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Old 07-24-2014, 05:51 PM   #1
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Source of electrical wiring tools

When I sold the sailboat, I foolishly left a large toolbox with all of my electrical wiring tools on it. I did this because (a) I have the intelligence of an oyster, and (b) I thought that I was going to be out of the boating business forever. (Also psychological issues with the sale of the sailboat, since my ex and I cruised the NW Caribbean on it for 5 years and so probably the breakup of my marriage made me want to get rid of everything -- I don't know.)

Well, it took all of two weeks to realize that without a boat I would most likely wither up and die and be blown across the landscape like one of those tumbling tumbleweeds. (We do not have such things in the South, but I saw them in New Mexico one time. Mournful, they were).

So of course I got another boat, and since it is an older boat it has wiring which makes one think of ancient civilizations. Dead wires, wires which are untraceable by mere mortals, wires with questionable pedigrees, and wires which can only be traced by crawling in places where, frankly, I do not care to crawl.

So I need to do some work on my wiring. And need some tools. Normally, I buy things on Amazon. But I need a lot of little things, and so what I need (and am asking for) is a source to buy some tools. We have a Radio Shack locally, but I do not trust their tools any longer. All of my old tools were from Heathkit, by the way. :-)

I need some small dykes, some small needlenose pliers, a good wire stripper, some heatshrink tubing, some marine-type wire, and a good portable multimeter. If anyone (including, especially including in fact, any of our Commercial Members) can help me with a source I would be eternally grateful.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:58 PM   #2
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The stuff I got at Lowes seems to be working OK...for non-professional level use...they work fine but longevity and absolute use I haven't been able to judge yet.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:07 PM   #3
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Genuinedealz.com for the wire, shrink and connectors. What features do you want from the multimeter? Heavy user? I have this one (under the NewMar label but the same thing) that I have used and abused heavily for the last 7 years, does it all and takes a real beating:

http://www.amazon.com/CEM-Digital-Cl...6238024&sr=1-5

Ideal brand ratchet crimper and stripper from Amazon or wherever. Sounds like you are a heavy user so buy quality!

Other stuff at Sears or Lowes.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:18 PM   #4
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I've head great luck with these crimpers/ strippers. http://www.sears.com/craftsman-wire-...p-00973575000P

And for terminals and wire I use pacer group. http://www.sears.com/craftsman-wire-...p-00973575000P. Factory direct and cheap!
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:20 PM   #5
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The best stuff will come from an electrical supply house (where electricians get their supplies). Next down the line would be Home Depot or Lowes. Sears (Craftsman) sells some decent tools and the hand tools have a lifetime guarantee.

The other end of the quality scale is Harbor Freight. That's way at the other end of the scale. A cheap tool is no bargain if it breaks when you try to use it.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:29 PM   #6
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The best stuff will come from an electrical supply house (where electricians get their supplies)
Usually not much marine wire and things like heat shrink connectors at those places. And you won't find better versions of those than genuinedealz, which is where a lot of pros get their stuff. The closest thing I can think of to a top grade all around electrical supply house in the marine world is Ward's Marine Electric in ft. Lauderdale.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:34 PM   #7
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Pliers and screw drivers can be had anywhere, but a good crimper is beyond all value. I can vouch for this one because I have used one (at work) for over 25 years.

WP26940 Crimping Plier - Grainger Industrial Supply


I have chewed through or cut huge wire, crimped medium large nickel lugs and basically made a lot of money with these. You can't wear them out and they will not break. The handles are insulated and the tooth that crimps is on the orange handle, for targeting your 'bite' on the right part of a terminal.
Good crimps are crucial.
Grainger has a wide selection of tools, but the prices are a little steep.

Get an auto-ranging, digital multimeter and some quality leads. I'd feel naked without one.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:38 PM   #8
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I've got a double of everything when I found another box aboard a.blowboat I worked on for a new owner. All good Heathkit stuff too, so I'd make you a deal ln all my Harbor Freight stuff and throw in the box!
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:41 PM   #9
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I've got a double of everything when I found another box aboard a.blowboat I worked on for a new owner. All good Heathkit stuff too, so I'd make you a deal ln all my Harbor Freight stuff and throw in the box!
Sounds good. PM to follow.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:55 PM   #10
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I am fond of Klein tools for electrical work. These are professional quality and available from Grainger, Fastenal, Ace and quite a few other sources.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:01 PM   #11
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I am fond of Klein tools for electrical work. These are professional quality and available from Grainger, Fastenal, Ace and quite a few other sources.
I like the Klein tools I got from Home Depot....wire strippers, a good AC/DC clamp multimeter, a few others...I would continue with that line as I need them for projects and wander through that isle.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:06 PM   #12
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Check Sears, HD (they carry Klein tools), West Marine (especially if you have access to a Port Supply account) they carry Anchor tools and Pacer for some things. I'm fond of Fluke meters myself. Which Sears and HD carry.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Usually not much marine wire and things like heat shrink connectors at those places. And you won't find better versions of those than genuinedealz, which is where a lot of pros get their stuff. The closest thing I can think of to a top grade all around electrical supply house in the marine world is Ward's Marine Electric in ft. Lauderdale.
I'm talking about the tools. genuinedealz is good for supplies.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:30 PM   #14
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Ive been beating on el tools for longer then I care to remember. I use nothing but Klein or German made Wiha tools for my hand tools and nothing but Fluke for my Multi meters.. I work on 6KV+ systems so I only trust the best......
Always wear voltage appropriate gloves
And remember my favorite acronym
D.I.E.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:46 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Electro View Post
Ive been beating on el tools for longer then I care to remember. I use nothing but Klein or German made Wiha tools for my hand tools and nothing but Fluke for my Multi meters.. I work on 6KV+ systems so I only trust the best......
Always wear voltage appropriate gloves
And remember my favorite acronym
D.I.E.
Disconnect. Isolate. Earth
+1 Wiha and Fluke
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:24 PM   #16
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I am fond of Klein tools for electrical work. These are professional quality and available from Grainger, Fastenal, Ace and quite a few other sources.
Professional electricians favor Klein tools. They often refer to their lineman's pliers as "Kleins" as in "Hand me my Kleins."
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:56 PM   #17
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Professional electricians favor Klein tools. They often refer to their lineman's pliers as "Kleins" as in "Hand me my Kleins."
Truth
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
Pliers and screw drivers can be had anywhere, but a good crimper is beyond all value. I can vouch for this one because I have used one (at work) for over 25 years.

WP26940 Crimping Plier - Grainger Industrial Supply


I have chewed through or cut huge wire, crimped medium large nickel lugs and basically made a lot of money with these. You can't wear them out and they will not break. The handles are insulated and the tooth that crimps is on the orange handle, for targeting your 'bite' on the right part of a terminal.
Good crimps are crucial.
Grainger has a wide selection of tools, but the prices are a little steep.

Get an auto-ranging, digital multimeter and some quality leads. I'd feel naked without one.
i disagree about that dimple type crimper for use on insulated, especially heat shrink type, terminals for marine use. Those things are prone to breaking through or cracking the insulation.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:02 PM   #19
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Greetings,
For what it's worth and for the small amount of wiring I'm currently doing, Harbor Freight again.
Ratcheting for $13. That being said, one of life's little pleasures is using a high quality tool(s). Maybe when I'm in a better tax bracket Klein would be fine....
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:19 PM   #20
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Klein++++
Fluke meters
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