The height of show season is right around the corner, and all of those unfinished mods aren't going to take care of themselves. We put together a nice collection of tools and garage accessories that can help transform your garage into a legitimate workspace. Cut, weld, and wrench day or night, and get your truck ready for the show!
Lincoln Electric's new air plasma cutter, the Tomahawk 375, features an internal air compressor, an LC25 plasma cutting torch, air regulator, and pressure gauge and can be used anywhere 208- or 230-volt single-phase 60Hz is available. A touch-start system delivers reliable plasma arc initiation without high frequency while rapid-arc restrike capability ensures users can make easy work of gaps and expanded metal.
Craftsman's elbow ratcheting wrenches boast 30-percent more length than traditional Craftsman wrenches, allowing for increased leverage. The patented push-button locking joint allows you to ratchet the box end into 13 different positions for those annoying hard-to-reach places. Another cool feature these wrenches have going for them is the fine-tooth ratcheting needs as little as a 5-degree swing arc to move the fastener. Available in SAE and metric sizes.
With Graham's lead hammer mold set, you can select from a small 2-, medium 3-, or large 4-pound hammer kit that you get to cast at home. Not only is this kit a cool little project in itself, but lead hammers produce heavy blows with minimal rebound and cause no surface blemishes. Use it on iron, steel, aluminum, copper, and even plastic for awesome results. Also, be sure to check out Graham's entire catalog for other DIY-friendly garage goods.
Workbench on the Run
Miller has introduced the F-Series ArcStation-a portable workbench for welding and metalworking that has been designed to save space inside any sized shop or garage. Weighing in at just 74 pounds, the folding ArcStation features an X-pattern tabletop for easy clamping and cleanup, 1 1/2-inch-diameter steel tube frame, a removable welding gun holder, and it can support a maximum of 500 pounds. The 30FX model measures 30x30 inches of actual workspace and is priced just right.
The QuickFire hand torch from BernzOmatic blends a compact profile design with the durability that professional torch users demand. The QuickFire provides 40-percent height reduction over other standard torches, which means better maneuverability and better control in close quarters. This revolutionary hand torch features a high-intensity swirl flame that provides a hotter, more efficient flame for 30-percent faster soldering times, and the adjustable flame control further increases user friendliness. For better ease of use, the QuickFire also includes a quick-start trigger ignition and a continuous run lock, which makes one-handed and finger-free operation a breeze.
Make an Impact
Ingersoll Rand's 2015MAX and 2025MAX Hammerhead low-profile Impactools offer the power and speed of an impact with the reach of a ratchet. With a head-height of less than 2 inches, 180 lb-ft of max torque, and 7,100 rpm of speed, the Hammerhead also features a conveniently located forward/reverse collar, providing unrestricted access to easily change directions of the tool in tight spaces where traditional tools often get jammed. Both Hammerhead options have knuckle-saving reactionless torque that eliminates kickback, which further protects hands while working in confined spaces.
Black & Decker's new cordless drill/driver with Smart Select is much less than you'd expect to pay for a heavy-duty power tool. Replacement batteries are also affordable, and charging times are lightning quick. And to make things sweeter, the drill features a bulletproof 2-year limited warranty.
Nothing can ruin a day in the garage faster than a busted set of knuckles, and Snap-On's new Supergrip work gloves offer protection and so much more. Silicone-fused palm and finger patterns provide maximum grip and dexterity while double-stitched Duraclad reinforcements have been used in key areas for additional protection. Low-profile Airprene knuckle impact protection also adds to the Supergrip's value, as does the gloves' lightweight and breathable moisture-wicking properties. Stock up and work in comfort.
What a Creep
ProZee Concepts' The Creepr Light mounts to most 17-inch-wide straight metal mechanic's creepers with no modifications at all. The rechargeable light source features 118 individual LED bulbs, which are powered by a 3.7 lithium/polymer battery that provides 4 to 8 hours of illumination. Ditch those drop lights that put out way too much heat, and never worry about holding and aiming a flashlight while underneath your truck again.
The Bare Essentials
Making trips to the hardware store in the middle of a project for something as small as a zip tie is the worst thing ever, which is why we love Summit Racing's electrical tool kit. It is packed with wire stripping, cutting, and crimping tools, 180 terminals, 61 pieces of heat-shrink wrap, 250 zip ties, 125 rubber grommets, and a UL-listed pencil soldering iron. With an assortment of necessary goods like that, we're sure you'll be spending more time in the garage and less time in the checkout line for quite some time.
The Autoscanner Plus OBDII diagnostic tool from Actron features CodeConnect-a comprehensive database containing three million verified solutions for trouble codes that cause the check engine light to flash. Compatible with '96-and-later vehicles, the AutoScanner Plus also serves as a CAN and ABS scan tool and can also record, graph, and play back real-time data as well as read and erase generic and manufacturer-specific trouble codes.
Another useful item from Graham Tool, is their tube holding tool, which secures tubes for beading, flaring, and cut-off from 1/4- to 1-inch diameters.
Craftsman's 14-drawer, stainless steel tool storage combo includes a six-drawer top chest and an eight-drawer rolling cabinet featuring Griplatch technology and ball-bearing slides. The chest lid is embossed with the Craftsman logo, includes two gas struts, and has full-width piano hinge for additional security.
If you need a compressor for jobs around the garage, take a look at the 15-gallon model D55168 from DeWalt. Not only does the D55168 have an exceptional size tank for the price, it also has 200 psi of maximum tank storage, and 5.4 scfm @ 90 psi, which allows for quick compressor recovery times using most air tools. The D55168 has an oil- and maintenance-free air pump, which means more time using the unit and less downtime maintaining it.