12 cool tools for the shop
Looking to upgrade your hardworking shop tools?
Or, need a gift idea for the farmer on your list?
Consider these useful and cool tools that can help get the job done.
- READ MORE: Enter Shop Hacks Contest
The 25 Ton Dual Station ironworker comes standard with a punch and open workstation that can be custom fitted with nine interchangeable attachments. The punch station can punch holes in mild steel from 1⁄8 to 1⁄16 inch. Punches are easily changeable and available from 1⁄8 to 4-inch diameters with square, oblong, hex, metric, and custom shapes. Vertical movement produces even pressure resulting in precise punching and shearing with minimal distortion that results in extended tooling life. The ironworker does require an Edward LowerLink System or Portable Power unit to operate.
The price range for the 25 Ton Dual Station is $6,739 to $11,189. Go to edwardsironworkers.com.
Made from heavy-duty waterproof polypropylene, the Wrap-It Storage Strap features a super strong hook-and-loop fastener and rust-resistant grommet to hold cords, hoses, and more. The straps are offered in six sizes ranging from 7 to 28 inches.
A four-pack of 7-inch straps retails for $6.99; a single 28-inch strap sells for $7.99. Go to wrapitstorage.com.
Ratchets for Tight Spaces
The 120-tooth count dual pawl drive of the Craftsman 120T ratchets engage the socket with less than a 4° swing, making the tool ideal for working in tight spaces. Offered with either 3⁄8 or 1⁄2 -inch drives, the gunmetal chrome finish on the ratchet allows it to resist corrosion. Other features include the Craftsman quick socket release mechanism.
Retail prices are $31.98 or $36.98 for 3⁄8 and 1⁄2 -inch drive ratchets, respectively, which includes a lifetime warranty. Go to craftsman.com.
The Striker 160 is a compact dual-voltage (115 or 230 volt) single-phase inverter welder that provides TIG or stick welding with input volt- ages from 98 to 265 volts. The welder offers direct current welding using coated electrodes of diameters from 1⁄16 to 5⁄32 inch. The Striker 160 provides a hot start function that gives easy ignition of the weld arc while preventing electrodes from sticking to the workpiece. A power-saving smart fan feature reduces dust inside the machine, improving the life of the fan.
The Striker 160’s suggested retail price is $853. Go to weldcotemetals.com.
Offered in standard and metric sizes, Klein’s 2-in-1 socket set offers two spring-loaded 12-point sizes in one socket. Engineered for use with impact tools, the sockets’ cross hole design prevents unintentional separation of adapter and socket. The set includes a 1⁄2 inch square adapter that fits 1⁄4 -inch hex drivers.
A set retails for $119.99. Go to kleintools.com.
21-Pound TIG-Stick Welder
This TIG and stick inverter welder from ESAB is just 151⁄2 ×101⁄2 inches in size and weighs 21 pounds, which is a third lighter than comparable units on the market. The Rogue ET 200iP Pro offers a welding output range from 10 to 200 amps, and provides the control required for delicate welds and the power to run 5⁄32 -inch stick electrodes. The unit delivers a 200-amp TIG output at a 25% duty cycle. The Rogue comes with an SR-B 26 type TIG, tungsten electrode, Tweco Electrode holder, return cable with clamp, Victor gas regulator, and 115 or 230-volt power adapter.
The welder’s suggested retail price is $1,999. Go to esab.com.
The German-built Wiha professional series of ratchet wrenches employs a 72-tooth ratchet system that engages with a 5° arc swing for operating in tight spaces. The 12-point box end is offset 15° for versatile fastener fitting. The open socket ends also angle 15° for quick flipping between rotations. To prevent damaging fasteners, the open end offers off-corner loading.
The 31-piece SAE and metric set retails for $583.56 and has a lifetime warranty. Go to wiha.com.
The YesWelder MIG-205DS offers MIG, TIG, and stick welding capability in a quick-selection design that allows switching to different welding modes. The synergic control for MIG welding allows automatic alteration of voltage and wire feed speed by just adjusting the amperage or wire thickness. Weighing 23 pounds, the welder runs directly on 110-volt (50/60 Hertz) power or 220-volt (50/60 Hertz) power with the use of a power adapter.
The MIG-205DS retails for $499.99. Go to yeswelder.com.
The induction heating delivered through coils (seen in front of the box) heats parts red-hot in seconds, freeing seized parts. The Venom HP kit includes three basic coils, and the angled 1,800-watt pistol-grip Mini-Ductor Venom HP operates from any 120-volt, 15-amp outlet. Heating coils twist into place for use.
Suggested retail price on the model MDV-787 is $649. Go to theinductor.com.
The Tornador Max works with compressed air to blast cleaning solution into surfaces including crevices you can’t reach. It sucks up the solution and air-dries surfaces in seconds. You can change working pressure using an air regulator located on the back of the handle. Tool features include a trigger grip, LED work light, and fluid control valve for both cleaning and air-drying.
List price: $167. Go to detailing.com.
Carbide-Tipped Steel Bits
These hardened drill bits are ideal for drilling into broken studs, spring bolts, die sections, extra tough metals, brake drums, etc. Holes may be drilled without annealing and without changing the structure of the material drilled. The set includes 1⁄8 , 3⁄16 , 1⁄4 , 5⁄16 , and 3⁄8 -inch bits.
Set price is $137.54. Go to knkut.com.
The offset angled handle on Gearwrench’s ratchet wrench gives additional clearance in engine cavities. Plus a six-position flexing head allows it to be adjusted to reach into tight spots. Finally, the ratchet operates with a 90-tooth gear, which means the ratchet need only be swung 4° to engage its drive, thus making it ideal for working in tight confines. The set includes 6-inch-long 5⁄8 and a 13⁄16 -inch magnetic swivel spark plug sockets.
The set retails for $76.99. Go to gearwrench.com.