Happy Birthday From Az

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Category: Tool Reviews

Top 5 Best Glue Guns

Best Glue Guns Buyers Guide

 

If you are one of those who love art and crafts then having a glue gun is a must have accessory. It is a perfect tool that aids in easy patch ups, works efficiently on different surfaces and dries really fast. Apart from the art and craft jobs the glue guns are also applicable to other types of projects as well. Some of the common glue gun applications include wood work, recreational decor, packaging and they can even stick pieces of cloth together. A glue gun works by using a hot melt adhesive. This is important as it is known to be water proof. If you are looking to buy one you’re in the right place, we have listed out some of the best available to make your decision easier.

Our Complete List of Top Glue Guns:

 

Cobiz Full Size Glue Gun

One of the best available for your DIY crafts and art project. The kit includes a hot glue gun along with 12, 8-inch glue sticks. Designed with two power options (60 and 100 watts) the gun is an all round product meant for both light and heavy duty jobs. The power options comes with two different light indicators for easy differentiation. There is also a thermal insulation feature that prevents it from overheating. You also have a complementary e book that is available with the gun giving you the latest DIY craft ideas. The professional looking gun comes with a lot of versatility and is effective on fabric, metal, wood, frames plastic paper and more.

Surebonder Dual Melt High/Low Temperature Glue Gun

:this option is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a gun with higher heating power. It is also an affordably priced gun. it has a low power option of 250 degrees Fahrenheit and also a high power option of 380 degree Fahrenheit. This is one of the budget variants and hence does not have an on and off button. In case you are required to stop the gun the only option available is to unplug the unit. Overall one can say for sure that the gun is best for basic projects and crafts due to the large size and lack of additional heating capabilities.

Upgraded version Mini Hot Melt Glue Gun – ccbetter

The gun is one of the best available choices for a mini glue gun that can also be safely used by children. Designed with a power of 20 watts the gun works well with wood, plastic, paper, ceramic, fabric, metal and much more. The construction of the gun involves a flexible trigger that allows you to efficiently control the flow of the glue. One of the rare functionalities available in a mini glue gun. While the insulated nozzle makes it one of the safest products available in the category. The design of the gun also has an LED light that indicates that the gun is switched on. Overall it is an above par product.

Stanley Bostitch Glue Gun (GR25)

The gun is one of the most versatile products in the category. It comes with a multi purpose functionality, with a warranty for lifetime, all at an affordable and great price. This particular glue gun has some of the best available features like it heats up with in a minute saving much time. It also comes with a one touch selector switch to help easily switch between low and high temperatures. The design and construction of the gun also includes a fold out stand facilitating protected storing while in use in order to prevent burns. While the only negative the gun has is that it lacks an off/on switch which means you are required to unplug the unit. But still the product is quite favored among most consumers for its versatile features and a great warranty.

Pam HB220 Glue Gun for Hot Melt Adhesive

 An ideal gun to complete all those heavy duty projects. This is considered as one of the highest rated glue guns and comes with a-220-watt of power. The gun is an ideal and suitable product to accomplish professional jobs like remodeling, repair, flooring installation and many more projects. It also comes with adaptable settings for temperature and can be efficiently used for longer duration of time as the glue remains in molten state. The temperature settings can vary between 140C – 220 degrees C and it takes approximately 5 minutes to heat up the glue. Finally the best feature of the gun is that it comes with a proprietary drip-free nozzle that provides the dual advantage of reducing wastage and keeping you safe.

Choosing The Best Glue Gun

 

A glue gun is normally available in different sizes with different features hence choosing the appropriate one can be a tedious job. Some of the most important things to take into account before you purchase are listed below:

  1. Temperature: Depending upon the user temperature plays an important role. If the gun is likely to be used by a child to complete their craft homework a low temperature gun should be ideal (for safety). The gun is also suitable to stick together delicate materials for projects that require precision. While the high temperature guns are preferred for sticking hard material like wood and doing other heavy duty projects. A dual temperature gun should be ideal if you prefer both.

  2. Trigger/Manual Feed: The trigger feed variant comes with the facility to slip the glue stick into the back of the gun and with each trigger pull the glue stick enters the heater and molten glue comes out through the nozzle. The manual Gun has a more basic design which means you have to feed the glue in manually rather than automatic.

 

Conclusion

A glue gun is a must have handy tool that comes with a number of fantastic functionalities. The product comes in handy not only for creating beautiful arts and craft pieces, but also do the odd repair jobs at home. Since such guns make use of hot glue adhesives they come with a surprisingly strong sticking ability, you would be surprised what you can accomplish with this tool. There are many advantages of choosing a glue gun but choosing the right kind suitable for your own specific needs is very important. We have put together some of the top glue guns available today to make your purchase decision easier. But whatever model of the gun you choose it is important to ensure that the safety instructions are followed as you are dealing with hot molten glue.

Best Digital Multimeter

Best Digital Multimeters Reviewed

 

If you’re in the market looking for a new multimeter, or if you are just starting out and looking for your first one, then you’re in the right place. Multimeters are often used by electricians, but also by engineers, mechanics and just hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts/tinkerers. These days there are a lot of great choices available, though some are great while others are not so good. We aim to help you become informed regarding what you need to know in order to get the right model for you. The price range varies significantly, from quite cheap, to very expensive (which you would only need if you are a professional electrician). And the cheaper models are generally perfectly adequate for your average user. Multi-meters, as the name suggests measure many different things, depending on your profession some of the features will be more important than the others. We have put together this guide so that you can decide for yourself what you want to buy based on your needs as a consumer.
For a start, here we are only concerned about the “digital multimeters”, the traditional type are not sufficient because the guage is not as accurate or precise. It’s also now very cheap to get a digital one, so even the lower end models are often digital.

 

 

Our top picks:

 


 

Fluke 87-V Digital Multimeter

For those professionals who require the best product out there, and nothing less this is the obvious choice for you. For starters Fluke make the best multimeters around, and this is their top of the line product that a lot of research and effort went into manufacturing. The second you set your eyes upon the Fluke 87-V you will see that it is high quality in every regard. It has no trouble measuring up to or more than 20 Amps, so as far as digital models go this is top of the line. Another important feature that will please safety conscious tradesman is that it has a high rating for safety, meaning it can withstand surges up to 8k V. It is a good idea to choose a product that comes with a warranty, as even the high quality models could sometimes have issues. Fortunately the Fluke comes with a lifetime warranty – and most likely you’ll never need it with this brand.

 

Fluke 115 Compact

If the 87-V is too large, or pricey for you then this is probably the next best choice. It doesn’t have the same bulky size as the 87-V which means it’s more portable, and can comfortably fit into your tool box. Although it doesn’t have all of the best features, it can still measure up to 20 Amps, more than enough for any professional. Despite being a smaller model, the digital readout on the screen is still very precise and clear, readable during most light conditions. All in all this is another great option brought to you by Fluke, and of course also comes with a warranty should you need it.

 

Mastech MS8229

Our third and final choice here is the Mastech MS8229. it’s a great choice for just about any professional, while it also caters for those on a tighter budget. It has perfectly adequate accuracy for jobs that an electrician would find himself encountering on a day to day basis. Not only that but it’s also perfect for those who just want a reliable multi-meter should they ever need to use it for their car, or household electrical appliances. It’s also a 5 in 1 device, allowing more features than the usual multi meter would have.. It can check humidity levels, temperature, sound levels and more (it’s indeed a very versatile piece of equipment). If you want accuracy and precision above all other factors then the Fluke is definitely better, however depending on your trade then that may not be the most important concern.

 

 

 

 

 

Best Soldering Iron

Best Soldering Irons – Reviewed

Soldering is a process used in electronics, plumbing and metalwork, or for the likes of creating jewelry. Soldering consists of joining together two metals (often wires) using a filler metal, or a ‘solder’, into the joint. The solder used is an alloy that has a low melting point—lower than the adjoining metals. So, soldering is a process that is required during a number of procedures, and using the best soldering irons could help you in carrying these out. Electronic soldering joins wires and electronic components and circuit boards using solders. Soldering is also used to repair electronic appliances and circuits etc. It is used in creating jewelry where pieces of metal are joined together to create a bond that is invisible but permanent. This can, in fact, be one of the most satisfying and creative activities for those interested in jewelry creation or for anyone who likes to get creative and design things. Thus, soldering is an essential skill used in quite a few procedures and therefore a useful skill to develop. It may appear to be tough, but it is quite easy and quick to learn. All you need to do is experiment with simple tools and practice the art and you are good to go! So below we will present to you our top soldering iron pick for those looking for value for money.

Our Top Pick:

Weller WLC 100


The different types of soldering stations:

 

If you are interested in using a soldering station for your work as an electronics expert or a jewelry maker, you aught to choose the right type for the job at hand. Whichever type you decide on buying,  it should fit whatever tasks you will mainly use it for. There are several different options, as outlined below.

Pencil Soldering Irons that connect into the wall socket and do not feature adjustable temperatures.(beginners)

Adjustable Pencil Soldering Irons are a lot like the Pencil Soldering Irons but with adjustable temperatures.

Cordless Irons, These come in handy when you need to transfer them from place to place for your work.

Soldering Stations are made up of two parts: the base and the soldering iron. The base comes with holder/stand, cleaning sponge and a temperature dial to help in adjusting the temperature.

Soldering Irons come in various types, as above, but there are certain features that need to be taken into consideration before making the decision to purchase.

FEATURES OF A SOLDERING IRON

WATTAGE: You should select a soldering iron that comes with 30 watts power at minimum. Soldering at lower wattage requires longer time to heat up and also means that it wont be as effective at maintaining the temperature.

TEMPERATURE CONTROL: Different kind of soldering tasks require different temperatures. So, selecting one that comes with temperature control makes your job easy – and means you won’t have to buy more than one station for different jobs.

TIP COMPATIBILITY: The tips of the soldering iron must be replaceable and the iron must be adaptable with a variety of tips. This is because different jobs require different tips with different sizes and shapes.

HOLDING STAND: A holding stand holds the hot iron and thus is a necessity for you when you work.

Some other good options for your consideration are listed below:

THE HAKKO SOLDERING STATION is one of the top soldering irons which contains everything you would need in a soldering station. This iron heats up very quickly and maintains the temperature throughout. It also has temperature adjustment and a digital display, a cleaning sponge and a stand. It comes with 7 tips.

TABIGER SOLDERING IRON KIT is perfect for beginners. It comes with quite a few accessories. It comes at an affordable price. This kit comes with a 60W soldering iron with adjustable temperature, cleaning sponge, stand, 5 tips and anti-static tweezers. It also has a special case to hold the instruments.

X-TRONIC SOLDERING IRON STATION comes with a 75W soldering iron, a strong stand, and also accessories like solder roll holder, brass sponge tip cleaner and a cleaning flux. This iron also comes with a digital display.

BEST PORTABLE SOLDERING IRON comes at an affordable price and is much better than other regular soldering irons that come in the same price range.

AOYUE SOLDERING STATION comes at a 60W iron and is compatible with different tips. As the pencil is lightweight, it is easy to use. It comes with a little LED that shows when the station is on and blinks when it heats up. It comes with a cleaning sponge, a holder for the iron and also a solder spool holder.

WELLER 40W SOLDERING STATION is one of the best sellers at Amazon and comes with an on-off switch with a power-indicator light and a temperature control knob. The iron comes with a cushioned foam-grip that makes it easy and comfortable to hold it while working. As it comes with a replaceable heating element, you can use it for a long duration. The stand that comes with it can hold your iron and cleaning sponge. It does take more time to heat up. Also, its tip is slightly thicker for use in smaller electric components. Replacing this tip with a thinner one is the solution.

 

ACCESSORIES:

THE SOLDER, and the best type to work with is 60/40 lead or tin.

SOLDER WICK soaks up the molten solder and can be used to clean the excess solder.

CLEANING SPONGE is used to clean the tip of the iron while working.

TIP TINNER is used to clean the tip of the soldering iron.

DIAGONAL CUTTING PLIERS are used to trim the leads after soldering.

HELPING HAND is used to hold the components while soldering.

FLUX PEN has contents that help in the flowing of the lead-free solder.

SOLDER VACUUM PUMP helps remove the solder left behind when de-soldering.

SOLDERING MAT is needed to protect the surface of the workbench.

CONCLUSION

Soldering is a skill that can be grasped quite fast if practiced frequently. Using the best soldering iron and also the various accessories listed above helps not only an experienced solderer, but also beginners. Hopefully after reading this article you are better equipped to take up a great new hobby in electronics.

Further resources:

More detailed information about soldering irons here.

Electronics Primers

-Here’s a great video on soldering:

Best Wire Strippers

Best Wire Strippers – Reviewed

 

if you’re reading this article you already know, it is important to have a good tool to carry out your wire stripping task efficiently. Although having the right tools won’t save you having occasional difficulties, it can help you tackle problems which may not be possible without the proper tools/equipment. It will increase your tolerance level and you will be able to handle things much more effectively. On the other hand a bad tool can destroy your work completely, no matter how carefully you work. Every electronic instrument is made up of a variety of wires. These wires come in a number of sizes and having a wire stripper with you while working with these wires is an absolute necessity to be able strip wires of all different sizes. Wire strippers come in large variety of models. These strippers may be of different shapes, sizes and colors. The cost too varies a lot. Some of these may cost much more than the others. The cost of the strippers depends completely on their specifications and how efficiently and effectively they carry out the work. Below we have listed our top pick:

Klein Tools 11063W:

You may be thinking, why do we need to have specialized tools? well you don’t have to, you can actually use a knife but it may cause problems and injury. you may end up cutting the wires as the knives are sharp. Your knives become blunt and it may also cause your fingers to bleed. The wire strippers are specially meant to strip the wires and the work done by these is much more precise and tidy. You can see the difference between a stripper cut and a knife cut yourself. People also make use of their teeth to strip the wires apart. These also have adverse effects on your teeth. Teeth can be used to strip the wires easily but, it is certainly not advisable to do so. Stripping wire using your teeth may cause your teeth to get chipped. The dental treatment cost much more than the expensive wire strippers. Obviously, the enamel on your teeth is much more precious right?

Parts of a wire

  • Insulator

  • Conductor

Conductor

The conductor is surrounded by the insulator which acts as a protective covering. There are two types of conductors in a wire namely the stranded core and the solid core conductor.

  • Solid core-The solid core is rigid and is easily breakable if bent a number of times. If stressed the conductor in these solid core wires break and the insulation remains intact. You cannot see any problem in the wire easily.

  • Stranded core– the stranded wire finds application where there are chances of more number of deformations. The wire is flexible and is more in use.

Insulation

Every wire comes with an insulation which prevents external flow of current. These insulators include materials like Teflon, plastic etc. PVC is the most commonly used material as it is non corrosive and resistant to oil and water. It is flexible and is suitable for applications.

Types of strippers

The strippers also come in a number of varieties. These strippers are an important part of any electronic project. Now, as we know the importance of the wire strippers, let’s talk about the various strippers that are available in the market. You need to match the strippers to the wire. It is the most important aspect to consider for selecting a stripper. The strippers come in two types of wire gauges-Thin gauge and Thick gauge. The only difference in the two gauges is that each of these have a different hole size. These strippers are inexpensive and used for general purposes. Read more here, for a more comprehensive list of the top 5 wire strippers for your electrical needs.

Here are the most important categories of wire strippers that are available-

  1. Adjustable strippers– it is also a general purpose stripper though. These look like scissors except for the notch. You can easily adjust the notch according to your requirement. These adjustable strippers are suitable for cutting all sorts of wires. All you need to do is to make sure that you cut the insulation and not the wire. These strippers are inexpensive but need close adjustments to work properly and accurately.

  2. Gauged strippers– it is the most common stripper that you will find in the market. It is a perfect balance between performance and price. The stripper is cheap and requires no adjustments. You simply need to place the wire in the slot and pull it. These strippers work with specific gauge sizes only and may damage the wire if you are not careful. The blades cannot be sharpened or replaced once they become blunt.

  3. Self adjusting automatic wire strippers– this is the best out of the lot and does your work effortlessly. It is like you put the wire in the slot and get a wire that is perfectly stripped without any imperfections. These are super easy and fast to use. Some models also come with inbuilt crimpers. The stripper ensures cutting equal depth in each cut. Although, these strippers are quite expensive unlike the other manual strippers, they make your work easier and effortless.

  4. Gauged automatic wire strippers– this stripper is a combo of gauged and automated wire strippers. They are fast and easy to use and are extremely handy. You can easily replace the jaws when they become dull. This feature makes it unique. The manual strippers come with irreplaceable jaws. The gauged automatic wire stripper will not cause any damage to your wire. These strippers are fun to use. These are also the most expensive out of the 4 strippers mentioned. You need to fit the wire in the exact slot to get your work done. 

You should select your stripper wisely according to your needs, if you are not too much into electronics, or are only a hobbyist. A simple stripper will be sufficient for your needs and you need not spend extra cash on the expensive strippers.

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