What's the difference between .pull-right or -left versus float? Why does it matter which you use?

I’m not having an problems, I’m just wondering why you would use one as opposed to the other?

Yea, it does. .pull-left and .pull-right do a little more then just float in certain cases.
.pull-left will also give a padding-right: 10px if you combine it with media class.
.pull-right i am currently searching, give me a second

pull-right is trickier, given there are more hits in the bootstrap file. But if you don’t use it in combination with other elements, it only seems to float right:

.pull-right
{
    float:right!important
}

unless you combine .pull-right with the class .dropdown-menu or blockquote, it doesn’t do anything then float: right

So, in the end, little difference

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Feel free to look up the rules in the bootstrap css file, if you want to know the exact details