Proto vs. Snap-On Tool [Complete Tool Guide]

Do you want to know which tool brand is better? Where do Proto and Snap-On make their tools? Which tool brand is better than the other? Today, we will answer these questions and give you a little insight into which tool brand is better and why.

We’re going to help you determine which tool brand to choose. We will explain why one tool brand is better than the other from the company’s overview to their costs and reviews.

Make sure you read the entire article to ensure that none of your questions are left unanswered.

An Overview: Where and Who Makes Proto Tools?

According to Proto Tool’s website, their company was founded in 1907 in Los Angeles, California, by Alfonso Plomb, Jacob Weninger, and Charles Williams as PLOMB Tools.

They first introduced their very first combination wrenches in the market in the 1930s based on the original design of Mr. Plomb.

DID YOU KNOW: A lawsuit was filed by the Plumber company when PLOMB Tool added ball peen hammers to their line of tools. This means they need the brand’s name to be changed.

A lady working in the factory won the naming contest by combining the first few letters of “Professional” and “Tools,” making PROTO the tool brand today.

In the early 1960s, Morris Pendleton, the early General Manager of PLOMB Tools in 1922, sold to Ingersoll Rand to make Stanley-Proto Industrial Tools.

Today, Proto offers a complete line of more than 5,000 tools and sets manufactured to the highest standards in the USA.

Proto Tools exceed ASME specifications while featuring their TorquePlus drive configuration on sockets. Because of this, Proto became one of the most recognized brands and commonly used hand tools in the industry.

Stanley Black & Decker provides Proto Industrial Tools with a history of industry leadership. For over 160 years, Stanley has been making high-quality and reliable tools. This way, Proto Tools can shine in the Industrial Automotive Repair division, selling their mechanic tools.

Proto Tools Warranty

Proto Tools have a complete Warranty Page about all the tools they make. As a business unit of Stanley Black & Decker, all devices that are marketed under the name “Proto” Tools warrant any of its Proto branded products, including products sold by the Proto Industrial Tools against defects in material or workmanship.

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Die Grinders, Torque Wrenches, Torque Multipliers, and Torque Testers are warranted for one year, except for calibration, which is warranted for 90 days after the date of purchase.

Defects in material or workmanship will be repaired with no cost: all other repairs will be at a nominal charge. Proto recommends that all Torque products are recalibrated once a year.

According to Proto Tool’s Warranty Page, the following is eligible for a lifetime warranty:

  • ​It is subject to the disclaimers and limitations described below. It is in place of all other warranties, express or implied, including the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
  • Gives you specific legal rights. You may also have other rights that vary by state.
  • It does not extend to products that have been improperly used, altered, or repaired by any entity other than Proto.
  • It does not cover the following categories of products: universal sockets, universal joints, thin-wall impact sockets, adapters, and retaining rings.
  • Does not cover damage due to ordinary wear and tear.
  • Does not extend to any claim for incidental, consequential, or special damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion of limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so this exclusion may not apply to you.
  • Proto makes no representations beyond those contained in this Lifetime Warranty.
  • Proto’s employees and agents have no authority to make representations of any sort beyond those contained in this Lifetime Warranty.

Proto Tools Reviews

We have taken the reviews from GarageJournal, making a comparison of Proto Tools and Snap-On Tools; you will be SHOCKED on what we’re going to discover in this article.

In this section, you will learn why Proto Tools is preferred by some users out there that are looking for cheap but high-quality tools.

Here are the often reasons why you may want to choose Proto Tools over Snap-On Tools:

Price – Pennies for the Dollar

When compared to a super brand like Snap-On Tools, Proto Tools is the clear winner when it comes to the bang for the buck. They’re the right tools for customers on a tight budget but still want premium tools in their toolsheds/toolboxes.

Smooth and Adjustable Tools With a Premium Feel

Many customers and buyers that have been loyal to Proto Tools prefer the older versions of Proto Tools because they feel more premium and high-quality. However, they’re just as good as the current line of tools they’re making.

Easier Warranty

There have also been reports from current customers from Proto and Snap-On that it’s easier to get your tool replaced if you purchased it from Proto Tools.

Since Snap-On has been mainstream for the past few decades, they still haven’t fixed their item-return rules.

An Overview: Where and Who Makes Snap-On Tools?

Snap-On Tools was established in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, in 1920. In 1930, the company then moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA, to expand the production of the tools they make. Snap-On Tools started with a wide variety of mechanic tools & equipment needed at the time.

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They started with safety belts, wrenches, and other hand tools. Up until this day, Snap-On has focused more on manufacturing hand tools, even having a sister brand called Blue-Point Tools, where also specialize in the production of hand tools.


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At first, most of the Snap-On Tools were produced and manufactured in the US. So far, the company has been present around the world and have already expanded their tool factories in different countries such as China and Ireland.

Snap-On Tools Warranty

Like Proto Tools, Snap-On Tools also have a lifetime warranty over their hand tools since they also make sure that their customers are satisfied with all the tools they produce and sell in their markets.

However, when compared to Proto Tools, Snap-On is inferior because their warranty process is much more complicated, and it takes longer when compared to Proto Tools.

According to Snap-On’s warranty page, you can either call Snap-On’s tech support or send them an email and apply for a warranty application. This is one of their downsides because users and customers alike have reported issues on slow warranty completion.

Snap-On Tools Reviews

So far, most of the reviews Snap-On Tools receive are positive reviews since they make tools with the utmost quality, and despite its high price tag, professionals still heavily rely on their tools when a car needs repair.

According to the reviews above, they’re mostly known for their high-quality tools, that’s why they have earned their customer’s trust, because of the well-built tools that they produce together with the best materials they can use for creating hand tools.

Proto vs. Snap-On Cost

When it comes to Proto vs. Snap-On’s prices, it all comes down to how much they name their prices on their site. Although they’re both reliable brands, Snap-On has higher prices compared to Proto Tools because of the reputation they hold with their brand.

Snap-On Tools have expensive tools from socket sets, wrench sets, and screwdriver sets because of the professional craftsmanship and artistry to perfect make these tools.

In conclusion, if you’re looking to buy tools that are:

  1. Built to Last
  2. Made with Durable Materials
  3. Known for Their Craftmanship and Workmanship

Without the cost being an issue, you’re looking at tools made by Snap-On Tools because they’ve been known to be great toolmakers that professionals use up until this date.

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With 100 years of experience under their name, Snap-On Tools have known the ins and outs of the toolmaking industry, making their tools one of the finest tools up until this day.

So, if budget is not an issue, we recommend you buy devices from Snap-On.

Proto Tools? or Snap-On Tools? What’s the Better Tool Brand? Tool Reviews

This section will compare both tool brands by showing you reliable videos about each tool brand. We will give a short explanation of what the video is talking about to provide you with a bit of insight into which tool brand is better and why.

Proto Tools Review

According to Real Tool Reviews on YouTube, Proto’s ASD Ratcheting Spline Combination Wrenches are a must-have if you want to buy anything Proto Tools makes.

YouTube video

According to the video, the Ratcheting Spline Combination Wrench that Proto Tools has to offer has unique features that some Tool Brand does not currently integrate, such as:

  • Recessed Directional Change Switch– Some ratcheting combination wrenches need you to turn over the entire wrench for you to switch directions since Proto’s combination wrenches as a directional change switch solves this issue in seconds.
  • Long Pattern Wrenches– Since the wrenches have long patterns, it’s easier for the wrench to reach tight spaces without getting your hand in the way while twisting and turning the wrench itself.
  • If It’s Bought in a Set, It Comes with a Wrench Roll– This is one way of organizing your tools together while minimizing space usage after using it. You can roll the wrenches and store them somewhere safe in your car or your garage.
  • Box-End Offset– Since Real Tool Reviews were reviewing Proto’s ASD Ratcheting Spline Combination Wrench, it has a box-end offset that makes tightening and loosening fasteners a lot easier since it’s tilted at a 15-Degree angle from the wrench handle.
  • Anti-Slip Design– The video showed a rounded-off fastener, and with Proto’s ASD line of tools (Anti-Slip Design), even if the fastener is rounded off, it’s still possible to loosen fasteners.
  • Lower Swing Arc– Compared to other tool brands, the box-end of a Proto tool has a significantly lower swing arc which means it has a better grip on the fastener relative to how many points the box-end portion a combination wrench has.

Snap-On Tools Review

In this section, we’re going to be talking about Review101’s insights on Snap-On Combination Wrenches – Product Review to have a fair comparison with Proto Tool’s ASD Spline Combination Wrench.

YouTube video

According to their reviews, they claim that Snap-On Wrenches have better grip and overall higher quality of feel when using their tools for your mechanical needs. Features that have been explained in the video include:

  • Extra Fastener Grip– The end of their wrenches are designed to evenly match the pressure on fasteners to provide better grip and have better torque with a lower range of motion.
  • Better Open End Wrenches– Their open-end wrenches are more suitable for tightening and loosening fasteners such as nuts and bolts, even if some parts of the fasteners are rounded off.
  • Less Likely to be Breaking, Bending, and Splaying– Since Snap-On Tools are mostly known for their high-quality products, this also means that they use high-quality materials. Combined with incredible craftsmanship, they’re more durable over time.
  • Complete Sets of Tools According to SAE– A mechanic’s time is very important, with Snap-On toolsets, going to save a lot of time with the availability of these tools. You don’t want to waste your time looking for another tool because you don’t have the right size, do you?
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They also mentioned why Snap-On Tools is a better tool brand overall, especially for hobbyists, professionals, and everyday mechanics. Having a complete set of tools will mean more productivity.

Compared to a familiar brand of tools (which can break easily), it’ll cost you time and effort to replace that tool, decreasing productivity. With Snap-On Tools, you’re never going to experience that issue.

Proto and Snap-On Wrenches

There are many things to talk about when comparing Proto and Snap-On Wrenches. However, both Proto and Snap-On have their pros and cons regarding their wrenches.

Affordability – Proto has expensive tools, but its prices are nothing compared to Snap-On Tools. If you want budget tools without sacrificing quality, then we recommend Proto Tools. However, if budget is not an issue, then Snap-On will be the bang for the buck.

Materials Used In Tools – Both companies use high-quality materials, so either Proto Tools or Snap-On Tools will do a great job in terms of durability and longevity.

Build Quality – The build quality on the tool is relative to the materials the tool brand used to create these tools. Although Proto Tools has strong materials, Snap-On Tools have proven themselves much more durable because of the tool’s resistance to breaking, bending, and splaying.

Since both tool brands are influential in their way, we highly recommend you to choose according to your preferences. Overall, we think that Proto Tools may be the winner for the wrenches they provide.

They provide cheaper tools with more or less the same quality as Snap-On Tool’s wrenches. With Proto Tool’s ASD feature, this makes sure that even with a rounded-off lug nut or bolt, you can still loosen the fastener from its place.

It also has a directional switch on combination wrenches, which solves many issues when it comes to twisting and turning the wrenches when you switch to threading another fastener in the opposite direction.

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Proto and Snap-On Sockets

Similar to the comparison on the wrenches section between Proto and Snap-On Tools, we’re going to compare them based on the preferences, pros, and cons you can get with the tool brands you choose from.

Complete Sets and Different Varieties – With Snap-On Tools, you’ll never run out of the different types of socket sets and measurements that you’re going to need while making car repairs.

Cheap Pricing With Incredible Durability – Since Snap-On shines on having a lot of tools available at its disposal, Proto Tools, on the other hand, shine on the cheap price tag while still having high-quality tools being sold to customers.

Durability Over Time – Snap-On Tools always uses top-notch materials for their tools. For sockets, items heavily rely on the socket’s strength to grip over the fasteners to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts.

Overall, we recommend you to go with Snap-On Tools with this one since they have been making the best sockets ever since they have introduced them into their line of tools.

They’re neck and neck with Proto, but we’ll go with Snap-On based on the durability and wide range of socket varieties.

Frequently Asked Questions Proto vs. Snap-On Tools

Are Proto and Snap-On Tools Made in the US?

Yes. Both companies have factories located in the US and are slowly expanding to international facilities to increase the production rates at cheaper costs.

Where To Buy Snap-On Tools?

Enter “Snap-On Shop” on your search bar, and you’re going to find the link to their online retailing site, the Snap-On Store. Enter your billing details and address, and you’re good to go.

Are Proto Tools For Sale?

Yes, you can find them in your local hardware stores or various retailing sites online. They’re cheap, and we recommend you to buy from them if you’re on a tight budget.

Does Proto Tool’s ASD Work?

Yes. Despite having a rounded-off fastener, the ASD feature that Proto Tools have on their combination wrenches is handy because you can still remove rusty and stripped lug nuts and bolts using their twists.

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