Need to buy tools, please advise

Infidel

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This may be a long shot, but can anyone recommend a brand for a general purpose technician's tool set? Price is not as important as quality, as these tools will be used to maintain and adjust expensive, and in some cases, custom-made laboratory instrumentation/equipment. I know many auto mechanics favor Snap On tools, and Proto tools are used in many industrial applications.

I'm wondering if there are any service technicians on the board who favor a particular make? Anyone have any tools purchased from McMaster Carr? This would be especially nice, since it's straightforward to order from them through our purchasing dept.

Starting tool kit would need basic hand tools:
Screwdrivers (standard and phillips, various sizes) interchangeable bit is OK if quality is good
Pliers (needle nose/wire cutting, slip joint)
Hex wrenches (English and metric)
6" adjustable wrench
Small socket set (1/4" drive) w/ ratchet (English and metric)

Any useful tools I'm forgetting?
 

edouble

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I recommend Craftsman. Afford, you can buy them at any Sears tool department and they have a lifetime warranty. Go to Sears and look at the various tool kits Craftsman offers, there is a big variety. I always wanted their tool kit that comes in it's own tiddy plastic case but I have duplicates of just about everything now. You can also browse their kits online either at Sears.com or Craftsman.com

Don't forget to make a list of any specialty tools you may need which may only be available from the manufacturer of your laboratory equipment.
 

edouble

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Also do you have the proper tools to calibrate these laboratory instruments after you repaired them? This maybe a completely different list of required tools then, such as: calipers, micrometers and numerous other specific measuring devices.
 
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Infidel

Infidel

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Thanks for the reply. By way of background, my wife is starting to build her own independent lab at a university and asked me to recommend a basic tool kit (I'm always giving her grief about not having the right tools). I considered Craftsman, but have found in the past that not all of their tools are of equal quality. Despite the warranty (which is nice) it could be very problematic (and expensive) to have a tool fail at a critical moment...I'm not too concerned about this for the basic hand tools and how they will be used, but as a matter of principal, I'm willing to pay for higher quality in the first place, as is my wife. Attempting to use a crappy, ill-fitting screwdriver to mount $100k worth of equipment in a rack is a non starter. Also, it's a little more complicated to use grant money to pay for them (via purchasing). Nevertheless, I may very well reconsider this option; the Craftsman Professional line looks nice.

Generally, the instruments in question are shipped with any specialty tools that might be necessary for instrument-specific work. Very specialized/complex work is performed by the manufacturer's technicians.
 

KooK

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Craftsmen is pretty much crap, the only reason to use it is simply because of how easy it is to warranty their junk. Personally I prefer Mac or Snap-On, however you need to find a dream truck that carries their tools. Easiest way is to head to a auto mechanics shop, ask if one stops by and see if any of the Techs have the guys number (you'll have to setup a time to meet him or chase him down). Be prepared to spend some money.
 

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