Why You Need Screw Extractors And How Rennsteig Stands Apart

It’s a horrible feeling. You have been working in the shop for hours, laboring over your work and all-of-a-sudden everything comes to a halt. Why? A fastener broke and you can’t get it out. You can try and dig it out somehow, but most of the time the best option is to use some form of extractor, or as many call it, an “easy out”.

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Spiral Fluted Screw Extractor in Tap Wrench

I’m going to be honest and tell you that when I set out to write this post, I was hoping to give a ton of historical perspective about who invented the idea and when. I searched patents and documents to the best of my meager ability and couldn’t find a thing! Even the Wikipedia page doesn’t clue us in too much. The earliest info I can find is a 1914 patent for an “EZY-out” screw extractor made by the Cleveland Twist Drill Company. This is the only place I have seen the name spelled with a Y (EZY) and most modern spellings either leave the letter Y out or spell out the full word (easy). So, I am suspect to the true origins of the original design. The Cleveland Twist Drill Company merged with Acme in the sixties and are now produced through Greenfield Industries. I went so far as to contact Greenfield to see if they had any information, but to no avail.

What I can inform you about is the use and design of such a tool and how one of our German favorites has a unique variation on the original. All extractors use basically the same principle. A hole is drilled down through the broken fastener, the extractor is hammered into the hole and twisted in the proper direction to bite the fastener and remove it. This is typically done with a tap wrench since the shank of the extractor is square shaped. The most common extractor is of the “Spiral Fluted” design and looks like a cross between a drill bit and a screw thread, and in many ways, that is exactly what it is. The threading is backwards to the screws thread so as to dig into the fastener and extract it back the way in which it came.

Rennsteig Tools was founded in 1959 and became a member of the Knipex group in 1991. Among their over 50 national and international patents is their creative design for screw extractors. Though they have their own version of a spiral extractor, it is their “Dual-Edged” version that sets them apart. Made of high-strength chrome vanadium steel, the tools are tapered like any other extractor, but are fluted and double-edged, meaning they can be used in both right and left-handed (clockwise and counter-clockwise) fasteners. The dual edge cutting heads give you eight points of contact (four each direction), ensuring a solid bite into the damaged fastener. Not only that, it has a hardened center punch for starting your drilling hole and a hexagonal shank so that it can be used with a typical wrench or socket, eliminating the need for a tap wrench.

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Rennsteig Dual Edged Screw Extractors with Hexagonal Shank

Check out this great demonstration of these by Tyler King of Rennsteig. Got a broken screw or bolt you need extracting? Get the Rennsteig Screw Extractors at your home for the best German Tools, KC Tool.

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What is a DIN number?

There are various sets of standards in the tool world.  In America we have The American National Standards Institute or ANSI for short.  On a global level, there is the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO.  Since this is a blog about specifically German made tools we will look at the German version: DIN.

DIN stands for Deutsches Institut Für Normung or German Institute for Standardization in English.  They have been operating for literally 100 years and have always been highly regarded in the standards community.  Though the name implies an exclusively German operation, the DIN standards have been adopted across the world and influenced many other standards organizations including the ISO.  The best example of this is the DIN standard 476 from 1922 introducing the A sizes of paper which would later become ISO 216 in 1975.Read More »

Christmas Gift Tool Ideas

Seems like Christmas (or preparation for Christmas) gets earlier and earlier each year. My wife and I went to pick out Christmas trees at Lowe’s last night. I am very much a Scrooge, but she adores the Christmas season. She was asking me before Halloween if we could hang Christmas lights. At the time I resisted, saying; “We have to wait for after Thanksgiving”. My reasoning to her is that each season needs its proper time and respect. That was a lie, I was just trying to delay the inevitable. She wore me down over the last two weeks. Finally, after the Chiefs late win over the Panthers, I was feeling especially buoyant (and vulnerable). I gave in. We bought a tree. We did compromise on the size of tree though (moral victory). She was looking for a gigantic 12’ artificial tree. I was hoping for a small fern. Instead, we got a 3’ tall Norfolk Island Pine which is probably around 6 months old. I have read they can grow to over 200 ft tall…which could be a huge problem.  I will have to keep it pruned up to keep it inside.  The name implies it is a pine tree but it isn’t, it is a weird Araucariaceae from the sub-tropical island of Norfolk which is way the hell out near Australia.  I was disappointed to find that it is going to have to stay in the house in a large pot because it doesn’t like cold weather. Oh well…would have looked perfect in the backyard. Minor drawback.  Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it alive for several Christmas seasons.   It should be almost perfect: it isn’t going to be too big, isn’t going to shed needles, and I can care for it after the season. I have a green thumb in addition to being a German Hand Tool aficionado. Cross your fingers that I made a good move…

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We at KC Tool decided to get in on the early Christmas action too. We have a new section on our website designated “Gift Ideas”. These are some of our favorites and some of our best sellers. Many of these are already on sale, limited supply offers (Wera Advent Calendar and the Kraftform Kompakt Christmas), or hard to get items. If there are other items, you think would make great gift ideas give us a heads up below in the comments section. Take a look and remember to wish list your items for your loved ones to purchase for you early to beat the Christmas rush.

A Few New Knipex Items …

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New for 2016 – Knipex 91 13 250 Tile Breaking Pliers

Knipex recently introduced a number of new products in Europe that are beginning to make their way to the North American market.  One of the most interesting designs in my opinion is the new Knipex 91 13 250 Tile Breaking Pliers which is essentially a 10″ Pliers Wrench with a specialized soft plastic jaw (replaceable) to aide in breaking tiles and/or porcelain stoneware (after scoring with a tile cutter).

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New Knipex Pliers

Widely regarded as one of the best brands of pliers in the world, Knipex continues to deliver new and upgraded German made tools annually.   This Fall is no exception with the addition of several new models that are now available in North America (or soon available).  Knipex expands their ever popular Cobra series with a locking version of their 10″ (250mm) Hose Clamp Pliers as pictured below (85-51-250-AF).

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Knipex 85-51-250-AF

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Knipex May Promo KC Tool Electrician 2015

Best German Made Electrician’s Pliers Sale – KC Tool

Knipex Electrician’s Pliers on Sale @ KC Tool – May 2015Knipex May Promo KC Tool Electrician 2015If you have been looking for a great deal on electrician’s pliers,  now is your chance!  Plus, you can also take advantage of free ground shipping this month on  $100.00*+ $50.00+* orders.  These Knipex models are some of the handiest pliers to carry.

Featured are the plastic grip and MultiGrip versions of the popular Pliers for Electrical Installation and 4 in 1 Electrician’s Pliers (all models Made in Germany).

Pictured above (L to R):

13 02 160 6.3″ Electrician’s Pliers MultiGrip (4 in 1) – Stripping capacities metric

13 01 614 4 in 1 Electrician’s Pliers – Stripping capacities AWG 10,12,14

13 82 8 Pliers for Electrical Installation – MultiGrip

13 81 8 Pliers for Electrical Installation – Plastic Grip

These make a great graduation present and with Father’s Day coming up soon, this is your chance to get Dad some tools that did not come in a blister pack with free flashlight — no gimmicks here — Real. Honest.  Pliers.

If you are having trouble deciding between the two grips, the plastic grip models in our opinion allow for more dexterity and control, however, the MultiGrip models become more comfortable when working with pliers for long durations.  We have also heard feedback from some customers with arthritis that the MultiGrip handled pliers are the most comfortable they have found.  It’s really user preference.

*Free ground shipping on $50.00+ orders shipping to a continental US address.  Standard rates apply for Hawaii, Alaska, APO/FPO/DPO, Canada and International Orders; Overnight & user-specified shipping method orders.  Ends May 31, 2015.

P.S.  Have you entered your guess today for the KC Tool Bit Guessing Contest?  Winner receives a Wera Tools prize pack (MSRP $450.00+)

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A Guide to Knipex Diagonal Cutters

Wire cutters.  Dikes.  Diagonal pliers.  Known by many names and found in nearly every tool box is a pair of diagonal cutters.  This tool is used frequently by both professionals & DIY’ers for its simple yet effective purpose: to cut wire.

Knipex Tools are known for their craftsmanship & reliability.  Knipex is also an innovator having 4 different styles of diagonal cutters as seen below.

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L to R: TwinForce®, X-Cut®, High Leverage, Diagonal Cutter

The 4 styles of Knipex Diagonal Cutters: TwinForce®, X-Cut®, High Leverage Diagonal Cutter, and Diagonal Cutter.

The differences between the 4 series lie in the design of the joint — and subsequently the efficiency of how much hand force is transferred to the cut.  Lets begin by looking at the TwinForce® series.Read More »

Wiha Factory Tour Review!

Wiha Tools – A View From Schonach (PDF)

Join Peter Brett as he reviews his recent tour of Wiha’s Schonach factory for Tool Business + Hire Magazine (UK)!

Also featured in the June 2014 issue is a review of the small but mighty Knipex 86-03-125 Pliers Wrench (page 11 of the PDF) as well as a preview of some new Metabo products and even a Wiha advertisement for a product not available in the US yet … (hint: see page 15 of the PDF):

Full June 2014 Issue (PDF)