We are creatures of habit; when we find a system that works we stick with it. We all have them, some good and a few bad. The topic today is tools. Whether you wear jeans, cargo pants or bib overalls, odds are good that some of your favorite go to tools are in your pockets. They may not even be useful by them selves, but part of something bigger.
At a recent doctor’s appointment I found the need to unload my pockets. This in itself isn’t an unusual task, yet a task which I commonly don’t do in front of an audience, in this case in front of the doctor. As she watched, I proceeded to remove my “go-to” tools from my pockets. I have to admit it sometimes amazes me how we can make it through the day packing such a collection.
On the table I had the following:
4″ Raptor crescent wrench, 7″ Knipex Cobra slip joint pliers, 1 ea – 1/4″, 5/16″ & 3/8″ shorty magnetic nut driver bits, T-15, 20, 25 & 30 bits, Milwaukee switch back utility knife, Milwaukee 16 foot tape measure, Milwaukee 10 in 1 ratcheting screw driver, TerraLUX pro 300 flashlight with belt pouch and of course a wallet. Now this didn’t all come out of one pocket, but nonetheless, it was all concealed in my pants pockets, less the tape measure and flashlight.
Each of these items has some level of significance and has earned its keep.
Knipex Cobra 8701180 7-1/4″ pliers, quite possibly the finest slip joint pliers made. Those of you who have them will attest, those who do not, find a pair. Go now!
The loose bits are all a part of a bigger thing. I commonly use them with the Milwaukee 48-22-2302 10-1 driver. The driver comes with a standard variety of flat, Phillips and square driver bits. One of the features I find useful with this is the length of the provided bits. The bits themselves are 3″ long. The assembled driver it’s like having a full set screwdrivers vs the standard issue 10 in 1 who’s shank often is to large in diameter to reach recessed screws. Another feature I like with this driver is the magnetic bit holder.
The Milwaukee 48-22-5116 16′ tape measures have a a ton of great features. Double-sided rule, architectural scales on the reverse side, magnetic tip, finger guard. The magnetic tip is a really great feature, it includes two magnets one directly on the tip, most useful for retrieving the bits mentioned above, which obviously will always land under the boiler/furnace/car/washing machine/any other location which might be nearly impossible to reach. The second magnet is located on top of the blade near the tip and allows the tape to stay firmly attached to any common ferrous flavor steel pipe/stud/beams/all thread.
The TerraLUX light is a high-quality light, and has a solid aluminum construction with a tail switch. I would say it is comparable to many lights in this category. When purchasing a flashlight for the service plumbing industry, I look for a few common features. Standard battery sizes, “AAA” or “AA”, waterproof, machined head (prevents rolling), multiple brightness settings — we are here to fix your problems and go back and forth to the truck for batteries every 15 minutes ma’am. I look for the warranty terms as well, lifetime warranty means a lot to me when I might be dropping $50-$100 on a light.
The wallet is a standard issue bill fold, with one exception, as I am self employed like many of you, my wallet must be able to accept multiple wads of large denomination bills, cause everyone knows plumbers roll in them during our frequent lavish vacations! I hoped you enjoyed this tad bit; in return I’d like your assistance. Send us a quick pic and comment about your favorite tool, “insert snarky comment,” you know what we mean.