PLANT FOCUS Hand & Power Tools – Part 2

Cordless Drill Drivers

  • 12-, 15.6- and 18-volt models
  • Drills 518-in. to 1 3/16-in. in softwood
  • Drills 3/8-in. to 1/2-in. in mild steel

These drill drivers feature “Impuls Action,” an impulse action that allows the bit to find a point of resistance during the interval between impulses, and then drive the screw or remove it. This intermittent, pulsed rotation permits the tool to accomplish a variety of tasks, such as loosening tight screws and unscrewing screws with damaged heads, facilitating driving screws to the required depth, keeping the bit from walking, and alleviating the need for center punching when drilling steel or tile. An adjustable torque clutch offers as many as 20 settings for fast, efficient driving in any application. Metabo Corp., P.O. Box 2287, West Chester, PA 19380. (800-638-2264). Visit Best Air impact wrench to get more information


Keyless chucks prevent slippage

Magnum tools have hardened jaws to provide high-gripping torque. The Model 0235-21 is a 1/2-in. drill that offers 0-850 rpm. Internal spindle lock allows operator to achieve maximum grip strength on accessory shanks with one hand on the single-sleeve chuck. It comes with an 8-ft. Quik-Lok rubber cord, that allows the electrical cord to be quickly detached from the drill for tangle-free carrying and storage, and instant field repair. Model 0233-21 is a 3/8-in. drill offering 0-2,800 rpm, and an 8-ft. fixed cord. Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp., 13135 W. Lisbon Rd., Brookfield, WI 53005. (877-729-3878)

Bolt-Cutting Tool

Cuts 1/4-in. bolts in all metals

The SBS-1 screw and bolt shear handles screws or bolts in sizes of 4-40, 6-32, 8-32, 10-32, 10-24, 1/4-20, and 1/4-28. It easily cuts all metals, including stainless steel or hardened bolts, without any damage to the tool or thread deformation to the bolt. The tool’s body is cadmium plated for long-term corrosion protection. A 2 1/2-in. scale is imprinted on the side of the tool’s face to make simplify cut bolt measurement. Uni-Tech Corp., 7553 W. 99th St., Bridgeview, IL 60455. (708-361-3385)

Polyurethane Mallet

“No Bounce” head Heavy-duty SF Special Formula mallet features a “no bounce,” chemical-resistant head that can handle rough industrial use in a wide range of jobs. The head delivers a solid blow without recoil and is impervious to most job hazards such as cuts, chemicals, oil, and gas. Ergonomically designed mallet can be used for in woodworking, metal fabricating, machine shops, and tool and die applications. The head is securely mounted on a hardwood handle with a molded rubber grip for comfort. Vaughan & Bushnell Mfg. Co., 11414 Maple Ave., Hebron, IL 60034. (815-648-2446)

Ultra-Low-Profile Drill

Height of only 6 1/2-in.

Rotabroach HMD100 portable magnetic drill is designed for general fabrication and maintenance projects where hole access is restricted and for drilling in confined quarters where full size portable magnetic drills or traditional drilling equipment is awkward to handle and position. This drill has a 5/8-in. through 1 1/16-in. dia. and 3/4-in. depth of cut hole capacity, and operates from a 115 volt power source. Hougen Mfg., Inc., P.O. Box 2005, Flint, MI 48501. (810-635-7111)

Copper Hammers


These high-quality hammers, with copper or brass heads, provide excellent resistance to sparking, making them ideal for use in flammable or hazardous environments. They are available with seasoned hickory or high-strength fiberglass handles in weights from 1/2-lb. to 16-lbs. Electric Materials, 50 S. Washington St., North East, PA 16428.

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Cordless Tool Kit

  •  24-volt
  • Drill/driver, circular saw and flashlight

Kit 3960CFK uses “Platinum” series 24-volt Ni-Cd battery technology, providing up to 30% more run time than 18-volt batteries and virtually the same amount of power as its corded equivalent. The drill/driver delivers up to 500-in. lbs. of torque. Bosch Power Tools, 4300 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL 60646. (877-BOSCH-99)

Industrial Hand Tool Catalog

  • Over 4,600 items
  • Over 500 new tools

Catalog features products for maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) professionals. It includes one of the largest master sets, the 1,200-piece Ultimate Master Set. Other products include the Geared Box Wrench and Eliminator Ratchet System, tools that offer excellent strength, access and speed, while providing increased productivity. Master sets, socket sets and wrench sets have been updated to include more than 125 new sets. Armstrong Industrial Hand Tools, Danaher Tool Group, P.O. Box 3767, Lancaster, PA 17604. (800-759-4656)

Copper Crimping System

  • Replaces sweat method
  • Saves time and labor

ProPress press connection system crimps copper tubes in seconds. It consists of an electro-hydraulic tool with inter-changeable jaws that crimp 1/2-in. to 2-in. fittings, and a full line of more than 250 SKUs of specially designed copper fittings in 1/2-in. to 2-in. sizes. The system joins copper tube by crimping the fitting around the tube to form a watertight connection. No flame is needed. The high-strength connection lasts the life of the tubing system. It eliminates the time-consuming method of soldering copper, and eliminates pipe contamination due to lead-based solder or flux. Ridge Tool Co., 400 Clark St., Elyria, OH 44036. (800-769-7743)

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There are many people who mentioned about the benefits of best cordless impact driver and that are helpful for people in their own way. You may see the manager who is senior at Tonawanda telling about the benefits and he is named as Todd Follis.

He added that productivity is known to be the best thing that everyone appreciates. He also concluded “Thirty percent of our eight-hour day is used for installation.”

This is not on great request for the cordless thing and is around and near a Danforth jobsite as well. there are new searches made on the battery in the cordless tool and they are also charging battery with the latest technology that help to get the benefit from this.  He was also the person who said that reliable tools are among the best one and if one part is lost then the good battery will also not be achieved. Further he added, “If you are constantly changing batteries or trying to find a place to charge batteries, you are losing time and you are losing dollars in an already tough market.”

Few years back it was also proposed to check the battery and its features that were necessary to look after and reduce so that impact driver can easily be used in proper way.

Within the previous decade it was explained by the ion technology of lithium that there is forward that is with regards the life of the battery and is also increased. About lithium Feld added, “Lithium ion is a stable technology that has become an industry standard,” Feld also added that for staying here is the golden opportunity.

The cordless equipment weight and also in the longer runtimes there is equality that has been mentioned by the Porter cable Associate Product manager who is named as Mike Peiffer.

Further he added, “The industry as a whole is looking at ways to make tools smaller and lighter,”

You may also consider example that there is high in the usage of impact driver among the contractors which is having easy feet and the weight is also seen is not much.

The sixth era and the formation of lithium ion battery was made by the vice president of the project management of cordless Paul fry named Milwaukee tool management with also having REDLITHIUM 2.0 and XC4.0 series and the battery life is great and is different and easily constructed.

He also added, “Durability is what a professional demands and will the tool work in cold weather? The challenge is how you deliver on such a basic expectation. Lithium ion responds differently to abuse. You have to protect the battery pack. We place a major focus on the construction of battery packs.”

There is easy mixing among the output and also with the runtime that helps to focus on the important part of the goal of the industry.

Further questions were asked by the Fry that were that what is the runtime for such technology with the power it is using and “Just because you get one doesn’t always mean you get the other. Not everybody is driving 1 5/8-in, drywall screws. You have to find that balance.”

There is also increase in the electronics term and that helps to provide better place for the battery that helps to get benefit from it and in this way impact drivers can be easily used.

It is also commented by the director of brand management Craig Sumner RIDGID, “Electronics protect our batteries from overheating and overcharging,” which was easily understandable and made evidences.

In just a little time you may get the right thing for your impact driver and that will be helpful in adding greater value and running in small deadlines as well. There is advancements in the technologies that was also mentioned by Feld with the companies and are usually seeing the side and changes of charges.

There was also other suggestions made by Feld who was properly noting about the Bosch and its new battery saving style that what can further be seen for the 3-amp hour battery and how it is running accordingly. There was also a thing done to check for the battery that how it can be used and the response of others with the amp hour that is greater with the batteries along with good runtimes seen with those batteries.  Impact driver that are cordless are seen perfectly by every sense.

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The best Tips where you use DEWALT DCF886B Impact Driver

Impact Drivers had been initially designed to complete one work: generate anchoring screws. This can

be a job it will quicker as well as simpler compared to almost any additional device.  DEWALT DCF886B Impact

driver may kitchen sink lengthy, big fasteners-including body fat lag screws that might booth the

majority of corded exercises. The majority of tradespeople tend to be up to date upon which. What’s

fascinating in my experience would be the most recent versions striking the actual market because

there’s a great deal to select from.

The best Tips where you use:

Be enough this to express, DEWALT DCF886B obtained a lot more than my personal interest which day

time. This obtained the long term devote my personal toolkit. Because which redesign I’ve ongoing while

using XR sequence effect car owner for pretty much each and every buckling software We experience.

This operates permanently, as well as We invest much less period changing away electric batteries and

much more period operating. You can use it the following places:

  • The actual dark situation offers excellent safety, transport as well as storage space choices.The very first thing We observed as soon as I acquired this from its container is actually exactly howlittle, small as well as ergonomically satisfying it’s.
  • We really were amazed using the pounds from the device, exactly how well balanced it’sinside your hands, as well as exactly how comfy this seems whenever you maintain this.
  • Just like the majority of the DEWALT DCF886B resources I’ve possessed, this particulardevice exudes high quality as well as sturdiness.
  • Among the initial tasks We done with this particular device had been moving the actual loftas well as setting up Teflon loops to operate a few organized cable television for any house system. Wehad been generating two. 5” Teflon covered anchoring screws in an exceedingly messy, cramped as well

    as darkish work area.

  • This carried out BEAUTIFULLY. Very first, we could obtain 2-3 hour’s really worth associatedwith function completed with one cost about the electric battery that was excellent because obtainingdown and up in the loft isn’t that enjoyable or even simple.
  • We just experienced one hand liberated to generate anchoring screws as well as there havebeen numerous uncomfortable situations exactly where We had been inclined more than or evenlounging upon roof important joints generating anchoring screws.
  • This particular device will all of the function. A person doesn’t need to utilize large sumsassociated with stress towards the back again from the device for that little bit in which to stay theactual mess.
  • We had been amazed along with just how much gentle these types of LEDs start. Thiscreated employed in this specific atmosphere much less unhappy.
  • Upon a number of events We really utilized the actual LEDs like a torch tolocate something We fallen within the padding.
  • The actual anchoring screws We had been generating might have very easily already beenremoved away.
  • I needed to determine just how much manage I’d within the device as well as it happens alot. We went by. 5” pan-head anchoring screws with just a little exercise as well as persistence We couldplace 50-60 of those rapidly without any draining.


This particular device had been ideal for this particular task. The DEWALT DCF886B will all of the

function generating the actual anchoring screws along with very little work through me personally. More

often than not We had been carrying this out one passed whilst inclined back to the cupboard. We could

obtain anchoring screws simply restricted sufficiently without having more than tightening up.

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The relationship between the environment problem and Power Tool


Tool designers are also concerned with noise and dust, two constant companions when it comes to using power equipment. In the past, designers worried mostly about dust and grit working their way into the motor or the gears and bearings of the tool and wreaking havoc. Hitachi, for example, uses two dust seals and a copper bushing on the front end of its reciprocating saw to keep dust levels inside the housing at negligible levels. The copper bushing, which is longer than the length of the stroke on the saw’s shaft, keeps most of the dust out. “On some of our competitors’ saws, the stroke of the piston is longer than the seal,” notes Matt Nelson, Hitachi’s marketing manager for electric tools. “You can draw a pencil line on the shaft outside the seal, rotate the reciprocating mechanism, and the pencil mark ends up inside the seal, illustrating the fact that dust can do the same thing.”

Health and environmental concerns have pushed designers to not only keep dust out of the tool, but also out of the air, which has led to an array of imaginative dust-collection systems. These systems become much more critical when removing lead paint or working with masonry, which present potential health hazards. Companies are turning to vacuum bags, HEPA filters, high-efficiency particulate accumulators, and wet systems in which the water is used to turn the dust into a more manageable slurry. Some companies make tools with integral dust-extraction systems which rely on a user’s shop vacuum. DeWalt’s new DW621 router, for example, is the first router with such a system. Dust is pulled through the router and out the tool’s dust hose by a shop vacuum. This is an easier and more efficient methods of dust control than cumbersome add-on kits, according to De-Walt.

Noise is practically inevitable when cutting, sawing, hammering, or drilling, but manufacturers still try to reduce as much unwanted or objectionable sounds and vibrations as possible. DeWalt’s 18-V drill, for example, features a spring-loaded clutch-plate assembly. The spring forces the clutch plates apart at the point where a screw is set, eliminating clutch-plate noise called ratcheting. It also drives screws more efficiently and increases clutch life.

Hitachi’s new grinder, the G12SE, was also designed for reduced noise and vibration. One technique they used was to create an air funnel or channel inside the tool, which increased airflow overall by 40%. “Now, instead of air flowing in and around the motor armature, there are clearly defined pipelines directing air through the back of the grinder and out the front,” says Nelson. “By controlling the direction the air takes, we reduce vibrations and whistling, as well the load on the fan.”

Making light work of new tools

Two important characteristics consumers look for in a tool are low PriCe and how comfortable a tool is to use. Comfort encompasses light weight, ergonomic design, a low level of vibration, and a host of other intangibles. On one level, material suppliers have given manufacturers a hand in achieving comfort and low price with new plastics, alloys, and manufacturing methods.

Engineers at Bayer, a material-supply company, for example, working with molders at Philips Plastics Corp., helped Black & Decker meet its design goals for building the DeWalt 18-V cordless drill. B&D wanted a housing for the drill that was both durable, comfortable, and could be produced in DeWalt’s distinctive bright yellow finish. Bayer and Philips suggested Triax 2153 polycarbonate/ABS blend for the housing and a polyurethane elastomer for the soft-grip handle. The soft-grip handle would add comfort in its tactile feel and reduce vibration transmitted to users. Philips bonded the two materials together in a multishot molding process which injects two different materials, at different times, into the same mold. During this process, the elastomer grip quickly forms a chemical bond with the Triax housing. The materials and the bond were put to an accelerated weathering test in which the housing was exposed to 1,000 hr of Xenon arc light and intermittent water spray. The materials retained more than 70% of their original properties.

Bayer also helped B&D make their best-selling Snake-Light flexible flashlight more user friendly by keeping manufacturing costs down and making it strong enough to withstand rough-and-tumble use. After rejecting polypropylene and polystyrene, Bayer engineers proposed using Lustran 648 acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) for the flashlight’s battery and lamp housing, as well as a wall-mounting fixture. It met the need for chemical resistance, good impact strength, and low cost. The fast cycle time for manufacturing with Lustran became important in helping B&D meet the unexpected high demand for the light. Cycle time for components average 35 sec, and the molding process is fully automated.

While the trend toward replacing traditional tool-making metals such as cast aluminum with plastics or lighter-weight magnesium continues, some companies are exploring the use of composites. One company, Penner, already makes some components of their pneumatic nailguns with composites.

Another trick designers use to make tools more user friendly is to improve the ergonomics. “The tool might not be lighter, but users think it’s lighter because we’ve refined the balance and contours of the tool, adjusting the way it rests in the hand,” says Jeff Dils, director of design and development at Ryobi.

DeWalt’s power screwdrivers were also redesigned with ergonomics in mind. The handles are thinner and oriented to reduce muscle stress which sometimes causes injury. The motor housing has a finger groove which lets users hold the tool in a way preferred by the pros (with the hand behind the tool and fingers across the housing). The trigger was enlarged to accommodate two fingers and has a soft-grip surface.

Where’s the key?

A popular feature on many power drills is the keyless chuck, which lets users change drill bits without using a key or special tool. And for small chucks less than 3/8 in., there is no performance trade-off in going keyless. They are actually more versatile but slightly more expensive. Jeff Dils, director of design and development at Ryobi expects keyed chucks smaller than 3/8 in. to disappear from the market as they’re replaced by keyless versions. At the 1/2-in. size, there is a significant price jump between keyed and keyless chucks because the keyless models need more precise jaws and a better grip to handle large and small bits. “Once you get above 1/2 in., the price increase is astronomical, with a keyed chuck selling for $12 and a keyless version with the same quality going for $80,” he says. “That’s why most chucks in that range use a key.”


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Power to People

Handheld power tools are shedding their cords and becoming more portable, as well as lighter and quieter.

Millions of people rely on powered hand tools to make their lives easier. Among them are construction workers, wood-workers, homeowners, do-it-your-selfers, and assembly-line personnel, along with thousands of home-improvement contractors such as plumbers and electricians. And they all have different needs. Professionals want tools that stand up to worksite abuse with the newest in ease-of-use features, and price is often no object. Homeowners and hobbyists, on the other hand, might want a more versatile tool, one that handles several tasks well but isn’t optimized for any particular one. For these users, price is often paramount. Then there are those who want the best, with the latest and greatest in features and power, even though they will never fully utilize all the tool’s features or come close to pushing its performance envelope.

Tool manufacturers have responded with a seemingly bottomless toolbox of powered drills, grinders, sanders, saws, routers, and so on, all just a little bit different or designed for a specialized job. Black & Decker, for example, produces at least 20 models of handheld power drills, while DeWalt, a division of B&D devoted to manufacturing professional-grade tools, produces another 36 drill models.

To keep their customers satisfied, and attract new ones, manufacturers have been offering lower-cost tools with improved ergonomics and a wider range of features. One of the most popular of these new features is battery power, which gives users portability while working on the job or at home.


Battery-powered or cordless tools are one of the fastest-growing categories in power tools, with advances in rechargeable batteries spurring development. Battery packs have gone from 3.6-V systems to a new high with DeWalt’s 18-V line. This line features a drill/driver and saw, available in June, and two more drill/drivers available in August, all of which use an interchangeable XR battery pack. DeWalt designed these tools for professionals, especially electricians and plumbers who have never considered using cordless tools for the heavy-duty applications of their trades. For example, the 18-V drill can run a 7/8-in. ship auger through several 2 x 4 studs for wire or pipe installation – a job typically requiring a l/2-in. corded drill. The 18-V cordless DeWalt saw runs up to 3,200 rpm and can cut 125 2 x 4s on a single charge. According to De-Walt, their 18-V XR battery pack provides 70% more run time than a standard 12-V battery.

Black & Decker uses a similar concept but with lower-voltage batteries in its VersaPak system, 20 different tools running on one or two 3.6-V VersaPak rechargeable batteries. Designed for DIYers rather than professionals, the batteries should provide enough power to complete relatively simple projects such as hanging blinds, assembling furniture, or building shelves. According to the manufacturer, the VersaPak screwdrivers will drive 200 #6 screws into 1-in. fir on a single charge. The systems come with a choice of rechargers which take between 4 and 18 hr, and each battery can withstand 300 full recharges. Since most batteries are not fully drained before being recharged, users should be able to recharge VersaPak batteries more than 300 times, according to B&D. These batteries, unlike those used in many camcorders, can also be fully recharged even if not completely drained.

Ryobi-America also designs and builds a large line of battery-powered tools and accessories. One of the most important accessories is the 1-hr “smart” recharger. Besides being able to fully recharge depleted batteries in 60 min, it detects hot batteries just taken from a tool. Most other rechargers won’t charge hot batteries. Ryobi’s charger puts hot batteries on a trickle charge until they cool, then switches to full-recharge mode. A circuit in the recharger identifies defective batteries, so users don’t short out the charger or mistakenly believe the charger is defective when the problem is a bad battery.

A drawback in the push for more power in portables is that as the battery voltages climb higher, so does their weight. “An 18-V battery pack can weigh 5.5 lb, which is probably too heavy to use all day, the number one complaint among users of cordless tools,” says Matt Nelson, marketing manager for Hitachi’s electric tools. “We’ve stayed with 12-V tools, but introduced a 2.0-A/hr battery, one of the first in this market. We also designed a belt pack that can hold two batteries and clips onto a user’s workbelt. A cord connects the batteries to the tool, letting workers roam the worksite without having to recharge or replace batteries. For commercial users, it gives them greater power and reduces weight. For example, Hitachi’s 12-V tool weighs only 3.2 lb, less than a 9.6-V tool with the battery pack attached.”

Still, there seems to be a drive among consumers for tools with more power. “But most people just don’t need it,” says Jeff Dils, director of design and development for Ryobi-America, a tool manufacturer based in South Carolina. “Cordless tools on the market now have more power than most people will ever use, but there are always those who will buy based on power ratings, and there are contractors who actually need more power in a portable tool.” His advice to DIYers shopping for cordless tools is to determine what you are going to use the tools for, and unless you’re going to drive lag bolts 8 hr a day, a 12 or 14.4-V system is as high as they should ever need to go. And 7.2 or 9.6-V tools should be enough for most people. “Consumers should really look for drills and other tools with two-speed gearboxes because that’s what gives tools the versatility for heavy-torque applications as well as higher speeds for normal drilling,” he says.

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PLANT FOCUS Hand & Power Tools – Part 1

Disc Sander

The air-powered .7 hp disc sander is ideal for grinding sheet metal, removing paint and rust, and weld preparation. By adding an optional back-up pad it can also be used as a rotary buffer. It is available in 3,400 rpm or 4,500 rpm, and features a thermal-insulated, ergonomically designed composite housing. An adjustable, cushioned soft-grip side handle provides for optimum comfort and control, and a rear exhaust muffler reduces noise levels. As a rotary buffer, it is excellent for removing dust nibs and scratches on base/clear coats. Dynabrade, Inc., 8989 Sheridan Dr., Clarence, NY 14031. (716-631-0100)

Adjustable Wrenches

These wrenches feature extra-wide jaw openings that offer 20% more capacity without adding weight the tool. They are available in three finishes (cobalt, cobalt with a cushion grip, and industrial black) with maximum opening capacities of 15/16-in. to 1 1/2-in. The cobalt-finish comfort grip wrenches feature a rubberized grip handle that offers a comfortable, easy fit in the hand. Wrench handles are 50% wider to provide a better grip. The wrenches are forged from a single bar of steel. Wright Tool Co., P.O. Box 512, Barberton, OH 44203. (800-321-2902)

Pneumatic Drills

Ergo-Series drills are engineered for exceptional performance on any material. Ergonomic pistol housing design provides for operator comfort while maintaining superb balance and control. The trigger design includes a teasing capability for greater control and accuracy. Series ES drills are available in three chuck sizes: 1/4-, 3/8- and 1/2-in. They are rated 0.9 hp with seven speed options from 500 rpm to 6000 rpm. Sioux Tools Inc., P.O. Box 507, Sioux City, IA 51102. (712-252-0525)

Socket Sets

The 3/4-in.-drive socket line is available in 21-piece and 25-piece 12-point fractional socket sets packaged in durable, molded plastic cases for safe, secure storage. Sockets feature the SureGrip hex design that drives the sides of the hex fastener, not the corners. This not only provides increased strength, but also avoids the rounding of rusted or damaged fasteners, which can occur when using a sharp-cornered hex tool. These sets also feature the Professional ratchet design, a completely enclosed, rebuildable ratchet mechanism and diamond knurled grip for no-slip handling. S*K Hand Tool, Corp., 3535 W. 47th St., Chicago, IL 60632. (773-523-1300)

Compact Torque Wrenches

Series HXD hexagon cassette wrenches are designed for fast bolting and unbolting. The series includes three drive units available with 27 snap-in interchangeable cassettes and almost 50 optional reducer inserts to provide maximum flexibility in a broad range of applications. Model HXD-120 offers a maximum torque of 9,220-ft. lbs. at maximum operating pressure of 11,600 psi; HXD-60 has a maximum torque of 4,565-ft. lbs.; and the HXD-30 provides a maximum torque of 2,425-ft. lbs. With a high torque-to-weights ratio, ranging from 4.6-lbs. to 16.3-lbs., the wrenches are easy to transport and use for extended periods. Enerpac/APW Tools and Supplies, 6101 North Baker Rd., Glendale, WI 53209. (800-433-2766)

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Adjustable Wrenches

  • Transparent comfort grips

These wrenches feature measurement scales on both sides to read inches as well as millimeters. The jaws are perfectly parallel to insure a safe grip and reduce the possibility of damage. Non-protruding jaw, with thinner jaw profile, permits easier use in more confined areas. Ergonomically designed handles have a wider handle to allow a more comfortable grip. Each wrench is dipped with a transparent CHANNELLOCK BLUE grip to provide a more comfortable feel when performing tough and continuous tasks. CHANNELLOCK, Box 519, Meadville, PA 16335. (800-724-3018)

Belt Transmission Alignment Tool

  • Reduces belt/sheave wear
  • Minimizes vibration

Model BTA laser-based tool helps to eliminate downtime problems. It is designed to provide angular and parallel alignment. A single operator can quickly accomplish alignment. Three moveable magnet targets are used with laser transmitter to provide fast, precise alignment. The tool efficiently handles sheave diameters of 2.5-in. to 4-ft. over spans of up to 10-ft Mr. Shims, P.O. Box 1062, Addison, IL 60101. (800-72-SHIMS)

Low-Profile Torque Wrench

For space-sensitive uses

Pow’r-Torque hydraulic wrenches feature an exceptionally slim nose radius to help users achieve easy positioning in close quarters. Lightweight tools deliver a high-torque ratio accurate to within [+ or -] 3% for troublesome make-and-break jobs. They are offered with a wide range of links in 1/16-in. increments. Links can be changed, on the fly, without tools. The smallest wrench width is only 1.1-in. with a radius of 0.36-in. Simplex, 2525 Gardner Rd., Broadview, IL 60155. (800-323-9114)

Indexable Head Ratchets

  • 24-position
  • Access fasteners in confined areas

These ratchets eliminate the need to dissemble obstructions to access fasteners. An indexing is capable of locking in 24 positions (every 15 degs.) by simply unlocking the head, selecting the desired angle and then locking it into position, all with one hand. A sealed transfer case protects internal indexing components from dirt and debris penetration to enhance performance and durability as well as providing a maintenance-free tool. Proto Industrial Tools, 14117 Industrial Park Blvd. N.E., Covington, GA 30209. (800-800-TOOL)

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Power Tool Accessories and Safety Tips

Pneumatic Equipment

Once confined to commercial use, air tools are now being used for home applications. With pneumatic tools, air is used to power many different types of tools. Pneumatic equipment also offers long, relatively maintenance-free life.

There are a large variety of air tools available for woodworking projects and automotive applications including: drills, hammers, caulking guns, sanders, staplers, nailers, tackers, impact wrenches, tire chucks, grease guns and blow guns. Spray gun kits can also be used with compressors.

Pneumatic nailers come in different types according to application such as roofing, drywall, concrete, finish and framing. Manufacturers of pneumatic nailers have been working to reduce the size and weight of the tools to make them more user-friendly. Magazines are now angled to enable the user to operate in right spaces. Another essential feature is a comfort grip that dampens the tool’s vibration.

Some pneumatic nailers now incorporate plastic parts that eliminate the need for lubrication, prolonging the life of the tool. Even though oil-less nailers are more wear-resistant than the soft rubber O-rings found in conventional guns, they still need to be cleaned periodically.

When selling air tools, always recommend that the user wear safety glasses and gloves.

Hose Reels

Hose reels are available that are designed to easily store pressure washer, compressor and air hoses. They eliminate hose storage and handling problems, extend hose life and make shop, garage and work areas safer. Among the accessories available are carrying caddies, roof jack kits and special mounting brackets for compressors, pressure washers and safety locks.

Saw Accessories

In addition to the variety of specialty saw blades discussed earlier, accessories for circular saws include abrasive wheels, crosscut guides, protractor gauges, rip guides and carrying cases.


Sabre saws and reciprocating saws can be fitted with a host of special-purpose blades to cut metal, plastics, fiber glass and wood, and to make tight scroll cuts.

There are blades that cut on the downstroke to minimize splintering in already installed laminates or paneling and a scroll-cutting saw blade that cuts in any direction.

Router Accessories

Rooters will accommodate several accessories; among them:

  • Router bit sets that perform functions such as grooving, slotting, straight cuts and veining. Bits with titanium coatings can help reduce friction, heat and residual build-up;
  • Plane attachment with arbor and spiral cutter;
  • Hinge butt template kit that positions router on both door and jamb for mortising;
  • Veneer trimming attachment that trims wood veneers and plastic laminates;
  • Edge guides that act like a rip fence to help guide the router;
  • Dust collection systems;
  • Other router accessories include molding makers, lettering/numbering sets, biscuit jointer cutters, crafters and pantographs.

Other Accessories

Tables can convert portable circular saws, jigsaws and routers into stationary power tools. This tool attaches to the underside of the work table with the blade or cutter protruding up through the table. It gives the portable tool owner an opportunity to enjoy many of the benefits of a stationary power tool at a low cost, and is suited for the person who only requires a stationary tool on an infrequent basis and for relatively light-duty work.

Power tool cutting and drilling accessories require sharpening as do other tools. There are several kinds of sharpening abrasives available including diamond abrasives. Because of their hardness, diamond abrasives reduce honing time, and they eliminate breakage and the need to use oil, since these abrasives may be used wet or dry.

Diamond abrasives are effective in honing tungsten carbide. Because there are so many kinds of abrasives available, it would be best to review literature about the ones you stock to make the proper recommendations to customers.


Be familiar with the following safety procedures when handling power tools.

Know your power tool. Read the manual carefully; learn the tool’s applications, limitations and potential hazards.

  1. Ground all tools unless double insulated. If tool is equipped with three-prong plug, it should be plugged into a three-hole receptacle. If adapter is used to accommodate two-prong receptacle, the adapter wire must be attached to a known ground.
  2. Keep guards in place and in working order.
  3. Keep workplace clean.
  4. Avoid dangerous environment. Don’t use power tool in damp or wet locations; keep work area well-lighted.
  5. Keep children a safe distance away.
  6. Store idle tools. When not in use, tools should be stored in a dry, high or locked place out of reach of children.
  7. Don’t force the tool. Do not exceed the capacity for which it was designed.
  8. Use the right tool for the job. Don’t force a small tool to do the job of a heavy-duty tool.
  9. Wear the proper apparel. Avoid loose clothing or jewelry that can get caught in moving parts. Use rubber gloves and footwear when working outside.
  10. Wear safety glasses, gloves and a dust mask with most tools.
  11. Don’t abuse the cord. Never carry tool by cord or yank it to disconnect.
  12. Secure work. Use clamps or vise to hold work; this frees both hands to operate tool.
  13. Don’t overreach. Keep a safe, stable footing.
  14. Unplug or turn off tools when not in use and when changing attachments.
  15. Remove adjusting keys and wrenches before turning tool on.
  16. Avoid accidental starting. Don’t carry plugged-in tool with finger on switch.

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Hand and Power Tools – Part 2

Air-powered tool

i Contact arm and accessories

The Dynafile III Versatility Kit features an air powered abrasive belt machine for grinding welds, blending and deburring on metal, stainless steel and various composite materials. It offers a grinding head which pivots 360-deg. Composite housing reduces tool vibration and is thermal insulated to prevent cold air transmission to hands. It includes a contact arm with a 2-in. diameter, 90 durometer wheel and is ideal for heavy weld grinding utilizing 1-in.W x 18-in.L abrasive belts. Kit includes two additional arms, one for grinding into tight corners and one for heavy weld grinding and blending. Dynabrade, Inc., 8989 Sheridan Dr., Clarence, NY 14031. 716-631-0100;

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Ergonomic Screwdriver Set


TORX Screwdriver Set (#83541), ranging in sizes from T6 to T40, features a twin-material, cushioned rubber grip for improved turning torque and sure handling in harsh work environments. Screwdriver blades are nickel chrome plated for corrosion resistance and long life, and feature precision-ground tips for secure contact with the fastener heads. S-K Hand Tool Corp., 3535 W. 47th St., Chicago, IL 60632. 800-SK-BRAND;

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Hex Drive Sockets and Bits

Offer tighter, more secure fit

Bits feature higher strength for better, longer performance, while sockets provide a hex opening with a “press fit” design for a tighter fit. The silver bits, which fit all conventional style holders, are made from an extra-tough, modified S2 tool steel that is custom heat-treated for exceptional torsional strength and long service life. Shank diameter on the 3/8-in. drive series bit is 5/16-in., while the 1/4-in. drive bits have a 1/4-in. shank. Wright Tool Co., P.O. Box 512, Barberton, OH 44203. 800-321-2902;

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Ergonomic Hand Rivet Tool

Complete rivet tool kit

Has 200 blind rivets/rivet washers

The POP PowerLink 30 Rivet Tool kit, packaged in a sturdy molded plastic case, is designed for workers who are often away from the toolbox or tool crib. The tool can set rivets up to 3/16-in., making a wide range of jobs possible. Additional nose pieces enable it to set 3/32-in., 1/8-in., and 5/32-in. rivets. Nosepieces and wrench are stored in the handle, which is specially designed to allow one-hand operation, while eliminating pinch points. Emhart Fastening Technologies, 510 River Rd., Shelton, CT 06484. 203-925-3176;

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Power Tools and Accessories

i 256-pg. catalog

Catalog outlines the complete line of Bosch power tools, which serve builders, remodelers and contractors, electricians, plumbers and metal, concrete and wood applications. Highlighted are several new products, including a line of 24-volt cordless tools (reciprocating saw, drill/driver, circular saw and flashlight), the 4000 Table Saw, Heavy Duty Plus Drill/Drivers, plus hundreds of other tools and accessories. Bosch Power Tools, 4300 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago, IL 60646. 877-BOSCH99;

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Indexable Ratchet

i Flexible head eases access

i Cuts disassembly time

The Proto 3/8-in. Flex-Head Indexable Ratchet features an indexing head capable of locking in 24 positions that provide a new angle at every 15 degrees, as well as seven “Flex-Head” angles to ratchet over and around obstructions. Ratchet is easily adjusted into position with one hand. With the head in the unlocked position, users can run down fasteners by rotating the head 360 degs. Sealed transfer case protects internal indexing components from dirt and debris, reducing cleaning time and enhancing performance. Stanley-Proto Industrial Tools, 14117 Industrial Park Blvd. NE, Covington, GA 30209. 800-800-TOOL;

Dielectric Safety Tool Kit

i Double-insulated hand tools

i For energized circuit environments

All tools manufactured to the ASTMF-1505.94 standard for work on voltages up to 1,000 VAC. When the outer orange insulation layer has worn, the lower yellow layer shows through, serving as an early warning to take the tool out of service. Kit includes ergonomically designed screwdrivers, pliers and wrenches (with box or open ends), as well as a 30-150 in./lb. torque wrench with 3/8-in. drive. Cementex Products, Inc., P.O. Box 1533, Burlington, NJ 08016. 800-654-1292;

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Cordless Screwdriver Kit

i 39-in. lbs. torque

i 22-stage clutch

Compact screwdriver offers torque accuracy within [+ or -] 5%. Calibration chart indicates torque for each clutch setting, from 2.6-in. lbs. on the lowest setting up to 26-in. lbs. on the highest setting. Auto shut-off clutch extends battery and clutch life by immediately stopping rotation once torque setting is reached. Uses a 3.6V, 1.2Ah battery and has dual speed 200/600 rpm. Kit includes driver, 15-min. fast charger, battery pack, and #1 and #2 Phillips bits. Jensen Tools Inc., 7815 S. 46th St., Phoenix, AZ 85044. 800-366-9662;

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Ergonomic Chipping Hammer

i Rubber-buffered thread-on retainer

This four-bolt, 3-in. stroke, heavy-duty chipping hammer is ideal for chipping steel castings, concrete roughing and chipping heavy duty weld seams. It is available in either round or hex bushings, and with weight-saving aluminum handle or rugged steel handle. ATP, Div. Of Hy-Tech Machine Inc., 25 Leonberg Rd., Cranberry Twp., PA 16066. 800-245-1148;


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Hand and Power Tools – Ultimate Guide

Circular Saw

Model 6394-21 Tilt-Lok 7 1/4-in. circular saw features an adjustable main handle that provides the user with maximum comfort and tool control, and enables the handle to be properly adjusted to the cutting application. The Quik-Lok electrical cord, if accidentally cut during use, can be replaced instantly at the jobsite with a new cord. A small button on the saw ensures a positive lock. From a top speed of 5,800 rpm, the power-assisted electric brake ensures fast, consistent braking action, stopping the saw blade in less than 2-secs. for quick, repetitive cuts. Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp., 13135 W. Lisbon Rd., Brookfield, WI 53005. 877-729-3878;

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Pneumatic Nutrunners

Cleco 24 and 34 Series nutrunners are designed for M6-M8 fasteners and offer excellent power-to-weight ratio. A new motor design provides more usable power in a smaller package. These toolsdeliver faster operation, lower scrap and improved product quality, along with reduced warranty claims resulting in costly rework. Other features include an externally adjusted and indicated clutch, a comfortable handle area, and a composite exhaust deflector that allows exhaust to be efficiently piped away for reduced noise levels. Cooper Tools, P.O. Box 1410, Lexington, SC 29071. 803-359-1200

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Spiral Retaining Ring Removal Tool

This tool removes multiple-turn rings. It fits precisely between the ring layers to access the removal notch. When slipped in place, the tool completely surrounds and encapsulates the removal notch, eliminating slipping as the ring’s free end is pulled out radially and up for removal. The tool is available in four standard ends: small-straight, small-90 [degrees] bend, large-straight, and large-90 [degrees] bend. Smalley Steel Ring Co., 385 Gilman Ave., Wheeling, IL 60090. 847-537-7600;

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Angle Grinder

The Craftsman Professional 7-in. angle grinder features a 13-amp, 8000 rpm, high-efficiency motor with 100% ball bearing construction. It runs cooler and its DC capability allows it to be used with generators and welders. The grinder has an ergonomic, in-line grip handle and a 2-position auxiliary handle. A heavy-duty slide lock-on switch allows continuous operation. Sears Industrial Sales, 3333 Beverly Rd., E3-365B, Hoffman Estates, IL 60179. 800-776-8666;

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Air Drilling Tools

Series Q2 precision air drilling tools offer enhanced performance and increased productivity, allowing operators to work longer and more comfortably, while reducing lost-time injuries and improving productivity and quality. The tools are available in pistol, straight and angle configurations. They offer best-in-class, lube-free performance with or without air motor lubrication. Many customizable options and accessories, including compact sizes and shapes, and small or large angle heads, are available to allow operators to fit the tool to the job. IR Co., Dept. NR-751, 253 E. Washington Ave., Washington, NJ 07882.

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Power Tools and Tooling

i 76-pg. catalog

Catalog highlights cordless drill/drivers which feature impulse action; 4 1/2-in. Ergo Angle Grinders which offer an innovative back handle and safety switch design; and variable speed jig saws with orbital action. Also available is a line of professional tooling products, including concrete bits, wood bits and bi-metal saw blades. Metabo Corp., P.O. Box 2287, West Chester, PA 19380. 800-638-2264;

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Torque-Controlled Electric Screwdriver

i Features automatic shut-off

i Ergonomic handgrip

The E-Driv increases productivity and enhances product quality through precision torque control and user comfort. When fasteners are fully seated and the preset torque is reached, a series of safeguards are activated, preventing overtorquing and reducing user fatigue. Mountz Inc., 1080 N. 11th St., San Jose, CA 95112. 806-456-1828;

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Retaining Ring and Hose Clamp Tools

Tool brochure, 28-pgs., features tools for installation and removal of retaining rings and self-compensating hose clamps. Booklet features photos and specifications for retaining ring and hose clamp manual and automatic assembly tools. It also lists ring and plier kits, retaining ring dispensers and cross references the tool to the correct retaining ring or hose clamp. Rotor Clip Co., Inc., 187 Davidson Ave., Somerset, NJ 08875. 800-55-ROTOR;

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Tools and Tool Kits

i 400-pg. catalog

i Over 200 new items

Publication features products for applications including telecom, cable, LAN, fiberoptic, wireless, computer and medical electronic industries. The catalog contains over 100 standard tool kits, hand tools and electronic test equipment including component testers, digital multimeters, frequency counters, power supplies and a large selection of instrument/shipping cases. LAN test equipment includes analyzers, Category 5 testers, and continuity testers. Telecom selection contains bit error rate testers, digit grabbers, and digital butt sets. Cleavers, light sources, power meters and strippers are also available. Specialized Products Co., 1100 S. Kimball Ave., Southlake, TX 76092. 800-866-5353;

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How to choose fuel engines – Finding the best

Gas Engines

  • The season is nearly over, but that doesn’t mean preventive maintence should be neglected. Still “pre-flight” the engine and running gear before each cruise–even if your checklist consists of nothing more than a quick visual inspection and notation of fluid levels.
  • Now is definitely the time to compare early-season fuel economy with late-season fuel economy. Any significant difference between the two will tip you off that a tune-up or other repairs are necessary.
  • After each cruise, take the time to write down every maintenance problem that occurred to you on the water, but that you’ve been putting off repairing. When you begin lay-up, and throughout the winter months, the resulting list will assure that you get the individual jobs done before the start of the season.
  • Some people try to economize by running their tanks almost dry to end the season. It’s much better, however, to leave the tanks topped off to prevent condensation. Just remember to treat the fuel with stabilizer.
  • If you don’t keep a logbook on board, consider starting one.

Sources: Cordless Power Tools

  • Black & Decker (U.S.), Inc. 701 East Joppa Road Towson, MD 21286 (800) 762-6672
  • Bosch Power Tools 4300 West Peterson Ave. Chicago, IL 60646 (312) 286-7330
  • DeWalt Industrial Tool Co. 626 Hanover Pike Box 158 Hampstead, MD 21074 (800) 433-9258
  • Hitachi Power Tools U.S.A. Ltd. 3950 Steve Reynolds Boulevard Norcross, GA 30093 (800) 362-7297
  • Makita U.S.A., Inc. 14930 Northam St. La Mirada, CA 90638 (714) 522-8088
  • Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation 13135 West Lisbon Road Brookfield, WI 53005 (414) 781-3600
  • Porter-Cable Power Tools 4825 Highway 45 North Jackson, TN 38305 (800) 321-9443
  • Ryobi America Corp. 1433 Hamilton Parkway Itasca, IL 60143 (312) 250-7999
  • Sears Power and Hand Tools 20 Presidential Drive Roselle, IL 60172 (800) 377-7414
  • Skil Corporation 4300 West Peterson Ave. Chicago, IL 60646 (312) 286-7330


Q: I have a 25-foot cruiser with a cuddy cabin. The ceiling is covered with a gray, fuzzy material that someone in my marina referred to as “mouse fur.” My problem is that the gray color has darkened around each of the fasteners that go through to the deckmounted hardware above this cabin. Is there any way that you can suggest for me to clean this type of material?

A: I’m not sure what the fuzzy material is, so it’s impossible to give a definite answer. But it sounds as though the stains may have been caused by dampness seeping in around the fasteners, or from corrosion around the fasteners. In either case, the stain may not be just dirt–in which case it unfortunately may not be removable.

I suggest that you contact the manufacturer of that material for suggestions on how to clean it. If you don’t know who the manufacturer of the headliner is, contact the boat manufacturer and ask the customer service department what type of fabric was used on your cabin overhead. You might also try asking them for cleaning instructions.

Diesel Engines

  • It’s a good idea to regularly inspect your fuel system. Dirt or dust accumulations around the fuel pump, injectors, and pipe fittings are often indications of leaking fuel. Engine roughness is often caused by air entry into faulty fuel lines or filtration systems.
  • If you find a leak at a fitting, tighten the nut first. Don’t over-tighten the fitting or you may crack the nut or stress the pipe. Any stress deformation of the pipe will require that it be replaced. Purge air from the system by opening the vent valve and pumping fuel until you get a clear stream without bubbles.
  • Check that the hydraulic hose surfaces are free of deep cracks and feel resilient. Compression connections should look and feel solid, and there should be no signs of hydraulic fluid in the bilge.
  • Replacing hydraulic hoses can be messy. Placing a cork or other stopper in the transmission breather may help slow the escape of hydraulic fluid, or you can drain the system first. Be sure to properly top up with fresh fluid before operation.


Often when approaching a strange dock it is most conventient to slip the eye-end of a docking line over a cleat to secure that end of the line first. For example, it may be best to throw the eye-end to someone on the dock so it can be quickly secured; or you may want to secure the eye to the boat and throw the other end ashore (depending on who will “control” the boat with the line). If the cleat is the two-legged type that has an opening in the base, the best way to secure the eye-end is to first pass the eye under the cleat as shown. Then spread the eye out sideways and pass it over the ends of the horns.

Q: I inadvertently used my lower unit skeg to dredge a new channel through a coral reef. The skeg tip broke off, which I can live with, but the gear housing cracked and lets oil in. A replacement housing is quite expensive. I want to have the old one repaired by Heliarc welding it. But I’m told it won’t work.

A: Heli-arc welding will seal the crack in the housing. But that doesn’t mean the housing is any more usable than when you started. If the bead is good you won’t leak any more oil, but the heat from the welding usually warps the relatively thin aluminum casting just enough to kink it. And as a result, the gearset runs out of alignment with the vertical drive shaft. It’s like driving a vehicle with its rear axle kinked over to one side so that the tire tread quickly scrubs off.

With a kinked gearcase, the lower unit gears, shafts and bearings usually fail pretty quickly. Welding a gearcase is penny-wise but pound foolish. Your best bet is to bite the bullet and fix your engine right the first time. You’ll be happier and spend less money in the long run.

Q: Is there any difference between one brand of TC-W3 oil and another brand?

A: The answer is yes. Some bands meet the TC-W3 standard and others exceed it by varying degrees. Each engine company formulates its “house” blend of TC-W3 to meet the lubrication requirements of its own powerheads. Basically, no matter whose brand you use, the most important consideration is that you always protect your engine with TC-W3.

Q: After reading about how Penetrol can be used to rejuvenate faded fiberglass, I used it on my boat two years ago. Now I don’t like the way it looks and would like to remove it. What can I use?

A: In many cases you can remove the residue by wiping down with paint thinner or similar solvent. If this doesn’t do the trick, then you can use a liquid paint remover, but use one that says it is safe for use on fiberglass (Interlux and other marine paint manufacturers market such removers).

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