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Who ever said that play can’t change the world? The Soccket ball, developed by two Harvard alumns, is a regulation-size soccer ball containing an inductive coil mechanism that captures and stores a small electrical charge. With a tiny flip cap that reveals an 1/8″ input, after less than 30 minutes of play, the Soccket will power an LED light for 3 hours, charge a battery, or operate other small devices, including an iPhone or portable CD player.

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Remember how your parents would tell you not to stick your finger in a household electrical outlet, you know, so you don’t get electrocuted? Well, the International Electrotechnical Commission — the folks who set the safety standards for electrical test equipment — rate those measly single-phase outlets as “category II.” Some people have the cojones to work in what the IEC calls “CAT IV” environments. That’s three-phase power at the utility connection — stuff rated at 1,000V but can extend up to a whopping 12,000V.

Those people are Greenlee’s target customer for their new FishFinder Plus Vision System. At first glance it looks like a chubbier version of every other portable jobsite camera you’ve seen. But as CAT IV veterans will tell you, little things make a difference when you’re working around power that can kill you instantly.

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Think of your aching muscles after pulling wire all day long. Rather than put up with that pain again, you could buy a tool made for the job: Hook the Power Pull-it up to your drill and let it do the pulling for you.

Madison Electric Products has a short video displaying the use of their product. Basically, once you’re done setting up the pull line, attach it to the Power Pull-it spindle and pull the drill trigger. The drill supports one end of the tool while you hold the other end in your free hand. The handle rides on precision bearings so the pull line will wind as smoothly as your drill allows.

Made in the USA, you can pick up the Power Pull-it starting at $90 before shipping.

Power Pull-it [Madison Electric Products]
Press Release [Madison Electric Products]
Power Pull-it [YouTube]
Power Pull-it [The Electrical Tool Store]

When you think of insulated tools, a torque wrench isn’t the first tool that comes to mind. Yet there must be a need for them, because several companies sell insulated torque wrenches. Knipex has sold their model 98 43 for a while, but is obsoleting it in favor of two new models.

Besides now making both a 1/2″ drive and a 3/8″ drive, the only real differences seem to be a slightly tweaked handle design, a 10 oz. weight increase to 43 oz., and a torque range change from 8-54 Nm to 5-50 Nm. All the models are reversible to tighten both right-handed and left-handed threads.

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Black & Decker announced a couple of new automobile power inverters recently, but the one pictured above caught our eye. It’s small, plugs right into a forward-facing 12V outlet (which means no cables strung around the cockpit), and it includes a USB jack for device charging. At 100W rated output, this inverter would easily power a small laptop — and charge a phone at the same time.

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It’s bad enough that you have to drag the extension cord around to use non-battery powered electric yard tools, but you still have to figure out where you’re going to store that extra cord when you’re done.

Lee Valleys’ cord storage hooks let you turn the wasted space on your yard tool’s handle or shaft into a good place to keep that extra cord. Reinforced rubber belts hold the plastic hooks on any handle or shaft up to 1-1/2″ in diameter. Both hooks swivel when you want to remove the cord and are easy to reposition. The pair of hooks also comes with a cord-retaining clip to keep the loose end of the cord.

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Many times when you blow a breaker, lose power, or even if the cord just becomes unplugged, you forget to turn off the tool. This can lead to the dangerous situation where the tool restarts unattended after you restore power. This may not always be a problem, but what if you left stock in contact with a blade or you left the belt sander face down on the table?

Woodcraft amusingly describes this scenario in their writeup of the SafetyGate:

Most belt-sander races aren’t sanctioned events. Accidentally pull the trigger, set the tool on your bench, and when as you plug the cord into the outlet, you’ve got yourself a track-side seat.

Sanctioned belt sander races are fun, but when an accidental trigger pull turns your workbench into the drag strip, the event ends with a damaged workpiece or trashed tool. Considering the potential of other tools, it’s easy to imagine how an unexpected start–when you’re plugging it into an outlet, or resetting a blown fuse–can be much worse than an amusing anecodote [sic].

Plug the SafetyGate into the outlet and your tool into the SafetyGate. If you leave the tool on when the power goes out, its patented sensor technology recognizes this and prevents current from flowing to the tool when power is restored. When this condition happens a yellow LED on the device turns on and you need to switch the tool off then back on again to make it work.

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If you work in the datacomm installation business, then you know Paladin. Sean, for example, is very proud of the set of Paladin CAT5 crimpers he owns. After going through a couple of sets, he finally bought a “good” set — by Paladin. But did you know Paladin makes multitools, too?

They do, and they call them PowerPlay. Specifically, they make three models, one designed for datacomm specialists, one for telcomm people, and one for electrical work.

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Today, in this third, and last, installment of uncommon nut drivers, we have the insulated and angled nut driver from Cementex.  It’s not articulated — it’s a fixed right angle, so it’s not bent to get into odd spaces. My best guess is that the shaft is bent to apply more torque.

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These Knipex insulated T-handle nut drivers might not be the most practical nut driver for everybody, but they meet IEC60900 and DIN EN 60900 standards and are rated for 1000V, so if you need them, you need them.

Knipex manufacturers the drivers from special tool steel and oil-hardens them. Available in 8mm, 10mm, 13mm, 17mm, 19mm, and 22mm sizes, most of the drivers are 155mm (6″) long. We can’t find any pricing on them yet, but with their electrical ratings, expect them to be expensive.

Nut Driver [Knipex]

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