The Results Are In…
As you may know, we run weekly polls via our socials, newsletter, and Scrap Metal Recycling Talk Facebook group. We recently asked scrappers to share their most used tools, whether for scrapping or around-the-house fixes. Here are the results:
Magnets should be a scrapper’s number one tool in their arsenal. Being able to tell in a moment’s notice whether a piece of scrap is non-ferrous or ferrous can save you time and/or make you more money.
Suggested Reading: The #1 Tool & Most Important Tool for Scrappers
While these may sound like a regular ol’ tool, you know that there are many different types until you have a few years under your scrap tool belt. From flat heads to Phillips head screwdrivers, we haven’t even started to talk about star ones or the various others. We always like to have a set of miscellaneous screwdriver heads like this one, so you have different options. We also suggest having the piece for your screwdriver or screw gun to switch out the bits and make your work life faster.
This is a loaded answer, considering there are so many of these. Impact drills, or impact guns, can shear a bolt in half if the wrong setting is on or using air tools. These drills will help get some nuts and bolts out of rusted places or even caked on there. It is always important to try to get a drill that allows for various speeds, which will help you to control your work even better. Brands that we like to stick to are either DeWalt or even Snap-On, but Milwaukee has a good one, as well.
These are not just for stripping, but also for cutting things like ends off and many other pieces, like copper pipes. We suggest not getting the ones off of the Home Depot shelf but getting ones from a company named Greenlee Loppers. These will not only help you make more money but will be able to get resharpened multiple times over to ensure that you are cutting easily. As soon as you can start to see chips and knicks inside the blades’ cutting part, it is probably time to sharpen them.
Many people have asked us for advice on which wire stripper to buy. There are so many good ones out there, but we have tested and heard about success using the StripMeister E250. These machines have a strong motor and a good reputation. This is a great machine for an advanced scrapper, and if you are learning, you may want to visit another machine that they make called the StripMeister Original Drill Power. This stripper will require you to use two hands and a drill to strip the wire, but it does a great job.
We are big fans of Milwaukee and DeWalt saws. These have proven time after time to be the best and longest-lasting tools and cut really well. We have seen scrappers’ biggest complaint more along the lines of the blades put into the machines. The blades (cheap ones) will make you push the saws harder and hurt their longevity.
With so many different sizes to choose from..where to begin? These come in units as small as 1ft and as long as 8ft. You may ask yourself: which size is best for you? That depends on what you are using it for and how often. Our go-to is always a two-sided one with a pry bar and a gooseneck on it. These are great bars to have, but you can always learn how to use them, from taking apart air conditioners to prying out pieces from engines.
We should make a song to go over all of the different sockets you could have, but we won’t. From impact socket sets to hex sockets (some of the most common types), there are so many different ones to choose from that you probably want to start with the common types and work your way up to having other ones. While there are huge socket sets like this one, you can also get starter sets that you use and learn what you like. There are also all-in-one socket tools that you can try, and these may make it easier to move your scrap and take it apart.
Wrenches are another pandora’s box of tools that could make you go crazy (because you want to buy so many of them): patience, dear scrapper….patience. We highly recommend getting a few simple pairs of wrenches to start with and then grow your tool base as time goes on. First up, the trusty Channellock adjustable wrench. This will be one of the best tools you ever own…BUT if you are reluctant to get that one, you should try our all-time favorite one, the Vise-Grip Curved Jaw Wrench. These are great as a wrench and to secure something and lock your grip on it so that it goes much smoother.
Thor’s hammer may be the strongest, but unless you have some extra Uru metal (fictional, so do not look for a price on it) to forge your newest tool, we suggest sticking to hardened steel. The classic handle claw hammer will or should be the first that you buy. You may want to look at some of the different lengths, as the longer hammers can be too long sometimes.