Every time I find a tool that I really enjoy using, or that is a real game changer, I’ll add it here for you guys to also enjoy!
Also, all links are Amazon affiliate links, from which I receive a small cut of the sales they generate, full disclosure and all that.
Knipex Spanner Pliers
There’s are some of the best tools around that almost make Crescent wrenches (or more correctly called Swedish Nut Lathes) obsolete. They are basically a pair of channel locks with straight smooth jaws, just like a Crescent wrench, but with the critical difference that they can be opened and closed really fast, and you can apply a lot of clamping force to the head of the fastener you’re trying to tighten or loosen. They are also phenomenal when working on plumbing fittings or RF connectors, as they do not mar the surfaces of the fitting.
They are available in different sizes: 125mm, 150mm, 180mm, 250mm and 400mm.
If you’re only gonna get a couple, I’d say go for a 180mm and a 125mm, or two 180mm ones, as they are the most useful sizes.
Knipex Water Pump Pliers
Continuing on the pliers theme, another tool that’s lightyears ahead of the classic design is the Knipex Cobra Water Pump pliers. The Cobra locking mechanism is excellent, and you can even get them with a self-adjusting option that actually works!
The SmartGrip version basically always opens fully and when you close it it’ll lock to the size of the fastener, which really speeds up use. The mechanism is however not quite as strong as the regular Cobra version, so if you really want a pair that can’t be broken, get the regular version. The 250mm size is the one to get, it works for just about everything, and I can’t really see a need for a smaller set. The larger models are also good to have, I have a huge pair that I use for stubborn oil filters.
Phoenix Contact CrimpFox 4-in-1
This is an insanely expensive tool for a pair of pliers, but if you do automation cabling all day crimping ferrules onto stranded wires, there’s are probably the best solution out there except for electrical crimping machines.
The pliers does what it says on the tin, they cut the wire, strip the insulation, twist the strands together, apply the ferrule from a strip of ferrules, and crimps it in place, at around three times the speed I can do with a regular pair of wire strippers and ferrule crimpers.
The only downside is that they cost a lot of money, a kit with ferrules and the pliers are around 550 USD.
Contact Cement Glue Pot
If you work a lot with contact cement, you’ll know what a mess it makes trying to get it applied to the surfaces you’re bonding. Siline & Johnson makes this glue pot (and a lot of other models and sizes) that’s excellent, it has the brush build into the lid, and lets you apply glue very easily without much mess, and your brush is always contained and ready to go!
Ideal Wire Strippers
These are one of the best wire strippers I’ve ever used, they are fast, stay sharp for ever, and strip wires very effectively. They are also very affordable!