What is a Feeler Gauge?

What is a Feeler Gauge?
By: J. Dillinger

I have seen a few of these around but never knew the purpose of them. Let’s break down what a feeler gauge is.

Feeler gauges are used to measure the gaps in widths between 2 objects. Feeler gauges are made of different thicknesses and lengths. There are two types of units that the feeler gauge uses to measure, the imperial (thousandths of an inch) and metric (millimeter). Feeler gauges are made out of either blades or wire. The wire feeler gauges are used to measure spark plugs.

The most common Feeler gauges are made from high-quality carbon steel and have a very smooth finish. Blade Feeler gauges can also come in an assortment of stainless steel, brass and plastic. However, metal feeler gauges are easier to maintain and have a better wear resistance.

To use a feeler gauge make sure you examine them before each use. Do this by spreading them out making sure they rust-free, but slightly oiled for easy movement. Select one of the smaller blades or wires and try inserting it into the space. If it slips out easy choose the next side up. When both sides of the gauge touch the gap and it moves with gentle pressure, then you’ve found the correct feeler gauge for that gap.

Blade Feeler Gauge

A blade feeler gauge can also be called a flat feeler gauge. A set generally comes in a holder and contains a series of blades with different thicknesses that are stamped for easy identification. A blade feeler gauge is generally flexible and can be used to reach hard places.

Blade Feeler Gauge Example (KDT161)

Blade Feeler Gauge Example (KDT161)

Wire Feeler Gauge

The wire feeler gauge is a series of round wires with different thicknesses in a holder usually bent into a U shape and are less flexible than the Blade Feeler Gauge. These wire feeler gauges are more frequently used in the automotive industry.

Wire Feeler Gauge Example (KDT2327)

Wire Feeler Gauge Example (KDT2327)

In case you need a combo unit, there are a few manufacturers that make blade/wire feeler gauge sets. Sometimes having one tool is better than having to keep track of two!

Combo Feeler Gauge Example (KDT164)

Combo Feeler Gauge Example (KDT164)

To see the entire feeler gauge category, click HERE!

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Sources: Wikipedia, Cdxtextbook.com, Wisegeek.com

Introducing the Robinair 34788NI & 34788NI-H

Robinair introduces its next innovation, the 34788NI, featuring an industry leading 98.5% recovery efficiency for standard and hybrid vehicles and fully automatic function. 

According to the Robinair website, the Robinair 34788NI and 34788NI-H machines recover, recycle, evacuate, leak-test and recharge R-134a with improved 98.5% efficiency – unmatched by any competitor. The new design features a larger graphical display, automatic features including leak testing, automatic refrigerant refill and oil drain/inject – putting A/C lubricant back into the system. 34788 also boasts the ability to add a printer, USB data sharing, refrigerant identifier and wireless module for Wi-Fi or Bluetooth® communication. An optional refrigerant charge and oil capacities database is available for North American market vehicles. 

Robinair 34788NI - Premier R-134A Refrigerant Recovery, Recycling, and Recharging Machine

Robinair 34788NI – Premier R-134A Refrigerant Recovery, Recycling, and Recharging Machine

So, how does this new model stack up to the older version?  We’ve generated a sheet to show you how all of the Robinair machines stack up against each other. From what we can tell, these are very impressive machines.

ROBINAIR COMPARISON SHEET

ROB34788NI-H Premier R-134A Refrigerant Recovery, Recycling, and Recharging Machine for Hybrid and Non-Hybrid Vehicles

ROB34788NI-H Premier R-134A Refrigerant Recovery, Recycling, and Recharging Machine for Hybrid and Non-Hybrid Vehicles

Make sure you visit the information Robinair has released.  It’s informative and will help you decide if one of these machines is right for you!

 

The Perfect Gift for Your Perfect Man

The holidays have rolled around again. Ladies, this means it’s time to find a gift for your man.

If you’re anything like me, I never know what to get him.  I’m searching on the internet, taking hours in stores, walking around in circles until I finally just give up and buy something last minute. Well, I have come up with a list of perfect gifts for your perfect man so you don’t have the same problem.  

 

The Detailed Man

Wax on Wax off!

The Meguiar’s Gold Class Wash & Wax kit is the perfect way to wax the exterior of his vehicle and clean the interior.
MGLG55114

For a smooth and shiny finish, the Makita 7” polisher kit is the way to go.
MKT9237CX2

Another great detailing gift pack for the enthusiast is made by Wizard…it even comes with a super cool hat!
WIZARDDETAILKIT

 

 

The Travelin’ Man

Make sure he is prepared for a bump in the road.

Know a frequent traveler with kids? Get them this first aid kit to fix those boo boos on the road.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Don’t let him get stuck without a jump. This Red Fuel Lithium Power Pack from Schumacher would make an awesome gift. Not only will it start your vehicle, it will charge any USB device!
SHUSL1

What if he gets a flat tire in the dark? This Alkaline Lantern by StreamLight will light his way! It has a 360° light distribution, a handle for hanging, its waterproof and it floats!
STLLANTERN

 

 

The Tech-Savvy Man

Bring out his inner geek with these tech-savvy suggestions.

You two could jam out with the new Beat Block Bluetooth Speaker. This speaker is LOUD, portable, has a long battery life and comes with a box for storing it safely.
ANNCBB1

How about this portable solar powered charger that is small enough to fit in his pocket! He can charge his USB devices on it and it even has a built in flashlight.
SHUSP10

This portable power source/mini jump starter would make a sweet gift. He could take this anywhere because it is also small enough to fit in his pocket. Not only does it charge phones, laptops, cameras and other personal devices, but it can also jump start his vehicle!
ROCKFORD

The DIYer

Got a handy man around the house?  Here are a few handy items.

The Milwaukee M18 2 tool combo kit is the perfect set of compact drills for those around-the-house projects. They even come with a handy bag for storage.
MWK2TOOLCOMBOKIT

This screwdriver set by KD Tools/GearWrench is sure to have any size he will need for his next DIY project.
Style: "Color tone - neutral"

Working on his vehicle? This tool set has a little bit of everything he may need. Check it out…
KDT80935

Alright, now I have done the hard part for you. Hopefully, this list will help you, and lessen your stress, during the upcoming holidays.  Now it’s time for me to figure out which of these items will be perfect for my perfect man.

Written By: Cheri Shue

 

Got Gas?

Gas prices have been outrageous in the recent past.  Luckily, I have seen they have been dropping a bit but with the upcoming holidays I will not be surprised if they go through the roof again.

Here are some helpful tips that can save you gas and money.

Do not accelerate and brake hard – I tell my boyfriend this every time he drives my car. He thinks I’m full of it but anytime you slam on your brakes or floor it you can literally watch your gas tank drop. Go ahead, try it. When you come to a stop or accelerating slowly, fuel economy can actually increase by as much as 20%.

Don’t use your A/C unless you have to – Okay, in the summer time there is NO WAY I’m not using my A/C but on nice cool days it can actually save you some gas by not using it. Using the A/C puts an extra load on the motor causing it to have to use more fuel. On most vehicles, even the defroster you use on cold mornings when you go out to start your car, yea, that uses more gas too.

Keep your windows closed – No A/C AND your windows closed?  (It’s getting a little claustrophobic in here.)   Keeping your windows open, especially on the highway, will cause more drag and use up to 10% more gas than if you had them shut.

Don’t sit and idle – I was always told that turning off then starting your car used more gas than keeping on. Not true. If you are going to idle for more than one minute you should actually turn off your car.

Use cruise control – I never hit the highway without using my cruise. If you are going to be traveling a long distance, it’s best to use it to maintain a constant speed. Speeding up and slowing down will use up more of your gas.

Keep your car in good shape –I think it’s been a few years since my car has had one of these…but having a frequent “tune up” on your car and making sure the tires, filters, spark plugs, fluid levels etc. are all in good shape will save  you on gas in the long run.  If the car is not running at tip top shape then it is using extra fuel to make up for the lack.  

I think I will try to start using these gas saving tips from now on. They might not make a HUGE difference but every little bit helps, right?

Written by: Cheri Shue, Guest Blogger
Source: www.gasbuddy.com

 

Basic Hand Tools Every Home Mechanic Needs – Part 1

So…is it time to outfit your garage for the necessities in home automotive maintenance or upgrade your current tired/worn out tools to usable ones?  I’ve started to compile a list of basic hand tools that every home mechanic needs.  Whether you are tinkering with an old project or working on your family car, these tools and accessories will definitely come in handy and make it a bit easier to get the job done!

First off is the basic drop light, this drop light comes with a 50’ cord and 26 watts of light.  Coming in with a price tag of $145.22 and a top notch warranty, you can’t go wrong with the Saberlight 80010.

ATD-80010 $145.22

Moving on to the staple of your garage, a mechanic’s tool set.  There are so many tool sets on the market these days and of course most will do just fine.  One example of this set is the KD Tools (aka GearWrench) 80933.  This 216 piece set has so much to offer and comes in a handy carrying case.

KDT-80933 $185.55

Having the right tools in your garage to work on your vehicles efficiently, includes owning a basic code reader.  Code readers come in handy when that pesky check engine light decides to come on.  Generally, the plug to use this is located near the steering column in your car, out of the way.  A good reader that has come in handy at my house is the Innova 3120. As long as you have a car or light truck newer than 1996 (OBDII), then you should be able to use this tool.

INN-3120 $179.65

Rounding out the must-haves for today is a good solid drill/driver kit.   The one in my garage is getting a good workout and is standing up to all of the abuse I can throw at it.  Coming in at just under 5 lbs, the DeWalt DC720KA is my new best friend!

DWT-DC720KA $219.10

With that being said, I think 4 awesome must-have tools will be enough for today.  Stay tuned though and I’ll post more about the other great items that have shown up in my garage lately.

Do you have any of these in your garage already?  If so, I’d love to hear your personal experience with it!!










Top Tool Rebates & Promotions For August 2014

Who doesn’t love rebates on products we were planning on purchasing anyway?

Many manufacturers offer promotions or rebates that last anywhere from 30 to 90 days.  Basically if you buy tool “X” and send in a completed form with a copy of your receipt then you receive tool “Y” free from the manufacturer.  Finding these rebates and promotions can sometimes be a headache. I’m going to make it easy for you!  Whether you are buying early Christmas gifts or restocking your garage/shop, these rebates and promotions will definitely come in handy!  Let’s get started.

  • Ingersoll Rand is currently (for the next two weeks) offering free Hammerhead Mechanic Gloves if you purchase either the 5102MAX or 5108MAX.

    Ingersoll Rand August Rebate Promotion
  • Makita has a sweet deal going until September 30, 2014. Buy 3 Polisher Kits and, after sending in your rebate paperwork, you will receive your choice of a FREE flashlight, finish polisher, or cordless blower AND a FREE battery charger. That’s a Value of up to $249.00!

Makita Rebate Promotion August 2014

  • The Bosch promotion is good until October 1, 2014.  Purchase ANY Bosch power tool and, after submitting your mail-in rebate with all requirements, you receive a $50 Visa Prepaid Card.  Get paid to buy new tools!

Bosch Rebate August 2014

  • Last but certainly not the least is the current Robinair Promotion that runs through September 30, 2014.  If you purchase one of the Robinair Recovery Machines (34288, 34788, 34788H or 34988) you receive a free A/C Leak Detector Kit (after submitting proper mail-in rebate forms).Robinair Rebate August 2014So, what do these rebate offers mean for you?  It depends, if you have purchased any of these items during the promotion timeframe, fill out the forms and submit all information requested to receive your FREE item.  If you are thinking about purchasing one of these items, check the timeframe you have and visit National Tool Warehouse to get your purchase completed.Make sure you triple check your mail-in rebate form to ensure you have everything they require.  Manufacturers can be sticklers when it comes to having all proper documentation to receive your free item(s). To see additional rebates and promotions that are being offered, please visit the National Tool Warehouse Rebate Page. Let us know if you’ve received your FREE item, which rebate promotion you took advantage of, and how your new FREE item is working out for you.  We appreciate feedback and would love to tell your story in our next Customer Spotlight blog.

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The Power of the Gift Certificate

Is dad having a birthday next week? Or Uncle Bob? What in the world do you buy the man that has everything he could ever want?  Well…that’s easy!  Buy him a gift certificate!

Gift Certificates offer a way he can buy whatever he wants and he won’t feel bad when he opens your gift only to find out that he doesn’t need it, want it, or that it’s the wrong size.  So now that you have a gift in mind, where do you get the gift certificate?

GiftCertificates

National Tool Warehouse offers tools for everyone; from the backyard mechanic to the professional. Tool prices range from the lower cost/good quality tools to high-end brands.  They sell products made by manufacturers like Wilton, Ingersoll Rand, Chicago Pneumatic, GearWrench, Milwaukee, Astro Pneumatic, Devilbiss and many more.

What kind of budget do you have for the gift certificate?  Most companies make you buy in denominations of $10 or $20 but National Tool Warehouse lets you choose what you spend.  You can buy a gift certificate for any price over $20…yes, even $45.99.  Once you purchase the gift certificate you will be emailed a receipt with a code.  This code is what your gift recipient will need to make his (or her) purchase.

How much easier can it get?  Do you have questions about the Gift Certificates at National Tool Warehouse?  Call our Sales Team today and we will help you! Give us a call toll free 1-866-358-1919 (inside the US) or 1-417-358-1919 (outside the US).

Bought a gift certificate lately?  Email us pictures of how you spent your Gift Certificate!

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Waterborne Paint Gun Cleaners

Comparison of the Waterborne Paint Gun Cleaners On The Market Today!

Have you been considering buying a waterborne paint gun cleaner?  It’s a tough decision to make…considering the price of the cleaners on the market.  After researching the top two brands…here is the down and dirty on the waterborne paint gun cleaners offered by Herkules and Uni-Ram.

First up we will look at a couple of Herkules waterborne paint gun cleaners.

G202 Waterborne Paint Gun Cleaner

The G202 Cleans 2 guns & 2 cups automatically in one minute!

The Herkules G202 is fully automatic and Made in the USA!  Herkules is a top brand in the automotive paint gun cleaner industry.  Click here to view their webpage devoted to Waterborne Paint Gun Cleaners.

Next up we will look at the Herkules G375, the Double Tank Paint Gun Washer.

Herkules Waterborne Paint Gun Washer G375

Herkules G375 Double Tank Paint Gun Washer

This waterborne paint gun washer is a beast! You can use both tanks exclusively for solvent cleaning or exclusively for waterborne cleaning, OR the left tank exclusively for waterborne cleaning & the right tank exclusively for solvent cleaning.  This washer has stainless steel tanks and is also Made in the USA!  What more could you ask for??

Moving on to the Uni-Ram washers…which are equally as impressive.

First up we have the Uni-Ram UM120W which is a manual gun cleaner.  This cleaner features the “GREEN” Water Recovery System and corrosion resistant construction.

UniRam Waterborne Paint Gun Cleaner UM120W

Uni-Ram Waterborne Paint Gun Cleaner UM120W

This machine has a powerful dual-diaphragm pump with a one year warranty on parts and labor and two year warranty on the diaphragm pump.  Check out this machine here.

Finally we are going to spotlight the “two-in-one” Uni-Ram waterborne paint gun cleaner.  This bad boy will get your paint guns clean with a capital C.

Uni-Ram Waterborne Paint Gun Cleaner UG5000W

Uni-Ram Combined Waterborne and Solvent Spraygun Cleaner UG5000W

This is a Dual, Two Tank Model, Right Tank equivalent to a UM120W, Left Tank to a UG4000E.  What more could you ask for??  Check it out here.

So, whether you are looking for a single tank or a dual tank, any of these models would work well for your shop.  Herkules and Uni-Ram are both excellent manufacturers of waterborne paint gun cleaners and you really can’t go wrong with either brand.

Do you own one of these already?  Send us your thoughts on the one you own and you could be featured in our next blog!

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Smartphone Scan Tool, Really?

Yes…you read the title right!  A Smartphone Scan Tool for the everyday person and home mechanic diy-er!

From what I am being told there is this amazing tool that you can buy for under $70.00 that you plug into your car.  You download the FREE app to your Apple or Android device and your smartphone becomes a scan tool.  No, you don’t need to reread that sentence.  It’s true!  Your smartphone becomes a scan tool!  How cool is that?!?!? That’s going to save you some serious cash and headache when a check engine light appears.

The Actron U-Scan Cellular Diagnostic Code Scanner provides do-it-yourselfers the ability to access vehicle diagnostics using their Apple or Android device. (That verbiage is straight from the manufacturer!)

I’m still in shock! This smartphone scan tool has been developed to provide essential information to help you repair your vehicle quickly and easily, while saving money.  Actron, the manufacturer, has even put out a pdf file giving more information about how this “Dongle” works (no I did not make that name up).  You can get that pdf here.

According to Actron, the smartphone scan tool is guaranteed to link to all 1996-Up vehicles. It has a Quick Check feature meaning it will read codes and definitions, erase codes and turn off the check engine light along with monitoring emissions.  On top of that it includes a Vehicle Activity Log that records the history of vehicle tests and diagnostics.  How cool is that!?!?

U-Scan™ Smartphone Scan Tool Vehicle Diagnostics  (ACT-CP9599)

U-Scan™ Smartphone Vehicle Diagnostics
(ACT-CP9599)

Anyone already own this smartphone scan tool that would be willing to give me a review?  I’d love to hear how it performs before I shell out the cash!

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Cool Off with a Port A Cool Evaporative Cooler

I know, I know…Many of us are still struggling  through a winter that just won’t seem to let go.  As much as we’d like to put it behind us, we can’t forget that the Dog Days will get here all too soon.  And I don’t know about you but, I’ve never worked in a shop or warehouse that had much in the way of climate control.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be comfortable working through the hot summer months?   Lucky for us, National Tool Warehouse carries the best name in affordable and practical portable coolers!

For any of you who don’t know what an evaporative cooler is, check out the Port A Cool website. Here are the basics:
“Portable, Powerful, Practical.  American-made portable evaporative cooling units.  Cools anywhere using 115 volts and tap water for a dollar a day.  No assembly required.”
Sounds pretty good to me.

Here are some of best deals from National Tool Warehouse. 

For those with a small shop and maybe a small budget, check out the Cyclone 2000.

Port-A-Cool Cyclone® 2000 Evaporative Cooler (PTC-PACCYC02)

Port-A-Cool Cyclone® 2000 Evaporative Cooler (PTC-PACCYC02)

Another popular model, the PTCPAC163SVT  has got a little more cooling power to cool down a bigger shop.

16" EVAP 3 Speed Cooling Fan with Vertical Tank, 42-Gallon (PTC-PAC163SVT)

16″ EVAP 3 Speed Cooling Fan with Vertical Tank, 42-Gallon (PTC-PAC163SVT)

For a bigger shop or warehouse, the way to keep your cool is with the PTCPAC2K36HPVS.

36”, 1/2 h.p. Variable-Speed Motor (PTC-PAC2K36HPVS)

36”, 1/2 h.p. Variable-Speed Motor (PTC-PAC2K36HPVS)

Any of these should help you and your team keep a cooler head, work happier and stay more productive through the hot days to come.   NTW carries a diverse line of Port A Cool units and accessories.

If you have questions or you don’t see what you are looking for, call for more information or a price quote.  Don’t let the Dog Days get the best of you: Stay cool this summer with Port A Cool from National Tool Warehouse!

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Written by our Guest Blogger Mack Hanson.  Thanks Mack!