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What tools do you use that have stood the test of time?


PutnamEco

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I would like to know what tools do you still use today, that have withstood the trial and tribulations of years of service?

I have a few, First off I'll mention my favorite tool, the original Black & Decker Super Sawcat. It has broken down a few times, once the fan broke loose from the armature, and the front grab handle split around the mount after taking a hit. Other than that this saw just won't quit. My Milwaukee 6368 has never broken down other than wearing out brushes. I should probably mention that I do maintain my tools, taking them apart and cleaning and regreasing them at least once a year, if not more often. I don't take these saws on the jobsite any more, as repair parts are next to nonexistent, but I do use them in the shop, and for my own personal jobs.

My Milwaukee HoleShooters are going on 25 years old and still hanging in there. I have both the 1/2" and 3/8" and prefer the 3/8" for daily use. I have an even older 50s era 1/4" Black & Decker drill that I inherited from my father that I still use occasionally out in the shop.

I have an old Craftsman 24" level that I keep around the house for leveling shelves and pictures etc., that was the first level I purchased back about 35 years ago. It is still accurate.

For an utterly ridiculous tool that has lasted far longer than it has a right to, Is a razor knife I was issued from my first job as a stock boy, it is one of those folded tin knives that holds a single sided razor blade in another piece of folded tin, that deploys by sliding in and out like opening and closing match box. Sitting in the top of my mechanics tool box still being used often to open packages. Speaking of razor knives, after a couple years of using that knife daily I upgraded to a Stanley 99 which remarkably lasted many years as well, until I lost it from a tool roll that fell from my motorcycle during a commute in the early 90s . Now that I think about it, I still have a few of those tools that I bought to replace that lost tool roll. A pair of fuller slip joint pliers, a Stanley ratcheting screwdriver, and a Crescent adjustable wrench.

I also have numerous Snap-on and SK ratchets, sockets, and wrenches that are getting rather old, as well.

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I have a Dewalt 4 1/2 angle grinder that has been absolutely abused for years a refuses to die. It's more black than yellow, but it just keeps going. I had a lot of hand me down power tools from my dad, but I phased most of them out over the last couple of years. I have a lot of Proto hand tools that I've had since I was a teenager when my dad brought them home from work. They were used when I got them, I use them regularly, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if my grand kids don't end up with some of them in their box. They don't have the brand recognition of Snap-On, Mac, and Matco, but they're probably better quality. Proto is the real deal.

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One of my buddies has a larger Dewalt angle grinder, I believe a 9", that he has been using heavily since the age of the dinosaurs. I wonder what Dewalt was thinking when they chose to go with yellow, that has got to be one of the quickest colors to show off the grunge and grime that tools pick up, almost as bad a those white Makitas.

Proto does make some decent tools, I have one of their keychain screwdrivers on one of my keychains for 25-30 years now. Proto are pretty well known where I'm from, they are a lot more affordable than Snap-on.

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The real problem with Proto is the availability. The places that offer the best selection are the supply houses and you know how that goes. You get Snap-On or better quality without paying for the truck, if you can find a good selection.

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The real problem with Proto is the availability. The places that offer the best selection are the supply houses and you know how that goes. You get Snap-On or better quality without paying for the truck, if you can find a good selection.

MSC Industrial Supply is your friend for Proto. Got to love online retailers.

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I still have an angled snap on ratchet screwdriver that has had me swinging on it like a gorilla (one for Dan and Eric lol) and it is till going strong.

The original from ages ago locked up and a snapon van was driving by and i flagged him down and he was so impressed I still had it he gave me a brand new one LOL was very cool. :D

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That's another drawback to Proto, it's next to impossible to find large sets of anything as the vast majority of their business is industrial applications that require only a few specific sizes. You can find small sets of 8 or 10 socket sizes,13 piece wrench sets, or screwdriver sets, but you won't ever find a 70 piece socket set or anything like that. If you've got $20,000 or so you can get a master set, but aside from that you're parting it out.

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They do sell large sets through their Blackhawk line. They used to offer a line called Challenger, but through mergers and acquisitions they phased them out. Blackhawk carries a lifetime warranty and the quality is roughly equal to Craftsman or Kobalt. Mostly USA made with some import stuff. I really don't know what would make one go with Blackhawk though, the availability isn't even close to Craftsman or Kobalt and the quality is about the same.

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That's another drawback to Proto, it's next to impossible to find large sets of anything as the vast majority of their business is industrial applications that require only a few specific sizes. You can find small sets of 8 or 10 socket sizes,13 piece wrench sets, or screwdriver sets,

They sell standard ratchet sets even a 65 piece set what more could you want? It is only cheap DIY type tools that come in a one size fits all set and they have that covered with their Blackhawk and Stanley brands. Anyhow they will custom build a set to your specs

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I have a couple tools that have stood up, but the one that sticks in my head the most is my Bosch 4" grinder. I think it is from 1990 and it has taken a beating.

I have a Dewalt 4 1/2 angle grinder that has been absolutely abused for years a refuses to die. It's more black than yellow, but it just keeps going.

You guys doing any maintenance to keep your grinders going?

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Not really. I blow the crud out of it with my compressor every once in awhile. Like a lot of other tools, they threw them out at the plant my dad works at because it got caustic on it. He brought it home, cleaned it up, and I've had it ever since. I got it in the mid 90's so I've had it at least 15 years and it was used when I got it. It's definitely been a good one. It's amazing the stuff these big plants throw out for the littlest things. They'll change the blade in a saw every time they use it. They'll open a box of fasteners, uses 1/4 of them, and throw the rest out. Anything that is supposed to be inspected either by OSHA or manufacturer guidelines, they rarely ever get them inspected, just throw them out. Ladders, fire extinguishers, doesn't matter, just toss it in the dumpster. Probably 1/2 the industrial tools I own were thrown out after only a handful of uses because they were exposed to caustic soda, which will burn you, but is easily cleaned up with water. They throw out a $100+ ratchet rather than wash it off in the sink. It's insane! Anything under $500 isn't ever cleaned or serviced. They used to not care what you took home, if it was in a dumpster, trash can, or scrap pile, it was fair game. Not so much anymore, now they try and make sure it stays in the trash.

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It's amazing the stuff these big plants throw out for the littlest things. They'll change the blade in a saw every time they use it. They'll open a box of fasteners, uses 1/4 of them, and throw the rest out. Anything that is supposed to be inspected either by OSHA or manufacturer guidelines, they rarely ever get them inspected, just throw them out. Ladders, fire extinguishers, doesn't matter, just toss it in the dumpster. They used to not care what you took home, if it was in a dumpster, trash can, or scrap pile, it was fair game. Not so much anymore, now they try and make sure it stays in the trash.

With all the silly lawsuits that these companies deal with it is little wonder why, one lawsuit could equal many years worth of tool supplies.

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Not really. I blow the crud out of it with my compressor every once in awhile.

Amazing what some tools will go through and still keep working. Luckily the gearboxes on most angle grinders are pretty well sealed and the heat they generate keeps the grease flowing around well. I wonder if the maintenance that I do to my tools will keep them going until the next generation. I'll post later about why I hope a couple of my old grinders keeps going.

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  • 1 year later...

I have a hammer I've had since junior high (before Summer 1956). My father gave me the head (a 16 oz. claw head with a slight chip out of one side of the face) but with no handle. On it's side it said PLUMB Guaranteed. Later that Summer I started to do add jobs for the family that owned the local Western Auto store and there I bought a hickory hammer handle. Somehow I managed to shape and fit the top of the handle to fit into the head, drive in the wedge from the top, and seal the top with two part epoxy. A couple years later my father bought me a Dunlap block plane. And a year later he bought me a Craftsman 1/4" socket set.

 

Today, 58 years later, I use the hammer as often as I need a hammer, used the plane just last week to shape a couple curved templates, and the socket set mostly collects dust now thanks to cordless drill drivers.     

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When my Dad moved to Florida 12 years ago, he gave me his 7-1/4" American made Craftsman circular saw. Meh has had that thing since I was a kid. I reworded a cord for it and use it on all my outdoor projects. Not as powerful but it gets the job done after all these years :)

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