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Tool reliability

Parts stores are selling bolt remover sets for $20.00 ! Set of 5. Does this tool work ? Is it a good investment for my toolbox ?

Never buy Asian-made tools. I always buy US (Sears Craftsman, SK, Snap-on, etc.).


Are you talking about broken bolt removal tools? There is almost a science involved in removing broken bolts, it is a “step” process. I start with left hand drill bits (sometimes you get lucky and it grabs the bolt piece and just runs it out). You can move into all levels of bolt removal tools. I don’t think the chances of a 20.00 set handling the job are very good.

You can no longer assume that a tool with a US name on them were made in the US. Some US names are buying their products from Asian producers and not requiring the traditional US tool quality. Sad to say, not all use produced tools are of the quality they once were, but overall my choice is for US made tools based on quality.

I can remember my father talking about Asian quality. When he was in the US Navy between the WW wars, he told of the time while in Japan they sent a sextant to be replaced, the original US made one had a crack making it inaccurate. They came back and got two identical cracked sextants. This time they explained what it was and how it worked. This time it came back with identical serial numbers at the original, but this one proved more accurate and better made than the original.

You get what you pay for so don’t expect cheap tools from anywhere to be quality tools.

In my toolbox I have a variety of tools, the oldest ones made in the US, Sweden and Germany. The next oldest are made in Japan (which is in ASIA) and are really good. Some are made in China, Taiwan, and various other countries.

Japanese tools 50 years ago were not much good, but, as they say, times change.

Agree that if all the Sears tools were made in the US, you probably could not afford a full set.

I’ve seen and have numerous types of bolt remover sets, from the traditional “easy out” to the tapered bits with the reverse cutting edge that grab a hole drilled in the bolt to allow you to turn it counterclockwise. IMHO it’s worth having the various types in the toolbox, although I usually end up drilling the bolt out and retapping anyway. And, for the set of taps (also a necessity), get the best full set you can afford. Any tool that cuts should be the best quality you can get. Never compromise on cutting edges.

I have noticed that a lot of tools such as diagonal plyers made in China look just like what they are supposed to be, but dont work (wont cut a copper wire in two). I call them tool like sculptures. On the other hand, I had a set of large Proto combination wrenches that not professional mechanic would touch, (for 35 bucks in 1979) that lasted me till they were stolen in 2002. My old dad used to say, when asked what tools were any good, I dont effin know. and he was a pro. he called snapon snapoff, and thought craftsman was very third rate, and huffy was no good either. My rule of thumb is, how often will you need it, and does it have a warranty, that way if is crap, at least you have a life time supply.

Tool like sculptures! Priceless!!!

Owatonna Tool Company better known as OTC owned by SPX. SPX owns the tool companies for everybody-John Deere-Mercury Outboard and the auto makers, but I digress.

OTC makes a lot of thier tools on MN. but they now have asian made tools in thier catalog.

There is a guaranteed rejection of any thing that carries the lable of “the best” be it a tool or even a Nation. Myself I actually enjoy the feel that I get while using a fine tool. One example that comes to mind is Snap Ons 1/4 drive iron, these tools are a joy to use or even just hold.

Unfortunately, you are the victim of the Chinese manufacturing quality control methodology: measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe. While some tools made in China are good quality, most do not hold up to the rigors placed on them to do a job. I think that the problem lies not with the Chinese, but the American companies that out source to China and don’t set quality control standards high enough. Profit, not quality is the bottom line.