Tools of the Year 2021: Hand Tools
This is the Hand Tools category of the exclusive Successful Farming “Tools of the Year” program to highlight innovations and must-have tools and shop supplies for your farm operation. These tools will help you get the job done.
Our editor selected one tool as an “Editor’s Choice” and other tools as “Recommended” in Power Tools; Hand Tools; Ratchets & Sockets; Metalworking; Shop Supplies; Lighting; Workbenches & Tool Chests; and Shop Essentials.
Here is the list of the 2021 winners in Hand Tools.
The introduction of the ratcheting box-end wrench was a game changer in hand tool convenience. GearWrench has taken the concept further with its 90-tooth ratcheting wrenches that need only a 4° swing arc to engage, making them ideal when working in tight spaces.
The tools’ longer beams extend the wrenches’ reach. The 12-point box end fits on six- or 12-point fasteners and has a dual-direction off-corner loading design that reduces fastener rounding.
Another great feature of the tool set is its markings. The tools are finished with a full-polish chrome with the individual wrench’s size marked with color-filled marking (molten orange for metric sizes and black for SAE wrenches).
GearWrench offers 36 open-stock combination wrenches in metric (6 to 25 millimeters) and SAE sizes (¼ to 1¼ inches). The Model 86959 of 14 SAE wrenches has a retail price of $295. Go to gearwrench.com.
The Wide Jaw Adjustable Wrench from Crescent (available in tools that are 6, 8, 10, and 12 inches long) offers microserrations on the insides of its jaws that provide for a tighter grip on fasteners generating up to four times more torque.
Features include a large knurl that provides a tighter jaw fit, is easier to adjust, and is less likely to bind. Both tools’ SAE and metric laser-etched scale allows for quick and easy determination of fastener size. The tools’ black phosphate and lacquer finish help to resist rust and prevent corrosion for better durability.
The retail price for a 6-inch wrench is $29.89. Go to crescenttool.com.
The Tite-Reach ½" Pro Extension Wrench (works with any ½-inch socket set) offers a 14-inch reach into tight work areas.
Capable of transferring up to 225 foot-pounds of direct torque (1,200 foot-pounds with an impact wrench!), the tool’s features include a diecast aluminum frame that houses a #40 roller chain and vanadium chrome sprockets that rotate in commercial-grade ball bearings.
The Model TR12V1 retails for $130. Built in the Midwest, Tite-Reach also offers a variety of extension wrench sizes in ¼- and ⅜-inch drives. Go to tite-reach.com.
Precision Nippers for Electronic Components
Designed for precision work on fine wiring and components found on equipment electronics, the Vampliers Mini Precision Nippers offer a sharp tip that produces clean cuts and an opening that has an angle adjuster. Features include strap holes at the base of the handle and oil-resistant handles with a cushioned grip.
The 4¾-inch-long, 2½-ounce tool retails for $28.97. Go to vampiretools.com.
This premium set of professional-quality drivers are fashioned of chrome-vanadium-molybdenum tool steel that is super hardened and topped off with a hard chrome finish.
The extra-heavy-duty and hammer-impact-resistant blades offer a hex bolster so a hand tool can be used to increase turning torque. Features include cushion-grip handles. Testifying to its rugged design, the drives are topped off with a metal striking cap for hammer impact resistance.
Handles are directly molded to the blade for a permanent bond. And handle size of the German-built tool is proportionate to the blade to provide a consistent mechanical advantage.
The retail price for a seven-piece set of slotted and Phillips drivers is $138.52. Go to wihatools.com.
See our other categories of Tools of the Year winners:
- Power Tools
- Hand Tools
- Ratchets & Sockets
- Shop Supplies
- Workbenches & Tool Chests
- Shop Essentials
We welcome both your feedback and nominations for 2022!