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I guess most people would aspire to having a massive Snap-On box stuffed full of their finest shiney. I guess most of us would aspire to being able to afford it as well.....

So what do we really need? And what is reasonably priced but useable quality?

Spanners

For price and quality, it has to be the contractors favourite, Halfords Advanced (Professional). Guaranteed for as long as you can find the receipt, rumour has it, these are actually made by Britool. Bergen US pro are also a good contender, I have a roll of theirs in my site box.....

Socketry

Halfords Advanced again, £100 buys you a very comprehensive kit that often includes some spanners as well. For impact sockets, I use US Pro or Snap On. There are plenty of options for sockets, Britool, Kamasa, Teng etc, a breaker bar is an absolute must have.... Ratchets etc are a personal thing, I like all metal ratchets so stick with Snap On and Halfords.....

Screwdrivers

Again, Halfords do well here, I think I must have their complete range all told, I also own US Pro, Snap On etc etc But a set of Halfords and a set of pound through and electrical by Halfords will see you well on your way. You may feel the need for an impact wrench as well while you're at it, the Halfords one is ok, but limited in the bits that come with it, so shop around to budget....

Pliers

The one group that doesn't matter quite so much apart from side cutters, nothing beats my Snap On side cutters, had em for years and still as good...... Don't buy too cheap, but sealey, Draper etc are fine bar the cutters. Circlip pliers don't tend to get much abuse so again, nothing too flash required......

General Tools

Guess this is the everything else bit, ball pein hammers of various sizes, punches, pin punches, cold chisels, drifts and bars. Hammers you can't really go wrong with, punches, don't spend too much but don't abuse them, brass drift is exactly that, bars we tend to collect, but a set of what I was brought up as injector bars, think they're also know as heel bars, can be worth their weight in gold.

Drill Bits

I've singled these out as the average drill kit is shit! Good enough for drilling GRP and untreated metals but anything else, bolts, stainless etc etc then there is far better around. Industrial standard seems to be Dormer, not too bad as it goes, and they do cobalt bits as well, which for drilling stainless and the like, superb..... I should point out, a bottle of cutting fluid and knowing how to sharpen a bit goes a long way.......

Battery Tools

This is always going to be subjective as everyone has their favourites. Dewalt is synonymous with battery tools, but the others caught up.... I have used Bosch, Makita, Milwaukee, worx et all and the only one that didn't impress was milwaukee. My personal collection is Ryobi purely coz they were the first to use one battery for every tool, I have used mine on a pro level as opposed to DIY and the drill have held up very well. The impact guns are superb for general stuff, not had anything not shift yet.... All the others do what it says on the box.

Batteries are the biggest thing.... If you get the biggest you can, then for tools such as grinders, cutters etc you can run a reasonable time before battery needs changing out. 4AH is a good size although the small batteries have their uses when access is a bit restricted......

 

So there ya go, you now have a basic tool kit to add to as you go, but you can get an awful lot done with.... You will never have enough tools, and 10 and 13mm spanners will always vanish as soon as you put them down, it's the law, so multiples are a good idea....

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i find that i agree with you, but a few cheep screw drivers and sockets are grate to have around becouse when some one whonts to borrow one, you havent lost a foutune when they dont bring it back and you can allways say the next time they whont to borrow is being what you borrowod back and i might lend you what whont plus if they keep bring it back in good condition or replace it you lend with conferdence

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I think you’re missing the most important of all.... the Mark 1 sledgehammer 😉 for those welded nuts that won’t shift 😀😀😮😀

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I don't use many spanners day to day (plumbing, heating etc) but have a few Bahco socket sets and adjustables which have been great

Have Milwaukee fuel cordless stuff and they take a fair bit of abuse from me, the first kit of them I had (brushes) were shit, literally fell apart

Scewdrivers and other small stuff I buy middle of the road, I usually loose them before they have chance to wear out

Crescent and Channelock are ok for pump pliers

I keep a Draper socket set and various spanners and screwdrivers on the boat

Not quite made of chocolate, but not expensive and OK as a boat tool kit

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2 hours ago, Odyssey said:

I think you’re missing the most important of all.... the Mark 1 sledgehammer 😉 for those welded nuts that won’t shift 😀😀😮😀

Nah mate, I use the much vaunted grinder of angles armed with a selection of discs......

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3 minutes ago, jonnyswamp said:

I don't use many spanners day to day (plumbing, heating etc) but have a few Bahco socket sets and adjustables which have been great

Have Milwaukee fuel cordless stuff and they take a fair bit of abuse from me, the first kit of them I had (brushes) were shit, literally fell apart

Scewdrivers and other small stuff I buy middle of the road, I usually loose them before they have chance to wear out

Crescent and Channelock are ok for pump pliers

I keep a Draper socket set and various spanners and screwdrivers on the boat

Not quite made of chocolate, but not expensive and OK as a boat tool kit

Yeah, I have some Bahco gear, very good, but can be pricey..... The stuff I do have I can justify as they were for work on a contract that paid for em many times over...

Draper on the other hand, unless it's draper pro, I won't touch it....... Maybe it was an early Milwaukee I had the mischance to use, but am invested into Ryobi now, and not changing for the forseeable

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Power tools I use all makita, simply because the range is good. I get through an impact wrench a year at least at work, but the other stuff like recips circular saws sds drills all seem good. I even have a 36vt lawnmower . 

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3 hours ago, JonC said:

Power tools I use all makita, simply because the range is good. I get through an impact wrench a year at least at work, but the other stuff like recips circular saws sds drills all seem good. I even have a 36vt lawnmower . 

Do you get much grass on scaffolding Jon? 🤣

I would guess the impacts often die from getting dropped? Mine has bounced a few times after dropping it out of a loco on raised roads, the drill's been dropped a time or two as well

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Just now, suzook12 said:

Do you get much grass on scaffolding Jon? 🤣

I would guess the impacts often die from getting dropped? Mine has bounced a few times after dropping it out of a loco on raised roads, the drill's been dropped a time or two as well

Not really in the business of dropping things, don’t go well in my job. We just wear them out. I might do up 1000 7/16 bolts in a day. Compare the duty cycle to a steel erector or mechanic and it’s understandable that they don’t last long. 
I know Hilti won’t warranty their guns for scaffolding use. 

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Here is my guide 🙂 

 

TOOLS EXPLAINED

DRILL PRESS : A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

WIRE WHEEL : Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, 'Oh sh*t'

DROP SAW : A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

PLIERS : Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.

BELT SANDER : An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

HACKSAW : One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle... It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

MOLE GRIPS : Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH : Used almost entirely for lighting on fire various flammable objects in your shop. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race.. 

 TABLE SAW : A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK : Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

BAND SAW : A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut good aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST : A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER : Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER : A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.

CROWBAR : A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

HOSE CUTTER : A tool used to make hoses too short.

HAMMER : Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit.

STANLEY KNIFE : Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.

ADJUSTABLE WRENCH: aka "Another hammer", aka "the Swedish Nut Lathe", aka "Crescent Wrench".  Commonly used as a one size fits all wrench, usually results in rounding off nut heads before the use of pliers.  Will randomly adjust size between bolts, resulting in busted buckles, curse words, and multiple threats to any inanimate objects within the immediate vicinity.

 Son of a bitch TOOL : Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling 'Son of a b*tch' at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.

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Screwdriver sets with long handles and soft grips, any brand.

Spanners a mix of all kinds of nasty makes, with my best being Stanley ratchet headed ones ( still relatively cheap )

Sockets, sidchrome and plenty of odd ones from old kits.

I did invest in a decent snapon torque wrench after doing the marine mechanics module of our skippers ticket. My daughter rounded two bolts into one the Tafe aluminium engine heads using normal socket sets so I thought this is something I don't want to do to my own engine!!!

In the boat I carry minimal in the way of tools. one decent adjustable, two screwdrivers, one electricle tester and plenty of fuses. 

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  • 6 months later...

Had a job on last week that involved a lot of crimping 50mm cable. Not having any suitable crimps went looking for some.

I ended up buying one like this

https://www.12voltplanet.co.uk/user/products/large/Spring-loaded-hammer-vice-terminal-crimping-tool-1.jpg

 

Nice price at £20 ish and did a cracking job. The one pictured is from 12V Planet and looks very similar in design. Quick and easy to use, legitimate use of hammer 🤣.

If you need to crimp battery cables and haven't got a pair of handled type crimps this could be for you. You will need to be able to remove cable to access for crimping and run it through with terminals on or have a suitable surface for hammering on. Can also be squeezed up in a vice..... Rate mine 10/10

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Can you send a link? 
 

I want to renew my battery cables and need a crimper to do the job properly. It’ll also get used when I have to wire up Emma’s campervan she keeps threatening to buy (so far I keep seeing knackered old vans “needs some TLC but would make a great conversion” sent to me with “what you think”) 😬😬😬😬😬😬

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1 hour ago, suzook12 said:

Had a job on last week that involved a lot of crimping 50mm cable. Not having any suitable crimps went looking for some.

I ended up buying one like this

https://www.12voltplanet.co.uk/user/products/large/Spring-loaded-hammer-vice-terminal-crimping-tool-1.jpg

 

Nice price at £20 ish and did a cracking job. The one pictured is from 12V Planet and looks very similar in design. Quick and easy to use, legitimate use of hammer 🤣.

If you need to crimp battery cables and haven't got a pair of handled type crimps this could be for you. You will need to be able to remove cable to access for crimping and run it through with terminals on or have a suitable surface for hammering on. Can also be squeezed up in a vice..... Rate mine 10/10

Do the crimps pass through once completed? Just thinking if it’s possible to do both ends? 

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23 minutes ago, JonC said:

Do the crimps pass through once completed? Just thinking if it’s possible to do both ends? 

Depends on where they run through I guess. The ones I did were clipped to a 4x4 chassis so no issues. On a boat may be a bit different especially as unlike to have a surface suitable for hammering on. A lot will also depend on the terminals fitted. Standar ones will be fine in most applications

 

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4 minutes ago, suzook12 said:

Depends on where they run through I guess. The ones I did were clipped to a 4x4 chassis so no issues. On a boat may be a bit different especially as unlike to have a surface suitable for hammering on. A lot will also depend on the terminals fitted. Standar ones will be fine in most applications

 

I think it would be ok to use it on the side of a rib, just get someone ready to catch it. 

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1 hour ago, Odyssey said:

Can you send a link? 
 

I want to renew my battery cables and need a crimper to do the job properly. It’ll also get used when I have to wire up Emma’s campervan she keeps threatening to buy (so far I keep seeing knackered old vans “needs some TLC but would make a great conversion” sent to me with “what you think”) 😬😬😬😬😬😬

Yes mate

https://www.12voltplanet.co.uk/heavy-duty-spring-loaded-hammervice-terminal-crimping-tool.html

I know what you mean about vans, for what it costs to convert, may as well start with something around 3 years old or newer, will get some use out of it then.....

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