Why Are Snap-On Tools So Expensive? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

When I used to date a mechanic, I knew that having the “Snap-On” guy coming by his garage meant that big money would be spent. Sometimes, he and his coworkers would spend tens of thousands of dollars on these tools. I was floored. How could Snap-On tools be so expensive?

Snap-On tools are famous for being expensive due to the extremely high-quality workmanship put into the tools. Each Snap-On tool comes with a lifetime guarantee. Most people also buy them as a result of the prestige the brand has as well as the convenience of having salesmen come to your location.

If you want to get a mechanic’s favorite tool brand, it’s clear that it’s gotta be Snap-On. But, you might want to know what makes this tool brand oh, so pricey. Let’s clear things up a bit.

What Makes Snap-On Tools Uniquely Expensive?

So, it’s worth noting that there are other brands that have a similar price point. However, Snap-On is the one that is truly famous for its price tag. There are several reasons why the brand is as expensive as it is:

  • First, there is the quality that you can expect with Snap-On. Snap-On tools all come with a lifetime guarantee. If you bought a tool, you get to rest assured that it’ll work for the entirety of your life. If it doesn’t, all you need to do is call their customer service and you get a free replacement.
  • There’s also the fact that they employ salesmen who come directly to you. Most other tool brands do not have direct sales for a multitude of reasons. However, it seems to work well for both mechanics and home improvement companies. That in-person service costs money, especially at the quality of service that Snap-On offers.
  • Covering the price of replacement tools is a must, too. Making tools great the first time costs money. Making them again in the odd event that they break the first time around will cost more. As a result, you’re not really just paying for one tool. You’re paying for one tool, plus the cost of replacing any other person’s tool that broke.
  • Finally, it’s safe to assume that part of the high price deals with the brand’s rep. It’s not an exaggeration to call Snap-On the gold standard of branding. People always end up paying a little extra for a good brand name. It’s way more resealable that way.

Can You Find Snap-On Tools In Stores?

For the most part, you are not going to find much as far as Snap-On goes in regular retail stores. Some stores, such as Sears or Ace Hardware, might have some of the smaller tools they have. If you go on Amazon, you can actually buy Snap-On tools directly from the retail brand itself.

However, it’s safe to say that you won’t get that big a selection if you stick to retail. This is just the way their store policy goes and how the company chooses to sell their tools.

Can You Get Off-Brand Snap-On Tools?

If it’s something like a hammer, you might be able to get similar quality from other retailers. However, if it’s a tool that has a specialty design from Snap-On, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something similar. This is a brand that is famous for suing companies on copyright infringement.

Harbor Freight was one company that had a lawsuit from Snap-On for making a lift that was similar to the ones they make. They are, by far, not the first company to have this happen. So, yeah. Expect Snap-On tools to be one of a kind. They make a point of doing this.

How Much Do Snap-On Tools Cost?

A single tool can go for as little as $25, but toolkits can easily exceed prices of $60,000. If you want to have a franchise that sells Snap-On tools, you will have to buy a small inventory to start with. Starter kits for franchises start between $109,000 to $119,000 with a retail selling price of $161,000 to $179,000.

How Much Do Snap-On Salespeople Make?

Obviously, this will depend on how good they are as salespeople. While we could not find a full salary writeup on their site, most people who sell this tool brand from shop to shop make over $55,000 per year. Top representatives make a six-figure salary. It all depends on how much you are able to sell.

Are There Discounts For People Who Want To Buy Snap-On Tools?

While the price tag for tools can be sky high with Snap-On, this company still makes a point of making their goods available to everyone. If you want to get them at a discount price, it’s good to know these options are available to you:

  • Veteran Discounts. Like most patriotic companies, Snap-On has a pretty good veteran discount. Just show your military card, and you’re good to go.
  • Student Discounts. Are you a college or trade school student in need of fresh tools? Ask about their student discount. You will need to furnish proof that you are in school to get this discount. From what we hear, it’s a pretty big one!
  • Employee Discounts. Are you part of the Snap-On team? If so, then you’ll be happy to know that they reward their employees with more than just a big, juicy paycheck. They also have a very competitive employee discount.

How Much Can You Charge For A Used Snap-On Tool?

Though you technically shouldn’t do this, you can sell old Snap-On tools that are used on the market. Most of the time, you will be able to ask for 40 to 60 percent of the tool’s new retail sale price if you are selling a used one in decent condition. So, if you have a specialty wrench set that retails for $1,000, you can sell it for as much as $600.

If you recently inherited a bunch of Snap-On tools that you do not want to use, you can usually sell them on eBay or through Facebook Marketplace. Most other places, like auction houses, will not carry them due to the liability that can come with selling used tools. If you aren’t sure whether a reseller will help you, call them to find out.

Related Questions

Do pawn shops accept used or old tools?

Pawn shops are generally leery of allowing the sale of old tools, even if they are kept in pristine condition. This is primarily due to the high risk of having hidden, unseen breaks. If a tool breaks after it has been bought and it injures the buyer, there is a chance that this could cause litigation towards the store.Most pawn shops sell items refurbished or at usable conditions. If they cannot guarantee that something is safe to use, they may not accept it. However, a small handful of shops might still consider them.

Which brand is better, Snap-On or Milwaukee?

While Milwaukee might be the cheaper option by a long shot, Snap-On tends to be the better brand. Most of the tools that Milwaukee offers do not come with a lifetime guarantee unless they are hand tools. If you want to have a tool that lasts a lifetime, it’s better to choose Snap-On tools. That way, you won’t have to pay for the same tool twice or three times.

Who makes Snap-On tools?

Believe it or not, Snap-On is one of the very few tool brands that is still owned by the company that owns the name. Snap-On Incorporated makes the tools. They are also one of the few publicly-traded companies to really rock the hardware world well.If you want to get stocks of Snap-On, you can. This company currently trades under the ticker symbol of SNA on the stock exchange. If that isn’t a good way to show how much you believe in a company, we don’t know what it is.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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