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Best Tools for Hobby and Work

Discussion in 'News, Reviews and Information You Can Use' started by amirm, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. amirm

    amirm Founder/Admin CFO (Chief Fun Officer) Staff Member

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    Wow. That would be something. Assuming it costs some, then the 20 year warranty has no meaning.
     
  2. amirm

    amirm Founder/Admin CFO (Chief Fun Officer) Staff Member

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    Now this is the kind of manly tool I want! And cheap too:

     
  3. DonH56

    DonH56 Major Contributor Patreon Donor Technical Expert

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    Could have REALLY used that a few years ago when we had to knock down a large equipment shed on my in-law's farm! I also love the 360 degree swivel fitting. I bought a compressor and number of mechanic and wood air tools quite a few years ago but alas lost my workshop and haven't used them. Maybe when I retire...
     
  4. amirm

    amirm Founder/Admin CFO (Chief Fun Officer) Staff Member

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    The swivel fittings are quite cool. I will need to purchase some.
     
  5. jhaider

    jhaider Member

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    They are expensive but I have to say, I get it. I had never seen them before, but construction-wise they are several steps ahead of the stuff from anything available at a US box store, or even the Raaco and Allit storage units I use for odds-and-ends storage. The T-BOXX lid is probably 20x thicker than the Raaco Assorter or Allit EuroPlus box lids. If I were starting from scratch I would probably get T-BOXX units, even though the Raaco and Allit ones are a little cheaper and still vastly better made than any typical American-market entry. They also have very well engineered mobile storage solutions, with racks that can safely hold the units in place in a service van.

    Now that I'm doing my speaker measurements for reviews outdoors*, I'd been looking for a pack-it-and-go modular kit for my measurement gear. I found myself wasting a lot of time running back and forth to have the right cables and such last time. I had narrowed it down to Festool (Systainer) and Sortimo (L-BOXX). A shop a few blocks from me carries Festool. After being frustrated that I could not find the L-BOXX products locally to inspect, I learned last week that Sortimo's US headquarters is about a half hour North of my office. I emailed them and ended up scheduling a visit today to see what they had to offer.

    I was impressed. The form factor fit my needs better than the Systainer, and they're a little bit cheaper.
    I ended up coming home with the following:

    LS-BOXX, which has room for two shelves or smaller boxes and a 136mm-deep top box. (The numbers in Sortimo model designations indicate height.)
    i-BOXX 72, which I will put in the LS-BOXX and use to keep the amp and USB interface in. It will be nice to have everything connected except the laptop and speakers, and levels maintained from previous sessions.
    i-BOXX 53, which I will put in the LS-BOXX and use to store mic cables and various adapters.
    LT-BOXX 170, which is an open box that is big enough to fit my experimental new polar measurement rig - a pro speaker stand with the Monoprice "xlarge" camera ball-head and a tray on top.

    Everything except the i-BOXX 53 was even on sale in the black + blue handle color way I preferred. The LS-BOXX is available for $20 less in Bosch colors from Amazon, but I appreciated the time they took to walk me through their system.

    I also bought a Gedore toolkit in the L-BOXX 102 from eBay.de to for the modular stack. Sortimo had a fancier Gedore toolkit in an L-BOXX 132 on display, so I know the colors match perfectly. You never know when you'll need a screwdriver or a hex key. The kit also has 10" waterpump pliers. I will probably put heat-shrink on the jaws so I can use them to snug screws and such. Gedore's made-in-Austria waterpump pliers are really nice.

    I did not end up buying the Sortimo dolly, but when I came home I realized that my $7 Harbor Freight dolly is the perfect size for L-BOXX stacks.

    The L-BOXX units are cheaper, and not as stout as the T-BOXX but the racks are a lot cheaper. They are still a solid step or two up from the other storage products I've seen.

    Will add pictures when I get it organized, which due to work and work-related travel is likely to be early May.

    *Shameless plug - first speaker review with measurements taken outdoors, including polar maps of the current and previous generation model, here: https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/speaker/bookshelf/nht-c3-bookshelf-speaker-review/
     
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  6. amirm

    amirm Founder/Admin CFO (Chief Fun Officer) Staff Member

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    Great info. Thanks. Love to see the pictures. My chief designer swears by Festool/Systainer but I don't think he has seen the systainer.
     
  7. jhaider

    jhaider Member

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    Having seen and messed with both, I think they're both great. Having narrowed it down to these two, L-BOXX won because form factor. If Systainers were 2" wider it would have been a much tougher call. They are more expensive, but I would've been supporting an interesting local store.

    Systainer has a really slick open/close/stack mechanism. The top of each box has cleats for to lock in the next box up. You slide the top box into the cleats and secure it with the 3-way clasp in front. You can also open any box in the stack due to the 3-way clasp.

    L-BOXX looks like it might be a little sturdier, though appearances can be deceptive. The material is a little thicker and the reinforcement seems. We will see.
     
  8. Thomas savage

    Thomas savage Moderator Moderator Patreon Donor The Watchman

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    Festool are the bestool . The drywall sander they make ( though I sand by hand these days ) is the most intelligently designed and best build sander you can buy.
     
  9. amirm

    amirm Founder/Admin CFO (Chief Fun Officer) Staff Member

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    Definitely a premium brand. I have their tracksaw and (wood) sander. Have not used them a ton but they definitely feel good.

    Some of their stuff is insanely priced though like their little worktable which I think is some $1,100.
     
  10. Thomas savage

    Thomas savage Moderator Moderator Patreon Donor The Watchman

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    Yes the drywall hoover / dust extractor is silly money and it’s only a hoover afterall , generally there’s a premium to be paid for their tools but it’s for good reason. Most the guys on site have switched over to festool as you get the money back and then some through their reliability and work proficiency.

    If your not a pro , and just use now and then it might not be worth it but still you can pretend you know what your doing and feel all warm and fuzzy about using the best tools :D
     
  11. Sal1950

    Sal1950 Major Contributor The Chicago Crusher

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    The new stuff is great, but ole tools are like ole friends. Reliable and comforting to associate with. ;)
    That Simpson has been in my box for longer than I remember. Just found an new set of leads for it on ebay last week. They had a reverse banana plug on the end and are pretty rare today.The insulation on the old ones had completely rotted away due to being around all type of oils and solvents.
    IMG_2184.JPG
     
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  12. amirm

    amirm Founder/Admin CFO (Chief Fun Officer) Staff Member

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    Man, those are crusty Sal! :D
     
  13. Sal1950

    Sal1950 Major Contributor The Chicago Crusher

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    Beyond a doubt, there's just no fluffing them any more. They've lived thru the auto/ motorcycle dealership wars and came back a bit scarred but still functioning perfectly.
    AMEN. LOL
     
  14. restorer-john

    restorer-john Active Member

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  15. Timbo2

    Timbo2 Member

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    I got frustrated with my cheap electrical tools and switched most of my bag over to Klein many years ago. There are better tools, but the consistency is generally pretty good for the price.

    One of my absolute surprise favorites is their 11 in one. If I know the tool I want I won't use it - there is too much slop in the tool. However, if you aren't sure what you will need it's the first tool I grab. For most household appliance repairs you may not need anything else.

    http://www.kleintools.com/catalog/combo-tip/11-1-combo-screw-tips

    32505.jpg
     
  16. Thomas savage

    Thomas savage Moderator Moderator Patreon Donor The Watchman

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    All you need is for them to cook your dinner and sort out about the house a bit and your all set.
     
  17. Sal1950

    Sal1950 Major Contributor The Chicago Crusher

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    A Stepford Wife, every mans dream. :D
    I had a couple of them, till they got "liberated".
    Yes a double entendre :p
    [​IMG]
     
  18. jhaider

    jhaider Member

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    I couldn’t leave well enough alone before I left, so here are some preliminary pictures of the mobile speaker measurement rig.

    The stack, with Sortimo's “LT-BOXX,” “LS-BOXX,” “i-BOXX 72” in black and a Bosch “i-BOXX 53.”

    IMG_8393.jpg

    The top “LT-BOXX” holds the new polar measurement rig I’m testing for durability. It consists of a Monoprice XL ball camera mount with a Manfrotto projector tray on top. Every 5 deg. of rotation is marked on the mount.

    IMG_8394.jpg

    If this new setup proves stable, it should shorten the time between measurements. That matters because I generally capture a lot of measurements per speaker: horizontal at 5 degree intervals from 0-90 (0-180 if the baffle is asymmetrical), vertical at 5 degree intervals from -30 to 30 or more, grill on vs. off at a few angles, and so on. I hope to add sensitivity and maybe some distortion measurements going forward. I would have done sensitivity for the NHT C3 review, but disorganization meant I had the choice between making sure I had enough time to get enough measurements to render the polar maps or fiddling with amp gain to get exactly 2.83V. Harmonic distortion I’ll only do I hear something that merits such an investigation.

    IMG_8395.jpg

    The top compartment of the of the LS-BOXX holds microphones and tools right now.

    Mikes are Cross Spectrum calibrated, Dayton EMM-6 (analog) and miniDSP UMIK (USB). The UMIK is a backup device. I strongly prefer to capture time corrected measurements, and obviously a USB microphone has no loopback correction option.

    The microphone cases are just too wide to fit in the box on their sides. I am considering whether to go “pro” with this and do a foam insert, with custom cut-outs for microphones. The alternative is to simply move the microphone cases to the LT-BOXX on top, maybe with velcro to secure them should the box tip over. Thoughts?

    Tools are a multimeter (Uni-T) and lead kit (Extech), compact (180mm) waterpump pliers (Knipex "Cobra") with covered jaws, and a small ratcheting screwdriver (Bahco) with a bit magazine (Schröder-made Draper). I find small waterpump pliers useful for cranking down adjustable stands and similar task, and the muzzles keep the sharp teeth from tearing things up. Knipex's Cobra muzzles sell for about $6/10pk from KC Tool or Chad’s Toolbox.

    My original idea of keeping the amp and USB interface connected in an i-BOXX 72 does not work, because I didn't consider how much the USB and loopback cables stuck out. So right now the L-BOXX 72 just holds my measurement amp (Parasound Zamp) and speaker cables (RapcoHorizon, >12AWG).

    IMG_8396.jpg

    I fit the my speaker test leads cables with bananas at the amp end and alligator clips at the speaker end. If a speaker's binding posts are delicate I'll attach the clip to a banana or spade.

    The amp and interface will fit that the way I want in an L-BOXX, so I might add another one later. Alternately, I think the Apogee Duet interface might fit in the i-BOXX with the amp. That would be my incentive to troubleshoot the loopback connection in FuzzMeasure with this interface. On the plus side, I can lock the amp in place in the i-BOXX for transport with nothing more than a couple foam blocks I found in the basement, because the lid is so sturdy. I had been thinking of screwing it into the bottom plate of the i-BOXX.

    I received my Gedore L-BOXX kit yesterday. The eBay seller did not package it at all. They just stuck a label on the L-BOXX. Even so, it came through the Royal Mail just fine, which is a good sign. It is also a good sign of British honesty that the unsealed contents all arrived to my hotel.

    IMG_8407.jpg

    I was less impressed with the contents.

    IMG_8408.jpg

    The waterpump pliers are as expected. I have a slightly nicer pair of 250mm Gedore waterpump pliers (chromed with 2-part grips) already, and these feel substantially similar. The hex and torx L-keys are L-keys. No ball ends or other fancy features. Unlike most Gedore pliers, the nippers are not stamped “Made in Austria.” They look different from the versions Gedore sells separately under the same part number. I have nothing to test them on in this hotel room, though. I'm sure they're good enough for my speaker measurement tool kit.

    However, the hammer handle is very rough. I think it needs a sanding before it is usable. As with the nippers, I suspect the screwdrivers and might be rebadged specials for this kit. The VDE screwdrivers have somewhat sticky handles, a different shape and colorway from the VDE Gedore PZ1 I picked up a few years ago, and no “Made in Germany” label.

    That said, I paid 38 UKP shipped for the whole thing so complaining that the tools aren’t finished to the standard I expect from an expensive German tool brand is a little gratuitous. A Bosch-branded L-BOXX 102 alone is about 38 USD from Amazon, and an unbranded one in this colorway is $77 plus tax (for me) and shipping direct from Sortimo.
     
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  19. amirm

    amirm Founder/Admin CFO (Chief Fun Officer) Staff Member

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    THanks a bunch. Confirming, people are selling set of tools with custom foam inserts for Sortimo ready to go?
     
  20. jhaider

    jhaider Member

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    I'm not sure if there anyone except Gedore offers foam inserts that aren't prepackaged in a branded Sortimo box, but I know several German tool companies offer tool kits in Sortimo boxes with custom foam inserts. A few examples:

    Knipex:
    https://www.amazon.com/00-21-19-LB-...&qid=1524261182&sr=8-4&keywords=knipex+l-boxx
    https://www.amazon.com/00-21-19-LB-...&qid=1524261182&sr=8-2&keywords=knipex+l-boxx
    (both substantially cheaper right now if imported directly from amazon.de. See, e.g. https://www.amazon.de/Knipex-00-21-...&qid=1524261242&sr=8-6&keywords=knipex+l-boxx
    Just be careful about model numbers, because Amazon's pictures are not always representative. You might end up with a bunch of Rennsteig crimp frames when you thought you were just ordering the crimp dies...)

    NWS:
    https://www.amazon.com/NWS-338-2-So...TF8&qid=1524261366&sr=8-1&keywords=nws+l-boxx
    https://www.amazon.com/NWS-338-1-84...TF8&qid=1524261366&sr=8-2&keywords=nws+l-boxx

    Wiha:
    https://www.wiha.com/en-int/produkt...-slimbits-batteries-and-eu-charger-41911.html

    Gedore:
    https://www.amazon.com/Gedore-26581...43&sr=8-2-fkmr0&keywords=gedore+l-boxx+insert
    https://www.amazon.com/Gedore-28359...43&sr=8-3-fkmr0&keywords=gedore+l-boxx+insert
    https://www.amazon.com/Gedore-26582...43&sr=8-4-fkmr0&keywords=gedore+l-boxx+insert
    https://www.kctoolco.com/gedore-1100-basic-tool-assortment-starter-in-l-boxx-136/
    https://www.kctoolco.com/gedore-1100-ct2-basic-tool-assortment-starter-in-2-2-l-boxx-136-module/
    https://www.kctoolco.com/gedore-1102-008-3-pc-pliers-set-in-l-boxx-mini/

    Bosch also sells power tools in Sortimo boxes.

    The Gedore one pictured above I bought on ebay.co.uk (I think I wrote ebay.de above; I momentarily forgot where I was headed this week; such is my life of late) for 38 UKP including shipping to the London hotel from which I'm writing this message. I think it was originally a giveaway Bosch promo. Unfortunately we don't get such promos Stateside. We also aren't getting this one, unfortunately:

    [​IMG]

    I asked when I visited their US HQ.
     
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