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Mr_530i

Socket sets? - Show me your tools

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Thinking of buying a socket set but want one that will last a lifetime but not cost too much. 

 

Budget is £0-200.  Which means can't afford snap on or MAC. 

 

Think I will mainly use it for basic engine work and brakes. But one day when I have a house with a Garage I would like like to advance my DIY skills and tackle some challenging DIY tasks like changing suspension, bearing and bushes. 

 

What socket sets do guys own for less than £200. 

 

Was tempted in buying Halfords 200 piece socket set for £175. 

 

But then I  read about metric and imperial sockets, 6 heads and 12 head sockets and now I don't know what to do!

 

 

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I bought my son the Halfords set you've mentioned for his birthday and it's a really good starter set, highly recommended. I don't really get the inclusion of imperial sockets these days but still well worth the money.

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I bought the second to top halfords set a couple of years ago and can't fault it. 

Good stuff and lifetime guarantee. 

 

Unless you're a pro mechanic using it every day, I can't see why you would need to spend more.

 

They're on offer at the moment.

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Those upper end Halfords sets seem pretty impressive. They have good reviews too so presumably the quality is pretty good too. The inclusion of imperial or AF sizes might be handy if your son gets into vintage machinery at a later date.

I bought my set of Gordon sockets in about 1975 and they've done sterling service on various cars, bikes, and other machinery. I have a smaller set of 1/4" drive stuff and a mixed selection of O/E and ring spanners all bought as funds permitted and as needed. It would have been nice to gave it all in one box though, so your son's a lucky lad!

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I can highly recommend Halfords 200 piece socket set.

Quality is top notch and you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Bought my one back in March when it was on offer for £127.50 (half price + extra 15% off) - ABSOLUTE BARGAIN!! :o

 

The only problems I got with this set are:

1 - it is a big and heavy set, so when I have only a small job to do then I don't bother getting it out and use my old tools instead

2 - it is so much nicer than my old tools that I tend not to use it too often avoiding getting it dirty :lol:

 

Completely defies the object of buying a new socket set... :rolleyes:

20160313_125024.jpg

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I pointed out that even though his mini being a '91 is metric, the imperial sizes can be useful on bolts that have been worn a bit smaller over the years because he may have an imperial socket that's ever so slightly smaller than the metric size required, especially tight nuts and bolts that risk being rounded off. Got me out of a few scrapes over the years, the 16mm brake calliper bolts on our BMW's being an example.

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Halfords here, i'm a big DIY'er and have had some sets over 15 years now, more than up to the job. Mines halford pro which is now called advanced? I've out a few 1/4 ratchets but my 3/8's and half inch ones are going strong still. 

 

 

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Bahco 24pc 1/2" S240

Great set! 10mm-32mm sockets and good selection of accessories. Ive give it plenty of stick over the last 3 years and never missed a beat

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Personally I didn't buy 'just a set', I bought lots of individual tools via Amazon (Draper etc) and bought the odd set of sockets, torx bits, spanners, ratchet spanners etc

 

I've accumulated quite a set-up by doing this, haven't yet come across a time I haven't got what was needed, but must admit, quite a few tools in there I haven't touched yet :lol: 

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A weak spot on some cheaper sets is the ratchet particularly if you have to put lots of beef behind it. Sometimes where access is difficult there's no other option, but in those situations when I can I often swap out the ratchet and use a tommy-bar, especially for the bigger fasteners.

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I've got the top Halfords Pro set. Had it for over 10 years now and can't fault it. Comes with all the common bits and I think I've only ever purchased 1 additional socket.

 

Don't forget Halfords trade card before purchasing, could save a few quid more. If you haven't got one, PM me and I can let you know the price. 

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Another shout for Halfords here, ive got the 120pc set and the quality is great. They seem to be on permanent 50% off too which is always good.

 

http://www.halfords.com/workshop-tools/tools/socket-sets/halfords-advanced-120-piece-socket-set

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My only comment on the Halfords set is that it looks a bit light on 1/2 inch drive sockets. I have two Kamasa socket sets which I have use for over 40 years supplemented by odd extra sockets and impact sockets for the air wrenches. I also have a 3/4 drive set for the really heavy stuff.  I only use 1/4 or 3/8 when space is tight but perhaps this is just from habit and 1/2 is not necessary for many jobs

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I have a mix. Stuff I 'acquired' from my dad but supplemented with Halfords. I have their socket set and agree it's mostly 3/8 drive but to be fair it's not let me down and I have 1/4" on hand if I need some heft along with a big breaker bar.

What I have noted is working on newer bmws I need 18,21 and 24mm stuff which I never did before

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Yes 18 was never found in the old socket sets and I had to use an imperial socket the first time I changed my front brake discs on the 525d. This was the first time I had come across 18. 

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I'm a big Draper fan as a diyer.

 

I got a Draper 1/2" drive socket set for my 16th birthday it has 8mm up to 32mm less 23mm and a few of the high 20s. A universal, spark plug sockets, extensions, a speed brace and a Tommy bar, a ratchet and a smaller number of imperial sockets.  I have never got stuck with it except I needed a second universal joint to do the spark plugs on my E60.  As mentioned earlier you need 16mm and 18mm sockets to work on BMWs.

 

The rest has been bought from eBay and Amazon as I've had a bit more disposable income and the fact I was doing DIY on the E60!

 

I have since supplemented that with a set of sockets on a clip , 4mm to 13mm 1/4" drive sockets, Extensions and a universal.  3/8" drive sockets on a clip 6mm to 19mm 3/8" drive. extensions and a universal. You need a 3/8" drive 13 mm socket to get into the rear strut top mounts on an E60.

 

I've got adapters to go up from 1/4" to 1/2" and in reverse. Last Christmas saw a set of deep sockets 6mm to 32mm (Sealey) join the tool box. You need a 18mm deep socket to work on the F10 to remove the rear bumper carrier.

 

750 mm long Sealey breaker bar (flexible handle) for over torqued wheel bolts by tyre fitters and suspension ball joints! I've got a ratchet adapter to convert my breaker bar into a ratchet.

 

1/4" and 1/2" spinners essentially screwdrivers with square drives instead of screwdriver tips.

 

Draper torque wrenches 1/2" 30-210Nm and 3/8" 10-80Nm.

 

I've also got a Draper set of Hex, Torx and spline bits. You need a 7mm hex bit for the caliper cradle bolts on most BMWs except my F10 which has 9mm hex bolts.  Who has got a 9mm hex bit in their toolkit then! The new F10 also has a few spline headed bolts which the E60 didn't have. Wheel bearing retaining bolts as an example.

 

I've recently bought a compressor and a windy gun so I've got the popular sizes of socket that I know I'll need on the BMW in 1/2" drive and special alloy wheel bolt sockets.

 

So I've had to go out and buy another toolbox. Big red cantilever job from Halfrauds.

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One of my favourites was a 6" Snap-On screwdriver discovered in the engine compartment of an earlier car. Years old, tough as old boots, but last month I used it without much effort to nudge a machine vice a couple of thou and broke the tip off. Was well p'd off.

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9 hours ago, pidgeonpost said:

 

One of my favourites was a 6" Snap-On screwdriver discovered in the engine compartment of an earlier car. Years old, tough as old boots, but last month I used it without much effort to nudge a machine vice a couple of thou and broke the tip off. Was well p'd off.

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Are'nt they guaranteed for life? :).Send it back.

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Are'nt they guaranteed for life? :).Send it back.

I think you're right, but as it wasn't me that bought it and I have no receipt I doubt they would honour the warranty. Too late now - it's gone in the recycling!

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