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Old Yesterday, 02:53 PM   #1
creativecars
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Default If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

We have new kids on here all the time asking what tools they need to buy on a budget... Their budget. So here is my question to you, If you were starting from scratch and could spend $400 on tools and only $400, what would you get? (recommend)
For example Several years ago I had a Craftsman box stolen out of my truck it contained hand tools that could do most any road side repair.. alternator, waterpump, starter, thermostat, battery etc...

What should I have gotten to replace them?
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Old Yesterday, 03:17 PM   #2
87FoRunner
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

Harbor freight 301 piece kit

Breaker bar

$20 craftsman pry bar special

Hammers

Craftsman screwdriver set

As many channel lock pliers with what's left.
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Old Yesterday, 03:35 PM   #3
Loscaldazar
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

Harbor Freight Pittsburgh Pro sockets (the Taiwan made stuff, its actually really good quality) and the composite ratchets. Grab a 25" breaker bar too from HF also. Wrenches I would probably buy Kobalt, Husky, or Gearwrench (not a fan of the HF wrenches at all).
Not sure what screwdrivers I would get.

Pliers would be channellocks.

A few Craftsman (Wilde made) pry bars. Probably the 3 piece set when it is on sale for $20.

That would be about $200 for a very comprehensive tool set.
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Old Yesterday, 03:47 PM   #4
nieuport17
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

U could stretch that $400 even more if u could for sales. Even better if black friday.
But if u want the tools now, then its tough. Regular price Craftsman wrench set with both SAE and mm is $79.95 for example.
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Old Yesterday, 04:13 PM   #5
gtlaw
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

this is how I would spend it
gearwrench 80300
Williams M-52EHFA
Williams MSB-29HF
Williams B-52EHFA
Williams 100P-8MD
c-man pry bar set, channellock gs-1 set and a few nupla hammers
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Old Yesterday, 04:14 PM   #6
SASORacing
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

I would get a complete 3/8th socket set 6-22mm, Craftsman. A Matco or Snap-on ratchet. Milwakkee hex impact m12 fuel. Craftsman combo wrench raised panel wrench set. Then the HF 4 drawer cart. You have a place to store your tools now.
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Old Yesterday, 04:17 PM   #7
franzdom
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

I would get all verklempt.
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Old Yesterday, 04:24 PM   #8
dewmor
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

I'd start with that 250 pc Craftsman set that's on sale right now for $139 and add to that. They'll be a few gasp to fill for the sockets and wrenches, but not too many. Add a set of C Man pry bars, some screwdrivers, and some decent pliers and you're good to hook. And maybe a big hammer for those times you need to persuade something. Or someone.
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Old Yesterday, 04:26 PM   #9
ez-duzit
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

I would stretch the value of that $400 by buying mainly quality used tools; by being patient and diligently watching c/l & eBay ads and scouring yard sales; by taking advantage of exceptional sales promotions on new, individual sets; and by not buying stuff I don't need or already have.
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Old Yesterday, 04:59 PM   #10
Boiler
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

Used
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Old Yesterday, 05:01 PM   #11
atwageman
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

If that's my budget then I would consider a new career or hobby. Just kidding. Many great suggestions.
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Old Yesterday, 05:02 PM   #12
Cato
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

I would get a basic metric Wright 3/8 socket set (ratchet and breaker bar included). That would take about $150.

Then I'd get a Craftsman USA (Wildes) small set of pliers, an adjustable Craftsman USA wrench, and one of those Craftsman WF screwdriver sets. There's another $50.

Then Craftsman hammer set and a couple hand saws. Another $50.

The last $100 would be spent on a Milwaukee power drill.
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Old Yesterday, 05:25 PM   #13
zkling
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

SK ratchets and sockets used focusing on mostly 3/8drive, a few in 1/2 with a 1/2 breaker bar.
Craftsman or SK wrenches, again used.
Fluke 27fm multimeter
Craftsman pro screwdriver set
Craftsman USA pliers
Misc USA ball pein
Used vise grips
1 large C clamp
Craftsman mini pick set
Cman hex key set
Put it all in a sub $50 portable or top tool box with drawers
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Old Yesterday, 05:27 PM   #14
Davefr
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by creativecars View Post
We have new kids on here all the time asking what tools they need to buy on a budget... Their budget. So here is my question to you, If you were starting from scratch and could spend $400 on tools and only $400, what would you get? (recommend)
For what type of use? Automotive?, General DIY/Homeowner? Other?

What timeframe? Do you have an immediate need or can you invest some time shopping used?
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Old Yesterday, 05:28 PM   #15
carcajou
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

Severely depressed.
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Old Yesterday, 05:37 PM   #16
creativecars
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

Follow up questions:

You guys recommending Craftsman:
Do you recommend for what Craftsman/Sears used to be or today. I used to recommend them with out a doubt, but in the last 5+ years not so much. Our local Sears went away and the next closest one was a joke.

Used tool prices:
I understand used tools but around here anyone trying to sell a truck brand or Craftsman thinks they have GOLD and quote retail prices. I have to walk away because there is not much of a deal to be had. At their prices you could not get enough tools to do much work for $400 invested.

Used tools wait:
I also understand being patient, but that comes at he expense of not being able to fix anything in the mean time.
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Old Yesterday, 05:44 PM   #17
creativecars
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
Severely depressed.
Yeah, I think that is how some of the new people to the GarageJournal world feel.
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Old Yesterday, 05:48 PM   #18
Cato
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by creativecars View Post
Follow up questions:

You guys recommending Craftsman:
Do you recommend for what Craftsman/Sears used to be or today. I used to recommend them with out a doubt, but in the last 5+ years not so much. Our local Sears went away and the next closest one was a joke.
Craftsman is fine. The Craftsman USA stuff is a step up. Even the Chinese stuff will get the job done. All the negative opinions of Chinese Craftsman tools is based on nationalism and perhaps guys trying to justify spending tens of thousands of dollars on Snap On. With all the sales and promotions, Craftsman is an economical alternative.

If your Sears is a joke, you can always order online for store pick up.
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Old Yesterday, 05:50 PM   #19
Eric Nordstrom
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

I would try and buy used. Craigslist or a flea market. But I like the hunt!
If new Harbor Freight-Maybe Sears.
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Old Yesterday, 06:11 PM   #20
Nanashi
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Default Re: If you only had $400 for tools what would you get?

A really cheap completed set of sockets and wrenches
Then i would start replacing them with quality tools like snap on. Id go really cheap on the starter set to because most cheap tools have no resale.
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