When it comes to gear, weight is a huge factor.
The more weight you can shave off of what you have to carry, the better off you are, and the longer you can travel without stopping. When it comes to emergency tools, it is always a great idea to have a wide array of sockets and sizes. Unfortunately sockets are extremely heavy for their size.
This weekend I was digging through my toolbox looking for a specific 10mm socket and I absolutely couldn’t find it. This led me to the second downfall of a socket set, organization and finding them.
Unless you have one of the long socket organizers, odds are they are all tossed in a toolbox that you will need to rummage through and spend a painstaking amount of time looking for (case in point: it took me a good 10 minutes to find that one socket).
I realized that in an after-crisis scenario, you will need to be able to build or rebuild any number of things quickly. During a crisis you may need to dismantle a gate if going over it is not an option. I decided that I wanted to have a small tool that could handle a variety of sizes of nuts and bolts. I immediately thought of a pair of vice grips After only a few minutes of “testing” I realized that vice grips tire your hands entirely too quickly to be of any value.
I took a trip to home depot to see what I could find, and when I saw the gator grip, it was like a blast from the past. I suddenly remembered all of the late night infomercials showing off the abilities of the gator grip and how “ great” it was. At around 15.00 I decided to go for it, and this is what I’ve noted about it so far:
-Multiple sizes in one
-Chrome plated and rust resistant
– Great on rusted or broken heads
-Comes with a power adapter to attach it to an electric drill
-One year warranty from the factory
-Deep set and will not reach tight spaces
-Only has 150 ft lbs of torque (not recommended for over tightened bolts)
– Only works well on bolt heads, if you have a nut that is recessed onto the bolt it will strip the threads on the bolt and make it useless
All in all this is a decent tool for light duty work, and if combined with a vice grip or crescent wrench and a couple of screwdrivers, would make a perfect “in a pinch” all in one tool kit. If you feel like the 150 ft-lbs. of torque isn’t enough for what you need. Gator Grip also offers the King Gator. It is quite a bit larger and boasts 450 ft-lbs. of torque.
Have you used the King Gator? I am trying to decide if that one is worth purchasing as well.
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I don’t know, my above-average young friend–I have one of the original Gator Grip sockets and have found it to be a major disappointment in automotive maintenance/repair, particularly if attempting to remove a well-torqued (factory specs) bolt with a slightly worn head (All of my vehicles are old enough to vote, and them some). This has proven to be especially true on smaller, 1/2″ size bolt heads that are not located at the perfect angle. Good luck, though…
I agree that the gator grip can be a little difficult or cumbersome, which is why I suggested carrying a crescent wrench and a pair of vice grips to really round out a nice “in a pinch” tool kit. What would you suggest?
What about a dogbone wrench, or an adjustable box wrench similar to this:
Some dogbones have two different sizes inside each opening, covering both metric and SAE sizes(32 sizes in one tool). The adjustable box, although never my goto wrench when working on something, might be the perfect thing to have when you are looking to go light weight.
The good LORD knows I am not a mechanic, but I have learned over the years that a good job requires good tools no matter what you are doing. I have also learned crescent wrenches, especially now that they are made in China, are a very poor choice as a primary tool. So are vice grips. Those are the tools to reach for when all else fails. I bought, several years ago, a tool kit that is in a large briefcase sized durable case made by Kobalt at Lowes. It weighs in at about 6 lbs, fits in either of my jeeps without much trouble & is both standard & metric, cost at the time was about $125. Granted, Kobalt is not the greatest tool on the market, but perhaps craftsman has something similar. I keep my ’80 & ’09 jeeps & my wifes chrysler, welder & tractor running with this kit and a few extra tools. I don’t ever use a crescent for anything.