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Hand tools * power tools


Walsingham

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I'm interested in which brands of hand tools and power tools shoudl be considered 'quality', since I shall shortly be upgrading my house.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Thanks. I generally try to buy quality. I think in the long run it works out. Plus quality tools inspire quality effort.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I'm interested in which brands of hand tools and power tools should be considered 'quality', since I shall shortly be upgrading my house.

I've had excellent results with my Dewalt cordless tools over the last 10 years or so. As power tools go, they are fairly reasonably priced for what you buy. They were purchased several years ago by Black & Decker but B & D had the sense to leave them alone and market them as their industrial ine of power tools. I have the reciprocating saw, circular saw, drill with hammer-drill feature, snake light ( all 18 volt batteries ). I also have a line voltage drill and 4" hand grinder. Both have enough torque to separate you from your nuts if they 'grab' the surface that you are working on. Batteries can be pricey though. If you catch them on sale you can find them for about $100 USD for two otherwise they run about $80-$90 each. You will want to have a few if you are going to be using them extensively. I have a dual battery charger in my work vehicle and keep batteries on charge regularly. The dual charger came with one battery and cost me about $100 USD. The present batteries have a fairly good charge life but the Ion batteries ( when Dewalt finally gets them out ) should be much better ( and more pricey! ). I've not used Riobe but have heard good things about them. Makita has gotten better. I still like my Dewalt stuff though. Had used Makita when they only had a 9.6 volt battery and cussed them regularly. When I bought my first 18 volt Dewalt drill, I charged the battery and started the drill with my hand on the drill chuck intending to 'bog' the drill to check the power. I earned 'skid-marks' on my hand for my trouble ( Freeking Ouch!!! ). Buy an adapter for your drill that will allow you to use sockets with it. Cost you a couple of bucks for this. You can thank me later for this advice :wink:

 

Craftsman ( if available ) is a good choice as they have a very good guarantee. I definitely recommend the ratching wrenches for ease of operation. Once you use them, you'll never want to use a regular wrench again. I don't recommend Snap-On becuase they are over-priced and no better than Craftsman and you usually will have trouble getting replaced unless you are on a salesman's regular route ( or are willing to drive to their warehouse ). Proto hand tools are also excellent. Malco is okay but nothing special. Lennox makes very good hole-saws. Greenlee electricians tools are good but over-priced. Ideal are cheaper but just about as good. Gardner Bender also makes good electrical tools. Also pricey though.

 

Any tool set that advertises a recommended price of $XXX.XX but will sell for $XX.XX is crap. Don't buy it unless you only intend to use it a few times or don't intend to 'stress' the tool. I beat the Hell out of my tools so I buy very durable tools. My regular tool purchases exceed $2000.00 per year. I've been at this for over twenty years so this should show you where I'm at with respect to tools. This doesn't include the tools that I design/build myself when I have an odd application that I need to meet. Don't buy hand tools that are 'Drop Forged'. They are cast steel crap. Don't buy tools made in 'USA'. Note that there are no periods between the letters USA. These are make in Usa, Japan to encourage Americans to buy and feel patriotic. They are mostly crap as well.

 

Electrical voltmeters for home repairs, most any digital multimeter will work for your needs but Fluke is top on the line. Field Piece is very good and considerably less money. I use both and have not noticed any difference. For your home-owner needs, pretty much any multimeter will work. You don't need precision to read if voltage is present or not. If you intend to read a GFCI circuit ( ground fault circuit interupter ( used in kitchens, bathrooms, anywhere water may be present ), you will want a better meter for this application. Buy one with 'high impedance' or 'low meter loading'. Otherwise your meter will false trip the circuit you are trying to read.

 

Most any propane or MAPP gas torch will work for soldering copper pipe and they are cheap. Buy one with an auto-light feature though as they are wayyy more convenient to use. About $30 for a good one by Benzomatic. Don't spend the extra money for Turbo-Torch brand. A good torch but overpriced and I've had worse luck with them the the cheaper Benzomatic. If you are feeling especially 'manly' the day you make your purchases, an oxy-acetylene torch is handy. It will reach temperatures of 6000 deg F though so it might be a little much unless you intend to cut or weld/braze steel. Can be handy though once you have one but not something for the average homeowner.

 

A cheap bench grinder will become invaluable once you have one. Christ, between being able to put different wheels ( cutting, buffing, grinding ) on them and their safe, stable application, you can hardly go wrong with even a cheap one ( $30-$50 USD ). Buy safety glasses though as you can throw crap in you eyes with them.

 

Avoid tools that market using terms like "Professional Grade" ( no such thing ), "Master Mechanic ( whatever ) " as they are appealing to your ego rather than actually making a decent product. You will be sadly disappointed.

Ruminations...

 

When a man has no Future, the Present passes too quickly to be assimilated and only the static Past has value.

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All advice much appreciated.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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