- What Are the Best Mechanic Tool Brands?
Doesn’t matter if they’re a beginner or an experienced mechanic, but truth be told, all mechanics are simply inseparable from their toolboxes. But it’s unlikely that you’d be able to find a complete toolset from one brand alone for everything you need. You’d always need a tool or device from another brand to complete your mechanic tools.
The quality of the tools varies with price and brand, so how do you make sure you’re picking the best mechanic tool brand? Let us guide you through that.
What Are the Best Mechanic Tool Brands?
Kobalt is one of the newcomers in the market, but it has managed to compete with the more established brands.
This brand owned by Lowe’s is famous for its power tools, mechanic and hand tools, and storage products. It is the leading brand in Lowe’s stores in Australia and North America.
Lowe’s launched this brand in 1998 to compete with Home Depot and Sears, which also have their own tool brands. Because of the quality of Kobalt’s products, it has managed to rival brands like the Husky and Craftsman.
In 2003, the Danaher Corporation partnered with Lowe’s and started manufacturing most of their hand tools. But by 2011, their arrangement had ended, and they looked for different suppliers to get better tools. Thanks to their high-quality tools, the brand’s popularity grew fast, and by 2011 they launched battery-powered tools.
Currently, they are making a wave in the industry by making tools powered by Lithium-ion batteries.
Kobalt tools are a bit expensive, so to cater to mechanics working with low budgets, Lowe’s introduced Bluehawk and Project Source.
Having produced high-quality tools for about a century, Snap-On tools are well-known for their exceptional tools. Snap-On filed their first patent in 1923, and since then, they have launched lots of brands, including Lindstrom, Blue Point, and Irimo.
Currently, Snap-On is considered a high-end brand that produces tools for experienced mechanics. Plus, they offer all kinds of tools ranging from screwdrivers to wrenches, pliers, and sockets.
Snap-On is recognized globally as a top brand for innovation and ingenuity. This is the main reason that they serve over 130 nations and have quite a number of manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and distributions centers all over the globe.
If you need a brand that won’t disappoint, then you could go for Snap-On tools. Mechanics trust it for its quality tool storage units, mechanical tools, and workshop equipment.
The downside is that Snap-On tools are pretty costly, but they should be worth it if you’re buying the tools as a long-term investment.
Proto is a famous brand from Stanley Black & Decker, specializing utomotive mechanical tools. Proto was started in 1907 as Plomb tools by Alphonso Plomb, Jacob Weninger, and Charles William.
The company became popular after they launched their initial lines of combination wrenches in the early 1930s. By 1948, Plomb tools had adopted the name Proto which means professional tools.
Proto introduced other tools like master sets, storage tools, torque tools, and specialty tools. Stanley Black & Decker purchased Proto in 1983, It continued manufacturing high-quality products that can work even in harsh weather conditions.
To guaranty durability and strength, Proto tools are manufactured using high-quality steel alloy.
Generally, most mechanics love the decent build and chrome finish of Proto tools. This tool brand has a wide range of budget-friendly tools so that you can get a set within your price range.
Another brand that has become synonymous with usefulness, quality, and durability is Craftsman. Sears developed Craftsman in 1927, and since then, they have perfected their trade.
Sears operated the company up to 2017 when they sold Craftsman to Stanley Black & Decker. However, Sears retained partial ownership of the brand Craftsman for 15 years after the purchase was complete.
In the 100 years that they have been in business, Craftsman has learned and perfected their manufacturing processes. To prove that their products are trustworthy, all Craftsman tools come with lifetime warranties. Craftsman tests their tools in real-life situations to guarantee that they will meet your expectations.
Craftsman is known for producing affordable, high-quality products. Sears is said to make all their tools in the U.S. However, there are rumors that they produce some of their products outside the country.
OTC, initially referred to as Owatonna Tool Company, is a famous automotive tool and equipment manufacturer. OTC supplies automotive diagnostic and fuel maintenance equipment and servicing tools.
The company was founded in 1925 by Godfrey Kaplan, and by 1934, they were already selling their mechanic tools to farmers and service stations.
OTC gained popularity after they patented their Grip-O-Matic gear puller. Since then, they have ventured into automotive specialty tools.
The company was later integrated by Bosch, which acquired them in 2012. Currently, OTC is a global supplier of hydraulic components and lifting equipment as well as heavy-duty truck tools.
Other than general tools, OTC still produces specialty tools for tackling specific jobs. Some of their specialty tools include radio service kits, antenna, soldering kits, and slide hammers.
Fortunately, the brand’s main goal is to produce tools that are easy to use and are more efficient. So, you can never go wrong with OTC mechanic tools.
6. SuperKrome SK
SuperKrome SK is a mid-range supplier of affordable automotive tools with a solid reputation. Started in the 1900s by Sherman Manson and Klove Grover, this firm was initially referred to as Sherman Klove.
After making motor munitions and shell casings for a few years, they started manufacturing specialty tools.
SuperKrome’s slogan is “produce quality tools for U.S. professionals.” Based on its performance, this brand has lived up to its slogan and has been innovative for over a century when it comes to the tools it produces.
SK produces over 3,000 mechanic products and has a production and distribution center in Illinois.
Currently, Ideal Industries Inc. owns this brand, and it remains committed to producing high-quality American-made tools. The company makes tools and equipment using American steel. These tools are crafted with precision and premium quality.
SK tools are perfect for DIYers and experts. You’d be happy to know that these tools come with lifetime warranties. So, you can return their tools to them when they get damaged, and they will repair them for free.
When it comes to mechanic tools, Makita is one of the world’s most trusted companies. In fact, all their products are known and loved for their durability and efficiency. After all, this Japanese manufacturer has been in this business for over a century.
Founded in 1915, Makita started as a repair and selling firm for lighting equipment, motors, and transformers. Makita started exporting its electric motors in the mid-1930s.
Makita is an innovative company that is known for improving its tools after every few years. Currently, they have about 10 manufacturing plants in eight nations. But all the products sold in the U.S. are assembled in Buford, Georgia.
These tools are ideal for both experienced professionals and newbies as they are efficient, light, and easy to use. The fact that they come with a 3-year limited warranty is a bonus.
Makita is known for pioneering the first battery-powered drills and other tools. It is also known for its unique cordless tool batteries, petrol tools, and power tools. Makita offers lots of combo-type toolsets, rotary hammer sets, and impact drivers; plus, their tool kit has over 15 pieces.
Another brand that belongs to one of the best mechanic tools brands on the planet is Williams. Historically, Williams has been a part of Snap-On, and it was started in 1882 by Matthew Diamond and James Harvey.
Snap-On firm acquired Williams in 1993. In fact, its factory in New York is known to have helped revolutionize drop forging. This method ensured that the different parts of their tools were made with the same quality and consistency.
Thanks to their unique manufacturing process, mechanics started using William tools in the 19th century. Williams produced tools for repairing bicycles, sewing machines, and they even made golf club heads.
But after being purchased by Snap-On, there were a lot of people complaining that their tools were renamed Snap-On and sold cheaply. Some professionals still love Williams tools, and they can distinguish them from Snap-On tools.
As one of the prestigious mechanical tools brands, Husky is known for manufacturing high-quality hand and pneumatic tools.
The quality of their tools is usually reflected in their market prices. After all, their slogan is “becoming the toughest name in tools,” plus it’s the house brand of Home Depot.
Home Depot exclusively sells husky tools. Home Depot also has a high-end line of Husky tools marked Husky-Pro. Currently, the Husky tools sold by Home Depot are manufactured by Apex Tool Group, Western Forge, and Stanley Black & Decker.
Founded in 1924, this brand has been sold to many firms over the last few decades. The name “Husky” was first bought by the New-Britain Machine firm in 1932. Litton industries bought the New-Britain Machine firm in the 1970s. Litton dissolved its hand tools branch in the 1980s and sold Husky to the National Hand Tool.
Stanley Works purchased Husky in 1986 and started supplying its products to The Home Depot. But he later transferred some rights over the brand to Home Depot.
Husky produces high-quality products that have lifetime warranties. Plus, their primary target has always been homeowners. But this doesn’t mean that they don’t sell to professionals.
Husky tools are perfect for experienced and beginners with a small budget. Unfortunately, many folks tend to confuse Kobalt for Husky tools, which are actually different. But they still love Husky tools as they do offer them value for their cash and are durable.
You may not have heard about Irwin, but folks loved it for its quality tools during the twentieth century. Some of its products included the vise-grip, which Irwin first offered. The vise-grip was the original locking pliers. Originally, Irwin produced all their products in the U.S., but they later transferred their plants to China for them to remain competitive.
Unfortunately, their popularity declined, but the quality of products remained the same. Irwin moved its customer service branch to Huntersville, North Carolina.
In 2008, they closed their plants in Nebraska and relocated to China. Stanley Black & Decker managed to acquire the company in 2016.
Another company with an excellent reputation that Stanley currently owns under Proto is Blackhawk. Blackhawk was started in 1919 in Wisconsin. It is known for manufacturing different mechanical sets ranging from master sets to simple sockets.
It also rolled out many innovations like telescoping ratchet handles and locking sockets. However, some of these innovations were accredited to Sigmund Mandi and Edward Pfauser.
With over a century of experience, this brand has been dedicated to launching quality products. Therefore, most mechanics can rely on the quality and reliability of Blackhawk tools.
Blackhawk’s line of tools includes automotive tools, master sets, and wrenches. Blackhawk tools cold-forges their tools using high-quality steel. Plus, all their tools come with a lifetime warranty.
12. Mac Tools
Other tools owned by Stanley Black & Decker are the hand tools produced by Mac Tools. Known initially as Mechanics Tool and Forge Firm, the band changed its name to Mac tools in 1961.
Mac is a U.S. firm that produces mechanic tools and equipment for professionals. Currently, Mac Tools’ products are manufactured by Black & Decker facilities.
Unlike the Husky tools, which the Home Depot solely distributes, Mac Tools has over 1,500 distributors in North America alone.
Mac Tools’ line of products includes over 8,000 tools such as ratchets, wrenches, and screwdrivers. It became part of Stanley Works after he purchased it in the 1980s.
Other brands belonging to Stanley Black & Decker include Stanley tools, Facom, Blackhawk, and Proto. Mac Tools changed its presence in the United Kingdom by becoming a franchise system instead of a distributor. Thus, anyone can become part of Mac Tools and start supplying its tools to garages and dealerships in the United Kingdom.
Stanley is an exceptional brand that many professionals love for its durability and high-quality tools. This popular brand belongs to Stanley Black & Decker, formed in 2010 after Black & Decker merged with Stanley Works.
This brand also offers exceptional tools, which come with lifetime warranties, so you can feel assured that the tools won’t disappoint.
Stanley is known for tools like screwdrivers, squares, chisels, rulers, hand planes, and saws. Started by inventor William Stanley, this brand is known for making some innovative tools, including utility knives and a bailey plane.
Another popular U.S. brand known for making electric tools is Milwaukee Electric Corporation.
The company manufactures knives, hand tools, corded power tools, and combo kit tools, among others. Milwaukee made a name for itself in 1918 when it launched a one-handed capacity drill called Hole-Shooter. The Hole-Shooter was lighter and more efficient than its competitors.
Milwaukee is known for many innovations, which is why its name is synonymous with inventions. In fact, the Federal Government gave them tool specification ratings in the 1930s. Since then, they have manufactured tools according to government standards.
Other equipment developed by Milwaukee includes polishers, sanders, and electric hammers.
15. Wright Tools
Wright Tools is known worldwide for manufacturing remarkable mechanical tools. This company produces a myriad of tools, including pliers, wrenches, and screwdrivers. The Wright Tool company has been making special tools since its inception in 1927.
Established in Ohio by Nelson Wright, this firm started with hand-forged tools. Nelson Wright’s descendants currently manage this small family firm. But don’t let its size fool you! Wright tool produces and sells its tools internationally.
Its tools are used by power transmission, distribution, and generation companies. Wright tools are also being used in the refinery and mining industry. Plus, most plumbers, mechanics, and homeowners appreciate the quality of these tools.
Some of the Wright tools available include nut drivers, wrenches, ratchets, hex keys, and sockets. Just like some of the brands in our list, Wright tools’ products also have lifetime warranties.
What is the best tool brand?
The answer to this question varies, but most professionals agree that Snap-On produces the best tools in the market. Snap-On has maintained its quality for decades and led the industry for years. Plus, their power tools and air guns are the best options available, which is why they are costly.
Snap-On owns other brands, but they have maintained their standards with Snap-On tools. Their other brands are good, but they can’t rival Snap-On tools in quality.
Which brand makes the best ratcheting wrench?
There are lots of wrench brands and they vary in quality. so your option will depend on your needs. But in terms of price and quality, Gearwrench tends to have the best option.
Gearwrench manufactures their micrometer torque wrenches in the United States. They produce their other wrenches in Taiwan. But if you’re willing to spend more on high-end wrenches, then the best options to go for are from Snap-On and Blue Point.
Should I stick with only one tool brand or invest in more?
No, I would never advise anyone to complete their arsenal with tools from one brand. In the past, some brands like Craftsman and Snap-On were worth it. These brands produced exceptional tools, but over the last few decades, things have changed. Also, now we have more options when it comes to hand tools.
There are many companies that specialize in producing certain types of tools. Therefore, you may miss an opportunity to test their product if you stick with one brand.
Which brand do most mechanics prefer?
Every mechanic has brands that they love working with. Some prefer power tools from Makita and wrenches from Snap-On. A mechanic’s work is tough and requires a lot of strength and ingenuity. Therefore, all mechanics need tools that can make their work easier. In the past, mechanics only had a few tools in their arsenal. Now, thankfully, they have a wider selection of specialized tools from different brands.
Which brand manufactures the best hand tools?
There are many top brands that produce hand tools, and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, the choice will depend on your profession and how you plan to use them. But some of the top brands known for producing unique hand tools include Snap-On, Wright Tools, Blue Point, and SK tools.
What type of tools do mechanics use?
With the right tools, the work of a mechanic can become more efficient and more straightforward. Plus, the tools they needed varied with the task at hand. In the past, a mechanic needed a wrench set, pliers, and screwdrivers. But these days their jobs are specialized.
Currently, some of the hand tools they use include screwdrivers, girders, lathes, hand wrenches, and scissors. They also need specialized auto tools, hoists and lifts, welding tools, and diagnostic tools.
Thanks to the ever-changing technology, mechanics now can use more tools for performing specialized tasks. Therefore, as a professional mechanic, you need the right kind of tools from the best brands. Accordingly, instead of investing in one brand, you can fill your toolbox with equipment from different brands. But make sure you consider the durability, portability, weight, and quality of the tools before making a purchase.