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Tool Time Discussions here pertain to the use of tools you use while fabbing and wrenching in the garage

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Old 12-10-2005, 05:03 AM   #1
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Kobalt vs Craftsman tools

Piggybacking off the "Best tools to own" thread, I'm wondering specifically about Kobalt tools. They are made by Snap-on, but are priced much more in line with Craftsman. Anyone use them? Thoughts/opinions?

I need a 1/2 ratchet and SAE socket set, as well as a new set of metric combo wrenches. Normally I'd go with Craftsman as I've had pretty good luck with their stuff, but I've always been intrigued with the Kobalt stuff.

If Task Force stuff is significantly cheaper, I might go with that. I've used it before, feels good, works good, and has the same warranty/replacement policy as does craftsman.
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Old 12-10-2005, 05:11 AM   #2
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Go Craftsmen. KoBalt, is no better quality wise, and I can say for sure, that the customer service at Lowes is nothing compared to Sears. Those who state that KoBalt tools are just like Snap-On, or made by Snap-On, haven't been to a Lowes in year or two. I don't believe Lowes stocks any of the "made by snapon" wrenches any longer.
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Old 12-10-2005, 07:02 AM   #3
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I looked at them the other day, they didn't feel any too special to me... but it's hard to know for sure without actually using them.

I'll stick with craftsman I guess.
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Old 12-10-2005, 07:09 AM   #4
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I use some of the kobalt tools and I don't have any problems with them or returning anything to lowe's for that matter. I also use a ton of snap-on tools and I've been to lowe's here recently...never really had a problem...
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Old 12-10-2005, 07:16 AM   #5
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In my experience, go with Craftsman. There always is a Sears in any small town. The Lowe's stores seem to be few and far between, where I've road-tripped. If one breaks, you can always limp to a Sears, borrow their lot, use their parking lot lights, and fix your rig. Or at least that's why I bought mine there.
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Old 12-10-2005, 07:25 AM   #6
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I stick with craftsman for the reasons of reputation, quality, and customer service. They have many many years of quality behind them, and the people at sears have always known exactly what they are talking about, as well as how to tell me what tool i needed, or where. To top it off, we have a craftsman half inch ratchet, with a metric and SAE set of sockets, and they are from the 50's when my grandfather bought them. They have been in heavy use for over 50 years, and the ratchet sill operates like new, with no loose parts, and no breakage. It looks a little worn, but it is 50 years old.
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Old 12-10-2005, 05:34 PM   #7
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Honestly, when was the last time anyone here on yotatech, saw the oldschool quality Chrome Plated v-notched "division of snapon" wrenches on display?!?! I work construction, and am in and out of different lowes all over ohio every week. I haven't seen the quality KoBalt wrenches in 2 years or more. I'm curious what happened to them, because those were certainly quality wrenches.
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Old 01-04-2006, 03:26 PM   #8
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Craftsman all the way. I use my tools everyday at work and have broken several of them. The return policy at Sears is much much better, with no questions asked. Last time I returned a kobalt ratchet to Lowe's they had to get the manager down to confirm it, the girl didn't believe me that they are warrentied. IMO craftsman is much better quality wise. I would go with snap-on, but I have to wait till the truck comes by to do anything with them.
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Old 01-04-2006, 07:20 PM   #9
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Craftsman and Snap-On tools are made by Stanley, they are just made to different better specs than stanley's. So, if Kobalts are made by Snap-On, than they are really made be Stanley.

I love my Craftsman though!
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Old 01-07-2006, 07:55 AM   #10
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I would not go with the "Task Force" or other lower brands for wrenches or other fit-critical tools. Rounded off way too many bolts using cheap tools - only Craftsman for me now...
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Old 01-07-2006, 02:16 PM   #11
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Professionally I would say either one is ok depending on a few factors... One being which store is closer? Next how much of a hassle it is to return your tools that have broken. I'm now a hardcore Snap-On user when I was a mechanic but for my home set I have Craftsman and a few Kobalt stuff. No problems with either unless you wrench for a living.
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Old 01-11-2006, 08:24 AM   #12
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I have mostly Craftsman tools with some Snap on, SK, Williams, Matco, etc. mixed in. I don't have the luxury of having the Snap On or Matco truck coming by my home shop so it's a lot easier to go to Sears if anything needs to be replaced.

Their return policy is basically "no questions asked." I once replaced a screwdriver that got melted in an eletrical outlet and a ratchet that was left my boat so long that it rusted to the point that it could never be used again. They just don't care and they give you a new one.

I don't know about anyone else, but I hate going into any of the Home Depot/Lowes building supply stores. It seems you're in there for an hour no matter what.
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Old 01-12-2006, 07:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by PO2SIMS
Craftsman and Snap-On tools are made by Stanley, they are just made to different better specs than stanley's. So, if Kobalts are made by Snap-On, than they are really made be Stanley.

I love my Craftsman though!
Some Craftsman stuff is made by Stanley. Stanley owns Mac tools, they make nothing for Snap-on. Snap-on tools were made in Kenosha, WI., most of those plants are now ghost towns, they own plants around the world including a big one in Mexico. The Lowes agreement with Snap-on went away about the time Walmart bought into Lowes, a couple of years ago.
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Old 02-07-2006, 03:59 PM   #14
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craftsman stuff is getting cheaper and cheaper. the only thing they make that's half decent any more are their sockets, and i hate those laser etched numbers(hard to read unless you get light in just the right spot).

i keep a small craftsman socket set in my truck. all the socket sets in my toolbox are kobalt, and my ratchets are made by blackhawk and proto. i've never broken a socket.
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Old 02-11-2006, 05:43 PM   #15
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Craftsman, I have had a helluva time trying to return broken kobalt ratchets to Lowes.
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:59 PM   #16
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I use Craftsman every day. I work in an automotive plant as an Industrial Maintenance technician. I work on everything. My toolbox is 90% Craftsman. Most people don't use tools they way are ment to be used anyway. We've all used an adjustable wrench as a hammer, right? Craftsman hasn't let me down. Very little breakage in the 10+ years I've been at it. I like to buy tools one time. Don't buy the gimicky stuff they put out around the holidays, stick with their heavy duty tools and you'll keep them for the rest of your life.
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Old 02-13-2006, 03:15 PM   #17
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defiantly craftsman all the way. I love taking blown sockets and handing them back in a pile lol
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Old 02-15-2006, 06:12 PM   #18
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I agree, if you are going to spend the money on tools, spend a little more and get something that will last a long time.
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Old 03-15-2007, 06:03 PM   #19
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Quality tool opinions are just like opinions on which auto manufacturer produces the best cars. Some like Fords, some Chevys, some Mopar. I have a set of Kobalt tools that I carry under the seat of my pickup truck. They are of the same quality as the MAC set that I gave my son. I have been turning wrenches for more than 45 years and way back when I was first learning my trade Craftsman wrenches were the best around. That is no longer true. I am not sure if any of you remember back in the early 70's when Sear's contracted their tools to some Japanese company and the quality of the finish went in the toilet. back then I switched to S&K, another excellent tool manufacturer that is no longer around as the same premium tool company. My experience with ALL premium tool manufacturers has been the same. The tool is the receipt and if it is broken it is replaced no questions asked. As far as service and availability I have not been many places where a Lowe's was not somewhere close by and the same holds true for Sears. I have a very complete set of Craftsman and likewise a Snap On set. All of my Snap On were made in Wisconsin. It is sad that these companies manufacturing facilities have gone to the lands of cheaper labor. Not to sound unpatriotic but there are lots of very good quality tools on the market these days that are made in places such as Taiwan. Some are dirt cheap but are in fact very well broached, have a good finish, and will give years and years of service. I originally bought my Snap On set because they had a patented drive system (flank drive) that "grabbed" the flats of a fastener). I believe that the patent for that drive system has long since expired and if I were out there looking for a good set of wrenches I would look for it. I have rarely broken a tool in my life. My father taught me that if you break a tool while trying to lossen or tighten a fastener then the tool was probably too small. I have never had a problem having a worn out tool replaced by any quality tool company that guaranteed their tools. I have worn out lots of tools though. Wearing them out is much different than breaking them and my one complaint about Craftsman is that the steel of their screwdrivers is too soft. I have worn out many sets of Craftsman screwdrivers and had much better service life from other manufacturers.
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Old 03-15-2007, 06:05 PM   #20
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I would defently go craftsman because they have awesome custmer servies and if you break any of your tools they give u another one no questions asked
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