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great white

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So is the bottom line everything depends on your driver? I inherited a couple of Snap-On roll-around boxes full of tools from my diesel mechanic cousin. I had quite a bit of Snap-On before. There are still tools that I need when a project calls for them but the Snap-On driver won't come by my residential shop. The old driver would and I bought from him. There have been some purchases of eBay "new" Snap-On tools but some of the unpackaged ones look like possible returns to me.

My normal auto work is the restoration and maintenance of 1955-1957 Ford Thunderbirds. The next in the rotation is a 1958 Mack truck and it may call for some tools I don't own. I would be willing to switch to a different brand/vendor but don't like to buy Chinese tools and don't know know if the service with other brands is any better than Snap-On. I am open to recommendations.

Best regards.

Bob
Interesting. I'm in the process of resurrecting a 1962 Bullet bird....
 

jlrice54

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Kobalt was never actually made by Snap-On but by the Williams subsidiary of Snap-On. Lowes associates ****** Snap-On off by implying a Snap-On sourcing arrangement and Snap-On issued a cease and desist letter to Lowes. Lowes switched Kobalt sourcing to Danaher the parent company of Matco which later merged their tool divisions with the exception of Matco with Copper Industries tool divisions into a joint venture, Apex Tools. Apex was recently purchased by the hedge fund Bain Capital of Mitt Romney fame. Lowes still sources a few things from Apex but most Kobalt hand tools are either sourced from Taiwan through JS Tools of Las Vega except screwdrivers which are relabeled Great Neck and a lot of the cheaper disposable SKU's are direct from China sourced through Lowes in house importer LG Sourcing. Kobalt power tools are sourced from a Chinese company called Chervon. Chervon is a contract manufacturer of a lot of private labeled power tools sold worldwide.

I worked as a part time Lowes associate for a couple of years. As a general rule, most Lowes people are great people trying to do the best job they can with minimal support for the company, local management, not so much.
 

timekeeper01

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I had a screwdriver that I need replaced so I found the tool truck gave it to him and he said it was not under warranty. WHAT THE %$@)*^%^&. The black handle was all cracked and dried up. The tool dealer said it was from sitting and not being used and not getting the oil from your hands on it. Isaid that was (&#^((^ and I was a dealer back in the 80s . Well he then said he was not suppose to do it but he would warranty but he would have to order a handle. This is a HIGH dollar tool company . Just wanted to pass it along.
I'm an underground hard rock mine mechanic, use Napa tools almost exclusively. No warrenty problems. Bring in the broken tool and they replace it. They don't carry all the specialty tools, but up to 2 inch wrenches or sockets, there tools hold up well.
 

LarryJ

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I had a screwdriver that I need replaced so I found the tool truck gave it to him and he said it was not under warranty. WHAT THE %$@)*^%^&. The black handle was all cracked and dried up. The tool dealer said it was from sitting and not being used and not getting the oil from your hands on it. Isaid that was (&#^((^ and I was a dealer back in the 80s . Well he then said he was not suppose to do it but he would warranty but he would have to order a handle. This is a HIGH dollar tool company . Just wanted to pass it along.
I haven't had trouble with MAC or SnapOff, but Crapsman is my tale of woe. In the late 70s and early 80s (when Searz first outsourced all tools to China), I had already sacrificed my (literal) pound of flesh and gallon of blood to the gods of Crapsman. I was in the Searz store twice or thrice a week back then, replacing dozens of broken handtools. More recently (this decade) I needed to replace my 1/4" spinner handle, but Searz didn't have the exact replacement. After a month and a half of back and forth with the (east) Indian CS rep for Crapsman (go figure), he finally cut a check and I got my new handle at NAPA. I specifically wanted the one with the 1/4" socket in the back of the handle, as I used it that way more often than not. Anyway, I had to go to the store manager several times to get Crapsman tools replaced when the tool manager denied warranty. I even wrote to the corporate offices several times, and I think it was their influence which made the store managers force the tool managers to do the right thing. As a result, I haven't bought a single thing from Searz since the very early 1980s. Customer service is EVERYTHING. I'm glad to hear that corporate did you right. Maybe they'll pressure the idiot dealer who screwed you, too. One can hope, anyway.
 
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Cushmandoug

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I had a set of expensive Snap-On screwdrivers that did the exact same thing, the handles on most of the set became brittle and either broke when used or the blades just spun inside of the handle. (ALSO THEY GAVE OFF A FOWL SMELLING ODOR). had used SO for over 15 years, so I call the local truck rep, had him stop by, he stated that they were out of warranty so I politely showed the original signup paperwork when I established an account with him and Snap-On which stated "Unconditional Lifetime Warranty on all TOOLS" and he still refused to replace the set, so I sent him packing to never return, I sold everything I had that was Snap-On to my employees, and I now purchase from three other truck suppliers, all who have no problem fixing or replacing something not right. One thing I was extremely glad for was I sold my complete Snap-On socket sets and bought sets that have knurled wrench handles and WHAT A DIFFERENCE, my hands no longer slip and getting a knuckle tore up, torqueing down bolts and such. The extreme SMOOTH FINISH on Snap-On is a hazard when your hands are wet or greasy. Blackhawk, Sears, Proto, SK, from the others are just as good or better than Snap-On, and slightly less expensive. Just to let everyone know I am still using a complete set of 1928 Craftsman box wrenches (13 units) my grandfather bought new, longer handles, better angle of offset, rough handle facing between the heads for better grip of the wrench. You don't need the high price spread, all you need is a quality tool that is not improperly abused when used. IE screwdrivers are not chisels to be used with a hammer.
 

Downwindtracker2

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Snap-on wrenches are nice in the hand, but so is just about any imported tool now as well. It's also shocking just how well designed sockets are now, chamfer for the drive, chamfer for the nut, four deep dimples and flank drive. I know this is heresy, but you can get some pretty nice imported tools. I 'm a retired millwright so I used tools hard, mine were Canadian made Grays and Protos. The Canadian made Protos were from when IR owned Proto. My home tools were just Craftsman and ETF, but a few years back with the death of American tool companies, I was able to purchase Armstrong and Blackhawk . The tool store had bought them at scrap iron prices.
 

GarageGuy

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I had the very same set of black handled screwdrivers, and they turned white and crumbled too. I don't work at a shop anymore, and the trucks won't warranty anything for guys like me. I shipped them to a friend and he got them replaced under warranty through his driver. He was also told it was a known defect, and that it was covered. It was nice that my friend could do that for me, but I would never pay the price for "truck tools" again. Even Sears does not warranty their tools like they used to. Ironic that Harbor Freight (across the street from our Sears store) has a better hand tool warranty than Sears or the "trucks". More evidence of where we're headed...

GG
 

Franko

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I've purchased very few tools directly from Snap On. Most of them came from Pawn Shops. I've never had a problem with warranty. I usually just stick the broken tool in my car and keep an eye out for any Snap On truck. In every instance, they've cheerfully repaired or replaced what was broken.

I also have a set of the old black handled screwdrivers. They are still ok, but the handle on a 3/8 socket driver crumbled to dust. The Snap On guy marveled at how old it was, and put a new handle on it with no complaints. The new handle is kinda big and overly colorful, but it's better than the crumbled one. I hate the idea that I'll have to have the new ones put on the rest of my screwdrivers, but I guess that's the way it is.
 

markknx

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The only warranty issues I have had with craftsman is the tape rulers. I stopped buy tools from sears for that and two other main reasons the quality of their ratchets has fallen, to much slop. The Kobalt I have is much tighter. (is an older one.) the other thing with sears is their employees have told me well sears move manufacturing over seas to stay competitive. Well if that's the case how come the cost has not come down to be in line with other tool brands. Cobalt and Husky both have as good of tools as sears they also have a warranty. So my point is I don't like paying more for the name when the tools are the same.
Now a couple of people have brought up well is Kobalt made in US and Sears is not made in US. Well here is what I have found, there is no 100% made in US tool companies in the retail stores. So one has to read the label and do ones best to find American made. All three brans I mentioned are a mixture of US and foreign made.
Mark
 

P T Schram

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This may well be my first post. I'm not even sure what it was I came to this site looking for-probably inspiration as to how to mount a DRO on the quill of my Chi-Com knee mill

I am a current Snap-On franchisee. In fact, I am right now 150 miles away from my home and family for Snap-On training and can't sleep in a strange place/bed-see what we do for our customers?

There are many mis-conceptions about Snap-On's warranty and many expressed here.

1: The warranty is only extended to the primary purchaser of the tool when the tool was purchased through authorized distribution channels. If you obtained the tool through eBay/Craiglist/Kajiji/garage sales/auctions, there is NO warranty whatsoever.

2: The warranty is for manufacturing defects only. If you have a socket that is 40 years old and finally worn out, it is not a warranty item as it cannot be argued that its failure to continue to provide you service is due to a manufacturing defect. For the love of God, it lasted 40 years!

3: The lifetime warranty is not for the life of the person holding the tool at this point in time, it is for the production lifetime of the tool.

4: The provision of warranty service is at the sole discretion of Snap-On Tools and the servicing dealer.

5: If a tool is a lifetime warranty item, Snap-On will give me full credit for the tool (there's more to it but for the purposes of this discussion, this is enough of a peak behind the curtain at the Great Oz of Snappie-dom).

6: There are many tools that are considered to be consumables (drill bits are a good example) where if I return them to Snap-On, I'm not likely not be credited.

7: There are many tools with a finite warranty period during which if returned to Snap-On, they will either be repaired or replaced-at the sole discretion of Snap-On.

8: There are some tools that are considered to be"Repairable in field". For these, I have to order the repair parts (and pay for them), repair them, and send the broken bits back to Snap-On and wait for reimbursement.

I tell my guys, you don't give me more grief than I'm willing to take, you buy some tools, pay for those tools as agreed, I won't have a problem warrantying your tools.

Now, if someone who is not a professional day-to-day user of tools and who is not an established customer of mine gets on my truck and demands warranty service, there is a high likelihood they will be given a phone number to call and asked to vacate my truck.

OTOH-if someone gets on my truck and is kind and polite and requests warranty service, they are likely to have tools warrantied that are not lifetime warranty. If that person broke something unique or broke it in a dramatic fashion, they're likely to get a new tool. Case in point, I have several tools hanging from the ceiling of my truck that bear the legend "NOT GUAR" that are most likely either stolen from the military or were bought as scrap from a government auction or similar. I warranty these for my novelty value-LOL.

If a good customer has a broken tool that falls into a gray area or is not warrantied but failed in what I consider to be a premature period of time, I'm gonna make it clear to this person that I am giving them a "Goodwill" warranty. They will also probably be told that I am trying to EARN being their only tool man. I hope that by my providing this service to them that they will recognize the value of the service I provide and patronize my truck, thus allowing me to be able to afford to extend such warranty service above and beyond the strict policy guidelines-but, also recognize that I'm likely going to have to put some ketchup and mustard on that tool and eat it.

I often have (for the most part) young men get on the truck and produce a tool that is clearly older than they are, that is worn out beyond belief, and has been out of production since before they were born and demanding immediate replacement. Air tools fall in this category quite often. These gentlemen are quickly given an introduction to the realities of life and an explanation of the fine print of the warranty. Once in a while, a "more experienced gentleman will make the same sort of claims-they also are quickly disabused of the notion. If you have a 20 year-old air tool that has been out of production 15 years that we haven't had repair parts for ten years, yes I do expect you to buy a new one as you have the perfect example as to why you should in your hand in the form of a tool that lasted 20 years providing great service to you.

The guys who get on the truck demanding warranty service for a tool that I cannot determine the provenance of and the guy starts telling me how far he can stand from the urinal, he's gonna be getting off the truck more quickly than the others.

So, to recap-if you don't interrupt a Snap-On man (or lady, there are more everyday and they are all my Sisters in Chrome so you'd damn well better be a gentleman to them or there are 4000 more of my Brothers in Chrome who will kick your ass) when he's eating his lunch, hurrying to get to the next stop so he can collect money owed, or walk around the truck asking the price of every tool and whining about the price, you are more likely to get off the truck with your tool repaired or replaced.

Now, as to the immediate situation, the old hard-handle screwdrivers are not always available. If you have a square shank screwdriver with a busted handle, you're screwed and would be best served by sending it back to the Mother-Ship for service and hope for the best.

Most of my Brothers and Sister in Chrome are good people, but just like the rest of us, we're individuals who have good days and bad days and merely wish to earn a living and not be treated as less than the small business owners we are who are just trying to earn a living in these difficult times.
 

GA Gyro

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THX PT for posting.

It seems in this age, sometimes we need to be reminded of the limitations of a warranty.

I did auto and truck and aircraft mechanics in the 1970's, still have a bright red 'tamale' wagon in my shop. The tools are fine tools... worth every penny I paid for them.

THX again for posting, I may have to visit a truck sometime, just to see what is new.
 
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I don't mind being reminded of limitations but PT forgets one thing, I am the customer, he is the seller. If he came to my shop with that attitude it would be him finding the door not I. I deal with a Tool Truck on a regular basis and the owner is 180 degrees the opposite. This is my opinion.

"Billy G"
 

Cactus Farmer

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Guys, if you fav screwdriver has a bad handle, Brownells sells yellow/clear blank handles that you can install yourself. They are for any use you desire. I have many that I have glued onto a homemade tool or special screwdriver that I deemed useful. I save odd hammer heads from the junk bins too. Fixing or repairing an otherwise good tool gives me a great deal of satisfaction and a "new" tool for my collection. No, I have never counted my hammers or screwdrivers, the count wouldn't be right for long anyway as I add "new" ones regularly. http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/general-gunsmith-tools/tool-handles/molded-plastic-tool-handles-prod60.aspx
 

Cactus Farmer

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"The guys who get on the truck demanding warranty service for a tool that I cannot determine the provenance of and the guy starts telling me how far he can stand from the urinal, he's gonna be getting off the truck more quickly than the others." P T Schram

BTW,off topic, From the stains in front of the urinals I've seen lately, a lot of guys think it's longer than it is. And,I'm not fond of standing in somebody's waste.
 

planeflyer21

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I don't deal with tool trucks because that opportunity isn't there for me.

But I'm aware of plenty of organizations (read: businesses) whose policy is to accept all returns. <<<<<<<<period I see it with a lot of firearms periphrials (reloading equipment, parts, etc.)

With lots of companies that used to be "The American Way". They accepted returns because they put out a quality product that DID last a lifetime. Then folks started buying with the "I'm only gonna use it once, so why pay that much" attitude, which led manufacturers to lower their quality, which led to more returns, which led to outsourcing manufacturing.

Which led to Harbor Freight.
 

markknx

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PT I get what you are saying. but you have to admit the screwdriver handle issue mentioned above is a manufacturing defect. As I stated above I have had good luck with the few snap-on tools I have owned. And Ron the now retired snap-on man. Of course also I worked in a shop that took great pride and care of there tools. So this probably made Ron a little better with warranty.
But also consider as there are those that will use a ratchet as a hammer there are probably those dealers that will fight all warranty work. If I only buy one screw driver @ thirty bucks and hav an issue it is just as warrantied as a guy that buys thousands of dollars worth.
Mark
 

markknx

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Plane flyer,
I would tend to disagree with the reasoning that good tool Companies started selling bad tools. take sears and snap-on. They never real sold many tools to the one time guy. Snap-On sells mostly to the professional user, so not the case there. And craftsman sold most of their tools to the home DIY guy. Corporate greed is the reason, not the tool buyer. I will concede that with the disposable society we live in sears has likely lost a lot of tool business.
Mark
 

Franko

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As I said in my previous post, I've had very good experiences with the guys in Snap On trucks. I don't own many, but I'm very proud of the ones I do have.

I'm curious, though. I bought my first S.O. combination wrenches at a Pawn Shop. I think there were just 4 wrenches. Years later, I wanted to finish out the set and found a truck to purchase the other wrenches.

But, suppose one of my wrenches fails. How would I establish the provenience of my ownership of that tool if the dealer required it before honoring a warranty?
 

jmcghee

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PT- I'm curious... how long have you been a dealer? You mentioned you were at "training", what training? Dallas? Mid-year kickoff?
 

mike alan

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My first post on this forum. This topic. At 57, I have used tools from from crappy to Snappy, Craftsman to Cornwell, Mac to Matco.
And in a pinch - imported, usually inferior items.
Sounds like you had a bad experience with what sounds like a bad dealer. Not the first, nor the last, as unfortunately there are "bad" reps from every tool company.
Now, my best friend is one of the top tool distributors in the U.S., with over 27 years experience. Previously, he was a mechanic for about 12 years, but
it was his life's ambition to be a tool distributor.
When his opportunity came along, he was still pretty young, around 27. To get it, he had to mortgage the house he had just bought. With a wife and three young kids on the line, he had no choice but to succeed. He was determined.
He started with an old used truck he bought from another distributer. It wasn't pretty, but was all he could afford to get started. Years later he'd be able to buy a newer better truck.

His experience as a mechanic taught him that the customer is NOT always right, but his attitude was (and is) to take care of the customer.
Timvercoe makes some great points in his post above. Add in the cost of the truck fuel, insurance and maintenance and we're talking some big money just to fire up that big heavy truck every morning. Here, California's restrictions and regulations get worse each year, costing the small businessman a LOT of money and time.

He's been very successful, and has a lot of very good, loyal customers. Some have become close personal friends.
He's also seen people bring stuff into his truck for warranty which was so obviously mis-used, neglected or just purposely abused that anybody- even with no mechanical background- could see it.
He isn't an idiot, and he will call the customer on their BS when he sees it. But he will always try to figure a way to help them out.

Offering credit to customers, which seems like a great way to help out a young person getting started as a mech, is risky, to say the least. I am not 100% on the specifics, but as I understand it, there are laws in place prohibiting a tool dealer from taking tools back if a customer doesn't pay his tool bills...Talk about a wtf?

In your case, mirage100, I could assure you that: if my best friend, who also happens to be my brother, who also happens to be one of the best Matco dealers on the west coast had been that dealer on that day, you wouldn't have had a problem.
Best wishes always.
 

kvt

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I lived and was a mechanic in a small town. A tool truck might come through once every year, so I had just every kind of tool you could find, My first year almost all of my pay went to purchasing tools. Many I still had most of my Military career as I still liked working on cars. Sears lost my business when they started breaking and I took three ratchets in at once and they said they would not warranty them, because I could not product the receipt. I wound up talking to supervisors and managers and got them replaced. Snap on, The only way I could get them replaced was to send them to my kinfolk who was a dealer, or to the company. Matco I actually chassed down one of their trucks one day and found where he was going to be in a few hours so I could take some tools to them, I also had SK, Proto, and many others. Lately I have been getting Husky, But then the only place I could find was HD and they did not want to warrenty they either, now I do The ones from lowes but they do not have all I want at times.
 

P T Schram

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I don't mind being reminded of limitations but PT forgets one thing, I am the customer, he is the seller. If he came to my shop with that attitude it would be him finding the door not I. I deal with a Tool Truck on a regular basis and the owner is 180 degrees the opposite. This is my opinion.

"Billy G"
With which of my comments are you taking umbrage over?

I tend to think I'm pretty fair with my warranty process.
 
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It really doesn't matter which annoyed or offended me. It's just an opinion based on what I read. Let's leave it at that.

"Billy G"
 
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mirage100

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Well I did get a brand new screwdriver from snap-on . They were really nice and gave me no trouble.
 

MARVIN GARDENS

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I don't own any of the black handled Snap-On screwdrivers. I do own about three various sets of orange handled ones, some I purchased off the truck almost thirty years ago. I think it is pretty ****ty that a dealer doesn't want to warranty the black handled models or says they are crumbling because of a lack of hand oil. Everybody knows there is a problem. It used to be that tool sellers didn't quibble about warranty issues and that made me happy to buy from them and created customer loyalty.

There hasn't been a Craftsman tool put in my tool boxes since I bought my first Snap-On ratchet set off the truck. I inherited a bunch of 3/4" and 1" sockets and wrenches as well as three Snap-On roll arounds. I have about $20,000 invested in my own purchases from Snap-On....none of it purchased with credit. I have been buying off the website for several years now since my old dealer retired. Not a lot I agree but I am a little more than a casual purchaser. I am looking for a new KRL box. The set I want looks like about $15,000 on the Snap-On website. Because I do automotive restorations at my home shop and not at a commercial establishment, the local dealer won't stop and talk to me. Oh well. I see if the Mac guy wants to sell me a box....and I do need new impact drivers too. The screws and bolts will usually turn no matter what name is stamped on the tool.

I don't see a reason to be loyal to any tool brand anymore.

Regards.

Bob
 
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Navy Chief

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I don't own any of the black handled Snap-On screwdrivers. I do own about three various sets of orange handled ones, some I purchased off the truck almost thirty years ago. I think it is pretty ****ty that a dealer doesn't want to warranty the black handled models or says they are crumbling because of a lack of hand oil. Everybody knows there is a problem. It used to be that tool sellers didn't quibble about warranty issues and that made me happy to buy from them and created customer loyalty.

There hasn't been a Craftsman tool put in my tool boxes since I bought my first Snap-On ratchet set off the truck. I inherited a bunch of 3/4" and 1" sockets and wrenches as well as three Snap-On roll arounds. I have about $20,000 invested in my own purchases from Snap-On....none of it purchased with credit. I have been buying off the website for several years now since my old dealer retired. Not a lot I agree but I am a little more than a casual purchaser. I am looking for a new KRL box. The set I want looks like about $15,000 on the Snap-On website. Because I do automotive restorations at my home shop and not at a commercial establishment, the local dealer won't stop and talk to me. Oh well. I see if the Mac guy wants to sell me a box....and I do need new impact drivers too. The screws and bolts will usually turn no matter what name is stamped on the tool.

I don't see a reason to be loyal to any tool brand anymore.

Regards.

Bob
You make a very good point in the last sentence of your post.. If the dealer or manufacturer of the tool will not be loyal to me, why should I be loyal to them? The they start quibbling about the "lifetime warranty" on their tools they have lost me on the spot. I paid a premium for the tool based on the "lifetime warranty" for the dealer or manufacturer to start looking for loopholes in that warranty is crap.

- Not the original purchaser - Really? So the quality of the tool changed when it changed hands?
- Useful lifetime - This is a weasel way out, you simply say that the tool lived up to it's lifetime before it failed, now you are off the hook? Again Really?
- Misused - Prove it... Another weasel way out, the customer misused the tool so we don't have to warranty it... Pure judgement call probably 90% of the time, and they always call in their own favor..

I am done paying a premium for tools for the privilege of having a popular name on them, the company that will get my business will support me as a customer the same as I support them as a client.
 

mwest

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I love the Snap-On trucks. The tools I have from them are a mix of things bought directly and others scored from a pawn shop. Some of the pawn shop scores have been purchased broken. Like a previous poster I just throw my broken tools in the car and wait till I see a tool truck. That said I usually treat myself to a new tool when I am doing a warranty item.

My favorite warranty repair was the largest flat head screw driver was broken. The driver took it put on his glasses gave it a good look and said wow... we better warranty this or you will never get your watch put back together. As he was fixing it he suggested that I might be interested in a set of pry bars. I told him that I had recently discovered such devices and had a fine set from Sears; but that I was having a hard time removing some head studs. As luck would have it he had just the tool for the job. :)
 
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