NEW TOOLS

There’s no short­age of qual­ity tools at de­cent prices if you know where to look. These are the cur­rent PS favourites for se­ri­ous work­shop duty. Some cheap, some less so, but all es­sen­tial items

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Contents - Words: Mark Gra­ham

The best of the best value gear for se­ri­ous work­shop use

1. BETA C22 S-O THREEDRAWER TOOL CHEST

Drip­ping with Beta qual­ity, and avail­able in all grey, or red and grey too. About as big as you’ll need with­out go­ing all stacked roller cab­i­net (some of those rigs are as big as a house). This chest, un­til you go semi-pro, will take most of your most-used items with ease. It’s dear at a RRP of £431, but you can get it for as low as £234 from web sources. Yes, you can spend £100 on a tool chest, but you get (as the cliché goes) what you pay for. beta-tools.co.uk

2. KENNEDY 1/4-INCH SOCKET SET

For those fid­dle nuts and bolts when a 3/8 drive won’t fit. Le­ices­ter-based Kennedy knock out great value kit that’s tough as nails. This set goes from 4-14mm, in­cludes a ratchet, breaker bar, wob­ble drive, bendy drive, ex­ten­sion bar and screw han­dle. Best of all it lives in its own lit­tle red box so you’ll be hard pressed to lose any pieces. You might mis­lay the en­tire box, but be­ing red it should be easy enough to spot (un­less you’ve got a red garage/ shed). £41.99 RRP, but can be had for around £36. kennedy-tools.co.uk

3. BAHCO 319 HACK­SAW

Swedish firm Bahco are jus­ti­fi­ably fa­mous for their durable, pre­ci­sion-made ad­justable span­ners. The rest of their gear is high grade too. This 12-inch han­dle is ergo-formed both at the back and front, so when you’re truly up against a hard piece, you can prop­erly use both hands to get the job done. Come with a 24tpi blade too. While we’re on, re­mem­ber to mount the blade teeth fac­ing for­ward – saws only cut one way – let the saw do the work, no more than one stroke per sec­ond. £33 (inc VAT), but as cheap as £19.99 from Screw­fix and peo­ple. bahco.com

4. EN­GI­NEER TS-01 MINIOPEN-END SPANNER SET

Ja­panese made and great qual­ity. It’s easy to get frus­trated by nano-nuts when deal­ing with in­stru­ments and elec­tri­cal com­po­nents, and then do some­thing dumb like try to use snipe-nosed pli­ers to free a mini fas­tener in­stead of the cor­rect sized spanner. These go down from 9mm to 3.2mm in die-forged, heat-treated steel. £12.99 off the in­ter­net. Just make sure you get En­gi­neer brand. en­gi­neer.jp

5. BLUE SPOT 10-PIECE DI­A­MOND NEE­DLE FILES

If there isn’t a file for your re­quire­ments in this lit­tle lot, we strug­gle to imag­ine what you’re lack­ing: round, half-round, flat, flat ta­per, square, three-square, oval, cross­ing, bar­rette (only cuts on one face) and knife form too. These will cut glass and hard­ened steel and at £9.99 you’d be nuts to be with­out them. bluespot.uk.com

6. HAL­FORDS AD­VANCED SCREW­DRIVER SET

Hal­fords’ Pro­fes­sional and Ad­vanced range has gained a de­servedly de­cent rep­u­ta­tion for good value and strong ser­vice – there’s a life­time guar­an­tee too. This set is al­most im­pos­si­ble to beat on value: 14 screw­drivers, 14 bits, plain, cross, star, Posidriv, hex and Torx. And all for £24.99. That’s a steal. hal­fords.com

7. SEALEY WL183D LED WORK LAMP

The tech bit says three dio­pre, 89mm pre­ci­sion lens. Fact is it’s well bright, it mag­ni­fies, and it bends to your whim. For close up mi­cro work it’s hard to beat. You want to vis­ually crack test a com­po­nent? Check a jet size? Search for tiny wit­ness marks? This is your lamp. RRP £41.95 (ex VAT) and worth ev­ery penny. Lit­tle bit cheaper on ebay sources. sealey.co.uk

8. HAL­FORDS MINI-PLIER SET

Hal­fords again, and we make no ex­cuses about it. Top value, snipe-nosed, side-cut­ters, end-cut­ting, flat and line­man with non-slip han­dles in chrome vana­dium steel in their own wee pouch – for £15. They must be rob­bing them­selves at that price. hal­fords.com

Pic­tures: The ever-help­ful, su­per-cheery ‘no trou­ble at all, how can I help?’ Jock Porter

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