ive had a halfords socket set since i was 15 thats nearly 20 years old now and thats still going strong its stripped 10-20 cars and ive rebuilt 10+ engines overs the years and thats without things like ball joints hubs, Brakes,shocks and gearboxes
An oil filter chain/strap is useful and a torque wrench, number 1 thing for modern cars is a decent torx male and female set, Another thing with later cars is the lack of space todo things - combi ratchet spanners are a must
My Britool spanners and sockets are getting on for 35 years old now...they were a great brand back in the day. My son, who owns a motorcycle sales and repair shop, uses mostly Snap-on and their 'budget' brand Blue-Point, which hasall the quality at a lower cost...well worth a look.
I still have a 44 year old Elora socket set that has been worked to death and still good....broke my bank balance a bit in 1968...but when you had Austin 1100's a decent array of tools was very neccessary... can't count the amount of engines etc it's been used on over the years...
If it is just to use once in a while, the Halfords stuff is OK, only if you can get it "half price" (which is most of the time). The supposedly £200 set for around £90 has most of the tools you need in it, but the quality is way way down on the tools halfords sold 10 years ago (with "professional" on them). The new stuff says "advanced" on it, and is fairly easy to break.
Forget the "Lifetime guarantee" it is only guaranteed until it breaks, then the life is over, and you need the original receipt anyway.
Like other shall we say more mature members, I have an array of tools made by
elora, gordon, hilka, bedford, blackhawk (dated this to 1942, they couldn't chrome them as they needed chrome to fight the germans with), gedore, garrison, not forgetting the legendary King dick, that are as good as the day they were forged by the sweat of mens brows, except only the socket twizzlers are any good for these foreign nuts & bolts.
More modern stuff I have is made by Teng (as advertised by Ed China) Belzer, facom, Blue point (snap-on's cheap range) Britool, Kamasa, Bergen, acesa (spanish, but strong). I tend to buy odd spanners and sockets at car boot sales if they have a good maker.
I have an idea that most of the european brands are all owned by the same company anyway.
Don't ever buy the halfords plastic ratchet handles where you change direction by sliding a button up and down, they don't last above a week.
I've been dropping hints for Santa to bring me one of those Facom 3/8 ratchet drivers that ratchet normally, but if there is no space you twizzle the handle round and they drive like a 90 degree gearbox.
I have an old snap-on 1/2" combi spanner that has done some work, I've had big tubes on the end of it without breaking it to shift Landrover bolts.
My 40 year old (first used on a Berkley T60) Hilka socket set is still in pristine condition. I've lost count of the engines and gearboxes stripped with it and running repairs carried out with it.
Hilka still have a'pro' range but I'd try to pick up a vintage one in good condition.
mnl, good to see that I'm not the only one with some 'king dick' spanners in their tool kit , silly name but good tools that lasts forever. Best tool I've got, was given to me by my late mechanic friend- long handle 3/8 ratchet with hinged head and a cranked handle made by Snap-On, all he said was, it may look a bit odd but give it a try and you know what he was right! much more versatile than an normal ratchet and fewer scuffed knuckles.
I'll mention it to Mrs Elephant when she goes shopping for presents on
Monday, she can get me a set. On the other foot, she has a history of
getting the names of things wrong...she once asked an ice-cream man for a
69 with crushed nuts and extra sauce (at my instigation I must admit) ,
then got very shirty when I fell about laughing. I
can just see her going into Halfords and asking the poor chap if he has
'Big Dick's Tool' in stock and does it come in a big box.
Having looked at their website, my guess is "far east" and couldn't find a mention of steels used, not a good sign.
I have an eclectic mix of Gedore, bergen,snap-on,craftsman (better than snap on), britool,williams superslim,bedford,Facom,king dick. the King dicks are from various era's, the later ones are very badly made as if the drop forge dies are knackered, the earlier ones are fine. In order of preference FACOM, CRAFTSMAN, WILLIAMS SUPERSLIMS, BRITOOL, SNAP ON, EARLY KD's, anything that fits well.