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Old 09-09-2010, 11:40 AM   #1
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Default Kobalt vs Klein vs Craftsman vs Greenlee

Ive been tool shopping to start as a day 1 green apprentice this coming Monday. Still haven't bought the first tool. Are Kobalt tools acceptable in this profession? I have several of their hand tools that I use around the house and love the way they feel. And they're CHEAP compared to other brands. I snagged a set of 9" Linemans for $10 a week ago and they feel very robust. Not sure about long-term durability though so I am having difficulty choosing. Can someone point me in the right direction? I am making final decisions tonight and buying my tools.

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Old 09-09-2010, 11:53 AM   #2
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I would go with a cheaper brand, or a brand you can replace free of hassle or charge (Craftsman). Since you probably won't have an abundance of tools off the start, you'll most likely end up abusing what you have to make due. For the most part, they all perform the same, a lot of it comes down to personal preference and how you treat them.

Cutting steel fishtape will gap most pliers, from my experience.

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Old 09-09-2010, 11:53 AM   #3
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You'll be answering your own question in about six months or so. I love Channelock and Klein brand but I do have some Kobalt. I like the grips on the kobalt.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:46 PM   #4
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Kobalt is crap
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:14 PM   #5
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Kobalt is crap
That about sums it up.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by AM 1979 SD View Post
Ive been tool shopping to start as a day 1 green apprentice this coming Monday. Still haven't bought the first tool. Are Kobalt tools acceptable in this profession? I have several of their hand tools that I use around the house and love the way they feel. And they're CHEAP compared to other brands. I snagged a set of 9" Linemans for $10 a week ago and they feel very robust. Not sure about long-term durability though so I am having difficulty choosing. Can someone point me in the right direction? I am making final decisions tonight and buying my tools.
Id check ebay first. They have lots of decent used tools that you could get for a decent price. When I first started all of my tools were second hand from a friend who started doing electrical but switched to sewer. There is no need to go gung ho and to drop a bunch of money on tools right now.
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:47 PM   #7
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Don't go cash crazy before you start working, get the budget (kobalt) tools to start and after a couple of weeks of using them daily you'll see they aren't meant for trade use but "DIY". Which is fine because you can walk into any Lowes without a receipt and replace them. I would rank Kobalt slightly above Craftsmen but neither brand are professional grade.
I'd wait to see what the JW's use and recommend on your sites.

Congrats on getting an apprenticeship.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:03 PM   #8
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Kobalt It just looks cheap and DIYish.

Most all my stuff is Klein(drivers and pliers), Husky(ratchets), Craftsman(ratchets and combo wrenches), Ideal ( just wire strippers), and Channel Lock(pliers). All good stuff and haven't had issues with any of it.
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:24 PM   #9
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I bought a cheap set of screwdrivers and cutters, and slowly replaced the broken ones with kleins.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:46 PM   #10
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Klein is the best and longest lasting for pro use, in my opinion, but not cheap. If you are just starting, you don't need, or want, top-shelf stuff. You don't need to learn the noob lessons, like hammering with the wrong side of your linemans or cutting into live wires, with expensive tools. Get Kobalts to start, Craftsman blades/cutting edges are poorly finished (definitely DIY'er grade).

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Old 09-09-2010, 07:53 PM   #11
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Kobalt is crap
the Kolbolt 30' tape measure has a lifetime warranty that they stand behind------not crap. Other than that, well maybe a Lenox hacksaw, buy Klein Tools

Last edited by voltz; 09-09-2010 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:56 PM   #12
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Is Kobalt the blue brand that they carry at Lowes? If so I vote no on those. If looking for a whole setup you can find some good deals on Craigslist, the trade schools around here have a tool list that you must purchase and months later when kids decide that this isn't for them you see the whole shebang on craigslist for 50 to 60% of the purchase price.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:57 PM   #13
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Klein is the best and longest lasting for pro use, in my opinion, but not cheap. If you are just starting, you don't need, or want, top-shelf stuff. You don't need to learn the noob lessons, like hammering with the wrong side of your linemans or cutting into live wires, with expensive tools. Get Kobalts to start, Craftsman blades/cutting edges are poorly finished (definitely DIY'er grade).
start with quality tools, Klein, and use them properly
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:58 PM   #14
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Kobalt is crap
not a 30' tape with a lifetime warranty they stand behind!!
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:15 PM   #15
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You can find Kobalt under its maiden name.. Harbor freight
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:29 PM   #16
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not a 30' tape with a lifetime warranty they stand behind!!
Kobalt is crap.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:30 PM   #17
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Is Kobalt the blue brand that they carry at Lowes?
Yes .............................
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:35 PM   #18
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All four brands listed in the title are pretty much crap.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:42 PM   #19
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All four brands listed in the title are pretty much crap.
Yeah. I only use Klein and Craftsman cause I got a really great deal on all the stuff I have. And Kobalt and Greenlee are the worst out of the 4.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:50 PM   #20
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Yeah. I only use Klein and Craftsman cause I got a really great deal on all the stuff I have. And Kobalt and Greenlee are the worst out of the 4.
Of the four, I'd probably buy Craftsman. I've never used a Kobalt product of any kind and Greenlee, well I have a Greenlee fishtape that I rarely use but it's alright.

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