New from Stahlwille – The MANOSKOP 730 Fix – It’s an adjustable wrench that you can “Fix”

The MANOSKOP 730 Fix – It’s an adjustable wrench that you can “Fix”.

For customers in industrial production environments, the use of ‘pre-set’ or ‘production’ torque wrenches has been the natural choice for many years. If the operator is repeating the same operation over and over on a production line, it is important to ensure that they cannot change the torque setting of the wrench, thus ensuring the product is manufactured to specification.

However, the customer often has to invest in an increasing number of ‘pre-set’ wrenches, preset at different torque settings for different applications. Alternatively, workshop torque testers are used to adjust the torque setting of the wrench for different tasks, or it is returned to the calibration lab for a torque setting change. This has been a bug-bear for many operators for some time.

The new MANOSKOP 730 Fix addresses this head on:

The 730 Fix is adjustable, with a scale, and is calibrated throughout the range.

The target torque can be set very quickly and easily using the QuickSelect knob.

The QuickSelect knob can then be unscrewed and removed by hand within seconds, without the use of any tools.

The TORX® TAMPER-RESISTANT screw (included) can be installed using the screwdriver bit (also included) and a bit driver.

Finally, as an extra measure, the self-adhesive cover (included) can be applied to cover the blanking screw.

Leatherman Surge – A Thoroughly Modern Multi-Tool

Aimed at: Those who need a high quality multi-tool for work or play.

Pros: Usable pliers and it doesn't bust your nails trying to get the blades out.

While some people rabbit on about Health and Safety as though they are bad – I take a different view. Changing rules on Health and Safety often allow us to take a fresh look, and the consequent redesign is usually much better – especially in the area of tools.

The first multi tool I coveted, years ago, was a crude device compared to the slick stainless steel Leatherman Surge that arrived on my desk a few days ago.

In its folded form, the Leatherman Surge is a weighty bit of kit that fits neatly into the palm of the hand. Made almost entirely from different grades of stainless steel, it is very well screwed together and there are no sharp bits sticking out. It feels like it will do the job!

The more I explored the features of the Surge, the more I came to appreciate just how much safer and more useful it is compared to my first multi tool.

Safety-wise it is simply great. All the blades are lockable so will not suddenly release to trap or cut an unwary finger. The big sharp knife blades will not open unless the handles are in the closed position – so basically they are available only when you need them.

Opening up all the tools is now not a job for steel fingernails – they are mostly released via a spring catch and a generous finger niche is provided to help them open out. On the other hand, both the serrated and standard knife blades can be opened with the flick of a thumb – something that I have come to appreciate when I have been been working on site.

There is also a bit of future proofing built in because key things that get blunt, like the wire cutters and reversible screwdriver bit, can be replaced very easily.

What set the original Leatherman apart from others was the inclusion of a pair of pliers that actually worked. The Surge carries on this tradition, but with bells on. The narrownose pliers are revealed by simply opening out the handles. Milled jaws provide a good grip on wire as well as small nuts and bolts and the wire cutters are VERY effective on both electrical wires and small gauge steel wire. Behind the fulcrum are an electrical wire cutter and crimper that work very well too.

Some multi tools claim to have legions of blades, but in my experience, they often don’t all work. This is not true of the Surge – all twenty blades are completely functional and some are ingenious. The scissors, for example, have a brilliant spring mechanism that means they actually work properly - I cut paper, card and hard plastic quite easily.

I was also pleased to see that this Surge came in a leather belt pouch with elasticated nylon sides that not only held the knife securely, but also had some space to accommodate a couple of spares like the diamond and metal file blades.

So, the Leatherman Surge is a really practical, modern and safe multi that would be perfect for campers, travellers and emergency trade use. I like it!

Zyklop Hybrid from Wera Extra-Refined with Extended Capabilities!

Aimed at: Professional and Industrial Engineers. 

Pros: Super strong and easy to add the extension plus the 'Take it Easy' Tool finder

There is innovation and then there is innovative refinement. As a company, Wera has proved to be good at both of these over the years. The result is that we tool users get to enjoy classic Wera products, but with the knowledge that the Wera R&D team is looking, listening, refining and innovating so that these products will be ahead of the game wherever possible.

An example of what I am referring to was launched at the Cologne Tool Fair at the beginning of March and I was lucky enough to have a sample arrive for reviewing soon after.

Users and retailers alike approve of the dramatic new black Wera style of packaging that emphasizes the quality of what is inside, as well as providing versatile ways of display in retail premises. The rigid ballistic nylon wallets inside the box have also undergone some refinements that may not always be obvious. For example, the flexible plastic outline of the tool attached to the wallet near the hook and loop closure helps the user to identify the kit if it is in the bottom of a toolbox or bag, or if conditions are dark- something that happens quite often on worksites in our dank and cold winters – in my experience January is the worst.

Another refinement is the inclusion of a strip of self-adhesive hook and loop fixing. The Wera team has worked out that sometimes it is handy to be able to attach the kit to a vertical or flat surface so that it is instantly available where expected, and also so that it doesn’t move around.

Perhaps the thing that most users will notice when opening up the wallet will be the coloured bands around the sockets. From now on, if a user decides to work by colour, a light blue band indicates a 19mm socket. For others, the black band around the business end of the socket with large clear numbers gives the same message. This identification system is a refined and more user-friendly way of identifying sockets and tools compared to the usual Wera method of laser etching. To help replace the sockets correctly into the wallet after a job, the sewn in numbers 10 to 19 along the line of socket carriers provide a third line of organizational defence. Without my glasses, I found that both the numbers and colours worked well for me. “Pass the green socket” might soon become a comprehensible instruction in a workshop near you, no wonder that Wera calls it the “Take it Easy” tool finder system.

But as is usual with Wera, refinement doesn’t mean just one improvement.

Clearly the product design team has worked out that bigger sockets need more friction to stay on their square pegs in the wallet, and this can mean that they need more of a tug to release them. I just love the twist and lock system that has now been used to locate and hold the sockets in transit. To release or lock the sockets into place takes a fraction of a twist – a really easy and neat method that saves time and adds a lot to efficient use.

All the sockets now also have a system of holding fasteners so that they can be presented to the corresponding bolt. Anyone who has ever done anything slightly complicated with spanners, nuts and bolts will recognize the scenario where the nut or bolt needs to be taken to its corresponding partner that is stuck behind a bulkhead for example. What then usually happens is a juggling act, balancing the nut in the socket until, by trial and error, the nut can be screwed onto the bolt. A pain in the proverbial, as I am sure you will agree.

To solve this particular dilemma Wera has introduced a couple of sprung ball bearings into each socket that securely hold the hex head of the fastener so that whatever angle it is held at it, it will not fall out. Problem solved easily and elegantly I think.

The Zyklop Hybrid kit is a weighty kit, not only because you get one of the well-established big Zyklop ratchets in the wallet, but a ratchet and extension handle too.

The original Zyklop Speed is well known for having a fine 5-degree ratchet angle so that it will work even in the tightest spaces – the new Zyklop Hybrid boasts an equally fine-tooth mechanism. Hybrid also features a quick and easy left/right switch lever on the ratchet head. I am also very much in favour of the holding and quick release function on the ratchet drive. Sockets are held in place with a ball bearing but will literally fall into your hand as you press the release button. So much easier than having to pull at it, especially since your hands will probably be greasy from working anyway.

A Zyklop ratchet on its own is a formidable beast, including this newest member of the family, but Wera has added extension handle functionality to the Zyklop Hybrid. When using this extension bar, Wera warns users not to exceed torque limits of 600 Nm! I dare any users to do it, and I doubt whether any of them will ever need 600 Nm of torque in any common applications!

The ingenuity of the extension bar is up to the usual Wera standards. To attach it, simply push it as far as it will go into the base of the Kraftform handle on the ratchet, then give it a twist and it will lock firmly. This gives a 50cm long lever that is more than enough for many engineering tasks. This extension will laugh at wheelnuts – I tried it on my car and didn’t even break a sweat.

The extension is released with a typical bit of Wera engineering humour – a tiny Kraftform handle with a loop on it is stored in the handle end of the extension. Just push the release button with it and one becomes two again.

The socket extension is very robust with the usual rotating sleeve to aid quick work and complements what is a VERY USEFUL kit.

Engineers and mechanics will really value the quality, as well as finding the fastener holding and “Take it Easy” tool identification an aid to speedy and efficient working. That is where constant innovation and refinement take us. They are things that Wera does very well and we end users are the winners every time. Long may it continue. 

To read more of Peter's Wera Reviews, click here.

For more information on Wera Tools, please visit

Carl Kammerling Toughens Its Screwdriver Range

Driving forward design and innovation, Carl Kammerling International has further enhanced its market leading range of VDE screwdrivers with the introduction of two impressive sets – the C.K Torque Screwdriver with VDE Interchangeable blades and the C.K dextroVDE Interchangeable Bladed screwdriver set.

Precision German engineered for reliability and long-term performance, the new C.K Torque Screwdriver Set is set to become a toolbox hero among electricians and a sales generator for stockists.

Regulation BS 7671:2008 requires that electrical equipment be installed in accordance with the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Facilitating the majority of settings for the tightening of electrical equipment terminal screws, the C.K Torque Screwdriver set comprises a 1.5 – 3.0Nm torque screwdriver handle, 2 x 1000V VDE terminal screwdriver modulo (plus/minus) blades - sizes 1 and 2, a torque adjustment key, a user guide and a calibration certificate, all contained within a practical fabric storage wallet, that features a convenient belt clip for just RRP £94.99 (ex VAT). Spare blades are available at RRP £7.99 (ex VAT).

Understanding the diverse nature of electricians’ work and the collection of tools required, Carl Kammerling has introduced the dextroVDE 1,000V Interchangeable Bladed screwdriver set, offering a more compact and lightweight solution to carrying a full set of standard screwdrivers.

The 10-piece set comprises a 1000v VDE High Torque Screwdriver Handle, a 1000v VDE precision Screwdriver Handle, and eight 1000v VDE blades in slotted, pozidrive and terminal modulo tip types. This cost-effective set (RRP £34.99 ex VAT) is housed in a handy fabric storage wallet that features a convenient belt loop. Spare blades are available at RRP £3.49 (ex VAT).

With voltages as low as fifty Volts potentially proving extremely dangerous, if not lethal, the VDE approval of the new C.K VDE screwdriver sets offers electricians maximum safety. Only tools marked ‘VDE’ have passed the rigorous tests set by the VDE Testing and Certification Institute, including being specifically tested to 10,000V of electricity and only these tools offer the peace of mind an electrician needs.

Graham Godfrey, brand manger, C.K tools commented: “As with all Carl Kammerling’s extensive tool innovation, new products are not thrown together but are created as a direct result of the company’s long-standing collaboration with end users - before, during and after tool development. Working in partnership in this way ensures that Carl Kammerling is able to deliver tool solutions that are best suited to the actual work undertaken by professional tradesmen and are matched to each sector’s specific and unique requirements.

“We are constantly working to offer stockists something truly new, helping to increase footfall and making a real difference to their bottom line.”

For further information please visit or call 01758 704704.

VARGUS Ceramic Deburring Tools – Safety First for Users

VARGUS founded in 1960 is a company that is well respected in the wider tool-using world, and additionally in the specialist world of deburring tools.

VARGUS Ltd supplies customers in over 100 countries with the specialist tools needed to cut and finish metals and plastics under three well known brand names: - VARDEX thread turning and milling tools, GROOVEX turning and groove milling tools and SHAVIV hand deburring tools.

A couple of months ago we looked at some deburring tools for use on harder metals, and now it is time to examine a few versions of some ceramic bladed deburring tools mostly used on plastics and softer metals like aluminium and brass.

Vargus ToolA quick word on the ceramic blades. The first thing users might notice is that they don’t have ground cutting edges like a conventional metal blade. The edges are finished square and are about a couple of mm thick so they don’t look as though they could cut anything. The good news is that they can cut an edge of a plastic moulding for example very easily, and the extra good news is that they won’t cut fingers because the ceramic blades are too blunt to cut skin, which can happen to operators who use metal blades to trim plastic components. I know this all seems a bit counter intuitive, but bear with me.

The ceramic blades I used were all white and looked like they were made of plastic. However, hold them to your lips and they feel cold, so they must be made of a very fine-grained ceramic material. This material has a very tiny amount of flexibility, so the blades should be protected from dropping and impact shocks.

I was sent three tools in all to test, and I will start with the Ceramix Set Q10. This is a heavy duty handle similar to a standard craft knife design that can be used with a couple of blade sets, but it came with a ceramic blade and also, a standard metal craft knife blade concealed in the handle.

The Ceramix handle is made of moulded red plastic with a spring-loaded catch that enables the two sides of the handle to be disengaged from each other. A slider switch on the top of the casing allows the blade to be slid forward or back to reveal or conceal it. The steel blade mounting inside the knife is an industry standard that will hold standard craft knife blades as well as the Ceramix blades.

Vargus Ceramic BladeThe ceramic blade included with the handle can be mounted two ways so that it can be used for two different tasks. The straight angled blade end is a surface cleaner and if the blade is flipped to the other end, the two stepped edges can be used for surface cleaning of sheets up to 4mm and 6mm sheets.

Since it has been known for some workers to use a standard steel craft blade for surface cleaning with the inevitable accidents, the extra safety made possible by using a ceramic blade is a very strong selling point. Just to prove this to myself, I tried both ceramic and craft blades on a small job. The fact that the ceramic blade has a completely flat edge means that it is easier to find an angle to make the deburring work easily. However, with a characteristic ground and beveled edge of a steel blade, it is much harder to maintain a consistent angle and also to prevent the edge from digging in or sliding across the surface to be cleaned.

To convert the Q10 to the Curved set Q12 all that is needed is to buy the Q11 blade. This has a nice curve and point that enables deburring of curved edges and small ridges although the flip side of the blade has exactly the same function as the Q10 blade above.

Vargus Ceramic ToolThere is no mystery in using deburring tools – you just have to find the right angle to enable the edge to be cleaned off. Removing just the right amount of material to give a clean edge to finish the component neatly does this. The Ceramix Q10 and Q11 blades work well – and despite what you might think, they are very hard and durable, so you can expect a very long service life.

The two Cera-Burr tools are slightly different from the above in that they are meant for more detailed work. You can tell this from their shape. The ceramic blades are mounted in slightly chubby ballpoint pen-like holders with a nice bit of rubber to aid the grip and handling, and even a pocket clip too.

Like the Ceramix Q10 and Q12 there are two different blades that seem to be much-reduced versions of the bigger ones above. The first of these has a fine point and a smooth curve, easily used on small and detailed components, as I found out.

Vargus Ceramic Blade ImageThe straight-bladed version works equally well and I found that the handle gave me a lot of extra reach and leverage when trying to access some out of the way places. Since the handle is rigid and the blade is fixed it seems a bit easier to find the correct angle to work at.

Because the blades have a very long service life it really doesn’t matter that the pen handle and blade are fixed to each other – it won’t cost a fortune to buy a new one when it finally wears out.

I don’t often have the occasion to use deburring tools, but when I do I always think that another tool wouldn’t do the same job as easily and efficiently as the SHAVIV deburrers I have used. With ease of use built in, a very long service life and obvious safety advantages, the ceramic blades are worth looking into. It won’t cost a fortune, and even occasional users will find that the ability to deburr quickly and easily are features that might save time and money.

Aimed at: Professional metal and plastic finishers

Pros: Safety first no-cut blades, long service life and easy to use

The Shaviv from Vargus-Let’s Deburr

Aimed at: Professionals and enthusiasts who have a bit of nous.

Pros: Easy to use, quick setting times and multiple materials covered.

I am willing to bet that many people with some experience in the tool trade have never come across deburring tools – simply because they haven’t ever had the need to use them. However, pretty well anyone who has any experience of manufacture or fabrication would routinely use deburring tools since their use encompasses a wide range of metals, plastics and hard rubbers. Deburring tools are used to get a clean, non-burred edge on edges, slots and holes so that the appearance of components is improved, but also so that fit and tolerances are better.

Vargus Ltd was established in 1960 and has been supplying cutting, finishing and deburring tools to more than 100 companies around the world. They mainly focus on three major product lines – VARDEX Thread Turning and milling tools, GROOVEX groove turning and milling tools and SHAVIV hand deburring tools.

The SHAVIV catalogue I was sent covered the whole range of SHAVIV Tooling and the range was bewildering. Vargus supplies such a huge range that the two products reviewed here should be viewed only as a tiny taster of what is available and in which configurations – left handed, right handed, clockwise and anti-clockwise etc, etc!

Although many people have never thought about the role of deburring tools, it actually doesn’t take a lot of imagination to expand one’s ideas of where they might be used. There are many manufacturing processes that involve metals, plastics and rubber and there is a correspondingly vast range of SHAVIV deburring tools covering applications in die making, electrical, plastics, automotive, metal industries, plumbing and aerospace.

By their nature, deburring tools wear out as their edges become blunt through use, so there is a constant demand for replacement tips – which makes them stock items – retailers might take note here.

To be honest, I have been using deburring tools for years, as I sometimes have to fabricate brass and alloy parts for my furniture making exploits. Once you have the knack – pretty easily acquired – they are a valuable time saver for removing burrs. In my case I usually use a fine-toothed hacksaw or metal snips to cut the metals, but these usually result in a slightly rough or raised edges on the cut lines. A simple sweep or two down the edges with a deburring tool results in clean, slightly chamfered edges that won’t endanger fingers and give a clean, finished look.

To give readers a snapshot of the applications and effectiveness of deburring tools Vargus sent me a couple of samples – The Mango Set E for heavy deburring and the SHAVIV Set for finishing.

Packed in a plastic clam pack for easy display and security, the Mango Set E series handle is red and black plastic and my example came with three different deburring blades – the E100, the E200 and the E300. More about these below.

The black highlights on the handle are a grippy rubber overmould to make handling easier, since there is likely to be grease and oil involved in the applications. There is a black cap on the end of the handle that can hold two spare bits, but the cap is quite fiddly to remove. What is much easier is the adjustment of the telescopic bit holder. Simply pull back the black collar on the base of the handle to free up the toothed ratchet. The telescopic shaft extends up to about 110mm so that the user can reach into spaces if needed.

Replacing the deburring tips is just as easy – pull back the metal collar on the shaft end and the tip can be pulled out.

As I mentioned above, Vargus supplies a huge variety of deburring bits and to give readers some idea of the differences, the three supplied in the Mango kit are detailed below. They are all designed for right-handed use.

The HSS E100 blade works in a clockwise direction and is used for heavy duty deburring of straight and curved edges on steels, alloys and plastics.

Also made of HSS, the E200 is used for materials with powdery chips like brass, cast iron and plastics and can be used in both a clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.

With a very curved profile, the E300 blade is used for materials with spiral chips and can deburr both inside and outside edges up to 6mm thick at the same time.

To test all of these I had to ferret around in my workshop for odd bits of steel, plastic and alloys. Provided one follows the instructions, for example, don’t try to go anti-clockwise with a tip if it is designed to work only clockwise, it is the work of a moment to get a finished edge on straight and rounded edges. Even working into corners is not difficult. The key is, of course, the handle – it holds the blade securely and allows it to swivel and change angle with the user’s need to realign his hand as the tool moves down the edge.

The second part of the review is concerned with the Shaviv Finishing Bit Set.

I admit that I got and will get much more use out of this bit set since it is particularly tailored to the needs in my workshop.

The advantage of the finishing bit sets is that they have a standard 6mm hex end to the bit so they will fit into standard hex bit holders. The bits themselves swivel freely in the hex base so can be used in either direction. They are held in place with a strong magnet that keeps them secure while in use. Plumbers, fitters, installers and even, dare I say it, DIYers, would be able to enhance the finish of their work by using the finishing set.

Vargus supplied me with a very nice heavy, robust handle with grippy rubber nibs on it to house the finishing bits. It is so perfectly made for using with the bits I think any potential user should simply buy the handle too – it won’t break the bank.

While testing these deburring and finishing bits I did show them to a few tradespeople who might use them in the course of their work. At least half of them had never seen such tools, but having tried them could see how much time they could save, and how easy they are to use. I guess the point for retailers might be to be aware of these bits and suggest them to potential users. The Vargus Catalogue is a good starting point in appreciating just how many ways your customers’ needs could be met.

Wera Kraftform Kompakt VDE- All the Drivers Needed?

Aimed at:-Fitters, maintenance/electronics engineers and anoyne who needs an easily portable set of general fixing tools. 

Pros:-Brilliant small kit in a new nylon case. The kit is amazingly verstatile and very well made.

Sometimes the right tools are just the ones needed for the job in hand – the fewer the better. And sometimes the right tools are the ones that you thought you might not need, but thankfully you have them there anyway. The Wera Kraftform Kompakt VDE sent up for review belongs to the latter category. With seventeen pieces in all it is probably everything an electrician would need in the way of screwdrivers for most, if not all jobs.

I should note first of all the black nylon wallet into which the kit is all carefully arranged. It is as compact as it can be as well as being compatible with ensuring easy use on site.

When folded up via the strong hook and loop closures, it could easily fit onto a waist belt. Indeed, there is a strong belt loop provided on the back of the case.

If used this way, all the tools are made to hang down so that they can be easily accessed from above.

I am not one for carrying stuff on a belt, so I found it equally easy to simple lay the opened case out flat on the floor or a flattish surface. In this position, there are two Wera Kraftform Kompakt handles at each end of the wallet. Wera has listened to some end users who said that sometimes they use more than one driver tip on a job so needed another handle for speed and convenience.

These Kraftform handles are famous for having been tested under very arduous conditions – under crushing loads and right down to -40 degrees Celsius where some plastics can become brittle and hence non-insulating. I guess that electricians working in London boroughs might be well reassured!

But the thing I most like about them is the ease with which it is possible to change driver tips. Simply push back the locking collar between forefinger and thumb, which releases the lock, pull out the driver tip and replace it with another which slides in and locks into place as it is pushed home. Literally a matter of seconds.

The handles themselves are the standard bright yellow and red VDE colours, with the yellow parts of the moulding having a slightly rubberized feel for easy grip.

The driver tips are arranged into four sections in two groups of four tips and one group of seven tips. It helps end users to keep the whole case as compact as possible if they replace the tips after use in the same order and orientation in which they arrive from Wera. In this way the more bulky hex ends are balanced by the less bulky shanks and they kind of fit into each other more compactly. This works for me only because I just get used to replacing a driver tip in the opposite orientation as the one it is next to.

The first section of four driver tips is the straight screwdriver. These go from a small 2.5mm wide tip right up to a more robust 5.5mm wide blade tip. Each one is 154mm long, and as we would expect, the 1000v rated insulation goes all the way down the shaft leaving only 15mm of the working end exposed.

The next section of four tips is the Torx section. Much more commonly used now, Torx screws are found in all sorts of appliances and junction boxes nowadays. In the past, whenever I occasionally took apart a power tool, a simple Phillips or Pozi would do it, but Torx and other patterns are common now. Perhaps to keep the unqualified and incompetent out? – like the ones who wouldn’t buy a full set of Wera VDE screwdrivers?

The Torx drivers are arranged in order as a 10, a 15, a 20 and a 25 – which again is a pretty comprehensive coverage of common Torx sizes. The insulation also goes all the way down the tips leaving only the last 15mm as the working tip.

The last seven tips kind of open out together and they are arranged alternately as Phillips and Pozi drivers and a standard straight driver. There are four Pozi drivers in all – PZ2, PZ1, PZ1/S and PZ2/S and Phillips PH2 and PH1. The straight driver is a 6.5mm width for those bigger screws in casings.

And of course, there is the extra handle at the end to bring the set to completion.

I liked the fact that the driver bits are all held in place by an elastic strip that is stretchy enough to hold the bits firmly, but also flexible enough to make them easy to pull out or replace. This arrangement means that the user can see all the tips easily and can select visually. But in usual thorough Wera fashion, all the bits have the sizes and types of bit printed in black on the hex shanks. I doubt whether end users will take the trouble to arrange the bits print side up like the way in which the set arrived out of the packaging, but it is very easy to twist them around to see the printed sizes if needed. 

Confirmed Wera fans will know that damaged bits in a set can be replaced individually and that different sizes and types of bits can be bought to substitute others in the set. However, I think that this set is pretty well comprehensive so I guess there won’t be too much of that going on.

The plus points of such a comprehensive set are really a big bonus for busy electricians – you get easy changing of a wide range of bits as well as a pair of handles for those jobs where more than one fixing is used, plus all the advantages of quick-change handles and the peace of mind of a well tested VDE range.

To read further about Wera Hand Tools such as the Tehnicans kit, which includes the Kraftform Kompakt SH1 Plumbkit and the Wera W1 Maintenance Kit, and other products, click here.

For more information on Wera Tools, please visit

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