well stocked small toolbox


DD called me twice last week as she is moving out of her apartment (across the country, or I'd be there helping -- even though she doesn't want help.) "How do I get the legs off the couch? OK, what kind of screwdriver?" and "What tool do I need to buy to take the bed apart?"
(#2 phillips, and 1/2" wrench, respectively)
Her birthday is coming up pretty quick, and I tho't I could get her a small tool box with some basic good-quality tools. Sears used to sell a short toolbox made of tough plastic and designed to fit under the seat of your truck. What to stock it with?
A few of essentials: ChannelLock pliers, maybe even 2 pairs (no substitutes); a long 1/2x9/16 box-end wrench; 12 oz. claw hammer; a few assorted screwdrivers; cheap torpedo level; tape measure; wire strippers, and maybe a pair of water pump pliers.
But what about combination wrenches? Should I get a set of metrics or SAE? Same question with allen wrenches. Her car has all metric fasteners, but I really don't see her doing any car repairs herself. Everything else has English fasteners, right?
A 10" or 12" pipe wrench, or would that be just inviting trouble? :-)
What else?
Bob
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You forgot the most essential of all, two pair of Vise Grips, medium and large. Next, an impact driver set with multiple bits. The latter is the only way known to man that will deal with funky Philips screws (the mechanics curse). Check out the sets on Amazon or Harbor Freight (see HF #37530 and 93481). A 12" pipe wrench is just a paper weight. If you must deal with plumbing, get two 18" ones and spare the knuckles. You won't need combo wrenches for a while. Just get the one or two from time to time that you need. None really better than Craftsman unless you like the higher polish and price at SnapOn. These suggestions will save your reputation as family tool guru. Good luck.
Joe
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zxcvbob wrote:

Sears has some quite decent complete tool kits in fitted cases for $50-$60 that include pretty much everything. They are cheaper than trying to piece a set together yourself. I keep one of those sets in my truck, supplemented with a couple specialty items like torx socket bits.
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Pete C. wrote:

Since I posted earlier I've been looking online at a Craftsman 150-something piece tool kit that looks pretty good, in a plastic organizer tool box for about $100. Then an $8 "compact truck box" (17" long shallow plastic toolbox) for the ChannelLocks, screwdrivers, level, needlenose pliers, outlet tester, and other stuff the tool kit is missing.
I need to take a trip to Sears after work and see if their sockets and screwdrivers are still high quality like the ones I bought 20 and 30 years ago.
Bob
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I can't comment on Sears tools, havn't bought there in years. Harbor Freight has some tool assortments that are reasonable. Their Vise Grip knock offs aren't all that great. The jaws are flat, and don't grab very well.
In my service van, I have a "jump kit" which does most of the calls I need to do. Used it today, actually, and it had the tools I needed. Just off the top of my head.....
Assorted small screws VOM from HF 10 in 1 screw driver that does torx, phillips, slotted, and two sizes of hex head, and two square tips that really come in handy WD-40 allen wrench assortment in plastic holder flat file two crescent wrench which have been used for hammering small Vise Grips (the real brand name ones) 9 volt batteries for alarmed exit devices
I'm sure there are other tools. These are crammed into a fishing tackle box from Walmart, with a fold out tray.
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zxcvbob wrote:

Walmart has a set of household tools in an attractive pink tote-bag for the ladies. Here are some things you didn't mention:
* Safety glasses (girls will insist on these) * Tape measure * Girl-sized hammer * Level (ladies hang pictures) * Roll of duct tape * Can WD-40 * Three sizes each: slotted and phillips screwdrivers (or a kit of a screwdriver shaft and selection of bits) * Small set precision screwdrivers * Utility knife * Regular pliers * Needle-nose pliers * Dikes * Roll black electrical tape * A tool bag to hold all the stuff (plus screws, nails, string, picture-hangers, wire, etc.). Ladies prefer tool bags to tool boxes.
Here's a set of 105 tools from HF for $50 http://www.harborfreight.com/105-piece-tool-kit-4030.html
You'll have to get a bag and dump all the tools in it because the box has no room for a hammer and all the other little bits one collects.
For a lady doing household jobs, a set of top-quality tools is probably not the best choice; she's probably going to use the hammer maybe three times a year and the vice-grips never. Second-line tools are usually adequate and the savings can be used to expand the variety.
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"HeyBub" wrote

Hate to tell ya but a daughter who doesnt know what to use to remove a table leg won't likely need wire strippers or water pump strippers.

Naw, leave it out.

Hey! Thsts just being smart! Hubby uses them.

Yes, metric on one side, US inches on other. Minimum 6ft. 12ft is better.

12oz is (grin). It will hang a picture well enough.

Ladies do not use levels. Thats for guys who can't adjust a picture straight (grin).

Yup!
Not a bad addition!

Kit type where the bits are in the handle.

Nope for both

Nope.
Yes
Got me. What is that?

Shrug, probably not

Hehe true! Oh and be sure to add picture hanging wire or twine, a selection of various smaller nails, and some small sort of tube of glue.
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On 5/17/2010 5:02 PM, HeyBub wrote:

I had a similar situation with my girlfriend but approached it differently: I bought tools that *I* would use rather than girlie tools.
My thought were that I end up doing most of the maintenance around there. Rather than having to bring my tools over all the time, it was much handier to give her a set of tools. I don't care if she never uses them... at least I know I will have what I need to fix things as they require work.
Although I'm not a huge fan of Harbor Freight for a lot of things, they sell hand tools that are quite workable and also quite inexpensive. Screwdriver sets, pliers sets, socket sets, allen wrenches... all way cheaper than at Lowes or Sears.
And the plastic tool box itself: you can pick one up for very cheap at Lowes or Home Depot. Stanley makes all kinds.
Jay
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Jay Hanig wrote:

That's what I'm doing; buying tools that I would buy for myself -- except for the 12 oz hammer (I like 20 oz hammers.)
I've been very impressed with combination wrenches and screwdrivers from Harbor Freight. As good as Craftsman (the wrenches) but much much cheaper. Pliers have been a mixed bag; most of them are terrible but some are quite good.
I didn't like any of the toolboxes that I saw at Home Depot today.
Bob
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zxcvbob wrote:

Forget the tool bags...a nice tool box that opens up with trays is nice. Pliers, a set of ratchet screw drivers, a boxed set of small screw drivers, standard hammer, tack hammer (we hand a lot of stuff on walls), rubber mallet, a small electric sander, a small container of wood glue, roll painter's tape, a couple of plastic tarps, razor blade scraper, a squeegee and the thingy that looks like a squeegee mop for washing windows, assortment of tacks and picture hangers. Don't encourage her to try electrical work unless she understands how to do it .. soldering iron, black tape, solder. A BOOK on general household repairs. Set of washers for faucets...a wet vac for the certain day that the toilet overflows. A tube of silicone caulk. Heavy duty kitchen shears or tin shears. Some goof off. Small cordless drill...hanging curtains, etc.
How do I get the legs off the couch? Scary :o)
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zxcvbob wrote:

Here are links to one of the tools I'm going to buy.
http://preview.tinyurl.com/246w2ec
http://www.expeditiontools.com /
TDD
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