Author Topic: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?  (Read 1759 times)

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Offline vinicius.jlantunes

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[off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« on: December 05, 2018, 03:56:59 pm »
Hello all,

A bit off-topic for this forum but I generally get good advice here regardless.

I am looking at a few tools (mostly for hobby woodworking such as planes, saws, etc.) and have come across this brand. They are relatively cheap compared to other top tier brands such as Veritas (which are out of my reach financially), and even to local brands that are usually crap.

Are they a good bang for buck, or cheap for a reason (i.e. not good)?

For context: tools in Brazil are luxury items - super expensive. While I would love to invest in Veritas or other name brands, I have to compromise.

Offline JackJones

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2018, 04:15:18 pm »
I've got only two Draper brand items (file set and soft jaws for a vice) so not really an extensive experience. I've got nothing bad to say about them, good quality items at a very good price. I've always regarded Draper as something between really cheap crappy stuff and really good stuff. Good value for money at least in my limited experience.
 

Offline amlu

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2018, 04:25:39 pm »
we got a lot of Draper here in UK, generally ok, not top class but not the bottom rung either.
Their VDE screwdrivers are really good, using them everyday, cutters, pliers ok for general use.
For good saws have a look if you can find any Irwin brand, really good.
 

Offline vinicius.jlantunes

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2018, 06:01:48 pm »
Thanks!

They were indeed coming across as that to me - a mid tier brand with a good value proposition. I will give them a go.

Offline coppercone2

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2018, 10:41:01 pm »
I don't know but if you want to make soft jaws for a vise use lead sheet, its really economical if you find other uses for the big roll of lead you buy from home depot (I made 3 heavy lead hammers and a lead work plate and have spare lead and enough for a buncha vise jaws.

They don't look great but for striking tools I made a fairly good and quick profit on the lead I bought.

given how they deform real quick and everything it seems like just the tool you don't want to pay actual money for.  i dunno, paying for soft shit just pisses me off I guess.
 

Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2018, 10:49:28 pm »
The engine valve compressor kit I got from them works a treat.
Even when the experts all agree, they may well be mistaken.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2018, 10:51:36 pm »
But for higher end budget friendly where I am (yea I am avoiding brands like lindstrom, metabo, or other stuff  thats 2x as much as the next best) :

hand tools general : knipex , greenlee, channel lock, milwakee, some dewalt (nice chisels set for basic wood working). Unless its a weird tool try to avoid other big box brands.. for stuff with sheet metal and saw blades and stuff lenox is actually very good. Lowes also has some decent clamps for welding. Dewalt generally seems to have pretty solid handles on their thing, you pay some for ergonomics but its more difficult to clean and store).

heavier metal working tools (vise, heavy clamps, etc):
ebay: there is old machine shop shit available that has very high quality for low cost (i.e. a hand vise made in west germany is invaluable for doing hand grinding work sometimes.You will need to put some work on it though to clean up rust,gripping surfaces (filing), etc. Compared to what people usually do for working on a bench grinder (putting it in channel locks) you will feel like a real professional. You can also get machine shop vices that will quite frankly beat the fuck out of most tools you can buy in big box stores (compare a old slightly rusty machinists vice from ebay to some kind of freshly cast bullshit from home depot, no contest).

magnetic stuff: buy the real brand names lol, your gonna get fucked in the wallet here but its worth it (i.e. welding clamps). 

battery power tools : definitely Milwaukee for anything battery powered, for the heavy angle grinder be sure to get the flexvolt dewalt though

precision powered tools (mains) : proxxon (also british). Excellent mini drill press, excellent k280 small saw for trimming bolts and small stock and small wood. Their mini table saw looks excellent. They might seem stupid if you have a proper miter saw and table saw but I found I am more likely to use the smaller equipment and it is safer and faster to use.


Don't think I would recommend their lathe or mill though. Maybe for woodworking only, I heard it has plastic threads so I would not machine even aluminum with it.


electronics hand tools : swanstrom (be gentle and follow the tool specification and put it down if you decide to miss use something out of convince (i..e you might be tempted to grab a remaining screw with a  pair of side cutters, but when you work with things like super flush cutters which are built to REAL engineering limits of cutting edges, you need to unlearn all the time saving stuff you picked up.) Basically when you get used to working with general tools (say heavy cutters made by channellock) then you try the same tricks to something ground within 2 thousandths flat and hardened, you end up destroying 60$ in about 0.2 seconds (or however many milliseconds your human response time is). I suffered plenty for my bad habits. This shit is built to be treated like a micrometer IMO. Cut that wire like your defusing a fucking bomb and you will be alright and everythings gonna come out looking great and you can be confident you did a good job (think the scene in the movie Executive Decision with the commando designated as a engineer/technician trying to take back the air liner).


Brand traps:
dremel : looks nice and is all over the place but you get seriously shoddy shit, I do not recommend buying their tools but their accessories are alright. My battery power dremel had a fucking brush made out of what looks to be foil suitable for fucking gold leafing fine art. Complete joke/scam designed to break. They also did the bare minimum for vibration protection based on how much they are charging.         

whatever lowes brand is :some how they make the tools look really good but when you open them you get totally fucked. It's usually gonna bethe weird items that you find interesting and their marketing is good, for instance I managed to buy a special kit for using with exacto type blades. You get a shit load of good accessories and a nice grip tool and stuff, but then you realize it uses damn hex-fit adapters that are poorly machined and fit real loose into the tool. But like I said they have great light duty clamps based on a improved vise grip design.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 11:10:03 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Offline GeorgeOfTheJungle

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2018, 11:11:16 pm »
Brand traps:
dremel : looks nice and is all over the place but you get seriously shoddy shit, I do not recommend buying their tools but their accessories are alright. My battery power dremel had a fucking brush made out of what looks to be foil suitable for fucking gold leafing fine art. Complete joke/scam designed to break.

+1 Dremels are rubbish (and have always been). A Proxxon is miles better and less expensive.
Even when the experts all agree, they may well be mistaken.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2018, 12:13:23 am »
I don't know if I should buy a milwakee or try to find battery powered proxxon for a replacement for my broken dremel. It is a very useful tool that I loved sometimes because of how fast it could make certain jobs, but the brush they used was a clear attempt to introduce early product failure. Or a complete miss specification. I doubt that could go on for so long since the tool was in production for so long, if I got an early model OK but after a few years NOT OK. IMO SCAM. The brush literarly ripped off and destroyed the cooling fan.

The freaking micro-dremel is god damn appealing but I don't trust it will have a decent brush on the motor.

A fordam tool is the correct higher end replacement but its a bench tool, I do need a battery powered solution to the compact dremel. The milwakee tool is kind of big.

The milwakee fuel die grinder looks good but its 1/4 inch and i think it will be too big for dremel jobs even if you equip it with a collet. I am also paranoid about its thermal behavior.

I think I will end up getting the milwakee m12 dremel tool as a dremel replacement and buy the fucking compact micro-dremel anyway for some really pain in the ass portable jobs and just try not to use it. Like making a minor cut upside down in confined space or doing some crazy shit on a ladder. If your trying to adjust some door lock jams or something the milwakee m12 thing should be compact enough and for proper bench use a fordam or better should be used.


I will note however that the very seemingly overpriced dremel carbide cutter seems to be extremely tough. I had it completely fuck off before and start walking all over a drill hole (too much pressure) banging around like its at a mosh pit and surprisingly it came out fine). What happens with the poor dremel construction is the shaft starts flexing around like a fire hose if you piss it off and basically banging into everything it can. The area between the bearing and the motor should be stiffened with a metal plate or be made of properly cast metal IMO. It's actually very bizzare and quite scary when it happens. Makes alot of noise and you start thinking "oh shit this carbide tool is gonna fucking explode on me with the stress loads I am seeing". Super trashy.  You literarly need to pull it out of the hole being drilled to stop the 'resonance' that happens. Sometimes its not hogging enough as its dancing around to overload stop the motor so its just doing the fire hose thing. Watch an out of control firehose and imagine it inside a tunnel. Thats what happens.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 12:27:19 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2018, 01:53:45 am »
When I got a job as a mechanic we were expected to use our own tools. I bought a Draper kit, basically a toolbox and 80-something tools inside, via a catalog. I can't remember the exact details nor price now, though.  This would be around 1975 I guess, certainly before 1980.

Forty years later that toolbox is under a bench and full of, er, not so hot tools. No, not the Draper stuff but other kit I've accumulated and fallen out of favour with. The original Draper socket set and spanners now live on the garage wall and remain my primary tools (though ratchet and stubby spanners are gradually taking over, and I have a good selection of wrenches that don't get used). The socket T-bar has a ball bearing missing from one end so the working bit sometimes slides off. The 12" extension got used as a drift far too often so the female end is somewhat flattened, the male end ditto. Still works fine as an extension. The ratchet wrench has never missed a cog, despite being bashed with lump hammers when a bolt has been rather too reluctant to move. Sockets still fit the correct sized bolts despite being used as formers when bolt heads have got mushed by spanners.

Can't think of any other tool that's lasted as long or through as much abuse. Whatever these cost me, it was peanuts (though I probably never realised at the time).

But... Draper then may not necessarily be the same Draper as now. I have a number of (much!) more recent Draper tools and they're fine. I sometimes see poor reviews of Draper kit but I've never regretted getting them (even the vac, which I compared unfavourably with my DeWalt vac but which, nevertheless, I seem to use all the time).

[Edit: Apols for the pic quality - it's gone midnight here and my phone isn't keen on the dark]
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2018, 02:54:44 am »
35 years of use from a tool set is very good, it sounds to be of a similar quality to snap-on tools
 

Offline richard.cs

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2018, 12:50:18 pm »
Modern Draper doesn't seem to be especially good, very much a mid-range brand but with quite a wide spread in quality. Most of their stuff seems OK to good but I have had some grossly out-of-tolerance hex keys from them. Their professional range "Draper Expert" seems to be much better though I've only ever used a few of those. The Draper Expert socket set was very good, but it's still no snap-on.
 

Offline BillyD

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2018, 01:40:00 pm »
Most Draper stuff is ok value for money for the hobbyist, but not so much for heavy prolonged use of a tradesman.

 

Offline vinicius.jlantunes

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2018, 04:41:42 pm »
I took a chance on them and bought this plane:
https://www.toolsbr.com.br/draper-plaina-para-acabamento-smoothing-plane-expert

And this chisel set:
https://www.toolsbr.com.br/draper-kit-combo-formoes-com-jig-e-pedra-de-afiacao

As I said before tools (and many other things for that matter) are super expensive in Brazil so I am hoping I made a good deal. I don't expect them to be top tier but decent.

I found Stanley planes a bit cheaper that perhaps would've been less uncertain, but I didn't want to shop in different stores (was spending a bonus I got from work so easier to just enter just one receipt for reimbursement into our awful expense reporting tool).

Thank you again for all the comments!

p.s.: for fellow Brazilians, this site (ToolsBr) seems to be a good source of quality / brand tools you won't find elsewhere, but of course it is not cheap. But if you must have a Wera set and don't mind the cost, I don't think there are many other places you would find it.

Offline doobedoobedo

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2018, 06:58:00 pm »
Old Stanley or Record hand planes are a good buy, they're pretty easy to refurbish and good quality.
 

Offline Mr Nutts

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2018, 05:05:07 pm »
proxxon (also british)

Doesn't look very British to me  :-DD

https://www.proxxon.com/en/about/company.php

Looks like they are headquartered in Germany  ;)

Got one of their Dremels and a small lathe, both built like a truck  :-+
« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 05:07:29 pm by Mr Nutts »
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2018, 05:29:07 pm »
I swear I thought it was british lol

I have their drill press, the nicer mini chop saw and the dremel stand.

drill press is great for PCB drilling and stuff, the chop saw is fantastic for trimming bolts and cutting small aluminum angle irons etc.. (I have the proxxon saw blade)... but also you should know it kinda works with the DREMEL brand abrasive saw blade meant for their beefier ultra saw but it does not center right so you would need to drill out  washer or something to make a adapter but its close enough to be usable but it might be putting excess wear on the bearings but I have been doing it anyway.....*******

******* warning you need to move the blade guard up when you use off brand abrasive saws, they will hit the saw cover just bearly. What you can do is remove one of the bolts on the cover (it has a pivot bolt and a lock bolt, so remove the lock bolt), then move the cover up, then insert a longer lock bolt to basically hinge the cover on what its attached to to move it up a few degrees. Now by doing this you lose positive securement so its not as safe, but if you dont you will scuff up the nice dark plexiglass cover like I did. Keep in mind bypassing the safety shield with this method means you lose security in particular failure modes in case the blade breaks (see my other thread in this forum with BACKYARDSCIENTISTs safety videos.

Basically what I saw can happen with abrasive blades is this failure mode (backyard scientist destroyed like 5 wheels and it happened once so it might not be as rare as you think):
1) part of the wheel flies off
2) it hits your shield, or you goggles, and knocks them off
3) the high RPM wheel is still spinning but its extremely unstable, it rotates a few more times
4) the wheel fails and you get hit a second time, this time without safety equipment.

SO yea don't bypass your shield to accept wrong size blades unless your really armor yourself well. SO that means don't do it at all  :-X

the dremel stand I have not really used but its of high quality and worth the money, I was going to make my own dremel stand before and with the amount of labor you need to do to make it, its actually a decent price.

The price of their tools is high considering you can get something twice as big for half the price from like Ryobi at home depot but yea you can defiantly tell its a huge step up in terms of quality.

I have been thinking about their hot wire cutter, mini table saw and maybe their dremel, mini belt sander and polisher (particularly the long necked one). No one makes a decent hot wire cutter (you can make professional insulation for out door enclosures and for thermally sensitive projects) or mini table saw (its safer because its lower energy and it has the blade guard and you have precision adjustments on it, so its unique).

I have used some other brand mini belt sander and its alright but its kinda bulky for what I want to use the dremel one for (like cleaning pipe bends and stuff), the american ones are larger and are more suitable for wood working but its kind of a weird tool because I found its most useful where you want to normally use some kind of router or mill, but I can see it being useful for weird stuff like chair restorations, I have some large heavy wooden chairs that have ancient varnish on them that peeled off and the geometry is very fancy so you need some kind of conforming sand tool in places where its difficult to even do it by hand. You won't get uniform bevels on it so it makes it kind of less useful for cosmetic wood working but it does get the physical benefits like removing splinters on hastily errected work tables and stuff like that, so you could say it could make a job site better or something, but I would not use a expensive proxxon tool under those conditions, but I would use it for something like precise chair restoration or small pipe work (maybe sanding off excess braze in a tight bend or junction


Like for quality, a ryobi scroll saw has a bend sheet metal aluminum base IIRC but its pretty good. The proxxon has a cast iron base so it knocks it out of the park. A ryobi table band saw uses plastic and aluminum (bent I think), it fits together real nice and runs well but compared to something made of full metal with a cast base and speed adjustment it seems poorly made, however it is 1/3rd the price and still decent.. I do want it though but I don't think it would help me make projects like getting the other stuff would.

With proxxon I never felt jipped but I kinda thought to myself sometimes "do I really need the quality for the jobs I am doing with them"... but that is kind of my fault because it will do a bang up job on something super nice like model making etc, but since I focus on electrical parameters in my projects, or general robustness, I lose some of the things the proxxon design engineers were going for in regards to applications. I do feel that in the long run I will be thanking myself. And I have the capability to do cosmetically nice work if I wanted to.


 But that would mean getting out of the prototyping and experimenting phase  :scared: :scared: :scared: :scared:


« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 05:58:09 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Offline ElectronicCat

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2018, 06:21:13 pm »
I'll pretty much echo what everyone else has said, I think they're 'good enough' to get a job done (better than no-name chinesium tools) but not anything I'd remotely call 'high quality'. I usually only buy them if it's an emergency or I need something odd for a one-off job that I don't think I'll use again (or very rarely) as they're easy to get on Amazon with overnight delivery.

For anything I want to keep and use often I'll stick to brands like Makita, Bosch, Snap-On etc as I firmly believe in 'buy cheap, buy twice'. Good quality tools should last a lifetime.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2018, 08:26:11 pm »
I have still not formulated a decision on wrenches and sockets and how much money it is worth spending on them.

I feel like if you have reasonably clean and lubricated bolts (and that means being liberal with penetrating lubricant, and heat, not only for use as a super last resort on a stuck bolt), and you use hand tools and get a feel for proper torque its not necessary to buy the highest end snapon stuff.

I also need to do more research on if all bolts should be lubricated (for instance with a stick/gel lube) prior to use to decrease tool and thread ware, I am starting to think that the answer is yes unless its specific engineering use or inside of sensitive electronics enclosures or threadlocker is to be used.

I think if you are using impact hammers then the situation changes, I do own some milwakee deep-impact high torque stuff for my largest driver.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2018, 03:54:09 am »
I did renember reading one thing though, some where a youtube comment said that when working on very sensitive mechanics (a turbine was referenced) that snap-on was the choice not because of strenght but that they had the best quality chrome plating process. The person said a failure mode could be a hard chrome plating flake sheering off the socket and entering a gear train or something and causing a failure.

May be a good reason to use stuff like black oxide coating or unplated sockets if you don't want to spend times more the going price for reasonable quality. If its a concern I don't think you should use plated stuff at all even of the best quality if its aerospace though.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 03:56:25 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: [off-topic] Are Draper tools any good?
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2018, 08:17:40 am »
I have a bunch of Draper tool, because I use them maybe once a year. It is good for that. If I use something more often, I spend some extra and buy the quality stuff. So think about your needs.
There is nothing wrong with buying cheap tools *, it allows you to buy more of them, and be prepared for a variety of works. And nothing wrong with buying the more expensive stuff when you need it. Having two of the same tool has its benefit also.

*at home
 


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