|Review by David Craig||posted 01-29-2010 05:04 PM||1902 views||0 times favorited||7 comments|
As I probably have over-stated many times, I have a small basement shop and I will frequently look for items that can either reduce tool clutter or increase safety. I have a number of shop items that require wrenches or sockets to change settings, swap items, perform assembly, etc. When it comes to car maintenance, I love my socket set, but when I am working downstairs, I find them a bit of a pain. Sockets drop to the floor and hide themselves and they can sometimes be a danger because they are small, loose, and easily forgotten. In a moment of absentmindedness, they can be placed next to router tables, near saws, or any other type of device that could create havoc if tumbled inside or forgotten about until one turns on the equipment. Black and Decker provides a socket set alternative with their release of the Ready Wrench.
The wrench is modeled after the old Craftsman dog bone wrenches. It has multiple socket sizes on each end of the wrench that can be turned to the right size. The only real caveat to B and D’s device is that an assumption is made that both inch and mm sockets are close enough in size that slop is assumed to be acceptable. Black and Decker claims that the wrench would replace 16 of the most widely used socket sizes. This claim is based on this premise and is a little misleading. I would not replace my mechanic socket set for this and I would avoid using the wrench for very high torque bolts in which slop is detected. This said, I will elaborate a little more on what I like about the wrench.
The wrench body is hefty and the sockets well built. The construction is definitely not cheap and is warranted for life. The sockets are 6 point, so the danger of rounding a bolt or rounding the sockets is lessened by this design. I was pleased that they did not go with the 12 point. The socket heads can be rotated to 45 and 90 degree angles. For small bolts, I hold the wrench like a nut driver to keep from over torquing. The sockets are hollow and the open space between the opposite sockets are useful for most bolts to pass through to the other side. This minimizes the need for deep sockets or wrenches for long bolts. I keep it handy in the shop and I find myself using this tool quite often. I enjoy keeping my sockets inside their drawer and saving them for other mechanical tasks.
The unit retails for around 30 dollars and can be found at many stores and websites. I picked mine up for fifteen during a Black Friday sale which I felt was an exceptional deal.
Thank you all for reading,
-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.