When approached by Greenlee to test a new product late last year, we knew it was the perfect opportunity to work with a couple of our favorite electrical contractors, Adam Sperry and Jon Block. Jon and Adam have been friends of The Hub for several years and bring a ton of electrical experience and knowledge Read more
When approached by Greenlee to test a new product late last year, we knew it was the perfect opportunity to work with a couple of our favorite electrical contractors, Adam Sperry and Jon Block.
Jon and Adam have been friends of The Hub for several years and bring a ton of electrical experience and knowledge to our sites. We connected them with Greenlee and after a few projects over a couple months, they share their experience with the Greenlee GSB Series Step Bits.
First off, the step bits are ideal for advanced hole making solution and feature an improved split-point tip for even faster penetration and a patented split-step design to optimize chip load for a faster and smooth cutting experience while achieving more holes per charge.
“These are perfect for making holes in conduit and steel junction boxes as well as enclosures for conduit knockouts or enlarging holes to accommodate larger conduit openings,” said Jon Block, LH Block Electric.
“There’s no reservations in using these bits, Greenlee has a long history in the trade of high-quality products. I’m sure Jon and I both look for a product that is priced appropriate to the results attained and Greenlee is a brand I trust and believe in due to their quality products,” Sperry shared.
Both agreed that the progressive cutting edges on the bits provided balanced aggression to maximize torque efficiency and minimize stalling when using a cordless drill.
Additionally, an improved double flute design provides enhanced chip evacuation, while also increasing cutting speed and bit life. Laser markings on the bits allow for easy part and size identification.
The GSB Series Step Bits for mild steel are offered in two sets, available in 10 Imperial-sized step bits ranging from 1/8-inch to 1-3/8-inch, and three Metric-sized step bits ranging from 4mm to 32.5mm.
Adam’s Final Assessment:
- “These bits are the fastest, smoothest, most durable bits I have used and have performed beyond expectations even when subjected to less-than-ideal conditions.”
- “Personally, I see step bits as a “consumable” item, which I feel is contrary to popular opinion. Most people feel as though the price associated with quality step bits somehow means they should last forever. I disagree. There are a lot of situations where the drilling is less than ideal, or the driller is less than adequately trained which can lead to more wear and tear on a bit. I also prefer the bits to NOT have the quick connect shaft or be impact rated.”
Jon’s Final Assessment:
- ” I love the double flute design and the marked with common conduit knockout sizes and long-life durability.”
- “The split step and the longer step for the common conduit hole sizes makes this a great tool for quick knockouts instead of grabbing a hydraulic knockout set. Greenlee tools are the best in the electrical contracting business.”
- Facebook Product Video
Professionals interested in the GSB Step Bits can visit Greenlee.com/StepBits to learn more information. To request a hands-on tool demonstration from a Greenlee Pro Tool Specialist, visit Greenlee.com/requestdemonstration. For more information on Greenlee, visit Greenlee.com.
Adam got his start in the electrical industry 20+ years ago from his father who was an electrical distributor general manager. Adam has always been keen on working with his hands and takes an extreme satisfaction in watching a project come together from start to finish. One of the keys he brings to our ProStaff is his ability to share whatever tools, insights, tips, tricks, and lessons that have helped him in his career. You can find him on social media at:
Jon, after serving his apprenticeship and acquiring his Chicago Supervising Electrician License, Jon joined his family at LH Block Electric in 1998. Jon brings a unique and extreme work ethic and his many new innovative ideas to the company and currently serves as the job superintendent and chief estimator. He is also a certified electrical inspector and loves teaching the trade in the classroom and in the field. Jon can be found on Facebook at:
- Facebook – LH Block Electric
LENOX LXHT90551 10” V-Jaw Quick Adjust Pliers LENOX® Tools sent some new pliers and wrenches to Mechanical Hub a couple months ago. As always, we choose to use the tools we review on real job sites, in real life situations so we can report back to you. Whether we pay for a tool or product Read more
LENOX LXHT90551 10” V-Jaw Quick Adjust Pliers
LENOX® Tools sent some new pliers and wrenches to Mechanical Hub a couple months ago. As always, we choose to use the tools we review on real job sites, in real life situations so we can report back to you. Whether we pay for a tool or product or it is gifted to us, you will always get honest information that we hope will aid you in decision making when scouting out new tools. LENOX® is not new to hand tools or pipe wrenches, making these all updated designs worth a look. The following is a summary of our use of the 10” V-Jaw Quick-Adjust Pliers over three months of daily use.
If you read my review of the 10” Pliers Wrench or have used pliers with a cushioned grip, then you know the significance of this handle type and how it will benefit you over time and under high force. It’s not surprising LENOX chose this handle type as it is a favorite throughout the plumbing industry.
The v-jaw geometry is one that grips, period. This is a proven jaw design that is meant to grip multiple shapes and sizes of materials. Performance on iron pipe, probably the most common material these pliers will work with, is reliable and exceptional. The v-jaw also allows the user to grip hex surfaces easily, although the aggressive teeth will mar softer metals like bras or finished surfaces like chrome so be aware.
The industrial chrome finish makes these pliers corrosion resistant which is an absolute must for plumbing and heating work. I also found that cleaning the pliers of pipe dirt was not difficult, I’d attribute that to the chrome finish as well.
If you’re like me and use pump pliers every day, I’d recommend giving the LENOX® 10” V-Jaw Adjust Pliers a try. The value when compared to higher price imported or domestic competitors is high. The quick-adjust feature is an absolute slam dunk in making these some of the nicest pliers I have used in my long career as a plumbing and heating contractor.
LENOX LXHT90540 Pliers Wrench A few months ago, LENOX® Tools sent some new pliers and wrenches to us. As always, we choose to use the tools, we review on real job sites, in real life situations so we can report back to you. Whether we pay for a tool or product or it is given Read more
LENOX LXHT90540 Pliers Wrench
A few months ago, LENOX® Tools sent some new pliers and wrenches to us. As always, we choose to use the tools, we review on real job sites, in real life situations so we can report back to you. Whether we pay for a tool or product or it is given to us free of charge, you will always get honest information that we hope will help you make decisions on how and what you spend your money on. LENOX® is not new to hand tools or pipe wrenches, but these are all updated designs so it’s worth a look. The following is a summary of our use of the Pliers Wrench LXHT90540 over three months of daily use.
I have been a fan of pliers wrenches for years but never before have I used one with such a large jaw capacity. The 3” opening of the LXHT90540 Comfort Pliers Wrench is impressive.
The comfort grip handles on this 10” pliers wrench make it easier for me to handle when aggressive action is required. If you’ve never used a pliers with a comfort style grip, then its time you give this one from LENOX a try.
The quick-adjust feature is the best I have used and that is coming from a tough critic. The button is low profile but large in diameter so it’s easy to push but won’t get in the way. The ease of a quick closing adjustment is perfect, LENOX nailed this feature.
The jaws of the plier’s wrench are narrower and longer than most others I have seen in the industry. This is an advantage in tight areas where either the width of the hex surface is limited, or the turn circumference is tight. The longer jaws are great for large hex nuts like a shower drain or sink drain body and almost act like a needle nose of sorts when you find yourself reaching into a tighter spot. At first, I was unsure of this feature but after using the pliers wrench longer, I realized it is a benefit.
Overall, I would recommend these to both professionals and DIY-ers alike. These pliers are great to have in your daily carry bag or around the shop. The value is excellent, and performance meets or exceeds other pliers wrenches already available in the market. These can be found wherever you buy LENOX® Hand Tools and online.
Milwaukee continues to expand their PACKOUT line of tool and materials storage system in 2020 with the addition of the 2-Wheel Cart [catalog #48-22-8415]. You may be familiar with Milwaukee’s new PIPELINE video series, it was launched in response to Covid restrictions forcing the cancellation of their annual new product symposium (#nps), the 2-wheel cart Read more
Milwaukee continues to expand their PACKOUT line of tool and materials storage system in 2020 with the addition of the 2-Wheel Cart [catalog #48-22-8415]. You may be familiar with Milwaukee’s new PIPELINE video series, it was launched in response to Covid restrictions forcing the cancellation of their annual new product symposium (#nps), the 2-wheel cart was first announced during episode 2 in October.
If we rewind the clock a bit back to August, that’s when I first got my hands on the new hand cart and put it to use. Since August I have hauled over two dozen tank water heaters and countless variations of PACKOUT boxes in and out of my job sites. SPOILER ALERT: its not perfect but it’s a very useful tool. Keep reading if you’d like my honest feedback on the PACKOUT 2-wheel cart #48-22-8415
Weight: 25lbs (11.3kg)
Width: 20″ (51cm)
Height: 48″ (122cm)
Depth (folded): 12″ (30.5cm)
Total capacity: 400lbs (181kg)
While its been months now that I’ve been using the PACKOUT 2-Wheel Cart I’m still trying to get used to the folding base locking mechanisms. In fact the locks on both sides, down by the wheels make collapsing the cart difficult at best. As stated in a recent video post on our Instagram page, its almost like you need a third hand. I opt for my knee as you’ll see in the video. The head scratcher here is why wasn’t a one-handed push-button style of locking system part of the cart in the first place? Another question raised by many of our followers is “does the base even need to lock in the first place?” I hadn’t thought of that myself but since its been asked I too wonder if a lock is even necessary.
Lastly I’d like to point out that the wheel placement on the inside of the chassis uprights was intended to keep the cart narrow, making it easier to navigate thru narrower pathways. While that is technically true I have experienced first hand that the narrowly spread wheels make for a less stable hand truck when crossing either uneven surfaces, turning abruptly or when loaded heavily in either of the aforementioned situations.
It’s my opinion that the wheels should have been on the outside for stability; I’m much more concerned that I’ll damage a client’s property like a wall or flooring from a load that’s fallen than I am fitting into the narrowest of spaces.
In summary I’d say the cart has been a good addition to the van. I’ll repeat myself in saying I use it nearly every day for both the transport of my many PACKOUT boxes and bins but also other items like water heaters, boilers and more.
Its not perfect, like other tools that have preceded it I would imagine a second generation will include some changes that will hopefully make it an even better tool. The PACKOUT tool and storage system has definitely been well received across all trades and crafts. This cart is just one of many PACKOUT items offered by Milwaukee Tool to build on an already robust product line.
Jon Block, LH Block Electric Company, LLC, Bartlett, Ill., got the chance to get out of the shop and use the Milwaukee M18 FORCE LOGIC Knockout set (model #2677-23) out in the field with one of his foreman, Bruce, and an apprentice. “Bruce was super excited to try it out and couldn’t wait to use it. One Read more
Jon Block, LH Block Electric Company, LLC, Bartlett, Ill., got the chance to get out of the shop and use the Milwaukee M18 FORCE LOGIC Knockout set (model #2677-23) out in the field with one of his foreman, Bruce, and an apprentice.
“Bruce was super excited to try it out and couldn’t wait to use it. One of the first things we both loved about it was the punch and dies themselves. The cross lines on the MILWAUKEE EXACT die helped us get each punch exactly right and on the mark. We then began punching a series of 3/4”, 1”, and 2” holes and we both marveled at the ease and quickness of changing the punches back and forth,” says Block.
When using the old hydraulic knockout sets, someone always had to hold up the press and one guy would take off the die or punch. The press was always heavy and cumbersome and a hassle, and would leak hydraulic oil if not tightened properly. Granted, Block had one of its old trusty hydraulic knockout sets for 45 plus years and it did a great job for a very long time.
“My Father used this set when he was an apprentice so it’s had it fair share of use. My hope is that this new Milwaukee punch set will hold up just as well. It seems very well constructed and has that old school Milwaukee marketing slogan ‘Nothing but Heavy Duty’ feel to it,” says Block.
Punching knockouts is a one-person job now for LH Block. “We can do it from any position, which helps make it easier to use while up in the air or on a ladder. There are no hoses in the way to fumble around with.”
Overall, says Block, the tools performance itself was, for the most part, smooth as silk. “It took us a few seconds to get the trigger control down, but it was easy to adjust to. The dies are super sharp. I’m hoping that over time they’ll remain that way. I’m interested in how many holes we’d get in one battery, but we finished off 13 holes and it still had a full charge.
“My foreman is in love with this machine. Our apprentice, after very little instruction, was able to use it just as well. My guys always thought the best inventions in our trade was the Milwaukee M12 Bandsaw and the impacts. But I think they found a new favorite,” says Block.
Information from Milwaukee Tool
Our M18™ FORCE LOGIC™ 6 Ton Knockout Tool 1/2″-4″ Kit reduces the tedious steps of hole making, improving your speed and limiting your fatigue. This knockout punch tool is specifically designed to be the ideal mild steel punching tool. It is powerful enough to punch up to 4” holes in 14 gauge mild steel. It is also 40% lighter weight than other 6T knockouts available. The electrical knockout tool has a compact, right angle design that delivers you the best clearance in tight spaces. Our Quick Connect Alignment System provides you with easy set-up without the weight of the tool and speeds up repetitive punching. The tool is compatible with all our MILWAUKEE® EXACT™ punches and dies. The knockout dies are rated for both mild and stainless steel punching. Vivid red cross hairs provide you with accurate alignment and slug removal ports provide optimal slug removal. The gripping surface on the EXACT™ punches allows you to thread faster. The cordless 6-ton knockout tool delivers the Easiest Way to Punch.