I start Automotive school tomorrow and a nice tool collection is required by the school. Unfortunately, they could not provide me with any information about the tools they were supplying other than that they would cost $2100. I told them to give me a list of everything that is included and I would buy it myself. Therefore, I spent the day at Sears and purchased everything on the list for nearly half the price.
I feel comfortable with Craftsman mostly because they have a lifetime warranty, they can be found pretty much anywhere in the US easily, and I've never had any problems with the tools in the past. The biggest purchase was a 300 piece Mechanics tool set. I chose that over some of the other sets because it is upgradeable to a much larger set without having duplicates. Some other things I purchased were misc. items that I needed like plier sets, auto specific tools, 1/2'' impact wrench and a tool chest.
The 300 piece kit came with all the essential tools that I needed and then some so I couldn't be happier, and now I finally had an excuse to start the tool collection I've always wanted. Here's a preview of most of the things I bought.
I really like how I can keep building the set with add on sets. I'm looking forward to getting the next one when I need it. This is the chest combo that I got. It will fit everything + more and it's got ball bearing drawers so it's much smoother than lower quality models.
Good start. If you go far with the career, these will be just a small portion of the eventual amount you'll acquire. My father's been a master tech for almost 20 years and he has probably spent 75k or more on tools, scanners, boxes, etc. Snap-on, matco, and others get crazy money for stuff. It's a disease, but a good one, lol. Good luck with school!
So I just got back from my first day...apparently I have to bring my tools there every day and I was under the impression that I could store them there. The fun 30 minute drive to school is now going to be weighed down by 100lbs of tools! dammit! They're all in the chest too, so buying a tool box now is stupid.
I am drooling, that looks like a killer starting kit! You will definately pick up more tools along the way as you hit cars that require more specialized tools or find a certain job that your existing tools may not quite work with.
Tools are one thing I am starting to collect since harbor freight is right down the road, but that picture makes me jealous!
Those will be the begginings of your home tools one day Good score - cheap American tools are great for getting started! I should take pictures of my work tools and box one day... it's crazy how much I have invested at this point (and all paid for). I could be driving a new 9-5 for the amount I have in...... lol
I have a lot of Snap-On (never pay list price) - you can buy used all day long on e-bay, but they do offer student programs for 1/2 price (if you get it - buy them at that price as much as you can afford)
I also have a mix of Matco (awesome company) and MAC tools (dusche bag brand IMHO)
Some off brands and tools you will collect from the elders they give you or you find in strange places.
Try to avoid large tool orders from harbor freight - there tools are mosty junk and not worth the gas you spent getting there in.... they do have decent deals often, but buyer beware.
Get a QUALITY torque wrench - they are worth it. You need a 1/2 one to get started - then look for a 3/8 - needle styles are almost worthless.... get a nice click style or digital.
GOOD LUCK - it's not a cheap or well paying career - but someone needs to do it.