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Tradesmen, Technicians, & Yes, Even Plumbers* - Share Your Everyday Tool Kit

Gents, every so often we deviate to the mundane tasks of life. What sort of xyz do you prefer as a brand of milk or maybe even what's your cheapest lunch on the run sort of thing. Well it's tool time again for badgers. I don't have the digicam handy and my tool bag is at work so the photos will wait til tomorrow. I will get it started by listing what is in my daily carry tool pouch. I have much more but this is the kit that goes everywhere I go daily.

Klein 5167 eleven pocket leather tool pouch. Probably one of the most thought out tool pouches for electricians ever made. I realised the other day mine is approaching a full fifteen years old and is going to be due a replacement. It is still in remarkably good condition but the driver holders are coming apart on the bottom so it won't be long.

Knipex 02 05 225 combination pliers. Better known as linesmans in the commercial world. The best I have used.

Knipex 28 21 200 Long nose 'assembly pliers'. Great pliers but I wish I could still buy the Klein D314-8 long reach long nose. Sadly discontinued. These Knipex are a worthy if not equal replacement.

Knipex 74 21 200 8 inch angle head diagonal cutters. Typical Knipex, they cut wire like butter.

Ideal 45-618 Reflex Super T Wire Stripper.

Ideal 45-125 T Stripper for small gauge wire.

Klein Nut drivers 630 - 1/4", 630 -5/16", 630 - 11/32", 630 -3/8". These are the three inch shaft models. I have the full set of other sizes in this length plus metric and the six inch versions the standard/imperial sizes. The four mentioned live in my pouch at all times. Indispensable.

Klein Cushion Grip Screwdrivers, Philips 603-7 No.2 Philips. It is my most used driver. 603-6 No.3 Philips. 1/4" cabinet tip flat blade, 605-8. 3/16" cabinet tip flat blade, 601-4

And last but not least a 87 01 180 Knipex Cobra adjustable pliers About seven inches long these have to be the most versatile adjustable pliers I have used.

Of course there is a worn Stanley tape measure and a broken clasp for an adjustable wrench which cannot live there anymore for fear of losing it. It is a pricey Bahco so it stays in the truck til needed.

Photos in a day or so. Lets hear and see what you carry!

Cheers, Todd

*Plumbers. Ah yes, our favourite poo chasers. They can't help themselves but they could stay down wind. Do you know there are only three rules to know to become a plumber? 1. Crap flows downhill. 2. Payday is Friday. 3. Don't lick your fingers. Yes, I am only teasing our movers of the black waters. Tradesmen know how much ribbing Sparkies and Plunger Wielders give each other.
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well, i don't carry any of those (i'm an IT guy, not much to show) but i have lots of Knipex tools... in fact 2 Veto XLs filled to the rim, :)
You're missing the wrench pliers, they're a must!
I like Wera, Wiha too... Felo is ok, PB Swiss is great but expensive...
Bebe, Knipex is great stuff. How do you like the Veto? I looked at the XL, LC, and the backpack. The backpack is out. No way it is versatile enough to warrant its $225 price tag. Pockets are not deep enough to hold long shank tools without a lot of flop. I felt it was not laid out all that well. The XL was nice but the cavernously wide pockets need modding to work well with longshank screwdrivers and nut drivers. The LC is a great size but again with the wide pockets and not enough overall height to handlex8 inch drivers. Build quality is impressive.

What sort of Knipex pliers do you use? I find them to be the best overall.

Cheers, Todd
I like Vetos a lot, are the best bags i have! They're kinda heavy to carry around when filled but i love the pockets! I bought one on eBay for 100 and change but wasnt enough so i had to buy another, full price (i know, it hurts, but i dont regret it) I might get the LC too. I dont know of any other closed bag as versatile as vetos for small tools.
I have, i think, 5-6 lineman, different sizes and types but i use the smallest one most of the time (don't know the model#). The small wrench pliers is one of the most useful tool i have - the 7" sees a lot of action so does the mini bolt cutter! There is a 13 01 614 on my table all the time (i know the model 3 'cuz is right in front of me :) What can i say, Knipex worth every penny!
If you're an electrician check DEWALT DG5582 out, nice tote, built like a tank! CLC makes some nice bags too - i like their yellow, waterproof pouches..
I use a Veto Pro Pac OT LC every day. I gave up wearing a belt maybe 10 years ago and have not looked back.
As for whats in it, I will have to take a picture as I have no idea on brands or model #'s of the tools. Some of them are at least 20 years old.

Elliot Electric makes a tool pouch almost identical to this one:

Most comfortable tool pouch i've ever owned.
Great responses gents. If I was still hanging conduit like I did a few years ago or doing commercial work(lighting, receps, etc,) I would carry a right like the one George posted. My maintenance tasks call for a wider variety of tools. Some a bit specialised. Today I was working on a Vulcan commercial range in one of our dormitories. 100A, 208V, 3 phase. Yeah, you read that right. They have enough current to cook you as well as the food. They have their own circuit breakers built into them for redundancy(safety) so you can isolate problems and still have the range working later whilst you wait on parts for the broken bits. These are mostly Imperial/SAE but the brackets that hold the burner plates to the range top are 10mm. So you see why I need a good bit of organised storage. It needs to be available on the truck but I don't necessarily carry it in every day. For that I keep a basic set of hand tools in the Klein 5167.

We may just as easily be working on a three phase motor controller the same day or like today, troubleshooting lighting sensors in corridors. They have a series of DIP switches in them that necessitate a flat blade precision screwdriver to set them. So I keep a set of Wera precision screwdrivers in various sizes and profiles on the truck as well. Try keeping them sorted without vertical storage! I may take a photo next week and post it up to show the close quarters of the lighting sensors. These are really cool ultrasonic sensors. They do not just register motion or heat like an infrared unit would. They actually sense ultrasonic waves and pressure in the air. So if your are sitting in a room and slightly hidden from the detector, the lights will not go out because even if you don't move too much your speaking or even breathing can create the ultrasonic wave it needs to detect you are there. Pretty cool, eh? Sorry for the lack of photos. I have forgotten the digicam yet again. Soon.

Cheers, Todd

The pouch I carry daily. A better laid out carrier for electricians I have never used. Makes the choice for a tool/storage bag a bit tougher. I am VERY picky about what I use. Inefficiency in a tool carrier gets it the boot in a hurry.
I wanted to add some more eye candy to the conversation. I have posted about these cases before and I have considered making one myself or having one commissioned by a leather craftsman. These are by Parat. A German company who makes a number of the style and a big selection of hard shell ABS and aluminium cases as well. I believe they make the Knipex brand cases because they look identical. The only real description I have seen associated with the leather cases is 'universal'. Maybe some of our European badgers can speak to these. I am unsure about their native Deutschland but they carry a frightful price here in the States. The larger models can easily go 250-400 dollars! I love the way the models I am looking at open from both sides. Very efficient. A case like this would be for my insulated drivers, nut drivers, precision pliers, T handle hex wrenches, etc. Keep those tools upright. It's why guys love their Vetos.



Okay lads, since I am only 2.5 years late, I wanted to update this thread with some pics. After seventeen years I had to retire my old Klein. She finally broke at the belt slots and it was just a matter of time till I spilled them all over the place. So I talked my boss into a new carrier. And it's crackin' good. Here are the photos. Shot on a Moto G phone on the truck gate.

$Klein 1.jpg

$Klein 2.jpg

$Klein 4.jpg

$Klein 5.jpg
And now for the new kid on the block. Veto Pro Pac MCT. These are true professional grade products and carry a price to match.

$Veto 1.jpg

$Veto 2.jpg

$Veto 3.jpg

$Veto 4.jpg

$Veto 5.jpg
The photos with screwsticks and multiple pliers is the font side of the bag with the company logo. The one that shows the meter is the back. Nice piece of kit, that.


Wanting for wisdom

So for us uninformed. The chain with the bar is for electrical tape? The square metal slot is for a tape measure? What do you hang on the thing in the middle at the bottom? Truck keys?

Whoops I was asking about the old kit. That new one is very nice. I like that it zips up. That would keep the snow off. Important in my business . . . . accountant. . . but with tools.
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Mike, in answer to your first three questions; Yes, yes, and..whatever suits you! I never kept keys on mine because when you use these in an install or remodel area you can and will either damage or knock them off the hook. I typically kept a very nice Bahco 6 inch adjustable wrench tethered there through the loop on the handle. After awhile it took its toll on the snap hook and I noticed the wrench being dropped on the floor occasionally. It had bent it out of shape a bit from years of hard use. So no, I would not keep anything as important as keys on it. However, if you are in a low impact area and not a remodeling site or a boiler room, then it would work.

I will also share that I am beyond disappointed in Klein Tools as of right now. I knew I needed to update my carry bag/pouch for a long time. I do so many diverse electrical maintenance tasks I simply had to get something with more pockets but not so huge I could not carry it easily. So I had been leaning toward one of the Veto models or even one of Klein's Tradesmen Pro bags for a long while. Still, I could not give up on the Klein after seventeen years of HARD daily duty. But when it broke the belt slot a few weeks ago I knew it was time. Just for giggles when I went to their site to look at the bags, I popped in at the page where the leather tool pouches are and got a disappointed surprise. The 5167 exists in name but not much else. Oh it superficially looks the same but the construction is rubbish. Look at my photos of the empty pouch. Nice wet moulded pockets with both heavy stitching and rivets for support. The new one? Dyed a medium black(to cover up what I perceive as lower grade leather), and no moulding of the pockets. They are essentially bunched up and then attached to the pouch. I say attached because none of them are sewn on. Only the rivets. All in all they have cheapened the very soul out of the best designed electrician's pouch I have ever seen.

Now onto good things. The Veto. Gents, I know we enable ourselves much too much but if you are sick and tired of flimsy, poorly designed tool carriers then look no further than Veto Pro Pac. Even the Klein Tradesmen Pro stuff is very good but not as outright brutish as the Veto line. And yes, they carry hefty prices. They are to tool bags what Edwin Jagger razors are to DEs. The one I have cost $160. There is a slightly smaller version called the MC for about a $100 and it is the cheapest of their closed top carriers. The others run between 150-200 dollars. The Tech backpacks are about 250. There is also a line of meter bags, pouches, and other things for well under the one hundred dollar mark. All of them are double tough in their construction. Yes, like anything if you drag it up and down stairs, boiler rooms, the back of service trucks, etc, then you will eventually wear it out. But for the average bloke, he will hand it off to his kid. They are not panacea since I have come to the conclusion that the ideal tool bag does not exist. I need one custom made to get exactly what I want and will approach a leather worker about it some day. For now, the one the company bought me works very well.
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