If you have spent any time looking for new tools you have no doubt come across the Snap-on name. The brand has built a reputation for itself as one of the highest quality tool manufacturers around. They, however, command such a high price that you might ask yourself, are Snap-on tools good?
Snap-on are premium-grade tools used in mechanical workshops by many professional mechanics. Snap-on are excellent tools and are one of the few brands that still manufacture their products in the United States. Although expensive, the company offers a lifetime warranty on its products.
If you are someone that uses tools every day, then it can be a worthwhile investment, especially with their lifetime warranty. However, those who only occasionally have to use tools might not see the value unless they are the type to buy things for life.
Finding its roots in the early days of the automobile, Snap-on was started in 1920 by coworkers Joseph Johnson and William Seidemann. The two spent weeks handcrafting an interchangeable toolset that only featured five handles and ten sockets. This interchangeability of sockets is where the name “Snap-on” originated. Thanks to this innovative design, the work of fifty wrenches could now be done by one smaller set. The idea would quickly catch on and the two would open a manufacturing facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin just a few months later.
Since then, Snap-on tools have been on hand for many of the world’s important engineering feats. Their quality would extend their influence outside just the automotive sphere and into aviation and railroads as well. The brand would serve as the preferred tool supplier to the US during World War II. Many innovations would take place during this time, but most importantly would be the US increasing the specification requirements of these tools. This led to the military authorizing the purchase of nickel alloy steel which would eventually become a Snap-on standard.
Following the end of the war, Snap-on would consolidate all of its innovations and make them available to the general public. As years went on, Snap-on was constantly chosen to either provide tools or develop new ones for the likes of the Navy and NASA. Snap-on tools would even go on to be the on-hand tools of choice for repairing the lunar rover and Space Shuttle.
A century later, Snap-on tools are still one of the most respected tool manufacturers in the world.
You will not be able to simply go into your local auto parts store and find Snap-on tools. Since the tools are meant for working professionals, there is no need for them to be stocked where the average Joe would go shopping. Snap-on’s higher price also makes them a hard sell when stocked next to less expensive alternatives.
Instead, Snap-on functions with a more novel form of selling their tools that came about after the end of World War II. Snap-on offers franchising opportunities through their van-based mobile stores, which came as a result of the belief that customers shouldn’t be wasting their time traveling to a store. So, approximately once a week a van will make stops at different mechanic shops and offer the full range of Snap-on tools. When bought through the van, the customer can pay for their tools on a weekly basis, allowing for a smaller upfront cost.
However, if you are not a mechanic yourself, this is a troublesome way to try and obtain Snap-on tools. Thankfully, Snap-on also has an online store with its full range of tools available. For those looking for a good deal, you can also reliably find very usable sets of tools on sites such as eBay. Thanks to their longevity, you should still be able to squeeze out many years even from an abused set of wrenches. Do keep in mind, however, that you may end up not being able to make use of the warranty if you were to purchase a used toolset.
To back up the quality of their products, Snap-on offers a lifetime warranty on their hand tools such as their wrenches and screwdrivers. There are two different ways to get your tools replaced or fixed.
The first is to contact Snap-on themselves and provide your proof of purchase and other information so that you can ship them the product. The terms in the warranty agreement state that the warranty only applies to the original customer. This content is owned by moc.sotuaytsur. This means that a second-hand eBay set might not allow you to take advantage of the warranty. However, stories do exist where some individuals have bypassed the proof of purchase requirement, so it wouldn’t hurt to try, even with a used set.
With that in mind, if you are able to visit a mobile store, you might be able to save yourself a potential headache. There are many stories online about customers being able to hand in their broken sockets and receive a new one with no questions asked. People have recalled their grandfather’s decades-old tools being taken back without much hassle. There are also stories of the tool guys not accepting any sort of warranty request. Given what we’ve heard, it appears as though both luck and the temperament of the Snap-on franchisee you are dealing with at the time can make or break how smoothly a transaction of this nature can go.
That being said, a large part of the appeal of Snap-on tools is their robustness. So, in the end, you may never have to deal with finding a replacement for your tools in the first place.
While Snap-on has grown its product lineup considerably since its inception, its bread and butter are still their hand tools.
Even though the company started off providing a product that outdoes non-interchangeable wrenches, sometimes they are the more convenient choice. As such, Snap-on also produces regular wrenches with their Flank Drive Plus design for better grip on fasteners.
The tool that most will gravitate towards from the Snap-on lineup is their ratchet set. In particular, the low-profile version allows for use in even the tightest of spaces. Additionally, its 80-tooth gear allows for less arc to engage the next tooth, further decreasing the need for a large amount of workspace. If there is one tool to get from the Snap-on line, it’s probably this one.
Aside from that, many customers have also praised Snap-on pliers and screwdriver sets as well. The solid lifetime warranty allows these tools to be heavily used without much worry.
Stepping outside the scope of hand tools, Snap-on also provides a variety of power tools such as impact wrenches and drills. While of high quality in their own right, these tools have not received anywhere near the same level of praise that Snap-on’s hand tools garner.
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