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Thread: Mac vs Matco tools

  1. #1
    Senior Member docjekyll2002's Avatar
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    Mac vs Matco tools

    I am starting my automotive mechanics courses next month. Matco is offering 14% APR payment plans. Mac is offering 9%. Mac says they are more available in town. Even though Mac is offering a cheaper payment plan, the sales rep didn't want to mention financing. Matco's sales reps mentioned the financing up front. Both reps are offering tool sets for $1700, plus or minus a few dollars. Anyone here have good/bad stories about these toolmakers? I will eventually move to motorcycle mechanics 10 years from now so that might play a factor too.

  2. #2
    rbm
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    Senior Member rbm's Avatar
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    They're both good tools but buy Craftsman for the bulk of what you need and save ALOT of $$.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Padilen's Avatar
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    Mac is owned by Stanley. As I'd Proto and a few others.

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    Senior Member Werloc's Avatar
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    I have mostly Snap on because that's the truck that came to the first motorcycle dealership I worked at back in the 80's when I started at 19. Over the years working at different shops also bought MAC. My boxes are all Craftsman. That being said, I have a mix of brands, and most likely, in time, you will prefer different brands for different tools. But, you can't go wrong with either one of those (Mac or Matco). Craftsman WAS good long ago, when they were made in USA. Now, they are made in Taiwan and far from the quality they were. Sockets and wrenches are sloppy fitting on nuts, etc compared to the other 3 truck brands. Best advice I could give ya is, try different brands and tools if you can before you buy them. Yes, the better brands are very expensive but, this is your profession, and being used all day, everyday, it is well worth it. For you, this is not just a perchase, it's an investment. They will last a lifetime. Not so for someone that doesn't count on them as much. It takes a while to realize, but there IS a difference. Snap on, Mac, Matco, and Proto are all top notch... I still use the same tools I started buying when I was 19, and I'm now 51. Good tools are all about quality, feel, fit, and being there when you need them. (For exchange of worn or broken, or in need of a special item) My tools, are my jewels. Your doing the right thing by asking. Always ask what, and why. Someone elses opinion or reasons, may or may not be important to you. Go to all the tool brand websites, and order their free catalogs. These were my bibles when I was starting my sets. One thing I've noticed since some aren't stamping the sizes of wrenches and sockets. These cheaper brands are now etching the sizes on them. They wear off in time, and no longer can read the sizes. Something to keep in mind if you buy etched tools. The better brands don't do that for that reason. It's sometimes the little stuff like that, that can make a difference.

    Best of luck to ya...
    Last edited by Werloc; 08-21-2014 at 10:12 PM.
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    Bob

    When in doubt, Gas It..!!!

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    Senior Member Zack's Avatar
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    Here is a set of snap on wrenches that I saw in Port au Prince the other day. uploadfromtaptalk1408678170512.jpg

    That's right. An 11 piece wrench set for 570 USD. That must be a huge mark-up though. I can't imagine that they're that expensive in the US.
    Zack

  7. #6
    Senior Member Werloc's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's way over priced. You could also find good deals on those top truck brand tools on ebay. Doesn't matter, you will still have the free exchange warranty for life of the tool. I happened to have 2 hammers exchanged about 2 months ago. The plastic handles cracked due to age, so I put them in my truck incase I saw a Snap on truck at a shop somewhere during my travels. Sure enough, in a few days, I saw a truck at a tire shop and while talking to the Snap on guy, I asked if would warranty some old hammers, he said, "Sure, come on in." So I grabbed the hammers and into the truck I went. Wow, I was in heaven... I haven't been in any tool truck since 1998. So when I handed hime my 2 hammers, he said they were older ones and he didn't have the same exact ones, but would give me the newer model replacements. "When did you get these?", he asked. I said, "back in 1982 or so." He said, Ok, no problem. So, that was easier than I thought. Walked out with 2 new hammers, and a new catalog. Since he is the local guy in my area, he said, "anytime you need something, just give me a call, and we can meet, or even stop at your house if I'm close that day. He was a very nice guy. I gotta say, afterbthat day, I've been thinking of how cool it would be if I could buy into a franchise, and become a Snap on dealer. But, with my poor credit now, and being disabled, it most likely will remain a dream, unless I can find a partner to go in with. Someone like me, or retired to split the work with, and both do it part time to have a full time business. I can picture the truck with my TW on the back....
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    Bob

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  8. #7
    Senior Member Padilen's Avatar
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    Very expensive to buy into. I checked into a few different business in late 80's and again mid 90's.
    Would've should've could've .

  9. #8
    Senior Member 4x4Given's Avatar
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    Snap-On, MAC, Matco, Cornwell. All are excellent, professional quality tools, though pricey. Visit pawn shops, flea markets and craigslist. Save a LOT!
    Craftsman, Stanley, Kobalt (Lowes) and Rigid (Home Depot). These are good quality tools, perfect for home mechanics and generally ok for professional work. Good value for the money. Visit pawn shops, flea markets and craigslist. Save even MORE!

    In my former career, I was a professional mechanic in the Motorcycle industry (about 10 years) and the automotive industry (about 15 years) and still twist wrenches (on my stuff). At one point or another, I had accounts with all the big 4 tool companies and acquired aboout $10,000 in tools.

    RBM gave good advice, buy Craftsman (or other 2nd tier) for the bulk of your hand tools and buy specialty tools from the Snap-On, MAC, Matco, Cornwell (1st tier) manufacturers. At least as yo are getting going in your career. Because you will be buying a LOT of tools.

    My best advice is to be frugal, but use common sense and get the right tool for the job. Always focus on doing the job right the first time. Stand behind your work. Doing that was how I won Pontiac Master Craftsman (twice), Oldsmobile Master Technician Elite (twice) and Oldsmobile Top Gun awards.

    Congratulations on your upcomgin schooling and best wishes in your career.
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  10. #9
    Member wildhorse1966's Avatar
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    between those two brands I would go with mac .. the quality of the matco sockets are lacking .. equal to a craftsman socket with that being said over 90% of the tools I have in my tool box at the shop are snap on yes they are pricey but you cant beat the quality .. though some things I don't buy snap on here are some examples .. the best 1/2 in impact gun made is the ingersol rand 2135TI I have had 1 since it came out and still has tons of power over5-6 years later .. also the 1/4 in air ratchet I buy in a ingersol because I do a lot of timing belt jobs so I wear them out quickly I always have a complete set of gear wrenches they are great but they don't replace your normal snap on wrenches lastly as some of the others have mentioned ebay will get you the best deals just be informed as to what they cost new .. just don't fall into the trap to buy a tool box... a craftsman box will do you fine for the first few years


    almost forgot a few things ..
    screwdrivers only buy snap-on they are worth the price
    3/8 air ratchet only buy snapon it is the strongest on the market .. but buy a new looking one (slightly used) on ebay and you will save 50%

    I used to spend about $100 a week on the snap on truck these days I spend about $50 a week
    Last edited by wildhorse1966; 08-22-2014 at 12:54 PM.

  11. #10
    Senior Member 4x4Given's Avatar
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    +1 on Igersol Rand. Best air tools made. Wish I hadn't sold my IR231.
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