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Loose tools in loos lose stools

geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Loose tools in loos lose stools

It's every plumber's nightmare. You come away from a job and realise that you've lost a leg of your pliers in the cistern you just fixed. You can just imagine the damage that the loose leg will cause to the china bowl and you know that you're going to lose your job over this.
Well fear not, for your job is safe. The owner of the house won't be able to spell "loose" or "lose" and any letters of complaint can be ignored because they won't make sense.
23 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Loose tools in loos lose stools

Indeed. And don't even think about the problem of deserting desserts in deserts...
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,925
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Loose tools in loos lose stools

Funny you mention tools...
On a totally unrelated note I was given a 24V cordless hammer drill on the local freecycle recently. Totally knackered. Chuck had broken off, gearbox had been mangled and the only good bits were the motor and batteries. Ripped it apart, chucked some new ball bearings into the gearbox, cut out some old broken screws and replaced them and got it working again. Damn nice bit of equipment I might say. Very pleased with it.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Loose tools in loos lose stools

I have drill envy (first recorded case in the UK).
I've been after a high powered cordless drill for a long time and a 24V battery sounds like a dream. My biggest cordless drill sports a meagre 14V cell on its bottom. I never seem to have enough cash available when I'm buying a drill. Sad
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,925
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Loose tools in loos lose stools

Yeah I know that feeling mate. Its like when you go to LIDL or ALDI and they've got tons of really cheap computer parts - the last week before payday when all the money has gone!  Angry It does annoy me to be honest - Sods law as they say.
Yeah its a very nice drill now I've fixed it. When I got it the thing was covered inside and out with motor oil where the previous owner had tried to bodge a repair himself. He had made a total hash of it, broken screws on the outside of the gearbox housing, lost tons of bearings from the gearbox which meant the clutch was useless etc. Took me a few days and a few gallons of petrol driving around to find steel balls but once I got the balls from a bearings specialist it was easy to put back together. Its one of those makes you never hear of - Ferm. Solid as a rock mate. The batteries have a different quality feel to them too. You can feel the industrialness in it if that makes any sense. I'll not touch another B&D home DIY bit of kit again. Don't get me wrong B&D are ok, but there are better out there now. I'd been needing a better drill for years and like you never seemed to have the cash or I'd need the money elsewhere. The drill sorta took a back seat for the last few years so I was well chuffed to get one of freecycle for free and fix it up into a decent working drill again!
My other drill is a 12V Black and Decker Quattro - remember those? It has the interchangeable drill/jigsaw/sander attachments. Drill is ok, jigsaw is almost worth using and the sander... I've never been so unimpressed with a bit of B&D kit frankly. I had expected the sander to actually sand. Unfortunately the battery doesn't hold its charge long either and it takes far more than the "1 hour fast recharge" to recharge it too. No hammer action either Sad
I'd highly recommend you join freecycle in your area - You'd be amazed at some of the stuff people just give away for nothing!
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Loose tools in loos lose stools

I'm onto the Freecycle recommendation already. Smiley
I'm glad to hear your views on Black & Decker. Their tools used to be good quality at the top end of their range but I lost confidence in them years ago. I don't think I have a single B&D tool left in my vast collection of powertools. I've never come across this Ferm make before. I'll have to look out for them now.
I'm really impressed by your tale of renovation on that drill. It sounds to me like you've got a passion for looking after tools. As a heavy user of tools I have two types in my possesion. There are the cheap and cheerful pieces that I buy to abuse and there are the set that I keep in their boxes that only come out when the conditions are right. Blades and bits are segregated in the same manner. If I'm going to start drilling in a wall that is coated then I'll start with the cheap drill and cheap drill bit until i know what I'm up against. Only when I've determined what materials i'm drilling through will I change to the good stuff.
I don't know if you have noticed the massive influx of power tools under the JCB brand recently. I've decided to give them a try next time I need to replace anything. I can't imagine JCB would risk their brand name on shoddy stuff.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Loose tools in loos lose stools

[me=Be3G]wonders whether or not he should tell geewizz that 'possesion' actually has another 's' in it...[/me]
geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Loose tools in loos lose stools

Wonder no more. It's best you don't.
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Re: Loose tools in loos lose stools

Yeah I've seen the JCB stuff floating around and thought the same thing mate. I'm sure they must of mastered the tools sector to be honest. Black and Decker used to be respectable years ago - You know if you bought their stuff it would be quality. Frankly while I was pleased with my Quattro for a short while I felt very let down when I found that the only half decent part was the drill. The jigsaw is ok-ish but as mentioned previously the sander is just a toy frankly. Paid over £80 for it new - lost the receipt and was lumbered with it since.
I also have a B&D wizard - B&D's version of the dremel. Now that is a far better bit of kit, but try finding an extended flexible attachment for it - You won't (Yet it has the screw thread to fit one!). On the other hand I went to our local market a few weeks back and found a rotary tool by Challenge (Argo's brand made by one of those manufacturers who'll stick any label on it). You can see it here. It's exactly the same as the Clarke one here Just £13 it cost me and it was brand new still in its plastic. Got it home and it had every attachment you could need - including the long flexible snake type attachment I'd needed for years - for just £13! - New! (Argos now selling them on sale for £9.99 if you're interested). It's even got a stand so I can just hook it up, turn it on and use. It's brilliant. Now the B&D wizard is ok and it was 10 years ago when I got it (costing in the region of £70) but this new cheap bit of kit has been far superior to it.
I am very tempted however to look at the alternative brands like JCB in the future. I've lost quite a lot of respect for B&D after the sander on my Quattro didn't work properly - I really did expect more. It seems like B&D have beome one of these companies who put more into their advertising to increase sales rather than the quality of their products. You ever noticed how the indestructable things are made by companies you've never heard of? Its because they don't spend a fortune on advertising. Instead they concentrate their efforst on making quality stuff.
This FERM drill seems very good - or at least way better than the Quattro. It drills effortlessly. The Quattro sorta struggles sometimes and you can hear the battery running down as its doing so lol. I notice Argos are also selling Bosch and Clarke gear too. Never tried Bosch but again they've been around for years. I only see them as competition to B&D though frankly so I'd not put my word on their quality. Clarke however.. Well I would say nothing but good about them. I have one of their folding sack trucks upstairs and it has been brilliant. Even moved house on it - literally. We didn't have a car or van so EVERYTHING heavy was wheel across town! Indestructable bit of kit. Of course the Clarke rotary tool being the same as my challenge one also says something Wink Some of these german makes you see in LIDL and ALDI are not to be missed too. You can't beat German engineering - as much as I dislike them, they do make some excellent stuff.
In the past I've always been somewhat lazy with tool accesories such as drill bits - they all just get chucked into one big case where they all get mixed up. I've always found the cheap cases they come in don't last long and I can't be bothered anymore lol. Same goes for socket sets too. I do however like to keep the tools themselves in their cases as it keeps them a bit tidier and organised. I must also put in a good word for an item I got from halfords recently. Its one of those interchangeable screwdriver bit sets that comes with everything - flat screw bits, phillips bits, pozi bits, hex bits, alen bits, star bits, weird bits, everything. Stuff struggling with an allen key to undo a starbolt, this kit undoes everything. I had some problems with the dials on the car a while back and was stuggling to undo them with an allen key. Went and got this kit (around £15) and they became effortless to undo. It comes in a blue plastic blow moulded case in case you want to have a look at your local store.
I'll give you a tip for freecycle too. When you send an email replying to something offered, tell them you can pick up the same day or the next day. Generally people want stuff gone ASAP because they want rid of it. If you can tell them you can collect ASAP you'll have a better chance of getting the items you want instead of someone else.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Loose tools in loos lose stools

How good these products are depends on the quality of the Chinese manufacturer. Chinese manufacturing is improving rapidly and most of the cheap and cheerful low quality companies are disappearing and the better quality companies are coming to the fore.
Most of these type of products are manufactured in the Far East and badged according to the relevant brand name. A lot of products are actually the same but just branded differently. The JCB power tools are sourced and distributed by Alba Plc who also do the same for many other brand names.
Companies like JCB and CAT who sell these branded products enjoy a real benefit in terms of marketing i.e. brand recognition.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Loose tools in loos lose stools

Just quoting voltage on cordless tools is a bit misleading, really. The power output depends as much on the current drawn by the motors, and the ability of the batteries to supply the current. I have tried a few cheap cordless tools, and they never live up to expectations. I am currently the proud owner of a factory-refurbished DeWalt 14.4V combi drill. Not cheap, but it has plenty of power and will last for ages, so is good value for money if you have the use for it.
Community Veteran
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Re: Loose tools in loos lose stools

That is true Denzil, but generally the higher voltage drills are far better than the lower voltage. I had a 9.6 years ago.... yucky beastly thing it was. Could just about drill a hole through a bit of wood... eventually. The 12V Quattro from Black and decker isn't brilliant but it is at least usable. I've used 14.4s before and have no complaints. The FERM drill I recently acquired however is the first 24V drill I've had and even though its 2nd hand and still a little oily I really can't knock it. The batteries even tell you how many cells are inside should you want to replace them yourself!
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Denzil
Grafter
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Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Loose tools in loos lose stools

Yes, yes, more volts gives more power, but there is still a huge difference between a cheap drill and a professional one. Power (Watts) is what matters, not voltage. Nobody should assume that a 24V drill will be more powerful than a 12v drill. It ain't necessarily so. DeWalt are unusual in that they quote actual power output for their tools. I'm not suggesting they are the only good make, but I am sure a lot of cordless tool manufacturers would be embarrassed if they had to quote actual power output. 
Community Veteran
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Re: Loose tools in loos lose stools

Have I disputed any of what you said? What point are you trying to prove?
Besides Wattage matters for output of the electrical kind - EG lightbulbs, transmitters and yes motors - eg in hoovers. Where it isn't quite as important is when the motor is geared down like all cordless drills. Then the important factor that you need to consider is actually how much torque it can provide.
Just like the engine of a car. You can have the most powerful engine on the planet but it means nothing without a good gearbox to provide a decent amount of torque. The same can be said with geared drills. You run them without a gearbox at normal motor speed it will struggle and drain the battery due to the enormously high current demands of the motor. Gear it down and the load on the motor becomes more manageable meaning the current drain drops and the torque output goes up.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Loose tools in loos lose stools

Err, sorry, no confrontation or point proving intended.  Embarrassed Maybe a bit against the manufacturers who quote potentially misleading figures, not against you at all. (exits thread)