Since almost everything with ENCO on it is near junk why would you
think their wrenches to be different. Decent wrenches seem to be
priced less then they were twenty years ago so what's the problem with
buying Crescent, Stanley or one of the other low cost but name brand
types? Sure they are made in China but at least they have some form of
quality control. Leigh at MarMachine who prefers Proto wrenches bought
at very steep discount from secondary sources and preferably not stolen.
Time to hit the pawn shops - almost all my tools come from there and
most are Snap-On, Proto, Williams, Mac or older Craftsman. I will buy
an occasional odd sized Enco wrench to hang on a machine...Joel in
I own S-K for my main workshop wrench set. They are backed up by a no-name
import set. For metric wrenches, though, which I very rarely use but have to
stock for the times I need them, I bought Harbor Freight's "Pittsburgh
Professional" back when they were made in Taiwan. They have a full polish and
seem to me to be very nice wrenches.
I am less of a tool snob than I used to be. When I was a kid, "Made in Japan"
meant complete crap quality. Now it means very good quality. Any human can learn
to make things well. China is dead serious about taking market share from
everyone. Might as well learn to live with that.
Wrenches made of inferior steel won't hold their sizes. I haven't used
Enco wrenches, and don't intend to.
Most of my hand tools were bought decades ago, and they're still better
than many of the new products.
I dunno if they're still available, but Snap-On used to sell a very
good economy-priced brand, named Par-X, and also industrial wrenches in
I have sets of inch and metric Par-X wrenches, which have held up very
well. They're not highly polished (actually have some texture from
forging), so they're not slippery, and they have comfortable, smooth,
radiused edges in the grip area.
I believe the Par-X sets cost about the same, or slightly less than
Craftsman, at the time.
I haven't used the Snap-On industrial black oxide tools, but they might
be worthwhile to consider. Some advantages might be that they would be
easily recognized as your own, and probably not as pretty/inviting to
those that would steal tools.
Since I have nearly any hand tool that I might need, my present tool
purchases are like some of the other comments regarding high quality
old tools in good condition, from garage sale/flea market sources.
Plomb, Bonney, Williams, S-K, Snap-On/Blue Point, Proto and some other
brands are always worth some pocket money.
A mirror finish is of very little interest to me. Triple chrome plating
might be important to those that would leave their tools outdoors in a
I just want to second the comment about the pawn shops. Guys seem to
hock their tools often. If you haven't shopped in a pawn shop at least
once, you owe it to yourself to do it.
I might be leary of power tools and electronics, but as the other
poster said, you sure can get brand name hand tools there.
AND!!!! they always have bunches of loose wrenches, sockets, etc.
So, if you are looking to replace an individual wrench, etc, the pawn
shop is one place to go.
No, they are junk.
I have both a 3/4" & a 1-1/8" that live on my Bridgeport so I don't have
to go looking for a wrench to tighten/loosen a hold down or drawbar.
They are a loose fit both on the open & box ends, but have not broken in
5 years of use.
The box end is also not offset much but for a hold down it doesn't
bother me, on a flat surface your knuckles would drag.
"Failing" is not the problem. "Fit" is the problem. I got a set of
their comb wrenches, as a secondary set. The open ends are fine, but
the box ends are a really sloppy fit. I'm about to cut those ends off
so I don't accidentally use them.
The commercial snap-on tools don't come with the same warranty that the
shiny ones do. I like the non chrome versions a lot better because they
dont feel like an eel when you're working inside a big oily transmission
on a big machine tool. I have an old set of craftsman from the sixties
that I bought new, and a set of williams that I bought about the same
time. Both are good sets. I have some snapon tools but the chrome costs
too much so I only buy them when they are being sold alt yard sales or
auctions cheap. I bought some Allen tools recently for a special job
and they seemed pretty good. My basic feeling is a good used wrench is
better than a new import.
On Tue, 12 Dec 2006 22:37:42 +0000 (UTC), with neither quill nor
qualm, Ignoramus30170 quickly
I picked up a nice set of those a month ago but haven't used them yet.
I wanted a cheap set in case they become "missing" while I'm on a
I should go out and crank down the leaf spring bolts on my F-150
sometime soon and see if they hold up to it without any dents in the
I drive way too fast to worry about my cholesterol.
Let us know. I have several HF wrench sets and so far they hold up
fine, though I use them lightly (torque wise). I also have an
interesting Armstrong long box wrench set from a garage sale. These,
while perhaps better made and with more leverage, are not as
convenient to use for simple tasks.
According to Wild Bill :
[ ... ]
Or to those who set the wrenches down outdoors in really sunny
places like South Texas. Try to pick up a black wrench after a half
hour in such conditions and you will suddenly see the benefit of the
mirror finish. :-)
Full polish , wow , just what ya want in plain sight
so you can prove you R a mecanic ....
I work , i dont impress , dont teach , dont talk ...
I want crome vanadium dog bone ( I beam) wrenches
that fit my hand , dont slip out for grease .
None avail , anywhere on earth ......
For strength , they must be tapered , 12 pt , slight offset , no
funny looking relief cut at corners .
They come in various slight angle offsets and depths .
Slugging types . ( i cut HF at about 5 inches on big and 4 inches
on small wrenches , to use for slugging ) .
It more convenient to put a pipe over end of a box end W thats
short , than to wield a 15" HF combo W .
They're prob not strong , but HF open sockets are handy .
I got 4 sets .
Use the 3/4 and the 19mm to extend the grip ( sub as extensions ),
which gives you 6 lengths to choose from !
I.E. If you need a 13mm , push it into a 3/4" and then push all
that into the ratchet ...
BTW got Nikon S-4 digicam , TINY ! fits in small shirt pocket .
has long lens and huge 2.5" LCD , uses all kinds of batteries
and you can set the voltage inside , you could even make a
wood block that looks like 2 AA's and a home made cable
and theres a place for the cable to cleanly come out of the
Uses SD cards ,
The lens swivels from body , so if you dont like the way your finger
shoots images , twist body and use thumb , or ,or , or .
I found i could stabilize shooting better if i squeezed of
shots by laying body down , look down at LCD and shot
with first finger , or , or ...
Has panorama assist .
Has Digi-Voice-Recorder and additionally you can voice tag
images . Recorder shuts off after 5 hours ...
But theres no speaker connection , gotta use the built in !
You can switch : 1) icons or 2) text menus
$$$$$$$ 250 , but i got a free Epson photo-printer .....
I have Z-6 Minoltas , harder to use menus and draws a bit mo
power from 4 AA's ( OTG works on Z-6 )
very hvy , bigger boat anchors , slightly faster lens 12 to 1
wont work above 110 F , gotta open battery box and blow air
in ... same 6 megPixel , very good images ,
has I.S. to nix blur .
Its not getting better , buy a Digi-Cam now .
Oh yes , forgot ... My 77 JVC draws more power at 4 watts ,but its
It as 30GB HDD . It uses funky batteries that are a pain .
Thus i read the amps thru the ext power supply plug
and it draws about same amps as a batt
, so i'll just belt pack a HF 18VDC NiCad and buck the voltage
down to 8VDC and run it in thru the wall wart port .
it wont be expensive , $10 a HF batt .
Overall , i guess the 30GB HDD draws less than the old
tape drive videoCams .
But i has a drop sensor , you program it
and it will indicate if it got dropped .
Its also exciting box , but expensive at $800 .
It shoots hi quality stills and is
MUCH !! handier than the model "70" !!!!
for it has a 4 way out on the left side of LCD .
that does lots of stuff .
Also has 16:9 ( missing in 70 ) movie mode and it tranfers
direct to DVD ,cause its MPG-2 !
I gotta get inside and slow down the ZOOM , its far too fast
to make "pro" movies .
I shoot a blimp at 4 miles in the sky and it came out perfect ,
You must use a mono-pod , but the shot came out PRO
at extreme zoom . one JVC model has a ZOOM so big ,
you just gotta use it to believe me .
its over double mine ! It will read the text at 100 yards .
But it has stills only 1 megapixel ,
77 , mine is > 2megpixel stills . You can blow up 2 megapixel
to a 11 by 14 !!
No Videocam will use anything but a HDD in future .
Grant Erw> I own S-K for my main workshop wrench set. They are backed up by a no-name
I coulndt agree more My primary sockets and wrenches are "Name brand
offshore" Mastercraft and Craftsman. As are my Secondaries. I'm too
young for there to have been less than Industrial grade North American
made tools and many posters here have wrench sets older than me
IF i find myself asking too much of the offshores they will get replace
by SK or Proto or Gray or similar but until i break them or until they
cant hold a size i have no complaints.
I've had "Princess auto" import stuff last ONE twist before breaking.
My Princess Auto breaker bar has been offered to a friend whose a
warehouse manager as a "management tool" because of its dubious
usefulness with fasteners =)
I've been gradually and slowly picking up govt and military surplus
tools that usually are in good shape but dirty i got a Victor 100 torch
without tips a solid file set and punches and a good lump of wrenches
for $40 govt surplus just because they were dirty and disorganized
dropped by my welding store and boom the torch has tips and quick
connects and i'm off to the races
If you need ot buy new name brand offshore is a good bet. if you eat
them alive then you can justify replacing the stuff you keep destroying
with full out industrial tools. House brand importer slike HF Enco and
princess auto have stuff thats usually of questionalbe quality but it
DOES have its place For example i have a Phase II quick change holder
for my lathe bought form Enco even if the toolpost is crap the
toolholder attachments will move effectively to a "real" Aloris and the
name brand holders alone will cost more than i paid for this setup. As
a light Lathe user it meets my needs. (But homewoner grade and metal
lathe are not two words used in tandem)
Pardon the Canadian brands used in this post.
On Wed, 13 Dec 2006 03:39:56 +0000 (UTC), with neither quill nor
qualm, Ignoramus30170 quickly
To save my old bod, I usually double up on wrenches when torquing my
leaf spring bolts down. One combo on the bolt with another box wrench
through the open end. It tests wrenches quite well. I have only one
wrench with a single-jawed open end, and I think that was an Allied
brand. I literally lost my pound of flesh and gallon of blood with
Crapsman sockets and 1/2" drive ratchets in the late seventies. That's
when I found that the cheapie Indian and Taiwanese stuff was as well
or better made than Searz. (Though I have some older Craftsman
tools which are still in use, I stopped purchasing them in the early
It's raining like hell this week but maybe I can test 'em next week.
Please remind me if I don't get back to you by next Weds.
Unfortunately, not only do scientists have an incentive to cry "crisis,"
so too do the environmental advocacy groups need crises. Without them,
how could advocacy groups justify thier pleas for donations? Nearly
every American gets bulk quantities of junk mail warning them of ozone
depletion, topsoil erosion, resource depletion, diminishing biodiversity,
and global warming. The money the advocacy groups collect is spent on
lawyers, lobbying, propaganda, and the salaries and perquisites of the
headquarers staffs. The media also have a strong incentive to report
"crises"--they must sell newspapers and airtime after all. So there it
is--an iron triangle of scientists pleading for research funds, interest
groups who need crises to justify their existence, and a press that needs
to sell papers. No wonder people are frightened.
--Ronald Bailey in "EcoScam"