MEP Tools Buying Guides

2013 Tool Buying Guide for Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing


Christmas time is nearly here…among other things, that means finding gifts for those friends and family who present significant gift-buying challenges each year. But this time, gift shopping for your favorite Mechanical, Electrical or Plumbing Contractor has never been easier. There are a myriad of tools, accessories and products on the market that can make their job easier, and we’ve compiled a short list of some of the coolest “toys” that would make for some great gift ideas this holiday season. Honestly, we’d love to get any of these tools in our 2013 tool buying guide stocking!

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Freud Diablo Demo Demon Reciprocating Blades

Freud Diablo Demo Recip BladeFreud Diablo Demo Demon DS0912BW5 reciprocating saw blades are specifically designed for maximum performance in nail-embedded wood applications. These blades feature bi-metal technology that delivers up to four times longer life than standard blades on the market. Diablo’s patented variable tooth technology provides faster cuts with less felt vibration. Each blade has a Perm-Shield coating that protects the blade from heat, gumming, and corrosion. The tip design enables faster and easier plunging and the 1-inch wide demolition body allows for straighter cuts. Want even more power and speed? Go for their carbide-tipped models.

Price: $18

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Ridgid Faucet and Sink Installer Tool

Ridgid Faucet Installer ToolThe Ridgid Faucet and Sink Installer Tool (model 2006) is a multipurpose under-sink plumbing tool. With this tool you can easily fasten and remove basin nuts, supply line nuts, 7/8″ and 1″ hex nuts. The tool also features two aluminum inserts, one for turning angle stop handles and the other for holding strainer baskets in place. Thanks to its extra long construction, it is ideal for hard to reach applications. You need a Ridgid Faucet & Sink Installer in your toolbox. Trust us.

Price: $20

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Ridgid One Stop Plumbing Wrench

Ridgid One Stop WrenchRidgid 27023 One Stop Plumbing Wrench (model 2002) is really two wrenches in one. On one end Is a 9/16″ and 15/16” open wrench combination, and on the other end is a 3/8″ box wrench. These wrenches provide the exact sizes you need to install angle stops, supply lines, toilet bolts, shower heads, delta tubes, appliance legs, faucet nuts & compression couplings. The two wrenches also screw together for simple storage. This is another indispensable tool to keep in your plumbing tool box.

Price: $22

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DeWalt DWHT70440 Job Site Headlamp

Dewalt HeadlampThe DeWalt DWHT70440 Job Site Headlamp is ideal for a hands-free work light in a variety of projects. The headlamp has a High/Low setting which allows you to easily switch from 104 to 25 lumens depending on the application. The run time of the light is about 6.5 hours on the high setting and almost 30 hours on the low setting. Other standard features include a shatter resistant lens, water resistant design and the ability to withstand a 6 foot drop (which, if I use it, it’s likely to experience). It runs on three AAA batteries (which are included).

Price: $23

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Klein Tools Power Conduit Reamer for your Drill

Klein Power ReamerWith the Klein Tools 85091 Power Conduit Reamer chucked up in your impact driver or drill, you can ream out 1/2”, 3/4” and 1” conduit and install fittings in a fraction of the time. This tool is specifically designed to reduce time on projects, especially those with large numbers of conduit runs. Precision replacement blades are available from Klein as well, so this tool has some staying power. This is one of those tools that, while it’s simple, is also so effective you’ll wonder how you ever worked without it!

Price: $25

More Info | Buy Online | Read our Review

Irwin 16-Inch Open Top Utility Tote

Irwin Utility toteEveryone needs a place to toss their tools when going from job site to job site, and the Irwin 4402016 16-inch Open Top Utility Tote makes it really easy. With an open top design, finding what’s inside is quick and easy. One the outside there are eight pockets with a tape measure clip and two tabs secured with velcro to keep a 2-foot level securely attached. On the inside there are three large pockets and twelve loops to hold smaller hand tools in place. The carry handle has a thick padded hand-hold, and an adjustable shoulder strap is included as well. Time to get organized!

Price: $35

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Klein Tools 8-Inch Adjustable Wrench with Extra-Wide Jaw

Klein oversize adjustable wrenchSometimes all you need is a little more width to fit on that nut, but you don’t have the space for a larger tool. This is where the Klein Tools D509-8 8-inch Adjustable Wrench with Extra-Wide Jaw comes into play. The 1-1/2″ jaw is actually the same capacity that comes with a standard 12″ wrench, but in a much smaller tool. The unique design also minimizes the typical protruding jaw shank for greater capacity in tight spaces. For extra leverage, the handle is slightly oversized and covered with vinyl to give you some additional grip.

Price: $40

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Ridgid 6-Foot Toilet Auger with Bulb Head

Ridgid Toilet AugerUnclogging a toilet can be a pretty unpleasant job, but (thankfully) the Ridgid 59797 6-Foot Toilet Auger with Bulb Head Model K-6 can make it a little easier. With a 6-foot reach, clearing toilet obstructions can be accomplished quickly and safely. The “business” end of the auger also has a vinyl guard to protect the porcelain. The compression-wrapped inner core cable is both durable and kink-resistant, and the compact bulb head can even navigate today’s modern water-conserving toilet models with ease…and those are likely the models you’ll be using this tool on.

Price: $45

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Klein Tools 7-Piece Cushion-Grip Screwdriver Set

Klein Tools 7-peice screwdriver setLooking for a general purpose selection of the most commonly used screwdrivers? Look no further than the Klein Tools 7-Piece Cushion-Grip Screwdriver Set (Cat. No.85076). This set includes three cabinet-tip, two Phillips-tip and two keystone-tip styles. The grips are the classic Klein Cushion-Grip handles which we find provide a lot of comfort and help you apply a significant amount of torque. The shanks are heat treated and have a chrome-plated finish for corrosion resistance. And since for some of you this matters—these screwdrivers meet or exceed applicable ASME / ANSI specifications.

Price: $50

More Info | Buy Online | Read our Klein Multibit Screwdrivers Review

Irwin 14-Inch Cast Aluminum Pipe Wrench

Irwin Aluminum Pipe WrenchGone are the days of heavy pipe wrenches…well, sort of. When you pick up one of the Irwin 2074114 2-Inch Jaw Capacity 14-Inch Cast Aluminum Pipe Wrenches you’ll feel something different. These pipe wrenches are 40% lighter than cast iron models, yet they offer the same level of performance. The drop-forged jaws are heat-treated to resist distortion or breakage, and the hardened teeth provide tremendous bite in the toughest applications. An easy-spin adjusting nut is heat-treated for durability and quick jaw adjustments. Lighter is better, and this wrench is ready to work!

Price: $50

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Klein Tools Auto Ranging Multimeter

Klein Tools MM500 MultimeterThe new Klein Tools MM500 Auto Ranging Multimeter has a simple three button design to measure continuity, resistance and voltage. AC or DC voltage is automatically detected, and it can measure up to 750 volts. Visual and audible continuity indicators measure up to 25 ohms and a auto-hold feature captures the first stable displayed value. Self-storing leads are perfectly spaced for easy measurements of tamperproof outlets. Oh yeah, it is also IP 67 rated, meaning that it is dust and water proof and can survive up to a 10 foot drop onto concrete.

Price: $60

More Info | Buy Online | Read our Overview

Irwin Vise-Grip GrooveLock 8-Piece Plier Set

Irwin Plier SetYou can never have too many pliers, and the Irwin Vise-Grip 2078712 GrooveLock 8-Piece Plier Set is a great way to add more to your collection. This set includes the 8, 10 and 12-inch GrooveLock pliers; 10-inch adjustable wrench; 8-inch long needle-nose pliers; 8-inch linesman pliers; 6-inch diagonal cutter; 6-inch slip joint pliers and a nifty rolling kitbag. All the piers in the set have thick ProTouch grips, and they all feature anti-pinch handle designs. The GrooveLock pliers have been a favorite of ours, and we are pretty sure that they will become your go-to pliers once you get your hands on them.

Price: $80

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Milwaukee 4 Piece Hand Tool Set

Milwaukee 4 peice hand tool setThe Milwaukee 48-22-3094 is a four piece hand tool set. This set provides solutions for a wide range of cutting and fastening applications and includes the following hand tools: 6-in-1 Combo Pliers , 6-in-1 Linemans Pliers, 6-iN-1 8″ Diagonal Pliers, and the 11-in-1 Screwdriver featuring the ECX Bit (a personal favorite). All the pliers feature special forged alloy steel that have laser hardened cutting edges, high leverage designs and handles that are both comfortable yet easy to insert into a pouch. The fact that each tool can serve multiple roles means that you can now carry fewer tools to the job site. That makes your job easier by eliminating tools that only perform a single function.

Price: $120

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Bostitch 18V Lithium Drill/Impact Combo Kit

Bostitch drill imact driver kitThe Bostitch name has long been assoicated with professional grade pneumatic and hand tools, and we were excited to see them bringing a line of cordless power tools to the table. The Bostitch BTCK410L218V Lithium Drill/Impact Combo Kit has all the indicators that it should be a dynamic duo of general-duty tools. With a three year warranty, great specifications and a legacy of quality, these tools should not disappoint. The kit comes with a drill/driver, impact driver, two 18V lithium-ion batteries, a charger and molded hard case.

Price: $190

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Veto Pro Pac TECH-XL Service Technician Tool Bag

Veto Pro Pac Tech XLThe Veto Pro Pac TECH-XL is designed with the service technician in mind by tailoring the bag to accommodate service technicians’ tools and work routines. With 80 built-in pockets, there is ample room for hand tools, parts boxes, meters, a cordless impact driver or small drill and other bulkier items. Every feature and detail on this bag is designed to take real job site use and abuse. With your hand tools stored in this bag you can be assured they will stay organized, dry and ready for your next repair or project. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself (or your favorite tradesman) to one of the most rugged tool bags on the market!

Price: $200

More Info | Buy Online | Read our Veto Bag Review

For more great holiday buyers guides, check out some of our friends’ sites!

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