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Old 20-03-2015, 21:31   #1
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SAE or Metric???

Hi all...getting everything together for maiden voyage and a new issue, tools! What is more prevalent on an Irwin 30-1977...Metric or SAE...I plan to have both, but some of the specialty wrenches and things I only have 1 set...
Thanks to you all for ALL the advice...man, you guys have taken a lot of the trial and error out of this...WHEW!!
See you in the Caribbean...first ones on me!
OH, Atomic 4 gas...
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Old 20-03-2015, 22:02   #2
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Re: SAE or Metric???

Hmm... spend a pleasant morning going around your boat with the tools you have and try every nut and bolt you can find.

That said, both and more is better
Edit: never underestimate the power of visegrips or better yet, the newish Knipex plier wrenches; pricey but very functional.
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Old 20-03-2015, 23:33   #3
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Re: SAE or Metric???

The Knipex pliers look very nice. Expensive, but nice with great reviews on amazon.
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Old 20-03-2015, 23:51   #4
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Re: SAE or Metric???

Visegrips... the wrong tool for every job.

Sometimes, those and WD40 are the only way to get rusty things off.

Just go to Harbor Freight and get combination sets. And don't forget the metric crescent wrenches.
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Old 21-03-2015, 00:44   #5
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Re: SAE or Metric???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Seal View Post
Visegrips... the wrong tool for every job.

Sometimes, those and WD40 are the only way to get rusty things off.

Just go to Harbor Freight and get combination sets. And don't forget the metric crescent wrenches.
Whilst I agree about visegrips, I beg to differ, WD 40 (WD=Water Dispersant or Water Displacement) plays exactly in the same league : Good at everything, good at nothing.
Definetly NOT the professional choice.
WD-40 Oil Alternatives - The Case Against WD-40
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Old 21-03-2015, 00:45   #6
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Re: SAE or Metric???

It really doesn't matter what you buy, the ne you need will always be the other, or missing. There's a law.
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Old 21-03-2015, 03:10   #7
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Re: SAE or Metric???

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Originally Posted by drewvta View Post
The Knipex pliers look very nice. Expensive, but nice with great reviews on amazon.
Yep, they are good alright. I've only had the pleasure of using for about year but I'm a convert now.

I know some very particular mechanics who would never use a visegrip (and a Cresent only very occasionally) but they are happy to use the Knipex whenever it's suitable.
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Old 21-03-2015, 03:12   #8
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Re: SAE or Metric???

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It really doesn't matter what you buy, the ne you need will always be the other, or missing. There's a law.
That's true
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Old 21-03-2015, 04:23   #9
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Re: SAE or Metric???

If you go with metric wrenches, make sure you get a metric socket drive to go with it. Or were you planning to use a 25mm socket on a 3/8 INCH drive? Also, make sure your hammers and screwdrivers are all metric or you won't be able to beat and pry with your new tools.......

Actually, in seriousness, I find I've combined my SAE and metric into one set. And it's working. The sizes fall into a kind of logic. 12mm is just a bit tighter than half inch, and works on some corroded nuts when the steel has been rusted away or the nut has been deformed by Vise Grips. And 13 mm is the next size bigger than half inch, and works on some other deformed or otherwise slightly oversized nuts that the half inch won't fit. I'd say take both sizes. You never know what you're going to run across out there that needs it's nuts twisted.

That new wrench looks promising, I've just ordered one to try it out.

Vise Grips have gone completely downhill since manufacture was moved to another country. They're really only good when you don't care if you destroy a fastener, or if you need a small clamp.

A Dremel, a small butane torch, and a hammer will work with most stuck stuff formerly addressed via Vise (Mole) Grips.
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Old 21-03-2015, 04:36   #10
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Re: SAE or Metric???

An American built boat, with an American engine - I'd guess SAE would predominate.
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Old 21-03-2015, 04:37   #11
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Re: SAE or Metric???

Sat 4 rainy morning hours a few years back, watching the NASA channel. Repairs were being made, by 2 guys, to solar arrays on the ISS. Yep !! -- ViceGrips clearly visible,-- and strategic.
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Old 21-03-2015, 08:20   #12
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Re: SAE or Metric???

About the Atomic 4, there's no center main, so when the bearings get loose, all the oil sprays out of rod journals #1 & #4 and #2 & #3 get starved and take out the crank. You could probably use 20-50 or Aero 100 to keep the pressure up, just don't run it at 1200 RPM to be "nice" to it. Don't ask me how I know.
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Old 21-03-2015, 08:53   #13
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Re: SAE or Metric???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Seal View Post
Visegrips... the wrong tool for every job.

Sometimes, those and WD40 are the only way to get rusty things off.

Just go to Harbor Freight and get combination sets. And don't forget the metric crescent wrenches.
Vise grips have their place. Often they can take the place of a second person.

As for Harbor Freight, usually you get what you pay for.


BTW: The advice to just go to your boat and see what you need is the best advice. My Volvo engine is all metric except for one bolt. Whooda thunk it? After several years, I figured out that the previous owner had replaced the alternator and the bolt it swivels on is SAE.


Some of my hose clamps are SAE, some metric. Virtually all of the wood screws are square drive.
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Old 21-03-2015, 09:22   #14
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Re: SAE or Metric???

Judging from the age of the boat and that it's got an Atomic 4, you'd probably get by with a total SAE tool set. If you had a diesel, it would probably be metric and would require some metric wrenches.

The reality with any boat is that a few wrenches are all that are needed to do most everything on the boat. 7/16", 1/2", and 9/16" will get you by for most of the fasteners on a US made boat with the exception of the engine. The same would be true for a foreign made boat with metric tool sizes. There are some larger and smaller fasteners that you'll have to cover, experience will tell you what they are. I'd also get a 15" or 18" Crescent wrench for the few large fastemers you may have. We also had the largest Slip Joint pliers that came in handy for through hull and hose bib work.
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Old 21-03-2015, 10:11   #15
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Re: SAE or Metric???

A cruising boat will almost always need both SAE and metric wrenches. Dinghy outboards and various other imported equipment will likely require metric.
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