I'm really glad I have good quality tools for work now, mind you, I just know I could have been wiser with my money.
When I was in tech school I bought all Snap-on, Matco, and Mac, and now I realize how much money I wasted. If you have more specific questions about where to buy quality and where to save money, I can probably help you out. Enough money to buy pretty tools. I love all my gear wrench tools I would say it's close quality to snap on and there are often sales for gear wrench. I was a millwright and skilift mechanic for a lot of years, I used Mastercraft Maximum tools from Canadian Tire for the most part. Yeah, I guess I can see that point, but after snapping several Harbor Freight wrenches with my own strength, I just can't buy that shit anymore.
The way I see it, you buy all your tools as cheaply as possible to start out. I've been working alongside a mechanic for a few months now, and I'm starting to save up money for tools. I want some tools that would be close to snap on quality, but cheaper.
In the end you have the best mix of cheap tools that are good enough, and high quality tools that you use and abuse the most. As an alternative to Snap-On, I like to buy Williams and SK Tools. I dunno man, Harbor Freight hand tools are pretty shitty.
I have a set of sockets I got for my 12th birthday and they are still 100% fine, just hit the middle ground between expensive and cheep. I really like his set of gear wrench ratchet wrenches, but other than that I'm not sure what brands I should be shopping for My advice is to buy as cheaply as possible. Remember, you're not in it to have the prettiest tools, you're in it to make money. Good tools, good return policy, good prices. I say maybe, step up to Husky from Home Depot and that would be a better starting point.