Favorite Tools Thread

I figured with a gun thread, we should have a tool thread. I have a wide variety of different tools, and add to my collection with every project. It’s taken time to build up my collection, but at this point other than specialty stuff I have most things an auto shop would have. My collection of tools for for household projects (saws, drills, sanders) is fairly good for corded tools, but I only have one battery tool (a drill). I’ll probably eventually upgrade to cordless stuff, but as needed.

What are some of your game changers for tools?

What are some hidden gems? I’ve found a few gems at Harbor Freight. The Daytona floor jacks are legit. They won a lawsuit against Snap On, which involved Harbor Freight having the Daytona line built by the same manufacturer that builds the Snap On Jacks using the same design. It is ~$200 vs ~1200.

I don’t know if anyone here has seen Project Farm on YouTube. Love that channel. Good source of info for tools. Although with battery stuff, I wouldn’t so much pick the best tool for each item. I’d pick a brand and stick with it, because of battery compatibility.

Had to run to Harbor Freight today for a work project. Picked up a few items for at home while there. I got some flex head ratcheting wrenches (10, 12, 13, 14 and 15 mm) for $30, and a pick set. I am not sure on how these will turn out (probably use them this weekend, but for $30 I figured why not, if I break them, I’ll upgrade). That trip inspired the thread.

1 Like

Got this from harbor freight almost 2 years ago. It absolutely kicks ass, unconditionally. Great features, performance, and accessories- right out of the box for $900.00 it does stick beautifully, ac & dc tig with all of the other bells & whistles.

Also- their bessy F clamps are great.

Got a mag drill off of Amazon too. Thats a game changer for drilling holes in steel plate.

1 Like

Does it do plasma cutting? A buddy of mine bought one from HF that could weld and do plasma cutting. IIRC, it could even to TIG welds.

I have thought about buying their Titanium flux core mig. I don’t need to do big projects, and don’t want to deal with gas. I have a stick welder, but in order to use it I need to run some 220 in the garage. Not sure if it’s worth it. I did get the welder for free from the buddy that upgraded to the plasma / tig welder.

I’ve drilled a few holes in steel the last couple of days. Good bits and the right speed are the trick. I chipped one of my nice carbide bits by using a hand drill instead of a press. Kinda a bummer.

I’ve wondered if those drill bit sharpeners work? I think that bit I chipped is about a $20 bit. Probably can’t get it sharpened to new like condition.

I like this.

Once it snows Im going to build a full-wall, two story bookshelf with a hydroponic system so my wife can deal with her stupid nonedible plants.

The saw is great though.


It doesn’t. I’m a bit skeptical of the multi-process machines that have a plazma feature simply because they’re relatively new and I want to see some evidence of reliability/failure. A stand alone plazma cutter might be nice in the future, but I also have an oxy-acetalyne torch kit & tanks, Milwaukee porta-band, sawzall, and grinder with cutting wheels as options. And various hole saws. :rofl:

The machines that run on 120 are pretty decent as far as that goes, but 220 is the way to go if its not too much of a hassle.

1 Like

I don’t know much about HF’s corded tools. I’d trust them more than battery tools though. Most corded stuff has plenty of power. Battery quality is also a concern with battery tools. Some stuff works great at first, but if the battery goes, that gets expensive.

I have a 12" dewalt chop saw, and a power craft (I think it was a Sears brand) radial arm saw. I bought the former from a coworker for $50, and got the latter for free from a friend. Although that radial arm saw took out a window in my station wagon on the way home. It is a beast, heavy, and mostly made of metal.


1 Like

I like oxy welding. It seems more intituative to me than MIG or stick. IDK, maybe I just really suck with MIG or stick.

Probably don’t need a plasma cutter with the oxy torch.

We will see. I’d like to put a 220 V heater in the garage (7500 or 10,000W) for the occasional winter work. I wouldn’t heat all winter with electric, but it would be nice to be able to not freeze my ass off when doing a repair.

IDK, I’ll probably hold off on a welder for now. If I put in 220 V, I’ll just try to get better at stick.

Cutting oil. :+1:

Or this if you’re in an awkward horizontal of overhead position.

1 Like

Stick is an awesome process but can be frustrating. 10 minutes to learn, a lifetime to master.

Heres some downhill mig on thin (like ⅛) sheet i did last week using .024 wire. I love when it sizzles just right. Like a zziz-zizz-zizz.

Being a goof-

Thats some pretty rough work on stuff that takes a serious beating, but I try to make it as nice as possible.

1 Like

Hey! @mnben87 , check this out.

Dewalt chop saw with an Evolution blade rated for stainless:

Fairly good cut quality for just throwing it together. Could definitively improve with better work holding clamps. I was just using what ever. 1½ inch wide, ¼ inch thick mild steel:

Very little burr. A couple licks with a file & done.

Now, I hate this drill press, but it cut like a motherf*&@er today. Usually slips on the spindles to the point of useless.

But it cut some nice chips today!

1 Like

My current favorite tools are my Milwaukee M12 drill and drivers and my collection of old hand planes. I don’t use either of them as often as I should or want to. There is something quite satisfying about using an old hand plane to shave down a rough board.

Don’t have any cool toys yet, but a Shark CNC mill with both the router and laser head is on the list of things to purchase.

Also, a SawStop cabinet saw would be great.


That is very similar to my chop saw.

I’d like to add a drill press to my tool collection. Probably a nice one, but used. Kinda how I like to buy items that are over a hundred dollars. Go for a really good item, but get it used for the price of the low end stuff new.

The chuck on the drill press at work requires performing a strongman exercise to get it to grip a bit decently if you want to drill steel.

Something I’ve learned is drill speed for steel is way slower than I’d expect. I basically put it on the lowest ratio (it’s one of the drill presses where the speed is changed by moving belts around up top).

Good drill bits are also something I’ve learned matter a lot (regarding drilling steel).

I’ve been impressed with Milwaukee stuff in general. Good ergonomics, the batteries seem reliable, good power. But they are kinda expensive.

I’d kinda like to get a mill / lathe combo machine. That would meet my want for a drill press too (I think).

CNC is super cool though. I’ve watched a YouTube video or two about DIY CNC machines. Some actually make good parts.


Oh hell yes. I used to spend days, sometimes weeks at a time hand drilling and tapping in anodized aluminum frames. Nice sharp hss bits are a must!


Do you think drill bit material matters much? Or the brand? IDK what to think on this. I think there are bits that are made out of better materials, but the manufacturer sucks, and a bit made from a lesser material by a better manufacturer might be better. Could be wrong on that though.

Do drill sharpeners work?

Materials matter a lot, imo.

I’ve used a couple industrial set ups that worked, and used to sharpen Hougen and other annular cutters as part of my job at one place, but I’ve never seen one that I’d like for home use.

This guy is really interesting:

And has left some manufacturers claims in a pile on the floor.

1 Like

I love project farm. He would be a good test engineer IMO.

Yeah. He breaks each subject down into enough factors that you can make a pretty good decision between cost and performance. Or, with a lot of tooling items- straight up failure that is just unacceptable.

Like, with these annular cutters, which came with the drill.

I’m not married to those, and probably wouldn’t even send them out for sharpening, cuz they’re crap. They fly through mild steel, but any HSLA or AR, they will definitely fail.

But for what they cost? They’re fine. The drill and bits paid for themselves the first time I used them.

1 Like