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What can we say?  We’re big Foose fans, both for his incredible work and his incredible art.  Some people can draw pretty pictures of cars, but how many of them can actually build the car such that it looks just as crazy as the illustration?  Foose.  That’s about it.

So when we heard about MAC’s Foose-branded special edition tool kit, we had to see it.  And see it we did.  Wow.  We’re totally blown away.  So many celebrity collectors’ kits are just completely impractical; They’re either designed in such a way that the prettiness wears off if you use them or they’re full of tools for which you have no need whatsoever.  While it’d have been so easy for MAC to just slap Foose’s hot-item name and graphics on a kit and shove it out the door, they really put some time into selecting the tools.

Let’s get that out of the way right up front: The selection of tools in this kit is so well thought out that it’d make a killer starter kit for anyone looking to get into automotive work.  The tools themselves are absolutely first class quality, too.  This is the ultimate Christmas present for your tool-loving spouse or friend.

Update: Some readers asked where exactly these tools are manufactured.  They’re manufactured overseas to the same spec as the MAC tools manufactured here in the US, and the ones we saw at the facility were there for quality control checks, which are performed here.  We’re speaking with the actual engineer in charge in the next day or so, but the early word seems to be that they were sent out mainly because they didn’t want to tool up for the one-off special finish.  My take?  This is a helluva deal for some great tools.  They look and feel just like the other MAC tools we’ve used, and we can attest that they’re quite durable.  More soon.

Unboxing & Tool Selection

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Note: Click on any of the smaller images to see their larger counterparts. 

The Foose kit comes in two separate boxes, one contains the box and the other contains the tools.  The tools ship right in their orange foam organizers, so all you have to do to stow them is unwrap the filled-up organizer and drop it into the appropriate drawer.

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Right away we were impressed with the tool selection.  Let’s run it down:

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The top drawer serves as home to screwdrivers and pliers, and MAC isn’t stingy with them.  You get large, medium, and stubby screwdrivers in Phillips and common plus quite a variety of pliers: standard, linesman’s, needle-nose, slip-joint, locking, and wire cutting.  The screwdrivers are orange and black, featuring the Foose logo in offset colors.  The logo’s laser cut into the pliers.

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The second drawer houses 3/8″ sockets and accessories.  The kit includes standard 6-point 3/8″ sockets in metric from 7mm to 19mm and in SAE from 1/4″ to 7/8″.  You also get 6-point deep 3/8″ sockets from 11mm to 23mm and in SAE from 3/8″ to 7/8″.  As any foose fan’ll want to work on cars, MAC includes two deep spark-plug sockets — they include the rubber insert for grabbing plugs — in 21mm and 5/8″.  Power comes from both a breaker bar and ratchet driver, and 3″, 6″, 10″ extensions help you get the exact reach you need.  In case you need to cross drive sizes, there’s a 3/8″ to 1/4″ drive adapter and a 3/8″ to 1/2″ drive adapter.  There’s even a 3/8″ universal joint for the really tough-to-reach jobs.

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Read on to page 2 for more.

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72 Responses to Hands-On: MAC Tools’ Foose Special Edition Tool & Box Set

  1. [...] I guess there’s not much to say about them except that they look like nice screwdrivers.  In fact, they look a lot like the ‘drivers in MAC’s Foose kit.  (Hint: That’s a good thing.) [...]

  2. Eli says:

    How does that orange foam look with greasy fingermarks on it?

  3. Harry says:

    This set is similiar to the S and S Motorcycle set and the Jesse james set Mac put out. Although the sets are sold by MAC dealers , they are not MAC branded or US Made. The tools are made in Taiwan. You would have to add another zero to the price of the set to get MAC branded items. It would still make a nice bench set.

  4. joe ross says:

    Which is it? The article leads you to believe these are MAC tools made in the USA. See page three of the article, referencing the tour of the factory. If made in Taiwan, are they made by the people that make the GearWrench brand?

  5. Chuck Cage says:

    joe: See the update above. In short — it’s a mix. They’re manufactured overseas, but to the same specs as other MAC tools, and they perform the spot QC checks at the US factory. We assumed they were made here as we saw them in the factory and they look identical to the ones we saw being manufactured. So there you go.

    GearWrench, BTW, is a division of Danaher, which (over the years) has made tools for all sorts of people — some in the US and some overseas. Many companies, like Craftsman for example, contract the design of their tools, then contract the manufacturing as well. We’re also starting to see the emergence of truly “global” companies — like Worx, for example — that have teams all over the world designing, manufacturing, and QC-ing their tools. In the end, it’s becoming more and more difficult to know the quality of something based on where it’s made.

    Having the kind of close interaction we’ve had over the last year or so with tool manufacturers, we’re begining to see that it’s not as important where they’re made as much as how the QC process works — which is something we wrote about in this article. That’s also why we’re talking to the engineer, after which we’ll report back with another update.

    Having actually put some time on the set you see in the pictures — project Yukon has offered plenty opportunity — I can personally attest that they’re quite durable, and not “chinese junk” by any stretch of the imagination. The ratchets *feel* high quality — heavy, lots of gear teeth, smooth operation, no cheapie-stamped parts, good machining, etc. The finish (as you can see) is sharp as hell.

    I’d still recommend this as a great starter kit for anyone looking to get into a good kit for auto repair. It’s a great deal at the price.

    Chuck

  6. joe ross says:

    Thanks for the update Chuck, I’ve ordered a set. Had to order by phone, couldn’t find this set on MAC’s website.

    Joe

  7. Harry says:

    I think the MAC engineer will tell you that they are made by MAC’s parent company, Stanley in their Taiwan facility. Next time you’re in Home Depot compare the “Black Chrome” Husky tools to those sockets and ratchets in the Foose kit. They will be a close match. They’re decent tools.
    I know tool truck brands have to have tools “made to their specifications” overseas to remain competitive price wise but, if I’m paying tool truck prices, I would prefer a US made tool. On some tool truck brands today, it’s hard to tell where the tool is made. Alot of tools only have catalog numbers and the brand name, no country of origin is stamped on the tool.

  8. Chuck Cage says:

    Harry: As I mentioned in the update, that’s what they already told me. What I’m interested in talking to the engineer about is any design differences.

    I totally agree, re: US-made (or at least Stanley-Dallas made) tool for tool truck prices. What turns me on about these is that at $700, they’re way below tool truck pricing, yet are still better-than-most-consumer-level tools. Nice stuff.

  9. Christine Hicks says:

    How much does the Foose tool box with tools cost?

  10. Mack Mama says:

    To Christine: I am a Mac Distributor and The Foose set is on sale for $699.99. Hope that helps!

    To Harry: This set does not come close to “Tool Truck Pricing.” An empty table top box like that for 699.99 (without tools) would be tool truck pricing. If you add it up piece by piece you would realize that.
    If you would pay $40 for each of the following bullet points (which is not even close to tool truck prices) then you would be paying more than $800, just for the tools inside the box (notice I did not list the box itself, which you would probably pay $80 for, even if it were a blank harbor freight box without any endorsement on it).
    Look at what you get:
    *7 pc standard ratcheting wrench set
    *11 pc metric ratcheting wrench set
    *13 Pc SAE Allen Wrench Set
    *9 Pc mm Allen Wrench Set
    *10 pc 1/2″ Drive Shallow SAE socket set
    *13 pc 3/8″ Drive Shallow SAE socket set
    *11pc 1/4″ Drive Shallow SAE socket set
    *7 pc 1/2″ Drive Deep SAE socket set
    *9pc 3/8” Drive Deep SAE socket set
    *6pc 1/4″ Drive Deep SAE socket set
    *11pc 1/2″ Drive Shallow metric socket set
    *13pc 3/8” Drive Shallow metric socket set
    *12pc 1/4″ Drive Shallow metric socket set
    *9pc 1/4″ Drive Deep Metric socket set
    *13pc 3/8” Drive Deep Metric socket set
    *11pc Tamper Proof Torx Bit Sockets
    *3/8” Breaker Bar, 2 adapters, 2 spark plug sockets
    *3 pc extension set, 1/2″, 3/8” + 1/4″ Drive U-Joints
    *1/2” Ratchet
    *3/8” Ratchet
    *1/4” Ratchet
    *6 pc screwdriver set, 6 pc plier set

    Just setting the record straight! – The Mac Mama

  11. Harry says:

    I’m sorry if my comments were misinterpreted. The point I am trying to make is that this is a good tool set but, it is not at the same quality and performance level as a MAC branded item. I feel the set is a good value. However, I also feel that the set is being heavily marketed as a MAC item when it isn’t. I have alot of money invested in MAC tools. Unfortunately, I see alot of the hardline items no longer being made in the USA. I know there are many reasons for this and it is necessary for the company to remain competitive. I guess I am old fashioned and feel that if I pay a premium price for a tool then at least I want to see stamped on the tool where it’s made.

  12. tj90 says:

    Harry you nailed it. I cant stand when a company like craftsman brands their tool with traditional USA mfg reputation, just to see China on the back. For instance, I wanted a mini plier set. I go off to sears to buy the craftsman ones. I find out that they are made in china – so why do I want to pay the premium price? I took them back and replaced them with some ones from HF or Lowes. If I gotta buy Chinese, might as well go cheap. I could not find a plier set anywhere – needed them that day – made in the USA. Why should Sears get the extra profit margin? Thinking they can brand something, mark it up and hope most dont notice!

  13. Karen Kane says:

    If you love Chip Foose, you’ll love watching the exclusive video we have of Chip’s dreamcar the Foos Coupe which he is auctioning this weekend!

    Tune into http://www.WebRidesTV.com at 12 noon PST and see our Foose Coupe video featured front and center on our homepage!

    Peace Out!
    Karen

  14. John says:

    I have read the arguments on both sides, the way I look at it, it’s not a in the shop professional tool kit. It’s set for collecting or to have a really neat home set for just in case. The price is great, the box and tools are really cool. Not to mention, MAC has put a three year guarantee on the tools which is really good for a limited run specialty tool set, and you can replace them through the tool truck if needed. By the way I am a professional technician on Land Rover and Jaguar and I have plenty of made in Taiwan or China tools that get the job done just as easily as any of the premium overpriced, and overrated tools available

  15. Eric Corson says:

    Re: Harry & TJ…THANKS!!…RIGHT ON for speaking the truth. Even though a tool may be engineered & QC’d to any given quality standard, the amount of cost savings “passed on” to the consumer is a company secret. Meanwhile, Joe Bluecollar and increasingly Joseph Whitecollar are getting “downsized” and can only afford harbor freight prices and the only money left in the USA is the CEO and shareholders, minus of course the money for more “investment” overseas or south of the border!! I will not judge anyone, though, for buying the best bang for the buck. I dont know the answers beyond a law requiring full disclosure, requiring for example “made in taiwan” to be same size and prominence as “Craftsman”etc.??? Any other ideas?

  16. Josh says:

    I cant complain about the set. i bought one too start off with. Im an appretice at a local shop and i like the set alot because it gives me the basic tools i need and it looks good and the tools are strong. I like the Foose collection that mac has introduced as a special edition.

  17. Steve says:

    Come on. This is just more of the inferior Chinese crap Mac tools has been putting out since they have been raped by the Stanley Tools Corp. This company has been going down hill rapidly and so has the number of their dealer force. Compare the price and quality of their Top Line tools with Snap-on and you will be amazeand very dissapionted in MAC.

  18. William says:

    Just some insight from a former Proto quality inspector:
    To raise cash flow, these are actually produced overseas for Mac tools and are very similar to the Jesse James and S&S tool sets they produced over the years. Even though they’re made overseas, and what isn’t these days, they’re a great bang for the buck. Besides, if it breaks, and there’s a warranty, then what’s the issue?

    The target audience was automotive tech students but even at the 300% mark up for truck sales, (Stanley employees could purchase these at $249.00) they’re a great value. Hopefully Mac will find someone else’s name to co-brand this set with but since their CEO left, that’s a hard sell.

    Until then, the Proto plant in Dallas, TX will continue to push out tools for Mac.

  19. Gary says:

    It is difficult when laymen and professionals in there own right invest hard earned monies on an investment on mac, snap-on the rivals and know that these tools are covered not only in replacement no questions asked but also for there investment purposes. If a tool put out by mac which by the way you can buy the entire set on ebay buy it now at 499.99. If this set is equal in quality, workmanship, replacement by mac as is all macs. If mac recognizes this and the construction of the box is equal in gage and material. Then in fact it would devalue all macs and drive pricing down putting the investor such as a mechanic in a real bad mood for he will then find the product he invested in for years whos value has always stayed with the tool truck pricing fairly affordable to all. I myself can attest to this. Mac yes snap on have had an affect on us as would baseball or any memorabilia they sell special editions giving the customer the belief that the price will grow in value as any investment does. If this is macs way of increasing sales it will destabilize the tool market and cause more harm than good.

  20. LUKE says:

    I am glad that all of you have some input in the Mac tools,
    but it really sucks that I bought this set for my husband
    thinking is a great buy and now I don’t know if it is worth it.
    Can you buy them individually if you loose one? and how come does
    not come with a lifetime warranty just like the rest of their tools
    if is a Limited edition it is very dissapointing. I agree with Gary.

  21. Eddie says:

    William, willing to spread the holiday giving by offering your stanley discount to me? For $249 I’d pick one up just to throw in a friends garage that I use often.

    If not where are these purchased? I can’t seem to find them online.

    Can you purchase just the foam organizers? They seem nicer than plastic or metal.

  22. William says:

    Eddie,

    What remained in the warehouse with these sets finally ended up on liquidation.com and probalby sold for under $250. You may find some on eBay but not to worry, these were the same sets branded for S&S and Jesse James in previous years. The only difference was the layout and tool coating. No doubt Mac will have some more made up with a different logo in 2008. This set is actully made by Kaba tools in Taiwan for Mac.

    Sad is the absurd mark up tools get in the mobile tool industry. Snap On, Mac, Matco, Cornwell…they’re all to blame. The Dallas plant makes both Proto and Mac and the only difference is the Logo. Proto tools actually get additonal heat treatment and QA testing but cost less than half the price of the Mac counterpart. Both have the same “limited lifetime warranty”.

    A good example on mark up the 3/8 dr 12-pc fractional socket set from Mac sells off a tool for about $130.00. Mac sold this to the distributor for aobut $90 yet their cost with packaging ($1 tray) and shipping is actually just under $20.

    The identical 3/8 21pc set from Proto can be purchased from a local retailer for about $40. The only difference is it doesn’t have the $1 red tray and you can only purchase from the guy on the yellow truck. It’s all about the name. With Mac, you’ve got to wait a week until your dealer shows up to replace, with Proto, you can exchange at any tool or hardware store such as Ace, Tru Value, Grainger, etc… Most businesses don’t care where you get it from, it’s part of their sale contract when they choose to sell Proto. They too get reimbursed.

    Always read the warranty. Almost all hand tools offer a “LIMITED lifetime warranty” which means warrantied against defects for the expected LIFE OF THE TOOL which is often shorter than YOUR LIFETIME. Even Craftsman has changed their policy, but then again Craftman tools were made by Stanley for many-many years and recently changed to Danaher – the same company who makes or exports tools for Matco.

    The bottom line in buying tools is to look at the application. If you’re the househould mechanic who tinkers with stuff from now and then, the Stanley Wal Mart brand is all you need. If tools are part of your daily job, then yes, lookin into a more professional grade – even from the mobile tool folks but remember, you’re paying for their fancy trucks and vacations too.

  23. Mike Dillon says:

    Just a short note on the complaints I’ve been seeing on the tool truck guys and the “made in China” on the tools. Ask any mechanic how valuable his tool man is and you learn the valuable service he has to offer. This does come at a price! The tool man has to buy, maintain, fuel, insure and stock that tool truck out of his own pocket! This is not to mention the personal attention he gives his clients. Try calling sears or wal-mart and tell them you need a specific tool at 10 o’clock pm and see what they do for you. My tool man (MAC) delivered a tool I needed to my house at 11 PM for a motorcycle I was working on to get it done the next day for a important client!! Also the tool men cater to the professional mechanic not to the back yard wrench turner. Remember the word “SERVICE” Some people still uphold the American value.

    Speaking of American value and the complaints I’ve been seeing about the “Made In China” upsets me to so I did a little investigation on my own and here’s what I found out. The planet for the past 7 or 8 years in really growing to the words we hear more often “Global Market” The days of Made in the USA only is becoming a rare thing. A friend of mine was REALLY complaining about this to me but I noticed he was driving a Honda………..

  24. Rich-Allen says:

    Any corporation that closes plants in America just to save money are eliminated from my shopping list permanently.
    I wouldn’t buy a Foose product, all but a few of his “Custom Wheels” are made in China, the same go’s for Boyd Coddington wheels. Instead of having a back log and making a customer wait 1 maybe two years to get special one-off billet rims they have the Chinese build them. Is a wheel really custom if there sold in Kragens?
    Foose is wrapped up in his own lawsuit with Carol Shelby for over selling custom mustangs. They resorted to buying junkyard cars and re-tagging them.
    Google Mac tools, you will see sites that show unfair business practices of hundreds of American workers / dealers that were checked out of millions.
    How can people consider buying a product from a company like Stanley?
    This article is way off base….. if you want a real story, write about the Chinese tools being touted as Made in the USA. Just because the tool doesn’t say MADE IN THE USA, most buyers think it is, the word MAC used to mean quality…. now it means traitor.

    Rich Allen
    Concord, CA

  25. Mac Man Bill says:

    I deal with the made in China issue everyday on my truck. It’s funny how people get so wrapped up around the axle with Made in the USA when buying tools but don’t blink twice at the label when buying clothes, computers, stereos, TV’s and cell phones.

    The Foose Box is gone but something else is coming but I can’t say what. It will be Made in China but with all the Jesse James, S&S, and Foose box sets I’ve sold, I’ve had far less warranty returns from them versus our Mac branded (and made in the USA) items. Maybe it’s the illegal aliens we hire to keep the cost down at the Dallas, TX plant while trying to keep the Made in the USA brand?

    Yet the days of the mobile tool industry has been on a steady downward spiral. The avereage Mac distributor lasts only two years, and over half that complete our “tool school” will fail in their first year. The Internet has taken over and younger mechanics can’t afford the price that comes with service. And frankly, I can’t blame them.

    I’ve been a mac man for 8 years now and seen the steady decline in quality coming out of Mac. I wouldn’t blame Stanley since they consider us the red headed step child and pay little attention to us. I blame those at Mac HQ who resist change and think selling on the streets is just as it was in the 80′s. I’ll close my “shop” next month, I’m the last in my part of TX that once had 6 mac men when I first started.

  26. Jake says:

    I was in the local Grainger store buying some tools for the shop and spotted a really sharp top and bottom tool box set standing in the corner. Roller bearning drawers… gas shock hinges…no drawer wobble, real quality stuff! Looked almost exactly like the one the Mac Tool guy had on his truck. This one was Blackhawk by PROTO but when I looked on the back side, it had the following MAC TOOLS Model Number (MB4220BK/MB4225BK) Total price for both – $460.00. So if you’re looking for a good box, go to Grainger and look up the part number #7E994. The guy behind the counter told me that they had a customer purchase this set and when they unboxed it, it too had Mac Tools on the box even though the carton said Blackhawk. So now we know!

  27. WA MAC says:

    I have to agree with a lot of what Mac Man Bill said. I am also a Mac Tools distributor. One of the main problems with Mac (under Stanley) is that they do not consider the needs of the distributor. The fact that so many distributors fail so early show that there is a flaw in the training and recruitment system. The plan seems to be to throw as many new recruits out as possible and hope a few stick. They spend very little time on service and customer relations, instead focusing on pushing tool boxes and Mac Card credit programs. In the time I have been a Mac Man I have never been asked for feedback from Mac (Stanley) regarding any aspect of the tool business.

    As for offshore manufacturing you can bet most Mac district and regional managers hear about the made in China problem every day, but Stanley only considers the bottom line. I will say that some of the Taiwan made tools are very good and I have had very few returns on these items. More important than where tools are made is how they are designed and manufactured. Also pride in work makes a big differance in quality. Some of the best tools in the world are made in Germany, England and Japan, and techs have no problem buying them. My biggest issue with any offshore tools is the loss of U.S. jobs.

    I do think tool truck salesmen offer a great service for technicians. I research new tools and technology for my customers. I show up every week at the shop so that they don’t have to waste time on the weekend driving to Sears. I tell them about the latest and greatest time saving tools, which means money in their pocket. I also extend interest free credit in the form of truck accounts which allow a customer to pay for a purchase over several weeks. Try that at Sears.

    • COBRA KID says:

      MAn i despretely need a CHIP FOOSE edition Quarter inch, deep well, 10mm. socket.

      Please let me know i need it for a awesome Christmas present.

  28. Teacher says:

    A couple points in above posts I want to comment on. Danaher got the Sears Craftsman contract 1988 according to the SEC. I would not consider 20 years ago to be “recent” in the retail world.

    I also bought a set of Craftsman mini-pliers last year. At the time, I thought the price was pretty low for a C-man product and they were actually cheaper than the mini pliers at Lowes sold under the Kobalt name and comparable to those sold as Task Force name. If Sears was making a Chinese product and charging a “premium” price, it wasn’t around here.

    For what reason do people think a company moves production overseas? And the tired old line of “So CEO’s can make millions and share holders can get rich.” isn’t it. Plus if you have an IRA or other retirement plan, you’re probably one of the shareholders. Are you getting rich?

    It would be interesting to hear a company explain why they are moving manufacturing overseas. Half my family worked in the steel mills around Pittsburgh before the mills went under. It’s clear why those manufacturing jobs left the USA but we don’t need another fight over that on this forum.

  29. Mac Man Bill says:

    To WA Mac: How true what you said with MAC Hq folks. Some of them still remember the good old days when it was a salary position and have no idea how the franchise really works. Unlike Snap-On and Matco, I’ve never seen any of them leave their office to ride with the likes of us…unless your one of their star seller. Service is paramount but unfortunatly, in today’s economy, techs can’t afford service and turn to the internet while tyring to balance their budget with that low income. I’ve had three DM’s in three years and heard the horror stories of recruit-recruit-recruit as the only answer to keep Mac on the streets. No real concern about the “here today, gone tomorrow” and Mac will contiue to fail as they keep doing what they’re doing.

    To All – Offshore production is not just making the CEO richer, it’s also about keeping up with the competition to produce more stuff at lower prices because we Americans like to buy in quantities. From buffet bars to shopping clubs, we view value by “savings” when making purchases. Heck, I’m saving when I don’t purchase but it’s the world we live in and unfortunately someting made in the US, with US wages, benefits, and insurance costs, quickly becomes unaffordable.

    To Jake – Yes, I’ve been aware that the lower end Mac tool boxes come out of Canada and make the same line of boxes for both Mac and Blackhawk. I’ve had the opposite, lift the cardboard box off a MB4220BK and there is an 8-Drawer Blackhawk bolted to the pallet instead of Mac. I’ve even opened up a brand new shrink wrapped out of the box set of sockets and found them all to be branded with PROTO in the Mac Tray.

    Its the changing times…

  30. Michael says:

    I bought the S&S set a couple of years ago…they’ve been holding up even better than some of my Mac and Snapon stuff! Even though it’s made in china, they are really durable! Besides, like someone else said in one of these forums, iPods, cell phones, computers, appliances and most clothing are also made abroad but no one complains – only when it comes to tools.

    I wish Mac would make this set again or something like it!

  31. Sean says:

    Hi Mac Man & WA MAC. What an eye opener! I was planning to become a Mac Distributor here in SoCal, but after reading your comments now I am second thoughts.

  32. Mac Man Bill says:

    Sean,

    Smart move. At this day and age, I’d avoid the mobile tool industry all together. Even though I’m pretty well established, the sales are on a steady decline and even my Snappy and Matco guys are experiencing the same. I’m planning to sell out from under after this year and looking forward to a 8-5 M-F job with bennies.

  33. JohnBoy says:

    Sean,

    I’m glad I stumbled on this. As a prior mac man, I’d run as fast as I can away from Mac, or any other mobile company. I lasted three years and fully agree with the previous posts…I was the only surviror from an initial “Tool School” class of 27 people. Yes, more than half of my classmates went out of business in the first year. I would gather to say mac loses more people each year than they recruit; and the numbers they recruit are alarming. Then again, the District Managers (DM) get a bonus (form the money the distributors financed of course) so they’re eager to sign on as many as they can each year.

    All they want is to get you through their initial 16 week training program and then it’s do or die from there. I had a great DM that helped me along but he eventually quit. I then went though two other DM’s in two years and could see that things were not well up in Ohio. I sold my route in Dec 07 and fortunately, didn’t loose my hiney. But it’s very long hours and high stress for the pay with no benifits. Even as a “GOLD” distributor for three years running, the pay was still not worth the time and effort.

    Mac’s “Here today, gone tomorrow” image is well known for years in Mac corporate but rather than analyze how to turn this around, they continue to ignore and keep recruiting. Their staff is clueless of the needs of the distributors and always behind the curve of the competition.

    I agree with Bill, selling off a truck is a dying market. Many shops no longer want tool guys vistiting during business hours so that limits you to early morning and late evening stops. Early morning doesn’t work since most techs arrive just on time and by late evening they’re tired and want to go home.

    The internet, along with Lowes, Home Depot and other stores also sell lifetime warranty tools and since many mechaincs are not as well paid as they should, they’re rather spend less so they can have more money like important things…rising fuel prices, food, and to support their family. They’re finaicially smarter and realize that name brand is not as important as their finances. The also see right through the “interest fee credit in the form as a truck account” knowing that our inflated prices already include the assumption they’re going to put it on a truck account.

    So Sean, I may not have the crystal ball for the future but having traveled this road a bit, I began to see that this market is on a downward spiral so I jumped before I got sucked in. Unfortunately for many in my class, they held on ended up filing for bankrupcy. Fortunately for me, I’m back to an 8-5 job with a salary and benefits and enjoy the time with my family each night and weekend.

  34. Gareth HILL says:

    Good Day to you gents i am a former technician in the UK. Just a few questions after reading the posts.

    What hand tools do MAC still make in the USA? When i use to purchase from SNAP ON and MAC i found there tools to be of a similar quality although i must say i do prefer SNAP ON.

    I gather from reading forums now that a lot of there tools are made abroad and the quality is not as good which is a shame as i used to get excellent service from my MAC dealer.

    Maybe the way forward for them is to become an independent company again like SK Tools.

    Kind Regards,

    Gareth

  35. Donny says:

    Independent like SK? Let’s see. SK is owned by Facom who was recently bought by Stanley who also owns Mac. From what I’ve seen, almost all of the Mac tool line is now made overseas – been catchin my mac man pealing the made in china labels off the boxes and packages. Of course, I’ve also caught snappy trying to scratch out the MIC labels off their Bluepoint line. I tend to agree with an earlier post on the tool trucks going away. The only two tool guys we see are Mac and SnapOn but less often as the price of gas (and their tool prices) keep rising. Both of them are talking about thowing in the towel. Can hardly afford to buy gas to get to and from work never mind buying high end tools these days.

  36. WA MAC says:

    Even though I am disapointed by the support and quality I get from MAC corporate, I still think the mobile tool business has great potential. I know several tool men who have gone independant with great success. This will be the pattern in the future as MAC, Snap-On, Matco, ect. sell more and more tools made by outside vendors. I can buy the same tools I get with MAC from warehouse suppliers for 20% to 40% less. Most of them offer better and faster warranty and repair service than MAC. I also think truck drivers will have to shorten their payment plans to no more than four weeks to get money back fast enough to keep up with fuel cost alone. ($150 – $160 to fill my truck)
    Any one looking to get into this business and be successful needs to have enough money to go 2 – 3 years without making a profit. MAC says you only need $8,000 – $10,000 to get started. This is the number one reason MAC distributors go out of business so soon. They try to pay for a truck, inventory, gas, insurance, plus feed a family and pay for a home from day one. It takes most mechanics a year or more just to build enough trust in a tool man to start buying tools on a regular basis. MAC needs to come up with a way to support new distributors for the first two years and then transition them to full ownership when they have established the route. If MAC made this effort to show they are truly concerned for the wellbeing of each distributor they would last much longer and have more trust in the company.
    I think MACs attitude towards new recruits is extremely irresponsible. The training is very poor, and ongoing support is almost nonexistent. I hope this can be turned around and MAC can be returned to past glory, but if it does not happen soon it will be to late. Every potential distributor will have heard the horror stories and recruitment will be impossible.

    On a related line I think the state of the mobile tool sales industry would be a great story for Toolmonger. I would like to get a idea of what other brand distributors have to say about their company and what company reps. have to say about the future.

  37. JohnBoy says:

    WM Mac…Ditto, well almost. Somehow I think we may have crossed conversations on the internal Mac forum although I didn’t have nearly as much time on them as some. And I mean some…it appeared to be a select 2% of mac distributors who had the time to dwell in the forum while the remaining were out there pounding the pavement to keep their head above water. And even there, the support from mac was always the same words but never any action. I even remember posting a comment on equality tools – which someone else mentioned on tool monger – a dealer who sells mac tools exclusively on eBay for years with no resistance from Mac. The problem is, while we were in back order status, this person had plenty to sell on EBay. And guess what, I actually ordered from him just to keep a good customer happy. Boy was I surprised to have it show up FedEx – from the same location as the rest of my mac orders! Well, I got the shut up and color scolding , the post was deleted and I no longer had access to the forum. What kind of support is this??? Remember when S3 was selling mac tools on their website at half the cost of distributor net? A mistake they claimed? Come on, an item or two may have been a mistake but not when they cataloged and listed almost the complete mac tool line.

    The advantage I had over other distributors was my retirement check from the Army and I didn’t finance my truck though Mac’s insane program. Yet, getting up a 4:30 AM to return home by 7:30 PM to unpack a stack of boxes by the barn door, restock and clean the truck, research tools for the customer often had me up past midnight and working through the weekends. Not to mention that unreliable MBA program they leave with you. Yes, I was pulling in the money and even put the local matco guy out of business while placing a huge hurt on Snappy. Heck, Snappy even offered to buy me out twice as did Matco! Yet the money I made didn’t offset the time lost from my family as my kids would say… “daddy’s always working”. Before it was “daddy’s always gone” (deployed).

    The thought of going into business and not make a profit for 2-3 years is absurd in today’s declining economy. That’s beyond risk. I will guess you’re in an area of the country that’s doing well and you’re well established. Therefore, you’ll perceive this is a potential lucrative market based on your frame of reference and I’m knocking you for that. We all view the world based on our life history and judge accordingly.

    But when I had three DM’s in a row constantly telling me the overall industry has been on a steady decline, confirmed by my Snappy competitor, and with gas continuing to creep to the $4 and beyond mark, dealerships converting to contracting tool stock through Craftsman corporate and SnapOn industrial, and employers who can’t afford to have their techs browse the truck on the are signs that the industry is in serious trouble. Besides, my first DM moved to another division of Stanley and we still stay in contact. The info he tells me know would make your hair stand on end. I’m really glad that I jumped when I did.

    Agree, Mac’s training and support was simply nill and since they’ve made no change over the years, well then they don’t care or it’s how they intend to do business. Remember the old but true saying – actions speak louder than words.

    For Mac to make any changes that would be well received amongst the technicians across the US. For them to turn this around would require them to do a complete overhaul and outside the box thinking that would drastically separate them from the competition. Frankly, even with a new president, I seriously doubt this will happen. If anything, they will continue to merge their corporate folks with the rest of Stanley until they no longer exist.

  38. JD says:

    I must say this chip foose set is real sturdy and held up better to rust than my Mac tools. My son left some out in the back yard while working on his bike. When I finally found them, my Mac knuckle saver” combo and adjustable wrench had rusted under the chrome plating but the foose dikes and sockets resisted the weather without any problems.

    I bought my foose set at a trade show in Vegas over a year ago by Stanley Works, not mac tools. Reading this post, I got quite a deal – not $699.99 like one post said, I only paid $369.00. They had about a hundreds of sets and I learned they sold even cheaper on the last day so they didn’t have to ship them back.

  39. JD says:

    I just realized the only difference between the foose set I bought and the one pictured is that mine does not have the white mac tools decal on the box yet the box and tools inside are identical!

  40. aaron says:

    Chip Foose fan or not, this is an awesome set. I wish stanley would make some more. I too got this at a trade show (in Orlando) last year for just over $300. I use them every weekend from honeydos to restoring my 1969 GTO and they’ve performed as well if not better than my Snapon and Craftsman tools!

  41. Teacher says:

    Actually SK is no longer owned by Facom. SK is totally American owned.

  42. WA MAC says:

    Facom is now owned by Stanley Works. Some of the Facom tools are starting to be sold with MAC branding.

  43. Gary says:

    Facom was acquired by Stanley Works last summer. Part of the deal was let SK go off and do their own thing. I’ve been able to find the Facom tool line at Grainger.

  44. Sehmus Tas says:

    Hey you guys…
    I´m from Germany, maybe i´m too blind to see, but i can´t find the price for that big tool box. Or better said, can one of you tell me where i can buy such a box??? I need it very soon for work.
    That would be so great. Thank ya

  45. MacManBill says:

    Sehmus Tas,

    These sold out over a year ago.

  46. Sehmus Tas says:

    Thank you for the information. But could you please tell me, where I can get something similar, big tool boxes??
    It is very important to because not much people sell tools like that.
    Thanks for your effort……

  47. zach says:

    yea the pic leads you to believe that the socket sets go up to 1″ but the artical clearly states that the set only go up to 7/8″. so which one is it?

  48. Justin says:

    I have one of these. I was fortunate to pick on up from the Stanley/Mac tool site at Liquidation.com a year ago for $239.00.

    They go up to 1″.

  49. ABBAS BHANPURAWALA says:

    i am interested in purchasing empty metal tool boxes consisting of 3 and 5
    compartments sizes 17″ long and 21″long. please give pictures and details
    of sizes available and the prices.qty reqd-500-each size.

  50. Jerome says:

    ABBAS,

    Try going to http://www.grainger.com. They have all kinds of tool boxes. As for this Chip Foose, the local Stanley-Proto rep made mention that Stanley is coming out with this again…same tools but no logo or branding. If you look closely, the ratchets are identical to Stanley ratchets. Price will be in the 200′s.

  51. grace says:

    hey everyone i need help i want to order the Mac tools’ Foose Special Edition Tool and Box Set but i can’t find the item number anywhere does anyone know where i could look it up?

  52. Dustin says:

    Grace,

    Mac had these specially made from their Stanley division a few years back. They produced a limited number of these and that was it. Mac has talked about bringing them back but with all the recent lay-offs at their HQ, things are looking bleak for any return, and even for us mac men…

  53. Redbob says:

    Chinese-made is Chinese-made.
    If you want good quality tools, you look for “Made in U.S.A.” on them.

    Would you want someone working on your house/car/motorcycle if you saw a bunch of cheap junk in his toolbox?

  54. CommonSense says:

    Some of you guys really crack me up. It’s so narrow minded when mechanics get their undies all wadded in their crack if the tool in their hand is not Made in the U.S.A. It’s okay for your cell phone to be made in China, that high end TV you always wanted to be made in China, the computer you shopped for, the appliances that cook your food, even keep your “Bud” cold in that “frosty Dallas Cowboys mug” all made in China or Taiwan. No doubt your wardrobe is 90% made in China/Taiwan and other overseas countries. Probably have the parts and sub assemblies in your car – including the that Kicka$$ stereo, GPS, all made in China/Taiwan but when it comes to a chunk of metal, forged, shaped, polished and placed in your hand…it better be made in the USA or else… Some of you guys are really missing the point, or Snappy has you brainwashed and deep in your pockets…

  55. I am indeed a critic when it comes to making a blog. I can say that
    this one is very much well organized. The information was well delivered.
    We totally can understand right-away what the message you are going to
    convey to the readers.

    What esle, This is a great post! So just keep up the good work and tell
    the work the latest gossip, information, updates or everything under the sun
    with mac. Here also a good thing about mac is that users also can earn money
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    . Isn’t it great!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  56. Jerry L says:

    Mac profit? They’re in the red! Has been for four years now. My neghbor, a district manager for Mac has his resumes out…word is they’re about to fold. Half of their corporate office is now under the rule of Proto. They’ve lost more distributors in the past year than they’ve recruited. Statistically, one one Man Man in ten will ever make it past their first year after leaving the mac tool school.

  57. Kyle Marshall says:

    Hey so if anyone out there can help me out that would be great…I have the foose box and everything, and someone stole my keys so I now have no keys for my box, if anyone can help me out as to where to find replacements that would be great…Any info e-mail kwm9602@live.com

  58. Marvin says:

    Cornwell Hardline Tools are still made in the USA in Ohio. Thay are top quality, have a better warranty and are priced better than Mac, Matco, and Snap-on. Just setting the record straight!!

  59. David P says:

    This whole trainwreck of a post just smacks with goofy sales double-speak. From what I can glean from all the BS it’s a gimmik toolset manufactured to box-store Husky Tool standards. It is not intended for professional use. It is aimed at people who want to buy an image, have some insecurities about there skills, and think that spending a lot will make up for lack of skill, (like the average Harley owner). The box, the tools, the silly tool holders, the graphics, the whole thing would not survive being used vocationally.

  60. Dave W. says:

    I agree with David P. I couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s a gimmick
    tool set,that is identical to Husky’s Pro line of tools at HD. The only tools
    I own,that are of premium quality,and made in Taiwan,are Wilton Vises”
    Columbian brand wrenches and sockets. I will dare say,that they are of
    better quality than all the “Big Boys”. The inside of the sockets are fully
    polished,all the way down to the square drive. Sunex and GP,are the only
    other quality tools that I personnally own,and also know are of excellent
    quality. I am A Die Hard American Tool Buyer,but sometimes I slip.
    It’s a shame what’s happening in the tool industry. It makes me sick
    to my stomach,when I see American Iconic Industries fail,by their own
    hand. It’s all about theMighty Dollar,but one day,when there are no
    American companies left,someone will say lets boycott imports,but it
    will be much to late for that,and in my opinion,it’s been too late for
    decades,already. I must be a dieing breed,since I always turn the
    packaging over,on everything I buy,to see where it’s made,and if it’s not
    an emergency purchase,will “Almost Always” buy an American Made
    product over an import. And No,I don’t own a POS Honda.

  61. Are theese set lifetime warrantied?

  62. Hi, i must say fantastic website you have, i stumbled across it in AOL. Does you get much traffic?

  63. rob says:

    would anyone know who made the wooden tool box/chest that chip used on the show overhaulin? it’s the tool box/chest that he used to store all his art stencils and drawing markers.

  64. 99octane says:

    This topic seems to rise a lot of controversy. Now, I’m not involved directly in any of this, I’m italian, I live in Italy and buy the excellent USAG tools which are the same Ferrari technicians use at F1 paddocks and at the assembly line. Never had any problem with them, even after they were severely abused by people who didn’t know better and should have never been allowed to lay hands on them…. :/
    I don’t even know where I could buy MAC tools here, even if I choose so. This just to state my neutrality on the topic.
    This said, it seems to me that there’s an astonishing number of people here using tools, and therefore familiar with making stuff, which seem at the same time astonishingly oblivious of what’s really important in any manufacturing process, i.e.: specifications and quality control.
    A Chef de cuisine doesn’t need to cook personally every serving, right? He sets the standars, supervises his helpers and makes sure everything is made as he wants it made. You pay full price for your haute cuisine food even if the chef himself maybe never even touched the pan into which your specific portion was cooked. And you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the same dish cooked by the chef himself or by one of his aidees under his supervision unless it was pointed out to you.
    The same is true for tools. PRC factories are perfectly capable of manufacturing very high quality products, when following strict specifications and severe quality checks. Taiwan is even better. And strict quality control is the origin of the higher price. The same process will make 10 tools, of which, say, 3 have minor (aesthetic) defects and two have major (funtional) defects.
    Now: if I sell all ten, I’ll be able to set a very low price. If I throw away the malfunctioning ones, I’ll have to set a higher price. If I throw away even the bad looking ones the price will actually be double the price I could set selling the entire production.
    Quality control is the most important factor (far more than production methods) insuring final product quality level.
    If I make the goods I sell in a nation with very low workforce costs, with strict quality control, I can sell a very high quality product at a very competitive price, without any actual quality loss.
    Maybe you can buy the El Cheapo brand tool and end up owning a tool of the the same quality… if you are lucky and get one of the five good tools out of ten. Or maybe you’ll end up with one with aesthetic defects… Or one that breaks at first use, because it’s got a structural defect that quality checks would have found. So you have to buy another, you end up paying double the price anyway, losing time (money) and perhaps risking injury.

  65. Discreet Toys says:

    This looks like an awesome set to show off in the home garage. I know dome of the diehard mechanics want just US made tools but I have used tools made out of the country with good results. Some of my harbor freight tools have lasted longer than my mac or snapons.

  66. Josh says:

    I have the chip foose box set and I am nothing short of impressed. My question is can you buy individual ratchets, wrenchs, etc from this set? my room mate stole some when I was in college and id love to replace the.

  67. Billy says:

    Woow! I loved this kit! Any idea of where can I get one of this and an approx price? How many pieces do you get with this box? I was thinking on collection them but I will hardly resist to not use them!

  68. Brian Jung says:

    I own them. THEY ARE MAC. Quality is not an issue. Idiots are.

  69. grady perry says:

    i have some “mac” foose sockets and if i decide to sell them how do i list them?

  70. james morris says:

    I have the foose tool set. I loaned it to my brother and it came back less than full. How do I go about purchasing replacement tools ?

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