There is a saying that a mechanic is as only as his tools. Therefore it is important that you have the right tools when it comes to servicing and repairing your vehicle. One of the most popular places to get vehicle tools is vehicle store giant AutoZone. However, are AutoZone’s tools any good? Here, we will take a look at whether AutoZone tools belong in your garage.
While AutoZone’s own brand tools, Duralast, don’t carry the same cache as top-tier brands like MAC or Snap-on. They are nonetheless good quality tools and fit for purpose. In addition, AutoZone tools carry a lifetime warranty with a network of branches nationwide.
In this post, you’ll learn why mechanic (me) believes AutoZone tools are perfect for most users. AutoZone is one of the largest auto parts retailers in the United States with over 6,400 locations. The retailer sells all types of parts and accessories for vehicles including tires, batteries, infotainment systems, and more.
What is Duralast?
Duralast is a popular private label brand offered by AutoZone. These tools are designed to be at the same level as most other tools makers such as CRAFTSMAN, DeWalt, Milwaukee, and Bosch. However, since Duralast is a private label brand, you can expect to pay less than these other non-private label brands.
Some die-hard mechanics tend to be very loyal and “brand snobbish” about their tools and will spend more on their favorite tool brand. If you don’t care about whether your tools have MAC, Snap-on, CRAFTSMAN, or Bosch stamped on them, then the Duralst brand from AutoZone will be just fine for most service and repairs.
Pros of Duralast
Better priced than comparable non-private label brands – If you are looking for high quality and value, then the Duralast brand is going to be an ideal choice.
Lifetime warranty – All Durlast tools come with a lifetime warranty. This is comparable with most other non-private label brands.
Easy to purchase – Because there are thousands of AutoZone locations, it is easy to purchase Duralast tools. If you are looking for non-private label tools, then you may have to shop for them online or go to a large department store.
Easy returns – if you need to return any Duralast tools, whether you purchase them at the store or online, you can simply go to your nearest AutoZone store.
Cons of Duralast
It may not the best choice if you care about brand names – If you are particular about the brand names of tools in your garage, then you may not want to purchase Duralast tools.
Brand name tools have a better appearance and packaging – Duralast tools certainly don’t have the professional look of brand name tools. Also, Duralast toolboxes tend to look less attractive versus tools from brand-name competitors.
Toolset cost comparison
One of the biggest advantages that Duralast has over the non-private label brands is price. So how much are you expected to save? Here’s a look at some recent price comparisons:
10 piece wrench set
A ten-piece Duralast wrench set from AutoZone will cost about $32,99 while a comparable 10-piece wrench set from DeWalt will cost about $42,99. More than a 20% difference between the two wrench sets.
A 60 piece Duralast ratchet set from AutoZone is going to cost about $59.99. A comparable 48 piece ratchet set from Milwaukee is going to cost about $299.99. This is an almost 70% difference in price.
Mechanics toolbox set
A 160-piece mechanic’s Duralast toolbox set from AutoZone costs $152.99. A comparable 150 piece mechanics tool set from Craftsman sells for about $299.95. This is a difference of about 20% in price.
Who is Duralast good for?
Wondering if Duralast is the right choice for you? Here’s a look at who would best benefit from using Duralast tools.
1). The Weekend Mechanic
If you are someone who uses his tools often, then you are going to want a high-quality set of tools. With Duralast tools, you are getting premium tools that are backed by a lifetime warranty. You can be sure that your Durlast tools will be able to handle regular use. Also, you can be sure that Duralast tools will be able to stand the test of time.
2). Someone who doesn’t care about brand names
If you don’t have any specific need to own a set of MAC, Snap-on, Bosch, Milwaukee, or DeWalt tools, then the Duralast tools are going to be just fine. When it comes to the weight, strength, and durability of Duralast tools, they are on par with what you will find from non-private label brands.
3). Someone who lives close to an AutoZone
If you live close to an AutoZone location, then Duralast tools are going to make the most sense for you. That’s because it will be easy for you to pick up the tools that you need. Also, if you need to make an exchange or return tools, you can simply make a short trip to get that done.
Who is Duralast not good for?
While Duralast tools appear to be good enough for many people who work on cars, there may be some cases where these tools are not the best choice.
1). Professional mechanics
If you are a professional mechanic, you may be judged by the tools in your garage. The fact is, if a potential customer sees that you have well-known, brand name tools in your toolbox, they may value your work more. This may be a shallow assessment. However, a mechanic with a set of Bosch tools may be seen as more professional than a mechanic with a set of Duralast tools.
2). Someone with a high performance vehicle
If you drive a high-performance vehicle, you may not want to take a chance with a private label set of tools. While Duralast may have comparable quality, it may be worth the investment to spend more on a top private label set of tools. After all, you don’t want to take chances if you are making repairs on a vehicle where the costs can be exponentially higher than your average vehicle.
3). You have a higher trust level with certain brand name tools
People who work on their cars can be extremely brand loyal with their tools. If you have spent the last 20 or 30 years using MAC, Snap-on, Bosch, or Milwaukee tools, then you may feel a higher level of trust by sticking with these tools. Yes, Duralast will have comparable quality at a lower price. However, sometimes you can’t put a price on peace of mind.
The bottom line on AutoZone tools
AutoZone gives you the opportunity to purchase high-quality tools at a private label price. If you don’t mind having private label tools in your toolbox, then Duralast certainly deserves your consideration. Overall, Duralast tools are certainly worth the price because of their high quality and lower costs compared to non-private label brands.
Compare tool prices on the Amazon link below.Amazon Car Tools
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Advanced auto parts vs AutoZone
- About the Author
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.