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Posts by: Nate Bezanson

The unusual-looking profile of Megapro’s DoubleLok bits allows them to engage the locking mechanism in quick-change chucks, like those found on the pocket lithium screwdrivers that’re becoming so popular. The bits also feature a spring-loaded ball in the middle, which holds them into manual screwdrivers that take regular double-ended bits.

Here’s the great part: Megapro makes a whole pile of different bits, from the full gamut of straight and Phillips sizes, to tamper-resistant Torx and spanner bits, to specialty stuff like Schrader valve core removers and clutch bits. Curiously, not all of them feature the DoubleLoc design. Still, if you’ve been hunting for a double-ended security Torx bit to complete your portable toolkit, give Megapro a look.

Megapro [Corporate Site]
Megapro Products [Grainger]
Via Amazon [What’s This?] [What’s This?]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


With this mobile tool workcenter, you can keep your Dremel (or other mini rotary tool) close at hand, along with accessories, work space, and extra storage. You can even sketch out ideas on a whiteboard on the box’s lid. The website mentions an “integrated vacuum hose port” but doesn’t provide much information about it — it looks like the unoccupied bench-dog holes might function as a downdraft table for dust control. Do any of you Milescraft MobileX1 workcenter owners care to fill us in on the details?

MSRP on this little beauty is $75, and street pricing is a pretty uniform $60, but I ran across it at All Electronics for $45, with shipping in the $7 range.

Milescraft Portable Hobbyist’s Workcenter [Digimode10]
Rotary Tool Workcenter [All Electronics]
Via Amazon [What’s This?] (B000KIASXG) [What’s This?]


Holding a door open doesn’t seem like such a big deal, until you realize that, for a firefighter, a pinched hose or blocked escape route can mean the difference between life and death. And firefighters would rather prop a door open than chop it off its hinges — it’s faster and easier! I was struck by the number and variety of doorstops offered at TheFireStore.com.

Clockwise from upper left:
The Open Door Inc Wedge-It [The Fire Store]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]
Large Rubber Door Wedge [The Fire Store]
Hingelock Door Chock [The Fire Store]
GloWedge [The Fire Store]
Hingestar Door Prop (not pictured) [The Fire Store]


IMG_0715 (Custom).JPG

Fluke markets its LVD1 as a non-contact voltage detector (“volt sniffer”), but I’ve found that the bright LED at the end makes a perfectly competent flashlight, too. The LVD1’s voltage-sensor indicator light glows when the unit is close to an AC field, as you’ll see after the jump.

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Does your multi-tool have an adjustable hydrant wrench? How about a non-sparking hammer, or a gas valve shut-off tool? Next time you need a spanner wrench or a sturdy pry blade, you’ll wish you had the EMI 511 Tool on your belt.

Just over a foot long and weighing one lb, this special-purpose tool will normally set you back about $50, but the Fire Store sells it for $30.

EMI 511 Fire/Rescue Tool [Lab Safety Supply]
EMI 511 Fire/Rescue Tool [The Fire Store]

Cal-Van Converter cropped

Most socket sets include a downsize adapter for driving 3/8″ sockets from a 1/2″ ratchet, but they never include an upsize adapter. Cal-Van helps us out with this tremendously clever double-ended adapter that can convert in either direction! Check out the deceptively simple mechanism after the jump.

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My dad’s “everyday tool” was a pocket knife he carried since Boy Scouts — until he surrendered it to the TSA on a recent airline trip. Personally, my “everyday tool” is a pair of electrician’s snips. I grew quite fond of them while doing telecom equipment installation, and I still use them for everything. They’re sharp, durable, and I can’t seem to keep enough of them around.

I think with that $5 off $5 coupon at Sears, it might be time to pick up a spare pair — or three.

Electrician’s Scissors [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]
Klein Electrician’s Scissors [Sears]


When you’re working with scaled drawings, converting the dimensions from drawing to real world isn’t always easy. A new option — transparent scale ruler overlays — offers a handy DIY alternative that promises to make the job easier.

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Ever had to stop a plumbing project because you broke a threaded nipple off inside a fitting? As often is the case, there’s a very specific tool designed to save your ass in this instance: for a few bucks you can snag an internal pipe wrench, which locks into the stub with an eccentric mechanism and backs it right out.

It saves not only the cost of a new fitting, but also the time and hassle of tearing everything apart. Street pricing hovers around $5.

Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s this?]


Need to install a several ground rods? Stop swinging that sledge hammer and just set your rotary hammer to “hammer only,” then mount this adapter in the chuck and slip the hollow end over the top of the rod. The weight of the tool does the work — and does it without distorting the end of the rod. Models are available for various shank types, and they’ll set you back about $80.

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