Every month I get a small batch of tools to review and demonstrate from Southwire tools. I post sporadically but its hard to centralize my overall thoughts and information on these tools in one place, so why not here? So this is the first edition of Southwire monthly, where I will posts some tools, my thoughts and if you don’t feel like reading a video. So lets dive right in and get started, I am assuming everyone has heard of Southwire right??
18″ Ship Augers – SAB1x18
Southwire offers a good amount of hole boring options, one being 18″ ship augers. Ive been using the 1″ ship auger for a few months now and I am pretty happy with it. It has a quality self feed tip that cleans as it bores through the wood. Going through denser wood the chips clear out very well over some other brands that I have used. Price wise it tends to fall on the higher side of some competition coming in just under $30 on amazon. The flutes like many others are a coated flute to keep the bit clean. Sharpness is fair, the bit does require a shot of WD-40 Dry Lube on occasion to keep it from squeaking its way though timber. There are worthy to have in your drill bit arsenal coming in at a moderate value in a good variety of sizes and lengths.
Heavy Duty Cable Clamps – CLPT
Cable organization is an absolute must, with a wide variety of options for cable organization it makes it hard to justify spending a larger amount to keep your extension cords neat. Now personally I do not like the daisy chain or the other various knotting of cords for organization but I like to have them neat. Southwire’s clamps are a great option for hanging on the wall or your shop or trailer. They start around 8 bucks for the 2″ and the 4″ is around $15, but the 3″ which will suit your needs will only set you back an Abe Lincoln and a George Washington at our favorite smiling online retailer. But are they worth it? That depends on your intended use, if you plan is for a cord on a power tool in the box there are more cost effective solutions. But the CLPT shines for hanging and carrying options as it bares a 360 degree rotation D handle as well as a form fitting rubber strap for whatever you plan on carrying. I keep my cords hanging on the wall about two thirds of the way up which is perfect for this cable clamp. They have a tight grip on the cords and keep them from being messy, which they should its their job. These can be purchased in either tan or green in all three sizes each.
5 in 1 Multi-Pliers – S5N1
Now these pliers have to be one of my favorite Southwire tools, so much that I made a video and wrote an article to these all for themselves. (Check it out here.) But to keep it brief and to the point these pliers can cut, strip, crimp, grip and ream all in one unit. They have a comfortable grip and a very sharp wire shear. These share the cutting features that higher end cutters have, an arced shaped blade that provides easy and clean cuts to wire. The mild serration to the blade helps hold the wires in place. The teeth are pretty sharp and durable but the overall size of the “gripping” portion of the tool is on the smaller size. Southwire does offer another option of a “multi-plier” that takes the linesman form factor. Overall these pliers are a lot of tool for the sub $30 price tag with a premium feel and performance.
4-Way AC/DC Voltage Tester
This is a quick diagnostic tool that is great for a quick checks for pre determined voltage. A highly valued tool only setting you back $5 on Amazonit will read out AC voltage (120, 240, 277, 480) and DC voltage (160, 330, 380, 600) using two attached leads that can be positioned on the unit for quick outlet testing. The unit also has a belt clip for easy access. It is a simple meter that requires no batteries (works off of the voltage that it tests.) It is a UL listed tool rated at CAT III 600V.
BLUE-TOOTH MULTI_METER 16040T
This quickly became one of my most favorite multi-meters not only due to its convenient size but its ease of use and features that it packs. For only $60 this True RMS meter does AC/DC Voltage, current, continuity, resistance, diode test, capacitance, frequency and duty cycle. This is a lot of meter for a small package and a small price tag including being able to record and remotely operate on a BT device using the MApp. The unit has a kick stand for bench top work and even a work light for lower lighting situations. The screen is a blue back lit 4000 count screen. Unfortunately like comparable units in its class it has no IP rating like the similar Klein Toughmeters, but its size and features over come that. You can check out my full review on this meter here.
Stay tuned for next months edition featuring a nail cutting test with auger bits and some pretty cool screw drivers!