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Another good supplier bites the dust - USA Parts


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1 hour ago, Frank DuVal said:

 IYou pay Snap-On and others to come by your place of business and keep you in tools without having to take time off and go across town or further to shop for tools. This means a lot to productivity and the bottom line. Home restorers do not have these constraints. 😉

 

Hobbyists also typically don't have the ability to write off overpriced tools as a business expense on their taxes.

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6 hours ago, Frank DuVal said:

 I see you have not shopped at Harbor Freight in a looong time! Sure, they still have the low budget tools, but their higher lines are quite impressive. I will put their tool boxes up against Snap-On any day. I own BOTH! I own both Snap-On and HF hand tools. Each have their purpose. Only cheap flare nut wrenches should be avoided, they have no known use to me!😲

 

Go by and look at their ICON line of tools. Feel them, work them. But, they are not CHEAP, just cheaper than the alternative brand. And therein lies the biggest difference. You pay Snap-On and others to come by your place of business and keep you in tools without having to take time off and go across town or further to shop for tools. This means a lot to productivity and the bottom line. Home restorers do not have these constraints. 😉

No need for me to go and look. I have more than enough hand tools, mostly from numerous U.S. and European manufacturers and rarely need to buy any, but on those occasions, it's usually some specialty equipment or tool and in many cases don't even exist, so I have to design and make it myself.

 

One Ch**ese tool I was ever impressed with was the original design "Gear Wrench", which I fortunately bought couple of extra sets long ago.

The currently available designs aren't anywhere near the quality. 

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7 hours ago, joe_padavano said:

 

Hobbyists also typically don't have the ability to write off overpriced tools as a business expense on their taxes.

Does that deduction even still exist? I haven't benefited from it in 30 years or more anyway... at least we didn't have to count our company-furnished tool boxes as income.

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9 hours ago, rocketraider said:

Does that deduction even still exist? I haven't benefited from it in 30 years or more anyway... at least we didn't have to count our company-furnished tool boxes as income.

 

Oh yeah it does. In fact, Section 179 (enacted by Dubya to help jump start the economy after 9/11) allows you to take 100% of a depreciable asset in the first year, as opposed to having to follow the depreciation schedule. This was the "Humvee" deduction were everyone was buying expensive SUVs and depreciating them under Sect 179 as a business expense. When I had my small company we depreciated a lot of tools and equipment under Sect 179.

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20 hours ago, joe_padavano said:

 

Hobbyists also typically don't have the ability to write off overpriced tools as a business expense on their taxes.

 

2 hours ago, joe_padavano said:

 

Oh yeah it does. In fact, Section 179 (enacted by Dubya to help jump start the economy after 9/11) allows you to take 100% of a depreciable asset in the first year, as opposed to having to follow the depreciation schedule. This was the "Humvee" deduction were everyone was buying expensive SUVs and depreciating them under Sect 179 as a business expense. When I had my small company we depreciated a lot of tools and equipment under Sect 179.

??? 
 

As a small business owner with no employees, last time I checked, I still had to work to earn the money to pay for anything I buy, including tools and equipment for my business.

OTOH, good portion of my (hand) tools were purchased at swap meets, yard sales, etc and much of the shop equipment from media blasting cabinets & 30-ton hydraulic press frame or variety of dollies, machinery or vehicle stands, work benches & station, etc, I designed/engineered and made myself (= not deductible/depreciable), so only “deductions” were materials, which I still had to pay for and were the smallest portion of the costs …

 

OTOH, I do get your “Humvee” analogy, as I see similarly excessive and somewhat unethical(?) “business” expenditures in variety of businesses all the time.
I mean, how many doctors or lawyers need a new Ferrari, etc leased for their businesses ?
Or how many body shops need a bran new fancy pants Ultra Platinum monster truck with every chrome ball, bell and whistle along with latest fashion aftermarket wheels & tires to do their job or promote their business ?

Not to mention hypocrites who applied, received and used any portions of recent business stimulus handouts to pay for any such “essentials” to “survive”. 

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Businesses come and go. In my business world (circulation fulfillment for magazines subscription list) when I started it in 1971 we had about 50-60 competitors. By the 80’s my company was the second largest service bureau in the Chicago metropolitan area. We were down to about 15 competitors.  We had customers all over the world. It wasn’t so much due to a newer service but keeping the production system up to date and current for the customers needs. Innovation in the old car parts business is basically in need of the same type thinking. Edinmass shows us that in how he develops parts people are looking for and that doesn’t come cheap, rightfully so. There are only so many NOS parts available and junk doesn’t sell. Poor production catches up to companies that don’t keep up a good product line. 
My personal business took a major hit due to C19 and advertising in publication dried up and the closed. We went from processing over 5 million labels a month to less than 100 thousand a month in a six month period. The old car parts industry did just the opposite, so why is this company closing? Poor management, lack of industry knowledge in what is needed and poor product quality is my guess. 
Have fun

dave s 

Edited by SC38DLS (see edit history)
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54 minutes ago, SC38DLS said:

Businesses come and go. In my business world (circulation fulfillment for magazines subscription list) when I started it in 1971 we had about 50-60 competitors. By the 80’s my company was the second largest service bureau in the Chicago metropolitan area. We were down to about 15 competitors.  We had customers all over the world. It wasn’t so much due to a newer service but keeping the production system up to date and current for the customers needs. Innovation in the old car parts business is basically in need of the same type thinking. Edinmass shows us that in how he develops parts people are looking for and that doesn’t come cheap, rightfully so. There are only so many NOS parts available and junk doesn’t sell. Poor production catches up to companies that don’t keep up a good product line. 
My personal business took a major hit due to C19 and advertising in publication dried up and the closed. We went from processing over 5 million labels a month to less than 100 thousand a month in a six month period. The old car parts industry did just the opposite, so why is this company closing? Poor management, lack of industry knowledge in what is needed and poor product quality is my guess. 
Have fun

dave s 

Sorry to disagree, but unfortunately junk DOES sell and H.F.'s et. al. of the world prove that, 24/7/365. And mainly due to overwhelming demands/expectations of the buying public, which in our case are old car hobbyists.

 

If I had to rely my livelihood on just the parts I reproduce for very limited and narrow markets, not to mention at high cost (due to quality) and onslaught of "cheap" alternatives, I would've gone under long ago.

I imagine same would be the case if "edinmass" didn't offer restoration or other services and tried to survive by only producing his (high quality) parts for equally(?) limited markets ?

 

And don't get me wrong, I LOVE vintage cars and this hobby in general (and always have), but after 4+ decades watching vast majority of those in it just prioritizing everything based on how cheaply they can do it or get it done, I guess it has left an impression.

 

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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TTR I agree and see your point junk like HF has is going to sell. But do you think 200 or so 50-60 year old fan belts are going to sell? Or old oil filters made of cardboard are going to sell. Looking at shelves of stuff like that taking up space and revenue to purchase in the first place seems like a loosing proposition to me. I’m not a parts sale guy so I can be 100% wrong but there is an old saying - adapt or die!  I don’t think they were aware of market place changes. 
Have fun

dave s 
 

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39 minutes ago, SC38DLS said:

TTR I agree and see your point junk like HF has is going to sell. But do you think 200 or so 50-60 year old fan belts are going to sell? Or old oil filters made of cardboard are going to sell. Looking at shelves of stuff like that taking up space and revenue to purchase in the first place seems like a loosing proposition to me. I’m not a parts sale guy so I can be 100% wrong but there is an old saying - adapt or die!  I don’t think they were aware of market place changes. 
Have fun

dave s 
 

I've only focused my reproduction (or stocking up) efforts mostly on non-perishable, mechanical components which are or have long been obsolete or currently only available in inferior quality.

Some initially obsolete items I've reproduced over the years/decades have eventually become available in much cheaper/inferior qualities and impacted my sales, but I'd rather just quit making and selling mine than trying to become competitively "cheaper".  I have plenty of ideas and products I can waste my (very limited) time and money on instead. 😉

 

I know and have encountered numerous small parts businesses similar to thread subject outfit and many have tons of unsellable, useless/worthless(?) stock taking up shelf space, merely because of the "hoarder" mentality of proprietor(s), i.e. " Ooh, I can't throw it away because I paid for it and it still is or might be worth something someday". 

This (self-delusional) "mentality" is far more common in our hobby than most realize or are willing to admit.

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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17 hours ago, TTR said:

No need for me to go and look.

Then quit complaining about them, since you are NOT aware of their current offerings!

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Snap on comes to the shop my machine shop is set up in every week. The main business is auto body work. I just occupy a part of the mechanical section of the shop. Recently some of the mechanics in the shop have had several older snap on tools that have needed replacing. A recent policy is that if you do not have a receipt that shows you bought the tool, Snap On will not honor the warranty. I have some snap on tools. However most were bought used, so this eliminates guys like me from returning anything that breaks. Thankfully it is rare when the older tools fail. By the way. This year is the 100th  Anniversary of Snap on. 1921-2021. Dandy Dave!   

Edited by Dandy Dave (see edit history)
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On 7/16/2021 at 10:38 AM, Frank DuVal said:

Then quit complaining about them, since you are NOT aware of their current offerings!

Oops, I must’ve inadvertently hit a proverbial sensitivity nerve. Sorry.

I take it you might be a stakeholder at H.F. ?
Corporate ? Store management ?
 

I’m not complaining, just stating an opinion based on personal observations.

Besides, even if H.F. has improved the quality “of their current offerings”,  I don’t think they have anything I need to go and look for, let alone purchase.

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1 hour ago, Dandy Dave said:

A recent policy is that if you do not have a receipt that shows you bought the tool, Snap On will not honor the warranty. I have some snap on tools…. Thankfully it is rare when the older tools fail. 

So far, I haven’t experienced refusals on warranty replacements nor had to provide “proof of purchase” for anything I’ve bought within last 35+ years.

 

Only problem(?) I’ve had is/was with some of the older style tool (screw drivers, etc) handles no longer being available and therefor messing up the appearance of my sets.


OTOH, when this ^^ initially started, I asked my dealer to scour their network and get me all the old style (matching to mine) spare handles he could find, so I believe I’m set for life.

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27 minutes ago, TTR said:

I’m not complaining, just stating an opinion based on personal observations.

Besides, even if H.F. has improved the quality “of their current offerings”,  I don’t think they have anything I need to go and look for, let alone purchase.

 

I think we're curious how one can make "personal observations" without ever, you know, actually going into a store and observing.  Look, no one gives a rat's patootie if you buy HF merchandise or not. Your money, your choice. It's just that some people find it curious that folks find it necessary to pontificate on line about topics with which they have zero actual hands-on experience.

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38 minutes ago, joe_padavano said:

 

I think we're curious how one can make "personal observations" without ever, you know, actually going into a store and observing.  Look, no one gives a rat's patootie if you buy HF merchandise or not. Your money, your choice. It's just that some people find it curious that folks find it necessary to pontificate on line about topics with which they have zero actual hands-on experience.

While I admittedly have very limited (but above "zero") "actual hands-on experience" with tools and equipment made of cheap "Chineseum" and sold by variety of "discount outlets", including H.F., I've seen plenty being used in the garages/shops/etc of others and occasionally, due to lack of access for anything better, been "forced" to (hesitantly) use some myself, I do base my "opinion" on those experiences/observations.

 

Besides, as I've said before, I've never had or made enough money to afford a luxury of being cheap, especially when it comes to making my living or enjoying my hobbies. 

 

But hey, we all do what we believe is best for ourselves, right ?

 

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I have been wrenching on cars for decades, having bought my first one in the 1970s while still in grade school. In the 1970s cheap Asian-made "tool sale" tools were unusable junk that simply could not get the job done, even for a hobbyist. The sockets were soft and would strip on bolts that weren't even very tight, ratchets would strip, wrenches fit too loose and rounded nuts, screwdriver tips stripped or broke, etc. Craftsman tools (from Sears at that time) were a lot more expensive but were sold onesy-twosy if you needed and were commercial grade, or nearly so. You could buy that one wrench or socket and get the job done. Most hobbyists could simply not afford real commercial tools like Snap-On, Mac, Matco, etc. at 3 times the price of barely affordable Craftsman. It just wasn't an option.

 

Craftsman were lifetime warranty tools, but by the 1990s or so the lifetime warranty did not apply to commercial use anymore. Some guys were still using Craftsman. I even still had a few, and still do. The thing is most mechanics work more than 5 days a week, and often get asked to stay late to get some car out the door. While exhausted from working all day you would have to drive home, shower, get into some street clothes, and drive down to Sears before they closed (8 PM?) to exchange a tool. The tool dealers on the other hand would come by your place of business once a week and exchange your broken ones, usually from stock right off the truck. If you were really stuck on something and called the tool truck guy, he would probably come the same day. Commercial tools are often bought on payments, and you typically don't pay interest, so the 3 times Craftsman price is not quite as bad as it sounds.

 

That brings us back to Harbor Freight. Frank has it right. The world has changed, and these are NOT the cheap Asian tools of old. If you have not seen them and used them you REALLY do not know.

 

Yes, there is still plenty of utter crap available in a Harbor freight store, but a majority of the hand tools like sockets, wrenches, etc. are very near commercial grade, and the cost is comparable to the unusable junk of the 1970s. I think you could almost use them in a commercial setting. The only hitch, like Sears in later years, would be what to do when they break. I have never tried to warranty anything at Harbor Freight, but I doubt it would work out that well because they, and most other purveyors of the Chinese tools only seem to stock whole sets. The tools are good enough. As good as Snap-on, Mac, or Matco? No, but about as good as 1990s Craftsman, and the finish is often nicer.

 

I don't have that much Harbor Freight stuff although I have used it quite a bit. Most of my tools are tool truck stuff like Snap-On, etc., bought when I was a professional mechanic. My specialty was driveability, so my collection is not even that big compared to guys who did mostly heavy mechanical work. If it all got stolen tomorrow and I had to add up my receipts I don't even know what it would come to but it would be shocking. I'd have to take out a mortgage to replace it.

 

I can understand if someone does not want to buy from Harbor Freight for personal reasons. I totally get it. But I also get that some guy working on one antique in his garage can not possibly afford to buy commercial tools like mine, not in the 1970s and not now. Everything else comes from the same sources as Harbor Freight, and the option of going down to Sears for that one socket you need right now has evaporated.

 

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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HF sells the "Predator" brand of small engines. (Yes, made in China)

These are identically boxed but carry three part numbers.

The most desirable for go kart racing is the Hemi version which are identifiable by the part number.

Unfortunately (maybe fortunately) they are phasing out the Hemi number and they are no longer in the store.

This to be replaced by "The Ghost" motor. I guess it is the Hemi version but already prepped for racing.

In the past we had to open the motor and remove some parts having to do with a governor and a low oil kill that we didn't want.

Not available yet the new Hemi Ghost is still a mystery. But it does show up as a registered trademark for HF small engine. So at least on its way.

 

Let me tell you that we run the crap out of these motors that go on sale often for a hundred (regularly $129,) bucks and they hold up remarkably well.

Yes, we will kill one on occasion, but its only a hundred bucks.

One guy that I race with tells me that he only races his a few times and then will exchange it for a new one. They never ask questions at HF. They want the customer to be happy.

I don't know if HF will exchange the subject hand tools , but I would suspect that they would.

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2 hours ago, Bloo said:

I have never tried to warranty anything at Harbor Freight, but I doubt it would work out that well because they, and most other purveyors of the Chinese tools only seem to stock whole sets.

 

Can't speak of "sets" of tools but a few years back I had about 5000 used red bricks that needed the mortar chipped off. I used a HF pneumatic chisel with a set chisels. About every 1000 bricks a chisel would break. I would take the whole set back and the clerk would always say just grab a new set. I would. He'd ring it up as NC, say "keep the old one" and send me on my way. The original power head lasted the whole job. I still use it from time to time. The extra ones I gave away ................Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
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7 hours ago, Dandy Dave said:

Snap on comes to the shop my machine shop is set up in every week. The main business is auto body work. I just occupy a part of the mechanical section of the shop. Recently some of the mechanics in the shop have had several older snap on tools that have needed replacing. A recent policy is that if you do not have a receipt that shows you bought the tool, Snap On will not honor the warranty. I have some snap on tools. However most were bought used, so this eliminates guys like me from returning anything that breaks. Thankfully it is rare when the older tools fail. By the way. This year is the 100th  Anniversary of Snap on. 1921-2021. Dandy Dave!   


 

Dandy Dave.......fortunately, we have an in at Snap-On. So, my trusty assistant “Phil with the hands like George the Animal Steel”  who is a retired 37 years Managmant and franchisee from the tool company. The president of Snap On is due here in a few days to play golf with Phil. So we fired off an email to him, the CEO, and the department head in charge of returns. We include a copy of your post. I expect we shall hear something rather quickly. I’m certain the dealer is just BS with the comment of needing a receipt. When we built our museum, my office was designed and furnished by Snap On special service. To say my off is is nice is an understatement. Boss doesn’t allow photos of the building otherwise I would show photos. Let’s just say if you think our cars are over the top, you should see the shop. It would blow you away. Anyways, we shall resolve you issue for you. Best, Ed. 

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Snap-on's return guarantee/return policy can be read on-line. As expected it's not a simple "guaranteed for life" but rather a lengthy word salad of boiler plate full of loop holes and hoops to jump through.

It appears that certain tools carry certain periods and conditions of guarantee which it's up to the buyer to ascertain.

It further appears that tools bought other than from Snap-on or a franchisee  (they call it "for personal use") will be required to perform the following....

 

To obtain warranty service contact the Snap-on Customer Care Center via telephone at 1-877-762-7664 or e-mail ncccsupport@snapon.com. The following information will be required with the customer’s warranty request: (1) date and proof of purchase, (2) where customer purchased the product, (3) full name, (4) shipping address, (5) phone number, (6) e-mail address, (7) item number(s) or approximate weight of return package. Warranty requests that do not include all of the required information will not be processed.

 

It appears that if you buy your tools with some regularity from the same truck driver you can get a broken wrench replaced fairly easily.

Other than that....... "You got some splainen to do".............Bob

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I have never had a bit of trouble getting stuff repaired/replaced even on a truck I had never seen before. That is why you pay Snap-On prices. If getting stuff fixed is a problem now, it is something new.

 

Of course some things are excluded. I imagine electronics would fall in that category. If your old Counselor II breaks they probably wont give you a new one. That is expected.

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20 hours ago, Bloo said:

I have been wrenching on cars for decades, having bought my first one in the 1970s while still in grade school. In the 1970s cheap Asian-made "tool sale" tools were unusable junk that simply could not get the job done, even for a hobbyist. The sockets were soft and would strip on bolts that weren't even very tight, ratchets would strip, wrenches fit too loose and rounded nuts, screwdriver tips stripped or broke, etc. Craftsman tools (from Sears at that time) were a lot more expensive but were sold onesy-twosy if you needed and were commercial grade, or nearly so. You could buy that one wrench or socket and get the job done. Most hobbyists could simply not afford real commercial tools like Snap-On, Mac, Matco, etc. at 3 times the price of barely affordable Craftsman. It just wasn't an option.

 

Craftsman were lifetime warranty tools, but by the 1990s or so the lifetime warranty did not apply to commercial use anymore. Some guys were still using Craftsman. I even still had a few, and still do. The thing is most mechanics work more than 5 days a week, and often get asked to stay late to get some car out the door. While exhausted from working all day you would have to drive home, shower, get into some street clothes, and drive down to Sears before they closed (8 PM?) to exchange a tool. The tool dealers on the other hand would come by your place of business once a week and exchange your broken ones, usually from stock right off the truck. If you were really stuck on something and called the tool truck guy, he would probably come the same day. Commercial tools are often bought on payments, and you typically don't pay interest, so the 3 times Craftsman price is not quite as bad as it sounds.

 

That brings us back to Harbor Freight. Frank has it right. The world has changed, and these are NOT the cheap Asian tools of old. If you have not seen them and used them you REALLY do not know.

 

Yes, there is still plenty of utter crap available in a Harbor freight store, but a majority of the hand tools like sockets, wrenches, etc. are very near commercial grade, and the cost is comparable to the unusable junk of the 1970s. I think you could almost use them in a commercial setting. The only hitch, like Sears in later years, would be what to do when they break. I have never tried to warranty anything at Harbor Freight, but I doubt it would work out that well because they, and most other purveyors of the Chinese tools only seem to stock whole sets. The tools are good enough. As good as Snap-on, Mac, or Matco? No, but about as good as 1990s Craftsman, and the finish is often nicer.

 

I don't have that much Harbor Freight stuff although I have used it quite a bit. Most of my tools are tool truck stuff like Snap-On, etc., bought when I was a professional mechanic. My specialty was driveability, so my collection is not even that big compared to guys who did mostly heavy mechanical work. If it all got stolen tomorrow and I had to add up my receipts I don't even know what it would come to but it would be shocking. I'd have to take out a mortgage to replace it.

 

I can understand if someone does not want to buy from Harbor Freight for personal reasons. I totally get it. But I also get that some guy working on one antique in his garage can not possibly afford to buy commercial tools like mine, not in the 1970s and not now. Everything else comes from the same sources as Harbor Freight, and the option of going down to Sears for that one socket you need right now has evaporated.

 

 

 

Craftsman tools are now carried by our local Ace Hardware store. Next place of Business down the road from the shop. The better sets are still warranted and still grandfathered in for older tools. Dandy Dave!  

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I dont think the craftsman stuff you buy today is comparible to the stuff of old. However a newer replacement is still better than a broken wrench.  Many years ago anything with Craftsman was guaranteed. I would by tin snips, when they got dull replace. The last time I exchanged (prob 30 yrs ago now) they no longer had craftsman named edge tools. So you got a plain ole sears brand.

 

One funny thing, we had a brick mason that had a 100ft steel tape (craftsmen) that broke. He thought he was pulling a fast one by selling it to his laborer for something like $5. Laborer exchanged for new and got a $20 tape for $5. Brick mason didnt know that could be done I suppose and thought he was taking advantage of the guy.

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The quality definitely slipped when they moved production out of the US, but they are still good tools. If you hold a new socket or wrench next to one from the 1990s you can see the difference.

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4 hours ago, Dandy Dave said:

Craftsman tools are now carried by our local Ace Hardware store. Next place of Business down the road from the shop. The better sets are still warranted and still grandfathered in for older tools. Dandy Dave!  

 

Our local Ace posted a sign that they will not warranty or replace Craftsman tools. Frankly, I refuse to have them replace my 1980s-vintage US-made with new imported versions anyway. The "crab claw" open end wrenches are just one reason why.

 

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uploadfromtaptalk1365011254589.jpg.796f5d42398d50c55bf2fde30821768f.jpg

 

uploadfromtaptalk1365011270191.jpg.4d3a977a18229ae6399c914616c4f2dc.jpg

Edited by joe_padavano (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, joe_padavano said:

 

Our local Ace posted a sign that they will not warranty or replace Craftsman tools. Frankly, I refuse to have them replace my 1980s-vintage US-made with new imported versions anyway. The "crab claw" open end wrenches are just one reason why.

 

uploadfromtaptalk1365011243685-jpg.24886

 

uploadfromtaptalk1365011254589-jpg.24886

 

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Not to be off subject, but these links Joe provided can not be seen, There is another discussion on this.

Just some info.

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12 minutes ago, JACK M said:

 

 

Not to be off subject, but these links Joe provided can not be seen, There is another discussion on this.

Just some info.

 

Operator error on my part, sorry about that. They should be visible now.

 

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1 hour ago, JACK M said:

That worked but unfortunately I am not a member.

 

Again error on my part, sorry. I didn't realize that Garage Forum only let members see images. I downloaded them to my computer and hard loaded them into my prior post. Third time's a charm. 😁

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Bottom line is, if a tool is used properly it shouldnt break.  If a bolt is hard to remove and the box wrench wont touch it, instead of beating on it with a hammer (my method) maybe some other way should be addressed?  Good example I bought a fibreglass handled shovel. The guy on the job said they were junk and wouldnt last. Wouldnt you know by the end of the day the handle was broke!  I can break any shovel handle if I want. I choose not to and to use them properly.

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15 minutes ago, TAKerry said:

Bottom line is, if a tool is used properly it shouldnt break.  If a bolt is hard to remove and the box wrench wont touch it, instead of beating on it with a hammer (my method) maybe some other way should be addressed?  Good example I bought a fibreglass handled shovel. The guy on the job said they were junk and wouldnt last. Wouldnt you know by the end of the day the handle was broke!  I can break any shovel handle if I want. I choose not to and to use them properly.

 

NO, the bottom line is that, like so many others, this thread got off topic from about 3rd post and has been spiraling further ever since.😉

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1 hour ago, TTR said:

NO, the bottom line is that, like so many others, this thread got off topic from about 3rd post and has been spiraling further ever since.

 

OTOH. Seventy three, nearly two full pages, of posts, facts, fictions, opinions, rebuttals, and general gum flapping indicates keen interest. Strictly on topic or not. Firstly, Isn't being informative and interesting the  raison d'etre for the forum? BTW,  you have contributed 13 of the above posts. Nearly 18%. Thank you for your interest and thoughts........Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
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