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Old 15-03-2016, 07:13   #1
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Good Tools

I went through a lot of different wire stripping tools before I finally settled on an el-Cheapo Chinese pistol-style stripper stencil-branded by a German hypermarket chain (Obi? I can't remember).

Despite it's flimsy cheapness, it just worked fantastically well. I used it until it fell apart.

Now I've replaced it with the same time, but made in Germany and far better quality. By Knipex. I'm tickled pink with it -- what a pleasure to use.

I bought a nipper from the same company.

It's a real pleasure to use good tools. And a pleasure to put together a nice wiring job using quality Molex adhesive shrink terminals and a good crimper, and good tinned cable.

The Molex terminal are brilliant on board because they seal out the salt air, and at the same time provide superlative strain relief at the terminal.

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Old 15-03-2016, 08:05   #2
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Re: Good Tools

I agree, good tools are a pleasure to work with. But cheap tools are rarely if ever cheap because they are usually replaced with the better quality right tools and now you've spent what you should have in the first place plus the cost of the ElCheapo on top of it. Good quality strippers are like good knives, it's all in the steel used.


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Old 15-03-2016, 08:51   #3
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Re: Good Tools

I can't speak to what everybody else does, but I always buy the cheapest tools I can find, with the expectation that any tool I regularly use will break, eventually.

The ones I break I replace with better quality. The ones that don't are either better-made than I would have expected from the price, or are simply tools that I don't use often enough to justify the higher price of quality tools.
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Old 15-03-2016, 09:09   #4
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Re: Good Tools

Knipex make great tools. I have also lost many tools overboard. What does Neptune want with them anyway?
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Old 15-03-2016, 09:16   #5
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Re: Good Tools

Used some disappointing Knipex side cutters (nippers ) provided by one place I worked.
Only a few years ago but made out of toffee like the worst of the early Chinese tools.
Could have been counterfeit I suppose, a lot of even cheap stuff seems to be these days.

Had a forged pound coin once - baffled me that anyone would bother.

Most expensive pair of side cutters I ever bought snapped a blade off with a loud "PING!!!" on first use, just trimming thin 1/8 Watt resistor leads on a board.

Don't always get what you pay for.

edit: the ones in Dockhead's photo will last OK if you don't try to cut spring steel or anything. They are just stamped out of sheet steel...
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Old 15-03-2016, 09:19   #6
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Re: Good Tools

I like the vicegrip strippers.
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Old 15-03-2016, 09:29   #7
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Re: Good Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I went through a lot of different wire stripping tools before I finally settled on an el-Cheapo Chinese pistol-style stripper stencil-branded by a German hypermarket chain (Obi? I can't remember).

Despite it's flimsy cheapness, it just worked fantastically well. I used it until it fell apart.

Now I've replaced it with the same time, but made in Germany and far better quality. By Knipex. I'm tickled pink with it -- what a pleasure to use.

I bought a nipper from the same company.

It's a real pleasure to use good tools. And a pleasure to put together a nice wiring job using quality Molex adhesive shrink terminals and a good crimper, and good tinned cable.

The Molex terminal are brilliant on board because they seal out the salt air, and at the same time provide superlative strain relief at the terminal.
It is always nice to have plenty of money to buy the best, marry to the most gorgeous woman, and sail the most luxury yacht etc. Unfortunately, my life and most life of the other do not have the unlimited cash. I must use my money wisely.

I only buy good tools when I must. Most of the time, it makes no different and cheap tools are fine.

Like this impact socket set from Harbor Freight for less than $13


Use common sense and know the limitation of your tools, we will be fine.

Give it another 10 years, Chinese tools will be better than German made tools. I am so fu---cking thankful to HF, they make my handy work possible.
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Old 15-03-2016, 09:41   #8
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Re: Good Tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
I can't speak to what everybody else does, but I always buy the cheapest tools I can find, with the expectation that any tool I regularly use will break, eventually.

The ones I break I replace with better quality. The ones that don't are either better-made than I would have expected from the price, or are simply tools that I don't use often enough to justify the higher price of quality tools.

A good portion of my life, I have made a living with tools, and when you do that you tend to gravitate towards "better" tools.
There are I believe two types of tool users, one type takes their tools out and will look at them, handle them and clean them when they put them away, a nice shiny, smooth wrench makes them smile.
The other type has to fix something and that takes tools, they are a necessary evil.

Depends on what type you are, my Wife for instance likes jewelry, diamonds in particular. I don't get it, they aren't good for anything
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Old 15-03-2016, 10:00   #9
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Re: Good Tools

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A good portion of my life, I have made a living with tools, and when you do that you tend to gravitate towards "better" tools.
The tools I use frequently are of better quality. The tools I bought because I thought I'd use them, but never did much, are generally junk.

If I could predict, with any reliability, whether that "hey, if I bought this, then I could..." is going to turn into a regular hobby, or just another piece of junk that sits at the back of the shelf, I'd buy quality for the first case, and not buy anything for the second.

Unfortunately, I've never been able to do that.
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Old 15-03-2016, 10:06   #10
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Re: Good Tools

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
There are I believe two types of tool users, one type takes their tools out and will look at them, handle them and clean them when they put them away, a nice shiny, smooth wrench makes them smile.
"Tool Collectors"

Like an ex-brother-in-law who knew every published technical & performance detail of every luxury car, talked to me about them incessantly because I was in the industry, but couldn't so much as change a plug.

Pristine tool kit too.
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Old 15-03-2016, 10:08   #11
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Re: Good Tools

We were in a mooringd filed and came a cross a dog that was left alone on a boat and had gotten a very heavy fish hook through his mouth. My nippers would not cut the hook. We went from boat to boat trying to find anything that would cut it. None of the first three boats had a tool that could cut it. The fourth boat his some Knipex that went through it like butter. I bought a pair immediately and keep them handy. Great tool.
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Old 15-03-2016, 10:14   #12
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Re: Good Tools

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Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
It is always nice to have plenty of money to buy the best, marry to the most gorgeous woman, and sail the most luxury yacht etc. Unfortunately, my life and most life of the other do not have the unlimited cash. I must use my money wisely.

I only buy good tools when I must. Most of the time, it makes no different and cheap tools are fine.

Like this impact socket set from Harbor Freight for less than $13


Use common sense and know the limitation of your tools, we will be fine.

Give it another 10 years, Chinese tools will be better than German made tools. I am so fu---cking thankful to HF, they make my handy work possible.

I use plenty of cheap tools, and they definitely have their place in the tool bags of those 97% of sailors who have some budget limitations. To which I certainly belong.

It depends on what it is.

The cheap Chinese wire stripper actually gave great service. It was not as pleasant to use, but it did the job perfectly for a number of years before it fell apart.

I have a set of impact sockets EXACTLY like the ones pictured, and they work fine. I also have some Snap On tools, but just some -- key things where the quality matters, like ratchets and every day sockets.

One place where you can't save money is with crimpers. Here there is a huge, huge difference between a really good tool, costing $200 -- $300, and a second best tool costing $100.
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Old 15-03-2016, 11:12   #13
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Re: Good Tools

OK I admit, I won't buy cheap tools. If you tried to hand me a cheap tool I'd be like a64pilot's wife if you showed her a Cubic Zirconia. We ain't havin none of that! That's just me after decades of work. I also have a few dozen really nice tool boxes I paid a pretty penny for and still look great and they will certainly outlast me,..mostly because my most oft used tool box is a five gallon bucket.

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Old 15-03-2016, 11:42   #14
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Re: Good Tools

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OK I admit, I won't buy cheap tools. If you tried to hand me a cheap tool I'd be like a64pilot's wife if you showed her a Cubic Zirconia. We ain't havin none of that! That's just me after decades of work. I also have a few dozen really nice tool boxes I paid a pretty penny for and still look great and they will certainly outlast me,..mostly because my most oft used tool box is a five gallon bucket.

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Thanks for that, your toolbucket reminded me... had a good boss for a short while who kept his tools in a wheelbarrow.
Massive truck, trailer & crane service facility but had a rough cinder & hard core yard so a wheelbarrow made a lot of sense
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Old 15-03-2016, 14:02   #15
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Re: Good Tools

I keep a $5 socket set in the car, so I won't miss it when it is stolen. They're there in case of roadside problems, or cosmetic ones. But after a cheap Chinese wrench busted and my knuckles got cut up on the sheet metal they hit, I decided to avoid disposable tools whenever possible. The time you lose replacing them, and the blood, are just not worth it.
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