Although we already have a decent lineup of cool Tools and Components for prototyping and making (like ShapeLock, and others), the T&C category is one we hope to expand dramatically in 2014. Thankfully, we got a bit of a head start with some gorgeous tools from Tekton and new lockpicking products from Southord.
The 135 Piece Wrench and Socket Set would make a great gift for the new homeowner or someone hoping to expand their tool arsenal quickly. My favorite feature of this set is the versatility of the chest they come in. By disengaging two of the rear clasps, the sides can be separated at the hinge and inserted right into a drawer, for convenient storage. They’ll slide right back together and snap shut when you need to take the whole set on the go.
Also from Tekton, a 2-pc Pick-up and Inspection toolset, for those horrible moments when that critical part gets lost in an unreachable spot. The magnet can hold up to 1.5 lbs, making it great for grabbing anything from bare metal components to large hand tools. The mirror, also on an extendable arm, makes peeking inside hard-to-reach locations (car internals, maybe?) a breeze.
While a more portable option may be ideal for living in your car or bike saddle bag, the Tekton 10-pc Hex Key Sets (available in both SAE and Metric) are really high-quality, with strong plastic molded handles and a long reach. The colored handles also solve a common problem with other allen key sets – knowing where to return the key you were just using.
We also recently released a wide variety of new lockpicking tools from Southord, bringing our current lockpicking product total up to a whopping twenty two! Of the new products, my favorites have to be the four new see-through practice locks.
There’s no better way to learn lockpicking than to be able to see what impact your pick has on the pins. The specific tension wrench and pin pressure required to pick a lock properly takes a lot of practice, so being able to see the results helps monumentally in the beginning. The visible cutaway locks come with multiple keys, some of which will open the lock and some that won’t, so you can see how they effect the pins. Great for teaching yourself, and others!
Look for all of these and many more in the New Product section of the Maker Shed.