PDA

View Full Version : Rarely used tools you have no regrets about buying.



SirLesPatterson
10-26-2014, 10:27 AM
Hand held hydraulic tubing universal flare tool. (Brake line, Fuel line, etc.) Was not cheap compared to the $20 screw operated alternatives but when I use it ever few years I am very glad to have it. I bought it years ago when I had to replace brake lines on a number of my vehicles. No regrets. http://www.mastercool.com/pages/flaring_tools.html

Spool gun for my Lincoln power mig welder. I love it for aluminum, don't use it often but I love having it handy and ready to go.

adatesman
10-26-2014, 10:33 AM
Rockwell hardness tester and thread micrometer are my two biggies.

Paul Alciatore
10-26-2014, 10:51 AM
Hammer Drill! Saved me a lot of sweat when mounting my garage/shop AC and heater and it will be very useful when I bolt my lathe down. If I never use it again after that it is still money well spent.

Davidhcnc
10-26-2014, 11:20 AM
Great big pullers made by Facom. I'd use them once a year and nothing else is going to do the job....and best of all, nobody else has them.

oxford
10-26-2014, 12:06 PM
Hand held hydraulic tubing universal flare tool.

I have one of these although not all of the dies pictured in that link. Once you use one you will never want to use one of the handheld cheapies again.

Frank K
10-26-2014, 12:09 PM
Hydraulic nicopress tool. Had a job once making a bunch of 12" long safety cables. Not exactly an everyday tool, but....

lwalker
10-26-2014, 01:56 PM
Electronic tool: a TelTone telephone line simulator with Caller ID. Basically you plug one or two phones (landline) into it and it behaves like they were on the regular phone network: get dial tone, busy signal, etc., one phone can call the other, caller ID shows the calling number, etc.

Used it for two projects, been in the box for the last 10 years. Made its money then was quietly retired. Can't give it away these days!

flylo
10-26-2014, 02:18 PM
Telescoping Gantry crane, I have a forklift & several other lifts but when I need it, I need it. It also comes apart to move to other places but I haven't told anyone till now.

Bob Fisher
10-26-2014, 02:38 PM
The hammer dril for sure, the EZ Tram, a coaxial indicator. Bob.

Puckdropper
10-26-2014, 03:26 PM
My tap and die sets would probably qualify as rarely used, I probably need to cut about 20 threads a year. It was worth it, even before I got a metal lathe.

If you do plumbing work, it's well worth picking up a ratcheting PVC pipe cutter. They run about $10 and cut PVC up to about 1". Works for caulk tube nozzles too, if a knife isn't handy. :-) I've cut PEX and plastic pond tubing as well. In saved effort alone, it will pay for itself on the first job.

mattthemuppet
10-26-2014, 03:38 PM
most of my rarely used tools are ones to do with working on the car - steering pump pulley puller, chain strap for unbolting the crankshaft pulley, angle grinder for grinding out seized bolts in the rear suspension (although that admittedly has other uses), vacuum pump and gauges for the AC system. All of them paid for themselves with a single use, so in my mind they're now free and owe me nothing. Some of them I'd be really happy if I never had to use them again!

CarlByrns
10-26-2014, 03:43 PM
I have a thread chasing/restoring tool set from MAC Tools. They look like taps and dies but won't cut threads. They will clean grunge and rust out of (or off of) existing threads and will repair minor damage from hammer strikes or crossed threads. Don't use them often, but a lifesaver when I do. The set also has thread files that are worth their weight in gold. I fixed a $400 part at work- the threaded end had been damaged in transit and would not screw into the mating part. About 15 minutes of thread filing and it was as good as new.

KiddZimaHater
10-26-2014, 03:47 PM
Surface Grinder. :o
I've only used it for about 3 or 4 real 'paying' jobs in the past 4 years.
But I'm glad I have it.

darryl
10-26-2014, 04:19 PM
Not rarely used, but not used that often- the TP grinder. Sometimes I need to reduce the diameter of a hardened shaft to make it fit a bearing or something. Or put an accurate surface on a rubber part- no better way.

How about a pocket screwdriver- I made one by cross drilling four different tips, then press-fitting a piece of music wire through them. About as compact as can be, so it truly is a pocket tool. Just fold out the one you need to use, and the rest act as the handle. It was small enough that I actually did carry it with me- and there were times I needed it there and then.

These are home made tools, but for the purchased ones- the compact sawzall. I modified one to put the blade out in front of the spindle so it would cut right up to an edge. Gave it to my employer, and he needed it on about the second day. For the most part it lays in the bottom of the tool box, but a few times now it has been indispensable.

justanengineer
10-26-2014, 04:44 PM
Where do I begin? Rarely used but no regrets are 90% of my tools. Top two favorites tho have to be the handheld impact screwdrivers and the thread files, both have saved me countless times.

Mike Nash
10-26-2014, 04:50 PM
most of my rarely used tools are ones to do with working on the car - steering pump pulley puller, chain strap for unbolting the crankshaft pulley, angle grinder for grinding out seized bolts in the rear suspension (although that admittedly has other uses), vacuum pump and gauges for the AC system. All of them paid for themselves with a single use, so in my mind they're now free and owe me nothing. Some of them I'd be really happy if I never had to use them again!

THIS! All of this and more!

Truthfully though, I have very few tools I regret buying and most are seldom used. My real regret is not buying the ones I KNOW I need but won't buy (maybe because they are not impulse purchases?)

I often regret not remembering I have the ideal tool for something until I after I have futzed around and did the job with a combination of many other inappropriate tools.

Tools I have desperately needed but have continued to postpone purchasing but hope not to need ever again include 20 ton Hydraulic press (which I needed again this week.) GOOD snap ring pliers (ditto). (1998 Ford Ranger upper ball joint just took me 2 days for ONE! - JUST BUY THE CONTROL ARM!!!) (But hey! I did use my bandsaw and 12x36 lathe making adapters for the rented ball joint press! :) )

Forrest Addy
10-26-2014, 05:55 PM
Another vote for thread mikes. I bought mine in two bundles 0-1 and 1-2 Mitu. Very nice top of the line tools. Accurate as hell and they came with a flock of other goofy looking anvils. The next bundle was cheapo import crap from Shars 2-6" which were surprizingly good. Accurate, and after a very close inspection they seem to be well made and compare favorably with my other mikes given slight differences in component config etc. I wouldn't reccommend them for commercial use but I wouldn't hesitate to reccommend them to an occasional user. They saved me from making a lot of gages.

Optical comparator. Mine is a 12" Micro Vu. I use it once in a blue moon to grind little forming tools. . I don't see how a general or job shop could run without one.

Precision level. I have three Starett 199's from when I was working machines tools full time. They are very nice but if such is out of the budget consider a $70 import. Better than nothing and while you don'tkjnow if the graduatinns are correct hey are easy to calibrate and set up an error chart for. I got both but I'll keep the Starretts thank you. My heirs can sell them.

Loads of R8 tooloing. Way more than I really need. Very handy to have several endmills of size all set up and ready to go and a couple different sizes of boring heads.

Willy
10-26-2014, 05:56 PM
Where do I begin? Rarely used but no regrets are 90% of my tools. Top two favorites tho have to be the handheld impact screwdrivers and the thread files, both have saved me countless times.

Same here, I don't use these often either but what a lifesaver when needed.

One other item also comes to mind is a 6500 watt generator that I bought due to a problem with the grid going down it seems monthly.
Ever since buying that item about 10 years ago I've only put a handful of hours on it when actually needed.
I do put it through it's paces now and then to keep it functional, but mostly to keep karma at bay, as I know that as soon as I let it become non-functional it will bite me in the ass.

In the same vein are the not-so-fun plumbing tools that I have...those are best left totally unused if at all possible.:)

bruto
10-26-2014, 06:18 PM
Probably at the top of the list are automotive tools, which I've bought in years gone by to do very specific jobs. I found long ago that I could often buy not only the parts but the special tools for a job for less than I'd pay to have it done, so have done so from time to time. I have used some of them only once every 30 years or so, but they still paid for themselves the first time. Some, like the ball joint press, have paid for themselves over and over.

I have yet to use my gas powered generator, which I finally got and made a legal connection for a couple of years ago. Previously I had a tractor powered rig and backfed through the dryer outlet. A rare need, but a couple of times in the past, I've been without power for days at a time, and having pumped water among other things, power is worth some expense to have available, and with the possibility of others needing to start it up, it's worth having it safe.

Actually, like many here, I find on reflection that a lot of my tools are rarely used, but there are few I'd be comfortable being without. When you need it you need it.

CarlByrns
10-26-2014, 07:13 PM
I have yet to use my gas powered generator

I have a theory that as long as I own a generator, I will never need it. I just know the instant I sell it power plants will fail, tornados will descend, waters will rise, snow will fall, and there will be a record-breaking heat wave.

Even my wife agrees with me on this.

loose nut
10-26-2014, 07:15 PM
Pin gauges. The easiest most accurate method, in a foolproof sort of way, to measure a hole.

I have 3 sets (0-minus.0002, import, no specs sheets) from 0.060" to 0.625" and have mic'ed quite a few randomly to see if they measured up. All that I checked where with in the 0.0002" specification, at least as well as I can measure them. Good enough for me. Maybe someday I will check them all.


P.S. while it's not a tool, the 20 gallons + of gas I keep for the generator fits into this category.

Abner
10-26-2014, 07:26 PM
1/2 Ton wall jacks - the kind that ride on a 2x4.
Splined easy outs.
more for wood-
Adjustable angle square.
Carpenter buttons or framing square buttons.

mike4
10-26-2014, 07:28 PM
Mag base drill which takes normal drills ,it has saved some grief as it is the only one in town .

Normally it just sits under a bench gathering dust , along with hollow ram porta power rams , these are usually needed at weekends or holiday times when the rental places are shut and an emergency job comes in .
Just a couple .
Michael

randyjaco
10-26-2014, 07:31 PM
On the Texas Gulf Coast I get to use my generators about once a year, if I am lucky.

I have a theory that as long as I own a generator, I will never need it. I just know the instant I sell it power plants will fail, tornados will descend, waters will rise, snow will fall, and there will be a record-breaking heat wave.

Even my wife agrees with me on this.

Ries
10-26-2014, 07:52 PM
I have several pretty big ones-
For instance, my Gorton 3Z engraving machine. I only fire it up a couple times a year, but when you need it, you need it. I recently had a job where I was required to supply a plaque, and rather than sending out for a crappy gold anodized "engraved" version, I slapped a piece of 3/8" stainless plate on the Gorton, and the result looks much more professional, and will last 100 years.

I also have a real soft spot for my CutAwl- an old, and rare tool, that resembles a bastard child of a router and a jigsaw. It is extensively used in the theater world to cut all kinds of sheet goods. Its made of steel, with black wrinkle paint and huge red bakelite knobs. Nowadays, in industry, its been replaced by lasers and waterjet machines, but its much more soulful, not to mention cheaper, than either of those.

Then, there is my Omicron Ellipsograph- a 1960's invention of clear plastic and anodized aluminum that is adjustable to draw a wide range of different sizes of ellipses. Again, computers can do this. The Omicron doesnt need electricity, though.

I got more- I am a regular museum of oddball, esoteric tools that most people wouldnt even be able to identify.

http://www.ameriken.com/products/die-shop-equipment-2/die-shop-equipment---die-saws/
http://collectingme.com/drawing/Omicron_Ellipsograph_Model_17.aspx

KJ1I
10-26-2014, 08:01 PM
I have a theory that as long as I own a generator, I will never need it.

I had that thought too. So when we bought our generator, I figured I wouldn't really need it. Since then, we've used it almost twice a year, usually for around 1 to 2 hours, but year before last it ran for 4 days straight after an ice storm that left over 500,000 without power. Downed trees closed the only exit from the neighborhood for 2 days. Good thing there were full gas cans in the garage.

mattthemuppet
10-26-2014, 09:06 PM
Tools I have desperately needed but have continued to postpone purchasing but hope not to need ever again include 20 ton Hydraulic press (which I needed again this week.)

I lucked into a bench top 10ton press for the price of a rebuild kit a while back and it mostly sits as something to lock my mountainbike to. When I needed it though it was a lifesaver - 15min to press out an old wheel bearing and put a new one in, which would have been a day or two wait and $40 minimum out of my pocket. Or replacing all the bushings on my rear suspension, which would have cost so much money to have done that it would have been cheaper to buy new rear tires every year for the rest of the car's life! Get one as soon as you can, you wont ever regret it.


I found long ago that I could often buy not only the parts but the special tools for a job for less than I'd pay to have it done, so have done so from time to time. I have used some of them only once every 30 years or so, but they still paid for themselves the first time. Some, like the ball joint press, have paid for themselves over and over.

couldn't have put it better - that's why I got my AC gauges and vacuum pump. They cost the same as having a garage vacuum down the AC system, but I ended up with the same result AND some tools that I might need again or use for something else.

john hobdeclipe
10-26-2014, 09:28 PM
Like most of you, I have drawers and boxes full of tools that I use constantly. Then I have those which rarely ever see the light of day, but when they do they are lifesavers:

Bearing separaters

Hammer drill, as mentioned above...sure beats a star drill and hammer.

Impact screwdriver, also mentioned above...some jobs simply can't be done well any other way.

24" vernier caliper

OBD code reader

And, I'm rather embarrassed to say, sometimes I'll reach into the back of the bottom drawer of the big red tool cabinet and pull out an adjustable wrench and use it on something weird. But only if I know that nobody is looking. (Why are plumbing fittings so often some odd size? Like 31/32" or such?)

On the woodworking side, well, it would take all night.

thaiguzzi
10-26-2014, 11:32 PM
# Factory motorcycle workshop tools.
# Precision level.
# Co-ax indicator.

oldtiffie
10-27-2014, 05:14 AM
I have two "Honda" portable generators - 2,000W and a 3,000w both of which put out a constant 50~ no matter how loaded they are or not - ideal if electronics are being driven. I use (carry) them on my ride on mower to provide 230v 50~ power to drive all of my power tools when I am away from the shop. Beats using battery or air-driven stuff too.

We seem to have a lot more "power outages" of late - some planned and others not.

When the power is "outed" we just use the generators to drive the frigs (3), wall furnace (2) and console (1) gas heaters as well as lighting (some - with support from LPG lamps).

The generators will each run for 4+ hours and we are used to being able to go out if needs be confident that the generators will do the job - every time.

It doesn't take more than a bit less than an hour to assemble or dis-assemble - we have quite a few power leads (with fuel) in a builders barrow ready to go.

https://sydneytools.com.au/honda-eu20i-2kva-portable-silent-generator-kit?fee=1&fep=7516&gclid=CLfo-72-zMECFQd8vQod5DsAOw

https://sydneytools.com.au/honda-eu30is-3kva-portable-silent-generator?fee=1&fep=2539&gclid=CNnNsOy-zMECFQxvvAodSg8Amw

Really really nice machines in every way.

Black Forest
10-27-2014, 07:10 AM
I think mine would be my Klop shaper. I don't think I have used it more than three times since I bought it but I wouldn't think of selling it.

Daveb
10-27-2014, 08:10 AM
Fold up engine crane. As I get older my tools get heavier. I last used it to refit the table to my ancient milling machine, only about 250 pounds but I'm too old and weak to lift it now. I bought it new about 15 years ago, cost less than a decent hammer drill, couldn't do without it.

PixMan
10-27-2014, 08:32 AM
I think mine would be my Klop shaper. I don't think I have used it more than three times since I bought it but I wouldn't think of selling it.

I feel the same way about my Black Diamond drill grinder. First, I have worn only two drills to the point that they need resharpening, and because those were extra long parabolic flute 130 split point I just brought them to a friend who has an Optima drill grinder. They look new again.

Add to my machine shop list (home stuff is an entirely different list) of tools I rarely use would be cylindrical square, Walter tilting/indexing dividing head, most of the 9 micrometers in different styles that I have in just the 0-1" range, and my 0-24" vernier height gauge,

bruto
10-27-2014, 09:56 AM
Just thought of another that I've used only once so far, but will never sell: a sheetrock jack. I rented one once, and when a used one came up, I bought it even though it wasn't dirt cheap. It sat for a half dozen years, but I used it last winter. If you've ever had to sheetrock a ceiling, you'll understand why being able to put it up single handed, all the joints exactly right, with no more effort than you'd use for a wall, is worth storing a machine for a few years. If my kids or friends need to do a ceiling they can borrow it, but I'm keeping it. A brilliantly designed machine which does exactly what it should.

loose nut
10-27-2014, 11:04 AM
There is one enduring truth in this world.

"There may be unused tools but no useless tools".

brian Rupnow
10-27-2014, 11:18 AM
My manual arbor press and oxy acetylene torches probably fall into that category. The oxy acetylene does get more use--I use it for silver soldering all the time.

goose
10-27-2014, 11:26 AM
Set of planishing hammers and dollies.

Bolt cutters.

Ratcheting come-a-longs.

Beazld
10-27-2014, 05:56 PM
A removable back hoe for my JD 4300 compact tractor. Don't use it much but real handy when a hole needs dug. Me and shovels don't get along too good. Last time i used it was this summer to bury a neighbor's horse.

11 Bravo
10-27-2014, 11:23 PM
Rarely used but no regrets about buying.............. I actually have quite a few tools that would fit that description. I very seldom regret buying a tool.

Here's some that come to mind that truly fit the "rarely used" description.

A hydraulic knokout punch set and 3 conduit benders. I have moved my shop twice and these are the only 2 times I have used these. But, they got plenty of use those 2 times.

My tool post grinder comes to mind here. Almost never use it, but when I need it I am glad to have it.

I have a slotting head (broaching head) for my Kearney Trecker 2H mill. I have only used it twice, and both times it was mainly because I wanted to play with it. I wouldn't sell it though. Its too cool.

Like a few others have said, I think my co-ax indicator fits this too.

1-800miner
10-28-2014, 12:03 AM
my set of left hand drills are rarely used and save my butt nearly every time.

boslab
10-28-2014, 06:21 AM
There are loads of tools I rarely use like 3/4 drive socket set, but when you need them it's the only thing that will do, however I don't have to worry, the arseholes pinched the lot!, it is getting better though lol
The missus said did they take a 3 in one mig, yes dear, and a plasma thingy yes dear, the list goes on, she now thinks anything I buy is done under the guise of loosing one, she reckoned that being robbed was arranged by me as an excuse to go into tool frenzy!
Mark

Lu47Dan
10-28-2014, 11:24 AM
Tools I rarely use but glad I have them list includes
A 600Ft/Lb torque wrench.
A Mastercool hydraulic universal flaring tool with a set of 37 dies
A 12" Compound Miter Saw
A telephone/data line tracer unit.
A 1-1/2ton chainfalls.
Six air nailers. From full framing nails down to staples.
And a few more that I cannot remember right now.
The torque wrench has been used twice but for the price I paid I could not go wrong. :cool:
Dan.

Frank Ford
10-28-2014, 12:33 PM
99% of my tools are rarely used - but when I need 'em there they are! I have absolutely no regrets buying them, because when/if I might need them, there they are. . .

J Tiers
10-30-2014, 10:24 PM
A bunch of wire rope slings, log chains, and woven slings.

I have yet to lift anything with them, but they have come into use for pulling downed trees off buildings and wires, etc. I need to add a good tripod setup to hang a chain fall from, then I'd be set for even more similar potential work that I've had to do differently so far.

PStechPaul
10-31-2014, 12:05 AM
I have lots of tools, mechanical and electronic, power and hand. Some tools I bought 10 or more years ago and still haven't used, but I'm glad I have them and maybe I'll use them someday. Like these:

Small HF flux core welder - never used, but I do plan to learn how to use it.
Metal bender - was going to use it for bus bars, but I think a V-slot on a press would work better
12 ton press - got this probably 30 years ago as part of a duplicate order - still not assembled, but glad I have it
Sand blaster - was going to use it to clean stone and brick - maybe I'll use it someday
Belt/disc sander - I think I have this - it may come in handy
Oscillating tool and accessory kit - never used except to test it, but it might come in handy
Metric tap/die set - bought recently after much discussion here - not needed yet but glad I have it
MT2 Weldon end mill holder set - only used a couple sizes, but glad I have a wide assortement
MT2 collet set - used a couple of sizes - glad I have the whole standard set
Laser printer - bought when my HP inkjet ran out of ink - only used once until I got replacement ink cartridges - glad I have it as a spare
Refurb desktop computer with Win7 - never used, but I will when I do PC boards, because the software won't run on my main Win8 laptop

I am a pack rat and have all sorts of new and old tools, electronic parts, equipment, materials, etc., and some have become rusty or non-functional, but I like the idea that I have them and sometimes I dig something out of the pile and clean it up to use, or just to know that I have "saved" it for possible use, or "just because".

George Seal
10-31-2014, 08:09 AM
Paul
Until I got down to the Laser printer I thought I had posted this post
Or maybe you are sharing my shop

digiex_chris
10-31-2014, 11:12 AM
1" dial bore gauge. I find a much greater reduction in accumulation of errors then most other methods of bore measurement since you can see just how well or poorly you're aligned with the bore. Move it around to find the spot you're looking for. Removes the whole measurement-changes-with-feel aspect of snap gauges especially with material that changes easily if you're heavy handed with it. Doesn't get used a lot, but when I'm trying to hit a press fit to within 0.0005", or inspect the model airplane engines for taper, it's a pleasure to work with. The 2" and larger are easy to get a hold of, but it took me a while to find a 0.7 - 1.3" bore gauge I could afford.

the entire MT4 collet set, not just the 3/8 and 1/2" I needed. Occasionally I find something odd sized that's a pleasure to work with because I have the collet for it.

HD electronic bore scope. I've found coolant leaks in cars without having to remove the car from the engine, just by following the hoses with the bore gauge. It's found excellent use in the shop inspecting internal spindle tapers for damage and getting a better look at the gear teeth in the lathe headstock to try to find obvious signs of that damn ticking noise without having to pull all the shafts out. It's a better mirror. Doesn't get used a lot, but when I need to see something inside something or on the other side of something, it's the right tool for the job.