It doesn’t matter if you’re a contractor, a die hard do-it-yourselfer, or just like to decorate around the house -sooner or later, pretty much everyone needs a level. And there aren’t many all-purpose levels that are better than the Torpedo Level from Klein Tools. I had my first brush with this gadget a couple of years ago, while we were getting ready to film a product demonstration video. What I really like about this level is that it doesn’t only gauge how level an object is, but can also tell you if it’s set at a proper 45° angle, or whether or not something is plumb.
Now, of course, if you look at the Torpedo Level’s packaging or product detail page, you’ll see that it has Rare Earth magnets built into its aluminum frame, which allow the level to grip very strongly onto steel and other ferrous metal surfaces. But when I was testing the level out for the first time, it had already been stripped of its packaging, and the whole magnet thing came is as a big surprise – I was testing the levelness of some metal trim around one of our warehouse doors, and much to my surprise, the level clamped right onto it. It has some seriously strong holding power, which I can imagine comes very much in handy for those times that you need to leave a level in position without actually holding it in place.
Another detail I was surprised by was how rugged the level’s casing was. We heard that it could withstand a lot, so we decided to test it out. First, we set the level on the floor just how you’d place it if you were measuring with it (on its narrow edge). Then, one of my coworkers actually stood on it – several times – and nothing happened. It’s one tough little tool.
The Klein Torpedo Level has a couple of other cool features, the first of which is the glow-in-the-dark material that frames the vials. Even if you have to check the level of something in a dark or dim area, you can still see the readings, because the frames illuminate the vials within them. And there’s the top-read window, just in case you have to use the level in a cramped area and need to be able to read it from its narrow edge. Like I said before – whether you’re remodeling a home, building a coffee table or just hanging pictures, this is a must-have addition for any tool kit.
Measuring the length of a conduit run with ordinary fish tape can be a real pain in the neck. First, you have to work the fish tape down into the conduit. Next, you have to haul it all back out again – but make sure you marked the depth first! And finally, you have to break out a tape measure to measure the fish tape against. That sounds like too many steps, doesn’t it? There are better ways to use your time on the job, and nobody knows that better than Klein Tools, the company that developed Depthfinder™ fish tape.
Klein Tools realized that the hassle of measuring fish tape could be reduced to one simple step, provided that the fish tape is marked with incremental measurements, just like a measuring tape. So they got down to business, and turned that inspired idea into reality. And that’s how we got Depthfinder™ fish tape. To get an accurate measurement, you only need to thread the tape down a length of conduit, and then take a look at the markings on your end once the fish tape has reached the end of the line. How’s that for saving time?
Depthfinder™ flat steel fish tape comes in an ⅛″ width, but you can choose from lengths of 60, 125, or 240 feet, so it has you covered for just about any job. It’s high-impact plastic winder reel is bright orange for easy visibility, and has an extra tough internal reel that helps prevent the tape from kinking and jamming.
I’ve always been able to appreciate a nice, sturdy, sharp razor knife when it comes to doing projects around the house, but I recently I tried one that topped all others. I had some picture framing to do, but having just moved, I couldn’t find my utility knife. Luckily, I happen to work for a company that sells them, so I put in an order for the Klein-Kurve® razor knife. I hadn’t actually used one before, but judging from its curved design and rubber grips, I thought it looked very comfortable to use.
Suffice it to say, when I got my new Klein-Kurve® home and laid into some heavyweight mat board, I was extremely impressed. If you’ve ever cut any very thick paper-based material with a razor knife, you’ve probably found that it’s very easy for the blade to waver mid-cut if you don’t have an absolute death grip on the knife, and that the top layer of paper can catch the blade and bunch up if the knife isn’t sharp enough. Well, neither of these was an issue with the Klein-Kurve®. Thanks to that curved shape and the grips I mentioned before, it’s much easier to get a good hold on the Klein-Kurve®, as opposed to standard, straight-bodied, smooth metal utility knives. And the blades are very sharp, and keep their edge for quite some time… I thought that maybe it was only working that well because it was brand new, but it’s still cutting great, and I haven’t even changed the blade yet.
As you can see from the photo, the Klein-Kurve® utility knife also comes with a great little bonus – a plastic holster that lets you clip the Klein-Kurve® right onto your belt.
I don’t know if it’s actually possible to wax poetic about a cable cutter (or any other hand tool, for that matter), but today I’m going to try. When I came into work this morning, the first thing I tackled was prep work for some sample kits, which involved cutting about 100 pieces of 4-pair Cat5e cable. While Cat5e cable may not look like much to cut, it can be nearly impossible if you attempt it with the wrong tool (which I happened to do yesterday afternoon). After a few tries, I gave up, and put in an order for the Klein-Kurve Multi-Cable Cutter by Klein Tools. It was waiting for me when I arrived this morning, and completely amazed me with the way it sliced right through the cable, we seemingly zero effort on my part. Whoever started that whole “like buttah” quote (Will Ferrell?) probably didn’t have copper cable on the brain, but that phrase definitely describes the way the Klein-Kurve® tore through (in a good way) those pieces of Cat5e.
The great thing about the Klein-Kurve® is that it isn’t limited to Cat cables – 3 blade types are integrated into this cutter, so it can also handle coax, as well as stainless steel wire. It can even shear screws! The low-fatigue design is very comfortable to use – I know, because I made those 100 cable cuts within 10 minutes or so, and didn’t feel a thing. A large part of the comfort factor comes from the Klein-Kurve’s® double-dipped handgrips, which feel delightfully soft and smooth while improving your grip and absorbing any stress that would normally be transferred to your hands.