Tools that I'm glad I have (3)
It was only a matter of time before we started getting to the ratchets and socket sets. I have more than are in the photo above, but these are the ones that I use the most. No, they are not Snap-on or Mac Tools or any of that fancy stuff. I'm a farm kid, and I learned early on that fancy and expensive tools are often a waste of money and unnecessary. The set in the foreground, as the label gives away, is from Ace Hardware, and the ratchet and set of deep-well metric sockets propped up in the back are Pittsburgh brand, which I bought at Harbor Freight. 😮 I've had the Ace set for so long now I can't remember when or where I got them. The Pittsburgh tools I've had for at least 5 years, maybe a few more.
The Ace set has a 3/8 drive ratchet, SAE and metric sockets, a 3/8 to 1/4 drive adapter for the smaller sockets, a short extension, a few wrenches of common sizes (honestly I don't use the wrenches much), and a driver with a few common bits. The Pittsburgh ratchet is a 1/2 drive, so I use it for bigger jobs. Of course, the Ace set gets used for more than working on cars. It's been handy for other types of jobs like small engine maintenance or repair, appliance repair, furniture assembly, and other odd jobs.
These tools have gotten a lot of work. My son, who is still in Oklahoma, drives a 2005 Nissan Altima that has a lot of miles on it. He and I have done a lot of work on it, ranging from changing the oil to brake and suspension repairs to installing a new radiator (in a church parking lot, BTW) to installing new engine mounts to installing a new CV axle, and these tools were in use for all of those jobs. I've also used them every time I've worked on my Astra and my wife's Santa Fe, too--and my Sister's Nissan pickup, my niece's Honda, my Nephew's Volvo, my brother-in-law's Honda van . . . you get the picture. I probably should've placed my E-Torx sockets in the photo above, too, since they get used nearly every time I work on my Astra (like my recent water pump job).
I'll wrap up by mentioning that I also have two torque wrenches that get substantial use. Both are Pittsburgh brand. One is a 3/8 drive that ranges from 5 to 80 ft-lbs. The other is a 1/2 drive that ranges from 10 to 150 ft-lbs. Not surprisingly, they see all of their action when I work on cars. But they are worth honorable mention here.