The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.
Sometimes it pays to have different versions of the same tool. When I first started turning wrenches I "made do" with a set of Allen wrenches (hex wrenches) that were L-shaped. I bought a quality set that didn't round off or bend, and used them for years.
Later I went ahead and bought a set of allen head socket-type wrenches that allowed me to use a ratchet wrench to speed removal and installation of allen head bolts. I thought I was pretty hot stuff, having the socket-type allen wrenches, and considered "retiring" the old L-shaped wrenches.
I'm glad I didn't. I can't count the number of times I've needed to get a wrench on an allen-headed bolt in a tight spot, and my socket-style allen wrenches were too long to fit in the available space. That's when I dug out the old L-shaped wrenches, used a grinding wheel to cut the short leg of the L to the necessary length, and managed to access the troublesome bolt head.
One more reason to never throw away, give away, or completely retire ANY hand tool.
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