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Thread: Opinions on hand tool brands...help!

  1. #1
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    Opinions on hand tool brands...help!

    Hey all,

    I am opening a new optical dispensary and would love your opinions on the best quality hand tools (pliers, screwdrivers, etc.) . I have used many different brands and am a loss as to what I liked best. I'm not sure that the brands I am finding to purchase are the quality I am looking for. Ex. Optisource, Dynamic, Stormin Norman brands....any opinions would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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    OptiWizard
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    What brands are you currently using?

    Why are you at a loss to explain which you liked best? Is there something that really bothered you about your current brands? Did they not perform the tasks that you needed them for? What specific tools do you need suggestions on?

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    I'm not using anything at the moment. I am starting fresh and need all tools. Looking for everything from nopepad pliers to curved nylon pliers, double nylon pliers, cutters...all. I have just used an assortment in the past of Grobet, Hilco, and some others I'm not even sure the brand. But I'd like to get a good set going and am wondering what overall brand people are most happy with.

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    I've always liked Vigor's tools. I've used them for years never had a problem. The only line I don't like is Hilco. Their customer service stinks! They act like they're doing you a favor by taking your order.

  5. #5
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    Yes, I agree. It looks like Vigor does have great tools, as the price reflects. Thank you BobK.

    Does anyone know of a good place to purchase them gently used or as a kit?

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    I've always had good luck with Hilco! I usually fax my orders in, but the only time there are problems is if I've been unclear what I wanted or wrote the wrong item code number down wrong.

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    OptiWizard Pogu's Avatar
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    Stormin' Normin' is great for nose-pads and screws, but stay away from their hand-tools. FWIW

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    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    I've used Hilco my entire career (51 years this month) They have the widest selection at the most reasonable price. They are a fantastic company to do business with because they stand behind what they sell. For us, it's a local (MA) company but when I had shops down the east coast, they supplied me in a timely fashion. I have nothing but good things to say about them.
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    Underemployed Genius Jacqui's Avatar
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    I've used bith Hilco and Vigor and liked them both. If I were to start again I would probably get Hico as they seem to have a wider selection.
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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    I can echo both Harry and Jacqui. I've used both brands and have been very satisfied with the quality. Just remember, you're only as good as the tools and the lab you use!

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    I'm going for Vigor; they have a nice balance between the quality and the price.

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    I've used both Vigor and Hilco and I prefer Vigor. I don't dislike Hilco, I just like Vigor more. I prefer the feel of their tools. I'm just not a fan of the new "ergonomic" designs.

    Grobet also makes some very nice stuff. I still have my first Grobet stainless steel pd stick.
    There are rules. Knowing those are easy. There are exceptions to the rules. Knowing those are easy. Knowing when to use them is slightly less easy. There are exceptions to the exceptions. Knowing those is a little more tricky, and know when to use those is even more so. Our industry is FULL of all of the above.

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    Thank you everyone for your input. This gives me a better feel for what out there and what the preferences are. Much appreciated!!

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    Let us know what did you choose and why and after using its a feedback would be nice to help us in our future selections. Good luck.

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter DragonLensmanWV's Avatar
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    Just be careful when you buy a side cutter. Forget the end cutters, they will hole out when you try to cut any stainless or titanium screws. Get the Hilco plier # 21/023/0000 that will cut anything you need to without holing out. And stay away from those stupid bendable handle ergo screwdrivers.
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    The best side cutter I've ever used is made by Xuro, it was originally in my train room for cutting tracks on my old H-O layout. Works slick for cutting *any* screw I've ever run across. Got mine from the local hobby shop.

    And don't forget to keep extra screw driver inserts on hand (but you knew that already ;-) )

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