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Old 10-17-2013, 09:00 PM   #1
NedNorton
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Default Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

I have a good friend that just got into old motorcycles. Hondas. At 42 he's a little late to the tool buying party. His first project we swapped the engine and transmission in a 1974 cb360 in my shop with my tools. Easy first project. (Started on the 3rd kick!) Well, a week later he takes his cheap no name tools out to retighten a few things and calls me asking about buying better tools and did I have any recommendations? He really liked the tools we used in the shop, my Snap-On tools, but the Snap-On prices made him do a double take. He's not using these everyday.

I thought about recommending Williams USA but had no first hand experience so, before I went and recommended a tool line, I felt I needed to check them out and compare them to what I know and use.

There have been some things said in other threads about hardness, polish, chrome thickness etc. I'll let you guys see the photos and decide for yourselves. 17mm shallow, 8mm deep





All I can say is that to my eyes and hands, they are the same minus the stamping. My buddy bought shallow and deep metric sets. Prices are 1/3 the Snap-On equivalent. They are a bargain and get my highest recommendation.

My observations are for the USA made sockets only.

Maybe this will be of some help to some of the new guys starting out so they can take some of that money saved and put it to another use.

Cheers,
Chris

Last edited by NedNorton; 10-17-2013 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=98248

Interesting thread I found.
Hopefully is answers a question or two.

Either way I think Williams is plenty good for a DIY, even USA Craftsman stuff (minus the warranty..)
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:32 PM   #3
NedNorton
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

Thanks for the link. I have an entire drawer full of Snap-On sockets. I paid dearly for them. They are great tools and I never regret those tool purchases. Over the last 20+ years they have worked, and worked hard.

Like I said, folks will debate about the rockwell hardness, polish, chrome thickness etc. I can't speak for the rest of the line but I cannot tell a difference between the USA made Williams sockets and my Snap-On. I'll let you know how they fair over the next month but I'm guessing that they are just fine for Pro/Everyday use. I would put them in a different league than USA made craftsman. Not that USA Craftsman are bad (don't want to get into a Snap-On Craftsman discussion) but these have the look, feel and fastener fit of my Snap-On sockets. That makes them a very good socket at a very good price.

Cheers-
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

Thanks for posting the pictures.
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Old 10-17-2013, 10:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

Happy to do it. Sorry to all for the huge sized pictures. Tapatalk has changed and doesn't let you resize before posting (or I haven't figured out how to do it).

I thought there maybe some guys out there wondering about the comparison. With all the new Techs going into debt just to get the basics it may help. I would happily use the Williams USA sockets all day, everyday. There are some things that Snap-On sells that are not in the Williams line socket wise. Mid-depth are the one that I think of first. You have to go Snap-On to get those.

I would be interested in seeing more comparisons of the two brands across product lines. There are lots of great tools out there and the more info the better. Not that Snap-On is the holly grail of tools but, it is a good reference point for comparing other tools.

In addition to the USA sockets I picked up the import versions also. They are fine but not up to the USA stuff design wise (personal preference YMMV). Most notably the deep sockets. They are "fat" for most of their length and much longer. I could see this being an issue in some cases. They look similar to the Craftsman deep sockets.

Anyway... I hop that this helps. The Williams stuff was 48% off list at the online retailer I got them from. Again, a bargain on a great socket.

Cheers-

Last edited by NedNorton; 10-17-2013 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

To me the only real differences between the two are: the wider range of sizes, shapes, and lengths snap on offers over williams and marketing. Williams are aimed towards the industrial user and not hawked by 2500 or so mobile distributors that offer truck to you service and allow you to earn with your tools as you pay them off in weekly payments for the rest of your life.
A great source for Williams made tools is www.toolsdelivered.com
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

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Originally Posted by NedNorton View Post
All I can say is that to my eyes and hands, they are the same minus the stamping.
I would agree with that. A lot of people want to speculate that some of the details that can't be easily seen (quality of the chrome, RC hardness or whatever) must be inferior because of the price but that's all that is, speculation. I've never seen anybody do any real scientific tests between the 2. Personally I think most of the speculation comes from not wanting to know how overpriced their SO labeled sockets were.

I own (or have owned) sockets from many different companies including SO, MAC, SK, Wright, Craftsman and IMO, the USA made Williams socks are the best deal going for made in the US sockets. Sucks that you can't go to the local store and buy them but IMO, when you compare the quality and price compared to what you probably can get locally, I think they are worth the inconvenience.

If you want an even better deal and the convenience of local shopping, Lowe's Kobolt sockets are a great deal IMO. They are not made in the USA and their selection is limited but they are very good quality sockets that are dirt cheap when you find them on sale.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

did anyone ever compared blue point versus william, I know that blue point is made overseas? but what would you go for between those 2?
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

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did anyone ever compared blue point versus william, I know that blue point is made overseas? but what would you go for between those 2?
The BP are of Taiwanese manufacture. For similiar money I'd get the US Williams.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

Do the Williams sockets all come from the USA or do they also come from places like Taiwan?
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:27 PM   #11
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

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Do the Williams sockets all come from the USA or do they also come from places like Taiwan?
Both. You need to know what you are purchasing if COO matters to you.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

Any special #'s or letters type of code that would indicate coo when placing an order for their sockets? Like xxx123 or 123 or just xxx.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:39 PM   #13
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

Good to know
My SO rep will handle both no problem so if I need another set I may just get the Williams

Bob
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Old 10-18-2013, 05:30 PM   #14
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

I absolutely love my usa williams supercombos.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

My company is a Williams distributor and I met with my Williams manufacturer rep today and asked him about this. I got some good information.

There are two differences between the Williams and the Snap-On besides the stamp.

The Snap-On sockets and wrenches are heat treated higher than the Williams so they are harder. He said that the difference is minimal but it is there. This only applies to the hand sockets though. The impact sockets are both heat treated to the same hardness, which is less than the hand sockets.

The other difference is in the broaching process, which is how they cut the hex, 12-point, etc pattern in sockets and wrenches. The Snap-On process is a little tighter than the Williams process so the wrench or socket will engage the head of the fastener in the same way every time.

The wrenches in the front are Snap-Ons, in the middle are other brands, and in the back are Williams. So the Snap-Ons are perfectly aligned and the Williams are just a tad off. I don't know what the other brands are. This was at a Snap-On show so I'm going to guess other tool truck guys and maybe Craftsman.

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Old 10-18-2013, 06:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

I've got a set of Williams hard handled screwdrivers and for all intents and purposes they are identical to my c. 1997 set of Snap On screwdrivers. I bought the Williams for the garage and the SO stay at my hangar. Only regret is the Williams are black, and I like Orange or Green so I can find them easier in the workspace...and most importantly not leave them somewhere I can't see easily!

I'm considering adding Williams sockets as well. Thanks for posting the pics/review.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:24 PM   #17
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by niferous View Post
My company is a Williams distributor and I met with my Williams manufacturer rep today and asked him about this. I got some good information.

There are two differences between the Williams and the Snap-On besides the stamp.

The Snap-On sockets and wrenches are heat treated higher than the Williams so they are harder. He said that the difference is minimal but it is there. This only applies to the hand sockets though. The impact sockets are both heat treated to the same hardness, which is less than the hand sockets.

The other difference is in the broaching process, which is how they cut the hex, 12-point, etc pattern in sockets and wrenches. The Snap-On process is a little tighter than the Williams process so the wrench or socket will engage the head of the fastener in the same way every time.

The wrenches in the front are Snap-Ons, in the middle are other brands, and in the back are Williams. So the Snap-Ons are perfectly aligned and the Williams are just a tad off. I don't know what the other brands are. This was at a Snap-On show so I'm going to guess other tool truck guys and maybe Craftsman.

thank you for that.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:30 PM   #18
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by niferous View Post
My company is a Williams distributor and I met with my Williams manufacturer rep today and asked him about this. I got some good information.

There are two differences between the Williams and the Snap-On besides the stamp.

The Snap-On sockets and wrenches are heat treated higher than the Williams so they are harder. He said that the difference is minimal but it is there. This only applies to the hand sockets though. The impact sockets are both heat treated to the same hardness, which is less than the hand sockets.

The other difference is in the broaching process, which is how they cut the hex, 12-point, etc pattern in sockets and wrenches. The Snap-On process is a little tighter than the Williams process so the wrench or socket will engage the head of the fastener in the same way every time. if you watch the snap on how its made, you can see the williams wrenches being broached on the same machines as the snap on. i say it bullshit too.

The wrenches in the front are Snap-Ons, in the middle are other brands, and in the back are Williams. So the Snap-Ons are perfectly aligned and the Williams are just a tad off. I don't know what the other brands are. This was at a Snap-On show so I'm going to guess other tool truck guys and maybe Craftsman.


that picture doesnt make any sense. and im not sure what it means anyway. when wrenches are broached, they are broached in a stack of a few at a time, so naturally, they would all be broached in alignment.

also, if you grab wrenches from other manufacturers, of course they will not line up with a wrench made by another company, on another machine set up totally different.

as for the differences in the williams and snap on, i have heard many reasons as to why they are different. to me, it all sounds like bullshit justification for the price increase.

i cant imagine the automotive field requires higher tolerances than other fields that would generally choose an industrial tool line like williams. it makes zero sense.

some other guy was claiming that a williams rep told him the chrome was cheaper/ thinner, and not polished as well. totally untrue. i bet the hardness stuff is untrue also. the difference is one is sold on a truck and one is not.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:33 PM   #19
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

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Originally Posted by TwoInch View Post
that picture doesnt make any sense. and im not sure what it means anyway. when wrenches are broached, they are broached in a stack of a few at a time, so naturally, they would all be broached in alignment.

also, if you grab wrenches from other manufacturers, of course they will not line up with a wrench made by another company, on another machine set up totally different.

as for the differences in the williams and snap on, i have heard many reasons as to why they are different. to me, it all sounds like bullshit justification for the price increase.

i cant imagine the automotive field requires higher tolerances than other fields that would generally choose an industrial tool line like williams. it makes zero sense.

some other guy was claiming that a williams rep told him the chrome was cheaper/ thinner, and not polished as well. totally untrue. i bet the hardness stuff is untrue also. the difference is one is sold on a truck and one is not.
The wrenches shouldn't line up with the snap on but they should all be even like the snap on. If they are made properly each wrench should be exactly like the next one on the line.

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Old 10-18-2013, 06:56 PM   #20
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Default Re: Snap-On and Williams USA socket comparison

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the difference is one is sold on a truck and one is not.
exactly and someone's gotta pay for all that liquid gold that powers them big trucks round all day
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