Better late than never right? We are a few days late but still here with a nice selection of Southwire Tools for our monthly edition.
First up we have an entry level Non-Contact Voltage Tester. Sometimes we don’t need all the bells and whistles on a NCVT but this $10 tool comes in pretty handy. The 40116N will test 100V-600V. It does not have a low voltage option nor can you silence the alarm but it does pack a small flashlight on the rear side of the tester. The light is rather blue on the scale and requires holding the button down as opposed to a toggle button however the meter does not need to be on. The tip will stay illuminated green when on and switches over to red when voltage is sensed. Currently on Amazon you can find this for $15 plus a twenty percent off Coupon. Or run over to your local Lowes Home Improvement and grab one off the shelf for $10.
Next tool we have been working with is the MPSCP, which is a 8″ Multi-function linesman plier. I have to say, if your looking for a new set of linesmen pliers this is the way to go. The best feature is the tooth pattern on the jaw, instead of the traditional tooth style Southwire gives us a cross check pattern. This pattern allows the user to hold onto your material very well compared to a traditional tooth pattern. Additionally these pliers allow you to strip 8-14 gauge solid and 10-16 gauge stranded wire. You can also shear 6-32 and 8-32 screws very efficiently. Similar to other multipliers the exterior of the pliers will allow you to ream. If you are looking for pliers that will replace a set, I would have to recommend the S5N1 that I reviewed last month but if your looking for a set of linesmans that have a few bells and whistles, these are the ones for you. You can purchase these on Amazon for $25.
Southwire also offers some pretty innovative screw drivers, one of my favorite being the SDSHP6 #2 Philips Screw Holding Screwdriver. Instead of growing a third hand this driver with its spring loaded grabber offers you a mechanical hold on screws and fasteners. This is also available in a 1/4″ flat head driver as well. Not only are the tips durable but the holding mechanism is of sound construction. We don’t always find ourself in a position to use a driver like this but in times of need when we are on a later trying to reach and fasten at the same time, this third hand will make a job much easier. You can pick one up for for around $7 on Amazon.
In today’s market nearly every hand tool manufacturer offers some variety of an automatic wire stripper. The SA822 fit that bill and make stripping wires rather easy. In just rear seconds you have cleanly stripped wires from 8-20 gauge solid and 10-20 gauge stranded. This strippers allow a one handed motion to remove the insulation on your wires, even for stripping in the middle of a wire. The only problem that I have ran into with these is the motion tends to be rushed and move quicker than it needs to be. On the return of the stripper sometimes if you don’t remove the wire or slowly release the handle to its open position, the wire your working on can snag on the clamp. The easy fix is not to rapidly release the pliers. Other than that these are a breeze to use and for those days where all you seem to be doing is stripping wire, you’ll want to have these in the bag. You can purchase these around $20 bucks on Amazon plus a limited 15% off coupon.
These scissors that your looking at are much more than meets the eye for a standard pair of scissor or rather known as a Data Comm Snips model number ESP-1. These are great for cutting data cables such as phone and ethernet lines. The bottom blade as shown on the righthand picture have a very mild sedation that grips the material as it cuts it. The snips are sharp and will easily cut small gauge wire, specifically 19 and 23 gauge. You’ll notice two small notches which are strippers for the two wire gauges mentioned. The ESP-1 are a spring loaded shear and are very egonomic. They fit very well in both hands as well as either orientation. Now I don’t deal with a lot of LAN line work but these are great in the ship for thicker materials require precise cuts. These are on the shelf of your local blue home improvement store (Lowes) for $20.
Make sure to check out the video that will be posted tomorrow on these tools for a little more hands on reviews and a special test on the auger bit I posted last month as it is tested against nail embedded wood. No spoilers here you’ll have to watch the video!