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Old Yesterday, 12:33 PM   #1
metaldad
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Default Broken Tools

I keep reading replies about busted screwdrivers, broken ratchets, the need for warranty replacement.
I'm a service pipefitter for the past 35 years, use every hand tool known to man, and I could count the legitimately broken tools on one hand.
I know I have broken alot when using a tool beyond its intended use. And I do realize tools wear out. I consider most hand tools as 'consumables'. Use almost every brand out there, focusing on USA made.
(just read the Matco rat thread, and referring to almost every cman screwdriver comment)
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Old Yesterday, 12:37 PM   #2
Wes J
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Default Re: Broken Tools

I lose far more than I break.

Somethings have a short life. Hex keys and hex bit sockets take a beating in my shop. Pin punches are don't last long.

I usually just buy a new one and don't mess with the warranty. I think most industrial customers will do that same.
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Old Yesterday, 12:43 PM   #3
Fedwrench
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Default Re: Broken Tools

It's always been like that here. Some journal members have more broken and defective tools than I have ever seen in any of the shops I've worked in. It amazing anything gets done with all of these broken tools. Of course we have the other extreme too, people that disassemble perfectly good ratchets to put the slickest lube they can find to improve its performance, or people that cut pawl gear springs to reduce back drag in their favorite ratchet. It's always been my opinion that if you actually used the tool regularly things would smooth out with use.
Some tool makers would fear going out of business if they read some of the posts. Oh well, at least it isn't too boring.
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Old Yesterday, 01:16 PM   #4
gonmad54
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Default Re: Broken Tools

I think it has more to do with the person than it does the tools. My older brother is not allowed to touch any tools because he tends to break them so he sticks to computers and marketing while I rebuild his motors.
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Old Yesterday, 01:18 PM   #5
jt777
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Default Re: Broken Tools

I also can't count the times on one hand I've broken a tool where i was like, piece of crapp! How do you break from that? Other times you just go and pray it doesn't break. When they break from abuse. It is your fault
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Old Yesterday, 01:30 PM   #6
B_Bimmer
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Default Re: Broken Tools

I have seen plenty break, mostly due to working on big, old, and of course rusty stuff. Sockets get tired and crack, and sometimes bigger drive sizes don't fit so smaller ones need to be pushed. If you can really deny craftsman Phillips screwdrivers just don't cut it you haven't ever used one. The better quality tools I have now change things a lot. When I was trying to pretend harbor fright crap was just as good years ago there was also a substantial amount of things just not working. One of my favorite examples is this set.

http://www.harborfreight.com/bearing...set-93980.html

We bought it before we needed it knowing it would have helped in the past. First time it could have helped I pull it out only to find they failed to tap one of the halves of the smaller set. Oh well, plenty of room, so we set up the bigger one. Lock collar out of the way, shaft polished up and penetrating fluid applied, I put a little pressure on it and watch it bend like a pop can. Well, enough "time saved" there, grab a couple decent bars and pop it right off.

Strangely though I have never had a problem that a good cleaning didn't take care of with the standard craftsman raised panel ratchets, I guess it's just what I grew up on and am accustomed to. It seems I am virtually alone here on that, oh well, that's what keeps it interesting.
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Old Yesterday, 01:34 PM   #7
B_Bimmer
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Default Re: Broken Tools

Besides all that, isn't most of the broken stuff talk on here just dramatic warranty concerns? Actual "I broke this while doing "x" and here is a picture" is pretty rare.
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Old Yesterday, 01:38 PM   #8
RRmech
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Default Re: Broken Tools

I broke one tool....a 1960's Cman 3/8" drive ratchet....in 26 years as a train mechanic.

Steve
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Old Yesterday, 01:55 PM   #9
raiderhillbilly
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Default Re: Broken Tools

I would really love it if snap on tools were half price and had no warranty. Craftsman destroyed itself with the worlds greatest warranty. From 1930s to 1970s Craftsman was hard to beat.

Companies sell tools boasting of their warranty and don't have to. It just costs everybody more .
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Old Yesterday, 02:17 PM   #10
CJM8515
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Default Re: Broken Tools

Know those nice rubber handled husky branded screwdrivers they came out with not to long ago? After last x mas I bought a set for cheap, they seemed quite nice.

I broke the last 3/16" off of the tip of the 1/4" flathead the other day. I did use it as a prybar and was adjusting an atv chain on the carrier that moved pretty easily. I normally use a punch or allen key but the screwdriver was handy. I know my buddy is lazy and used screwdrivers (cheapo looking ones) before with no issue.

I think the reason it broke is due to the type of metal it is, doesnt seem to be chrome vanadium (or whatever a socket is made of as thats what other screwdrivers appear to be made of), but more of a speckled type of steel Ive never seen before. yes, I abused the tool and will at least try and warranty it. But I wont be prying much with it anymore.

Funny, I have a SUPER old set of stanley screwdrivers (yellow/black handled ones) for over 20 years I abused, never broke a one. Im thinking I shoulda just bought the williams screwdriver set and not wasted my cash.
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Old Yesterday, 02:59 PM   #11
Pipe
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Default Re: Broken Tools

With all due respect, you are most likely a union worker and aren't in a hurry to finish a job. Techs that are flat rate want to get the job done fast.
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Old Yesterday, 03:05 PM   #12
PSYKO_Inc
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Default Re: Broken Tools

Let's see... I've had to warranty one snap on 1/4" drive ratchet, not really "broken" but would auto reverse under torque. Dealer dropped in a kit and it's been fine since. One 14mm hf combo wrench, broke one jaw clean off the open end. Damn near broke my hand when it let go. Replaced under warranty and that set lives in my junkyard bag these days. Split a handful of no name Taiwan sockets, no warranty obviously so straight to the trash can. A few freebie hf screwdrivers by using them as a punch or prybar when I don't have anything else available, don't even bother to warranty them, I consider them consumable. And broken dozens of craftsman screwdrivers because they're evidently made of cheese.
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Old Yesterday, 03:57 PM   #13
Wes J
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Default Re: Broken Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pipe View Post
With all due respect, you are most likely a union worker and aren't in a hurry to finish a job. Techs that are flat rate want to get the job done fast.
We're not responsible for your employment situation.

Some people just tear things up. They're too lazy to go back to the box for the right tool so they destroy the one they are using.

I work on all kinds of god awful things. I don't work slow. But, I'm methodical and careful.
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Old Yesterday, 04:30 PM   #14
Pipe
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Default Re: Broken Tools

I was solely using flat rate as a prime example. I'm hourly as a county employee. I break tools on occasion and get them replaced under warranty without an issue.

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Old Yesterday, 04:33 PM   #15
bwringer
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Default Re: Broken Tools

It took me longer than I'd like to admit to start regarding phillips screwdrivers as consumables. I stopped buying crappy screwdrivers, but expensive or cheap eventually they all wear out.

Nowadays, the second the tip starts looking a little hashed, I wing it into the trash without a twinge of guilt and grab a fresh one. And my life is therefore just a little bit less stressful.
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Old Yesterday, 04:44 PM   #16
OutsideMachinist
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Default Re: Broken Tools

Any tool with enough use will need replaced. Wrenches sockets impact sockets screwdrivers ratchets anything that sees heavy use is a consumeable. Open ends spread, sockets wear out. If you are using tools professionally they are all consumeable. I keep at least two of every wrench and socket I need. More than that after including the modified tools.

Any hand tool by any company used hard every day isnt going to last your lifetime. You wont be passing on you first wrench and socket set you bought to your kids if you use them every day for 30 plus years. If you do theyll be worn out junk just for sentimental value. I dont concern myself with warranty on hand tools because by the time Ive worn them out I either abused the hell out of them or gotten plenty use and my moneys worth.

For guys buying off the tool trucks its a bit different because part of the premium price you are paying for is the warranty. For a diy I dont think it should ever be a major concern save for a few select tools.
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Old Yesterday, 04:46 PM   #17
JUNK-MAN
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Default Re: Broken Tools

I don't break that many but a few here and there. Mostly Allen wrenches and punches but I've rounded out sockets, snapped off screwdrivers and broke ratchets. It happens especially when you are hard on tools like me.
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Old Yesterday, 05:24 PM   #18
Milwookie
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Default Re: Broken Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pipe View Post
With all due respect, you are most likely a union worker and aren't in a hurry to finish a job. Techs that are flat rate want to get the job done fast.
There are three ways to get a job done: Good, Fast, and Cheap. You can pick any two.

If it's good and fast, it ain't gonna be cheap. If it's good and cheap, it ain't gonna be fast. If it's cheap and fast, it ain't gonna be good.

In my job, I take as much time as I need to do the job right, and no more.
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Last edited by Milwookie; Yesterday at 05:27 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 05:27 PM   #19
Greg85mcss
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Default Re: Broken Tools

Not counting punches, prying with flat heads... I've broken a few things. Mostly when I cheaped out. People always complain about craftsman screwdrivers but I haven't had a problem yet besides a 1/4 bit. I ruined a few hf orange handles & gave the rest to a new tech. Split 2 gearwrench sockets but I really enjoy using them so I don't mind the $3 each to replace them. Couple rp ratchets & a matco that was defective. Also a few hf specialty tools but I returned them.


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Old Yesterday, 05:27 PM   #20
Pipe
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Default Re: Broken Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milwookie View Post
There are three ways to get a job done: Good, Fast, and Cheap. You can pick any two.

If it's good and fast, it ain't gonna be cheap. If it's good and cheap, it ain't gonna be fast. If it's cheap and fast, it ain't gonna be good.

In my job, I take as much time as I need to do the job right, and no more.
And I always say "I ain't cheap"

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