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Old 21-07-2012, 19:37   #1
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Best hand tools for being around the ocean?

This one's for everybody unless you've got slaves working down in the bilge...

I've been on the water now since '81 (not long for some I know)...but I've had all different kinds of tools...some rusted while I was opening the package...some never rusted but they were terrible to work with (handles too slick, didn't fit right etc.) I looked at my tool bags, (yes I have several as I have TCPD: Tool Collection Personality Disorder) and don't even remember when I got some of them or who they were made by or who I might have borrowed them from.

Probably should break this into categories like wrenches, sockets, drivers, pliers, and misc. but I'll just throw it out and see what shows up. I found like everyone else, all tools look good in the store but sitting in bilge for a week shows their true colors.

I'll risk that I'm a Craftsman kinda guy for wrenches and sockets...that's all I'm about willing to to risk ... they've held up pretty good...and as always...instant replacement if you're not in Kwajalein (disclaimers apply).
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Old 21-07-2012, 21:02   #2
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Re: Best hand tools for being around the ocean?

Depends on the boat for me... Small boats, and day sailors should each have their own cheap set of tools, so when I forget them on the launch ramp I don't cry.

Bluewater boats should have tools that will last, regardless of how abused they are. To me this means aluminium, stainless, or if anyone ever comes out with some, titanium. I actually had a set of cheap wrenches come apart in my hands while bleeding an engine... We wound up having to sail a 54' Irwin into a slip because we didn't have anything else to retighten them with.
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Old 21-07-2012, 21:19   #3
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I vote for slaves in the boats dungeon! Lol

Like craftsman tools, and true value hardware carry them, as well as some snap on stuff. Makes it easy to pick up stuff and stay out of malls.

Have some harbor freight stuff' but sooner or later I end up regretting it seems like.
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Old 21-07-2012, 21:55   #4
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Re: Best hand tools for being around the ocean?

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
..... To me this means aluminium, stainless, or if anyone ever comes out with some, titanium. ...
AFAIKR, as far as titanium tools, these are the only ones I've come across
McMaster-Carr


Beryllium copper is good, too, stronger than titanium and almost as corrosion free... and there are a lot more tools made from it

http://www.mcmaster.com/#hand-tools/=iie8yw


(Ampco metal tools - a high tensile aluminium bronze - are another option, and once again McM/Carr have a number of these, although any copper alloy is risky on an unpainted alu hull!)

They're made for the mining industry, because of explosion risk. Anything else of similar strength and hardness (including stainless steel) might spark when it hits something else hard.
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Old 21-07-2012, 23:25   #5
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Re: Best hand tools for being around the ocean?

Thanks Andrew!

The trick is non-corrosive in salt air. I have seen thousands of dollars of tools turn to rusted slag on boats. I even saw one car mechanic cry when his set of Snap-On tools rusted away.
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Old 22-07-2012, 00:35   #6
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Re: Best hand tools for being around the ocean?

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Thanks Andrew!

The trick is non-corrosive in salt air....
Not sure if the second part of your comment is still referring to my post, but in case others take it that way:

All three materials mentioned are about as good as it gets with regard to corrosion in salt laden atmosphere or salt spray.

Titanium has such a low rate (as Stumble will be well aware) that it is not practicable to measure it

Beryllium copper is another wonder material : self antifouling like cupronickels, strong and hard enough to be usable as a spring material, extensively used for difficult bushing applications such as aircraft landing gear. It is used - and after thirty years remains virtually like new- for the housings for sea-floor cables.

And Ampco produce aluminium bronze grades (also nickel aluminium bronze, the mere mention of which makes mechanical engineers smile and relax) with particularly high performance, which is saying something, because even common grades of aluminium bronze are remarkable materials.
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