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Thought I'd post up some of what I consider to be really favorite hand tools I've built up over the years - the amount of stuff I've worn out is amazing and recently I've had to start replacing a lot of things . Finding good quality without going broke is tough , but here's some good examples.
One of the best places to get high precision with incredibly tough steel is Japan - their idea of a screwdriver makes the rest of the world look pathetic - Vessel is one of their top companies. Philips screws , as some may know , are designed to "cam out" at a certain torque limit. Japanese Industrial Standard cross head drivers are intended to easily exceed the torque limit of the fastener - and never slip. The angles of the tips are slightly different - use a Philips driver on anything made in Japan , such as a motorcycle or Japanese car and you'll absolutely ruin their cross-head screws. Use the right driver for the job - it really applies here.
Nice part - use that JIS cross head driver on a Philips screw, it grabs so hard they can snap the head off before slipping.
US market distributor is JDV products on the east coast - Larry is the best contact in sales and can help answer any questions. I have set up a discount code for IH8MUD members - maybe I can get him to set up a Red Square discount as well - he's done us a great service.
Take a gander at their Impacta line - it has a built in breaker mechanism in it for use with a hammer and they truly work quite well. Even the rusted, nasty screws on my old Land Cruiser snap right loose with their tools. Vessel supplied Toyota as well as KTC , Kioto and a few other companies in the included tool kits in their top line trucks and cars. The tool kits in some of the older Land Cruisers were amazing - a nice canvas roll that even included a mini grease gun . These trucks were designed to live in the worst corners of the planet and survive, nothing else like them.
Just a few of the Vessel drivers I have, didn't have an Impacta silver one handy as they live in the Cruiser at all times, lol...
My absolute favorite hand drivers I've ever used, super comfortable on the hand and excellent grip - very hard but not brittle tips that will knock the most stubborn fasteners loose easily - made by KTC with dark lacquer wood handles, beautifully built and not very easy to get . They have to come directly out of Japan - no US distributor will bring them over for some reason.
When it comes to pliers I've worn out every brand you can think of - from Crescent, Channelock, Klien and everyone else including some German built. They all wear out their teeth and really never work like they should - Knipex beats everyone as far as I'm concerned. Oldest pair I own is 8yrs old, not one sign of wear on the teeth yet and they grip far better than anyone else.
Knipex Cobra pliers - try these and you'll melt your Channelock's out of disgust - these grip far better, have a wider range, more torque transfer and far harder teeth . They hold so well they will stay on a round object by themselves.
Knipex high-leverage diagonal cutters - rated up to very hard piano wires, small bolts , ect. They can even handle my 3/32" 312 & 316 SS tig filler rod that would destroy any Channelock or Klien cutters - dented both brands on that stuff already, these handle it fine but take some force.
For that heavier 1/8 Stainless filler in higher grades, bolts or anything else that will fit in the jaws - Cobolt compound leverage cutting pliers from Knipex , love 'em and effortless in how well they work. These have been through about 4lbs of ss wire filler already as well as other odd jobs including hardened metric screws . Barely started to remove the jaw coating....lol.
Knipex 6" angled needle nose pliers w/cutter. Very well made, excellent grip strength and tips that don't wear or bend, unlike everyone else.
Knipex S shaped special needle nose pliers - these reach those pesky cotter pins and hair pin clips while allowing you to actually see what you're doing. Perfect for working on carburetors, wish I had these 25yrs ago.
More to come soon - show us your favorites, it's interesting to see opinions on different brands/uses/durability . I've learned the hard way over the years you replace cheap tools again and again, learning the whole time if you'd have bought better quality you'd have only done it once. I do have some literally throw-away stuff - and it shows it's been used for that very purpose, but I keep those cheap tools around to prevent destroying an expensive specialty tool, some of this stuff is very expensive but worth every penny when it lasts and does the job. One lousy special long-armed puller cost me $500 back in the day when I was working in the shops, but still have it and use it far more often than I'd like despite the cost, it's well paid for itself over the years. Wish now I'd spent the rest on the complete set of heads/arms/attachments - today they are worth a lot of money above what they originally cost but it's done the job well with some attachments I've made to fit it . Just pulling the hubs, steering wheels and hitch pins on the Horse was worth the cost alone.
My father wants to know if he should drive-on, or back on, to the nose of a 6 by 10 U-Haul trailer with one single tractor?
He has vast experience Towing and a very rugged vehicle with which to do so but wants to make sure that he is balanced correctly or even a little heavy on the tongue of the trailer.
The driveway of the previous owner of this tractor is nowhere near level so he wants to try to get as close as possible which is tough to do on a hill.
What are your thoughts?
By Ahead of the Curve
I am currently looking for a Rototiller , trailers and a Johnny Bucket or other front bucket that fits my 520-H's. I'm just getting back into Wheel Horses and gathering more implements. I am disabled and am really trying to save whats left of my back and heart. Please let me know if you have anything or know of anyone that does.Not sure of all the implements that was available for the 520-H's always willing for other options also.
Thanks Tim & Meranda Harper
Call or Text me at (989) 326-5571
UPDATE: I found a rototiller and 2 trailers for my 520-H. Might be interested in other trailers and still looking for a bucket. Thank you.
By 12 hp Kohler
I have a wheel horse trailer that I acquired recently. I am wondering if it worth restoring or not. If I do restore it I will still be using it for carrying logs, rocks, leaves and dirt and possibly some other things. I am also wondering if I did repainted it would I be able to get another of the decal that's on it or if I can't get that exact decal. I am also wondering what the general value is as it sits.
I just picked up a used 6x10 single axle utility trailer and I was wondering thoughts on adding electric brakes to it. It has the GVWR of 2,990. The tow vehicle will be a 2014 Silverado which has both the 4 pin and 7 pin trailer connectors with a brake controller.
From what I priced out on etrailer.com it would come out to about $200 or so to put electric brakes on it. I have towed larger trailers (dual axle) and I enjoyed having the brakes on there. My question is have any of you put brakes a single axle trailer? I am sure come springtime I will be near max capacity with loads of dirt/mulch/stone etc. (and I no I won't overload it) I know I don't legally need brakes here in NY for that weight but was just looking for some opinions if it is worth it to do or not and maybe extend the life of the truck brakes. I do know the one downside, is I would be going away from the more adaptable 4 pin connector to more vehicles. Would this also prevent me from dragging it around with my horse if I add brakes?