FAQ - A collection of selected questions and answers
To ask a question - send me an email - firstname.lastname@example.org
PS - pictures help
Q: How can identify my Snap on tool??
A: A: The first step is no figure out what it is and when it was made,
- There is likely a date stamp – the key is here.
- There is a part number that can be indexed. “Catalog” search function does this.
In the search function, you may need to play around with dashes, 207-IMF-Y is the same as 207IMFY, 207-IMFY or 207IM-FY. Snap on was not consistent in the use of dashes. Also, No 7 is the same as 7 is the same as No-7. The word No is used at time and not at other times
Currently all Automotive Catalogs from the first to 1978 are indexed and available. This will tell you what it is and if it was made or was available before 1978. Special Catalogs (Industrial, Rairoad, Aircraft) are not yet indexed
Q: What is my tool worth?
A: Obviously this depends on what somebody is willing to pay for it. Ebay, Craigslist, and Swap Meets are the common sales places.
Determining value is normally done this way
Common Tools: If your tool is one of many copies, there are sales all around. Watching these sales, and buying over a period of years, I have a feel for these. You can get the same feel I have by finding examples and noting the prices. There are variations over time.
Desirable Tools: If your tool is “desired” it has some value. Rarity alone does not mean a tool is valuable. Generally, the tools that still have a function (sockets, ratchets and wrenches) have a value. Generally tools in sets are more desired than a single tool. So an old 1950s socket set has value, a 1950 headlight beam focus tool does not. A Wrench that is a part of a common set is more valued that a special wrench for a sensor, or a specific car.
Rare Desirable Tools: This is what everybody hopes to find. The more valuable Snap on tools are pre WWII. World War Two flooded the market with tools. Even today, WWII era tools are common and not highly valued. Tools from the 1950s and 1960 often demand better prices. If there are very few examples and people want those few examples – that drives up value. Before WWII, and even more so, in the early 1920s Snap on was a very small company and made few tools. These have the most promise of collector value.
Large Socket Sets: These are the 5/8 inch drive, the 7/8 inch drive, the ¾, 1, 1 & ½ drive. These are a little different that the smaller socket sets common in garages. These were industrial and heavy duty sets. The 5/8 and 7/8 are orphans. They have a niche collector market, and not much else. The ¾, 1 and 1 & ½ inch drives are still used. The Orphan sizes are worth a $70 and up for the sets. I have purchased numerous sets for $100-200 is great shape – complete and extensive. The sets in sizes still in use can be resold into industrial use (purchased to use, not to collect). The buyers tend to be companies and tend to compare prices to new sets. These can bring $300- $2500 for nice sets.
Tool Boxes: There are 2 types: the small set boxes and the larger Chests and Roll Cabs. The small set boxes often are for socket sets. The early ones from the 1920 and 30s are often valued. The puller, reamer, and special set boxes are generally less valued that the socket set boxes. Plastic boxes are not – in my opinion – collector’s targets. On the Chests and Roll Cabs – The first 1920s examples have value, the K-60 is very desired because of its Art Deco curves. Other than these, the boxes are generally used for tool storage and not collected. There is a simple reason for this – they take space and they are heavy. So one can not sell and ship across the country – it costs too much. Once you have one, getting number 2, 3, 4 …10 takes a lot of space. Most people can find utility and space for one, or two sets, but 10 roll cabs? Not likely. So the market is local and it is in the $200 - $1000 range, with most roll cabs or stationary chests selling for $300 or $400.
Catalogs: Early catalogs are very pricey. Basically the price decreases as the catalog gets newer. Rare and odd ball catalogs from the 1920s and 1930s may have some real value, the 1940s and 1950s are ranging in the $60 area. A catalog for the 1960s or 1970s maybe $10-$24. Newer catalogs are very common. They can be worth $5 or $10.
Also, I will tell you what I think if you like – Email me a photo at email@example.com
Q: What was the Guarantee for antique Snap-on?
A: It changed, but it was basically one year until 1931. Then is changed and basically became a life time guarantee, with 3 years of exceptions: 1943, 1944 and 1945 where there was no guarantee. In this web site, under resources - all the guarantee statments are listed through WWII. The full answer is here
Q: Will you buy it?
A: This is boiled down from the bulk of the emails I receive. If it is old and affordable and I can transport it reasonably - Yes I will buy it. You can also sell tools to others and yes - I will help you do that. The chances are very good that I already have one, so it is difficult to get me excited about common tools. But, there is no cost in asking.
Q: What about condision and owner’s marks?
A: This is a tricky question. I will often give an opinion. Send me your photos and what you know about the tool (Part numbers and condition are important). There are a few issues.
If it is a common tool –
Perfect? – The chrome is all there, the wear is near zero, the tool is bright, it is in the original box– It is worth a lot more
Good? – The chrome is mostly there, it has wear, but still has a lot of life in it, it is rust free and free of any owner’s market – it would bring an average price
OK (AKA Fair)?– The chrome is weak, it has wear, it has owner’s markets, it may have a little rust – probably below average price
Poor? - The chrome is gone, it is rusty – it is dinged up – sorry – it has little value. For a collector, the whole “Guaranty” argument basically means finding a damaged worn out tool you don’t want and exchanging it for a modern tool you don’t want – Not really worth the time
The highest value tool? – If your tools have a family or personal history. If they have an interesting story – That story and collection to you is invaluable. It is often lost if they are sold – Keep them and give them to your kids. There is no higher value than having that personal history.
Rare Tools? – Generally the ideas about condition are the same. The pricing level changes, but a very rare, totally worn out tool, is still worth nearly nothing
Incomplete and hurt tool? – If it is a puller set and it is missing parts, unless those parts are very easy to find (they rarely are) the tool’s value is dramatically diminished. It is nearly completely compromised.
Q: Can I collect on a Snap on guarantee for an old tool?
A: Possibly, but you are likely to be disappointed. The guarantees change over time. The original guarantees were for one year. The date stamps were actually stamped at the point of purchase to record this first year. This means there is some confusion in the date codes – a late date code on an early tool may just mean it sat in stock for a period of time. During WWII the guarantee changed again. WWII tools generally do not carry any guarantee at all. If you have a guarantee and it is valid, but the tool is obsolete (most 40 + year old tools are) there is no way to replace the tool for the same tool – that tool does not exist any longer. You might get a modern tool (kind of defeats the purpose) or you might ask for a refund. A refund at a 1932 pricing level is not worth much. So by and large – the guarantee is not very useful The full answer is here.
Q: Where can I get replacement keys and locks for my tool box?
Most of the locks were made by Fort, now CompX Fort http://compx.com/fort.html.
Q: Why uses a single broached socket or a double broached socket?
A: The reason to use a single broached socket is a grip along a longer edge. This is particularly important in undersized or misshaped bolt heads. With good, well sized and machined bolt heads a double broached socket will more easily slip on the has twice the angles where it will slip on the bolt.
Q: Just a question from an inquisitive 18 year old...Can you please tell me the difference between Snap on and blue point?
I’ve just started collecting old or different Snap on tools I recently found a 1943 1/2 in drive ratchet and a ferret F-9 ext. Can you please tell me the difference between Snap on and blue point?
A: Great Question
And very likely – not such a great answer.
In 1920 Snap on had a very small number of tools (They started with 15 tools and 3 guys) – They could sell them, but the national distributors did not want to take them on. So they started selling through representative instead. Basically the establishment snubbed them, so they went out and found people to sell them – they built their own sales network. In the end this resulted in the Snap on truck you see everywhere (it took a couple of steps).
Just to make sure I complete the truck story. There were no trucks early on. They took orders and then made them. In WWII there were shortages of everything and they switched from a made to order scheme to – They made as much as they could – gave it to the sales people who started hauling the inventory around (the Snap on “truck”) and sold until they ran out.
Early – when they built their own sales network, the representatives wanted more selection and offering than Snap on could offer. So Snap on bought tools and relabeled them. You guessed it – Blue Point. The old pliers were bought and relabeled from “Forged Steel Corporation” in Pennsylvania; the wrenches came from Milwaukee Tool and Forge (MTF) and likely several other manufacturers. The original name was lifted from the wrenches – “Blue Points” and you can see this name on the early wrenches.
Snap on grows in several ways: They sold their products and other people’s products, and they bought their suppliers. Over the years the Blue point line has just become a Snap on brand. They would buy there source and fold it into their factories. There are many many examples. Sometimes you see tools marked "Blue Point" as an OEM product, sometimes a cheaper line, sometimes a test product and other times – just the same as the Snap on name. So today – it is (at least for me) confused.
Blue point means different things over time. For a collector – Blue point or Blue Points can mean a rarer and more desirable early tool. Today, I would prefer Snap on. I don’t think there is a modern case where Blue point means higher quality than Snap on. The opposite is sometimes true (Today Blue Point wrenches are cheaper and have less finish work in them)
Q: Restoring Tool Boxes?
A: Restoring the box is a mixed bag. It is certainly possible to restore or renew, but it is likely to lower its value. If it is in pretty good shape now, oil the rust. That will turn it brown and it stops the rust.
If the rust is too much then it may be better to restore it. If you do want to restore it there are two or three ideas
- You can sand blast, solvent dip or chemically strip the box. All of these are basically labor. The cost is in hours and you could do it yourself or hire it out. A furniture refinisher or an auto body guy both has the expertise to do it.
- After it is stripped; you can knock the big dents out and use automotive body filler to smooth out the small ones. A lot of people don’t bother with the filler because it is a toolbox and the tools scratch it anyway. Most of the inside dents are from tools (and reoccur)
- Before you strip it – match the color. The original paint is an acrylic that you can likely get. Try Automotive paint. Polyurethanes or other chemistries that are more durable, look better and are easier to apply. Match the color, and pick your paint. I like Rustoleum.
- You might want to consider powder coating. It is tougher, and looks better longer. It is easy to do but requires equipment. Different prices in different shops ranging from $50 to several hundreds dollars. Like airline fairs – shop around. It may also cost you so much, resale would be hard
· You might want to consider powder coating. It is tougher, and looks better longer. It is easy to do but requires equipment. Different prices in different shops ranging from $50 to several hundreds dollars. Like airline fairs – shop around. It may also cost you so much, resale would be hard
Q: What are the paint codes for Tool Box "Red"?
PPG Paint Code #73504 – AKA Snap On Touch Red
This means little to me, but
Sku Desc Inc Cum
M104 Red 172.3 172.3
M107 Red LF 129.2 301.5
M153 RS Yell LF 86.1 387.6
M134 Quindo Violet 38.7 426.3
M119 White 36.6 462.9
M118 Black 12.9 475.8
M102 Acceleratr 20.0 495.8
M103 Clear 550.1 1045.9
Another answer (Conflicting) is Snap On red is PPG 73219.
Color PPG Powder PPG Ditzler
Wet Spray No.
Red AR320 Resin 73504
Black (High Gloss) PCU-90200 9895 (9300)
Royal Blue PCU-50134 19026
Cranberry PCU-60139 51797
Ultra Yellow PCU-30115 84199
Green Mica PCU-43100 47767
Deep Purple PCU-60122 52560
Candy Apple Red PCU-60137 902979
Electric Orange PCU-30132 90621
Arctic Silver PCU-73120 910517
Extreme Green PCU-40134 906120
Another answer is
TRU VALUE X-O RUST
XO41 Hot Red
This also exists
paint color name
Snap On Tools
Candy Apple Red
Snap On Tools
powder AR320 resin
Snap On Tools
ford production color 64-69
Snap On Tools
Snap On Tools
Snap On Tools
Q: What about collection torque wrenches?
A: Generally mechanical torque meters are obsolete. They have some limited collector value, but these are generally not worth a lot.
One can use the search function in the catalog section and quicker find your Torque Wrench. Different Torque Wrenches has different purposes – A lot of different purposes. Because of the range of these variations and the unique task they were designed to preform – it is difficult to collect all of them, difficult to collect the most popular or the most useful. It is a huge mass of minor variations over a 60 year period.
Most are worth $40-100
There are a huge number of them out there, They were not really for the shade tree mechanic, but machine shops (engine and transmission rebuilders, machine builders like railroads, ship yards, factories) . As such, they were used up, thrown out, traded in and abused.
If you wanted a good torque wrench today, you would go with a “click” type or digital.