Anybody have any good, or at least semi-permanant, ideas for marking
hand tools? I know anything can be ground off, painted over, etc...
by a thief. I'm just looking to ID my stuff in a multiple worker
If you don't mark your tools, I don't need to know. <G>
Just FWIW this drives me nuts!! I used to see guys doing this all the
time...buy a brand new pinner or router and then spray it with some
nasty colered paint. I never could bring myself to do this to a brand
new tool. Thing is, on most jobs I could always identify my tools
because they were the only ones NOT painted! Some options:
A) Let it be known that there is a terrible curse which decends on
anyone messing with your tools.
B) Let it be known that you will kill anyone who messes with your
C) Curse and kill the first person who messes with your tools just so
that the others will take you seriously...
"It's easy when you know how..."
Used to be a rental tool company took the same approach, they painted
all of thier equipment a very "stylish" purple. Don't think anybody
stole their equipment, but then, I don't think many people rented from
them either -- kind of one of the laws of unintended consequences.
I have used bright yellow oil based paint for many years. I apply it
with disposable modeling/craft size (1/4") brushes that I buy a
handful at a time. I pint size can of paint lasts almost forever. I
paint a ring around the handle or a large yellow dot, depending on the
item. I try to paint them when I buy them new, so the paint sticks
better. I paint on a surface the the tool does not rest on, so it
I started labeling stuff because I worked with father, and we often
shopped at the same stores. The paint makes my stuff easy to identify
so that I don't take other peoples tools. I also think it helps when
I send stuff off to get repaired or sharpened. I do know if it keeps
other people honest, but it keeps me honest.
I don't loan out tools any more, either. Very few people care how
much a quality tool costs, or how long it will last when you take care
of it properly. I also do not want the liability of someone hurting
themselves with my tools.
I worked in a pattern shop once where a chronically suspicious guy dipped
the handle ef every one of his tools in yellow paint. Nice, neat, all at
the same angle. Then he went on vacation.
When he returned, the other patternmaker had dipped his so they were red, at
the same angle, and with a thin yellow stripe around the top. It took the
first guy almost an hour before he figured out how the yellow stripe was put
on the handles.
For just ID puposes with honest folks, I write my last name in Sharpie
somewhere you can see when holding the tool. Saw blade guards, tops of drills,
etc. Not good for theft protection because it's easy to take off.
If you're worried about tools walking off, spraypaint them one of the "safety"
colors and maybe grind an inital into the housing. The downside of this is that
you'll have a really hard time getting a return from them if you ever want to.
I've bought tools from contractors who were upgrading or replacing broken
stuff. Had to spend a lot of time with stripper and sandpaper getting them to
look not stolen.
Have seen and used purple paint. Looks kill the value of a tool. Any
other ugly color of paint ought to work. I don't loan out ANYTHING
anymore and that cut down almost all theft.
On Mon, 27 Oct 2003 21:42:23 GMT, B a r r y B u r k e J r .
| I don't loan out ANYTHING anymore and that cut down
| almost all theft.
I've learned that lesson the hard way.
Long-necked screwdrivers with comfortable grips and perfectly sized tips
seem to beg, "Use me to open a rusted-shut paint can!" to people who didn't
pay for them.
Socket sets seem to come back with a few important sockets having jumped
Power tools seem to come back with gravelly-sounding drives.
Years ago I had roommates that helped themselves to my tools at will,
believing that friends were friends when they lent you their tools. And so
the best investment I made was a set of sturdy tool chests with locks on
them. The only tools I left in unlocked places were the ones they had
ruined. That way I didn't acquire the reputation of being a stingy bastard,
while I could simultaneously teach them an object lesson, that chisels that
had been used to pry up nails were thereafter useless as chisels, etc.
That doesn't work as well on job sites, of course. But mostly my tools stay
I brand the wooden handles. You can "engrave" metal tools with an "electric
pencil" vibrating tool with a carbide or diamond tip. I had an electic
etcher that used a stencil and a chemical solution. They may still be
Old timers would etch names and designs on metal by covering it with
beeswax, scratching in the design, and putting nitric acid over that spot.
Also, old timers used a stamp to hammer into the tool.
Well, from reading these posts, how 'bout this....
Use an engraver or letter stamp your initials in a place that is very
difficult to get at to grind away - like the inside radius of a power
switch or handle- and just paint the power tool cord and strain relief some
ugly color or colors. From a distance, you can prove it was yours and back
it up w/ yr initials/
BTW - from what I understand, if you engrave or stamp the metal and the
theif grinds it off, the cops, if they are so inclined have a method that
will bring the engraving or stamping out even if it has been ground away.
Something about how the metal is compressed beneath the engraving and
This didn't do me a LICK of good however, when I found a dust collector that
had been ripped off. The cops took the position that "I couldn't prove that
I hadn't sold it".... and yes, the thief was a drug informant.
I wonder how all those cross nails ended up in his driveway.
Hope this helps
12V vibrating engraver. hook it up to your car battery and hold the
tool on the other electrode. there is a spring in the tool (shaped like
a fat pencil) that causes the tip to vibrate when you apply it to the
tool to write your initials or driver's license number... that's what
most of us mechanics used to use
otherwise you can get a engraver, but I prefer the simplest method which
is the 12V arcing method.
B a r r y B u r k e J r . wrote:
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