Back in the old forum, we had a section that listed all the tools worth mentioning for performance, durability and/or price. Like most people, I have a shed full of tools, some brand new. This is not a list of those. The tools that make it into this list are only the ones that you cannot simply do the same job without!
I would like to start the list with a little gem from Bosch…
The Bosch GSR ProDrive
This little but powerful tool has been used probably the most since the first coach conversion started…
It came in a nice pouch with Instructions, charger, a set of screwdriver bits and two 3.6 Volts batteries. I honestly didn’t expect much out of such small unit and being power at 3.6V, I thought it was going to be a waste of money. How wrong I was… Not just he keeps going for hours but it also have such small footprint that just fit anywhere and I can honestly say, that it has been a great pleasure to use it on both occasions…
It has forward/reverse switch and an handy LED light that points at the screw you are working on, and it will fit in places as mall as 70 mm or 160 mm front to back. It has a very comfortable grip and it has enough power to twist your wrist if not careful…
I don’t have the picture of the first conversion screws bucket but you can see on the background of the tool the bucket that came out from this coach conversion and I would probably say the combined bucket must have contain around the 1000 between screws and little bolts. That’s right I also used this little tool to remove all the 4 and 6 mm bolts that are used all over the coaches. I can only imagine what would have been like to having to use a normal screw driver… 😥
I honestly don’t remember what I paid for it, as I bough it nearly three years ago, but a quick search online show an average price of around the $100 dollars. So it seem a bit expensive for the tool size you get but, if you need to work with lots of screws (even big screws) and in very tight places, you can’t beat this great little fella.
To me this tool has been a 10 out of 10! Once it will stop working or performing, for what ever reason, age or abuse, I will definitely buy another one, as I wouldn’t be able to work any more without one in my tool box. Simple as that…
On second place, without a doubt, it has to go to the Stanley 55-515 Wonder Pry Bar
Stanley Great little Wonder Pry Bar
I had this bar for several years now (I don’t think you can brake them, unless you try something really stupid), and the most enjoyable feature is that is not too big or heavy like most of the others and still have plenty of power to rip, pull, separate a variety of material.It is 30cm long and it weight a merely 600 grams.
Builder use this tools a lot, on nails and studs, but it also have a great purpose when for example you need to separate two sheet of material bonded together with Sikaflex. because of the large surface on both end of the bar, it normally tends not to ruin the surfaces it is used against.
Possibly one of the best tools for the removal of the A/C ducts in a coach without the fear of damaging frames or windows!
Another 10 out of 10 as far as value for money, design and usefulness…
Next is my trusted Retractable cutting knife
The Olfa L2 Heavy Duty Cutting Knife
I probably have at least 10 different brand and size cutting knifes in my toolbox, but in the end I always end up grabbing the Olfa L2 and for few very good reasons:
It is strong, slim, simple to use and most importantly the blade won’t move because of the wheel lock. This is one of those area where simplicity really pays off.
Like many others I tried the multi-blades retractable knife, but for one reason or another, they just didn’t feel right… The stopping blade mechanism is complicated and not very effective and the size is sometime a problem in tight places. So in the end I stick with the “plain Jane” pictured above. I also have the smaller blade version of this knife, but again, I haven’t used it…
Olfa L2 Cutting Knife definitely gets a 10 out of 10!
Another very useful and important tool or possibly I should say kit, is the Lenox General Hole Saw Kit. I use to buy these saw as required, but that make the exercise quite expensive. A better way to go about it is to purchase one of the available kits..
Several size kits are available and the main difference between then is the number and size of saw included..
In my case I opted for the 15 pieces saw kit and then I did purchase the few extra size that I need it along the way.. You can see from the second picture my blue older Sutton saw blades. I’m sure I don’t need to mention the amount of times this kit has been used in the build of the motorhome, but I can safely say that it has already paid for itself..
Lenox saw kit also gets a 10 out of 10 for value and performance