Cool Tools: Must-Have Hand Tools
Industrial-Grade Socket Sets
Designed for industrial work, Gearwrench’s ¾- and 1-inch ratchet and socket sets feature a full-polish chrome finish and a quick-release drive tool retention design. Accessories for the ¾-inch drive set include a flex-handle breaker bar; sliding T-handle; 5-, 8-, and 16-inch-long extensions; a universal joint; adapters for ½-inch and 1-inch drive sockets and sockets featuring off-corner loading technology and chamfered openings that guide fasteners into the socket. Go to gearwrench.com.
The ExoCore sledgehammers from DeWalt employ carbon fiber composite handles for durability and overstrike protection. They are available as a 4-pound hammer with a 12-inch-long handle or 6-, 8-, and 12-pound versions with a 32-inch handle. The ExoCore sledgehammers come with a limited lifetime warranty and retail for $29.99 up to $54.97. Go to dewalt.com.
Offset Laminated Wrench
This laminated six-point ratcheting box wrench (with 1⁄2 - and 9⁄16 -inch openings) is offset at 25° for easier access to fasteners. The tool’s laminated design allows dirt and debris to be easily cleaned from the ratcheting mechanism, and the broached openings provide a nonslip grip on fasteners. Made in America, the Gearwrench model 27-6129G retails for $25. Go to gearwrench.com.
Stow & Go Lug Wrench
The fold-away design of Ken-Tool’s Stow & Go four-way lug wrench allows the wrench to be stowed in a trunk, a toolbox, or behind a seat when not in use. The moveable arms swing and lock into the 90° position. Plus, the arms can be slid within the locking hub to create greater leverage when removing and tightening a lug nut. Made of high-strength tool-grade steel alloy, the 16-inch-long tool offers 17-, 19-, and 21-millimeter sockets plus a ½-inch square drive adapter. The model PN 35636 retails for $25. Go to kentool.com.