At the time of choosing industrial, mechanical, and aerospace tools such as ratchets, wrenches, sockets, and similar accessories, there are available many brands and products. From this big collection, you have to choose your desired ones.
Casual- The tools which most used by DIYers, once-in-a-while is called casual tools. These tools are generally inexpensive multi-functional and innovative seasonal tools. These tools are used as gifts on Christmas and Father’s Day.
Entry-Level- For DIYers, there are many options are available. But they don’t know what they may need and the greatest bang for the buck. Entry-level tools are not perfect for heavy use. But can be used and get the job done.
Mid-Level- Top brands like Craftsman Professional are not fully the same level as other brands, but offered tools are better or stronger than inexpensive or less-expensive entry-level ones. These tools are attractive to DIYers and weekend warriors who have higher budgets. Many professional users use these mid-level tools and earn their livings.
Professional and Industrial- If you think about more features, top-quality, better strength, and greater breadth of size and style selection then you should choose a professional or industrial brand. The rest of the discussion is mainly about this category.
Super-Premium- If you are looking for uncompromised top quality, as well as door service facility. Then tool truck brands like Snap-on are at the highest rung of the quality and price ladder.
Also Read: Top 23 Best Hand Tool Brands on the Market
USA-Made Professional & Industrial Tool Brands
Many people have this question, and frequently they search the answer in various forums.
“ Which is a good mid-level mechanics tool brand? Looking for USA-made tools and cannot afford Snap-on.”
The answer used to be Craftsman Professional. Many of their USA-made tools have been discontinuing in recent years. They are replacing them with overseas manufactured redesigns. They used to offer fantastic bang for the buck, it was believed that craftsman pro tools were relabeled with Armstrong tools.
Actually, there aren’t any USA-manufacturing mechanics tool brands around that can fill the place of Craftsman Professional. But some useful and affordable professional and industrial brands are available that you can consider.
Though this category is mechanic tools, also the same tools are often used in different industries like aerospace. It is simply that as being mechanic tools these tools can be used for different purposes.
The answer to this question everyone does according to their own thinking.
From my perspective, usually, USA-made tools mean high-quality tools, experienced engineering, and a history of excellence that is the foundation of trust and reliability. Also, USA-made tools have easier warranty replacement and broad availability, and quicker acquisition of new tools.
I often prefer USA-made mechanics tools. My top priorities are quality, functionality that is fulfilled by USA-made tools. Recently, I bought Wera tools that are made in the Czech Republic, and Facom tools that are made in Taiwan. The Wera and Facom tools are not comparable to USA-made tools cause those tools are not challenged by any current USA-made offerings.
- Without one, each brand is the part of other larger corporations.
- Armstrong- Part of the Apex Tool Group
- Proto- Part of Stanley Black & Decker
- SK Hand Tool– Now part of Ideal Industries
- Williams- Part of Snap-on Industrial Group
- Wright- An independent manufacturer
Also Read: The Best Hand Tools for the Workshop in 2021
I have not much experience with Armstrong considering Craftsman Professional products, mainly wrenches, and a few Armstrong wrenches.
Armstrong is more aimed towards aerospace, government and military users. Most of their tools are easy to find for mechanics and independent users. They are worth investment.
Armstrong Maxx Locking Flex-Head Ratchet tool
Armstrong Maxx Locking Flex-Head Ratchet tool that I used. This tools are really good. The ratchet head is joint with an adjustable machine screw. So it is easy to tighter or looser. This ratchet can be locked in nine different positions. The handle has hourglass shape that makes it comfortable and fits perfectly. The locking mechanism is strong enough.
Proto is one of my favorite industrial tool brands. I used their spline ratcheting wrenches, Duratek screwdrivers both are awesome, consistently good, and affordable. They make various accessories like locking extensions, ratchet adapters, etc.
Proto makes what you need. Most of them are made in the USA but not all. If you did not found anything that you need, you could probably get it from their sister brands that are also under the Stanley Black & Decker umbrella.
From one of the sister brands that make some great angled socket wrenches. Their products have some advantages like a threaded rod.
Proto Ratcheting Combination Wrench
Proto full-polish ratcheting combination wrenches that have the feature of anti-slip open-ends and ratcheting spline box ends. The wrenches have 72 teeth for a great 5degree swing. These wrenches are designed for better work in tight work areas. The wrenches are available in individual and sets.
3. Proto Duratek Screwdrivers
Proto Duratek screwdrivers are designed considering demanding users. They have chemical-resistant handles, strong shafts, and durable precision tips. Comfortable to use with a durable tip. I have been using these screwdrivers, these are hard-handled screwdrivers. Hard-handled screwdrivers are great for work when working around solvents, grease, and other chemicals that would ordinarily turn cushioned and soft-lined screwdrivers into mush. Easy to clean and durable than many other brands.
These drivers can be used in the aerospace, industrial, and automotive industries. Price is affordable. Proto Duratek screwdrivers are made in the USA.
Also Read: 6 Best Hand Tools Com Review 2021
4. Proto Locking Socket Extension
The quality of extensions depends on the grip while you have no doubt to risk dropping or losing a socket. A proto locking extension is a well-made tool. Using a glove, the extension is easier to use. Build quality and usability of the extension are great.
5. Facom Angled Socket Wrenches
Facom is part of the Stanley Black & Decker brand. Facom is an automotive and industrial hand tool brand that is based in Europe. They have some great tools like adjustable locking pliers, extendable ratchets, and a hinged handle. These angled socket wrenches are one of the great tools from them. There are some good things about these wrenches. These wrenches are sating finished. The fitting is excellent. Total build quality is amazing.
6. Proto Ratchet Adapters
Simple design and a feature of 180 degrees pivoting drive head at the end of a handle. These ratchets are attachable to other accessories, like T-handles, and other square drive accessories that may not have built-in ratcheting functionality. These adapters turn non-ratcheting breaker bars and drive tools into ratcheting ones.
7. SK Hand Tool Hex Bit Sockets
Though I have not much experience with SK in the past, I have read many times about their quality has gone back up to former levels, by following their bankruptcy and acquisition by ideal industries.
They have an innovative design lineup, So, that is exciting to see that they are back in action and looking to reclaim lost market share.
SK Hand Tool Hex Bit Sockets
I have a set of Craftsman hex-bit sockets. For made of Super Chrome plating, it looks like a jewelry-like finish. Easy to use as well as clean. Also, the bit replacement is easier. The set comes with a plastic toolbox.
8. SK Thumbwheel Ratchet
Superb knurling of it is enough to catch attention. The direction selector is easy to turn. SK ratchet is handy as well as functional. The finishing is excellent. The ratcheting mechanism is attractive too.
Also Read: 9 Top DeWalt Hand Tools Reviews 2021
9. SK Socket Set Review – 3/8″ 18pc Fractional Set
This set gives me a good impression of the brand’s sockets, ratchets, and extensions. This set comes with a blow-molded plastic case. This case is light and durable. One amazing thing about this case can be recessed on both sides. The knurling gives the ratchet a comfortable grip. The sockets are almost flawless, fit, function, and great finished. All SK sets are made in the United States of America (USA). This set includes individual sockets, drive tools, and accessories.
Williams offers tools that are made in the USA, and that is made overseas. By looking through their catalog it is easy to differentiate. Recently I purchased a few Williams tools, and I am satisfied. Tools have great quality.
Williams SuperCombo Wrench
Williams is a Snap-on industrial brand. One of the 5 USA tool brands that are affordable, professional. The quality of the tools like wrenches, sockets, ratchets, and related accessories is great. William SuperCombo wrenches have special grooves on both sides that help to direct wrenches fast. Wrenches are thicker than other brand’s wrenches. Wrenches have an impeccable finish.
11. Williams Hard Handle Screwdrivers
These William Hard Handle Screwdrivers are comfortable to use. Not favorite, but I enjoy using them. Hard-handled screwdrivers are easier to clean and durable. Handle shape, material and style are amazing.
I have experience with the Wright 7pc set that is well finished and satin polished. There are wrenches are amazing and have great quality.
Wrench Set (7-Piece)
Wrenches have a good grip. There are seven pieces of wrenches. Alloy Steel, Precision heating, and advanced manufacturing techniques have been used for durability and toughness.
Also Read: Best Rated Hand Tools 2021
Which to buy?
It is not possible to say specifically one brand is best. From the brands of tools that I own, I would recommend which one might be best for you that depends on what you are looking for and how much you are willing to pay.
It is not a wise decision to stick with just one brand. Personally, I like to build my toolbox with a motley of brands that include, but not limited to the 5 mentioned here.
From these USA-made brands which mid-level brands would you choose or recommend for tools such as sockets, ratchets, wrenches, and other such tools?