Category Archives: Tools

The EZRed MR34 Extendable 3/4″Socket Wrench is a Beast With Two Quick and Easy Tweaks

I have both SAE and Metric 3/4″ socket sets that come out once or twice a year when I am working on big bolts on cars and trucks. As you may know, the longer the wrench, the more torque you can apply. Back when I was younger would would slide a piece of pipe or heavy wall tube over a ratchet or breaker bar to get even more mechanical advantage. We definitely snapped some socket wrenches while doing this as we exceeeded their design specs.

You see, a ratcheting socket wrench has limits as to how much torque the mechanism can handle before something either bends or breaks. Quite often, the rathchet pawl would bend/crumple and no longer be able to engage the teeth of the gear. When that happens, we’d toss the cheap wrench.

This is why breaker bars were made by the way – they have no ratcheting mechanism and, thus, can handle more torque. There’s one problem though, there are times where you can’t get the breaker bar into position because you can’t turn the handle relative to the socket. So, what is a person to do when they need a ton of torque and a ratchet mechanism?

The short answer is to get a wrench with a long handle that is designed to handle a ton of torque. A ton of companies make socket wrenches with longer handles. I have a couple of these but what I find really handy are wrenches with extending/telescoping handles. When you are working in a relatively tight space, you may not have room for the fully extended handle or you have need to work it into position before you can open the handle.

The EZRed MR34 Wrench

So, when I need a ton of torque and mechanical advantage to help me get there (I’m at the age where I need to work smarter because my body doesn’t support harder any longer 🙂 – I break out the wrench I affectionately call “The Beast”. It is a beautifully made and chromed giant 3/4″ ratchet wrench.

The wrench is sold in the US by a firm called “EZRed” with a lifetime warranty and, like many things, is actually made in Taiwan. When you do some digging around, there are a lot of guys using this wrench for heavy equipment, farm equipment, trucks, steam pipes and more. After reading about the real world experiences with the wrench, I ordered one in.

Here is the wrench closed and you can see it is about 24″ overall.
Here is the MR34 fully open and about 40″ long overall.

The first things I noticed was that it’s a big wrench even without the handle extended. Next, it’s a heavy wrench and weighs in at about 8.5 pounds. I have to be honest, I don’t usually pay much attention to looks but the chrome finish is gorgeous.

Pull the collar down and a detent is released that allows the handle to telescope out. The handle then locks into position in the next available hole. The locking feature is definitely nice.

I use this for 3/4″ sockets and also have a SunEx 3/4 to 1/2″ reducer for those times I want to apply a ton of torque to a smaller bolt.

Here’s the wrench with a SunEx 3/4 to 1/2″ adapter.

So far, I am very happy with the wrench. As you can tell, I haven’t used it a ton yet but for the few quick jobs so far, it worked great.

Two Big Tips

A fellow recommended apply Blue Loctite to the head screws and grease the wrench while it was open. He was spot on – the screws were surprisingly lose. Even though they have blue thread locker on them from the factory something seems odd and guys have reported losing the screws. I really think if Ihad not followed the fellow’s advice I would have already lost mine as well – they are that loose.

The screws come out and then the head is very serviceable. You can see the two pawls and their springs plus the selector in the middle. What you don’t see is any lubricant! I must say I am a bit surprised.
You can see the faceplate and the 24 tooth geared head.

So, I used a brush and lightly applied SuperLube grease to everything, reassembled the wrench and put Blue Loctite on the two head screws before tightening them down. The whole thing took maybe 10 minutes start to stop including taking the photos.

If you ever need it, the EZRed sells a rebuild kit – part number RK34.

Summary

I really like the wrench. It’s worked great so far but I really haven’t done anything super stressfulso far – just breaking some very rusty 1/2″ diameter carriagle bolts free off my plow. It’ll definitely get used this upcoming summer a lot more.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


EZ Red RK34 Head Kit for MR34 Monster Ratchet

$23.54
End Date: Wednesday Apr-24-2019 8:30:58 PDT
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EZ-Red - 3/4" Drive Telescoping Monster Ratchet

$89.38
End Date: Monday May-20-2019 9:03:39 PDT
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EZ Red 3/4 in. Drive Extendable Monster Ratchet MR34 New

$94.99
End Date: Friday May-3-2019 12:38:17 PDT
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EZ-Red MR34 - 3/4" Drive Telescoping Monster Ratchet

$97.87
End Date: Sunday Apr-21-2019 7:55:44 PDT
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EZ Red 3/4 in. Drive Extendable Monster Ratchet MR34 New

$108.89
End Date: Monday May-6-2019 15:27:59 PDT
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Ez Red MR34EA 3/4" Drive 25-39.75 Long Extendable Ratchet

$110.86
End Date: Thursday May-2-2019 11:32:57 PDT
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EZ Red 3/4DR EXTENDABLE RATCHET EXT TO 40 INCH MR34

$110.95
End Date: Wednesday May-1-2019 2:00:23 PDT
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EZ Red Monster 3/4" drive Extendable Ratchet, 24" to 40" Long #MR34

$114.39
End Date: Tuesday May-7-2019 12:03:22 PDT
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EZ Red 3/4" dr Extendable Locking Shaft Ratchet, 24" to 40" Long #MR34

$123.19
End Date: Sunday May-5-2019 20:08:49 PDT
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E-Z RED (EZRMR34) 3/4" Drive Extendable 24" to 40" Long Firm Grip Ratchet New

$127.99
End Date: Monday Apr-29-2019 13:00:00 PDT
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REPAIR KIT (EZR-RK34)

$35.18
End Date: Sunday May-19-2019 16:26:41 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $35.18
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E-Z Red EZR-RK34 0.75 In. Replacement Head Kit

$33.63
End Date: Saturday May-18-2019 10:39:48 PDT
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3/4" Replacement Head Kit E-Z Red RK34 EZR

$38.41
End Date: Wednesday May-8-2019 6:54:30 PDT
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E-Z Red RK34 REPAIR KIT

$32.68
End Date: Sunday Apr-21-2019 20:16:51 PDT
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3/4" Replacement Head Kit

$29.13
End Date: Saturday May-11-2019 4:06:33 PDT
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Do It Yourself Cold Weather Mechanic Work Gloves That Are Insulated But Still Allow You To Work

Here’s a quick tip for you when you need to turn a wrench outside except it is really cold but you still need to feel what you are doing or can’t wear bulky insulated work gloves.

What you need to do is real simple – put on nitrile gloves first. This layer next to your skin insulates and protects you from both the wind and your hands getting wet. This is a big deal when there is snow. The second layer is your regular thin mechanics gloves. I have several brands of work gloves but Mechanix is probably the brand I use most followed by Ace.

I meant to write about this last year but forgot. Yesterday I had to work on my plow and it was +9F. The above worked great. Of course there is a limit and I don’t want anybody getting frostbite so use your common sense and play it is safe it is super cold.

At 9 degrees Farenheit, holding steel tools and moving metal parts around is a recipe for frostbite. It was this kind of work last year that led me to experimenting with putting Nitrile gloves under my thin Mechanics gloves.

I buy boxes of 5 mil Nitrile gloves whenever they go on sale at Harbor Freight. I think the sale prices tend to be around $5.99 and there are 100 in each box. I use a ton of them with my plastics work but also when working on cars. Any brand ought to work but I think the Harbor Freight gloves are a great deal when on sale.

I settled on 5 mil thick gloves because thinner ones fall apart very easily and thicker ones start to be bulky and mess with your sense of touch. I tried both 7 and 9 mil gloves before going back to 5.

I like 5 mil. It’s neither too thin nor too thick in my opinion. Note, they are meant to be disposable so you may or may not get more than one use from them.

The outer gloves are just basic Mechanix brand gloves.

I literally snapped this photo on my way out to work on the plow in 9 degree snowy weather.

I hope this little trick helps you out! I set up some Amazon product links for you below this post in case you would like to buy gloves.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


The Rise of Useless Reviews on Amazon – Read Before You Buy

Amazon is really cool. I can get good deals on stuff and have it delivered to where I live. The problem is that I used to historically look at the number of reviews and the average score to determine if something was worthwhile or not. A pure math approach of looking at the numbers is not working any more and let me tell you why.

I’m noticing a lot of reviews where people give 4 to 5 stars without really using the product. I don’t know if they feel they need to report right away or just what but you will read stuff like “it looks good” or “it feels good” and nothing about the actual use. I suppose it’s better than nothing but not by much.

Also, some merchants reach out and correct problems then ask the buyer to revise the score. You know, I’m cool with that. A friend of mine recounted the story of being hounded – email after email – from the seller to change the score. So, you need to be aware of this too – I’m not a huge fan of wasting time troubleshooting stuff – I want it to hit the ground working.

Recommendations

Again, the basics are true. Products with no reviews are very risky and less than 30 are still risky but you are starting to get a safety margin. However, you must dive deeper to learn what folks are saying.

What I am finding is that you need to read the reviews and:

  • Look for people who actually used the product and are reporting back.
  • Look for trends – was the product great and having more and more problems or vise versa?
  • Look out for tons of edits where people post that they have revised the score after the vendor sent a replacement. Why was this necessary? I could understand a few but not a lot and definitely not a trend.
  • Be sure to click on the number of reviews right under the product name so you can see the breakdown of scores and even click on the number of stars to read the reviews. So, if you click on “1 star” you can read those reviews.

Fortunately with Amazon, they give great customer service and I can’t guess how many times they have made things right over the years. I think a lot of folks have a level of comfort with Amazon now and I also think you need to use the tools they gave us to make a better purchase decision.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


Be Careful With the DBPower 1200A Portable Jump Starter For Your Car or Truck – They WIll Not Hold a Charge Long

In August 2016 I bought a DBPower 400A DJS10 Peak jump starter amd found it handy. At the end of August 2018, I bought two of the bigger 1200A portable jump starters. I was busy and the units sat until some time in November when I tried to charge them. One was dead on arrival and would not charge no matter what method I tried (USB or their supplied charger). I contacted the seller and they were cool about immediately shipping a replacement. I charged it no problem and put both in our cars as a “just in case” measure.4

So, fast forward to February 1, 2019. Michigan was in the grips of an arctic freeze with ambient temperatures ranging from -8 to -12F and windchills under -20F. It was this way for two days. On the first, I went to start my wife’s Camry for the first time in several weeks and the starter could barely turn a few times before the solenoid clicked. The battery read 11.17 volts.

I thought myself lucky that I had the foresight to buy the batteries as I would not have to move my truck around to jump start it or run an extension cord out to use one of my Noco Genius chargers. The DBPower unit had been in the card and it was about +9F at the time. The whole point of these things is to store them in the car, right? It was fully charged when I put it in there.

Guess what? The DBPower read “Lo” voltage on the LED display when I turned it on and tried to charge the battery. It didn’t help the cart start at all. I was pissed. These things were $72.99/each. I felt like I had wasted a ton of money on junk. That is not a good feeling.

So, I decided to run an extension cord from my shop and hooked up my big Noco Genius G2600 charger to the battery and set it to the 30 amp quick charge setting that runs for five minutes.

This time around, the story ends a lot better – the car started right up. My wife used her car to run errands and I let it charge all last night with the normal charging cycle on the Noco.

4/16/19 Now, DBPower did make things right and replace both units and told me I have to change the units every two months to have reliable power. If you open a unit up, you will find out they have Lithium Polymer (LiPo) power cells. These can hold a big charge and discharge quickly but they lose the charge as they sit – typically in about two months.

Bottom line, if you get DBPower jump starters for your car, plan on charging them every two months. Don’t make my mistake of charging them once and thinking they would be good to go all Winter. Now that I’ve had the DBPower and the Noco jump start unit, I’d recommend the Noco.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


NOCO Genius G26000 Battery Charger

$199.95
End Date: Monday May-13-2019 13:28:01 PDT
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NOCO GB40 Genius Boost HD 1000 Amp 12V Gas/Diesel UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter

$99.95
End Date: Wednesday May-15-2019 6:18:32 PDT
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NOCO Genius G15000 12V/24V 15 Amp Battery Charger Maintainer Jump Starter

$159.95
End Date: Sunday May-5-2019 11:49:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $159.95
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NOCO Genius GEN Mini 2 8A Onboard Battery Charger - 2 Bank - GENM2

$99.95
End Date: Wednesday May-1-2019 12:07:01 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $99.95
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NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3500mA Battery Charger

$59.95
End Date: Saturday Apr-27-2019 20:44:27 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $59.95
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NEW - NOCO Genius Boost Plus GB40 1000 Amp 12V UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter

$94.00
End Date: Saturday May-18-2019 12:56:39 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $94.00
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NOCO GB20 Genius Boost Sport 400 Amp 12V UltraSafe Lithium Battery Jump Starter

$73.00
End Date: Thursday May-9-2019 6:09:28 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $73.00
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Noco GENM2 2-Bank 8-Amp Waterproof On-Board Marine Battery Charger

$99.95
End Date: Monday May-13-2019 15:48:12 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $99.95
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NOCO Genius GB20 Boost Sport Jump Starter - 400A

$69.99
End Date: Monday Apr-29-2019 17:55:36 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $69.99
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NOCO Genius Boost Sport GB20 400 Amp 12V UltraSafe Lithium Battery Jump Starter

$79.95
End Date: Thursday May-9-2019 13:59:24 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $79.95
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The Tekton 1/2″Torque Wrench is Affordable And Accurate

Folks, if you do much work on cars, trucks or fire arms, you are going to need a good enough torque wrench. This Tekton 1/2″ unit is pretty decent. There are over 2,300 reviews on Amazon with an average score of 4.4. You can only get this kind of score if you have a good product.

This wrench is affordable, has a decent degree of accuracy (+/-4%) and a very nice wide range of 10-150 foot pounds of torque.

It’s a “clicker” style meaning you dial the torque setting and the wrench will “click” audibly, plus you can usually feel it as well, when you reach the specified torque.

There is one thing you need to remember with any “clicker” style troque wrench – be sure to reset the dial to zero torque before you put it away.  If you don’t do this, the spring will relax over time and not be as accurate.


[amazon-element asin=”B00C5ZL0RU” field=”desc”]


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


How to Safely Change AR Muzzle Devices and Barrel Nuts Using a Magpul BEV Block

If you like working on AR-type rifles and plan to replace a muzzle device or change a barrel nut to install a free-floating handguard or to swap barrels, you are going to need to apply a lot of torque. Torque and aluminum are not friends and this is certainly the case with the upper receiver for AR rifles and pistols.

What not to do?

I actually want to take a minute and tell you two things not to do. First, do not simply clamp your lower in a vise and go cranking on whatever on the upper. Remember that the upper is connected to the lower by two steel pins going through relatively soft aluminim. Not a good combination.

Number two, there are work fixtures that look like a rectangle that allow you to remove the upper from the lower and then pin the upper to this block that is then held by a vise. I’m not fond of this either because then your two aluminum connection points on the receiver take up all the stress and they weren’t designed to do so.

Please do not do either of those or you may regret it. The odds are that you will regret it. I word it this way because you may get by once or twice but these methods are risky so don’t do them.

So what do I recommend?

At this point, it comes down to two options that engage the barrel extension, which can handle the torque of any AR upper operation you may need to perform. The first is the Geisselle Reaction Rod. It’s pricey but it does the job and you can get a relatively good price on an AR tool kit from them on Amazon.

[AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”B01F48QSDK”]

The second approach, which is what I use, is to secure the upper in a vise using a Magpul Barrel Extension Vise (BEV) block. It’s a very well designed block that engages via the barrel extension with its own steel lugs that are designed for strength but also to not harm the extension.

This is the top of the BEV block. You can see the front engagement lugs, the rear protrusion is for the bolt carrier and I would recommend keeping that O-ring oiled. The hole just under the front lugs is for a cross pin to secure it to the upper.

The BEV block uses a bolt carrier with the bolt removed to further secure it in the upper. You could remove the bolt from the bolt you normally use. I have a bolt carrier body that I keep in my toolbox for just this purpose.

The following photo shows it partially inserted in the upper.

This next photo shows it fully forward with the bolt carrier assembly installed. It does not have a cross pin installed at that point. Even without the pin it can handle the rotation stress. The pin just keeps it all in position and is not load bearing.

At this point you are good to go to change muzzle devices, barrel nuts or whatever else you may need to do without risking damage caused by torque. It’s a solid tool and I highly recommend it.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


Magpul BEV Vice Block Armorer's Gunsmith Tool - MAG536-BLK - New Genuine

$46.29
End Date: Thursday May-2-2019 7:07:34 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $46.29
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MAGPUL MAG535 & MAG536 Armorer's Wrench & BEV Armorer's Block Tool SET FAST SHIP

$114.34
End Date: Sunday May-5-2019 12:58:45 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $114.34
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Magpul BEV Vice Block (Barrel Extension Vise) Reversable Armorer's Tool MAG536

$49.99
End Date: Sunday May-5-2019 21:40:42 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $49.99
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Magpul MAG536-BLK BEV Block Barrel Extension Vise Block Armorer's Tool MAG536

$46.99
End Date: Thursday May-9-2019 18:13:14 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $46.99
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GENUINE MAGPUL BEV Armorer's Vise Block Tool MAG536-BLK FAST SHIP

$45.44
End Date: Sunday May-5-2019 12:58:41 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $45.44
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This Rechargeable LED Worklight is Bright, Long-Lasting and Very Affordable

This is a pretty slick little light. It’s compact, doesn’t weigh much and can kick out quite a bit of light for at least eight hours.  Because it LED, you don’t need to worry about the bulbs burning out plus it runs cool vs. the scorching hot halogen worklights.

It does have one weird feature that I would tell you not to use – it has a red and blue light emergency situation flasher. In Michigan anyways, red is fine but the blue light is reserved for police. I didn’t buy this light for that feature and simply will not use it.

As small rechargeable worklights go, this is a great deal.  I bought mine because over 1,100 reviewers on Amazon gave this 4.3 out of 5 stars. You can’t have a rating like that unless your product is solid.

[amazon-element asin=”B015E6M23C” field=”desc”]


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


The Ingersoll Rand 125 Needle Scaler is a HUGE Time Saver + An Into to Needlers

One of the things you learn in Michigan when you have to work on cars is how to deal with rust. Most cars after 10 years in Michigan look like they were dipped in the ocean and then allowed to rust like crazy. It’s pretty much inevitable. The older the car the worst shape they will be in. This year while working on my 1996 Landcruiser I decided to invest in a needle scaler to go faster and save my hands.

Historically, I would use chisels, screw drivers and wire brushes to remove loose rust from part still on the car. This was time consuming, my carpal tunnel would flare up and my hands would ache.

A friend helping restore an old submarine told me about how he bought a needle scaler to help remove rust faster, I had never seen one at the time and filed it away for future reference. One day in Harbor Freight I finally saw one but I really wasn’t keen on buying one of their tools. I’ve had one too many HF tools die at the wrong time and have slowly moved away from them for most tools.

At any rate, I like Ingersoll Rand air tools and read up on their model 125 needle scaler. It has 4.5 stars out of 5 stars on Amazon with 73 reviews. So I read up more about it.

[amazonjs asin=”B0002STTDE” locale=”US” title=”Ingersoll Rand 125 Standard Duty Needle Scaler”]

It generates 4,600 blows per minute using 15 CFM at 90 PSI. It has a rubber seal on its throttle to reduce leaking and you can disassemble the unit to clean or replace needles without tools. To stress that next to the last point – you can buy replacement needle packs for the unit.

[amazonjs asin=”B0184XOWQM” locale=”US” title=”Ingersoll Rand Ingersoll Rand NEEDLE PACKAGE FOR IRT125 – IRTPF2219-22-19 by Ingersoll-Rand”]

So, I took the leap and ordered one from Amazon.com and it showed up in two days courtesty of Amazon Prime. My wife now grills me when Amazon boxes show up 🙂

Out of the Box

It arrived fully assembled both longer (about 12″ without the quick coupler fitting) and also heavier than I expected at about 6.8 pounds, also without the coupler.

The first thing I did was install a quality Milton quick connect male plug. These are case hardened steel and not soft brass like you find at Harbor Freight and the big box discount retailers like Home Depot and Lowes. I swear by Milton now because I haven’t had one fail yet (I’m sure they will eventually) but I have replaced countless Harbor Freight, Home Depot and Lowes air fittings over the years.

[amazonjs asin=”B005IUEC2O” locale=”US” title=”Milton (S-210) 1/4″ NPT M-Style Coupler and Plug Kit, (12-Piece)”]

I also use quality PTFE/Teflon tape. I’ve also given up on the cheap tape. Ace brand tape is pretty good and lately I’ve been using this AntiSieze Technologies brand heavy duty tape and really prefer it.

[amazonjs asin=”B00LX5EMYQ” locale=”US” title=”ANTI-SEIZE TECHNOLOGY 46135 White PTFE Poly-Temp Heavy Duty Tape, 520″ Length, 0.5″ Width (Pack of 5)”]

Taking it Apart

There apparently is a secret society of air needlers who protect the world from very much information being given about these tools. I kid you not, 90% of the manual is legal disclaimers, safety notices and useless boiler plate. I am seeing this trend over and over with the tool companies.

Since I can’t point you to a page, let me try and explain. At the end of the day, an air needler is an impact tool. Inside the body is a 1″ piston that is driving an “anvil” up against the base of the needles 4,600 times per minute. It’s pretty much what you would expect to see if you pulled apart an air hammer except the body is a straight line vs. a pistol-like configuration.

Why is it long? My guess is that it helps the unit get into tight spaces by reaching further.

Now, the needles are really 1/8″ diameter hardened steel rods. These “needles” are really good at getting under rust flakes and popping them up and off the steel surface. It’s a loud tool but it does its job amazingly well.

So you rotate the black color and it will pull straight off the machine and you can see the three groups. The main tool is on the right, the color is on the top left and the needle assembly with two needles removed for you to see are in the lower right of the next photo:

The needles are held in position by a disc with holes to position each needle and a heavy spring shoves the needles back against the anvil to enable the hammering effect.

Here’s a better photo of the disc with some of the needles pushed out for you to see:

This photo shows how the needles and disc would line up with the piston if head when the collar is in place:

All in all, it is a pretty straight forward tool. You will want to take it apart to clean periodically – at least I do. I take and hose the needles and collar down with brake cleaner and then apply a light oil to the needles.

Also, be sure to keep the air tool lubricated. I do not run inline oilers due to my plastic work and need for clean dry air. Instead, I add 4-6 drops of air tool oil (not regular engine oil) in through the quick connect coupler.

[amazonjs asin=”B005X5MI3O” locale=”US” title=”Ingersoll Rand 10P Edge Series Premium Grade Air Tool Oil, 0.5 Litre”]

I did think it was interesting that IR listed the exact ML of oil to pour in before running the tool. I just counted off 20 drops of air tool oil before I ran it for the first time and called it even — it’s ran just fine by the way.

The Results

I am really pleased. I used the model 125 a ton on my old Land Cruiser this summer that had flaking rust all over the place including the running boards that were in tough shape. One was salvageable and the other I had to make a replacement. Other parts of the truck were just covered in rust. This needle scaler allowed me to do the work much faster and more thoroughly than ever before.

I ran it at 90 PSI through about a hundred foot of 3/8 inch air line with 1/4″ quick connect fittings. I had no trouble whatsoever blasting through anything that could be removed.

It will definitely dent the hell out of thin sheet metal but I was not worried about that. I just wanted to get rid of the rust scale. I also found that I could use it to hammer on places that I was worried about and if it punched through I knew I had an area I needed to work on. For example some of the fenders while they still had paint had rusted really badly from the inside and we’re paper thin.

What I found interesting was that after a ton of work, none of the needles showed wear when I was done with the truck.

I definitely recommend this Ingersoll Rand model 125 needle scaler. I think it did a superb job and will definitely be using it on future projects.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


Ingersoll-Rand 125 Air Needle Scaler IR125

$144.00
End Date: Saturday Apr-27-2019 10:49:37 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $144.00
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INGERSOLL-RAND 172 NEEDLE SCALER (105653-1 H)

$135.00
End Date: Saturday May-18-2019 7:19:34 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $135.00
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Ingersoll Rand Edge Series Needle Scaler Attachment- For Use With Item# 1540331

$42.99
End Date: Tuesday Apr-23-2019 10:38:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $42.99
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Pneumatic Needle Scaler Kit Ingersoll Rand IR-182 K1 NEW

$329.99
End Date: Saturday May-11-2019 8:12:23 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $329.99
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Ingersoll Rand IR125 Standard Air Needle Scaler

$49.99 (1 Bid)
End Date: Tuesday Apr-23-2019 10:55:07 PDT
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Ingersoll Rand 182 Air Pneumatic Chisel Needle Scaler 4000bpm 1" Stroke

$125.00
End Date: Monday May-13-2019 19:22:21 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $125.00
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Ingersoll Rand Edge Series Needle Scaler Attachment EC400-NS

$21.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Apr-21-2019 19:04:58 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $31.99
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Ingersoll Rand 125 Pneumatic Needle Scaler

$71.99
End Date: Sunday May-19-2019 19:00:58 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $71.99
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Ingersoll Rand 182LNA1 Needle Scaler IR 182 Lever Throttle Air Scaler MFG. 2016

$314.10
End Date: Saturday May-18-2019 12:14:15 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $314.10
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INGERSOLL RAND 172 AIR PNEUMATIC NEEDLE SCALER IR 172 TOOL

$239.99
End Date: Tuesday Apr-23-2019 13:03:02 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $239.99
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Hoover Carpet Shampooers are Totally Worth It!!

I bet you did not expect to see me do a post about carpet shampooers or as some call them “carpet cleaners” or “carpet cleaning machines”.  We’ve owned dogs and had kids for years plus we have light colored carpets.  Keeping them clean is no easy matter and maybe 4-6 times per year we shampoo them – plus occasional touch ups if something gets spilled, etc.  It makes a HUGE difference.

We used to rent Rug Doctor carpet cleaners and while they do the job you have the expense and hassle of having to rent one.  Back in the early 2000s we bought our first Hoover.  We went with one from Sam’s Club if I recall right.   One of the big selling points over the competition at the time was that the clean water reservoir was built right into the unit whereas some models make you run a hose way back to a bathroom, utility or kitchen sink.  That just would not work the way our house was laid out.

We wore out our first unit in probably 5-6 years — it last quite a while and did a ton of cleaning with it.  We then bought a newer model that we are still using and just got a brand new model to do my mother-in-law’s home after it flooded.  It is a FH50258 “Hoover Professional Series Power Scrub Elite Pet Plus Upright Carpet Cleaner”.  That is a mile long model name but it really did a fantastic job.

Why Did We Get It?

Thus summer we had a crazy storm that just parked over our town and dumped a ton of rain for two days,  Pretty much everybody had problems with water coming into their basements including my mother-in-law.  We were super busy and other than helping move stuff out of the way and putting a dehumidifier down there, we had to wait a bit to do the cleaning and restoration.

One of the reasons we bought a cleaner for her house was to leave it there in case of future problems plus we can use it for shampooing.  Something we found out many years ago is that a shampooer can suck up water from a carpet like there’s no tomorrow.  If you have water come in and get  carpet wet, a heavy shampooer will suck a ton of water our compared to a light Ship-Vac wand and hose.

This new unit is lighter than our old one plus the tank appears much more ruggedly made.  We busted the tank on both previous units – the “ears” that would clamp the lid to the tank would bust off way too easily – they fixed that design flaw with this model.  They also say the unit is blowing heated air to help with cleaning and drying – I can’t speak to that.  We use hot water from the tap to begin with.

Here are some photos of the new unit:

In the next photo, you can see the reservoirs pretty clearly.  The main reservoir on the top is for the clean water – again, we always use hot water to help clean and dry faster.  The smaller top right reservoir holds the soap.  The big tank under the black bar with “ELITE” on it holds the waste water.  It is easily detached and you can pour the filthy waste water down the toilet.

Our Approach

At any rate, mama had lived there for about 10 years and it had never shampooed her basement so it was worn to begin with.  Add in the water and she had stains all over the place.  My wife used hot water and plenty of carpet shampoo to clean the carpet.

In the above photos, you can see where she already cleaned and what was still dirty pretty clearly.  We tend to use either Rug Doctor or Bissell shampoo.  For the above we were using Rug Doctor shampoo.  My wife has worked out a method that works well – she shampoos the carpet twice and then does a third pass just rinsing.  We’ve found that carpets seem to attract dirt less if we rinse them and make sure no sticky/gummy residue remains.

Look at the example area below.  We had shampooed the lighter areas already but you can see the dirty carpet pretty clearly:

This is during shampooing:

And this is the end result

After we shampooed the carpets, we ran fans a dehumidifier to dry things out.  The shampooer did a great job and I figured it would be worth it to pass along the word.  We bought the exact model above at Home Depot for $149.  We did mama’s house and were so impressed that we bought a unit for ourselves.  I’d say we get at least five years from our older models so you can do the math as whether you want to continue to rent or buy a shampooer.

For us, the shampooers have been very worthwhile.  We have always liked the quality of the results and we don’t have to rush and rent a unit if family is coming over, we need to clean up an accident or even clean in general – we can just do it whenever we want.

As mentioned, this is the third Hoover we have owned/used and were very impressed.  If you are interested, check the various Hoover models and see what is getting good review on Amazon, Home Depot, etc. and also falls in your budget.

I hope this helps you out.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


[amazonjs asin=”B009ZJ2M7G” locale=”US” title=”Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer FH50150″]

[amazonjs asin=”B07F3BHQ62″ locale=”US” title=”Hoover Professional Series Power Scrub Elite Pet Plus Upright Carpet Cleaner”]

[amazonjs asin=”B01N5SMNJ4″ locale=”US” title=”Hoover Power Scrub Elite Pet Carpet Cleaner, FH50251″]

Hoover Power Path Carpet Cleaner / Washer FH50950CA

$72.99
End Date: Monday Apr-29-2019 9:15:21 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $72.99
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Hoover Power Path Pro Carpet Cleaner/Washer FH51104PC

$94.99
End Date: Sunday May-19-2019 13:45:52 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $94.99
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Hoover Spotless Deluxe Portable Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner FH11400

$79.99
End Date: Friday May-3-2019 22:47:33 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $79.99
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Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Lightweight Deep Pet Carpet Washer Scrubber Cleaner

$140.99
End Date: Wednesday Apr-24-2019 8:12:21 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $140.99
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Hoover Max Extract All-Terrain Carpet Cleaner, F7452900

$139.99
End Date: Monday Apr-22-2019 1:56:58 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $139.99
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Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Lightweight Deep Carpet Cleaner w/ Cleaning Solution

$155.99
End Date: Sunday May-12-2019 7:00:19 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $155.99
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Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner - FH50141

$100.00
End Date: Wednesday May-15-2019 9:23:42 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $100.00
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Hoover Max Extract F7412900 Dual V WidePath Carpet Washer Cleaner (Open Box)

$119.79
End Date: Friday May-10-2019 16:42:06 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $119.79
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Hoover Power Scrub Lightweight Deep Pet Carpet Washer Scrubber Cleaner(Open Box)

$114.95
End Date: Friday May-17-2019 12:07:13 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $114.95
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Hoover Max Extract 60 Pressure Pro Deep Carpet Cleaner, FH50220

$109.99
End Date: Sunday May-19-2019 6:52:10 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $109.99
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Ryobi P721 Hybrid 20 Watt LED Work Light is Fantastic!!

I finally gave up trying to keep my old Ryobi 18 volt flashlights working or converting them to LED.  Ryobi sells a 20 watt LED worklight, model # P721 that is really slick and uses their 18 volt batteries.  I bought one at my local Home Depot and used it all summer while working on cars, plumbing and electrical work.  I must say that I am impressed.

The light has two settings, low and high.  When I was working in a room or under a car, the high setting was great.  Inside a bathroom vanity it was way too bright and the low setting worked much better.  They say the high setting is 2,400 lumen — let me tell you, it’s bright.

The problem I used to run into with incandescent bulbs is that the filament would burn out and I would need to install a new bulb.  LED lights do not have that problem.  Ryobi estimates the bulb will last 50,000 hours.  To put that in perspective, if you ran the light for one year, it would run for 8,760 hours non-stop.  Of course you would drain the battery over and over but the point is that it will be a long time before the LED gives out.

The legs are an interesting design and can hang on a two by lumber such as framing or a floor joist.

They claim 34 hours on one of the big Lithium Ion batteries and I suspect that is the low setting.  When I was doing plumbing and electrical work at my mother-in-law’s house, I killed a big battery in less time than that on full power.

All in all, it is a great light.  Since I have Ryobi tools and batteries, this purchase was a no-brainer and I plan to buy a second one for ever better coverage while working and the occasional power outage.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Hybrid 20-Watts LED Work Light (Tool-Only) Ryobi P721

$59.99
End Date: Monday Apr-29-2019 14:24:33 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $59.99
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NEW RYOBI P721 18-VOLT ONE+ & 120V HYBRID 20-WATTS LED WORK LIGHT - TOOL ONLY

$73.97
End Date: Tuesday May-14-2019 15:29:33 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $73.97
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RYOBI P720/P721 RYOBI 18V 18-Volt ONE+ Dual Power Hybrid 20-Watt LED Work Light

$99.99
End Date: Tuesday May-7-2019 12:25:43 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $99.99
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Ryobi One+ P721 18V 20-W LED Work Light Dual Power Hybrid 20WATT NISB(NOT P720)!

$89.59
End Date: Friday May-3-2019 20:42:01 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $89.59
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RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Hybrid 25-Watts LED Work Light P721 & 18V Battery P107

$79.99
End Date: Monday May-6-2019 11:08:51 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $79.99
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RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Hybrid 20-Watts LED Work Light Tool

$90.24
End Date: Thursday May-9-2019 23:06:54 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $90.24
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Ryobi 18V ONE+ Hybrid 20-Watts LED Work Light (Tool-Only)

$79.00
End Date: Tuesday May-7-2019 18:01:36 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $79.00
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NEW RYOBI ONE+ PLUS 18 V / 120 V VOLT DUAL POWER HYBRID WORK LIGHT P721

$79.99
End Date: Friday May-3-2019 14:16:58 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $79.99
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Ryobi Hybrid LED Spotlight Flashlight Work Light 18-V ONE+ Cordless (Tool Only)

$79.18
End Date: Sunday Apr-28-2019 7:12:48 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $79.18
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Ryobi LED Work Light 18-Volt 20-Watts Electric Indoor Handheld Tripod-Mountable

$82.14
End Date: Monday May-6-2019 21:22:58 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $82.14
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2 Pack New 18V 2.5Ah P102 P107 P108 Lithium Battery for Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ Tool

$37.99
End Date: Thursday Apr-25-2019 2:00:30 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $37.99
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{1} Ryobi P102 18V One+ Compact Lithium Ion Battery

$22.99
End Date: Monday May-20-2019 12:27:16 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $22.99
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2XFor Ryobi P108 18V 4.0Ah Lithium Ion Battery Pack Replaces P107 P105 P103 P102

$54.49
End Date: Friday May-3-2019 3:17:46 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $54.49
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4.0Ah For P108 Ryobi 18V One Plus Lithium High Capacity Battery P104 P105 P102

$28.49
End Date: Sunday Apr-21-2019 17:42:42 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $28.49
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New 18V P102 Lithium-Ion Battery for Ryobi One Plus P108 P103 18 Volt Power Tool

$19.99
End Date: Friday May-17-2019 3:09:27 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $19.99
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3.6AH Replace for Ryobi 18V Battery NiMh ONE P100 P101 Plus ABP1801 ABP1803

$16.49
End Date: Tuesday May-14-2019 0:32:49 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $16.49
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2X3600mAh Replace for Ryobi 18V Battery P100 P101 ONE+ ABP1801 ABP1803 BPP1820

$29.99
End Date: Friday May-10-2019 23:44:16 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $29.99
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New 6.0Ah 18 VOLT P108 for RYOBI 18V ONE PLUS Lithium-Ion High Capacity Battery

$34.49
End Date: Wednesday May-1-2019 2:54:39 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $34.49
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6.0Ah 18 VOLT P108 for 18V RYOBI ONE PLUS Lithium-Ion High Capacity Battery NEW

$34.49
End Date: Monday May-13-2019 3:53:52 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $34.49
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2XFor Ryobi P108 18V 6.0Ah Lithium Ion Battery Pack Replaces P122 P105 P103 P102

$67.49
End Date: Saturday May-18-2019 0:56:08 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $67.49
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