Accuracy of tools

8 months 2 weeks ago #200198 by juels98
Accuracy of tools was created by juels98

I ran in to a situation over the weekend which I tried to Google an answer to, but didn't have any luck. I have simple wrenches that I bought for about $20 from Harbor Freight a while ago. I was working on bleeding the brakes on my 89 mustang. As I just replaced the rear brake cylinders, I had the old ones out of the car to play with. I was looking for the correct wrench to open the bleeder, but none of mine fit exactly right. They were either slightly bigger or didn't fit at all. Tried both metric and standard.

I stopped by my Napa store and the guy there verified that I needed a 1/4" wrench. I went back home to try again and it was just too big. So, I took the cylinder in to the store and we tried one of their wrenches that's 1/4". It fit perfectly and I ended up buying it for $10 for 1 wrench.

As you can see in the photo below, both wrenches are 1/4" but it's visible to the eye that they're different in size (and accuracy of the cut/pattern).

This got me thinking that maybe all the bolts I've stripped before and time wasted removing them may have been simply because of the bad quality of tools. So, my two questions are:

1. Is this just a one-off situation, or has this happened to anyone else as well? You'd think the sizes should be pretty accurate
2. Can you recommend a brand of wrenches/sockets where the sizes are accurate and socket patterns are crisp? I don't want to pay extra because of the lifetime replacement, but I don't mind paying for a good quality.

Thanks in advance,

WARNING: I'm no mechanic! I just play one on this forum.

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