TEKTON has become a regular fixture at TIA. I've checked out several of their products over time and I've been consistently satisfied with the value that their tools offer. They aren't Snap-On or Proto, but they don't claim to be nor do they try to be. TEKTON specializes in affordable, quality, tools, with the DIY guys in mind. They offer a lifetime warranty on their hand tools and you won't find better customer service anywhere. When you need a cost effective solution, TEKTON is definitely worth a look. They recently sent over some new products for us to check out. Some are improvements to existing products, and some are entirely new offerings, but all worthy of mention.
1. Ratcheting Flex Head Combination Wrenches – Buy Amazon
Our first welcome addition to the TEKTON line are the ratcheting flex head combination wrenches. Available in 10 piece sets of either metric (model # 2111) or SAE (model # 2108), these sets offer some nice features. Made of chrome vanadium steel, these wrenches feature a smooth 72 tooth ratcheting mechanism, distinctive arrows indicating which direction the wrench is set to turn, and a flexing box end to get into the tightest of clearances. Tekton claims 180 degree swing on the head, but I actually got a little more than that.
While it isn't implied, these wrenches are what I would call long reach. After using them for a couple of weeks I would go as far as saying they are at least as nice as they current Gearwrench and Craftsman offerings and for less money.
2. 30 Piece Hex Key Set (Model # 25253) – Buy Amazon
I use hex bit sockets whenever possible, but there are still times where nothing but a traditional L shaped wrench will do. This set covers just about every size most of you will ever encounter. Featuring 15 SAE and 15 Metric sizes ranging from .028″ to 3/8″ in SAE and .07mm to 10mm in metric, I'm trying to recall if I've ever needed anything bigger or smaller, but nothing comes to mind. If you do need bigger sizes, Tekton has you covered as well. They offer jumbo sets that cover up to 3/4″ in SAE (Model # 2535) and 19mm in metric (model # 2540). Man, now I'm upset they didn't send the jumbo sets. I've never seen hex keys that big. Aside from the wide range of sizes included, there are a couple of features that stand out. Let's face it, loose hex keys in a drawer are a real PITA. You can spend 10 minutes sifting through them and still not find the right one. Not with this set. High visibility markings in 2 locations on the surprisingly sturdy case, as well as stamped sizes on the wrenches themselves make keeping your hex keys organized simple. Additionally, precision chamfered ends help make insertion into the fastener easy.
At this point I'm going to assume at least a couple of you are the types that only use ball end hex keys. You guys are covered too…..
3. Ball End Hex Key Sets – Buy Amazon
Ball end hex keys are great in a tight spot. They allow you to turn the wrench at an angle of up to 25 degrees and theres been a few times I couldn't have gotten by without them. Available in either individual 13 piece metric (model # 25262) or SAE (model # 25272) sets, or a 26 piece combination set (model # 25282), the ball end hex keys come housed in a more traditional slide in style case. Normally I hate these types of cases, but this one is hinged to allow you to pull out the smaller keys without taking the bigger ones out first. Kudos to TEKTON for that!
4. Adjustable Wrenches – Buy Amazon
Adjustable wrenches and I have a love/hate relationship. They are very seldom the best tool for the job, but they are so versatile you can't discount their usefulness. Whether you carry a 4″ on your key ring or keep a 15″ in your box to cover the XL fasteners your combo set won't touch, you've got an adjustable wrench somewhere. Tekton comes to the table with a new line of adjustables offering all the things you're looking for. Slick satin finishes, smooth adjustments, extra wide jaw capacities, and size markings in both metric and SAE make these wrenches a pleasure to use. The 10″ wrench offers 30MM capacity which allowed me to go from a 12″ Crescent to a 10″ Tekton in my already crowded tractor box.
5. Dead Blow Hammers – Buy Amazon
Life has taught me that everything ever made causes cancer and birth defects in the State of California. Tekton's new dead blow hammers are quite possibly the only exception. Made with lead-free and 3P phthalate-free materials (compliant with California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act) you get all the function of a deadblow without the hippie Proposition 65 warning. Available individually in 16, 24, 32, 48, or 64 oz. sizes, or as a 3 piece set (Model # 30709 includes 16, 32, and 48 oz.) these hammers offer function and durability. I drove 16d nails in 2x's and beat out several hitch pins without issue. They're hard to beat for the price.
6. Micrometer Torque Wrenches – Buy Amazon
If you do any automotive work you know the importance of a torque wrench. If you're a DIY guy you also know that they are painfully expensive leading many occasional users to borrow or go without them altogether. There are budget models available, but they tend to be frustrating to deal with. Adjustments are difficult, markings are hard to read, etc. Tekton attempts to alleviate some of that frustration with their new models. Available in 5 models ranging from a 20-200 in/lb 1/4″ drive to a 25-250 ft/lb. 1/2″, all models feature standard 24 tooth ratcheting heads, dual marked scales (ft./in. lbs. and N/m), and my favorite feature, high visibility markings. The scale features black markings on a gray background while the dial is white lettering over the black handle.
The black and gray construction looks pretty sweet too. The only negative is that the scale is not engraved, but are you really going to be thrashing on a precision instrument to the point that beating the letters off will be an issue? If you answered yes then Tekton's lifetime warranty has you covered.
7. 2 in 1 Sport Utility Knife – Buy Amazon
Around the shop you sometimes need a razor knife, other times a traditional blade is the ticket. This thing gives you both. Everyone needs a good, cheap knife to thrash around in the shop with and this little guy is a prime candidate. It's light, it's functional, it comes with a nylon carry case, and it's affordable enough that you don't have to second guess yourself about giving it hell, what further description is really needed?