Cool Tools

Most of us use the same tools every day and don't give them a thought. They work, they are comfortable, and they are reliable. Fortunately, there are among us those who are not satisfied with the status quo. On the following pages you will find tools that are "out of the box" in design thinking. In the process some new ideas have given old, favorite tools a new twist.


Rules for using wrenches

Most of us use the same tools every day and don't give them a thought. They work, they are comfortable, and they are reliable. Fortunately, there are among us those who are not satisfied with the status quo. On the following pages you will find tools that are "out of the box" in design thinking. In the process some new ideas have given old, favorite tools a new twist.

Big Dawg ratchet has 6.8 degree swing.

Pivot Head combination wrench fits tight spots.

G200K Portasol cordless glue gun uses butane.


U-Tool multi-use utility tool opens drums.

Magic Ring ball-end hex wrench grips screws.
(800) 494-6104


RotoWrench has 8 sizes in one wrench.


Socketstik wrench stores seven sockets.


Model 6560 12 V caulk and adhesive gun is portable.


Lightwave 4000 LED flashlight has low battery drain.
(678) 393-9072

Magnetic torpedo level glows in the dark.(931-9RE)


Calcu-Tape+ measures, calculates, and checks level.
(914) 725-0202

BLADEater1 snaps off and captures utility knife blades.

Powerful magnetic tip tape simplifies measuring.


Lighted magnetic pickup helps retrieve parts.

QUICK-VISE has many bases for location change.

Vise-Grip Toolbox has 7 tools for many uses.

Model 4480 ratchet has open-head to stay clean.

Flexible drill bit pulls fish wire behind walls.

Model 122 cuts and preps copper tube.

Model 501 wire cutter/stripper adjusts without tools.

Model 1008 cuts, strips and crimps coax cable.

DISTO lite laser meter measures area and volume.

Grip Tip is non-slip to measure anywhere.

Rules for using wrenches

Never use a wrench to do another tool's job. Using a wrench as a hammer, pry bar, or anything else can be dangerous. Take the time to get the right tool.

Never use a wrench too large for the fastener. Using a wrench opening too large for the nut or bolt can spread the jaws of an open-end wrench and batter the points of a box or socket wrench. A too-large wrench opening can also spoil the points of a nut or bolt head.

Never push a wrench beyond its capacity. Quality wrenches are designed and sized to keep leverage and intended load (torque) in safe balance. The use of an artificial extension on the handle of any wrench can break the wrench, spoil the work, and hurt the user. Instead, get a larger wrench to do the job. The most efficient wrench is a box or socket type. To free a frozen nut or bolt, apply penetrating oil, and then use a striking face box or socket wrench. Never use an open-end wrench

Never expose a wrench to excessive heat. Direct flame can draw the temper from the wrench metal, weakening and possible warping it, making it unsafe to use.

Never push on a wrench unless absolutely necessary. There may be situations in which you can only push a wrench handle to loosen or tighten a nut or bolt. But, you should always pull on a wrench to exert even pressure and avoid injury if the wrench slips or the nut breaks loose unexpectedly. If you must push the wrench, do it with the palm of your hand and hold your palm open.

Never cock or tilt an open-end wrench. Always be sure the nut or bolt head is fully seated in the jaw opening. A box or socket wrench should be used on hard-to-reach fasteners. Adjustable wrenches should be tightly adjusted to the work and pulled so the force is applied to the fixed jaw.

Never depend on plastic-dipped handles to insulate you from electricity. Plastic-dipped handles are for comfort and a firm grip. They are not intended for protection against electric shock.

Attempts to repair box, open-end, or combination wrenches are not recommended. Any wrench with bent handles, spread, nicked, or battered jaws or rounded or damaged box points should be discarded and replaced.

Socket and adjustable wrenches can be repaired by replacing damaged parts. Periodic inspection, cleaning, and light lubrication will maintain these wrenches and reveal any damage.

An adjustable wrench with a spread or damaged fixed jaw or bent handle should be discarded and replaced. Bent socket wrench handles and extensions, and cracked or battered sockets should be discarded or replaced.

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Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
October 2018
Tools vs. sensors, functional safety, compressor rental, an operational network of maintenance and safety
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
October 2018
2018 Product of the Year; Subsurface data methodologies; Digital twins; Well lifecycle data
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
October 2018
Complex upgrades for system integrators; Process control safety and compliance
September 2018
Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

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