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    Icon vs. Snap-on

    I absolutely LOVE my Tekton socket, screw driver and wrench sets. Live them. For sub $100- a set tools I have no complaints. They are the main tools I use here for wrenches and sockets. I'd say at this point they have the equal of 5-10 years of weekend/hobby use and they are all still fantastic.

    That said, for the shop I bought some of HF's Icon series shorty wrenches, a 3/8 ratchet, those snap ring pliers and I'm forgetting what else.

    I have to say I absolutely love them. Really good. We have a bunch of random Snap-on stuff in the drawers of the shop box. I see no real benefits to the older Snap-on stuff we have over the new Icon. The feel is fantastic and the function leaves Almost nothing to be desired.

    Anyone have much experience with both (or all three)? If so how do you feel they compare?

    I need a set of bent wrenches, I need some ratcheting wrenches and an assortment of random stuff to full out me personal box. I'm considering piecing them together from Icon instead of trying to spend the $ on snap on or sticking with off brands like Tekton.

    I'm very impressed.

    What do you guys prefer?


    Don't spend money and buy, spend time and learn.

    #2
    I've never really seen the need for Snap On. Nice? Yup. Horribly overpriced? Yup. I have one Snap On tool that I can think of, a 10mm combination wrench that I found in the rear tire of a KX500. True story. Anyway, I recently did a tool purge and replaced a lot of stuff with Tekton. No complaints. I have fondled some of the Icon stuff at HF and I can't help but think some sort of witchcraft is involved. It's weird seeing (apparently) nice stuff at HF. Tools sure have come a long way, you can get some really good bang for the buck.
    J.D. Hord
    Keeper of Engine Nomenclature, 9th Order

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      #3
      I bought most of my tools when I was a poor college kid over a decade ago. Mostly HF stuff, and only metric. They've been through a ton and have held up. They are 6-pt sockets too, which I really like. I had a HF ratchet, but swapped it for the basic Snap-On 3/8", and it was miles better. The non-HF tools I have are the following. Specialty sockets for axles and that (20mm-47mm), breaker bar, tap and die sets (mix of Irwin and OSG), Vessel screwdrivers and impact, Motion Pro combo T (8, 10, 12, 13mm). I think that's the bulk of my regular use stuff. Other stuff is misc from machine shop auctions.


      TLDR - Get a nice ratchet, but the sockets don't matter as much. And get a Vessel JIS screwdriver.

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        #4
        Been a long time Craftsman user and fan; however, I doubt I'll be buying anymore based on the set we bought the youngest son a couple years ago. The quality is gone, all that remains is the name.

        Snap-On has appeal to techs stuck in a busy shop in that the tools come to you and you can replace broken tools easily. Other than that, there is no reason for a hobby wrench Turner to buy them.

        It is amazing to see the quality of store brand tools improving one the years. Kobalt, Pittsburgh, etc. Brands that don't have a long history, but are certainly adequate for the job.

        I would say if you use it at work and are happy, go ahead and buy it for your own box and don't look back. I only have one or two Icon branded tools, but they seem nice.

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          #5
          I have always found Snap On is nice gear but never worth the money. Not much bang for the buck. In Britain Britool was always the go to for quality socketry and King Dick for spanners (wrenches for the left hand side of the pond) Stanley for screwdrivers.

          Britool is now shiny Chinesium, King Dick open end spanners are still good but the ring spanners are a Chinese joke. Stanley are also shiny Chinesium.

          My go to sockets are Elora German quality but not too expensive, they're not shiny but if you break one you were using a scaffold pole on the end. Another good brand is Unior not shiny bling but solid stuff.

          Comment


            #6
            Snap on is nice but I have found brands like Gear wrench, HF/Icon, and Craftsman to be up to the standard for getting work done, and a lot of the tools now are made in the same plants with minor tweaks for different tool companies.

            That being said I did recently inherit my Dad's nearly 50 year old snap on mechanics tool chest and I gotta admit, once I clean the rail slides and get them lubricated it's probably going to still stand the test of time for many years to come. comparatively I doubt the 72 inch Big Green HF box I have will be around in 30 years unless I keep it in a pristine garage with little to no dust. The snap on box is filled with craftsman sockets and wrenches that date so far back I remember times my dad had to whip me for leaving them in the yard after working on a bicycle or go-kart and they are still in great shape (after he did a little rust treatment, lol).

            I have one of the Icon 3/8 flex head ratchets. It's nice, and has a high tooth count so it's great in tight spots. I'm using it and liking it, but then again they also have one that is the pittsburg brand, and its about 30 to 40 bucks less. It has the same TPU handle, the same tooth count (I think), and a lifetime warranty. If I break it I can exchange it, no receipt needed and no waiting on a truck to come by. It's pretty much the same on their composite ratchets as well. One thing I do love about the HF sockets is they are color coded so it does make it easy to crawl under something at the wrecking yard and not have to read socket sizes.

            I try to spend money wisely and have just never seen the need for snap-on tools for the stuff I do. I saw recently Craftsman has a new series of wrenches and hand tools coming out, I think the VQ series or something similar, and they literally are stamped and look almost exactly like the snap on wrenches (so far as the wrenches have shown).
            88 Blue Hawk GT - Under construction but rideable (guest approved)
            89 BlackHawk 2.0 - On the lift and being assembled
            90 Hawk GT (color as to yet be determined) - Still on the shelf in crates

            Comment


              #7
              I have a large collection of tools bought many years ago... SnapOn, Mac, Matco, Williams and Wright and a few others. I do also have some Craftsman wrenches..The sockets are almost all non plated impact stuff...They have held up well despite severe use like on red hot fasteners . I have noticed that the Craftsman open ends have spread open some over the years, the others have not...Some of the less expensive stuff does the job ok

              Comment


                #8
                Originally Posted by Hillbilly Bike View Post
                I have a large collection of tools bought many years ago... SnapOn, Mac, Matco, Williams and Wright and a few others. I do also have some Craftsman wrenches..The sockets are almost all non plated impact stuff...They have held up well despite severe use like on red hot fasteners . I have noticed that the Craftsman open ends have spread open some over the years, the others have not...Some of the less expensive stuff does the job ok
                I have found some less expensive tools that I can't see any why they could be better.. then some that I'm like "how can anyone use this."

                You never know before you buy. That's why I like to ask my friends haha.
                Don't spend money and buy, spend time and learn.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally Posted by Hordpower View Post
                  I've never really seen the need for Snap On. Nice? Yup. Horribly overpriced? Yup. I have one Snap On tool that I can think of, a 10mm combination wrench that I found in the rear tire of a KX500. True story. Anyway, I recently did a tool purge and replaced a lot of stuff with Tekton. No complaints. I have fondled some of the Icon stuff at HF and I can't help but think some sort of witchcraft is involved. It's weird seeing (apparently) nice stuff at HF. Tools sure have come a long way, you can get some really good bang for the buck.
                  Very true. You could build a box good enough for a young mechanic starting a career for probably 1/5th of what it would have taken 20 years ago when I started filling my first tool box at RPM.

                  Bet the tool purge was fun...

                  And I can't attest to the longevity of the icon stuff, but man.. so far, I'm very impressed with my wrench set.
                  Don't spend money and buy, spend time and learn.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Kinda was kinda wasn't. Took several days to go thru all my junk and move into the new tool chest. A lot of worn-ass non-matching tools, now everything in the workshop is back up to snuff and the "junk" went into the dyno room for use there. I found a lot of things I forgot I had. lol
                    Originally Posted by 6 View Post


                    Bet the tool purge was fun...
                    J.D. Hord
                    Keeper of Engine Nomenclature, 9th Order

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally Posted by Hordpower View Post
                      Kinda was kinda wasn't. Took several days to go thru all my junk and move into the new tool chest. A lot of worn-ass non-matching tools, now everything in the workshop is back up to snuff and the "junk" went into the dyno room for use there. I found a lot of things I forgot I had. lol

                      I need to do that with the shop tools. The problem is that everyone that works or lives here feels they have a right to use anything that's in the shop. So shit goes missing all the fucking time.

                      Every time I buy a nice fulls set of somthing, within a month it's missing a couple piece's. I can't even fully blame it on my guys because I know if the equine managers boyfriend needs a wrench, the scanner, some sockets, whatever he will just walk into the shop if no one is there and grab it. He may or may not return it.

                      I've had the conversation with them that this is my "office" I need these tools to do my job and they are not just "community tools" dude doesn't even work here. Just lives here, for free, because he is mooching off his girlfriend. They always claim they are not using them any more .. but they do..

                      I can't even lock it, we have 4 bays. One is my personal, two are shop bays, and I gave one to them to stop him from trying to work on shit in the shop bays, getting half way though something, then sitting a vehicle there for two weeks cause it's taken apart, can't move and he doesn't have the motivation or skill to finish.

                      Their bay now has a disassembled dune buggy in it now. Has for three years. Shit stacked on it like it's storage wars.

                      Can you tell I find him annoying?
                      Don't spend money and buy, spend time and learn.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The Lowe's Cobalt stuff is surprisingly good. As said above, get Vessel JIS normal and impact drivers--worth their weight in gold.
                        Hawk with many differently shaped fuel tanks.

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