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Above you see Klein’s new Tradesman Pro Organizer rolling tool bag, which is, well, a tool bag with wheels. It caught our attention because it incorporates features we’ve seen in luggage for years, but which never quite seem to make their way into tool storage applications: big wheels and a collapsible handle.

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For the same reason bolting big wheels on your 4×4 allows you to climb and clear big rocks and logs, upping the wheel diameter on your rolling storage lets you drag it over larger debris. Klein chose 6″ wheels for this bag, which seems like a good tradeoff between being big enough to let you roll over weird crap and small enough to not be a pain in the ass (or leg) when you pick up the bag to carry it.

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There is a certain comfort bred of familiarity. For instance, I know when I reach for my brad nailer or Skilsaw exactly how it feels in my hands from every angle. I don’t have to look — I know. It’s something that’s been trained into me for the past six years, and it frees me up to think about how the cut is going to line up or where the brad’s going to go. It sounds funny to some, but tools like that become extensions of your will rather than clunky objects. It’s this kind of familiarity Milwaukee is now working against in the snip market. Klein and Wiss are, for all intents and purposes, the standard in snips and have been for decades. However, Milwaukee thinks there’s room for improvement.

The new snips have features like a switch lock on the top handle and forged cutting heads. They conform to the standard system of yellow for straight, green for right cut, and red for the left curving cuts — so a pro can still look down into a pouch and grab the right tool the first time without thinking. The lock along the top and inset a shade won’t bump loose in a belt or toolbox. All these traits are dead-on for the tradesman that would need to have one at the ready, day in and day out.

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It’s a rare occasion that we have a need to wear a tool belt around the shop — because, well, we’re around the shop, the very base of all our tool power. However, working at other people’s houses or doing plumbing or electrical work can make tool belts a necessity.

On this topic, reader Haglered writes us and asks:

What do you think about using tool belts? Some say you have to have one so you don’t have to set your tools down when working on a job or around the house. What do you think and where can you get a tool belt big enough for us big guys?

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Now Klein Tool fans can show their love for all that is Klein by making their kids use Klein’s Halloween tote bag when they go trick-or-treating.

The 4″ deep by 15.5″ wide by 14.5″ tall bag provides about half a cubic foot of space to stash your hard-earned candy. They stamp a “Trick or Treat” design on the front of the bag and a bright orange Klein Tools logo on the back so everybody knows where your loyalties lie.

Klein only offers the bag for a limited time; if you want one you need to order it before October 27th. The tote bag will run you $7 plus what appears to be a flat shipping rate of $7; I tried putting up to 20 bags in the cart and it was still $7 to ship.

Halloween Tote Bag [Klein]

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Rather than carrying around a bunch of nut drivers, carry only one with Klein’s Drive-A-Matic. As you place the driver over the fastener and turn the head, it automatically adjusts to the head of the fastener.

The Drive-A-Matic can fit 15 different nut and hex head screw sizes from 1/4″ to 7/16″. Klein chrome plates the 7″ hollow shaft driver for a smooth finished look, and uses the same black and yellow cushion grip that you’ve come to know and love.

You can find the Drive-A-Matic fro $25 to $43 depending on where you shop.

Drive-A-Matic [Klein]
Drive-A-Matic [Klien Connection]
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Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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Crank action screwdrivers pre-date cordless drivers, but they are still handy enough to be useful today.  Trying to make their Rapi-Driv screwdrivers more functional, Klein now sells a version with interchangeable tips. They may not have been the first company to stick an interchangeable bit holder on their crank action screwdriver, but theirs is the only version I could find.

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A strap wrench consists of a plastic or wooden handle with a flexible rubber strap that often has small ridges that help it grip round, slick-surfaced, or odd-shaped objects. The tool is used to tighten, loosen, or twist objects such as shower heads, polished, glass, or PVC piping, water and oil filters, and even jar lids. Its main advantages are its flexibility and its ability to grip tightly without scratching or marring the object’s surface.

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If you’ve done any outdoor electrical work around the house, you’ve probably run into BX cable at some point. Cutting the casing without marring the conductors can be a problem; I tried with a hacksaw once, and all I got was a partially-sliced housing and a scarred thumb.

About $30 could have saved me some trouble. Klein’s BX cable cutter slices the housing only, avoiding damage to the internal wires thanks to a cutting wheel much like you’d find in a tubing cutter. Clamp the cable in the tool’s jaws, give the crank a few twists, and voila. Ixnay on the ousinghay, and no blood on your shirt, either.

Klein BX Cable Cutter [Plumber Surplus]

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Klein Depthfinder™ steel fish tapes have permanent laser-etched marks at 1′ increments and a polypropylene case and handle. The $10 Model 56005’s tape is 25′ long and ¼” wide (other models are available, including stainless steel, lengths up to 240′, and 1/8″ widths). When I first saw one at Home Depot, I thought “What’s the big deal with the marks? You push the fish tape through wherever you want wire to run, connect wire to the end, and pull the wire back through. Who needs marks?”

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You’ll see tons of wrenches that are insulated by coating the handle, but to meet the 1000V ATSM standard rating, Klein does something a little different: they embed two ratcheting box end wrenches in see-through plastic so you can visually confirm they aren’t touching. Grab one end of the wrench and there’s no path for the current to flow to the other.

Made in the USA, Klein’s Lineman’s insulating box wrench features 9/16″ and 3/4″ ratcheting 12-point sockets. There’s no reversing mechanism; to switch from tightening to loosening, just flip the wrench over. They mold grooves into the handle so you can get a good grip of the wrench.

It’ll be interesting to see if they come out with similar insulated wrenches in other sizes. For now, you can purchase one of these insulated wrenches for $44, except the Klein Connection says you must order this wrench in multiples of three.

Insulating Box Wrench [Klein Connection]

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