jump to example.com
Currently viewing the category: "Ideal"

Last week Ideal announced their new solution for butt splicing wires together quickly and easily: SpliceLine in-line wire connectors. They tout two major uses for the new connectors, making prefabbed electrical assemblies faster to install and lengthening short wires inside of electrical boxes.

Continue reading »

Tagged with:

Ideal’s benchtop laser wire stripper will, without blades or heating, perfectly strip insulation from most wires and cables in less than a second. Its 10W CO2 laser can strip wires as small as .005″ to as large as .150″ in diameter.

The Wiremaster’s laser head rotates around the wire to give you a 360° cut. The laser light vaporizes the insulation while it bounces harmlessly off the wire. The Wiremaster I can strip up to 1″ of insulation, while the Wiremaster II can strip up to 6″ of insulation and even slit the insulation along its length or spiral cut it for easier removal.

Continue reading »

Tagged with:

A cable ripper is a simple tool with one function: removing the outer jacket on ROMEX and other electrical wires. One of Ideal’s versions, the Lil’ Ripper Stripper, incorporates some other commonly-used tools to let you rip, clip, strip, loop, and twist with one tool.

Besides ripping the outer jacket of ROMEX, the tool also clips it. It also can be used to strip insulation from wires, form loops in wires for screw terminals, and get a better grip on wire nuts with wings. The grip is injection molded elastomer and a measurement scale is molded into the side for measuring the correct amount of wire to strip.

You can pick up Ideal’s Lil Ripper Stripper for about $6.

Lil’ Ripper Stripper [Ideal]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Lil’ Ripper Stripper [Sears]

Tagged with:

Part of the fun of doing TM posts is the discovery of tools I’d never seen or used. The Ideal 9-in-1 Ratch-A-Nut Screwdriver is one such beast. It’s a ratcheting screwdriver with 1/4″ and 3/16″ slotted bits, #1 and #2 Phillips bits, 1/4″, 5/16″, and 7/16″ nutdrivers on one end, plus a ratcheting wire nut wrench on the back end that can handle a variety of wire connectors. The typical price runs around $19, but True Value has it for a bit over $9.

Ratch-A-Nut [Manufacturer’s Site]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Ratch-A-Nut Via Amazon [What’s This?]

Do you have loose outlets in your home — you know, the ones where the receptacle wiggles every time you plug or unplug a cord?  More than likely the drywall guys cut the hole too big, and the ears on the receptacle don’t land on the drywall.  In the past I’ve used small washers or nuts to space the outlet far enough out from the wall so the cover plate fits correctly, but I noticed these Caterpillar spacers from Buchanan (Ideal) the other day when I was walking through Home Depot and decided to give ’em a try.

Continue reading »


We’re not sure how this one slipped by us, but in March 2009, Ideal sent out a press release detailing their new Mess-X Paint Shields. The idea is simple:  when painting, instead of taping off outlets and switches, you remove the cover plates and simply “snap” their paint shield over any exposed outlets and switches.  When you’re done painting, remove the shields to reveal pristine outlets and switches.

Continue reading »


Ideal 120-foot Fish Tape

If you ever remodel something, you’ll probably need to add or move an electrical outlet, and a fish tape’ll make that job a lot easier. No, a fish tape isn’t an adhesive for catching fish; it’s a steel tape that you “fish” through walls or floors — you attach your cable to the end of the fish tape, then retract the tape to pull the cable through the cavity. Ideal makes this 120′, 4.6-pound fish tape from high-grade steel, and it’s housed in a molded plastic case with a non-slip, oversized, finger-grip handle. Sears has marked it down to $30, so it won’t break your bank.

Tuff-Grip Fish Tape [Sears]
Tuff-Grip Fish Tape [Ideal]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


When troubleshooting telephone wiring, sometimes you need to work with individual leads.  Also, the typical “butt set” tester includes alligator clips rather than a modular plug.  In both cases, the tool you need to make the connection between the leads and the modular plug is called a banjo.

Continue reading »


Andy from OneFromTheRoad.com writes: “Ideal’s SureTest is an AC circuit analyzer; basically it’s like one of those cheap three-neon-light testers on steroids — and then some.

“The problem with those neon light testers is that while they detect most problems, there are some very dangerous situations — ground/neutral shorts (aka “false ground”), excess impedance in the lines, voltage drop under load, among others — that they miss entirely.

“Both models of SureTest analyzers, the 164 and 165, test for all of these (including voltage drop over three different loads –12, 15, and 20 amp), as well as giving you a true RMS readout of the hot-neutral voltage and ground-neutral voltage, a peak hot-neutral voltage, a frequency reading in Hz, a measure of the available current through the breaker in a worst-case-scenario dead short of all three conductors, and a test of the GFCI if you’ve got one installed — this even includes a reading of how much current it took to trip and how long it took to trip!.  The more advanced 165 model adds testing of AFCIs and another related test or two.

“I recently replaced my no-longer-manufactured Ecos AccuTest circuit tester with a Suretest 164, and am in love.  (I went through a “new toy” phase of running every test on every outlet in my apartment).

“As a live sound engineer, I use it all the time to test power at a venue before I plug my (or, perhaps more importantly, my boss’s) expensive equipment into it, but it’s equally important for homeowners, where many of these problems can be the cause of electrical fires.”

Continue reading »


post-bender.jpgWe’d forgotten to mention this to you until today, but last week we were wiring in an air compressor and found ourselves wanting to make a couple of bends in conduit.  It’s a lot easier than it would seem.

A quick trip to Home Depot netted us the bender pictured here, made by Ideal.  To use it, you simply insert a handle through the center, insert your conduit through the end, and bend.  The curved shape of the bender prevents kinking.  To make it easy to apply pressure with your foot, it includes a serrated “step” edge that provides good traction.  Between your foot on the edge and your hands on the handle, it’s pretty easy to control.

When we went to post this tonight, we also came across a PDF guide from Ideal Industries that goes into great detail explaining how to perform more complex bending tasks such as back-to-back and offset bends.  Luckily we only needed two 90 degree bends a good distance apart, but if you’re looking to do something more complex, be sure to check out the guide.

Street pricing starts around $25.

Aluminum Bender Head w/Handle [Ideal Industries]
Street Pricing [Froogle]
Bender Guide [PDF — Ideal Industries]