Quick question about tools

Submitted: Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 10:59
ThreadID: 24551 Views:6739 Replies:16 FollowUps:8
This Thread has been Archived

Up until now, I have always had cheap and nasty spanners, sockets, etc... They have been pretty bad quality, so I am looking to upgrade.

Can someone suggest some good brands and prices? I am thinking a Sidchrome set from Bunnings or something would be the way to go, but I am open to suggestions.


Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 11:31

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 11:31

I used to buy Sidchrome exclusively because they were Aussie and manufactured a quality product, but now I'm guessing they source their manufacturing from China, or India, or somewhere else where the product is manufactured to a price rather than to a specific quality.

I have noticed in recent years that the Sidchrome tools lose the chrome plating much easier than they used to. In short, I am no longer a fan of their product.

Without going overboard on something like the "Snap-on" brand which is a quality tool but you pay for it too, something like Kingcraft, Kingchrome, or other brands sold by Bunnings, etc., are ok.

The last few sockets/spanners I have bought have been from Repco, but I can't recall the brand name. These look a reasonable quality for a reasonable price and unless you are a mechanic that uses the tools day in, day out, 5 days a week, they are probably suitable for the hobbyist mechanic in most of us.

I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 119415

Reply By: chump_boy - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 11:49

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 11:49
Probably going a bit further to the question:

Should I buy a kit, or just the spanners I need? I mean, most of the kits have Imperial and Metric, wheras I thint the Landcruiser (98 model) would mainly be metric.
AnswerID: 119417

Reply By: glenno(qld) - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 11:59

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 11:59
Get yourself a really good 15/16" Ring spanner for the diff/gearbox/transfer case plugs . Th at would be a good start .
AnswerID: 119419

Reply By: Boc1971 - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 12:06

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 12:06
HI there - up till recently i had been happy with sidchrome tools - But my personal opinion is that they just dont cut ot for me any more. I use tools in my every day work and have found a few of the sidchrome tools fail

If you live anywhere near the blue mountians - i have a friend that sells tools in that area - let me know and i will give you his contact details -- I now get all my tools from him

AnswerID: 119420

Reply By: flappa - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 12:43

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 12:43
Depends on what you do with your tools , and how important they are to you.

Kingchrome are pretty good , but , I would look at the Topend Stuff that Supercheap sells. Its actually pretty good gear for the home mechanic.

Its brand name escapes me at present. Supercheap have about 3 different standards of tools.

I have a few bits , and never broken anything. Same cant be said the their cheaper gear.
AnswerID: 119424

Reply By: Peter Guy - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 13:16

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 13:16
For your sockets may I suggest you buy the "rattle Gun" type as I have found them to be tougher than the standard sockets and less likely to round the bolt & nut heads.
Surprisingly they are not expensive and you can buy them from most dedicated tool stores. See the yellow pages.
AnswerID: 119430

Reply By: Wazza - (Vic) - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 13:32

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 13:32

A mate has bought a few things from www.transquip.com.au

And I have bought online from www.justtools.com.au

Not sure how either compares on prices, I think Transquip is the cheaper, but a good place to go window shopping.

I subscribed to both their email catalogues and get an email every second month with some pretty good specials.

You can always print out an online quote and take it in to Bunnings for their "we guarantee to beat any advertised price by 10%".

I save up and buy something else for the tool box every second pay cheque. You do not notice $50-100 here and there. Well, not as much as if you go and buy it all in a weekend.

AnswerID: 119432

Follow Up By: Member - ROTORD - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 14:09

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 14:09
Hello Chump

Kingchrome for good quality , price , and range . Aircraft engineers go for Snap-On , but lately have started buying the ratchet ring spanners from Kingchrome . Don't buy Metrinch , their design requires larger angular movements of the handle than normal spanners . Blackwoods house brand , JBS, are good , but a bit more costly than Kingchrome . JBS do have some good kits . I find their kits with the long tube sockets handy .
FollowupID: 374512

Reply By: WheelTravel - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 14:10

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 14:10
Hey Chump,

I went through the same thing 2 years ago.

I have found Stanley to be very reliable. Would be int. in othere ppls experience with this brand.

It is mid-high range as a far as I'm aware. You certainly pay a lot less than the
...chrome brands, but from what i've read here, Sidchrome isn't what it used to be!

Also,I'd get a full kit. You will be able to use it whereveryou want that way.


AnswerID: 119441

Reply By: Member Boroma 604 - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 14:19

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 14:19
Best angle go to a few GARAGE sales in your area of a weekend or some flea markets, or look in the for sale section of your paper or Trading Post used to swing spanners for a living, Dowidat ,Gedore Britool, Herbrand, Sidchrome, when they were a "granda spanner", still have ample, you will put together a kit of GREAT QUALITY tools for the same or less than the price of the imported new junk.
There are so many people who have left the trade during the last 20-30 years, now getting too old to want them or have flapped their quits & family just want to see them turned into cash to play with.
Take your time, take someone with you who knows a bit about them.
Cheers, Boroma604
AnswerID: 119443

Reply By: Kiwi Ray - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 14:56

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 14:56
Hi Chump.
from an engineers view here is a list for you to choose from.
Snap On
Blue Point
Sidcrome impact sockets
From these brands you will be able to build a life long tool kit. If you do not wish to spend too mutch just buy the particular items you need.
just be aware that you will need to buy 2 of some things
Hope this is of some help.
AnswerID: 119449

Follow Up By: Nudenut - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 15:03

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 15:03
Starhwille ...expensive as is
Snap On..... Too expensive but good gear
Bahco adjustable spanners
Repco (brand) sockets and ring/open combination
Sidchrome...the early stuff. Later appears to be of poorer quality

FollowupID: 374524

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 15:11

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 15:11
stahlwille tools ...expensive as is ...

But QUALITY TOOLS... Mine have lasted about 20 years never had an issue from them. They were second hand when I bought them.

Nice to know sidchrome havent had their lifetime warranty for years now.
FollowupID: 374526

Follow Up By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 16:05

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 16:05
Al has often said you get what you pay for, his choice is Stahwillie....
FollowupID: 374536

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 16:07

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 16:07
Strange, I thought he liked Lyn, not German willie..
FollowupID: 374537

Follow Up By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 16:10

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 16:10
German Willie is probably more....ummm...adaptable...hahahaha :)
FollowupID: 374538

Follow Up By: Nudenut - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 18:50

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 18:50
i hope you 2 are keeping this above your navels?
FollowupID: 374551

Reply By: Kiwi Ray - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 15:03

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 15:03
I forgot to say that most of the better companies can supply standard sockets as 6 point. There is also the plave for the deep reach sockets for some jobs.
Spend some time looking at your truck and make a list of what you would need to do each job. That will help you
I would suggest that you also look to the future as some times a set ( of some thing ) may be cheaper in the long term.
AnswerID: 119450

Reply By: Spade Newsom - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 19:14

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 19:14

I asked my brother, an aircraft mechanic, the same question some years ago. He suggested;

1. Buy the biggest, most comprehensive el cheapo tool set you can find. You will get alot of stuff for $100 - $150. You also get stuff you would not otherwise buy but will one day be useful.

2. The items you use the most will generally break or will wear quickly. Replace these with better quality gear as needed. He recommended Kingcraft at the time, however Supacraft from the local hardware does the job for me.

3. The other gear that gets used hardly ever will probably last for many years simply due to lack of use, but if it does break can be replaced with another el cheapo bought individually off the shelf if required.

This strategy works for me because I find most things I do doesn't need best quality, but have small supply of good stuff when needed. I mostly work with timber rather than mechanical also.

A friend of mine one christmas told the family he needed some good tools. He had a list of what he wanted and the brand. He was happy that he got what he wanted. Family was happy because they didn't have to think up something and spent less than they probably would have on something he didn't want anyway. Not in the Christmas spirit but a good result.

Anything special you would like for X-mas Chump?

AnswerID: 119479

Reply By: angler - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 20:30

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 20:30
Good story,

I purchased a quater inch drive AF socket set 47 years ago in Brisbane and the ratchet gave up about 5 years ago. When I purchased them they had a lifetime guarantee. I took the brocken ratchet to tool supplies in Townsville with the story about the life time guarentee and they baulked a bit and tried to alter the warranty.
I reminded them that I was not yet dead. At that the manager broke and gave me the new ratchet spanner. True story.
I use a lot of old tools (including mine) and when I need replacement or someting new I usually go for snap on stuff. My son swings spanners for a living and he reckons they are the best.
AnswerID: 119493

Follow Up By: angler - Saturday, Jul 09, 2005 at 20:53

Saturday, Jul 09, 2005 at 20:53
Forgot to mention te set was from Starhwille.
FollowupID: 374678

Reply By: mik*2 - Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 23:59

Friday, Jul 08, 2005 at 23:59
No doubt you should buy only good quality tools. There's nothing worse than a handtool letting you down.
I fix machinery for a living and have always bought Sidchrome. I put pipes on the spanners and use my sockets as drifts at times and they never fail me. There are plenty of good quality brands such as...

sidchrome( made by stanley, also the same as JBS by the way)
snap on
kingchrome to a lesser extent (their crescents are rubbish!)

whatever the case, buy quality and it should last you almost forever. You can get a set of stanley screwdrivers for around $30, a sidchrome 1/2 drive socket set with some open ended spanners as a set for around $250...thats a good start i reckon...


AnswerID: 119516

Reply By: Nudenut - Saturday, Jul 09, 2005 at 09:27

Saturday, Jul 09, 2005 at 09:27
good tools are usually best for reliability and longevity

however a subcontractor I use bought himself two of those very bloody cheap GMC rotary hammer drills thinking that for $80.00 bucks each if he got 3 months use out of one he hasnt lost...... (now these things say in Dewalt brand are up near $700.00 bucks I beleive)

he uses this thing at least for a minimum of a few dozen holes daily ranging from 3/8 for dynabolts and 1 inch to take out section of brick to run pipework thru.......

the second one has run out of warranty (12 months) and is still new in the box in his shed? while the first is still going strong??????????

got me buggerd.......I could have swore he'd only have got 1 months use out of each........
AnswerID: 119531

Reply By: Gully - Saturday, Jul 09, 2005 at 11:30

Saturday, Jul 09, 2005 at 11:30
Hi Chump;
I have a set of tools that I have gathered togeather over the last 30 years. Only a few are of the same brand, they are functional but look a dogs breakfast! About 2 years ago we started to put togeather a set for our son and have gone for Kingchrome. The reason for chosing this brand for him (he's an ameteur mechanic and motor bike rider) is that we (or he) can buy peices (tool boxes included) of the same brand and add them to the set as the budget allows (or birthdays and christmas) and he ends up with a reasonable set of the same brand. Chose Kingchrome as they are readily available at a wide range of outlets and have a good selection of tools at a reasonable price. Any brand such as Kingchrome, Sidchrome (owned by Stanley, a US company), JBS (John Blackwood and Sons, owned by Westfarmers Landmark, owned by the Austarlian Wheat Board) are generally good value, individual items such as sockets (lost from a set) can be easily replaced and you can add to your set over time.

The other brands mentioned such as Snap On and Stahwille are great gear but have a look at the price (make sure you are sitting down). I have a number of good friend on the land who will not buy expensive sockets and spanners as they tend to loose or misplace them.

Look at what you buy as an investment that should last you a life time if looked after. Cheers.
AnswerID: 119544

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (11)