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Old 02-24-2008, 04:10 AM   #1
Nikolai_V
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Default Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

Just wondering if anyone on here has experience with Titanium Sockets / Ratchets? I was talking to my local Koken rep and he offered to get some in, should I so desire (what a dumb question...)

http://www.koken-tool.co.jp/catalog/en/index.html

Anyway they have a pentagonal drive system, so as not to be used with conventional 1/2 square drive tools, and were designed for aerospace applications - I`m told.

Details on their website - For the same price as a comparably sized set of Snap-on (in NZ) I could have these - its a tough decision. Same lifetime warranty, made by japanese engineers. All my other sockets are koken and are brilliant so thats sort of swaying me... Even our local snappy guy admits they`re good (and thats their standard sockets) - just not as good (haha)

In fact looking on their website, I can see lots of new tools that i`m sure I need... (I do like the ratcheting T handle wrenches for Radiator removal)

http://www.koken-tool.co.jp/en/produ...ct/t_flex.html

Too many tools, not enough money...
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:32 AM   #2
84TurboBuick
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

I used to work in the fuel industry and we had to use Titanium tools on some of the jobs due to explosion fears.

I dont remember the names we used but I do know they were very high quality and light weight to.

I think the only thing that kept me from trying to build a set was the price....if I remember right, the price for a 90pcs set was somewhere in the ballpark park of $2500.00, and this was in the mid '90's
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

Everything I've ever read about Koken has said they are absolutely top-flight tools. However, I'd guess they are virtually unknown in North America, so I'm not sure you will get much useful feedback from the majority of posters here... Maybe some of the Europeans have more experience with the brand..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikolai_V View Post
For the same price as a comparably sized set of Snap-on (in NZ) I could have these - its a tough decision. Same lifetime warranty, made by japanese engineers. All my other sockets are koken and are brilliant so thats sort of swaying me... Even our local snappy guy admits they`re good (and thats their standard sockets) - just not as good (haha)
Are you saying that you could get the Koken titanium set for the same price as the standard Snap-on? If so, I'd say your decision is an easy one; Go Koken!

Snap-on is overpriced in the USA, worse in Canada, and I can only imagine what they cost in New Zealand... There's nothing wrong with Snap-on - it's a very fine tool - but the prices are just stupid. In your market, Koken is likely as well or even better-serviced than Snap-on, and probably better-priced.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

i think i'd go with the snap on for a couple of reasons......mostly because of the standard square drive, it will interchanged with other brands of tools and i would think it would be easier to get warranty service. at least here in the US it may be different in NZ.
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DEGENERATE Main Entry: 1de·gen·er·ate
Pronunciation: \di-ˈjen-rət, -ˈje-nə-, dē-\

Date: 15th century
1 a : having declined or become less specialized (as in nature, character, structure, or function) from an ancestral or former state b : having sunk to a condition below that which is normal to a type; especially : having sunk to a lower and usually corrupt and vicious state c : degraded 2
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

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Originally Posted by lbgradwell View Post
Everything I've ever read about Koken has said they are absolutely top-flight tools. However, I'd guess they are virtually unknown in North America, so I'm not sure you will get much useful feedback from the majority of posters here... Maybe some of the Europeans have more experience with the brand..?



Are you saying that you could get the Koken titanium set for the same price as the standard Snap-on? If so, I'd say your decision is an easy one; Go Koken!

Snap-on is overpriced in the USA, worse in Canada, and I can only imagine what they cost in New Zealand... There's nothing wrong with Snap-on - it's a very fine tool - but the prices are just stupid. In your market, Koken is likely as well or even better-serviced than Snap-on, and probably better-priced.
Well I must comment on this matter...Snap-on tools spends millions of dollars on R&D to make them the "Best in the industry". They are for Professionals, They are purpose built tools, and do not promote sales to retail stores for the general public. but without going into too much detail, Titanium tools is a gimmick, unless that tool has to be that specified metal. the temper of the steel is set so it can be strong yet soft enough that it will not shatter under stress, that is why you buy Impact sockets for the Impact gun. Titanium is very strong but also very brittle. it has its place, and its not in general use tools.
As far as the price goes, you get what you pay for. And most of the tools from Snap-on are close to the same price as the other "M guy".
IMO...if you want the best, Go with Snap-on, if you want to save money and don"t use your tools every day to make you money, Buy local, IE...Craftsman ( btw...Craftsman tools are contracted from Danneher corp, which is the parent company for Matco tools). Snap-on is world wide and that means you can get the service anywhere.
I still buy Snap-on tools even after being a former dealer.
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

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Originally Posted by ToolmanTom View Post
Well I must comment on this matter...Snap-on tools spends millions of dollars on R&D to make them the "Best in the industry". They are for Professionals, They are purpose built tools, and do not promote sales to retail stores for the general public. but without going into too much detail, Titanium tools is a gimmick, unless that tool has to be that specified metal. the temper of the steel is set so it can be strong yet soft enough that it will not shatter under stress, that is why you buy Impact sockets for the Impact gun. Titanium is very strong but also very brittle. it has its place, and its not in general use tools.
As far as the price goes, you get what you pay for. And most of the tools from Snap-on are close to the same price as the other "M guy".
IMO...if you want the best, Go with Snap-on, if you want to save money and don"t use your tools every day to make you money, Buy local, IE...Craftsman ( btw...Craftsman tools are contracted from Danneher corp, which is the parent company for Matco tools). Snap-on is world wide and that means you can get the service anywhere.
I still buy Snap-on tools even after being a former dealer.
Tom, I certainly agree with you on several points: Snap-on are high-quality professional tools, titanium is really a job-specific material (like that mentioned by 84TurboBuick), and Danaher owns Matco (among others) & makes the Craftsman hard line. All those statements are "facts" and really beyond debate.

But when you say things like "Best in the industry" and use phrases like "purpose-built" you have moved into the subjective (at best) and company PR (at worst)! When you say such things, you still sound like a dealer! There are indisputably a great number of professional tool companies, and each will have their supporters.

As to "As far as the price goes, you get what you pay for. ", I will also agree, to a point. Economists will talk of diminishing marginality; that is, after a certain point, a "unit" of the quality & usefulness of a given product declines with each subsequent dollar paid to acquire it. It's hard to get true quality at a low price, but it's easy to pay more than necessary for a quality item.

If you look at an industry other than mechanics tools, I doubt anyone would dispute this. For instance, you can run out to Wal-Mart to buy some cheap, no-name luggage. It might suffice, or, in all likelihood, you might have been better-served had you gone to a "better" store and paid more for American Tourister or Atlantis or fill-in-the-blank products. Or, if you have more money than sense, you could have plunked down literally thousands for a set by Louis Vuitton.

To a large part, Snap-on has very successfully managed to create a demand for a luxury product in a very non-traditional market for luxury - hand tools! And to at least a certain degree - I'll leave each of you to decide for yourselves to exactly what degree - this "luxury" component attributes to Snap-on's prices. They are unquestionably well past the declining-margin threshold!

But for Nikolai's purposes, he is probably at least as well-serviced/supplied by Koken as by Snap-on, and can probably save a few bucks for a tool of similar quality. Just like if I was living in Germany, I would likely not be buying many Snap-on tools since domestic tools of superior quality would, presumably, be availably at a savings...

Please understand, I'm not saying you aren't entitled to your opinion and I would never question someone's decision to buy a given brand; I just want them to be informed as to exactly what they're buying as opposed to mere company sales BS!
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

Quote:
Originally Posted by lbgradwell View Post

To a large part, Snap-on has very successfully managed to create a demand for a luxury product in a very non-traditional market for luxury - hand tools! And to at least a certain degree - I'll leave each of you to decide for yourselves to exactly what degree - this "luxury" component attributes to Snap-on's prices. They are unquestionably well past the declining-margin threshold!
In the past 80 years, snap on's current rate of inflation is about 4 times that of the american dollar in the same period of time.

And there is no doubt manufacturing has become more automated and probably cheaper in that time.
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Old 02-24-2008, 03:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

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In the past 80 years, snap on's current rate of inflation is about 4 times that of the american dollar in the same period of time.

And there is no doubt manufacturing has become more automated and probably cheaper in that time.
true but the market determines retail prices. mac has outscorced a lot of thier product line overseas but prices didn't drop. matco's hardline is made in the same facilities as craftsman and we all know craftsman's tools are a fraction of the cost AND many of matco's hardline tools are priced higher than snap on. the lesson here is msrp reflects what people are willing to pay for specific items not what it costs to manufacuture plus a predetermined percentage...........
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DEGENERATE Main Entry: 1de·gen·er·ate
Pronunciation: \di-ˈjen-rət, -ˈje-nə-, dē-\

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1 a : having declined or become less specialized (as in nature, character, structure, or function) from an ancestral or former state b : having sunk to a condition below that which is normal to a type; especially : having sunk to a lower and usually corrupt and vicious state c : degraded 2
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Old 02-24-2008, 03:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

That pentagonal drive system is the only thing that would cause me to shy away from them since I couldn't use them with my other square drive tools; I'm ok with titanium though.
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

A more timely example could not have been hoped for...

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=15670
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

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A more timely example could not have been hoped for...

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=15670

yes thats for sure.........and someone was willing to pay it

free market at it's best and worst at the same time
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DEGENERATE Main Entry: 1de·gen·er·ate
Pronunciation: \di-ˈjen-rət, -ˈje-nə-, dē-\

Date: 15th century
1 a : having declined or become less specialized (as in nature, character, structure, or function) from an ancestral or former state b : having sunk to a condition below that which is normal to a type; especially : having sunk to a lower and usually corrupt and vicious state c : degraded 2
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:16 PM   #12
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

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yes thats for sure.........and someone was willing to pay it
More than one, Krusty; we can say for sure that the "winner" was willing to part with at least $61, while the 4 others who bid were willing to pay $60, $52, $35, & $31.98 respectively!

And the Opening Bid for the cursed thing was $19.99 - fully 33% above the BIN price of the Bahco (though the Snap-on includes 5 extra blades). And we know - again for sure - that Bahco is the actual manufacturer of the product; the ONLY difference between the two saws is the colour and the little sticker that says"Snap-on instead of "Bahco"!!!

It's sheer madness, but shows as clearly as possible the value of the Snap-on name completely independent of any actual or supposed quality.
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

an envyable position to be in as a manufacturer wouldn't you say!

there are a couple of tool makers out there with equal quality but have not been able to market them as succesfully. if they had thier prices would be just as high.

matco's retail prices were quite a bit lower than snap on at one time. they hired some people that snap on let go back in the early 90's......it didn't take long for thier prices to be the same if not higher than snap on's. the market set the price and matco reaped the benefit of "supposed quality" more than snap on!

remember when sears tried to market craftsman off of trucks like snap on, mac. matco, and cornwell? they were in the position where they couln't charge more than they did in the stores, the increased warranty rate made it unprofitable.

i guess the lesson is there is several reasons for truck brands getting higher prices..........
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DEGENERATE Main Entry: 1de·gen·er·ate
Pronunciation: \di-ˈjen-rət, -ˈje-nə-, dē-\

Date: 15th century
1 a : having declined or become less specialized (as in nature, character, structure, or function) from an ancestral or former state b : having sunk to a condition below that which is normal to a type; especially : having sunk to a lower and usually corrupt and vicious state c : degraded 2
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

Whats wrong with plain steel sockets?
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Old 02-24-2008, 06:37 PM   #15
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

I'm wondering why they stopped at pentagonal instead of going all the way to hexagonal.
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:50 PM   #16
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

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Originally Posted by Merkava_4 View Post
I'm wondering why they stopped at pentagonal instead of going all the way to hexagonal.
So that they would be limited-use tools...

Pentagon fasteners help make sure that not just any idiot with a wrench can start turning bolts on sensitive equipment. Adds a margin of safety and security.
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Why bother? Natural selection will take care of them. If it doesn't, a 12-gauge can take care of the unnatural selection...
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:01 AM   #17
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

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Originally Posted by l_bilyk View Post
Whats wrong with plain steel sockets?
Yeah, plain steel sockets with square drives have always worked for me; however, I've never tried a pentagonal drive system; maybe I'm missing out on something.
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:44 AM   #18
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

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Originally Posted by eschoendorff View Post
So that they would be limited-use tools...

Pentagon fasteners help make sure that not just any idiot with a wrench can start turning bolts on sensitive equipment. Adds a margin of safety and security.
pssst. He's not talking about pentagonal fasteners. Instead of being a square drive on the ratchet, it's a pentagonal drive.

If I had to guess, it's pentagonal to insure that the person using it is using titanium sockets with it.

Last edited by nissan_crawler; 02-25-2008 at 02:48 AM.
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:51 AM   #19
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

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Originally Posted by Nikolai_V View Post
In fact looking on their website, I can see lots of new tools that i`m sure I need... (I do like the ratcheting T handle wrenches for Radiator removal)

http://www.koken-tool.co.jp/en/produ...ct/t_flex.html

Too many tools, not enough money...
We call those jack-off wrenches at work. I made my own with some cheapo gear wrenches to the tune of $15. I only have one handle though, have to swap the wrench for whatever I need.
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:50 AM   #20
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Default Re: Koken Titanium Socket Set or Snap-on???

I always assumed that titanium tools were primarily intended for use with titanium fasteners, as Ti has a tendency to galling; although having said that, it galls on itself so I'm not sure how much of a cure that is.

Facom used to do a limited range of metric combi spanners in titanium (stupidly expensive) which went into the toolkit of the McLaren F1 roadcar. I'm fairly sure that was a fashion/snob value thing -- weight-saving must have been pretty minimal and I suspect not too many of the owners would be routinely spannering on their own cars (although the factory could monitor and diagnose remotely by wireless so perhaps they could talk you though a gasket-replacement or something! :-) )

If you want tools in exotic materials, check out Beta's big range of stuff in spark-proof copper-beryllium alloy -- everything from sockets and wrenches to chisels, lump hammers and wire brushes! Great if you work in an explosives factory!
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