Favorite hand tools?

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Hi - I'm working on figuring out the ultimate tool kit for myself.

Do people have favorite tools? A couple of mine:

scissors: Wiss 175E (these things are awesome)
tweezers: Erem 00 SA (heavy duty tweezers)
Wiha AA SA ESD (fine tweezers)
small screwdrivers: Wiha (like these)
allen keys: Bondhus makes nice ones, I've tried a bunch of different sets and they were all good.
needle nose pliers: I have some nice Wiha ones, but I want to try some Wiss ones too.

Still working on finding the ultimate wire cutters and wire strippers.

What about you all?

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I use Lindstrom pliers and cutters (Supreme range). Expensive, but worth it. After I'd been using one pair of cutters for about 15 years one of the springs broke - they sent me a couple of replacement springs free of charge.

Leon Heller G1HSM

Last Edited: Fri. Oct 1, 2010 - 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Do people have favorite tools?
A large hammer!! You will definetely use it at some time in your career in electronics. :?

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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For precise flush cuts I use a Xuron cutter.
http://www.amazon.com/Xuron-170-...

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Most of the wire I strip these days is 28 gauge ribbon cable. I made my own stripper many years ago. I had a crimper/bolt cutter/stripper that stripped gauges 10 through 22. I ground notches for 28 gauge with a small sharpening stone with sharp corners.

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John,

A chainsaw never goes astray either ;)

I also have a pair of Xuron 670 cut'n'crimp which I am liking a lot for creating hand made vias. Just got to figure out how to get the 2 sides aligned more accurately so I can shrink the vias.

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Lindstrom also get my vote for wire cutters. I had a lovely small flush cut pair for over ten years and they would have done another ten years if my missus hadn't used them to try to cut curtain wire :shock:

I was amazed that the box joint survived this torture, the cutting surfaces however were another matter. She had the nerve to ring me at work to tell me that 'those cutters of yours are rubbish'

I hate breaking tools !

Also a fan of Spiralux screwdrivers and I have a set of small nut runners in a neat case by Cooper Tools. The odd thing about them is that the plastic used to make the handles still smells like baby vomit after 15+ years of use.... eeeewww.

Cheers
Robin

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A piece of wood. Soldering, drilling, cutting and so on.

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Quote:
How to get a complete home tool set for under four dollars

Go to one of those really cheap discount stores where they sell plastic furniture in colors visible from the planet Neptune and have a food section specializing in cardboard cartons full of raisinets and malted milk balls manufactured during the Nixon administration. In either the hardware or housewares department, you’ll find an item imported from an obscure oriental country and described as “Nine tools in one,” consisting of a little handle with interchangeable ends representing inscrutable oriental notions of tools that americans might use around the home. Buy it. This is the kind of tool set professionals use; not only is it inexpensive, but it also has a great safety feature not found in the so-called quality tool sets: the handle will actually break right off if you accidentally hit yourself or anything else, or expose it to direct sunlight.

Warning: do not be misled by advertisements for so-called tool sets allegedly containing large numbers of tools. These are frauds! oh, sure, you get a lot of tools, but most of them are the same kind! for example, you’ll get 127 wrenches, and the only difference is that one will be maybe an eighth of an inch bigger than another. Big deal.

Dave Barry, the taming of the screw.

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leon_heller wrote:
I use Lindstrom pliers and cutters (Supreme range). Expensive, but worth it. After I'd been using one pair of cutters for about 15 years one of the springs broke - they sent me a couple of replacement springs free of charge.

Leon - that isn't a brand I'm familiar with. Looks like they aren't carried by my favorite distributors - so it's not too big of a surprise. They're definitely available though. I'll check them out.

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I am ambidextrous, does that mean two pairs of glasses?

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A magnifying glass is really handy for inspecting PCB's for value markings and components fried to a crisp. I think that you can get them left & right handed too!

You are lucky ignoramus, I would give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin & Murphy are always lurking about!
Lee -.-
Riddle me this...How did the serpent move around before the fall?

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ignoramus wrote:
I am ambidextrous, does that mean two pairs of glasses?
Hey Ignoramus, where can I buy a left handed screwdriver?

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wobbin_c wrote:
She had the nerve to ring me at work to tell me that 'those cutters of yours are rubbish'
A beautiful preemptive strike. The best defense is a strong offense, you know. :)

P.S. I wonder how many people know how to break a steel wire in two, without bunging up a cutter. In a pinch it can be done with bare hands, but a pair of pliers makes it easier. They don't teach that in school, but maybe they should.

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Leon Heller G1HSM

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steve17 wrote:
wobbin_c wrote:
She had the nerve to ring me at work to tell me that 'those cutters of yours are rubbish'
A beautiful preemptive strike. The best defense is a strong offense, you know. :)

P.S. I wonder how many people know how to break a steel wire in two, without bunging up a cutter. In a pinch it can be done with bare hands, but a pair of pliers makes it easier. They don't teach that in school, but maybe they should.


Well now you've got me curious. You're talking about solid core wire, yes? What's your trick?

I wouldn't mind a nice trick for stranded steel wire. I always have to go find some heavy duty cutters for it (used for controlling bicycle derailers and breaks).

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I'd file it a nick in solid steel wire and bend it repeatedly until it broke.

How about tinning stranded steel wire with solder to make it solid, then cutting it in a vice with a fine hacksaw?

Leon Heller G1HSM

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leon_heller wrote:
I'd file it a nick in solid steel wire and bend it repeatedly until it broke.

How about tinning stranded steel wire with solder to make it solid, then cutting it in a vice with a fine hacksaw?


Interesting suggestion. Will normal solder and flux work on steel? I don't believe I've ever had to solder to steel so I'm not sure...

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You will probably need an acid flux. I think I used zinc chloride for soldering steel, many years ago.

Leon Heller G1HSM

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Steve,

maaaate ..its all in the wrist action.

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I was thinking of solid wire. You don't need to file a nick. If you repeatedly bend it back and forth at the same spot, through close to 180 degrees, it gets hot, and it breaks. I can break my 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) wire in 4 bend cycles, if I take care to bend it close to the pliers.

You could also hold it in a vise.

The trouble with doing it with bare hands is getting it to bend in the same spot each time. Also the wire can get painfully hot if you have to bend it many times.

The steel cable on bicycles would be a problem. I guess it's stainless steel, which is considerably stronger than mild steel. I think you could eventually break it by repeated bending, but the frayed broken ends would be a mess.

Maybe a vise and a hacksaw would be good. It might be a good idea to get an extra hard or abrasive coated blade. Maybe a cold chisel and anvil would do the trick.

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I remember using a cold chisel and a piece of steel as an anvil for cutting a motorcycle brake cable, many years ago. It had the advantage that it helped to splay the ends of the wires, ready for soldering. If you didn't splay the ends, the wire pulled through the nipple the first time you applied the brake hard and you didn't stop. :)

Leon Heller G1HSM

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I've seen 1 inch (2.54 cm, for you measurementally challenged folks) diameter steel cable being cut. They used a heavy steel "jig" that held the chisel positioned above the cable. You whacked the chisel with a sledge hammer.