Category Archives: Tools

Ryobi P739 18 Volt Compressor Actually Works Good!!

The one thing I notice about getting older is that I don’t have the strength to go lugging around as much as I used to not to mention I don’t have a ton of patience either.  This issue affects me when it comes to portable compressors.

Because of Ronin’s Grips, I have a big stationary 60 gallon Ingersoll Rand compressor.  To work on cars, I run 50-100 feet of 3/8″ air hose to where I am working and life is great,  For years I had a portable two gallon compressor that required AC that I sold because it weighed quite a bit and needed an electrical cord.

Last Spring, I started hearing about various tool companies making cordless air compressors that could be used to run nailers, staplers or even inflate tires.  That idea definitely caught my attention.

I then read about the Ryobi P739 1 gallon air compressor that uses their common 18 volt batteries.  I have a ton of Ryobi tools and batteries so I bought one from www.homedepot.com with home delivery.  Note, I specifically bought the model above – there are other previous models but I can’t speak to them.

First off, this is not an inflator that puts out tiny amounts of air.  This has a 1 gallon tank that is pressurized to 120 PSI and has an adjustable regulator.

This little compressor is meant for tools that have low air requirements or inflation as it does not put out a ton of air – 0.75 standard cubic feet per minute (SCFM) at 40 PSI or 0.5 SCFM at 90 PSI.  Note, I am just going to write SCFM for the compressor because Ryobi says the above is a SCFM rating.  CFM is different and click here if you want a pretty good explanation.

Once the tank is pressurized, you’ll have enough air to run a brad nailer, finish nailer or stapler.  The question becomes how many nails can you drive before the compressor will need to kick on and refill the tank.  The answer unfortunately is “it depends” because of the requirements of the tool.  It will never put out enough air for tools that require a lot of air like ratchets, impact hammers, sanders, spray painters, etc.  Don’t even consider it for those tools that say they require over 2 CFM.  The Ryobi simply was not designed for those use cases and never claimed to be.

This little compressor will probably be great for 10-20 finish nails/staples and then need to run its compressor.  If you try to use the tool too fast when it is trying to recharge the tank, odds are you will draw more air than the tool can deliver and the pressure will continue to drop.  Remember – the compressor itself is small.  When the tank pressure drops and the compressor kicks on, it will need time to recover.

You’ll notice I didn’t mention a framing nailer or even a roofing nailer.  Odds are the compressor can do a few of those but it would never keep up.  Portable job site compressors for nailers can deliver 3-5 SCFM @ 90PSI and keep up with even several nailers running.  If you plan on some quick fix with just a few nails then sure, this would work.

What this little Ryobi brings to the table is portability.  It is only about 14 pounds before you add the battery and tools.  I use one of the big 4 amp hour Lithium Ion batteries on it and then keep a 25 foot Amflo line on it with Milton 1/4″ quick connect fittings.

[amazonjs asin=”B000Q759T4″ locale=”US” title=”Amflo 12-25E Blue 300 PSI Polyurethane Air Hose 1/4″ x 25′ With 1/4″ MNPT Swivel Ends And Bend Restrictor Fittings”].

I like the Amflo line as it is made from polyurethane and remains flexible even in cold weather plus it doesn’t leave scuff marks everywhere.  The old rubber and PVC air hoses are big, bulky and really get stiff.

As mentioned in the past, I just use Milton fittings now.  Harbor Freight, Home Depot and other discount brands have let me down one too many times including excessive air leaks with wear and even breaking.

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

One last small tip, use good Teflon tape.  The stuff I am using right now is off Amazon and is way thicker than the cheapo stuff you often see.

[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)”]

I have a 16ga NuMax finish nailer and an 18ga Wen finish nailer that work just fine with this plus a Surebonder T-50 Stapler.  I have others but these are the ones that I have used with the Ryobi and am happy.  Again, I am not doing high volumes – more like small projects, repairs, etc.

[amazonjs asin=”B0032JTDQS” locale=”US” title=”NuMax SFN64 Straight Finish Nailer 16 Gauge Ergonomic & Lightweight Pneumatic Nail Gun with Depth Adjust & No-Mar Tip”]

[amazonjs asin=”B000EJW1ZY” locale=”US” title=”WEN 61720 3/4-Inch to 2-Inch 18-Gauge Brad Nailer”]

[amazonjs asin=”B00PK1BMR4″ locale=”US” title=”Surebonder 9600AK Pneumatic Heavy Duty Standard T-50 Type Stapler Kit, 1/4-Inch – 9/16-Inch, 7-Piece”]

It Rocks For Topping Off Tires

What I use the Ryobi for the most is to top off car and truck tires.  It really makes this chore easy.  Sure my big compressor is faster but to go around and add up to 5-10 PSI to a tire is easy with this.  To give you an idea of size, the next photo shows the unit next to one of my Landcruiser’s good sized 275/70R16 tires.

I used to lug around a portable five gallon tank but it weighs a ton, is cumbersome and I might need to refill it several times before I get done.  If I didn’t do that, I would have to pull the car around by my shop, hook up a line to reach it and then fill the tire – that can also be a headache unless the line is already hooked up.

What you see above is a Milton S-506 tire inflator that I keep on it.  I have another in the garage that is beat to death but still working.  It is so very, very handy to have the inflator and pressure gauge in one unit plus chuck heads at two angles for bikes, tractors, trailers, etc.

[amazonjs asin=”B0002SRL20″ locale=”US” title=”Milton (S-506) Original Dual Head Chuck Tire Inflator Gauge – 15″ Hose”]

To give you an idea, I recently had to add about 2-4 PSI on each tire of my daughter’s 2002 Camry to get them up to 40 PSI.  The regulator was set at 90 PSI and it had a freshly charged battery,

Part way into the first tire the compressor turned on and continued running as I did all four tires on the car.  The battery’s LED charge indicator dropped one bar out of four.  The compressor turned off maybe two minutes after I topped off the last tire.

In summary, I’ve been using this compressor for over two months mainly for topping off tires and that really puts some stress on the little unit.  It seems to be holding up just fine.  It gets lugged around my shop, the drive way in the trunks of cars and no problems.  I can easily go out and check all our vehicle tires and top them off where they sit .

If you use Ryobi 18 volt tools, have the batteries and are in the market for a light duty portable compressor for the uses I outlined above, I’d recommend this one.  If you use another brand of 18-20 volt tool, I bet your vendor is making a portable compressor as well that you might want to research.


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.


2XFor Ryobi P108 18V 4.0Ah Lithium Ion Battery Pack Replaces P107 P105 P103 P102

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Ryobi P1837 18-Volt ONE+ Li-Ion Cordless Brushless 3-Tool Combo Kit with

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NEW Ryobi 18V Lithium Ion Battery 2 Pack with Charger Model# P102

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Ryobi P1832 18V ONE+ Drill / Driver and Impact Driver Kit w/ Charger 2X Battery

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Ryobi 18V Drill and Impact Driver Kit ZRP1832 Reconditioned

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Houston We Have a Problem: The Onyx 1828 3/8″ Nano Impact Wrench Breaks Its Retaining Clip

Well, after only moderate use my Onyx 1828 3/8″ Nano Impact Wrench has a problem.  On the nose is a small retaining ring, that holds sockets in place.  It came out of its groove and bent.  At first I couldn’t figure out why it was so hard to put sockets on or take them off the wrench.  The last one I had to hammer off and then saw what the problem was:

The retaining ring that holds the sockets on the nose had bent!  It was so bad that I didn’t even try to see if I could get a socket on as you can see in the above photos.

First, I checked Amazon to see if I could return it but could not – no worries – I bought it back on January 25, 2018 — about eight and a half months ago.  So, I Googled Astra Pneumatics, found their warranty page and they said to call  (800-221-9705) with the model number of the unit (The 3/8″ Onyx I have is model # 1828)  and the part that I needed from their breakdown sheet located on the main product page – so I got that too:

I circled it in red above for reference – it’s part number 1822-04 and called the 800 number.  The phone was promptly answered and the lady I spoke to was very professional.  They knew there was a problem with a previous generation of the wrench sold earlier by Amazon that they had since fixed.  She said she’d be very happy to send me a new ring for free.  “Cool – I don’t have to send it in” so I gave her my info.

Here we are two weeks later and still no ring.  I called again and this time wrote down the name of the customer service agent and she gave me a reference number, which the last agent did not.  I told her I was bummed because I needed the wrench and the sockets just fell off when I was trying to do odd position work – which was true.   The sockets were just falling off on work with any downward angle.

So, I talked to her on September 11th and we’ll see how things go.  I’m hoping the ring comes this time or I will call back and escalate matters.  I really like the wrench – it’s light, powerful and can get in tight spaces but that all doesn’t matter if it can’t retain its sockets.

So, I wanted to pass this along in case you are having a similar issue and you want to know who to contact and what to request.  I’ll update this post once I have the ring and the unit back in operation … or, worst case, I have to call a third time and escalate but I think things will get resolved this time as the customer service agent made sure (literally) that I wrote down both her name and the reference number.

We’ll see.

This started on 9/11/2018.

Update 9/20:  They sent the wrong size retaining ring!!!  The replacement unit must be for the 1/2″ model.  It’s 8:07pm and they closed at 3:30 Pacific so I left a general voicemail as Marcy’s voicemail box in customer service is not accepting messages.  I’m now getting irked. 

9/21 – Called and talked to Marcy who confirmed they sent the wrong size ring.  I told her this was causing problems for and I’d really appreciate it if they would send the ring some way other than first class mail.  She mumbled something to the effect that she couldn’t do anything about it or it was out of her control.

9/26 – Still dead in the water and am ticked off.

As an update, some time in October 2018 this got resolved.  I called  and asked to talk to a supervisor.  It turns out the rings were back ordered but she had a stash to help out people who had waited a long time.  She sent me two and I was back in business.  If you are going to buy one, first find out if they have changed the socket retaining ring/clip design.  I think someone at that firm told me they had but confirm this.  If it weren’t for this problem, I’d be very happy.  The wrench itself works fine otherwise.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon to buy something.   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=”B005MVB9Y8″ locale=”US” title=”Sunex 3342 3/8-Inch Drive Master Impact Socket Set, Inch/Metric, Standard/Deep, 6-Point, Cr-Mo, 5/16-Inch – 3/4-Inch, 10mm – 19mm, 42-Piece”]

[amazonjs asin=”B00F9Y1NHQ” locale=”US” title=”TEKTON 3/8-Inch Drive Deep Impact Socket Set, Metric, Cr-V, 6-Point, 7 mm – 19 mm, 13-Sockets | 47925″]

[amazonjs asin=”B00F9Y1LAU” locale=”US” title=”TEKTON 3/8-Inch Drive Shallow Impact Socket Set, Metric, Cr-V, 6-Point, 7 mm – 19 mm, 13-Sockets | 47915″]

[amazonjs asin=”B00F9Y1NDU” locale=”US” title=”TEKTON 3/8-Inch Drive Deep Impact Socket Set, Inch, Cr-V, 6-Point, 5/16-Inch – 1-Inch, 12-Sockets | 47920″]

[amazonjs asin=”B00F9Y1GDM” locale=”US” title=”TEKTON 3/8-Inch Drive Shallow Impact Socket Set, Inch, Cr-V, 6-Point, 5/16-Inch – 1-Inch, 12-Sockets | 47910″]

[amazonjs asin=”B000NW85F2″ locale=”US” title=”TEKTON 4966 3/8-Inch Drive Impact Extension Bar Set, Cr-V, 3-Piece”]

[amazonjs asin=”B01E0G1Q3Y” locale=”US” title=”ARES 70073 | 3-Piece Impact Universal Joint Set | 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2-inch Drive Chrome Moly U Joint Sockets Access Hard to Reach Fasteners”]

Cost-Effective Sanding Belts for the Work Sharp Ken Onion Knife Sharpener

I’ve had a number of guys email me asking if there are affordable replacement sanding belts for the Work Sharp Ken Onion (KO) edition knife sharpener.  The short answer is yes.

The actual Work Sharp brand belts work very well but they are pricey.  A group called Econaway Abrasives is making affordable replacement belts that I’ve had very good luck with.  Note that the Ken Onion edition uses a 3/4″ wide belt whereas the traditional Work Sharp uses a 1/2″ belt.  That means the KO can use either but the traditional can’t use the KO belts.

I hope this helps you save some money!


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 EWK Vacuum Fluid Extractor is Darned Handy to Drain Engine Oil and ATF Through the Dipstick Tube!!

Folks who know me also know that I am always tinkering with something – cars, trucks, tractors, firearms, you name it.  A few years ago a guy showed me how he could change fluids in his car using a vacuum siphon and I was intrigued but let it slide.

I recently went through all our old Toyotas and changed the transmission fluid to Valvoline Max Life and it dawned on me that it would be real nice to have a way to more precisely get the fluid right where I wanted it in the transmissions because I had slightly overfilled one car.  Then I remembered the vacuum siphon and hopped on Amazon.

The EWK 6.5 liter (1.71 gallon) pneumatic or manual fluid extractor looked like just the tool for the job.  I always pay close attention to reviews and this unit really had good ones – 277 reviews and a score of 4.4 out of 5 stars.  That’s pretty good statistically – I like to get well past 30 reviews and the more the better.

At any rate, thanks to Amazon prime, I ordered it and the unit arrived two days later.  I must say that I was impressed.  The plastics are all well done and it worked like a charm.

In this next photo you can see the little adapter and hose extension that comes with the unit.  They say three in the ad and the first hose is attached to the cap with a strain relief.  The hose is about  .39/.31 (OD/ID) and 39.3″ long.  The other two hoses are basically extensions via a soft rubber connector.  I am using the medium extension that is .26/.21 OD/ID) and also 39.3″ long.  That diameter has worked fine for Toyota T-IV ATF, Valvoline Max Life ATF  and also 10W30 engine oil.  When I say it can suck, that is a compliment in this case 🙂

The next photo shows the pump handle and also the venturi vacuum generator.  I have that air line on my dryer system and is running 90PSI off a 60 gallon IR two stage compressor.  It really didn’t use too much air.  No vacuum generator will win awards for air use but you don’t need to run it for very long – just while you are pumping the fluid out and that will probably be about 2-3 minutes for most engines and transmissions.

The first time I used it, I did so with an air line (it can use compressed air to create a venturi vacuum) .  It actually pumped way faster than I realized and I had over a quart out of the car before I realized it.  You can definitely reduce the air flow to reduce the vacuum – it was just faster than I thought it would be, which is good news.

I was so impressed that I used the extractor to remove all the ATF from a 94 Corolla in very short order.  I let it pump until nothing else came out — no problem.

I recently needed to change the oil in my tractor – again, used the siphon and it drained it very quickly.  This is noteworthy as I used the hand pump to create the vacuum and it really was effortless.  This was also when it dawned on me I better take some photos 🙂  You can see it pulling out the 10W30 no problem at all.

In this next photo, you can see the unit with the hose cap off – it just twists off – and this is the pour spout to empty the unit also.

In summary, it’s a great unit.  I’ve not had any problems at all and 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.

Amazon product listings are at the bottom of the post.


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Sick and Tired of Mosquitoes? How I Got Rid of Them With Talstar P Pro

Our home is in a former swampy area that was drained in the 1980s and a subdivision built.  In short, you dig down and can hit water fairly soon – usually within 10 feet.  At any rate, we’ve had a very wet spring and summer and had standing water in our lawn until late-June and the mosquitoes have been the worst I ever recall in the 20 years we’ve been here.  We could not stay out at night or we’d get attacked unless we hosed ourselves down with Deep Woods Off.  In short, something needed to be done.

This hedgerow is right by my garage and ensured the mosquitoes had a perfect base to attack me from and rings our property:

When I was at Ace Hardware, I saw Off! brand’s Backyard Pretreat that was supposed to kill mosquitoes and leave a residue to repel them.  I thought they would know what to do given their experience – as it turns out, this product is a rip off.

I’m sad to report that after three jugs of this stuff and my getting bit over and over while applying it, I can’t say it did anything at all even several days later.  I really had high hopes – I dragged a long hose all over the place spring stuff down over and over with no noticeable improvement.

On Facebook, I posted my woes with Mosquito control and a friend, Allan, suggested Talstar P Pro and a Ryobi cordless electric sprayer to help with evenly spraying a ton of solution.  I had never heard of Talstar so I did a search and it is very well regarded.  Allan told me they live on a wooded ravine and he’s been using it for 10 years to control mosquitoes and it worked exceptionally well for him.

Talstar P Professional

Every once in a while on Amazon, you see a review score that is mind blowing.  FMC’s Talstart P Professional 96 oz has 2,263 customer reviews and a combined score of 4.6 out of 5 stars.  That is one heck of a score and is only possible if something works really, really well.

[amazonjs asin=”B00409QKRY” locale=”US” title=”FMC Talstar P Professional 96oz (3/4 gallon)”]

So, based on what I read and Allan’s recommendation, I ordered the 96oz bottle.   I then read up on the Ryobi sprayer.  It gets good reviews, uses the 18volt Ryobi batteries (it comes with one battery and a charger) and it has a three year warranty.  I ordered it off the Home Depot website [Click here]  as they had free next day home delivery and since I had to wait for the Talstar, I figured it would save me a trip.

Note:  You can use any pressurized sprayer you want – I have 1.5 acres and knew I would be applying gallons and gallons of it.  My shoulders and elbows hurt enough as it is and I didn’t want to incur the repetitive stress.

The sprayer arrived the next day and the Talstar the day after.  While I was waiting, I went to the FMC website to read up on Talstar to make sure I understood how to apply it plus I peppered Allan with his experience.

I would recommend you go to the website [click here] as they have recommendations on best practices for mosquito management and Talstar P Pro is actually interesting from a chemical perspective.

The active ingredient is Bifenthrin, which is similar to the chemical extracted from Chrysanthemums to kill insects.  Here are two links so you can read more at the National Pesticide Information Center.the user guide for the Talstar P.

Ryobi Model P2830A One+ 18-Volt Lithiu-Ion Cordless 2 Gallon Chemical Sprayer

Here are photos of the sprayer.   I charged the battery and screwed in all the fittings.  They are all lose so be sure to do that.  I didn’t have any loose plastic in the tank but I did rinse it out just to be safe.

Application

After reading the user guide, I planned to use one ounce of Talstar to one gallon of water to ensure I had residue to continue killing mosquitoes.  Since it was a two gallon tank, I increased it just a bit to 2.5 ounces per two gallon tank.  Note, a real nice perk is that the tank lid is a measuring cup!  I would use it, rinse it out and pour the mix into the tank before filling it with water.

While doing the work, I wore Nitrile gloves just to avoid contact plus I was constantly adjusting the sprayer tip from coarse mist to a stream to try and reach back over brush, through leaves, etc.

FMC recommends spraying at night or in the evening when mosquitoes are active.  I was busy the first night so I did it the following morning at 7am.   I mixed up two gallons and started spraying around the house, pool, garden and so forth.  I hosed down the bushes, the walls of the house and under the eaves.  I also sprayed the hedge – first using a coarse spray on all the brush, leaves and ground.  I found adjusting the tip to a stream was handy to penetrate the brush and also reach further back.  I’d just come back to the hose and what not and mix another two gallons of spray (2 gallons water and 2.5oz of Talstar) and kept spraying.

It took me aboput 30-45 minutes and 8 gallons, or four complete tanks, to do most of our yard.  I skipped probably a half acre of grass starting about 100-150 feet from our house but I did all of the hedge row, bushes, etc.  I was pleasantly surprised that the 2.0Ah battery was able to do the whole yard.  When I finished the first batch, I did plug the battery in and let it charge.

That night I still saw mosquitoes, but fewer of them, and applied a second dose around 7:30-8pm.  Same procedure – 8 gallons focusing around the house, all the bushes, etc.

Results

The next morning – no mosquitoes.  Whoa!!!  I did not see one single mosquito all day.  That night I worked on cars without being attacked!  I did so again yesterday and just had breakfast with my wife in her garden — something that would have been next to impossible.

I’d say the spray got a good number of them but when they landed in the residue, that got rid of a ton as well.  In other words, you might see a bit of a delay from dose to noticeable reduction.

In four weeks, I am going to do it again.  Even my wife, who always groans at me and my tinkering, was impressed and told me to make sure I apply another dose before the first one wears off!

It’s really not that expensive in the long run.  The bottle holds 96oz.  I use 10oz per 8 gallons (4 batches x 2.5oz/batch).  If I apply it twice per application, that means I’ll use 20oz per time, which means I’ll get just over 4 complete applications (so about four months of protection).  At $35/bottle, that’s about $9/time plus however you want to account for the sprayer.  For me, it’s worth it.  My wife really reacts to mosquito bites plus we can enjoy being outside again and I can go back to working outside without getting attacked.

I’d highly, highly recommend you skip the ripoff gimmicks and temporary fixes.  Spend the money and get Talstar Pro and a spray bottle (if you don’t have one).  It made a world of difference for us and wanted to spread the word that this stuff really works.


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.

Very Compact Astro 1828 ONYX 3/8″ Nano Impact Wrench Is Great For Tight Quarters

This past winter I had the fun of changing the starter motor twice in 15 degree weather in my Landcruiser.  It was a bear getting to the starter bolts with my full size Ingersoll Rand 1/2 Thunder Gun.  It’s an awesome impact wrench and I had trashed a few cheap Harbor Freight ones before taking the advice of my friends and buying it.  To make a long story short, with a long extension and a universal joint, I was able to get the two bolts out.

[amazonjs asin=”B000E21CZ6″ locale=”US” title=”Ingersoll-Rand 232TGSL 1/2-Inch Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench Thunder Gun”]

While working on the truck, it struck me that I really needed a compact impact wrench to get into tight spaces.  I did some digging and found the Astro 1828 Onyx for 3/8″ impact sockets.  I figured I wanted small and probably would not need 1/2″ most of the time.

These next photos show how much more compact the Onyx is compared to the big Thunder Gun:

The little Onyx gets great reviews – currently 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon with 148 reviews.  I bought it and a Hot Max 28083 Swivel adapter at the same time.   It arrived in a nice little cardboard box from Amazon and I promptly put good Teflon tape on the swivel’s fittings, installed it and then a Milton M-style plug.

[amazonjs asin=”B00N2TVWRG” locale=”US” title=”Hot Max 28083 360-degree Swivel 1/4-Inch Male NPT x 1/4-Inch Female NPT”]

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

So far, both are holding up great in my home garage use (I’m not a pro mechanic – more like a shade tree one with ADD and sleep deprivation).

What I find interesting is that it is a torquy little beast.  They claim 450 ft/lbs.  I have not bothered checking using a calibrated torque wrench but I can tell you it’s done a great job so far.  For big stuff / tight stuff, I still go to the Thundergun with its 625 ft/lbs of torque.  The Onyx is more of a special purpose tool for me.  By the way, if you notice it is shiny above, I had just used it to remove the drain plug off a 2002 Camry’s transmission.  They are about 18mm and use a 10mm Allen bit to come off.  My 10mm Allen bit is for a 3/8″ drive so I just stuck it on the Onyx and it whipped it right off.  Reinstalling, I set torque at 1 out of 3 and then checked it with a 3/8″ drive ratchet wrench after — it was in there solid.

[amazonjs asin=”B000NY31CW” locale=”US” title=”TEKTON 1378 3/8-Inch Drive by 10 mm Hex Bit Socket, Cr-V”]

In short, I am happy with the little Nano and Hot Max swivel combination.  I definitely still use my Thunder Gun for wheel lugs and big fasteners but the Nano is now my go to for tight spaces.


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.


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How to Clean Up Oil On A Cement Driveway

I’m a gear head and am always working on a car or tractor it would seem.  Like many, I have a concrete drive way and it seems like no matter how hard I try, I get engine oil, grease, gas or whatever other crud on the cement.

I’ve seen guys post asking about how to get oil and what not out of a cement drive way and I have a simple answer – I use a degreaser called “Purple Power”.  I know it is a crazy name but it works.  I’ve been using it for probably 10 or more years and buy it by the gallon jug at Autozone.  I can’t recall who recommended to me or just when – but I’ve used it for a long time and vouch for it.

My approach is simple:

  1. If you have standing oil, pour clay cat litter or oil absorbing pellets and let it sit for a few hours to a day and then brush it up and save it to be used again.  We don’t have cats so I usually just keep a big bag of the oil absorbent stuff from Autozone and use it over and over until it gets real oily.  I just keep it in an old pail.
  2. Pour on the Purple Power full strength and let it sit 15-30 minutes.  I would recommend doing it in the morning or evening because you do not want it to dry out.
  3. Use a hose with a pressure nozzle (just something to focus the spray coming out of the hose) and rinse the stuff off.
  4. Let it dry and see how it looks.  If there is still some dark spots in the cement, you may need to do it a couple more times.  For me, it usually does the job in two passes but sometimes I need a third.

Okay, here’s a photo of my drive way after working on a car and a tractor.  The big “blotch” is a combination of gas and oil.  I changed the fuel pump on my tractor and then cleaned the engine up with brake cleaner and it went on the drive way.  The four smaller blotches to the right of the Purple Power jug are soaked in oil from working on the car.

This photo is after three passes with Purple Power and letting it sit 15-30 minutes each time.  If I had done it a fourth time it would be even brighter but I literally ran out of cleaner.  You can see the big blotch is entirely gone.  Really, just a bit is left.  At some point this weekend, I’ll run up to Autozone and get another gallon and finish the job.

If I didn’t use Purple Power, my driveway would be an absolute mess.  I go through about a gallon per year sometimes two – it just depends on what all I am working on and how often I clean up my driveway.

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.


The Vortex Torque Wrench Optics Mounting Kit is Wicked!!

I’m to the point with rifles that when I want to maintain accuracy, I know I need an accurate torquing driver.  For years I have used the Wheeler Firearms Accurizing Torque (FAT) Wrench and it was good enough.  For about $40 I got the base unit that included a few bits and a case.  The FAT wrench had a range from 10-65 in/lbs and good enough accuracy (+/- 2 in/lbs up to 40 pounds and +/- 5% over 40 in/lbs).  My only beef with it was that the mechanical scale that shows you the torque settings was in 5 pound increments.  To get close to 18 in/lbs, for example, required going close to the middle between 15 and 20 in/lbs and calling it even.

I used the FAT wrench pretty much exclusively from October 2014 to May 2018.  It was good enough at the time – way better than going for ballpark feel “farmer tight” settings but in the back of my head though, I wanted better.

By the way, in case you are wondering why a person would get one of these torque wrenches or drivers, it’s because many torque wrenches aren’t calibrated in inch/pounds (they are often foot pounds in the US) and they may not go down as low as 10 inch/pounds (in/lbs).

My interests span many types of firearms from AKs to precision rifles.  With the latter, I own a number of sub-MOA rifles and they demand precision tools if you want repeatability and reliability.  These rifles also have very good Vortex scopes and rings as well.  If you want consistency and the rings to not shoot loose, the value of a torque wrench becomes apparent fast.

I’m a Vortex fan – there’s no two ways about.  Their optics are superb and they have an absolute “we will stand behind it no matter what with no nonsense” warranty.  Once in a while I will see guys troll the brand on Facebook but I honestly question whether they have ever actually even owned one.

Folks, I’ve owned probably 7-8 superb Vortex scopes and a ton of red dots.  I really don’t know how many red dots of various types – probably approaching a dozen.  The glass is good, the scopes are durable and do you know how many times I have used the warranty? — None.  In talking with guys that have, Vortex took care of them.

So, let me get to the point.  Vortex came out with a torque driver called the “Vortex Optics Torque Wrench Mounting Kit” that goes from 10-50 in pounds in calibrated 1 in/lbs increments that you set like a micrometer.

When it arrived, the first thing I noticed was the heft.  This is a solidly built metal tool that screams quality.  It comes with a few bits.  You pull the copper colored locking ring down and turn the handle to get the torque you want.  I did find that you have to push the bits in very firmly.  There is a detent ball that holds the driver bits in and it is surprisingly stout.

A nice touch is that the end of the handle has a 1/4″ socket if you want to use a ratchet wrench for higher torque applications.  For example, Vortex precision rings can go up to 50 in/lbs.  I can do that by hand most of the time but a ratchet makes it much easier.

On the topic of bits, it is a standard 1/4″ drive so you can get a large collection of bits and pair it up with this unit.  For example, I had a Home Depot Husky brand driver with a ton of bits that I picked up on sale at some point and just had sitting on the shelf.  I put it with the Vortex and its few included driver bits.  Additionally, when I am working on a firearm, I typically have my Weaver deluxe toolkit open as well.  It contains a great selection of bits that you tend to find on firearms.

There is one thing I changed though – the Vortex unit comes in a round plastic case that is nice and strong but I don’t have the patience to try and put it all back together for storage.  So, I hopped down to Ace hardware and bought a case to hold the Vortex torque driver, the Husky driver and all the bits plus I have room for more storage.  I also used some of my spare pluckable foam left over from cases to pad the bottom of the case.

In case you are wondering, here are photos of my FAT and Vortex torque drivers side by side:

In this next photo, you can see what I mean about precisely setting the torque on the wrenches.  My Vortex Precision Scope Rings specify a torque of 18 in/lbs.  With the Vortex wrench, you can precisely set it for 18 pounds.  With the FAT, it’s somewhere around 17-19 pounds plus we already know the wrench’s accuracy is limited to +/- 2 in/lbs as well.

On the topic of accuracy, the Vortex driver comes with a certificate of calibration to testing standard DIN-ISO-6789 by a gentleman named Tom on Feb 27, 2018.  You can see my specific wrench nails the accuracy – no more guesswork and no more ballpark torque setting.

In summary, I am very happy with my Vortex wrench and would recommend it to anyone doing precision firearms work, notably optics.  You can pick one up at a very reasonable price from Amazon and you ought to do 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.


Amazon products are listed below.


Why I Stopped Using Harbor Freight Air Fittings

In short, Harbor Freight quick couplers look like a cheap way to go.  The problem is that they are really soft.  I can’t even guess how many female fittings I have thrown away as they deformed and started to leak air.

The same goes for the soft male fittings.  You will find they abrade easily and leak air plus they bend and break easily.  The latest example is this male plug on my IR 117 air hammer where the smaller nipple is tearing away from the relatively thicker base:

My solution is simple – I only use Milton air fittings now and you can get them from Amazon at an affordable price.  Every time one of my many Harbor Freight units fails, I replace it.  By the way, I’m to the point that I don’t recommend any of the cheap import fittings regardless of maker.  Milton isn’t much more and they will last.

By the way, when you look purely at the purchase cost that doesn’t tell the whole story.  This fitting failed right at the start of the job and set me back about 10-15 minutes while I was rummaging around for my Milton spares, my teflon tape, the wrench, setting the tool in the vise to do the work, etc.   All of a sudden the supposed purchase savings doesn’t seem like a big deal.  By the way, I was swearing the whole time too 🙂

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.


S690 MILTON DUAL HEAD AIR CHUCK 1/4” NPT

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COUPLER PLUG KIT Fitting Pneumatic T-Style Blue Air Tool 1/4 in. NPT 14-Piece US

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Milton S684 1/8 Npt Air Tank Valve

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Milton S213 A-Style Air Coupler and Plug Set - 1/4in. NPT, 5-Pcs

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Milton Dual Head Locking Truck Tire Inflator Air Chuck, 1/4" NPT #S693 MIL693!

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Milton 699 (MIL S699) 1/4" Female Air Chuck

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Milton Tire Air Chuck Dual Head Heavy Duty Truck Straight Large Bore Inflator

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S691 Milton USA Heavy Duty 1/4" FNPT Female Straight Head Air Chuck

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Milton USA S728 Heavy Duty 1/4" NPT Female M Style Air Line Coupler

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Milton S684-4 Air Tank Valve 1/4Npt Male 2Pk

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1/4" NPT FEMALE AIR CHUCK MILTON S699

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Red Coupler Plug Kit M Style Fitting Compressor Air Tool Hose Connector 14 Piece

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S698 MILTON SINGLE HEAD AIR CHUCK W/ GRIP CHUCK 1/4” NPT

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MALE M STYLE AIR LINE COUPLER PLUG 731 MILTON TIRE INFLATOR FEMALE RE-CAP.305-32

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Milton S99705 Heavy Duty 1/4" NPT M Push Button Style Safety Air Coupler

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Milton USA 1/4" Heavy Duty M Style Air Push S755

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USA Milton 2 Pack Heavy Duty 1/4" FNPT Air L Style Plug S792

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LOT OF 6 SOLID BRASS AIR FITTINGS 1/4" NPT MALE FITS MILTON TYPE M COUPLER BB869

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Milton S1837 H-Style Air Plug - 3/8" NPT Male - 2 Pk.

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Resurrecting a Gummed Up Air Tool Without Disassembly

Recently I got out my Ingersoll Rand model 117 air hammer to use and found out its action had gotten all gummed up.  It’s been probably a year since I last used it even then probably didn’t use it a ton.  I always drip air tool oil into a tool before use because my air lines run driers and particulate filters for my plastics work.  Thus, I have to manually apply the oil before I use a tool.

When I went to use 117 the piston would not actuate and when I shook the tool, it didn’t sound like it normally did.  My first thought was to check the air pressure and it was at 90 PSI and the regulator was wide open so my next guess was lubrication.  Adding more air tool oil didn’t make any difference.  I then remembered a tip a guy told me years ago with gummy air tools – spray a ton of PB Blaster down the quick connect fitting and let it sit with the quick connect fitting up in the air trapping the penetrating oil in the tool for 5 minutes and try again.

So, I did that, reconnected the air line and it worked!  The tool worked like a champ and it blew PB Blaster everywhere!  I did it one more time just to make sure stuff was clear and ran the tool for a maybe 30 seconds to blow the PB Blaster out, wiped it down with a rag and then put in four drops of air tool oil.  Problem solved.

This was a huge win because I was in the middle of working on AK and wanted to use this tool plus I didn’t have time to take it all apart,  I’m writing this post a few weeks later after completing the AK build and the IR 117 is still working like a champ.

By the way, PB Blaster can be found at tons of automotive stores.  The packing looks gimmicky but it is actually one of the best penetraing oils that is out there along with Kroil.  If I didn’t have access to either of those, I would have made up some Ed’s Red or at least used some form of transmission fluid.  Tranny fluid works great but take a while to penetrate gunk.

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[amazonjs asin=”B000F09CEA” locale=”US” title=”Kano Aerokroil Penetrating Oil, 10 oz. aerosol (AEROKROIL)”]


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.