What is the mechanic without his tools? For a mechanic to be able to make a living in their chosen trade, they must be equipped with the tools to do the job. Whether you are just starting out or you are a seasoned mechanic, your tools are the keys to your success.
If you’re just starting out in the trade, you should take the time to acquaint yourself with a few of the companies that make the tools that you will need to make your living.
Headquartered in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Snap-On tools was started in 1920 when Joseph Johnson and William Seidemann created, manufactured, and marketed a set of interchangeable “snap-on” sockets and handles. Their idea revolutionized the tool industry and made them a leader in the world of auto racing mechanics for over 70 years. Snap-On tools boast a product line of over 14,000 innovative and precision tools. Professionals use product warranties that vary based on the nature of the product, but in general they guarantee the tools to be free from defects when shipped from the factory. Warranty details are provided with any product.
In the early 1920s, Raymond E. DeWalt began working as the head of a woodworking mill. In an effort to increase productivity, DeWalt invented what is known today as the radial arm saw. This invention moved DeWalt forward in the power saw industry. In the early 1990s, DeWalt released over 30 cordless tools including saws, drills, drivers, and even flashlights. Today, DeWalt manufactures over 200 electric power tools and over 800 power tool accessories. DeWalt offers a 3 year limited warranty on its tools but does not cover failure due to normal wear or tool abuse.
Pronto originated in 1907 in California. The company initially began by making chisels from Model T axles, and in the 1930s introduced a line of combination wrenches. Proto acquired several companies during its growth era in the 1940s. In 1984, Stanley Works purchased Proto and formed Stanley/Proto Industrial Tools. Stanley/Proto offer a line of tools over 5,000 strong. Their tools exceed the American Society of Engineers (ASME) standards and carry a limited lifetime warranty.
There are hundreds of brands and tool manufacturers to seek out and learn about, but the best advice, especially for someone starting out in the business, is to find a good set of affordable tools that come from a reputable source and that have a good warranty. Once you know what your business focus will be, it will be easier to narrow down which manufacturer’s to look towards for the tools of your trade.
Here’s a very quick breakdown of manufacturer’s related to the types of tools they make:
● Hand Tools: Proto/Stanley, Snap-On, Matco
● Air Tools: Ingersoll-Rand, Cornwell, Campbell Hausfield
● Motorcycle Tools: Jims, Kastar, TecMate
● Cordless Tools: Makita, DeWalt, Ingersoll-Rand
If you find that some tools are more expensive than others, shop around. There are often sites that offer great deals from a variety of manufacturers. This allows you to pick and choose the tools in your price range but still gives you the advantage of finding great tools at good prices with good warranties.
Keep in mind that most of the warranties from almost all major manufacturers’ will not replace or repair any tools that have been mistreated or abused.