Published In December 2001
Looking for a good holiday gift? A hand tool that performs a task more quickly or with less effort could be a productive choice. American Saw & Manufacturing Co.’s LENOX Gray Wolf 5012 hacksaw frame features a low-profile tip, less than 3 inches in height, which cuts in close quarters where standard frames cannot fit. The heavy-duty cast-aluminum frame sports an ergonomic hand grip and can tension a hacksaw blade from 28,000 to 30,000 psi, which, according to the company, results in fast, straight cutting with less binding. The blade also mounts at 45 degrees for flush cutting jobs. Leviton’s handheld Digital UL Listed Receptacle Tension Tester RTT99, for testing and documentation of receptacles in hospital and healthcare patient care areas and high-use commercial and institutional areas, measures the peak retention force of individual line and ground contacts. The unit simplifies compliance with the National Fire Prevention Association 1999 testing standard for hospital and healthcare facilities. It is useful for managing preventive maintenance schedules of receptacles and helping identify poor-quality connections that may result in safety hazards or equipment downtime. The RTT99 comes with wiring device inspection software that maintains comprehensive testing records. AEMC Instruments circuit breaker identifier Model CBI-1 quickly identifies and pinpoints the 120VAC circuit breaker or fuse that supplies a specific power receptacle automatically, without need to shut off power and test circuits sequentially, which could be helpful in locations where disruption of power is not practical. The transmitter plugs into the receptacle. The operator makes two scans of the power panel—the first scan calibrates the instrument (without thumbwheel adjustment); the second detects the breaker. The device, which is self-calibrating, emits an audible tone when the matching breaker is located. Jovial Test Equipment, Inc.’s handheld ShortStop Cable Fault Finder Model 1001, working on two or more conductors, offers the ability to find cable opens and shorts quickly and determine cable or wire lengths on spools, in the wall, or on the ground, using proprietary Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) technology. The unit, input protected to 250 VAC and accurate to +/- 3 percent when set for correct cable, can also inject tones to trace and identify cables and wire pairs. A PowerTone feature facilitates absolute positive identification of the far end of the wire pair. Harris Corporation Electrical Contractor Telecom Kit assembles several essential tools: a test set, which includes a high-impedance monitor DataSafe operation; an all-in-one punch-down tool and a 66/110 EverSharp impact blade; adjustable cable cutter and stripper; a pocket-sized insulated probe useful for checking for loose or damaged connections; and ergonomically designed electrician’s D-snips that provides 150 percent of the cutting force with half the effort. The kit comes with a standard modular adapter for quick connect to modular telephone jacks using any standard butt-in test set equipped with spring clips. HellermannTyton’s lightweight Mark 7 cable-tie tool is ergonomically designed to properly tension and cut off (18- to 50-pound tensile strength) cable ties, speeding assembly and reducing operator fatigue. Low friction and a 1-inch stroke length minimize effort needed to install a cable tie. The 10-ounce tool, made of durable high-impact material, features an inner knob for setting one of three variable tension levels and an outer knob for fine tuning. Padded handgrips help reduce impact to the hand. An integrated hook facilitates easy off-duty hanging. For recap and circular saws; drills and other power tools and their batteries; and bits, blades, cords, hand tools, and other tote-able items, DeWALT Industrial Tool Co. offers a rugged 21-inch ballistic nylon tool bag with a large open compartment and over two dozen lined interior and exterior pockets. The bag, with heavy-duty carrying handles, a padded shoulder strap, protective bottom rails, and reinforced side panels, sports a pocket in the zippered lid for holding drawings or paperwork. Combining three meters in one unit, Ideal Industries ergonomic hourglass-shaped 61-702 200 Amp Clamp Meter functions as a clamp meter, noncontact voltage tester, and solenoid tester. The CAT III-1,000V-rated unit measures AC voltage, DC voltage, AC current, resistance, capacitance, and frequency; and features datahold/ max hold, overload protection on all ranges, an audible dangerous voltage warning, and a harmonics indicator. The shaker in the unit vibrates to verify AC voltage. The meter comes with replaceable silicone test leads, nylon carrying case, and lifetime limited warranty. Fluke’s new 334 clamp meter is manufactured with an integrated circuit/firmwave/software system designed for clamp meters, rather than reliance on multimeter chips. Features include a compact body and jaws that can accommodate conductors up to 750 MCM; one-hand operated meter controls; a large, backlit display with a hold button to retain displayed measurements; and an auto shut-off for battery preservation. The unit, which measures start-up current on motors, lighting, and other loads with its “inrush” feature, measures up to 600 amps ac, 600 volts ac/dc, and 6,000 ohms with continuity beeper. For drilling perfectly round holes into steel studs, conduit boxes, panels, and other materials, the four-piece UNIBIT Quick Change Adapter/Step Drill Set No.10654 (American Tool Companies, Inc.) features a quick-change chuck, a 13-hole diameter single-flute quick-change step drill (1/8 to ½ inch), a quick-change adapter for 3/8-inch shank step drills and a single-flute 12-hole diameter step drill (3/16 to 7/8 inch.) The set allows users to quickly change between step drills without using a chuck key or keyless chuck. The single-flute design provides added control while drilling and lets the user feel each step as it penetrates the material. Klein Tools 10 in 1 Screwdriver/Nut Driver, with a mix of bit designs, said the company, to match needs for electricians’ everyday tasks, could help streamline tool toting. Made of tempered steel that is heat treated for maximum strength, the multi-functional tool features 5/16-inch and ¼-inch nut drivers and four reversible bits—No. 2 Phillips reversing to ¼-inch slotted; No. 1 Phillips reversing to 3/16-inch slotted, No. 15 reversing to No. 10 Torx, and No. 1 reversing to No. 2 square recess. The cushion-grip handle, which sports a “10 in 1” marking for quick identification from pouch, belt, or box, provides added torque and comfort. Gardner Bender GVC-1,000 Volt Check tester automatically measures AC and DC voltage, DC polarity, and continuity without adjusting any dials. The built-in, noncontact sensing head automatically detects AC voltage without touching live wires, helping ensure operator safety. Constructed of impact-resistant ABS plastic, the battery-operated Volt Check features ergonomically designed slip-resistant over-molded rubberized housing. The soft-grip, heavy-duty probes snap into the back of the housing for storage. The tester sports both visual and audible indicators for easy identification. Greenlee Textron MOD Bit Contractor Kit for wood boring has assorted bits for making a variety of holes. The modular kit features five cutter heads, two extensions, and (replaceable) pilot screws. The MOD bit uses a push-pull quick-change system that allows for quick removal and installation of cutter heads. Each cutter head is designed with a single-piece investment casting for consistent performance and optimal chip flow. Spur tips on the cutter head score the wood to create a smooth, clean hole with minimal breakout. Additional size cutter heads and interconnecting shank extensions are available. Extech Instruments Dual Display MiniAmp Clamp-on MultiMeter MA460 features twin displays for simultaneous observation of both clamp and multimeter inputs on 4,000-count LCDs. Features on the autoranging unit, which is CAT III safety rated, include AC current to 400A, temperature, capacitance, and frequency measurements. Clamp meter functions also include Max Hold for capturing 30ms peaks, Data Hold, and auto power off. The unit comes with CAT III test leads, four A76 button batteries, temperature probe, and carrying case. The MEGGER BM121 and BM122 Insulation Testers (AVO International) provide basic testing requirements of electricians and maintenance personnel. Single-test voltages (500 and 1,000) eliminate inadvertent testing at the wrong voltage. Continuity check is performed at 200 mA, preventing weak connections from slipping by undetected. The units automatically discharge stored test charges, and are fuse protected and safety interlocked against further testing if accidentally connected to a “live” source. The units measure to 999 M?, with full-rated voltage output as low as 0.5 or 1 M? (depending on voltage.) For electricians whose first tool out of the truck daily is the radio, Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation offers the robust 48-59-1,000. Designed to withstand job-site rigors and have the ability to pull in hard-to-reach stations, the weather-, dust-, and impact-resistant AM/FM/Weather radio and digital clock, which works on AC power or batteries, has a pass-through line cord (giving back the outlet the radio uses). Sporting large-fluted dials for easy operation through gloves, a flexible (replaceable) antenna, and a rust-proof metal protective handle, the radio holds 10 FM and 10 AM presets. Amprobe battery-operated clamp-on meter ACD-330T measures True RMS AC to 100CA, True RMS AC and DC voltage 1,000V, frequency to 1KHz, and resistance to 4k?. Sporting a dual display for frequency and current or frequency and voltage, the unit features dynamic min/max/average recording, peak hold, and data hold. With overload protection on all ranges, the drop-proof unit has a 12-segment analog bargraph, a 4,000 count four-digit LCD, an auto relative/zero-reference button, a low-battery indicator, sleep mode, and auto power off. The Wavetek Meterman Probe-Style digital Multimeter Model DM73B rated CAT III 300V, CAT II 600V, measures DC volts, AC volts, resistance, diode test, and continuity. The unit, featuring an analog bargraph, sports a Touch Hold function that freezes the measurement value on the display. The pocket-sized meter is equipped with a detachable alligator clip for the ground lead and an attached probe tip for hard-to-reach measurement spots. An “Auto Power Off” feature saves on battery life. Suitable for screwing in anchors and securing screws in plastic, wood, sheet metal, and some masonry, HILTI SF 150-A 15.6-volt cordless drill/driver has an adjustable torque rating and a soft-grip T-grip handle. Featuring a very low weight for its class, it is available in 2.0 amp-hour NiCd and 3.0 amp-hour NiMH versions and comes with a screw fastener charger (SFC) 7/18 rapid charger. The 3.0 Amp-hour NiMH batteries provide 50 percent longer run time than a standard NiCd battery, the company noted. Ergonomically designed for control and comfort, the Weidmuller KT-8 Cutting Tool features a precision blade profile suitable for cutting large and small conductors. It has a cutting capacity of up to 6 AWG solid or stranded wire (copper and aluminum). Made of hardened steel, the tool makes a clean, scissors-like cut that does not pinch the wire or deform the conductor. 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