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Must-Have Hand Tools
Just when you thought your tool arsenal was complete, the tool industry innovates new devices (several are featured here) that are sure to whet your appetite for even more appliances.
1 The perfect tool for handling flare fasteners
If you have ruined a flare nut using a conventional hand wrench, you will appreciate GearWrench’s Ratcheting Flex Flare Nut Wrench. The ratcheting open end of the wrench allows you to easily slip the wrench onto a line and then advance the flare nut without removing the wrench from the fastener.
The flex-head feature of the wrench allows it to be positioned through 180° to access hard-to-reach places such as power steering and brake lines.
The wrench is finished in polished chrome and is made available in a variety of sizes, including 9 through 21 millimeter metric and 1∕2-inch to 7∕8-inch SAE sizes. Two different fastener sizes are located at each end of the wrench.
The retail price for individual wrenches is $22.19 ($151.27 for a six-piece set). For more information, visit gearwrench.com.
2 One-stop tool kit features pass-through design
You can never have enough hand tools. Craftsman’s 131-piece Mechanics Tool Set will tempt you to add to the inventory. That line’s unique Max Axess Go-Thru design lets the ratchets and sockets readily slide over extra-long bolts and rods.
The set comes with 131 tools, including 79 sockets, 20 wrenches (featuring Craftsman’s long pattern design that produces great torque), 22 hex keys, three quick-release ratchets, and a host of other items in common drive sizes as well as SAE and metric units. The set is backed by Craftsman’s lifetime warranty. The suggested retail price on the 131-piece Mixed Drive Mechanics Set is $219.99. For more information, visit craftsman.com.
3 Ultimate filter wrench
The largest oil filters stuck fast to an engine block are now an easy-off with IPA’s Gator Jaws wrench.
The 23-inch-long wrench employs 32 teeth that grab onto filters with great gripping force to quickly loosen them.
Gator Jaws’ features include two adjustable-width settings that allow it to fit over filters ranging from 1½ inches to 8 inches in diameter. Plus, the ends of those jaws are bent in such a way to allow the Gator Jaws to reach around tight spots to engage a filter.
The Gator Jaws wrench retails for $74.95. For more information or to make a purchase, visit ipatools.com.
4 10-in-1 multiple bit driver
Multiple-bit screwdrivers abound, but Milwaukee Tool’s 10IN1 Multi Bit tools not only offer that company’s well-known quality design but also come in an amazing diversity of types.
For example, you can buy a 10IN1 tool in different configurations of screw and nut bits. They come in standard and ratcheting models.
The line also includes three models of torx key and hex key drivers. Each tool comes with seven bits or key drivers plus a wire stripper, wire loop maker, and ¼-inch nut driver.
All versions of the 10IN1 are backed by a lifetime warranty. The retail price on a driver ranges (by type) from $14 to $22. For more, visit milwaukeetool.com.