This month we went through the Eastwood Company parts bin and realized that many really handy tools do not have to be power-driven, big and heavy, or for that matter high tech. One thing's for certain, in any hot rodder's garage there will always be a need for extra light, a battery charger, and a handy little bit set that will remove a myriad of specialty fasteners.

Yep, it's the small stuff that we sometimes overlook. This month let's take a look at three really handy car/garage tools: A rechargeable flashlight that provides a lot more light than its size would lead you to think, a mini-ratcheting bit set for all of those specialty fasteners, and, lastly, a battery sustainer to make sure your hot rod will fire up when you want it to.

Retractable Work Light/Flashlight Combo

Here's an amazingly handy light source for working in your shop or to carry along in your ride. The Eastwood Company's surface mount LED retractable work light and flashlight combination (PN 70468) provides two light sources in one. It is the latest in LED lighting. Unlike traditional LED that is in epoxy enclosures, the SMD LEDs are mounted directly on the circuit board. The bonus of this new system is its ability to provide a wider viewing angle.

The Eastwood work light features 30 powerful SMD LEDs that emit over 200 lumens and are two times more powerful than the same count regular LEDs. Once you have the light in your hand you realize that the body (light) is retractable and by sliding the light in an out you can control the amount (intensity) of light. Once fully charged (four to six hours) you have 1-1/2 hours of running (light on) time; a rechargeable battery that comes with a charger and a car charger for added convenience are included.

Another feature is the slip-resistant rubber over-molded handle that captures two magnets that will allow you to perch the light on surface metal throughout a car. There is also a built-in hanger that will allow you to hang the light from a number of handy places within a car.

29-Piece Ratcheting Bit Set

The Eastwood Company 29-Piece Ratcheting Bit Set (PN 70289) is an ideal pocket-sized tool kit to deal with everyday fasteners found in and out of your hot rod. The bit set is compact, portable, and made to last.

The individual bits will work on hex, Phillips, Pozi, slotted, Torx, and tamper Torx fasteners and function as a reversible ratchet would for simple on/off engagement of bits. There is also a magnetic bit holder that keeps the bit in place during the work engagement.

You will find the following make up the 29-piece set: a 1/4-inch fine-tooth bit ratchet with forward/reverse switch lever; a 1/4-inch magnetic bit holder for easy on/off engagement of bits; a 1/4-inch socket adapter to drive sockets (sockets not included); 26 vital bits that include four individual Hex, three individual Phillips, three individual Pozi, and three individual slotted; six individual Torx; and seven individual Tamper Torx bits.

Battery Sustainer

The Eastwood Battery Sustainer (PN 13537) is ideally suited for the rodder who needs to park his ride for prolonged periods of time. The battery sustainer will maintain your hot rod's 12V battery at a full charge while stored and it won't overcharge. (Did you know car batteries in storage can lose significant capacity in just 12 to 20 days, depending on weather conditions and battery age?) But unlike typical trickle chargers, this Eastwood Battery Sustainer maintains the charge without overcharging the battery, which can cause permanent damage.

The sustainer will work with modern batteries or even the older desulphation types used ages ago. While the charging is going on the LED display shows the level of charge as well as the battery status. It works with almost all vehicle batteries: regular lead acid, AGM, and gel cell. Additionally, the method for hookup is either through alligator clips or hard wire the ring-terminal connectors to your battery terminals, plug it into a wall outlet, and it will maintain a constant 100 percent charge. Microprocessor-controlled technology cuts off when the battery is fully charged to prevent damage from overcharging. Spark-free and temperature-compensated, with short-circuit and reverse-polarity protection.

Well, here are three small and inexpensive ways to keep your hot rod ready for the road. All can be easily stored in your shop or in your ride. Readily available light, hand tool for small fasteners, and battery sustainer are all good tools to have when leaving the home shop behind.

Eastwood Tech Tip:
For you enthusiasts up north, put your aerosol paints in a cardboard box and store in the basement or closet during the winter. They will last a lot longer without any problems.

Eastwood Company
263 Shoemaker Road
PA  19464