tools for the house. I think they also have a life time warranty. I also will buy this brand if I need to modify tools, like bending a wrench or trimming down a socket.

Dewalt, Makita
I buy ALL my power tools from theses two brands. The tool I use the most is a Makita impact driver. I love this thing so much, I got a second one, and took the old one home. If you are buying a power tool for work or for the house, you can’t go wrong with Dewalt or Makita. PLUS, my wife likes the color of Makita.

Here are some pictures of my tool box, and some of the tools I have. This is my 3rd tool box, the first one was a Craftsman, the I upgraded to a Mac, now I have a really nice Snap-on box. It will be the last one I ever buy.

[slickr-flickr tag=”tools” items=”30″]

36 replies
  1. Jeremy
    Jeremy says:

    Dude, tell my girlfriend I need to buy tools haha.

    I love the feel of Snap on but hate the price tag. I’m starting my collection with the very reputable house brand at Canadian Tire, Mastercraft. They are better than most tools but just a under the brands you named. Since I won’t need tools for about 2 years I just buy when things go on sale. I picked up a 14 piece specialty bit kit for $10, original $50. I love buying tools. Your tool pictures make me jealous lol.

    Reply
    • Charles
      Charles says:

      One of the GREAT things about this job is never having to explain buying tools. 😉

      I started with really cheap “Made in China” tools, then moved up to Craftsman, and when I had the money Snap-on. They will last forever, or you can get them replaced. I don’t buy everything from Snap-on, but I do buy alot.

      Reply
  2. Mike
    Mike says:

    Ah yes tools…I started out with a few sets of “mechano” tools…you know the one’s we bought our dad’s and they put under the seat of the car?..LOL

    My first set of tools was Mastercraft…most of it the “professional” series..great tools, good warrenty…right there with Crafstman…i have some of that as well.

    Over the last 17 years in the trade there has also been alot of Snap-On tools including an anniversary box. Still purchasing snap-on and still purchasing from Canadian Tire.

    My god there’s been a lot of stuff go missing over the years though lol

    It’s what we do, it’s what we use everyday…Respect your tools..and they will respect you!

    Reply
  3. Brett
    Brett says:

    Some of those drawers look like a hot mess, dude! LOL I’m interested in what you would modify tools for and how you go about doing it. Do you think you could do a post about it sometime?

    Reply
    • huh
      huh says:

      Im a small engine mechanic and ive modified a few tools to hepp get the job done easier. For example, I used a blow torch to heat up the tip of some small needle noze pliers, then bent them 45 degrees in a vise so I can reach into little cracks when I drop small nuts or cotter pins or whatever. I also have a 10mm combination ratchet wrench I torched and bent the open end on so I can reach the adjustment on Yamaha throttle cables without bashing my hand on the governor. The ratchet end is good *for* the governor, so I can do all my throttle tinkering with a single tool. I have some dewalt phillips #2 bits I ground the tips down on to make #3 bits since some of the stuff I work on comes from china and the bolts arent quite *actual* phillips #3’s. The list goes on, I have a dozen or so modified tools that do specific jobs faster or more efficiently than a regular tool would. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  4. Chris
    Chris says:

    Well done. I’ve only been in the business for a little over a year now, and I have a massively mismatched set of everything haha. My plain-jane wrenches are Harbor Freight, my ratchets are Mac, my sockets are Craftsman and some Snap-on, my pliers are Channellock, my electric tools are Milwaukee (I second the impact driver being the most used tool), my air tools are Ingersoll-Rand/Chicago/Aircat, my specialty and diagnostic tools are Matco…etc. All stored in a Harbor Freight chest. For as much crap as I get about that roller, it’s holding up amazingly well! I’d have to say though, my favorite tool would have to be my metric Gearwrench ratcheting box/crow’s foot set. They make everything from intakes to oil changes a hundred times faster.

    Reply
    • Charles
      Charles says:

      Chris,
      I have no problem with Harbor Freight tools! I still have some tools that I got there years ago. I bought a breaker bar there in 2002, it is still perfect. The one I got from Snap-on gets rebuilt about every 14months.

      As long as the tools you use do not damage fasteners, go for it. Plus, with the tool box, if you ever get a bigger box that will make a SWEET tool box for the house.
      Oh, one more quick tip, buy a used tool box, you will save a ton of money!

      Reply
  5. Bill Foster
    Bill Foster says:

    Charles,
    There is an old saying that you can’t escape death or taxes…we need to add “tool bill” to that.
    My tool box is a mutt as well. Snap-On, Mac, Matco, and a couple of brands that no one has ever heard of. They get the job done. I have never let vanity take hold of me..I still have the same box I started with 20 year ago. Of course I have painted it twice.

    Reply
  6. Shawn
    Shawn says:

    Man that box is organized, my shade tree mechanics tools are in a couple of bags and look more like the last pic of the matco tool box haha

    Reply
  7. Bill
    Bill says:

    I have a lot of craftsman sockets and wrenches and roller tool box from the early 1970’s. I think the craftsman electric drills and circular saws are awful, they both have play which makes it hard to drill accurately or cut a straight line. In the last few years I have rounded out my tool collection with Harbour Freight tools. I have never broken one and they seem to last.

    Reply
    • Charles
      Charles says:

      Bill I can’t agree with you more about CM power tools. I will never own another CM power tool.

      I almost fell off a ladder because a bit came loose and the drill slipped.

      Reply
  8. Daylene Angland
    Daylene Angland says:

    My husband is no longer a mechanic by trade so we are trying to find out how we would go about selling his gigantic rolling tool box 6′ tall and about 6′ long. Full of tools; snap on, mac, matco and some craftsman. Any ideas where to list this to sell it? Well over $100,000 in tools and the boxes (new price, I know we cant get anywhere near that). We are thinking of moving and each time it takes a flat bed tow truck to move this thing.

    Reply
    • Charles
      Charles says:

      Hey Daylene,
      If you are looking to sell, one of the best places is http://www.garagejournal.com There is a lot of folks looking to buy tools. You may find that you will have better luck selling piece by piece, not as a set.

      You can also try craigslist. I may also consider talking with one of the local tool truck guys, maybe they can do a consignment thing..

      Reply
    • Duane Bayless
      Duane Bayless says:

      Hello. My husband is going back to work as a professional mechanic. Due to our hard times, we lost his box & tools on a pawn. We are interested in purchasing a used box w/ or w/o tools. I saw in your response on Humble Mechanic, that your husband had a toolbox full of professional tools available. If he still does, please contact me at 219-290-5944 or email bayless9jennifer@comcast.net. We are looking immediately, so the quicker you can respond, the better. He just received a fantastic job offer.
      Sincerely,
      Jennifer and Duane

      Reply
  9. Matt
    Matt says:

    I’m thinking about going to college for a Diesel Mechanic and have a question for you. Are you able to use the tools as a tax deduction at the end of the year?

    Reply
  10. Mike
    Mike says:

    have astro coolant system tester and am tired of the adapters leaking because you can’t tighten them enough. am thinking of getting assenmacher (ast) set. the price of astro type: under 200, ast : 600. has anyone used ast ? is it worth the price?

    Reply
    • goat 66
      goat 66 says:

      did you ever find a place to sell your toolbox?
      I have one with sideboxes etc full of 40 years of tools and scanners ..worth well over $50,000 and would love to sell all as a package deal toolbox and tools to gain back my garage space. I am retired after 40plus years

      Reply
      • Charles
        Charles says:

        Congrats on the retirement.

        I have not found any one to buy my box yet. I think I am going to trade it to the Snap=on man for a welder.

        I usually recommend Garagejournal.com. There is a ton of folks there that are always looking for tools.

        Reply
  11. Mechanic Tool Box
    Mechanic Tool Box says:

    This professional mechanic’s tool set contains a comprehensive collection of the most used automotive and mechanic’s tools, including adjustable wrenches, pliers, and sockets in SAE and metric measurements. Constructed of durable chrome vanadium, this mechanic’s tool set is built to last. Includes a custom storage case to keep tools organized and protected.

    Reply
  12. Stephen
    Stephen says:

    I have something to add in regards to the power tools.

    My Dewalt drill hit the end of its life and I was going to buy a Milwaukee set (but had to save my pennies), when my Snap-on rep lent me a 14.4.

    I always thought it to be a waste of money to buy tool truck power tools, but I ended up buying it and two years later I loved it so much I bought the driver and impact and they just came out with the 3m abrasives the turns 20,000 rpm that is next on the list. The drill and the driver lock up (rep told me it was designed to brake loose fasteners with the handle without power), battery life is long, fast charging.

    I cannot say enough good about Snap-on 14.4v tools. They will pay for themselves.

    Reply

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  1. […] designed especially for fixing Volkswagens. I have shown you guys pictures of some of the basic mechanic’s tools that I have. I made mention of buying cheaper tools to make custom tools. In the comments of that […]

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