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Snapon vs Mac vs Matco?

SoCalEddie

Administrator
Staff member
Jul 14, 2017
263
98
103
Los Angeles, CA
#1
Hey everyone,

Currently in the market for newer high quality tools to replace our old but reliable U.S. made Craftsman set. The tools will be used in a home garage setting but will pass it down to the next generation. This will be an ongoing process to get the tools we need but wanted to get your guys’s opinion on Snapon vs Mac vs Matco tools.

For those who have had a lot of exposure between the three brands, do you have a preference over the other and why?
 

Graves

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2016
997
315
123
So. Cal.
#2
I think that you'll find that a lot of mechanics have some of each, myself included. Each company makes some items better than others, and there's always room for Craftsman in a toolbox because it's kind of horrifying to take a o2/c2h2 torch to a Snap-On wrench. I might steer clear of Matco, they've had their financial troubles in the past and I don't see as many trucks out there as I used to. My box is Mac heavy, mostly due to the excessive cost of Snap-On, but I do have some Snap-On in there.

Hey everyone,

Currently in the market for newer high quality tools to replace our old but reliable U.S. made Craftsman set. The tools will be used in a home garage setting but will pass it down to the next generation. This will be an ongoing process to get the tools we need but wanted to get your guys’s opinion on Snapon vs Mac vs Matco tools.

For those who have had a lot of exposure between the three brands, do you have a preference over the other and why?
 
Likes: SoCalEddie

Graves

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2016
997
315
123
So. Cal.
#3
Guess I didn’t really address your inquiry. Snap-On have always been the premium, the high cost got you strength and compact design, like thin walled sockets and box end wrenches. As you go to Mac things get a little thicker but the cost is less. Same goes with Matco, all the way down to Craftsman. This is hand tools like wrenches and sockets. Air tools are another kettle of fish. Back in the day Snap-On had an awesome 1/4” drive air ratchet, the thing lasted for years but it was pricey, I’d usually wear out an air ratchet in 6 months so the extra cost was worth it. IR Had a real good 3/8 air ratchet, all bearing, I only bought the one that I still have after wearing out many many many lesser models. IR Used to be the king of impacts, Mac mixed the hammers out of the 244 and the motor out of a 231 and called it a 234. You had to be careful removing lug nuts, if one started to seize you had about three hits of the hammers before it would just twist the wheel stud out of the hub. But all of this air tool talk is old school, everything these days is cordless, and even though I was reluctant to buy into this idea I have to say that they are awesome. I have a Dewalt 3/8” 12volt cordless impact that I wonder how I ever did without. In my opinion professional grade tools might be overkill for the home toolbox, they,re made to take daily abuse, not use, abuse. Ask a mechanic what he uses for a hammer, and if he’s honest he’ll reply with “whatever I have in my hand at the time”, unless the job really required a hammer. Screwdrivers are pry bars, punches, scribes, scrapers... we abise the crap out of tools, and professional grade tools can take it.
 
Likes: SoCalEddie

SoCalEddie

Administrator
Staff member
Jul 14, 2017
263
98
103
Los Angeles, CA
#4
Awesome info @Graves. Thank you for this. Definitely leaning towards snapon and mac. What about snapon and mac tool boxes? Did you notice a quality difference to justify the high price compared to a Home Depot Craftsman or Husky tool box?

I’ve been eyeing the snapon apprentice set - https://store.snapon.com/US-Apprentice-Set-Apprentice-Set-P641697.aspx

Currently keeping my eyes out for lightly used snapon tools on Craigslist and such.
 

Graves

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2016
997
315
123
So. Cal.
#5
I’d say that in the top end of things that the Snap-On and Mac boxes are comparable. But again, these are designed to be heavily loaded and abused daily for decades, don’t know if that’s what you need or not. I was at Lowe’s tonight and saw a real nice Craftsman top and bottom box set for $1K, not bad, and not the $5K to $10K you’d spend on pro box.

Awesome info @Graves. Thank you for this. Definitely leaning towards snapon and mac. What about snapon and mac tool boxes? Did you notice a quality difference to justify the high price compared to a Home Depot Craftsman or Husky tool box?

I’ve been eyeing the snapon apprentice set - https://store.snapon.com/US-Apprentice-Set-Apprentice-Set-P641697.aspx

Currently keeping my eyes out for lightly used snapon tools on Craigslist and such.
 
Likes: SoCalEddie

Graves

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2016
997
315
123
So. Cal.
#6
Here's a good example of what I'm saying. At 9 o'clock there's an old Snap-On 15mm wrench, 12 o'clock a newer Snap-On, 3 o'clock a Mac and at 6 o'clock a newer Craftsman 5/8" (didn't have a 15). Doesn't look like much a difference, but when working on vehicles every day there are instances where a wrench or socket is too thick to fit somewhere, and a thinner tool may expedite a repair. Time is money.

1544030172655.png
 
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SoCalEddie

Administrator
Staff member
Jul 14, 2017
263
98
103
Los Angeles, CA
#7
@Graves Truly grateful for all this information. I see what you mean about the wrenches and really interesting how each manufactures do things differently than others. Will take this all to heart and keep you updated on the first albeit small snapon/Mac purchase.
 

SoCalEddie

Administrator
Staff member
Jul 14, 2017
263
98
103
Los Angeles, CA
#8
@Graves Finally got my first pieces of Snapon.

1/4” quick release ratchet and a set of screw drivers.

Love the ratchet and used it recently to replace a blend door actuator on a 2009 Ford Ranger.
08F8A810-6545-4867-8BE2-226044E7478C.jpeg
 

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