View Full Version : SK vs Snap On Advice ( SOCKETS ONLY )


Weedwaka
05-24-2009, 12:14 PM
I am starting a new thread because I was not clear in the old one and most comments were in regards to ratchets and wrenches.

I am looking to pull the trigger on a lot of new socket sets to replace my Mastercraft stuff and fill in the blanks.

I specifically need first hand advice / experience with SK swivel socket sets.

If I buy SK I can get WAY more for my money and it will be brand new. With SO I will have to piece it together from Ebay.

I just bought a 1/4 inch Snap On shallow and deep set and it set me back 135.00 shipped ( used ) . New would have been 400.00 cdn off the truck new Ouch :shocking:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180360651539&ssPageName=ADME:B:EOIBSA:MOTORS:1123

JeepsAreBuilt
05-24-2009, 12:18 PM
SK swivel impact sockets are nice.. I have some 1/2" stuff. You sure can get more new SK sockets vs new SO sockets.. Since you are in Canada.. why not look into gray tools ?

Weedwaka
05-24-2009, 12:51 PM
Yeah, I can get a HUGE complete set of SK sockets for very cheap compared to SO. I just don't want to regret buying these and end up replacing with SK.

I have not found a good place for Gray tools. I can get pretty good deals on SK stuff.

rhp
05-24-2009, 12:55 PM
I use SK sockets: shallow, deep & wobble. They serve me well. While in some areas SO is a proven leader when it came to sockets it was pretty much the same for me. For the same reasons as you cite, I went SK.

JeepsAreBuilt
05-24-2009, 01:16 PM
I'd go with SK.. you'll be happier with a bigger set. I've had my SK impact sockets for years.. no signs of serious wear and tear. They say USA on them, and has that "stamped, or casted" markings on them.. not just laser etch markings. If you really wanna save money.. go with Gray Pneumatic impacts, I have a set in 1/4" and they are nice.. but the laser etching wears off, but thats not a problem for me with the way I organize my sockets.

Weedwaka
05-24-2009, 01:22 PM
What about Grey Pneumatic vs Gray ??

walrus
05-24-2009, 01:25 PM
.. but the laser etching wears off, but thats not a problem for me with the way I organize my sockets.

I rarely look at the markings anyway, can't most folks tell by looking at them what size they are?? I prefer a stamped size as there are times when I can't tell or guess wrong but....

-B-
05-24-2009, 01:25 PM
What are you going to be doing with them daily work or occasional use ?


For daily work for fasteners under lots of stress ( high TQ loads, rusted, seized) go SO for non impact sockets, for impact go S&K or virtually any one but SO.

Week end use go S&K all the way no need for the extra expense for a tool that will last longer under daily high stress situations.

tankboy_taylor
05-24-2009, 01:46 PM
SK arent bad but for heavy use go SO

sk farmer
05-24-2009, 02:50 PM
the large sk socket sets with standard and metric, shallow and deep are a very nice. they can often be found at a reasonable price. they are available in 1/4 3/8 and 1/2 inch sizes. the 3/8 spline set may also be a good choice. i have complete sets of sockets in sk from 1/4 to 3/4 in chrome and also many in impact including 3/8 impact swivels. i have had very few issues and all have been covered under warranty. those few issues have been from abuse and misuse.

Weedwaka
05-24-2009, 03:05 PM
What are you going to be doing with them daily work or occasional use ?


For daily work for fasteners under lots of stress ( high TQ loads, rusted, seized) go SO for non impact sockets, for impact go S&K or virtually any one but SO.

Week end use go S&K all the way no need for the extra expense for a tool that will last longer under daily high stress situations.

These will be for my home collection. I'm a gear head so they will get used quite a bit once the new garage is finally built.

I have never actually had a standard socket failure even at work and I put my cheap chome Mastercraft sockets on my 1/2 impact all the time or on the end of a huge bar.

I have however thrashed their cheap universal joints many times. I think the SK standard sockets will probably be all I need in the 3/8 and 1/2 inch sizes. Its the swivels that I am most concerned about.

The one big bonus with Snap On is that I have the truck stop bye our shop every Monday. Warranty with SK may be a bit of a bitch. Again, I don't see myself needing to warranty their standard sockets just possible the flex sockets.

What about design ? Are the snap on sockets of a better design than the SK ? Are the shallow sockets shallower, deep sockets deeper etc ?

tankboy_taylor
05-24-2009, 03:14 PM
Id definatly scour ebay for some SO universals then they are pretty hard to break and if your patient youll be able score new ones for less than half retail.

Nik_95Cobra
05-24-2009, 04:44 PM
I used SK sockets every day and had zero problems with them. Despite not having any problems with them I wound up trading them in on Snap-ons anyway.

-B-
05-24-2009, 05:12 PM
Go S&K for your needs the only advantage between the two ( minus the marketing bull crap) is long term hard use wear.

I have S&K from the 80's at home and SO for work most fasteners I must loosen are of the bitch tight over torqued put on with spooled up impact wrenches. SO sockets last the longest under those circumstances for me even then I still were out some sockets yearly.

GeorgiaHybrid
05-24-2009, 05:21 PM
I have 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" Sk and Snap-on (metric and SAE, Deep and shallow) sets in chrome and have never had a problem with either one. I use SK std impact sockets in 3/8" and 1/2" and Snap-on impact swivels in both of those.

The only true "warranty" issue was with a 3/8 Snap-on swivel that was so worn, the retaining collar would come off the end everytime it was used. I bought it over 30 years ago and my dealer replaced it last month.

I have had others replaced (SK and Snap-on) because of abuse on my end but both companies make an excellent product. I will say that under the worst conditions (going behind an idiot who rounds off fasteners, rusty bolts, etc.) the SO sockets have a sight edge. For home use, that should not be an issue.

Most of the complaints about SK seem to be about their finish but I use my tools on cars. I don't lovingly polish them, take them on dates or sleep with the damn things like some people seem to do. I do wipe them down and put them where they belong but I have accepted Snap-on ratchets and wrenches in particular that some people would have a heart attack if their dealer handed it to them. Dings, road rash and a few rough spots here and there are what tools are designed for, working.

Merkava_4
05-24-2009, 06:59 PM
The main problem with SK is their deep sockets ... nissan_crawler can tell you all about that. :D

plinker
05-24-2009, 07:09 PM
The main problem with SK is their deep sockets ... nissan_crawler can tell you all about that

The S-K deep sockets have a "shoulder" to keep the fastener at the end of the socket (the hex does not go the full legnh of the socket).

I myself like this as when putting a fastener on somthing it (the fastener) dosent get lost in the socket.

It boils down to prefernce.

sk farmer
05-25-2009, 01:20 AM
how bought it nissan? we haven't been in it for a while.:spit:

Merkava_4
05-25-2009, 03:50 AM
Check out this Toptul socket by beelsr ... that socket is CLEAN.

http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/7/2/3/1/8/5/webimg/267704044_o.jpg

nissan_crawler
05-25-2009, 04:00 AM
I was going to, but this thread isn't about deep sockets...

My personal preference would still be Snap-On for swivels, but each to their own. I've paid under $15 with shipping for almost all of my new (or very close to it) Snap-On 1/4" swivel sockets.

I wish Toptul had SAE 3/8" drive swivels, I would consider buying them. If you're looking for metric, I would consider them.

Merkava_4
05-25-2009, 05:09 AM
I specifically need first hand advice / experience with SK swivel socket sets.


D'oh!! :Homer: I just realized I skimmed over that part. :D

Weedwaka
05-25-2009, 09:14 AM
Thanks for the reply's guys.

Whats the point of a deep socket if it has a shoulder ? Anybody have a picture ?

dledinger
05-25-2009, 11:02 AM
I've cracked a few SK sockets with nothing but a normal 3/8 ratchet in my hand. They were all older....probably late 70s early 80s.

nissan_crawler
05-25-2009, 02:16 PM
Thanks for the reply's guys.

Whats the point of a deep socket if it has a shoulder ? Anybody have a picture ?

Exactly. It's necked down inside. It works on studs with normal size nuts, but if it's a stud with a flange nut or jet nut (thinner nut, so smaller socket), the stud won't go through the necked down hole in the socket, making it worthless.

Adam McLaughlin
05-25-2009, 02:57 PM
Check out this Toptul socket by beelsr ... that socket is CLEAN.

http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/7/2/3/1/8/5/webimg/267704044_o.jpg

DOes anyone else think that this socket is remarkably similar to a flank drive unit of the same size?

Adam

Joelfke
05-25-2009, 03:01 PM
the guys at work constantly use SK's swivel impacts and swivel deep impacts in 3/8 drive for just about 80% of the day....

i gotta get myself a set of these at some point soon...

MAD
05-25-2009, 03:53 PM
Thanks for the reply's guys.

Whats the point of a deep socket if it has a shoulder ? Anybody have a picture ?

My SK deep sockets do not have the kind of obstruction that nissan_crawler is talking about, but I do have some MAC and Cornwell deep sockets that have an excessive restriction at the bottom of the hex broaching where it enters the body of the deep socket. I have seen the same problem on a few old SK deep sockets as well when I was digging through bins of used sockets. My SK deep sockets have plenty of space for over-sized studs. No problem for a M8 stud to pass through the 11mm deep socket, for example. For times where I am using a deep socket in place of a socket on an extension, and space is tight, I prefer my Craftsman deep sockets that have the hex broach for almost the entire length of the socket. The extra "usable depth" in the socket keeps the ratchet from being forced away from the fastener as it is being loosened. There are other times when the shorter hex broaching is better. I always reach for my Snap-on deep 9/16" which has the shorter "usable depth" when I am removing muffler clamps. I often found the combination of soft steel and rust resulted in a broken off stud stuck deep in the socket, when I would use a deep socket with a full length hex to remove exhaust clamps. Most of the time, either style will work.

Here is some pictures of one of my Cornwell sockets with the "necked down" restriction. This is after I have opened up the hole a little so it would go on my Hansen rack.

sk farmer
05-25-2009, 08:28 PM
i think the issue some people have is that the broaching is not deep enough to allow the nut or bolt head to go deeper into the socket on the sk deep . my 3/8 sk swivel deep impacts have the full broaching.

Weedwaka
05-25-2009, 09:15 PM
How can you tell which models have this restriction ?

MAD
05-25-2009, 10:08 PM
How can you tell which models have this restriction ?

I think it can happen on any deep socket where the hex does not extend the full length of the socket. There is naturally a ring of built up material at the bottom of the hex broaching. Sometimes there is enough material to restrict the opening to the point where the threaded portion of the bolt or stud will not pass through. Sometimes this extra material is not cleaned away at the factory. Often, you will only notice it with a non-standard fastener with a small hex/ large diameter threads. The Cornwell Socket in my picture would not allow the standard size stud to pass through. Not a big deal, just drill it out or clean it up with a file.

If you look at this picture of an older set of Snap-on deep sockets, you can see that some of the sockets have random degrees, more or less, of a ridge built up at the bottom of the hex broaching.

Weedwaka
05-26-2009, 10:22 AM
That seems like a terrible design flaw.

MAD
05-26-2009, 10:46 AM
That seems like a terrible design flaw.

It is more of a lack of care in the finishing process rather than a design flaw when there is an obstuctive ridge left at the bottom of the hex broaching on a deep socket.

peter08
06-10-2009, 04:48 PM
Mad, you're right about the hex broaching. It can be done much deeper than you normally see in a socket.