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Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply 724

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,579 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« on: July 28, 2018, 06:19:25 AM »
Here are a few tools I threw together to start a topic on Tool-Brand tools that are made cheaply. I'll post more as I sort them. Not saying they are junk-cheap, but all of these are <$30 & less new. I guess "affordable" would be more applicable.  :)

Left column top-to-bottom:
New Kobalt MT.
Old Kobalt MT.
Stanley MT.
DeWalt MT.

Right column top-to-bottom:
H.B. Smith Tools MT.
Sheffield locking-knife/saw MT.
Snap-On MT.
Craftsman(Henstrong made) sliding plier MT.

Most of these have been made with insurmountable numbers of companies plastering their names on them, but it is neat to have "cheap & cheerful" MTs with big-brand tool names on them. Makes them seem a bit nicer than they are. :)
This thread isn't for big-brand MTs with tool names on them (example: craftsman by Bear & Son).
« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 06:23:43 AM by gerleatherberman »



Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,579 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2018, 06:20:35 AM »
Left column close-ups.

Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,579 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2018, 06:21:31 AM »
Right column close-ups.

Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.
No Life Club Posts: 1,568
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2018, 05:04:18 PM »
Right column close-ups.

The craftsman version sure looks nicer than the Henstrong's version.  :cheers:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,579 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2018, 05:06:43 PM »
Right column close-ups.

The craftsman version sure looks nicer than the Henstrong's version.  :cheers:
I think you're right!  :cheers:
It feels solid and the fit & finish is superb. It is worth a few more dollars to have over the Henstrong version. Plus, it us red and says "Craftsman". Always cool to have. IMO of course.

Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,226 Born to multitask.
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2018, 05:29:44 PM »
Nice!  :cheers: More!  :pok:

How is that Craftsman? Smooth? Well formed tools? Decent pliers?
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,579 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2018, 07:04:01 PM »
Thanks, RP! :cheers:
It has an interchangeable bit driver. Double ended. The bits are well formed and use a sprung ball bearing instead of a magnet.
I'll post more pics when I get off work. :)

The pliers don't open very wide, but it is one-finger slide opening. Quite nice and spring loaded.

I would say it is a great medium-duty pocketable MT for sure.  :)

Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,579 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2018, 02:48:20 AM »
Nice!  :cheers: More!  :pok:

How is that Craftsman? Smooth? Well formed tools? Decent pliers?
O.k. pics of tools.
1. Polished blade. Came sharp.
2. Can/bottle opener/flat head driver. Can opener is fairly sharp. The driver is kind of rounded like a SAK, but a little worse. A few strokes on a coarse stone should remedy that
3. Wood saw. The teeth are very sharp.
(Next post)
4. Small flat head/#1 phillips double-ended bit driver.

Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,579 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2018, 02:48:55 AM »
Last pic(#4).

Edit. The pliers are well formed. But, on my example, there is a little play in the plier jaws if you twist them hard. Not much though. Just want to make sure I accurately convey everything about it.

The operation is smooth and the plier spring is strong, but in a good way. The pliers slide out nicely and the tool pops open with authority.  :)
« Last Edit: July 29, 2018, 03:06:52 AM by gerleatherberman »

Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,226 Born to multitask.
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2018, 03:31:33 AM »
Thanks!  :like:
I was interested in this, but the Henstrong version, and that one came with a blunt blade. This version is much better!
No Life Club Posts: 2,234
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2018, 04:41:17 AM »
I'm curious about that HB Smith tool. I bought an HB Smith pruner MT from Farm Bureau a couple days ago, and it seems quite well made for a twelve dollar tool (provided, this was probably a 1998 price, the packaging looked old, as it was yellowed). Even a halfway decent, reinforced (though still that same floppy thin nylon) sheath.  Even though I'm much opposed to Craftsman's Chinese offerings, I can't wait to try one of those with sliding pliers. Might just order one with some rewards points.

  Kobalt and Husky I expect to be low-end imported stuff for people who, for the most part,  just need a tool to do a quick fix once, or "just in case" but not rely on it every single day. Craftsman, for years, were industrial grade, heirloom quality tools that would last for decades (Grandad's got some power tools from them going on 45 years) but still be affordable to a workingman. . Sears, and now Black and Decker are viewing them as a cheap junk "value" brand. However, I'm not saying because they're cheap, they're bad. The gentleman that works on the gas fireplaces has been carrying the first gen Kobalt MT for the past 12 years or so, and it's still going strong.  Those, I feel were really well built (and I never bought one, as at the time , I was going through a "Nothing made in China at all" phase) even though many had the problem of brittle, over-hardened backsprings. Same with many Kobalt products, I have a few precision pliers, and their "Double Drive" screwdriver that get used hard, and have since I was a teen, and they still work great.

Still, I hope someone gets the franchise, and opens up a Sears/Hometown store so that I can walk into a store, peruse, and buy USA made Craftsman tools once again (not that there's anything wrong with the used ones at the flea market, which I try to search hard for).  Still, I've been looking for who made Craftsman's stuff, and have been buying from those companies.  I've been buying Vaughan hammers and plan to get some Wilde pliers.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,579 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2018, 04:55:20 AM »
Thanks!  :like:
I was interested in this, but the Henstrong version, and that one came with a blunt blade. This version is much better!
:salute:
If you end up with one, I'd love to know how it compares to the one I have.  :cheers:

Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,579 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2018, 05:27:04 AM »
I'm curious about that HB Smith tool. I bought an HB Smith pruner MT from Farm Bureau a couple days ago, and it seems quite well made for a twelve dollar tool (provided, this was probably a 1998 price, the packaging looked old, as it was yellowed). Even a halfway decent, reinforced (though still that same floppy thin nylon) sheath.  Even though I'm much opposed to Craftsman's Chinese offerings, I can't wait to try one of those with sliding pliers. Might just order one with some rewards points.

  Kobalt and Husky I expect to be low-end imported stuff for people who, for the most part,  just need a tool to do a quick fix once, or "just in case" but not rely on it every single day. Craftsman, for years, were industrial grade, heirloom quality tools that would last for decades (Grandad's got some power tools from them going on 45 years) but still be affordable to a workingman. . Sears, and now Black and Decker are viewing them as a cheap junk "value" brand. However, I'm not saying because they're cheap, they're bad. The gentleman that works on the gas fireplaces has been carrying the first gen Kobalt MT for the past 12 years or so, and it's still going strong.  Those, I feel were really well built (and I never bought one, as at the time , I was going through a "Nothing made in China at all" phase) even though many had the problem of brittle, over-hardened backsprings. Same with many Kobalt products, I have a few precision pliers, and their "Double Drive" screwdriver that get used hard, and have since I was a teen, and they still work great.

Still, I hope someone gets the franchise, and opens up a Sears/Hometown store so that I can walk into a store, peruse, and buy USA made Craftsman tools once again (not that there's anything wrong with the used ones at the flea market, which I try to search hard for).  Still, I've been looking for who made Craftsman's stuff, and have been buying from those companies.  I've been buying Vaughan hammers and plan to get some Wilde pliers.
I'll get up some photos of the H.B in a bit. It came in, what looked like, an older style clamshell (i didn't keep the packaging though). I'd be interested to see your H.B. Pruner! I never could get any real info when researching H.B. multi tools. :ahhh

The sliding Craftsman is one of my favorite Chinese rebrands, alongside the yellow DeWalt  MT. I think you'll like it, if you can find one for around $20. I paid a little more for mine, but I was desperate to find something to buy when they closed my local Sears. :-\

The polished Kobalt I pictured is similar to the first gen, but the scales are different. It is quite rugged and I used it for a while. Fairly strong tool. :)

I miss Craftsman tools (old school ones) as well, but I think the brand has been dissected and polluted passed redemption(I hope I am wrong though). It is strange seeing inferior tools in so many stores with that name on them.  :facepalm:

Good choices with Vaughan and Wilde. Since there are so few companies left that produce excellent tools, I try to buy them over cheaper stuff. It takes a tole on the wallet, but I feel the quality is worth it. Channellock was my latest dive(I am more of a Channelock and Estwing guy, but a good tool company is a good tool company!). Bought several sizes of groove joint pliers. Absolutely love Channelock pliers. :)


Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,579 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2018, 05:45:23 AM »
Bulky, heavy, and not well made. Sorry to say.
The long flat driver and short one are the same size tip/thickness. The phillips(#1), medium flat drivers and small flat driver are polished to death. The awl is dull and oddly shaped (borderline useless). The wood saw is well cut and properly ground (thick teeth & thin spine). The plain blade and serrated blade are sharp and decently formed too.
The pliers are quite nice though, for a $10 MT. No play, sharp cutters, and o.k. teeth. No flex under heavy squeeze.

Weight: 10.7oz. Length closed: 4.5". Length open: 7.2". Handle thickness: 13/16". Handle width: 1.75". It is a big boy, even though there are tools half the size, just as capable. :ahhh

Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,579 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2018, 04:56:18 AM »
Another batch I rounded up this evening.
Left column - top to bottom:
1) Sheffield Hatchet-Hammer fixed-head MT.
2) Sheffield Hammer-Pliers fixed-head MT.
3) Olympus Tools Pen-Style MT.
4) Stanley Folding knife-plier MT.

Right column - top to bottom:
5) Ms. Fixit cheap-o type MT. 'Ms. Fixit' is a cheap tool brand from Winn-Dixie grocery stores. Haha
6) DeWalt bottle opener folding keychain MT.
7) Husky (early version) Keychain MT. The Husky has scissors and a wood saw. Kind of cool. Pliers are awful though.
8) Craftsman Scissor-head folding keychain MT. Fairy good quality.

Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,579 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2018, 04:57:18 AM »
Second batch tools: 1-4

Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,579 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2018, 04:58:24 AM »
Second batch tools: 5-8

Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,579 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2019, 04:20:16 AM »
A few Kobalt tools. Found the older rubber handle-insert version today.


This one has a nicely defined phillips tip(similar to a SAK, but with less reach and better suited to #2PH) unlike the other two versions.


Aside from the phillips being smaller and less defined on this one, the implementsare identical to the previous version.


Latest version has a locking PE blade, locking SE blade, and locking wood saw. The three lock with awkward liner locks from the interior of the handles. Still better than the other two versions with no locking tools. Implements are also much easier to pull out on this one. Note: the profile and handles are absurdly thick and the bulk isn't necessary. What were they thinking? *"gee, lets make it look bigger, and they'll think it's better"*. Haha


All tools have internally spring loaded jaws. The two similar tools have anvil style cutters, while the new style has bypass cutters.


Edit: added photo.
The two older version tool blades are reasonably thick and fairly sharp. The latest version is thinner in profile. Similar to a fillet knife. It does lock though.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 04:26:04 AM by gerleatherberman »

Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.
No Life Club Posts: 2,234
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2019, 03:16:33 PM »
Have you seen the new Craftsman 4-in-1 "Lucky Clover" -type  screwdrivers (the little keychain ones)?  They're being sold with the old-style acetate handled screwdrivers at Lowe's. They're made in Taiwan now; so is the little 4-in-1.   I noticed that it was finished a lot cheaper, is stamped on only one side, and the drivers are all rounded; as compared to the two original (USA made) versions of the driver). Too bad I didn't buy a whole case of the things at Sears when we had one, as I regularly misplace my current two; and have lost one. To  buy one of the older design now is like $5 most places; as compared to $0.97 when Sears sold them (they still do, just not online; but for sure I'd buy a case if sold that way).  I'd be more than happy if whatever American company was making them for Craftsman sold their own.
Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 50,040
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2019, 01:36:00 PM »
I just found the 2 of them that I have this week and thought I had better put one of them on my keychain so I could keep up with it :tu: Now since they are not made as good, I sure need to keep up with them :ahhh
Hero Member Posts: 653
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2019, 06:40:28 PM »
I have the Ace Hardware branded version of that Stanley. There's also a version that has an adjustable wrench on one end. The tools on mine are extremely stiff to open, and the side plates are not parallel (spacers are undersized I think). Overall not a good tool, but mine was also pretty ancient, with aged yellow packaging.  One of the tools, the saw I think, is also difficult to extract because the nail nick is on the wrong side.

BUT, the tool is almost completley solid metal. It feels like a brick in my hand, and feels like if thrown in self-defense, it could crack a skull open quite easily.

Charles.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 06:41:31 PM by ChopperCharles »
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,579 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2019, 06:55:01 PM »
Thank you for the information, Charles! It is definitely a brick of a tool. Mine seems to be put together well enough. The tools open easily and are accessible. I may not be judging it hard enough though, as it was just $5. :ahhh

Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.
Hero Member Posts: 653
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2019, 08:53:53 AM »
Here's some pics of the Ace Hardware version. I wish I had kept the packaging. I think it was dated 2008, but I can't remember. Note that the saw is an inner tool, and has a nail nick on the inside, where yours has the nick in the end, so it can be extracted without opening other tools. The pliers and the file have to be opened to get the saw out -- the nick is too low and the tool too stiff, so it has to be grabbed with two fingers to open it. One of my pics also shows it's quite a trapezoid shape on the end. Likely it needs some spacers. The tips on the pliers do not meet either.


Here are some variants:


Charles.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 09:00:05 AM by ChopperCharles »
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,579 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Tool Brand Tools made Cheaply
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2019, 10:17:09 AM »
Thanks for the images and information, Charles! :cheers:

Then the Stanley is definitely a later and more refined version, because its' quality, tool layout and finish seem better than the Ace version.

Here are some close-ups of the Stanley. Note that the back spring finishing is great. :)






« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 10:18:32 AM by gerleatherberman »

Main collections: SOG, Gerber, Leatherman, Victorinox. Also lots of cheap & cheerful tools.

 

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