Dynamic Tools Official Blog

  • How to Build Your Perfect Socket Collection: The Complete Guide

    0 comments / Posted on by Gray Tools

    How to Build Your Socket Wrench Collection

    Thousands of nuts and bolts go into manufacturing a car; millions are used in the construction of a plane. Every one of these fasteners require a tool to turn; in many cases that tool is a hand-operated socket.

    This article aims to provide a comprehensive review of the most common tool in any toolbox: the hand-operated socket, or the socket wrench. We will look to understand how different features of a socket, and its manufacturing process, can make the difference between a high-quality and low-quality socket. Finally, we will also explore how to maintain a socket collection for many decades of intensive use.

    Anatomy of a Socket

    All sockets might look similar to the untrained eye. Yet, if you had an opportunity to talk to a professional, you probably discovered a strong preference for a particular socket design, or brand.


    Sockets are some of the simplest tools ever invented. There are no moving parts, joints, and friction between different components. A socket is a metal “cylinder”, with one side grasping the fastener, and the other side that fits into the ratchet, which allows the operator to apply force and engage the fastener being worked on.


    Given the wide-range of options available, it is important to understand the main parts of a socket wrench:


    Socket Opening: is the area of the socket that makes contact with the fastener. Each socket will have its opening specified in the description, thus representing the first criteria for choosing a socket.


    The most commonly used socket openings are 6 point and 12 point.

    What is better: a 6 point or 12 point socket?

    The 6 point opening is a hexagon with 6 points (vertices) and 6 edges at 60 degree angles. 6 point sockets are also called “single hex” sockets. The advantage of 6 point sockets is they provide a tight fit on 6 point fasteners, making the socket less likely to slip or round-off the fastener’s corners. This is particularly important when working on stubborn fasteners that require a lot of force to remove.

    12 point sockets are also called “double hex” sockets. Double hex sockets are easier to connect to fasteners, which can come in handy when accessing fasteners that are hidden or very difficult to see. Additionally, these sockets can be the right choice when working in tight spaces, and need to access fasteners at more angles.

    In conclusion, the better socket depends on your application: 6 points sockets should be used on 6 point fasteners that are accessible, especially when good amount of force is required.

    Double hex sockets are versatile especially in tight locations, where access to fasteners is limited. Professionals will usually carry both styles, to tackle any situation.

    Socket Drive End is located at the opposite side of the opening, where the socket makes contact with the ratchet, extension or other accessories. The most popular drive sizes are 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2” and 3/4”. However, industrial grade brands such as Gray Tools carry sockets as big as 2 ½” drive size.

    The drive end usually features a beveled “dish” that guides the ratchet into the socket or extension. In addition, four dented grooves provide a secure connection with the retaining ball of the socket or extension.

    While sockets are available in imperial and metric sizes, to accommodate various types of fasteners, the drive size is always expressed in imperial units, as it is an international standard.

    It is very important to ensure the drive end provides a secure connection between the socket and ratchet or extension. A socket that is not properly secured into the ratchet can cause a minor inconvenience (if the socket drops to the ground), or major security concerns and delays (when it drops inside an engine).

    Socket Wall: greatly contributes to the socket’s overall strength and displays important information such as its size and part number. Some sockets feature a knurl that allows for easier removal of the socket from the connecting accessory, even with greasy hands.

    Wall thickness differ slightly depending on the manufacturer and/or the application the socket is designed for.

    Regular sockets are extremely durable and provide the strength needed in industrial applications, such as heavy duty machinery and plant equipment maintenance.

    Thin walled sockets are very popular in the automotive industry, where access in tight spaces is critical. A thin wall socket will be lighter and provide less strength than a regular socket, but can be used in a narrower, deeper space. Thin walled sockets are also deeper than regular sockets (to be checked).

    Socket wall determines the length of the sockets, which can be divided into shallow, deep, or mid-range.

    Socket Finish: hand-operated sockets are generally available in three finishes: chrome, satin, and black oxide.

    1) Chrome-plating is the most popular finish in North America, for good reason. Chrome sockets are easy to clean and resistant to corrosion. A word of caution: never use a socket if you notice the chrome finish flakes off, as chrome can be as sharp as a blade and can cause serious injury. Most brands offer lifetime warranty on their sockets, and will be able to replace your affected sockets.

    2) Satin finish is very popular outside North America. This finish can provide a slightly better grip, and make some imperfections less visible. In some cases, satin finish sockets might be less expensive than the chrome equivalent.

    3) Black-oxide finish, almost exclusively belonging to impact socket, is used to finish hand operated sockets, although it is not nearly as popular as the chrome or satin finish. For this reason, black oxide hand sockets can be easily confused with impact sockets. It is important to do your research and understand the functionality of the sockets you are buying.


    Black oxide sockets are easy to clean, and usually less expensive than chrome sockets. The size markings, especially if laser-etched, are more visible on the black surface than on mirror chrome. On the downside, black oxide sockets are more difficult to find in low light or dark environment.

    Socket Material: The vast majority of hand sockets are made of alloyed steel, meaning that a small percentage of other materials have been added to provide the sockets with the required hardness, strength and ductility.

    The two most socket materials are Chromium-molybdenum (CRMO) and chromium-vanadium (CRV). The markings on the sockets with either symbol can generate passionate discussions, as to which material is superior.

    Once perception is that sockets imported from Asia are made of CRV, since most of these sockets have the CRV symbol stamped on the sockets, while domestic manufacturers use CRMO.

    In reality, both materials produce high quality sockets, as the chemical composition of these materials are very similar. The manufacturing process and quality control will make the difference in quality, as we will see below.

    Socket Manufacturing

    Although simple in design and functionality, a socket goes through a lengthy and precise manufacturing process, before it can be safely used to turn a fastener.

    The most important steps of making a sockets are presented below, while each socket manufacturer might employ additional processes for their particular range.

    Cutting the steel bars to desired lengths: the socket manufacturing process starts with a bar of steel that is fed through a die and cut to the desired lengths. Small cylindrical sections are created which will eventually become the shiny sockets we’re familiar with.

    Forming of hexagonal shapes: the cylindrical parts created in step 1 are sent through a series of forging machines, in a process is called cold forming. Shaping metal at near room temperatures improves its tensile strength while still allowing high levels of manipulation.

    Cleaning and machining: sockets are tumbled through a washer/dryer system to remove lingering lubricating oil. Computerized machines then remove sharp edges and cuts a bevel on the socket’s inner rim so it will slide on to bolts more easily.

    Stamping: a series of rolling stamps engrave important information on the socket wall, such as the company name, part number and size, and sometimes the type of steel used to manufacture the socket.

    Heat treating: heat treatment, in the case of a socket, is used to increase the hardness of the base material. Raw carbon steel that has not been heat treated is relatively soft and so would deform when used to perform work. This would result in premature wear, breakage, deformation and failure.

    Any metal part used to perform work or one that must contact another metal part must be heat treated to avoid wear and failure.  By heating a metal to a high temperature and holding it there, its physical properties will change and the material will become harder when cooled.  Cooling the material sets the properties at the hardness desired.

    How long is the heat treating process? Does the amount of time of heat-treating influence quality of the socket?

    Heat treatment is governed by the required hardness and material specification, this is to say each type of steel has to be heat treated in a specific manner with a specific temperature required, time to be held at that temperature and time to be cooled to achieve the desired hardness.

    The manufacturer specifies the required hardness and the type of material and then the appropriate heat treatment process is used to achieve the desired result. Time in the furnace depends on the required hardness and the material used. Time is only important in that the hardness to be achieved requires a specific time at the higher temperature (think of it like baking a cake – baking it longer will not result in a better cake, it is more about the quality of the ingredients, the recipe and the oven itself).

    Each material and hardness has its own recipe. The quality is dependent on the heat treatment reaching the desired hardness and is influenced more by equipment and process.

    Rapid cooldown: hardens the metal-this is called quenching and it is achieved by submerging the lot of sockets in a cooling medium, in our case oil. The quenching process is tightly controlled, with the heating temperature, cooling method, cooling medium and cooling speed all dependent upon the type of material being quenched and the desired hardness. In general the cooling is quite fast as compared to the heating as the desired result is to set the hardness as quickly as possible.

    Shot blasting: sockets go into a chamber where they are blasted with fine steel particles to remove imperfections and polish them. This process is shot blast and we do follow this step. A lot of products (often mixed i.e. sockets with wrenches) will be put into a chamber with a rotating belt and as the belt rotates, steel shot is blasted at the parts to smooth them and remove any debris. This takes on average 10 – 15 minutes per lot.

    Rotobarrel: sockets go into a tub of fine ceramic stones and mild acid to create a smooth finish on which chrome will adhere to.

    The rotobarrel process usually takes around 6 hours per lot. The specific chemical recipe and the quality and type of media is what determines the quality of the finish and for the most part this step is used as a sort of polish to take all inconsistencies, any remaining dirt, burrs and rough spots off the surface of the product, it results in a shinier product and a cleaner surface to receive plating.

    The time in rotobarrel is precisely timed and the delivery of the chemical precisely calculated and controlled based on the amount of material being tumbled and burnished. Leaving a product too long in rotobarrel can be detrimental to the finish as the acid can etch the surface and not running it long enough will result in a duller finish so again the key is getting the right chemical formula, the correct media and the precise amount of time in the barrel.

    Washing and rinses: the purpose of this process is to prepare sockets for chrome plating. This is part of the electroplating process, necessary before chrome plating.

    Chrome plating: Gray Tools uses a nickel chrome plating process. The nickel is deposited first and is the main protection for the product. The nickel adds an element of protection to the socket and guards against wear and also against corrosion and rusting, in addition it creates a better surface to which the chrome will adhere.

    The chrome is then deposited over the nickel to provide an added layer of protection as well as a cosmetically pleasing “shiny” finish.

    Each step in the plating process is precisely timed and there may be many steps from cleaning, addition of nickel, further cleaning, addition of chrome, rustproofing etc. depending on the product. The amount of current and the quality of the chemicals used, the operators’ knowledge of how much current to use, the preparation of the initial surface and the quality of the nickel layer will determine the end result and level of adhesion.

    If the surface is not properly prepared before the deposition of the nickel and chrome layers, both through rotobarrel and electro-cleaning or the current is not sufficient or chemicals not of the highest quality then the end result will be either an unacceptable chrome finish (yellow or dull milky appearance etc.) or poor adhesion. The chrome and nickel layers are only a few microns thick.

    Immersion into a rust proofing solution – this step is also part of the electroplating process, and ensures the socket will be protected from rust when used in various work environments.

    Spinning to remove excess rust proofing solution – Part of the drying process done in electroplating. This is done in different ways by different manufacturer.

    What makes a high quality socket?

    A high quality sockets will last for many decades. Here is a checklist of things to look for when adding to your socket collection:
    • Inside forging: is it smooth, level, or forging has been done via repeat pressing that creates uneven surfaces and stress fractures?
    • Wall thickness: does the socket feel solid in your hands?
    • Exterior finish: do you notice any imperfections in the finish, such as chrome peeling, or signs of rust?
    • Interior finish: high quality sockets have the interior coated with a rust prevention material.
    • Socket markings: do the marking look durable? If the markings wear off easily you won’t be able to identify the socket size and part no (useful for warranty claims).
    • Does the socket opening feature radiused corners to prevent fastener round-off?
    • Does the socket connect securely with a ratchet and extension?
    • Socket brand: is the socket made/offered by a reputable manufacturer known to stand behind the products?

    How to properly use and maintain your sockets

    • Always use the exact size socket to operate the fastener; failure to do so can damage the fastener and lead to personal injury.
    • Do not use metric sockets on imperial bolts and vice-versa, as the chances of socket slippage increase dramatically, resulting in fastener damage and personal injury.
    • Do not use your hand sockets with an impact gun as the force generated will permanently damage the socket.
    • Do not alter your sockets by welding attachments to improve leverage.
    • Do not store your sockets in a moist environment.
    • Clean your sockets regularly.

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  • Tool Financing: No-Interest, Easy Payment Option Available at ShopDynamicTools.com

    0 comments / Posted on by Gray Tools

    “You can never have too many tools!”

    Many professionals who use tools to make a living will agree with the above statement. There are always situations where you could tackle a task better or faster if you only had the right tool.

    Another point professionals seem to agree on is that it is better to invest in quality tools, than shop for the lowest price model. Due to the nature of the tasks designed to accomplish, tools are put under a lot of physical stress, countless repetitive tasks, impossible angles, and huge amount of pressure to perform without fail.

    Investing in quality tools provides a great ROI and many years of reliable use, but can also put a lot of pressure on the budget.

    Since launching our online store ShopDynamicTools.com over six years ago, we have explored various options to make investing in quality tools more financially manageable. The challenge was to find a financial partner that can match the benefits our online store offer our clients: a reliable product you can trust, delivered fast, and backed by industry leading reputation, and complete piece of mind.

    We are happy to announce that our customers can now pay for their tool purchases made on ShopDynamicTools.com via 4 payments over 6 weeks at 0% interest, making updating your tools more manageable.

    The credit facility on ShopDynamicTools.com is provided by Sezzle. Sezzle is a leader in consumer financing services and aims to offer our customers an additional reason to make ShopDynamicTools.com one of their favorite tool destination: the ability to pay for tool purchases through interest-free instalments.

    Unlike traditional financial institutions, Sezzle provides instant financing for eCommerce purchases with no need to submit paperwork and wait days or weeks for approval.

    As a result, selecting Sezzle at checkout allows you to complete your purchase in minutes, similar to choosing to pay by credit card or PayPal.

    Things to Know Before You Select Sezzle as A Financing Option

    Financing options usually come at a cost; therefore it is important to understand how the program works before deciding if financing is suitable for your situation:

    • Sezzle is responsible for collecting of payment, payment terms and processing credit applications. Our company is not involved in any way and has no influence over this approval process.
    • The approval process is dependent of his/her financial situation and credit history, as determined by Sezzle. Our company is not able to negotiate or set interest rates on behalf of our customers.
    • Pre-authorized payments can be made using your bank account or your Visa or Mastercard credit / debit card.
    • Sezzle financing is applied to your entire order. To use Sezzle for only part of your purchase you need to complete two separate transactions with different payment methods.
    • Sezzle payment plans are available to US residents above the age of majority, which is 18 or 19, depending on your state.
    • Sezzle payment plans can be prepaid at any time without penalty.

      How to Pay Using Sezzle

    To use Sezzle, add your items to the cart as usual. Once you click the Add to Cart button you will see the Sezzle option displaying the monthly payments you would qualify for upon approval by Sezzle.

      For more information about the financing option available on ShopDynamicTools.com, and answers to your frequently asked questions, please click here. 

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    1. Tips on Buying and Maintaining Your Next Ratchet

      0 comments / Posted on by Gray Tools

      ratchet maintenance

      If you use tools to make a living, ratchets are probably one of the most demanded tools in your toolbox. In today's market you will find in a variety of lengths and designs all created to help complete repairs quickly and efficiently. If you are wondering what to look for in your next ratchet, read on.

       6 Things to Consider When Buying A Ratchet

      1. Head Shape. Ratchets are available in different sizes and shapes such as flex head, slim head, go-through head, just to name a few. The two most common designs are the round head or pear-shaped (or teardrop). Choosing one design over the other is a matter of personal preference, as either will deliver years of reliable service. Ratchets come in an array of drive sizes, the most popular being ¼", ⅜", and ½".
      2. Intended Application. Before buying your next ratchet, it is important to consider what the likely applications will be. Once determined, decide whether you need a stubby ratchet, long reach ratchet, or flex-head ratchet for getting into tight areas such as on the newer, smaller, compact automobiles.
      3. Number of Teeth. The larger the tooth count the smaller the arc required to turn the ratchet. This is ideal when removing fasteners in confined spaces. Consequently, these types of ratchets generally have lower maximum torque output. Therefore, choose a ratchet with fewer teeth if high torque is the primary need. If fine-tuning and confined space work is the priority, choose a model with 72 or more teeth. Choosing the right model is key to preventing personal injury or damage to the ratchet.
      4. Material. With today’s advances in forging, metallurgy, machining and heat treatment ratchets are available in a variety of materials. Examples include carbon steel, S2 steel, lightweight composite or titanium, non-sparking metal alloys and even insulated for working in precision of live electricity.
      5. Handle shape and size. Do you prefer comfort grip or all steel? All steel is most durable but can be slippery in some applications. Multi-material grip handles may help reduce slippage, however are less durable in the presence of solvents and oils.
      6. Release mechanism. Do you need a quick release button? A quick release button is the easiest way to remove sockets and attachments especially when hands are slippery or greasy. The downside is quick release design ratchets will allow more damaging debris and dirt to enter ratcheting mechanism compared to a full closed back model.

      Ratchet Maintenance Steps

      Proper serviceability and maintenance are key to getting the most out of your new ratchet. A quality hand tool brand will have spare parts and be willing to service a ratchet years after initial purchase. Additionally, quality brands will back their ratchets will a lifetime warranty.

      The ratchet is likely the most neglected tool in any toolbox. It is put to the test daily, but seldom taken apart to be cleaned and lubricated. Below are some tips on maintaining your next ratchet for years of reliable service:

      1. Take it apart as soon as you sense a problem or do not hear a clean smooth ratcheting sound. On pear-shaped models, you will usually find two screws or a snap ring holding in place a back plate.
      2. Inspect the pawl and gear to see if they are in good condition. 95% of damaged ratchets have been over torqued causing the gears to strip but not break. You will notice this as a shearing of the gears; otherwise, you will find pieces of the ratchets in the head.
      3. Once the head has been removed take out the gear and clean it thoroughly with a degreasing product. Spray the head with the degreaser and switch the reverse lever back and forth to remove the dirt from between the housing and the pawl.
      4. When all the dirt has been removed replace the gear and lubricate with good oil, NOT WD40 or other degreasing product. These products clean but to do lubricate properly. Simply use a little oil; do not use grease, as it will attract dirt that builds up and turns into a grinding compound, wearing the ratchet out prematurely.
      5. Replace the back plate and you will find the ratchet back to new condition.
      6. With the round head ratchets, there is a ring on the moveable ratchet mechanism that must be removed. Inspect the gears that are part of the main ratchet head. Clean all debris from the gears with a cleaning brush and solvent. Inspect the moveable gear (pawl). It has a pawl mechanism built into the moveable part. Clean it and inspect the teeth making sure the teeth are not damaged. Follow the same steps as above lubricating the ratchet.
      7. To ensure maximum performance and reliability preform the above maintenance steps at least once per year.


      Ratchets are essential to getting a job done quickly and properly. When using any ratchet choose the right size. Don’t try to use a ⅜" drive ratchet to do the job of a ½" model. That means using the largest ratchet whenever possible.

      In summary, carefully determine your needs before buying, implement an annual maintenance and inspection routine, and consider long-term serviceability. As the workhorse in a toolbox, consider your next ratchet purchase an investment. One that if chosen properly should last a lifetime. A cheaply priced ratchet may cost less upfront but could prove much more costly if it damages a work piece,  fails and cannot be serviced, or worse causes personal injury.

      Happy ratcheting.

      About the Author: David Weatherby has over 40 years of experience in the hand tool industry, representing premium brands such as Gray Tools and Snap-on. He has helped thousands of professionals build and maintain their tool collection for years of reliable use.

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    2. Pliers: Knowing the Difference between Styles and Their Correct Use

      0 comments / Posted on by Gray Tools

      Pliers

      Pliers are must-have tools in every tool box, with a basic design and functionality that hasn’t changed since medieval times. Every standard tool set includes a pair of pliers, but sometimes understanding the difference between the various styles of pliers can be confusing and intimidating.

      Cutting is a common use of pliers, however, pliers are multi-functional tools designed to accomplish a variety of tasks, depending on their design: pulling wire and objects, gripping and holding wires and smaller objects, reaching into confined or awkward spaces, tripping wire insulation, splicing, tuning and bending.

      This article aims to provide you with the knowledge to understand the components of a plier, the different styles, the intended use, proper maintenance, and how to select your next set.

      Pliers Components

      Pliers construction consists of four main components:

      • Jaws - come in various patterns and designs that provide the tool's functionality, such as pulling, cutting, holding and stripping. The tip of the jaw (nose) can be flat (combination pliers), half round (long nose) and round (electronics pliers), and provide functionalities such as bending, gripping, and holding various objects.
      • Cutter is designed to cut nails, bolts, wire of different thicknesses and other materials.
      • Handles - provide the means by which the operator can use the pliers. There are a variety of materials used to cover the handles, providing different levels of comfort. Some of the most common materials include molded material, vinyl dipping, and insulated handles that protect the users against electrical shocks.
      • Pivot point/Fulcrum - holds the jaws and handle together. The closer the pivot point to the jaws the more leverage and cutting power the pliers have.

      Styles of Pliers

      Pliers functionality

      Pliers can be grouped into 3 broad categories, based on their functionality:

      Holding - pliers in this category are used to hold objects of various thickness and have no cutting function. Popular models include slip-joint, groove joint, and locking pliers (without wire cutters).

      Cutting - this category includes styles such as end cutting and side-cutting, that can only be used to cut nails, bolts, wire, and other materials.

      Multifunctional - the jaw configuration of these pliers allow users to perform both holding and cutting operations. Popular models include linesman, bent and long nose pliers.

      Below is a more in-depth look at some popular styles:

      Water Pump Plier

      Water pump (Groove - joint) pliers - although not considered a "precision" tool, groove - joint pliers are another must-have tool. This type of pliers allows users to hold objects of various sizes as result of the 2 jaws being joined by a pivot joint that slides inside a slot.

      The most common design feature is set of curved serrated jaws. The slot might be grooved to allow jaws to be positioned a certain width apart, or have a smooth surface to allow the jaw to quickly adjust to the size of the objects being worked on.
      Water pump pliers are used to bend wires and hold objects of various shapes and sizes. A variation of the groove joint pliers features smooth jaws that prevent damaging or marring of the object being handled. These pliers are popular in the aerospace industry, or whenever handling soft materials, such as plastics.

       

      Locking pliers - are a distinctive category of pliers rather than a style, as the pliers lock onto the piece to be worked on for better stability.

      The first step is to adjust the distance between the 2 jaws according to the size of the piece to be gripped; then clamping the handles together to secure the work piece.

      End Cutter Pliers

      End-cutting pliers - also known as nippers, are used to cut bolts, wires, nails, and rivets. Due to the almost flat head design, the user can get flush with the surface to cut the object, without digging into it.

      The most popular sizes are 7" & 8". A rivet either exposed or concealed connects the jaws. Some models feature longer handles for increased leverage and access.

      Diagonal Cutting Pliers

      Diagonal-cutting pliers - are designed to cut piano, medium and soft wire, nails up to 5 mm thick, and screws. The jaws and head are not meant to hold objects.

      Since this design is very popular for electrical work, many manufacturers provide a version with insulated handles, to protect users against electrical shock.

      Linesman Pliers

      Combination (linesman's) pliers- as the name suggests these are must-haves for those who do electrical work. Because of their multi-functionality, combination pliers are also one of the most popular pliers style in any professional or homeowner toolbox.

      The ridged nose can be used for pulling, grabbing, straightening, bending, and twisting wires together. pulling, bending, straightening, and twisting wires together.

      A less-known feature is that the outside edges of the nose can be used to rim off the end of a piece of cut conduit. The round cavity can be used to hold round objects, such as nuts and bolts, while the double cutter near the joint is ideal for cutting wires and threaded bolts.

      Diagonal Cutting Pliers

      Long nose pliers - also known as needle-nose pliers, these are similar in functionality to linesman pliers, with the added bonus of allowing the user to reach into tight spots due to the long, tapered jaws. Depending on the design, long nose pliers may feature various jaw configurations that allow users to perform various tasks.

      Additionally, more specialized pliers include crimping pliers (ideal for crimping terminals and connectors for stranded cables with vinyl and rubber insulation), seamers (used in HVAC for bending and flattening sheet metal), fencing pliers, and as well as high leverage and spring loaded models which make opening and closing handles easier.

      How to Choose Your Next Set of Pliers

      When selecting your next set of pliers, first decide the application you need them for. As seen above the degree of versatility differs among various styles, some models being designed to perform multiple functions, while others being designed for more specialized applications.

      Once you decide on the style, do your research. Read as much as you can about different brands, read product reviews, watch videos, and ask other professionals what they like in their pliers. It is important to also try different brands and see which one feels right to you.

      Pliers can vary in performance, weight, surface finish, handle comfort, and ease of handle opening. In the end it's a matter of personal preference in design and ergonomics.

      The budget plays an important role in the choice of pliers. Pliers are one of the most commonly used tools, you will benefit from investing in a quality tool.

      Although most brands back their pliers with a lifetime warranty, professionals will not appreciate pliers that don't cut well, dull prematurely or break, and have to be returned for warranty which leads to loss in productivity.

      Safety Measures When Using Pliers

      Below are some general safety rules that apply to pliers, regardless of style:

      • Check pliers wire cutting capacities and capabilities before selecting a particular model for the job; failing to do so can result in premature wearing of the cutting jaws, and the inability to perform the task.
      • Choose the appropriate pliers for the application. Take the time to educate yourself on the different pliers and their features, such as the types of wires a plier is able to cut, cutting capacity, etc. Failing to do so can result in premature wearing of the tool, inability to perform the job, jaw damage, and even personal injury.
      • Pliers with insulated handles should always be used when working near live wires. Non - insulated handles can easily be confused with insulated ones. A plier with insulated handles features the double triangle symbol or the VDE logo.
      • Use the appropriate size pliers for your hand and personal comfort. Using smaller pliers can result in pinched hands and fingers, while a size too big can lead to the tool being dropped or an inability to operate it efficiently.
      • Always cut at right angles for a clean, effective cut. Avoid bending the wire back and forth; instead, use a bigger size or a model with a bigger cutting capacity.
      • Wear safety glasses when you operate pliers as pieces of material fly unexpectedly.
      • Do not expose pliers to excessive heat, as the tool's properties might change.
      • Do not use pliers as a hammer or hammer on the pliers handles to cut thicker bolts or wires.
      • Do not use pliers for tightening or breaking nuts loose; use a wrench instead to avoid damage to the nut.
      • Clean and maintain your pliers regularly; cleaning the jaws and adding a drop of oil on the rivet will ensure years of dependable use.
      • Always inspect the condition of the plier before using; always use tools that are in safe working order.
      • If the plier is damaged, stop using it and invest in a new set of pliers.

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    3. University or Trade School? 5 Reasons to Consider Trade School

      0 comments / Posted on by Dynamic Tools USA

      Trade School Students

      Are you dreaming about a career where you earn a good living wage, stay active, both physically and mentally, and start your adult life with zero or little school debt?

      If the answer is yes, consider the following 5 reasons why you should enrolling in a trade school rather than college or university.

      In a constantly changing and dynamic job market, high-school students face some tough questions about their future careers. Many feel the guidance and advice received from school and parents does not always resonate with what they like doing or who they are.

      Traditionally, working in trades has been associated with low paid, hard, dirty factory work, and viewed as an inferior career choice compared to white collar, office jobs. However, following the 2008 recession the demand for skilled work increased exponentially, with good paying opportunities across many trades.

      In contrast, university graduates have found it difficult to obtain employment since the 2008 recession.

      Before the recession, the “expected” career path for high-school graduates was to go to college or university and get a good office job upon graduation. The post-recession reality painted a somber picture for university graduates.

      In North America, unemployment or underemployment among those who graduate from college and university is higher than the general average, while the costs of attending a university are constantly rising. The average 4-year degree costs in excess of 100k when rent and other expenses are factored in, which leaves many students heavily in debt upon graduation.

      Moreover, many university graduates usually have to settle for underpaid, often precarious jobs, that don’t match their qualifications, let alone their dreams at the end of high-school.

      Below are 5 fact-based reasons that support selecting trade school as your next step after graduation, and make enrolling in a trade school a solid choice for a fulfilling professional life.

      Learn a skill that cannot be outsourced

      The globalization of economy and improvements in communication has led to many highly paid jobs being automated or outsourced to countries with cheaper labour.

      That said, people will still need people to operate machinery, fix their roof, perform electrical work, and maintain airplanes. While no job is 100% secure, it’s safe to say that there will always be a need for local skilled, hands on work, so the chances of your job being outsourced are very slim. This means that the demand for skilled labor will continue to exist for the foreseeable future.

      Additionally, with many baby boomers working in trades have retired, or approaching retirement, a career in trades looks like a very wise decision. Of course, the decision to pursue such a career does not only come down to job security and money . This has to be for you, something you really enjoy doing, as you will be spending most of your active year building a career, which requires determination and motivation.

      Graduate in half the time, with real-life work experience

      If spending four years stuck indoors studying does not seem appealing to you, enrolling in a trades program might be the right alternative for you.

      Trade schools offer students a more practical, hands-on approach, unlike university graduates who spend most of the 4-year program learning the theoretical aspects of their field in class. As a student you will get a chance to learn from experienced professionals and gain valuable work experience during your studies.

      Moreover, most apprentice programs are only 2 years long, allowing graduates to earn a good income faster.

      Make good money

      Another myth is that trades job pay much less than while collar jobs. In fact, with a little bit of experience in the field and some overtime work, a 6-digit income is achievable.

      There is also good news for those who plan to be their own boss. Since many homes and business are in need of renovation, plumbing, electrical, and roofing services, specializing in these fields offer great opportunities to start your own businesses, where the earning potential is only dependent on the quality of your work and your business skills.

      Pursue a very satisfying career

      Office jobs are not always as fulfilling as they are perceived to be. Many white-collar workers complain about the slow pace of the work environment, and spending time in front of the computer with not much to do.

      Trades people don’t have time to get bored. Their work is usually structured as such that there is often something to work on. Moreover, the outcome is immediately visible, which offers a great sense of pride and accomplishment in a job well done that makes a difference.

      Work with your hands and brain 

      Working in trades will require you to use both your brain and your hands. Long gone are the days when trade work meant heavy physical work. The automation that happens in most industries requires tradespeople who are able to troubleshoot, fix and maintain complex pieces of equipment, most of it computerized.

      In other words, trades work can be more high tech that many office jobs. Office jobs often require a lot of sitting in front of the computer, inside an office, which has very negative long-term health effects.

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