What necessary tools can be bought at Home Depot


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I just recieved a gift card for home depot as a going away gift after interning in a local theater all summer. I normaly don't shop at home depot but I was wondering if anyone had any sugestions on tools that are helpful for lighting that could be bought there. I already have a basic crescant wrench and all the screwdrivers I'll ever need. One tool I've been thinking about getting is a good pair of wire strippers because my leatherman is too hard to use.
Thank You


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Senior Team
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Get an automatic wire stripper, a pair of electricians scissors, dikes, lineman, aviators are nice to have around, votage go/no go light, good needlenose, cabinet screwdrivers, and the list goes on....


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Home Depot sells Klien tools, can't go wrong with them. Huskey is full warranty as long as they still sell that product that went bad. Say a full 3/8 and 1/4" drive socket set both deep and normal especially if 6 point? This supplemented by nut drivers in 1/4, 5/16, 11/16, 3/8, 7/16 and 1/2 plus 9/16", box wrenches and speed wrenches. Never have enough wrenches. Not Craftsmen but not all that bad overall. Klien and I believe Ideal, less advertised but is also full warranty, but as better not dependant upon where you bought them from by way of store returned to. You can return a Klien tool anywhere to say Ace Hardware even if bought at Sears though they have refined the what they will take back policy some.

DeWalt I think they stopped selling, if not, very useful in brand as with Milwaukee, at times Skill and Bosch should the gift card is substantial enough. For a electrician or sound type or even costume type, a DeWalt 7.2v cordless screw driver with it's blade lock if you can't get Panasonic 3.6v would be a really good investment. The Skil and Black and Decker cordless screw drivers amongst brands, even the Versa Pack do not feature blade lock you can verify your tension with or folding handles for comfort in using - this amongst less powerful batteries even if replacable battery. Such tools are useless. Otherwise in not attempting to start the debate but some 14.4v (and I do mean 14.4v) DeWalt, Bosch, Milwaukee, Panasonic possibly Fein or Porter Cable cordless drill would also be a good investment. IF you intend upoin working in a set location, a hammer drill version of the cordless would be a good investment.

I'm in no way a fan of any - no matter the brand "automatic wire strippers." This by way of accuracy or the question of "automatic" for what specific type of wire stripped? Does a MTW strip in the same way as a THHN as a SOOW as a SJT or tray cable? Will the 18ga setting for say a FEP wire be the same as that you will need for a SPT wire? This much less in where that stripper grabs the outer jacket, what exact amout of insulation as per plug specification for how much is stripped is really stripped off the wire. This is my own observation or opinion on "automatic wire strippers" as something I don't allow the use of if under my supervision. Waste of money in my opinion unless all you work with is the same type of wire and 1/16" of strip length in accuracy won't mater a lot. I'll do the automatic ethernet stripper/crimp/cutting tool but would rather a simple spring operated manual tester that has it's jaws surrounding the wire completely than any automatic stripper that at random for the most part grabs than strips the wire.

Some GB stuff such as a Edison outlet tester could be invaluable to just have at the bottom of your tool box. A GB multi tool wire stripper, crimp tool (useless for crimping), screw cutter, wire cutter, needle nose is the exact same product as you get from Klien, Sears, Ideal and many other companies. Gee could someone be making this product for all of them? That's a safe product and something that will do a good job of stripping. Otherwise a spring operated wire stripper from say Klien or Ideal or even Craftsmen - also of the same design and potentially people making it is much better often. You will note stranded wire verses solid wire strippers on the market. Yellow for solid, Red handles on the tool at least for Klien for stranded. Won't matter to a huge extent but there is a difference. Than look beyond this as better into spring based tools that open the tool for you for ergonomic design wire stripping tools. Stuff like the Klien Kurve though Ideal and others make similar ones. Such say $15.00 tools are in the long run more comfortable to own and use than a $10.00 stripper that has the same spring and jaw design just smaller handle. Note in all three strippers how the stripping jaws wrap around the cable and are not just sort of shallow semi-circles. Also that the better the stripper tool, the less it's attempting to do. While it might be nice to have screw cutters on a stripper tool, it's not a crimp tool - don't waste your money on a all in one type of tool and expect it to do everything just as well as specific tools designed for a specific purpose.

GreenLee is also known as equal to Ideal in quality in electrical tools. For multi-meter, in at least your first or second one sure what's available from the home center should be fine. As your end resulting multi-meter remember that what is sold is not what home owners shopping there would be buying so don't fall for bells and whistles of what seems to be just like but in actual specification is not. Fine for now no doubt, but something to grow into in not thinking what you spend a little more money on at the home center will be your end need.

This as opposed to say a Klien phillips screw driver that will outlast that of a stanley. You have screw drivers but are they good ones? Granted also a question of if you more hang onto it and know how to use the screw driver one invests in in otherwise perhaps the cheaper being more cost effective in needing to replace it after a time anyway due to not using it properly. This much less if a say comfort grip or better yet "Grip It" screw driver if you don't use the tool eight hours a day five days a week might not be of as much value at this point as opposed to something that is cheap even given a solid plastic handle. Like Stanley ratcheting screw drivers, good balance between being a screw driver that's small and light enough to use and some huge honking ratching thing even multi-blade easy access thing, and some tool one might find easy to use hours on end.

I have a #3 Ace hardware screw driver with solid plastic handle, It neither stripped yet nor has caused blisters the Stanley yellow/black nut drivers at one point early in career they gave to me as opposed to comfort grip ones. The #3 for as much as I use it is fine and not stripped yet. This as opposed to being on probably my third or fourth Klien screw driver amongs other brands before this but given at least 15 years of owning them and using them on a daily basis much less loaning them out to those less able to properly use them. For a #2 Phillips, 3/16" and 1/4" flat head, go with quality as they will last longer. This given you will more hang onto them as opposed to loosing them as with any tool as a balance.

Klien Linsemens pliers, dikes and Klien Conduit pliers also for very useful tools over the years you will find really really useful. This brand for all above specific tool. The Journeymen series is well worth the extra money also in a handle that will not wear out over time. Nothing compares to a Klien pair of dikes much less the other two tools from them. IN dikes, blue handled 2000 series over the red handled ones for a harder staying sharp jaw. I do frequently get asked if I can sharpen someone's cheap crap dull dikes for them. Answer is no in having them cut a cable with theirs than with mine, inquiring as to the age of theirs and telling how old and given how much more I use mine yet them still being sharp. don't care the brand for at very least dikes Klien is 100% worth the investment. On Linesmens, smaller and cheaper is also a waste of time. It's possible that an alternative pair of 9" dikes are just as good, point is the length and leverage as the main part. A 7" set of Stanleys because you want to have them but don't feel ready yet to invest in a big way is a waste of money. Stanley and similar dainty pliers are useless in not even being able to cut a 12/3 cable much less a 1/4" bolt. Conduit tool pliers, nothing similar in design from other companies. Very good on conduit nuts for say a strain relief that came loose or just plain holding a variety of stuff from small pipes to nuts on bolts.

Also good is the screw driver like 6:1 tap tool. Always useful to have in one's bag for a screw terminal that gets stripped or funked up. This and a scratch awl for be it from punching a hole in a gel to doing a screw start hole in wood to using it as an alignment device for getting two holes to align with each other.

Perhaps a Klien #1005 or 1006 crimp tool if available at Home Depot. This "Stakon Tool" as above in being an exact similar design to that made from Ideal and lots of other companies - double jaw for 22-18ga wire and 12-10ga or the single jaw for 16-14ga wire plus the non-insulated crimper that one does not use other than for prepping 1/16" wire rope crimps for the crimper. Cut the front cutting jaw off the Stakon Tool for use with flag terminals or in general as something that's useless.

Invest in a 12" Channel Lock pliers and two each of both variety set and individual Vise Grips from the mini vise grip and needle nose to the #12LC that is a large oval jaw good for clammping up to two inch pipe and lots down from there. Lots of vise grip pliers out there to invest in - get two of each. Home Depot is big on the Ridged brand of tool. Don't think they sell what they are known for - a pipe wrench any more, but it if they do is top of the line. Otherwise to some extent having say a 14" pipe wrench while not optimum in leverage will be a good investment tool.

Perhaps a Eastwing hammer. 22oz waffle head straight claw for carpenters, 16oz for electricians. Perhaps a mini-sledge scenic adjuster good for flattening out bent stuff and a rubber mallet. A Wonder Bar and no matter one's field in also for carpenters a smaller Wonderbar II. Can never have enough Empire magnetic levels, a 11" torpedo level is nice to have in one's bag for rough in work.

A 9" and 12" set of Starret 1/4" thick aluminum speed squares, both a 12" and 18" tri-square for layout work, metal scriber and hole punch alognment tool. Even a compass, dividers and other stuff from the less really looked at general tool type shelf. How ofen does one need a simple metric/standard ruler made of steel? About as much as a calculator that does feet and inches? Can never have enough forms of stud sensor or laser alignment device toy. Folding Eklind hex key set? How about a 5 in 1 tool paint scraper and putty knives of various types and stiffnesses from paint scraper to soft? Folding utility knife is always needed. How about a dremmel tool along with the various wood and metal working supplemental wheels?

Lots of stuff to shop for, in many cases it's a question of what your field of study is as a granted given lots of overlap.
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A good tool box to put it all in. Tape. A laser disto (if you have to rig stuff it's invaluable).

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