Professional Distributor - A2

HAND & SPECIALTY TOOLS

Hand tools to improve
shop efficiency and safety

Considerations for selecting the products essential
to vehicle repair and maintenance.
by David Brierley, Managing Editor

A

t first blush, hand tools are
relatively straightforward. As we
learned in high school physics
class, they are simple machines used to
apply force to an object. An automotive
technician knows, however, that there
is more to it than that.
Hand tools come in many forms and
are designed for different jobs. Therefore,
when choosing a hand tool for a certain
task, there are several factors that need to
be taken into consideration.
* Does operating this tool require that
I use personal protective equipment
(PPE)? Trick question; the answer is
"yes." Safety gear should always be used
to help avoid unnecessary injuries.
* Was the tool designed with this
specific task in mind? Or, will I be
pushing it beyond its limits, risking breaking the tool and/or putting
myself and those around me at risk
for injury? All tools are designed for
certain tasks, and they all have limits
to which they can be safely used. If
a pry bar doesn't effectively loosen
a component, for example, adding
length to gain more leverage increases
the chance that the tool will slip or
break, which puts the technician at
risk for injury and damage to the tool
or the component.
* Will this tool help me get the job
done most efficiently? Specialty
hand tools are typically designed for
one specific task. On the other hand,
many non-specialty hand tools are
designed for more than one purpose so the same tool can be used
for more than one job. That could
allow the technician to continue

2

I

Hand & Specialty Tools I February 2020

working on a project without breaking concentration to find another tool.

HAND TOOL SAFETY
Safety must always come first when
working in a shop environment, and
using hand tools is no exception. There
is always a risk for injury, so PPE such as
safety glasses are always recommended.
Specific safety recommendations will
vary depending on the environment and
the task at hand, so be sure to check tool
manufacturer labels and warnings, any
posted signs and placards, and your shop's
safety manual for safety instructions.
As the vehicle service landscape
changes, hand tool safety requirements
change with it. Hybrid and full battery
electric vehicles (BEVs) are becoming a
more common sight on the road and in the
service bay. Specific hand tools and PPE are
required when servicing any vehicle with
an electric or hybrid powertrain. High voltage is no joke, and it is vital that technicians
follow these requirements for their safety
and the safety of those around them.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRODUCTS
When it comes to purchasing hand tools,
technicians will want to look at a few factors. It is important to balance cost and
quality, while also ensuring the tool meets
the proper specifications required for the
tasks it will be used to perform.
Choosing the right hand tool can be
challenging because there are so many
options available in varied price ranges.
If it will only be used once or twice, it
stands to reason that a top-of-the-line
tool may not be necessary. On the other
hand, technicians will want a quality tool

if they will be using it again and again.
This can be especially true for more common tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches,
and ratchets.
It may also make sense to purchase
a high quality product when it comes to
precision measurement tools, such as
torque wrenches. When performing tasks
such as tightening lug nuts, a precise tool
is important for the safety of the technician and the driver of the vehicle.
Hand tools evolve to allow technicians to work more safely, comfortably,
and efficiently. From basic features like
no-pinch plier handles to new tools
specifically designed to meet a need that
was formerly going unmet, manufacturers continually strive to improve their
products. This ongoing process not only
benefits the technicians who use the
tools, but the safety and efficiency of the
entire shop.

3 Specialty hand tools:
The problem solvers

5 Time to multitask
7 Get a hold on hand tool safety
9 Electric vehicle tool set
10 Tool Reviews
13 Products



Professional Distributor

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Professional Distributor

On the Road to Cool Profits
Show Me Your Truck
In Focus Products
Driving Sales
Editor's Note: 2020 and Beyond
Most Wanted
Sneak Peek
Go Sell Something: Make the Most of This Year's Trade Show Season
Diagnostic Tech: Calibrating Forward-facing Radar Sensors
Tales From the Road: Bundle, Tote and Grow
Hand & Specialty Tools Supplement
Specialty Hand Tools: The Problem Solvers
Time to Multitask
Get a Hold on Hand Tool Safety
Electric Vehicle Tool Set
Tool Reviews
Products
M Eagles Tool Warehouse insert
Professional Distributor - 1
Professional Distributor - 2
Professional Distributor - 3
Professional Distributor - Editor's Note: 2020 and Beyond
Professional Distributor - 5
Professional Distributor - On the Road to Cool Profits
Professional Distributor - 7
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Professional Distributor - Show Me Your Truck
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Professional Distributor - Most Wanted
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Professional Distributor - Sneak Peek
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Professional Distributor - Go Sell Something: Make the Most of This Year's Trade Show Season
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Professional Distributor - Tales From the Road: Bundle, Tote and Grow
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Professional Distributor - Hand & Specialty Tools Supplement
Professional Distributor - A2
Professional Distributor - Specialty Hand Tools: The Problem Solvers
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Professional Distributor - Time to Multitask
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Professional Distributor - Get a Hold on Hand Tool Safety
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Professional Distributor - Electric Vehicle Tool Set
Professional Distributor - Tool Reviews
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