If you're a DIYer, whether around the house or under the hood, having the right tool for the job is crucial to the success of every project. Here are four tools the pros use that can take your work to the next level, so you can build that deck or reconstruct that vintage car a little easier.
Vise grips are often borrowed and rarely returned, so you may have even owned this tool at one time and forgotten how handy it is. These super grippers are ideal for working with stripped bolts, screws rusted in place, and anything else that refuses to budge.
To really tackle every job, having a couple of vise grips in different sizes and configurations is best. A longer model with curved jaws and a flat-jawed set in a smaller size will allow you to get into any area and pull or twist with tremendous force.
High-End Drop Light
While you can use cheap string lights and get by, having high quality lights will illuminate your projects better. Look for models that take cool-burning, long-wearing fluorescent bulbs over incandescent for durability. Long cords are useful, but they no longer need to drag on the ground when not in use; today's top lights come with retractable reels to keep them in place.
Air Impact Wrench
An air impact wrench is to manual torque wrenches what a chainsaw is to hand saws. Remember that torque is basically a twisting force, so air impact wrenches that provide more torque increase the amount of power in tightening lug nuts or similar fasteners in building projects.
You won't need to apply nearly the same amount of force to get the same results with an air impact wrench. In fact, you'll need to be a bit careful not to over-tighten anything at first. When in doubt, stop just a smidge short of your ideal tightness and hand tighten to avoid having to get out your vise grips.
If you have a compressor, it's probably easiest to power your air impact wrench with that. There are, however, good electrically powered wrenches on the market today that may be easier to use where air compressors are unwieldy.
Cordless Drill/Driver Kit
A cordless drill/driver kit is essential in building anything. To make sure you get the most from your kit, look for the following elements
- lightweight construction
- high voltage power
- quick-charging battery
- long battery life
- extra battery pack, so you always have one charged
- keyless chuck to make changing bits simple
- reverse mode
- drill and drive modes (for both drilling holes and driving screws with one tool)
If you do a lot of work with masonry or concrete, a drill and driver can get the job done, but you'll need to exert a lot of pressure on the tool, and it's easy for the bit to overheat. You may want to upgrade to an impact driver in that case, which does the exertion for you.
Renovating your home or rehabbing classic cars can be a fun hobby, so don't let the lack of proper tools stand in the way of your enjoyment. Try one of these four, and you just might get addicted to the step up in quality and power. Just don't loan them out to your friends or neighbors, or you may wind up having to chase them down or buy new all over again. Take a look at sites like http://www.impactwrenches.com to see your tool options.