It’s been said that an enthusiast is only as good as his/her tools, and the deeper one gets into the sport, the more this adage holds true. Don’t get us wrong though, because we’re not saying that everyone needs a garage full of top-rate tools; instead, slowly acquiring quality pieces bit by bit will eventually net you the shop you’ve always wanted.
While most of us will have to bite the bullet and get some cheap wrenches and a basic toolset to get started, slowly saving for quality additions ensures you’ll always have the right tool for the job. And having solid tools not only diminishes the possibility of ruining your hardware from ill-fitting tools, but quality bits seldom break, thus saving you the hassle of running to the store for a replacement when you’re knee-deep in a project.
With the notion of quality weighing as much as affordability it only made sense that when the time came for a few power tools around the Project Car Garage we turned to Craftsman for the answer. Long a source for top-rate tools for the home shop, there’s a good chance you know someone with a set of Craftsman tools.
In our case, we were in need of some cordless firepower, specifically a drill and an impact wrench. The former is a worthy addition to any garage, as its versatility is virtually limitless. From simply driving in screws and bolts to polishing aluminum and running holes with a bit, a proper cordless drill is almost a necessity. In our case we opted for the new Craftsman 19.2V C3 Mechanics Combo which features a ½” compact drill and an impact wrench, both of which are powered by Craftsman’s new 19.2V Lithium Ion batteries that hold a charge far longer than your old drill could dream of. Not only do they offer more power, but the charge lasts longer and they even retain the charge longer when not in use—we let the drill sit for over a month only to pick it up and use it like we had just charged it.
The drill can handle most any job you’ll encounter and includes features like an adjustable clutch and an LED sight light that allow you to see where you’re drilling. As for the impact gun, if you’re removing stubborn bolts and lug nuts as often as we are, then it’s money well spent. To put the Craftsman unit to the test we torqued the lugs on our Tundra tow vehicle down to 120 ft-lb to see if it had the cajones to spin them off—it did.
On the way out of Sears, the C3 portable air inflator caught our eyes. This handheld unit easily inflates tires, not egos, and has a handy auto-fill feature to improve efficiency around the shop. That means you clamp it on the valve stem, turn it on and let it rip, it’ll shut off when it reaches the given pressure.
Although a few of these power tools may seem a little excessive at first, once you live with them you’ll never go back. It’s kinda like a cell phone; you survived okay without one, but the minute you enjoyed the added luxury you never looked back.
Craftsman Cordless Drill
Craftsman Portable Inflator