Tools opinions: need a 1/2" set, budget is a couple hundred



  • Vee_QueVee_Que (@Vee_Que) South Eastern suburbs Melbourne.
    The set is pretty cheap and I am not exaggerating about how good they are. Remember, I work on trucks every day of the week.
  • nickmnicko (@nickm) Sydeneee --- home of the traffic jamb, over priced coffee, and the 2000 Olympics
    like this?
    It looks good but the breaker bar is a bit short.
    try a sig
  • Ex850RSnoopy (@Ex850R) Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.
    edited March 2017
    My aldi sockets are 6 point and good, the ratchet handle fell apart but now used as short handle and can be hit with hammer!
    Stanley set from Supercheap is ace, got on special for 90 odd bux. AND it is kool colour, BLACK!
    Bahco sounds great! Have lusted after them before.. I had a snap on ratchet for years but needed rebuild and got lost.
    Really like the Harbour Freight carbon fibre ratchets too! (Mr Mullis could help.)
    cancer sucks
  • AshDVSAsh (@AshDVS) - Geelong, VIC
    I think it all comes down to how much you plan on using 1/2" stuff - I almost never use 1/2" but typically use 3/8" for everything.

    All my 1/4" and 3/8" stuff is Snap On or Blue Point. I have a few bits of Koken or Kincrome stuff where I've bought something for a specific purpose and I even have a couple of 1/2" breaker bars (that live in the boot of the cars) which are TTI (Total Tools, in-house budget brand) that might get used once a year at most.

    I've got a 3/8" Snap On rattle gun, which I use a lot, and have a 1/2" SP rattle gun which I don't use as much.

    If you're doing heavy truck/bus stuff, like @Vee-Que spends his time on, it'd make sense to have really good 1/2" stuff.
    If you're a hobby-mechanic, middle-range 3/8" stuff should get you through just about anything.
    Likes good coffee & motorsport. Builds stuff. Occasionally races stuff.
    twitter & instagram: ashd61 | w:
  • I bought a Gedore half inch metric socket set, which included a selection of combination spanners, in about 1985 from Complete Hardware in Eastwood (they're still there, at 74 Rowe St, even now).

    It was stolen in 1989, and promptly replaced by another Gedore set of the same spec from the same place. The latter kit has survived car prep for two Winton 24 Hours, four Bathurst 12 Hours, plus gawd knows how many clubbies before and since, and all of the tools I still have from that kit are still going strong to the present day.

    None of the Gedore tools have ever broken. In fact, the only spanner I've ever had break on me was an el cheapo 14mm flare nut spanner.

    The basic kit has been supplemented by mostly Sidchrome and Stanley spanners and sockets, with the occasional Kinchrome thrown in there. General rule of thumb is that if I bought a socket of a certain size, I'll also get a combination spanner of the same size, or vicey versie.

    The local Home Hardware had a clearance special about 2 years on the Kinchrome 3/8 socket set, and that's proven to be quite handy for going to Pick 'n' Payless and the like.
    71 1800E |73 144 |74 142 |74 145 |79 242GT |88 780 |93 945T |93 945|2010 S80 V8
  • jamesincJames (@jamesinc) Oz Volvo Ice Fortress
    I don't need 1/2" set that badly. I rebuilt Amy from the shell without a 1/2" set. It's more that it occasionally comes in handy.
  • If you can wait, look at what supercheap has. Then wait for their more-than-20%-off sale. I think they just had 30% off a couple of weeks ago. So you'll have to wait a few months. Sign up to their club membership if you're not, and watch the emails so you know when the next one is on.

    I own Kincrome purchased years ago when Bunnings was clearing out old stock cheap, because (according to Bunnings staff) Kincrome was sold to the chinese. He showed me a ratchet from the new set that was replacing the one in my hand, saying they'd probably still be ok. But they sure looked and felt of a lower quality, which seemed to confirm what he said about chinese buying the company. I assume that's changed since then or no-one would be buying anymore. But the reason I mentioned it is, tezza suggested markets. i.e. You might see a Kincrome set from that era and grab it without realising.
  • Vee_QueVee_Que (@Vee_Que) South Eastern suburbs Melbourne.
    Kinchrome has gone. Up and down but the quality is better now, warranties are the important things.

    A set of 3/8 snap on sockets is 450, no ratchets, the vans offer a bluepoint service kit which is about 400 with a ratchet and extension set. Comes in in a nice blow-outs case. But its no stronger than a sp tools set or sidchrome. Not that sidchrome is cheap either.

    Though I own a spare sidchrome 1/2 socket set that has never had any issues either.
  • jamesincJames (@jamesinc) Oz Volvo Ice Fortress
    edited March 2017
    So I think I've whittled it down to two choices.

    Either one, the very nice flex head ratchets that @Vee_Que mentioned or, two, the 106-piece Bahco set, which I like because it's all in one case, which would make it much handier at the parts yard etc than my current milk crate of tools, and it has 1/2" sockets up to 34mm which satisfies my 1/2" set requirements also, and they're all 6-point sockets to boot @nickm
  • nickmnicko (@nickm) Sydeneee --- home of the traffic jamb, over priced coffee, and the 2000 Olympics
    The only disadvantage with 6 point is you need to turn it more to fit on the bolt or nut.
    I have a bunch of 3/8" tools but when I bought the 1/2" it made things a fair bit easier for me. Occasionally I use 3/8" when access is tight and the fastener is tighter than I think my 1/4 drive set will handle.
  • Vee_QueVee_Que (@Vee_Que) South Eastern suburbs Melbourne.
    I find 6 point inconvenient for similar reasons, tight spaces or short throws. It happens more on late model cars too.
  • You need 36mm socket and also 12pt work on the 12 point e-torx style bolts
    You also should have a set of 6pt E-torx sockets and 12pt drivers (both used on 850 engines)
    I think you need to add i was in an s80 with three wheels getting pulled backwards and was told to "hold on shit is about to get real".
  • nickmnicko (@nickm) Sydeneee --- home of the traffic jamb, over priced coffee, and the 2000 Olympics
    edited March 2017
    6pt E-torx I know the one for the bearing hub. Where are the others? I got mine from bunnings but they are 3/8 and 1/4.
  • Abs module (e5)
    And some of the interior bolts
  • jamesincJames (@jamesinc) Oz Volvo Ice Fortress
    Not looking for a Torx set or e-Torx set at present
  • I have the Stanley set PB posted above, seems pretty good but hasn't had a load of use yet. My old 1/4 Stanley set trucks on well. I've never used any of the imperial bits in either set though, so that seems a waste.

    Recently I've bought a few bits from Amazon US to round out my tool set:


    These Tekton tools seem to get good reviews for the money. Also bought a set of flex ratchet spanners from them, which are comparable to Kinchrome other than the price.
  • i have no idea how to use that kind of torque wrench yet, btw ;)
  • jamesincJames (@jamesinc) Oz Volvo Ice Fortress
    @pastry you twist the dial on the bottom to the torque you want, then you tighten the bolt until the torque wrench makes a single "click" sound (it'll sound different from the ratcheting sound). Easy way to test is set it to like 10 ft lbs and test it out on a wheel lug or some other large nut that won't move.

    Just don't use the torque wrench to loosen bolts. It's reversible so it can torque things with reverse thread, not so you can use it like a regular ratchet.
  • Vee_QueVee_Que (@Vee_Que) South Eastern suburbs Melbourne.
    Interesting to buy a Chinese torque wrench from Amazon. They almost are all the same, I hope it did cost less than $100 for the wrench and sockets. Not really worth more than that here.
  • nickmnicko (@nickm) Sydeneee --- home of the traffic jamb, over priced coffee, and the 2000 Olympics
    yes the e5 I found a socket that fitted.
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