Archive for the ‘Hand Tools’ category

Milwaukee’s New Reaming Pliers

September 8th, 2011


Milwaukee has just announced an interesting new set of pliers, designed mostly for electricians.   At first glance they appear to be fairly standard push-to-adjust pliers.  They have nice V-groove jaws which are sized to perfectly fit on electrical connectors.  The jaws are also meant to be thin enough to easily work in electrical boxes.   All pretty standard stuff.   The party trick of the new pliers however is the tip of the handles and the back of the head.  Electricians will frequently just strip the plastic off the handles of their pliers and use that to ream conduit.  Milwaukee has taken this to heart and designed the pliers to be used like that from the start.  The tip of the handles are bare metal and shaped to ream out up to 1″ conduit.   For larger pipes this can be awkward though, so the back of the head is also specifically designed to deburr 1-1/2″ to 2-3/4″ conduit.  Look for them to show up in stores in October.

Source: Milwaukee

Irwin’s New, Stronger, Vise-Grips

September 10th, 2010

Irwin has updated the vernerable Vise-Grip locking jaw pliers.  Originally designed in 1924 by William Petersen, the Vise-Grips haven’t changed much in almost a century.  Of course there have been a plethora of supposedly improved versions, but few of them worked better than the original.    Irwin (who through the wonders of corporate mergers is now the same company as the  Petersen Manufacturing) however has tried their hand at improving the design.  They seem to have gone the smart route though, and kept the improvements simple, added a cushioned grip, and a new one-handed trigger-less release.  They claim the new design provides 3x the locking power of the traditional too.

Source: Irwin

Irwin adds Straight and Smooth Jawed pliers to its Groovelock line

August 13th, 2010


Irwin’s Groovelock line of pliers, a variation on the familiar ChannelLocks  used to only have one type of jaw, a V shaped all purpose jaw.  This type of jaw is great when the the object you’re trying to grab fits in the V well, but sometimes its not ideal and a straight jaw would grip better.   As anyone who’s ever used this type of pliers like has found out the hard way, the teeth in the jaw do a great job gripping onto the object, but can frequently dig in and mar the surface.  In these situations a smooth jaw might be a better fit.  Irwin has realized this and now offers three different types, their original all-purpose v-jaw, the straight jaw, and the smooth jaw.  All three come in a variety of  sizes, and they all feature Irwins ‘Magic Button’ which allows you to quickly and easily adjust the size.

Source: Irwin

SK Hand Tools Files for Bankruptcy

July 2nd, 2010

SK  Tools has been running into alot of trouble recently, and it has finally come to a head with them filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection.  The company has had a handful of owners in the last 20 years,  most recently being bought out by the management in May of 2005 after the previous owner, the French conglomerate FACOM was bought by Stanley.   A strike 10-week strike that ended in November, as well as other recent management shakeups seem to have been more than the company could handle, and thus the bankruptcy filing.  When we tried to contact SK Tools on the filing, no response was given, and thus the future of the company, as well as the handling of warranty claims is still in doubt.

Source: US Bankruptcy Court Via: ToolGyd

Update:  Check out this post with some updated information including a potential sale.

Stanley FuBar

June 22nd, 2010

Stanley’s got a new demolition tool, the 30″ FatMax Xtreme FuBar Utility Bar.  Its name is sure a mouthful as Stanley tries to get all of their trademarks onto one product.  This new FuBar will be a real boon to anyone who enjoys a good demolition.  It’s 30″ long, and weighs a solid 8.5lbs.  Not to heavy so as to be unmanageable, but heavy enough to work well as a sledgehammer.  It’s also got a nail puller, a pry bar, and a textured grip.  The main feature though is the toothed jaw that is great for ripping, bending or twisting 2×4’s right out of the nails.  It’s available now for $99 at your favorite tool store.

Source: Stanley

Milwaukee PVC/ABS Saw

June 10th, 2010

Milwaukee has a new saw just for plumbers.  The PVC/ABS Hand saw is a great tool for cutting through large diameter piping.  It makes quick clean cuts, with minimal effort, and its tall blade helps keep the cuts straight for leak free joints.  It’s also got tool free blade changes, so no more going back to the tool box because you forgot the screwdriver to put in a new blade.  Milwaukee also claims that they’ve toughened it up to better withstand job site abuse.

Source: Milwaukee

Dealamanjaro: Half Price Craftsman Socket Set

June 9th, 2010

Sears has the Craftsman 154 pc. Mechanics Tool Set on sale for just $75.  That’s half the regular price and a darn good deal.  the set has both metric and English sockets and wrenches, in 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 drive.  This set also has some deep  sockets which I’ve always found to be particularly useful.  In addition it also has a screwdriver with swappable bits.

Source:  Sears