No, I don’t buy all my “cheap-ass tools” at Harbor Freight — though I do buy a lot of them there. This 25-piece metric/SAE wrench set for $18, for example, is an integral part of my I-don’t-give-a-shit-if-you-steal-it junkyard toolkit.
I put my first junkyard kit together the day after someone walked off with a stick full of 3/8″ drive Craftsman sockets while I was waist-deep in a Honda pulling some parts for my old CRX. Actually — I was a lot younger then — I whined about it to my Dad, and he recommended HF. Come to think of it, I believe this was my introduction to the ‘Freightster.
Don’t get me wrong — these are crappy wrenches. But you really have to put “crappy” in perspective. I’ve had this latest set of wrenches for at least seven or eight years, and Sean and I finally managed to break one when we were in the ‘yard pulling a seat for the game chair build last year. Even then, we were using another wrench on the end of the one that broke as an “extender.” If you care, it was a jaw on the open end that sheared.
Anyway, do the math: If I’ve avoided the loss of one or two wrenches — even just Craftsman wrenches, not the Snap-ons or MACs — at any point in the last eight years, I’m totally ahead, even if I have to buy another whole set to get the 19mm back. That’s a deal I’m prepared to take (again).
What’s funny is that generally people don’t steal your cheap-ass tools. They’re looking for better stuff, so they just leave your crap alone. It works out great.
25-piece Metric/SAE Combination Wrench Set [Harbor Freight]