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2 bikes = twice as happy
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Discussion Starter #1
I have making do with a cheapish Halfords socket set for 15+years now. The ratchet is going a bit and I could do with a 3/8" drive torque wrench. I also need some big sockets - 20mm-30mm prolly in 1/2" drive. So, its about time to upgrade. Any recommendations? I would rather pay more than less to get something good quality - what should I look for, esp with sockets - are the hex one's better than the pointy one's?

I also want a tool chest/store. One of those big snap-on chests filled with yummy snap on tools would be perfect, but budget prevents this so it more likley a small Clarke storage box from Machine Mart.

Advice gratefully received:thumbright:
 

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bigtrailie admin
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4,710 Posts
I have making do with a cheapish Halfords socket set for 15+years now. The ratchet is going a bit and I could do with a 3/8" drive torque wrench. I also need some big sockets - 20mm-30mm prolly in 1/2" drive. So, its about time to upgrade. Any recommendations? I would rather pay more than less to get something good quality - what should I look for, esp with sockets - are the hex one's better than the pointy one's?

I also want a tool chest/store. One of those big snap-on chests filled with yummy snap on tools would be perfect, but budget prevents this so it more likley a small Clarke storage box from Machine Mart.

Advice gratefully received:thumbright:
although I generally make do with mid range/cheaper sockets (my son is a bugger for losing them) I always buy Facom ratchets I found these to be reasonable prices and I have a 1/2" drive one that is approaching its 20th birthday, so long term they work out cheaper than the budget options
 

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TV boffin
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328 Posts
Try going back to Halfords. Some of their stuff is really quite decent now, and suspiciously resembles tools made by Facom and Teng and the like.

I recently bought a set there - and it's pretty good! And Ride magazine have commended their better ratchet sets.

Note that Halfords do "budget" and "pro" versions of their sockets and ratchets.
 

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Registered
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2,136 Posts
I think the Halfords pro series have a lifetime warranty. They do a good set for a £100 (discounted from £150?). Obviously you generally get what you pay for. Facom, Snap on etc cost a lot more. I also love the ratchet spanners Halfords do and use them a lot.
I've got 2 Sykes Pickavent torque wrenches. The smaller one is used much more on the bike. They were £50 each about 10 years ago. They should be recalibrated every few years but I think only one manufacture does that (sorry cant remember who). Pay as much as you can afford for a torque wrench and look for one that does lower settings.
Keep your eyes peeled and if your not in a hurry wait for sales as I've bought tools/tool chests all with heavy discounts from Halfords.
 

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The Angry Pasty Muncher
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6,170 Posts
I have making do with a cheapish Halfords socket set for 15+years now. The ratchet is going a bit and I could do with a 3/8" drive torque wrench. I also need some big sockets - 20mm-30mm prolly in 1/2" drive. So, its about time to upgrade. Any recommendations? I would rather pay more than less to get something good quality - what should I look for, esp with sockets - are the hex one's better than the pointy one's?

I also want a tool chest/store. One of those big snap-on chests filled with yummy snap on tools would be perfect, but budget prevents this so it more likley a small Clarke storage box from Machine Mart.

Advice gratefully received:thumbright:
I got to agree Facom, Teng and SP are very good kit but don't over look snap-on it's always worth getting hold of them to see what they have on the monthly special offers and second hand kit gets sold very cheaply from them, i've had some good deal and there prices aren't any dearer than MAC or any other top brand
 

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yet another Dave
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2,854 Posts
austin if im not too late, take it back to halfords their own brand (used to be made by draper) has had a lifetime warranty for many years.
 

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XRV750 RD04
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1,549 Posts
The pro range sold by machinemart might be worth a look. I got a set of 1/4" sockets and a ratchet quite cheap from there a while back and they seem good quality (though I haven't used them much yet so not sure how they'll stand up but they do seem fairly good quality from what I can see so far and they also come with a lifetime guarantee (their pro range at least). They're quite a bit cheaper than the halfords ones too.

You can also buy full sets including the ratchets, or you can buy ratchets seperately and smaller collections of sockets on a rail so you don't need to buy a massive set that includes tons of extras that you might not need (though you still can't buy individual sockets which is a shame).

http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/categories/search/socket-sets-sockets-tool-sets

When getting sockets if you get the six point ones with the flat drive they're meant to be better (less wear or stripping compared to the 12 point ones, and the flat drive means they can handle more torque or something).

Might be worth a look and comparing to the halfords pro range as they do look quite a lot cheaper.
 

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DILLIGAF
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1,685 Posts
I have the Halfords pro set (£100, down from £150). It has a lifetime warranty, and i'm pretty sure it is identical to the Teng tool sate my mate has (£450).
 

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2 bikes = twice as happy
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4,354 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Finally made it to Halfords this afternoon and bought one of the pro toolsets, probably the same as Raven's - £99.99 down from £150. No further discount or trade discount or anything despite asking several times. Used them tonight to fit my new exhaust - the ratchet feels brill.

The guy at Halfords in Blackpool says he does some work on bikes at evenings/weekends and only uses Halfords tools - well he would wouldn't he - but really rates them. He says the next thing to get is the ratchet spanners which he says are ace tools. £50 a set though, but he reckons there will be an offer on soon through - at least 30% discount, which is the same as the trade discount apparently.
 

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yet another Dave
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2,854 Posts
get yourself a trade card and get that sort of offer all the time. have to prove you work for an engineering firm though, with a payslip or whatever. (or at least a firm with an engineery name, they dont exactly bother to check much)
 

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SHW'MAE BUTT
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3,270 Posts
Hi GUYS as A HGV mechanic over the years I have built a rather large toolkit. I bought all of Snap On, Mac, teng, Britool and BETA. If I bought them again It would be cheaper to buy a shinny new GSA with all the toys. But getting to the point my current job does not insure my tools in my van, so I dont take them I bought Halfords professional range because knuckles are important and I rate them 100% they are very swingable and have a real good crome finish I but them all the time for my Job on plant and forktrucks:thumbup:
 

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Ex Vara Rider
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446 Posts
Too late now that you have bought from Halfords but their Pro range is very good, though cheaper and so far indestructable is CK, which I have for 1/2". I also have a Teng 3/8" socket set for the smaller stuff, small enough to carry on the bike and tough enough to last. The Halfords torque wrenches are great too if a little expensive and the 3/8" will cover most torque settings on a bike. Bought mine on this review.

Not that impressed with Machine Mart Pro range with Torx bits snapping and hex sockets attachments falling apart. They always exchange them but it's the hassle of the tool failing when you need it and having to take them back.

Most invaluable purchases have been tee-bar sockets, quality allen keys, magnetic tray and a good toolbox to be able to keep them secure and easy to find.
 

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Ex Vara Rider
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446 Posts
The rachet spanners can be had from Costco for less than £20 and the same quality as the Halfords ones. Found this out after I'd got mine from Halfords :(
 
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