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craftsman/kobalt air tools

This is a discussion on craftsman/kobalt air tools within the XDTalk Chatter Box forums, part of the XD Talk category; Are they worth the money? Just wondering, im familiar with matco/snap-on tool prices and looking at the craftsman and kobalt air tools... it's crazy what ...


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Old 09-10-2011, 11:05 PM   #1
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craftsman/kobalt air tools

Are they worth the money?

Just wondering, im familiar with matco/snap-on tool prices and looking at the craftsman and kobalt air tools... it's crazy what you can get for the money (which usually isnt a good thing) kobalt 50 pc. air tool set, impact gun, air ratchet and something else plus sockets and some other small stuff for.........$100!

For just light use on car stuff, changing tires, working on mod's (adding different bumpers, removing seats) stuff like that... are these cheaper air tools going to hold up for years or is it better to splurge more $$$ on a tool that I KNOW will be worth it?

Craftsman all the way as far as handtools, wrenches... but as for cordless power, always been a fan of dewalt and makita.

Same goes for air tanks... they dont seem to get GREAT reviews but what can you expect for the money, I guess.
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:45 PM   #2
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If you rotate your tires once or twice a year, then the cheap are fine.

I look at it like drill bits, buy the cheap set and then when they break, replace with good quality. That way you hve good stuff for the items you use the most of.

That said, only one out of all 28 of my airtools are now is from harbor freight. The rest are Sioux, IR and CP.

Sioux is the one that makes the airtools for Snap On, so that may save you money depending on what line you go with.

Florida Pneumatic is also decent stuff for the money...better than the Kobalt/Harbor Freigt crap, but not as good as the IR, CP, Snap On, etc, but well worth the money for mid range stuff.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:00 AM   #3
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I am a mechanic and i own the big ones. snap on, matco, mac. craftsman. nothing wrong with craftsman at all. air tool wise I will go with IR or Snap on. little something i have found out and you wont beleave it. a co-worker of mine busted his Matco ratchet. the gears inside it broke. He had an older style matco ratchet. I took all the parts out of my craftsman ratchet and placed it in his matco handle. so just because some tool as a fancy name on it and is way over priced. does not mean it is any better.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon31 View Post
I am a mechanic and i own the big ones. snap on, matco, mac. craftsman. nothing wrong with craftsman at all. air tool wise I will go with IR or Snap on. little something i have found out and you wont beleave it. a co-worker of mine busted his Matco ratchet. the gears inside it broke. He had an older style matco ratchet. I took all the parts out of my craftsman ratchet and placed it in his matco handle. so just because some tool as a fancy name on it and is way over priced. does not mean it is any better.
True, The Danaher Tool group, now renamed to Apex Tool Group, builds the tools for Matco, Craftsman, Cooper (Crescent and others), Armstrong, KD, and a slew of others.

Another example is the ratchet wrenches from Ace Hardware, they are actually made my Gearwrench, but not polished to save on cost.

There is a lot of it going around lately.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:07 AM   #5
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Go with stuff that has a Lifetime Guarantee. Craftsman does, I don't know about Kobalt. Really depends on frequency of use.

Another alternative is Pawn Shops. I have gotten Snap-On, Mac and Matco at half price at the Pawn Shops. But, do your research-sometimes the Pawn Shops are not really a bargain after all.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:12 AM   #6
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from personal experience id say away from husky just because its a pain trying to exchange a broken tool. i dont know about kobalt
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:17 AM   #7
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I work in an auto service/tire shop that gets weekly visits from the Matco, Snap-On, and Mac tool trucks. I'm not a mechanic, but I still buy tools from them. I've never bought anything from Matco. But Snap-On and Mac tools are definitely worth the money. Most of my air tools are Mac, mostly because the Mac dealer gives me such good deals, I can't pass them up. My impact gun is branded Mac, but made by Ingersoll-Rand. All my good sockets are Mac-Edge sockets. The only Snap-On tools I have are ratchets. Snap-On dual-80 technology with comfort-grip handles, even my 25" ratcheting breaker bar. The extra teeth really cut down on the amount of ratcheting you have to do. Most mechanics I've seen pick one brand and stick with it.

Regarding Kobalt, we had a technician just starting out that had a brand new Kobalt set of air tools (impact gun, air hammer, air ratchet, etc.) The air hammer simply blew air out of itself without hammering, the impact gun struggled to loosen lug nuts. I don't think he ever really used the air ratchet because it made so much noise. Craftsman, I'm sure, is much more durable and reliable. I've noticed some IR air tools in the Craftsman aisles at Sears. If I were in the market for a "cheap" set of air tools, I'd stick with Craftsman-branded IR. Granted, any air tool won't last if you don't oil it when you need to, keep grease in the places that need grease, and try not to drop it.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:47 AM   #8
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One other consideration is the cf/m required to drive the air tools. Because of the looser fit tolerances of the cheap stuff, it can often take nearly twice the air volume or a higher pressure to do the same work as the quality tool. So larger capacity requirement and faster wearout from constant running of your compressor is added to the lesser cost of a cheap tool.
I did body/fender for a few years back in 72-77 and bought quality tools. Now only an occasional user (do all my own work on three road vehicles & 2 tractors, plus finding a lot of home devices I can construct or weld together) and tool provider to neighborhood projects, everything is still in good working condition except one 1/2 impact that I bought used.
If there is an option, I never buy a tool that does not have a reputation for maintaining re-build kits for the wearable parts.
The only time I have found it a cost advantage to buy cheap air tools is when in an environment where you expect the tool to be stolen in less than a year or so (individual tool thefts, not worth turning in for insurance as under deductable amount).

For other tools, it only takes cheap one tool bend or break that craps on your workpiece to know there were no savings
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:49 AM   #9
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ill never buy craftsman anything again. they burnt me pretty savagely on a floor jack and I'll never go back.

matter of fact... I hate sears over that too because trying to get it serviced turned into automated calls on their service line and the person I did finally talk to denied my warranty claim and gave me a run around about even paying to get it fixed.
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:02 AM   #10
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I dont think I'll switch from craftsman on my handtools... from $40-70 sets Ive bought to $300-500 sets and the numerous extra tools ive picked up from my dad that he's had for the last 30+ years that still work like a charm.... Ive had good luck with them, light work and working on cars with them. Only broke the gears on a 3/8 CM ratchet after using it as a breaker bar lol.

Ive found some awesome deals on ebay on like new snap on and ingersol air guns, like this one:
SNAP-ON AIR MG725 1/2" DRIVE IMPACT WRENCH MG 725 SNAP | eBay
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