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

It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here!

The hot summer weather is blowing in quick! As important as it is to prepare your vehicle for winter, it is just as important to prepare it for the hot summer temperatures. Below I have listed a few tips to get your vehicle in tip-top shape for this summer season.





  • Check your tire pressure – If your tires are under-inflated, this will cause the tire to bulge which will add pressure to the sidewalls of the tire. After enough heat and pressure has affected the tire, BOOM! It will eventually blow. Also, n over-inflated tire makes less contact with the surface of the road and can cause you to hydroplane during the spring and summer storms.
    See what tire pressure gauges are in stock HERE!

Did you know?? – Tire pressure changes with rising temperatures, approximately one to two PSI for every 10 degree increase in outside air temperature.




  • Check your oil and oil filter – ROAD TRIP!!! Wait! Before you leave, make sure you check your oil and oil filter in the vehicle. Long distance drives mixed with hot temperatures can lead to an overheated engine.
    Need to change the oil? Drain Pans make your job easier!

Did you know?? – Oil keeps hardworking engine parts running clean, smooth and cool.





  • De-winterize – Check all the fluids in your vehicle and check for leaks. If you are in extreme snow climates and have snow tires, take them off. Snow tires cause extra weight to the vehicle and are not fuel efficient. Also, clean the undercarriage of the vehicle from salt on the roads.
    Can’t see under your car? These inspection mirrors will help!

Did you know?? – The salt that is used to melt ice and snow on roads can get caked on the underside of your car and begin to eat away at the metal.




  • Check hoses, belts and filters – It is very important to keep the engine cool when driving in the summer heat. Check all of your hoses and belts for cracks, leaks or loose connections. Also, change your air filter if it is clogged with salt or other road debris.

Did you know?? – Replacing a dirty or clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10%.

belts and hoses


  • Replace your wipers – The winter weather is hard on your wipers. You know, when you get impatient waiting for the windshield to defrost so you use your wipers to speed it up? Ya, I’m guilty. Also, it is important for your wipers to work for the spring and summer storms. I would hate to be stuck on the highway when a sudden storm hits without good wipers!

Did you know?? – At night, a storm can decrease visibility by 15 to 20 feet in front of your vehicle.



  • Keep your battery clean – Dead batteries are common in both winter and summer due to the extreme temperatures. You should detach the battery cables and clean the terminals often. Makes sure that your battery is strapped in correctly and is secure. Also, always make sure you are buying the correct battery for your vehicle if it needs to be replaced.

Did you know?? – Summer heat can speed up the chemical reaction inside a battery, causing the battery to be overcharged. This reduces battery life significantly.



  • Maintain your AC – Most of the time, the cause of a malfunctioning AC is because of low refrigerant. This could be caused by a leak in the system. It is best to have a professional check out the problem since modern AC systems are so complex.

Did you know?? – The best way to tell if your air conditioner has a problem is if it can’t generate or maintain air temperatures that are 50 degrees Fahrenheit below the outside air temperature.


Written by: Cheri Shue
Source: http://www.fleetpro.com/newsletter/?p=943


How to Change your Cabin Air Filter

The cabin air filter, a feature found on most late-model vehicles, cleans the air that comes into the interior through the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. It catches dust, pollen and other airborne material that can make riding in a car unpleasant.

Recommendations on when it should be replaced vary by manufacturer — some say every 12,000 or 15,000 miles, others longer — and how often can depend on how much you drive and where. Check the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. If you drive in heavy traffic in an urban area that has poor air quality, you could need to replace the filter annually or even more often. However, that also could be true in a desert climate where there is a lot of dust.

Follow these steps bellow to change your air filter:

1. Obtain the replacement filter. You can buy one at your nearest dealership or you can shop around at an auto parts store or online.
2. Open the glove compartment all the way and remove the screw on the lower right side. Pull the loop from the arm over and off the cylinder where the screw was. Don’t lose the screw.
3. Squeeze the sides of the glove compartment together and pull to move the tabs past the edges, to the front of the dash. Then lift the entire glove compartment off its hinges.

  • Note that when it is too hard to push, instead of pushing both sides, you might want to try to push against the back of the glove box, while pulling on the front. This works, when squeezing the sides does not.


4. Remove the plastic cover by squeezing the tabs together. There are tabs on both sides, but the photo just shows one.
5. Slide out the old filter by pulling it towards you. Keep it facing up so that you don’t spill the debris.
6. Insert the new filter. The arrow that says UP should be pointing up, facing you, as shown in the photo.
7. Snap the cover back into place.
8. Place the glove compartment container back on its hinges and push it in so the tabs snap back behind the dash. You may have to squeeze the sides again, as you did when you took the glove compartment out.
9. Replace the loop and the screw on the lower right.
Sources: WikiHow, Car & Driver

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.


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.

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

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



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.

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!

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!



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.

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.

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!

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.

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…

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


When Should You Recharge Your Jump Starter?


A common question among jump starter owners…When do I recharge it to make sure it’s fully charged and ready to use?

Clore Automotive, a leading jump starter manufacturer, has devised a system to alert you when it’s time to recharge your jump starter.  Believe me…as soon as I found this site, I signed up!  It’s a pain to try and remember when to recharge your jump starter unit and try to remember when the last time was that you recharged it.  You don’t want to get stranded with a dead jump starter…kind of defeats the purpose huh?!?!

Check out the Clore Automotive getincharge page to sign up and receive email alerts quarterly reminding you to recharge your machine.  You’ll love it!

Until next time….Jay

Unique Gift Ideas For That Hard-To-Buy-For Man!

Why spend days, weeks, even months trying to find the best gift for your husband, brother or teenage son?

When you ask your husband/brother/son what he would like for Christmas this year, what do you think his answer will be?  The standard “I don’t know”, “tools”, “money”, “I’ll love whatever you get me”??

Well I found a few things that Schumacher came out with this year that will be sure to delight all of the men I know. *hint hint – the SL-1 is on the top of my Christmas list*

I recently bought the SHUSL-5 and ended up losing it to my 17-year-old son.  It works great for charging your iPhone.  He was almost dead and plugged his phone into the Fuel Pack and let it charge while watching a show and it didn’t take much time at all for his phone to be fully charged.  Needless to say, I never got the Fuel Pack back and had to buy myself another one!

Whether you decide to go for the SHUSL-3, SHUSL-4 or SHUSL-5, you can’t really go wrong.  These are all great units and will be treasured by all who receive them!

Make sure you also check out the SHUSL-1 and the SHU-SL-360R.  Those are top picks on the Mechanic’s List this year.

The SHUSL-1 is also a great contender when it comes to picking a jump starter to leave in your car this winter.  I recently wrote a blog called Picking the Right Jump Starter For You to give everyone some ideas about which jump starter will work best for your vehicle.  Make sure you check it out before you buy a new power pack.

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Picking The Right Jump Starter For You

In a previous blog post, we talked about the different reasons your car won’t start. Today, I would like to follow up with talking about how to choose the right jump starter for your needs. Like man, all jump starters are not created equal. There are a myriad of different options to choose from. We will be discussing options for your daily driver to your heavy duty towing vehicles.

For your daily driver or family vehicle, we have two favorites. The Jump-N-Carry KKC660 and the TCBES5000 by Booster Pac.  Below I will show you the details and help you chose the right option for you.

The Jump-N-Carry KKC660


  • For California CEC-compliant equivalent product, please order KKC-660C
  • The KKC660 delivers 1700 Peak Amps and 425 Cranking Amps of starting power and weighs just 18 lbs.
  • Perfect for a variety of professional starting environments, including automotive service, fleet service, auto dealerships, auto auctions, marinas, implement dealerships and more.
  • 1700 Peak Amps
  • 425 Cranking Amps
  • Clore PROFORMER battery technology
  • 46″ #4 AWG welding cable leads
  • Industrial-grade clamps
  • Built-in charger
  • Automatic charging
  • Voltmeter provides charge status of on board battery
  • 12VDC outlet to power accessories
  • 1 year limited warranty
  • Email reminder when the unit needs to be charged

Cost: $136.22

The TCBES5000


  • For California CEC-compliant equivalent product, please order TCB-ES5000C
  • Multiple jumps between charges and 43″ cables make the ES5000 as convenient as it is powerful.
  • 1500 Peak Amps
  • 400 Cranking Amps
  • ES Series battery designed specifically for vehicle jump-starting
  • Automatic recharging
  • LED battery status indicator
  • 43″ #4 AWG cables
  • Industrial Grade Hot Jaw™ clamps
  • DC outlet to power 12 Volt accessories
  • 1 year limited warranty
  • Email reminder when the unit needs to be charged

Cost: $138.89

Mid Range Jump Starters & Chargers

For you drivers of large trucks like an F-250 or above or a vehicle you are using to pull a boat, tractor, or heavy equipment we also have two favorites. They are the SHUPSJ-3612 by Schumacher and KKCJNCXF by Jump-N-Carry.

The SHUPSJ-3612

Schumacher Jump Starter

  • Two, 18-Ah Professional-Grade, High-Output AGM Batteries—especially formulated to jump start vehicles.
  • Non-spillable; stores in any position.
  • 2-Gauge, 55-inch Cables.
  • Heavy-duty clamps have replaceable, copper jaws—fit both top and side-post batteries.
  • ON/OFF Switch
  • 3-Amp Built-in, Automatic Charger
  • Reverse Hook-Up Alarm
  • Two-Function Digital Display
  • 12-Volt DC Power Outlet
  • Durable, Rust & Corrosion Proof, Polypropylene Case with Unique Clamp Storage
    Vented case for added safety
  • Unique, High-Impact Rubber Base—for case protection.

Cost: $280.54


Jump-N-Carry Jump Starter

  • The new standard in power-to-weight ratio in a handheld jump starter, its exclusive X-Force battery delivers 770 Crank Assist Amps to tackle the toughest automotive, marine and industrial jump starting assignments.
  • Features 68″ extra-long cables to reach the starting points on virtually any vehicle and automatic charging from its built-in charger
  • Made in the USA
  • 770 Crank Assist Amps
  • X-Force battery technology
  • 68″” #4 welding cable leads
  • Industrial Grade Hot Jaw Clamps
  • Built-in charger
  • Automatic charging
  • Voltmeter provides charge status of onboard battery
  • 12VDC outlet to power accessories
  • 1 year limited warranty

Cost: $273.44

Heavy Duty Jump Starters For Large Industrial & Commercial Vehicles

For the big boys (and gals), we have big and powerful toys. Our two favorite heavy duty chargers are the TCBES6000KE by Booster Pac, and the KKCJNCXFE by Jump-N-Carry.




  • The workhorse of the Booster PAC family, the ES6000 delivers 3000 Peak Amps.
  • 12 Volt, 54” cables, auto charging
  • High performance ES Series battery
  • Battery Capacity: (2) 22 Amp Hour
  • Peak Amps: 3000
  • Cranking Amps: 800
  • Cold Cranking Amps: 650
  • Packaged with two batteries

Cost: $278.65


Industrial Strength Jump Starter

  • The ideal unit for the very toughest 12 Volt jump starting tasks and the harshest work environments
  • Its dual X-Force batteries deliver 1540 Crank Assist Amps, making it perfect for a wide range of environments: automotive, marine, fleet, industrial, construction, outdoor power equipment and heavy-duty starting
  • Features 68″ extra-long cables to reach the starting points on virtually any vehicle and automatic charging from its built-in charger
  • Made in the USA
  • 1540 Crank Assist Amps
  • X-Force battery technology
  • 68″” #2 welding cable leads
  • Industrial Grade Hot Jaw Clamps
  • Built-in automatic charger
  • Voltmeter provides charge status of on board battery
  • 12VDC outlet to power accessories
  • 1 year limited warranty

Cost: $402.55

Now, what does all this mean to you? We have broken these jump starters out into three different tiers. Tier one would be your every day jump starters. These are best suited for your home garage and to keep in the trunk of your car, truck or van. They work like a charm and are a great selection for anyone. Tier two jump starters are designated for those of you that have large trucks and SUVs. Finally, tier three are for your big, heavy duty trucks. We’re talking about F-450+ or 4500’s for you GM folks.

If you have any questions about any of these jump starters or just jump starters in general, please leave them in the comments box and we’ll answer them right here for you. Or you can feel free to email us at customerservice@nationaltoolwarehouse.com and we will return your email promptly!

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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!!

Welders…and other welding equipment!

Happy Monday National Tool followers!  We’ve had several questions about welding supplies and the difference between MIG and TIG welders.  We have a huge selection of welding equipment to fit all of your automotive needs!  From Magnetic Induction Heaters all the way to Welding Helmets…we have what you need!

Easy-MIG™ 180 208/230-Volt AC Input Compact Wire Welder (LEW-K2698-1)

Easy-MIG™ 180 208/230-Volt AC Input Compact Wire Welder (LEW-K2698-1)

Stick/Lift TIG Welding System (VCTW1003203)

Stick/Lift TIG Welding System (VCTW1003203)

MIG vs. TIG Welders (courtesy of Lincoln Electric)

GMAW, commonly known as MIG welding, is an arc welding process which produces the coalescence of metals by heating them with an arc between a continuously fed filler metal electrode and the work.

The TIG process derives the heat for welding from an electric arc established between a non-consumable tungsten electrode and the part to be welded. Filler metal, if used, is manually feed into the weld puddle when TIG welding.

For a list of all MIG Welders available from National Tool, click here.
For a list of all TIG Welders available, click here.

National Tool Warehouse has a HUGE selection of welding equipment to fit most (if not all) of your automotive welding needs…be sure to check out our Welding Category page when you have a few free minutes.

We’d love to hear your stories about how you’ve used your welder you purchased from National Tool.  Email and let us know!

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