Tool reviews...

 
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Vin Sanity
Mad Mechanic


Joined: 09 Jan 2004
Posts: 1089
Location: Awash in a sea of baby shit and BMW parts

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:47 pm    Post subject: Tool reviews... Reply with quote

I've been considering putting some tool reviews on some of the stuff I've been using lately on here. I wasn't sure if anyone would be interested in that, but I know at least Mark and John might be interested in what cheap stuff I haven't managed to break so far, and what are huge headache savers...


I guess I can start with my Performax extending 1/2" ratchet. I'll have to edit with the P/N later. So Performax was a Menard's (midwest home improvement chain) brand, that they are phasing out, but I still see them online, as well as clones. I bought it 4 years ago, and it is probably my most used ratchet. It has a locking collar toward the head that allows you to extend the handle incrementally from about 10 inches to 18 or so inches. I have used this ratchet as a pry bar and a hammer on multiple occasions. It has been frozen in ice and I've used a 10 foot cheater bar on it. 3 years ago the screws that secure the gear cover in the head started backing out, so I cleaned them and put them back in with blue lock tite. Hasn't had a problem since. The comfort grip rubber stuff on the handle is shredded due to numerous diesel baths and general misuse. Meanwhile my Snap-On 1/2 long handle ratchet has fallen apart numerous times. Overall 9/10 would buy again.

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Marcus Brody
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.menards.com/main/tools-hardware/hand-tools/ratchets/performax-reg-1-2-drive-extendable-ratchet/rh010/p-1444428122414.htm

Is this it? Cause if they're charging $15 for a ratchet that good, that's kind of insane. (Or you got really lucky?)
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Vin Sanity
Mad Mechanic


Joined: 09 Jan 2004
Posts: 1089
Location: Awash in a sea of baby shit and BMW parts

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That be the one. Yes it is a cheap ratchet. I guess the only complaint I have is, aside from having to lock-tite the screws, it's a little bulky, but it's a really good tool. Mine has survived 4+ years of hard abuse so far. I have the 1/4" version of it, but I only got it a couple of months ago and haven't used it much. I was looking at Menards last night, and their other brand, Mastercraft, has a similar ratchet but I can't vouch for it. And since it's still available on their site, maybe they just phased it out of our store...
The extendable handle is what sells this thing though, I'll use it to break free whatever I'm un-bolting then just slap the handle back down and use it normally.

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Marcus Brody
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice. I haven't done much work on a car in a while, but that's awfully tempting for $15. I'm not sure we actually have a decent half-inch ratchet sitting around right now (I might have a Craftsman that's not entirely shot yet? Only a matter of time, though...).

On the subject of excellent tools, John got me one of these for Christmas and it rules:



Not exactly a common tool for auto work, but it handles electronics jobs like a tiny monster, and you can run it in the field (for hours) with a compact cellphone power bank.
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Vin Sanity
Mad Mechanic


Joined: 09 Jan 2004
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Location: Awash in a sea of baby shit and BMW parts

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well it's time for me to look into getting one of these... also, is that a really small electric screwdriver that he used to take apart the iron or did I miss something..
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Sprints McGee


Joined: 04 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a really impressive iron. I stole it for some work and it was really easy to get good results with it, even with tip shapes that I don't usually prefer on my Hakko. I like the bench layout that the Hakko has for most of what I do, but the TS-80 probably does perform better.

I think he has the ES121 screwdriver in that review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqlfHeZiRTA

https://www.banggood.com/Upgraded-MINI-ES121-Electric-Screwdriver-Smart-Repairtools-Built-in-STM32-Chip-OLED-with-Screwbits-p-1258406.html?utm_campaign=BestToolLocker_October&utm_content=2635&p=KR28032004379201507P&ID=528136&cur_warehouse=CN

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Vin Sanity
Mad Mechanic


Joined: 09 Jan 2004
Posts: 1089
Location: Awash in a sea of baby shit and BMW parts

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I'm about certain you're right about the screwdriver. I might have to wait a pay or two to get both of those. I just spent 600 bucks on tools this week, and I'm going to bismarck for training on the 4th, so a trip to Hazard Freight will be mandatory. But I need a new soldering iron, and this looks far nicer than the Weller butane I was considering..
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Marcus Brody
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What sort of soldering are you planning on doing with the Weller? The TS80 has a lot of power, but it's more a scalpel than a chef's knife (12 gauge wire all day long...4 gauge outside in the cold, maybe not ideal?).

If you do get the TS80, get the kit with the power cable and such. It gives you a fatter chisel tip that's better for most jobs (unless you're replacing tiny components inside cellphones or soldering onto ~1mm pads on circuit boards).

https://www.racedayquads.com/products/ts80-portable-soldering-iron-more-kit-with-d25-tip-power-supply

...and the included cable has a silicone jacket that I can only describe as erotically supple.
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Vin Sanity
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Location: Awash in a sea of baby shit and BMW parts

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of the work I do is the 22-12 gauge range. Mostly CANBUS and wiring harnesses.. I have a torch for the large stuff. And yeah the one with all the accessories is what I'd want.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It should be good for that. You might consider a more aggressive flux since you're not working on new components. RA would be my pick, but you should clean after soldering with it.

I'm not sure what size you're using now, but I would think 0.031 or 0.040 would be good for the sizes you're working with. I typically go smaller(0.020 or 0.025), but you're not doing any surface mount work.

I can never find Kester in 1/2lb spools, so it's a little more. It seems to be generally prefered, but MG has also worked well for me.

https://www.amazon.com/Kester-24-6337-0027-Solder-Alloy-Diameter/dp/B07KWFLHBD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1551116225&sr=8-1&keywords=24-6337-0027
or
https://www.amazon.com/MG-Chemicals-Leaded-Solder-Diameter/dp/B005T8MWQI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1551116614&sr=8-2&keywords=mg%2Bchemicals%2B63%2F37%2BRA&th=1

I think you'll just want RA paste flux for wire work. No need for a pen.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008ZIV85A/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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