Taking Stock in Your Toolbox

| December 03, 2001

He also recommends a bright chrome finish, a feature SK believes is important. Chrome protects the tool from corrosion, and the smoothness of such a finish makes it much easier to wipe clean.

SK impact tools have a coating of rust inhibitor. If tools aren’t chromed, is there corrosion protection of some other variety so they will last?

O’Hara recommends a smart move: Try out a pair of pliers to make sure that when closed in its tightest configuration the handles are still far enough apart that you can get a good grip. SK designers ensure a good grip in their designs. Do the screwdrivers you are trying out have a grip you can hang on to? SK uses a thin layer of molded plastic to make sure you can grab their tools and provide a bit of cushioning. Will you be able to use the tool easily for a long period without fatiguing your hands? And make sure you can grab the handle well enough to maximize your turning power.

The packaging the tool comes in isn’t just for display in the store. SK switched from plain metal boxes to molded plastic cases so toolkit items would be kept organized. Do the tools you are looking at come in a case that will keep them in order? Remember that just finding the right size tool can become a significant part of the job when you have to do it over and over.

Care of special service tools
The heavy-duty account managers at SPX Service Solutions provided some suggestions for preserving the value and performance of any special service tools you may purchase:

  1. Store special service tools in a clean, dry area off a concrete floor. Dampness can affect such tools by penetrating to inner parts in spite of their having black oxide or zinc plating on the outside.
  2. Keep special service tools separated from one another when carrying them in a vehicle cab or large toolbox, so they won’t bang against each other. The smartest thing to do is to simply store them in their original storage units. Keeping them in these storage containers in a shop will help you stay organized, which could save time in a difficult repair.
  3. Make sure to use tools only for the specific purpose they were designed for. Be careful, for example, to use electrical tools – such as a voltmeter – set on an appropriate scale for the voltage you are looking for.
  4. Never use a power tool for something normally handled with hand tools. Damage to both the tool and the vehicle or component often occurs because of this misjudgment.
  5. Clean black oxide or zinc-plated tools with a soft cloth and mineral spirits. Lube all moving parts with a light oil to prevent rust and any sort of binding.

So, make sure to choose tools carefully, spending enough to get something that will help you work, not hinder you. Be aware that quality tools last so much longer, so they more than pay for themselves. It’s one thing to get a good price on an item of known quality; another thing entirely to buy a cheap tool that won’t work without damaging a fastener or breaking. And make sure the tools you buy will be easy and comfortable to use.



For more information, contact the following:

Schrade Knives & Tools
Tel. (800) 2-SCHRADE
www.schradeknives.com

SK Hand Tool Corp.
Tel. (800) 822-5575
www.skhandtool.com

SPX Service Solutions
Tel. (800) 328-6657
www.toolsfortrucks.com

Taylor Wings, Inc.
Tel. (800) 634-7757
www.taylorwings.com

Taking Stock in Your Toolbox

| December 03, 2001

He also recommends a bright chrome finish, a feature SK believes is important. Chrome protects the tool from corrosion, and the smoothness of such a finish makes it much easier to wipe clean.

SK impact tools have a coating of rust inhibitor. If tools aren’t chromed, is there corrosion protection of some other variety so they will last?

O’Hara recommends a smart move: Try out a pair of pliers to make sure that when closed in its tightest configuration the handles are still far enough apart that you can get a good grip. SK designers ensure a good grip in their designs. Do the screwdrivers you are trying out have a grip you can hang on to? SK uses a thin layer of molded plastic to make sure you can grab their tools and provide a bit of cushioning. Will you be able to use the tool easily for a long period without fatiguing your hands? And make sure you can grab the handle well enough to maximize your turning power.

The packaging the tool comes in isn’t just for display in the store. SK switched from plain metal boxes to molded plastic cases so toolkit items would be kept organized. Do the tools you are looking at come in a case that will keep them in order? Remember that just finding the right size tool can become a significant part of the job when you have to do it over and over.

Care of special service tools
The heavy-duty account managers at SPX Service Solutions provided some suggestions for preserving the value and performance of any special service tools you may purchase:

  1. Store special service tools in a clean, dry area off a concrete floor. Dampness can affect such tools by penetrating to inner parts in spite of their having black oxide or zinc plating on the outside.
  2. Keep special service tools separated from one another when carrying them in a vehicle cab or large toolbox, so they won’t bang against each other. The smartest thing to do is to simply store them in their original storage units. Keeping them in these storage containers in a shop will help you stay organized, which could save time in a difficult repair.
  3. Make sure to use tools only for the specific purpose they were designed for. Be careful, for example, to use electrical tools – such as a voltmeter – set on an appropriate scale for the voltage you are looking for.
  4. Never use a power tool for something normally handled with hand tools. Damage to both the tool and the vehicle or component often occurs because of this misjudgment.
  5. Clean black oxide or zinc-plated tools with a soft cloth and mineral spirits. Lube all moving parts with a light oil to prevent rust and any sort of binding.

So, make sure to choose tools carefully, spending enough to get something that will help you work, not hinder you. Be aware that quality tools last so much longer, so they more than pay for themselves. It’s one thing to get a good price on an item of known quality; another thing entirely to buy a cheap tool that won’t work without damaging a fastener or breaking. And make sure the tools you buy will be easy and comfortable to use.


For more information, contact the following:

Schrade Knives & Tools
Tel. (800) 2-SCHRADE
www.schradeknives.com

SK Hand Tool Corp.
Tel. (800) 822-5575
www.skhandtool.com

SPX Service Solutions
Tel. (800) 328-6657
www.toolsfortrucks.com

Taylor Wings, Inc.
Tel. (800) 634-7757
www.taylorwings.com

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