14 Tools Construction Pros Never Knew They Needed
Impress your coworkers on the jobsite with your impressive array of specially tools that they probably didn't even know existed.
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CHANNELLOCK® Reversible Jaw Adjustable Wrench
CHANNELLOCK has a solution to help unclutter your tool belt. For the most part, the CHANNELLOCK Reversible Jaw Adjustable Wrench is just like a normal wrench, but also features a part of the jaw with angled teeth. All you have to do is reverse the jaw and the teeth will let you get a tight grip on objects that a regular wrench would just slide off of.
Post-it Extreme Notes are very versatile. These post-its are made to stick even in the harshest conditions, whether you’re in a dusty workshop or on a messy jobsite.
RIDGID Tubing Cutter
RIDGID ‘s C-style close-quarter tubing cutter slices through both 1/2-in. and 3/4-in. tubing, which means one less tool you need to carry around. The cutting wheel is spring loaded so it needs no adjustment as you spin the cutter, and the outside surface has screwdriver slots for getting leverage in tight spaces.
Bosch 5-in-1 Drill/Driver System
The Bosch Max FlexiClick 5-in-1 Drill/Driver System has one tool and five attachments. That means it can perform all kinds of tasks, like screw-driving, drilling, right angle drilling/driving and offset driving close to edges. This tool isn’t going to replace a deck builder’s impact driver and drill, but it might be a great option for those smaller projects that require a bunch of different applications.
A Tool for the Low-Voltage Guys
Klein’s electrician scissors can cut through stuff with their blades, like most scissors, but they also have a cable cutting notch so you can rip through wire up to 14 AWG. They’ll strip 19 and 23 AWG wire all day long and have a notch in the tip for de-burring electrical boxes. There’s also a scraper on both blades for convenient wire cleaning.
Klein Impact Sockets
Klein Tools’ impact sockets save you time and space in your pouch. Each of the three sockets is capable of switching between different size nuts and bolts—completely hands-free. These sockets are available in three different models that cover 8 different head sizes.
Carbon Fiber Composite Level—Lightweight but Tough
The carbon fiber composite that makes this level light is the same reason that it’s tough enough to spring back from impacts that would permanently throw an aluminum level out of whack. The DWHT43134 level is also mar-resistant, partially because of the design, partially because it’s 35% lighter than its aluminum counterpart.
Cordless Track Saw
Breaking down heavy sheets of materials on a table saw is a difficult job, and pretty nearly impossible when working alone. That’s where a track saw comes in handy. A good quality track saw can produce cabinet saw results out on any job. The FESTOOL TSC 55 is a cordless saw that has the same features and performs just as well as FESTOOL’s corded saw, including the cut capacity and blade speed. It also has a collection bag that actually works, collecting up to 90% of the dust. The batteries are compatible with other FESTOOL products and the saw runs on their standard tracks.
Shim In a Bag
No, it’s not a blood pressure tester. It’s an inflatable shim sold by Calculated industries. What in the world would you do with an Air Shim? Well, you could hold a window in position (by yourself) while setting the permanent shims, or prop up a door slab during installation without scratching the hardwood floor. Use it to align base cabinets or level appliances, or deflate it as slowly as you want for precise adjustments.
Space Saving Dust Collector
Limited floor space is a problem in most shops. However, that’s no longer an excuse for kicking up a bunch of dust without a dust collection system as Grizzly now makes a wall-mounted dust collector. It’s equipped with a powerful 1-HP motor prewired for 120V. It features a canister filter with six times the surface area of a standard bag filter, yet it takes up less space. The filter is easy to keep clean with the hand crank filter-cleaning brush.
Blade Height Adjustment Guide
We’ve always relied on small blocks of wood to set the cutting depth on the table saw blade. Even though each block was labeled, they inevitably get knocked onto the floor and swept into the trash, and then you have to make another one.
We no longer have that problem because we picked up a set of Mag Shims from FastCap. Mag Shims are 1/8-in. magnetic spacers. If you need a blade height of 7/8-in., simply stack seven spacers on top of each other and raise the blade to match. They also work great for setting the depth on router bits and drill presses.
A Stud Finder to Love
One of the best stud finders you’ll ever use is the Franklin Sensors ProSensor 710. It’s unique in that there’s a whole bar of red lights that light up whenever it detects a stud. Unlike other sensors, which have a single light that stays on as it passes over the wood, the lights on the 710 tell you exactly where the wood stops and starts. No guesswork. Push a button, drag it over the wall and those hidden mysteries reveal themselves. You won’t even need to read the directions!
Remote for the Shop
Simply put, this Long Ranger III Remote Dust Collector Switch is a remote system for turning on your dust collector out in the shop from whatever tool you’re operating. It plugs into the wall, you plug your dust collector into that and you’re done. Push the button on your remote and it fires right up. It’s saved us about two years and 1,300 miles of walking back and forth to the dust collector switch.
These tweezers are perfect. They’re nice and small and infinitely better than the cheap ones sold out of fishbowls in the checkout lane. Their sharp, sturdy precision tips can grab even the tiniest sliver. Put them on your key chain and you’ll have really high-quality stainless steel tweezers ready for the next time you have to perform a little surgery on the battlefield. They fold up like a pocketknife, so the business end doesn’t get wrecked.