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Electrical Tools for the Mechanic

Electrical Tools for the Mechanic

Automotive mechanics use a variety of tools when fixing up vehicles. Among these tools are the electrical ones. Even if you aren’t a professional mechanic, you may find the need to have these in your garage, if only for your basic DIY repairs every now and then. Many motorists these days resort to self-repairs because of the high cost of professional repairs.

Basically, there are two categories of auto electrical tools - the corded ones and the cordless ones. Corded tools are significantly more powerful. Cordless tools are slightly less powerful, but many mechanics prefer them because you can carry them around easily and use them almost wherever you choose to - at least until their battery runs out of power. There are various battery types, but the most common ones are based on nickel cadmium and nickel metal hydride.

Bench Grinders

These tools are mainly used for rough grinding. Bench grinders are a specific type of benchtop grinding machinery that are highly versatile. Some bench grinders are also used to sharpen various tools and to do rough metal shaping work - this will depend on what grade your grinding wheel has. Each bench grinder is used for polishing as well, especially because they easily fit with the buffing (wire brush) wheel.

Electrical Drills

Electrical drills are very common tools, even for non-mechanics. Most garages and tool sheds have these in store. As mentioned earlier, there are two basic types of these drills - corded and cordless. Corded electric drills need to be plugged to an electrical outlet to provide a source of power. This often limits the use of the drill, and most times an extension cord has to be used. The other type is the cordless electric drill. Over the past few decades, this type has had a lot of progress in technological capabilities. Cordless drills now have better performance and power, similar to the corded ones. Once the battery runs out, modern drill models include replaceable battery packs, which give you longer time to work. These battery packs can provide as little as 9 volts to as much as 32 volts.

Heat Guns

If you have hair dryers at home, you will have a good idea of how these heat guns look and operate. They kind of work in the same way, because they also let out hot air (steam). Of course, heat guns work at higher temperatures - ranging from 200°F to 1000°F. These are used for different tasks like heat shrinking, plastic welding or bending, paint stripping, wood drying, thawing frozen pipes and softening adhesives, among others.

Heat guns come in two types based on what heating element that is used - electrical resistance or gas flames. Regardless of the type, caution has to be employed at all times to prevent being hurt or acquiring burns.

Electrical Tool Safety Precautions

All tools are important to get the job done, but they can also cause different injuries if you aren’t careful. This becomes all the more hazardous when you add electricity to the mix. So whenever you use saws, sanders, impact wrenches, test lights, polishers, multimeters, scanners, and other tools that use technology, take extra caution. The faintest amount of electricity should never be underestimated because aside from burns, serious medical problems can occur, such as heart failure and in the gravest cases - death.

To prevent these from happening, be sure that all electrical tools are powered using a low-voltage isolation transformer. Also use the proper protective apparel or equipment, like gloves, safety footwear and goggles. Never let the tools come in contact with moisture or water - unless it is indicated otherwise in the manufacturer’s manual.

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