Hand Tools Redux


Ian Kahn
 

All,

I know I asked this question once before, and got a full slate of great answers. However, the ether seems to have eaten the thread.

I have the following projects all on-deck in my shack:

- Newly arrived (in the last two weeks) K2 kit waiting to be built
- K3S upgrade parts coming for my very old (s/n 261) K3
- K4D kit (as soon as they become available to order)

I need to replace my small hand tools for all these projects (things like #0 and #1 Philips head screwdrivers, sets of various types of pliers, hemostats, etc.). I know I need to get decent quality tools (not the Home Depot bargain bin stuff) to do these jobs safely and correctly. I just don't do enough of this type of work to know what manufacturers make good quality tools. Can anyone on this group make recommendations?

Thanks and 73,

Ian, NV4C


Jim Brown
 

On 6/20/2021 12:44 PM, Ian Kahn wrote:
I just don't do enough of this type of work to know what manufacturers make good quality tools. Can anyone on this group make recommendations?
My advice is to VERY carefully study buyer ratings of anything that you think about buying, sorting those ratings both by "newest first" and again choosing the most negative.

Over the last few years, I've done this with a wide variety of products, and user reviews for most products (tools for the kitchen and the shop, for example) report that current versions of older tools they're replacing are cheap junk that fall apart, or don't work as well, or both. This sort of study is best done on very large merchant sites like amazon, whether you intend to purchase there or not.

It's important to do this with a good BS filter firmly in place. Has the reviewer used the product long enough to find it's shortcomings, or is patting his/herself on the back after first opening the box? That's where the 1-star reviews show their value. Over the last day or two, I've been shopping for tongs to use with a newly purchased Kamado grill, and all I've found so far is junk. Searching for the same brand I've used in the kitchen for ten years, I find reviews saying that the product changed several years ago, and that the current version, with the same product name, description, and even the photo in the listing has a different shape and is cheap junk that broke after few uses, or rusted after a few washes.

Several years ago, I went shopping for some hand tools, among them a vise grip wrench. Among the dozen brands listed, including old line mfrs, it was the only tool of ANY type that was made in North America or Europe. I bought one, and it's excellent quality. A search today didn't find it.

73, Jim K9YC


Rick NK7I
 

It used to be a simple choice, based on availability; Craftsman (Sears, now defunct) or Snap-On (a little more spendy but they deliver to shops).  The warranty was simple, you break it, they replace it; no questions asked (raised eyebrows however sometimes happened).

Craftsman ain't what it used to be by FAR (the line was sold a couple times).  No Snap-On in North Idaho that I've seen since moving here.

So, as Jim said, do your homework.  BUT I'll suggest that for Philips format, that JIS design (FROM Japan, WITH some quality) appears to be THE preferred choice by many hams groups.  They fit better and do less damage when full torque is needed.  Again, FROM Japan, not some other Asian country where quality, um, wanders into the variable.

I just got a set (3 pieces, $30) and in the little I've used them, already know that I'll add more to that set.

73,
Rick NK7I

"The nice thing about standards, is that there are so many to choose from!"

On 6/20/2021 1:46 PM, Jim Brown wrote:
On 6/20/2021 12:44 PM, Ian Kahn wrote:
I just don't do enough of this type of work to know what manufacturers make good quality tools. Can anyone on this group make recommendations?
My advice is to VERY carefully study buyer ratings of anything that you think about buying, sorting those ratings both by "newest first" and again choosing the most negative.

Over the last few years, I've done this with a wide variety of products, and user reviews for most products (tools for the kitchen and the shop, for example) report that current versions of older tools they're replacing are cheap junk that fall apart, or don't work as well, or both. This sort of study is best done on very large merchant sites like amazon, whether you intend to purchase there or not.

It's important to do this with a good BS filter firmly in place. Has the reviewer used the product long enough to find it's shortcomings, or is patting his/herself on the back after first opening the box? That's where the 1-star reviews show their value. Over the last day or two, I've been shopping for tongs to use with a newly purchased Kamado grill, and all I've found so far is junk. Searching for the same brand I've used in the kitchen for ten years, I find reviews saying that the product changed several years ago, and that the current version, with the same product name, description, and even the photo in the listing has a different shape and is cheap junk that broke after few uses, or rusted after a few washes.

Several years ago, I went shopping for some hand tools, among them a vise grip wrench. Among the dozen brands listed, including old line mfrs, it was the only tool of ANY type that was made in North America or Europe. I bought one, and it's excellent quality. A search today didn't find it.

73, Jim K9YC




Chuck Hill K0MV
 

Getting good tools is a continuing search.  A couple of websites to check out are:

www.techni-tool.com

www.ifixit.com

Most of the ones I have are from estate sales (otherwise they can be expensive).


Good Luck and 73,

Chuck K0MV


On 6/20/21 1:44 PM, Ian Kahn wrote:
All,

I know I asked this question once before, and got a full slate of great answers. However, the ether seems to have eaten the thread.

I have the following projects all on-deck in my shack:

- Newly arrived (in the last two weeks) K2 kit waiting to be built
- K3S upgrade parts coming for my very old (s/n 261) K3
- K4D kit (as soon as they become available to order)

I need to replace my small hand tools for all these projects (things like #0 and #1 Philips head screwdrivers, sets of various types of pliers, hemostats, etc.). I know I need to get decent quality tools (not the Home Depot bargain bin stuff) to do these jobs safely and correctly. I just don't do enough of this type of work to know what manufacturers make good quality tools. Can anyone on this group make recommendations?

Thanks and 73,

Ian, NV4C


Mike Cizek W0VTT
 

Wiha make VERY nice screwdrivers and multi-driver bit sets:

https://www.wihatools.com/

Knipex and CHP (Hakko) piers, cutters, and tweezers are nice:

https://chadstoolbox.com/

https://hakkousa.com/products/chp-tools/chp-hand-tools.html

For bigger tools, Klein are very good:

https://www.kleintools.com/

None of these are cheap, but you grandkids will be able to use them when you are done with them.

 

----

73,

Mike Cizek W0VTT

 

From: Elecraft-K3@groups.io <Elecraft-K3@groups.io> On Behalf Of Ian Kahn
Sent: Sunday, 20 June, 2021 14:44
To: Elecraft-K3@groups.io
Subject: [Elecraft-K3] Hand Tools Redux

 

All,

I know I asked this question once before, and got a full slate of great answers. However, the ether seems to have eaten the thread.

I have the following projects all on-deck in my shack:

- Newly arrived (in the last two weeks) K2 kit waiting to be built
- K3S upgrade parts coming for my very old (s/n 261) K3
- K4D kit (as soon as they become available to order)

I need to replace my small hand tools for all these projects (things like #0 and #1 Philips head screwdrivers, sets of various types of pliers, hemostats, etc.). I know I need to get decent quality tools (not the Home Depot bargain bin stuff) to do these jobs safely and correctly. I just don't do enough of this type of work to know what manufacturers make good quality tools. Can anyone on this group make recommendations?

Thanks and 73,

Ian, NV4C


Ian Kahn
 

Thanks for all the pointers and advice, everyone!

73 de,

Ian, NV4C