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Airplane mechanics keep detailed service and maintenance records in the plane’s logbook — it helps ’em prevent that long drop with the short stop at the end. But a logbook can also remind you to do routine maintenance on your car, or it can help you diagnose the reason for loss of gas mileage before a serious problem develops. For tractors, combines, bulldozers, graders, generators — the machines that run and build civilization — logbooks can save jobs and lives. Mechanic Support makes this Mechanic’s Logbook software that you can configure for almost any application.

You can put Mechanic’s Logbook on your computer for $16 — you might pay more than that for a dead-tree logbook.

Mechanic’s Logbook [Mechanic Support]
Mechanic Support [Corporate Site]


Professional metal shops with copious amounts of space allow you to keep job-specific tools on hand. Dedicated tube benders and press brakes are great, if you’ve got the cash and space — but what are small shops and dedicated hobbyists to do? The Universal Fabricator, a metal fabrication multi-tool, combines a powered pipe/tube bender with a hydraulic-press-brake-type plate bender.

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When building hoses for your car or truck, the expense can add up quick. Frequent trips to the store to crimp your custom-length lines ain’t cheap, and the tools to do the crimping yourself generally aren’t cheap either. But now Earl’s — the maker of all those cool fittings used in engine and brake work — makes a custom crimping machine designed to crimp Ultra Flex hose ends onto Ultra 650 hose, which is available in many different sizes.

The machine is super portable, weighing in at 42 lbs, meaning you can loan it out to your buddies so they can crimp hoses, too — for a nominal fee, of course.

Ultra Flex Crimping Machine [Earl’s]


Splitting logs will give you a workout, even if you use a machine.  Most log splitters only do just that: split logs. You still have to lift the logs onto the splitter, pick up the pieces , and split those yourself.  Timberwolf’s TW-7 log splitter picks up all three of those tasks, so you can knock out cords of wood in no time.

Unlike your average splitter, the TW-7’s special “box” splitting wedge sections the splits into uniform pieces. Instead of picking up the pieces, you just push them onto the splitter bed. With 28 tons of force the TW-7 splits logs up to 26” long, and with an optional hydraulic log lifter you won’t break your back getting them off the ground. A video on Timberwolf’s website shows the splitter in action.

Timberwolf TW-7 [Corporate Site]


Here’s another tool for breaking s#@! from the firefighters’ playbook. It’s called the Rabbit Tool by most, although it’s officially the Hydra-Ram. Whereas many of the other fire and rescue tools we’ve featured require some pretty violent swinging force — or a powerful pneumatic or hydraulic power source — to get the job done, the Rabbit Tool just needs one guy squeezing the handle and the tool together.

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Anyone who’s seen The Terminator knows that robots are out to get us. Need further proof that Skynet is nigh? The Swedish company Brokk offers a line of compact demo-bots for all sorts of dangerous demolition jobs. They’re popular in the nuclear power industry where radioactive contamination is an, um, issue. These particular models are remotely operated via a wired or wireless control box — to limit the operator’s exposure to dangerous environments and to prevent fatigue from vibration — but it’s just a short step to sending them out to do your demo work all by themselves.

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Comparison to Grimlock the Dinobot

Many companies sell hydraulic pulverizing attachments, but Northerntrack offers what’s far and away the coolest one. Looking like a blue, mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex, the F18 is the baddest-ass attachment Northerntrack sells — all the better for breaking s#!$.

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Northern Industrial Tools Hydraulic Shop Press 6-Ton

When you need a shop press, nothing else will do the job — and a cheap one’s far better than none.  In that vein, check out this 6-ton hydraulic press from Northern Industrial Tools for just $49.  It’s pretty much a 6-ton bottle jack on a frame and measures 15-1/2″ x 13″ x 29-9/16″.

6-Ton Press [Northern Industrial]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


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Thankfully, today’s railroad workers don’t have to drive spikes John Henry style.  Tools like this dual railroad clip installer save time — and help prevent repetitive stress injuries — by automatically driving in clips to hold rails in place on modern concrete ties.  It takes an incredible amount of force to install these clips quickly, which this device receives from a separate hydraulic power unit.  The power units come in electric, diesel, and gas-powered versions.

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Greenlee’s new HKL-1232 crimping tool offers up (literally) tons of clamping force — twelve tons to be exact.  It’s a manually operated hydraulic crimper sporting a two-speed hydraulic pump that advances rapidly until it contacts the connector, then shifts to a lower speed to complete the crimp.  Wiring a main electrical box, or work on an oil rig?  This is for you.  For the rest of us, it’s just freakin’ cool.

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