Electrical Archive

Automotive OBD2 scanners and car code readers are the easiest and least expensive ways to find out why your engine light is on and get it to turn off. Even the best car code reader under $50 will give you the same basic information you’d get from an auto repair shop, and there’s no labor charge to pay. Since a shop may charge you $100 just to diagnose a problem, these handy devices can pay for themselves after a single use. If you need a bit more than just reading and clearing basic engine fault codes, a full featured OBD2 scanner is a great investment. Like other technology, prices on these automotive scan tools continue to drop making them affordable to most home mechanics. For [&hellip

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No matter what kind of projects you like to work on, there are going to be times when something as basic as an extension cord is necessary to get the job done. Unlike most tools, there aren’t many frills that can be added to an extension cord, so buying the best extension cord should be based on the gauge of the wire, the length of the cord, and whether it’s heavy-duty enough for the tasks and conditions you want to work in. Although you may not always find them in the cord you need, look for cords with lighted ends or safety devices to make your work go faster. Sure you can always head over to the local big-box home improvement store and get whatever cord is on [&hellip

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When shopping for the best flashlight, the trend has moved away from large, clunky contraptions to smaller devices that easily fit in your pocket or purse. LED flashlights use less power, so you will not be weighed down by the batteries, and provide bright light that can be focused on a specific area. There is a great deal of variation between lights, but the top flashlight will always be the one that can handle any job you have for it, whether it’s at home, the workshop, jobsite, or on the road. TOP PICK: Streamlight 66118 Stylus Pro Flashlight The Streamlight 66118 is the best small flashlight in its class for several reasons. It weighs less than 2 ounces, and comes with a nylon holster for safe storage. Only [&hellip

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What serves as the best laser level will depend on the usage you intend. For simple lines and wall layouts, the top-rated tool is less expensive, providing the bare essentials necessary to get the job done, while other craftsmen and hobbyists will prefer a laser level that serves multiple functions for the sake of simplicity and speed. Each of the top picks presented here fills a different niche, but all three are leaders in their class. TOP PICK: The DeWalt DW088K Cross Line Laser For a simple cross line laser, the DeWalt DW088K is the best bang for the buck. It’s built DeWalt tough, and operates for hours on 3 AAA batteries. Clearly visible lines can be projected up to 100 feet, and includes a [&hellip

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When looking for the best car battery charger, there are a couple of things that every model should have. The ability to charge 6 and 12 volt batteries is important, since lawn tractors and yard equipment often uses a 6 volt system, and a float charging system that will not overcharge the battery can prevent damage. It is nice to have a car battery charger that can be set to different current levels, and look for a product that is compact enough to take with you on extended trips. TOP PICK: NOCO Genius G3500 Battery Charger One of the smallest and most innovative models on the market, the Genius G3500 is the top-ranked pick for both versatility and performance. It can be used as a [&hellip

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A heat gun is a versatile yet inexpensive tool that’s able to fill a number of roles, from bending PVC and welding plastics to miniature landscapes. Even though most heat guns look similar, the best heat gun stands apart because it brings more to the table than the competition. Remember that a heat gun is dangerous after use, and must be handled carefully until the nozzle has cooled to avoid accidental burns, fires, or unwanted melting. They may look like hairdryers but run much hotter. TOP PICK: Porter-Cable PC1500HG 1500-Watt Heat Gun There are a few things that sets the PC1500HG apart as our top choice. The powerful 1500 watts is first, offering more concentrated power than any of the competition. It also has separate controls [&hellip

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You already know that the vast majority of things, in your home and literally everything in your vehicle, is powered by electrical current. You may also know that the two ‘types’ of current, if you will, are Direct Current, (DC, as in your car) or Alternating Current (AC, as in your home.) In order to test these various currents, you will either need a meter that is appropriate for each or a multimeter that can test the quality, strength and stability of both. Some features, functions and uses of a Multimeter Testing an electrical outlet will assist in making sure you have electricity when you need it: On the multimeter, locate the DC indicator and turn the dial to it. Insert the probes, the black [&hellip

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There are lot of variations in the design of the best timing light. Some models have a full set of features, while others are specifically made to test timing and nothing else. The trade off is that the more features you have, the bulkier the unit has to be. For the contenders here, both types are represented, but emphasis is placed on lightweight, single purpose timing light guns. If you like to keep things simple, go with a basic model, but the more advanced Innova 5568 is always available if you need an all-purpose engine electrical tool that can do more than check your engine timing. TOP PICK: INNOVA 5568 Pro-Timing Light The top-rated Innova 5568 is a professional quality timing light. In addition to ignition [&hellip

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Non-contact infrared thermometers use an infrared scanner to detect the temperature of objects without actually touching them. This can be especially helpful in automotive applications or situations where exposure to the tested object could be harmful. Keep in mind that the reading you get will depend on the emissivity, or reflectiveness, of the object you are measuring. Also, remember that even the best non-contact infrared thermometer is only able to measure the temperature at the surface of the test object, and are not suitable for determining what the internal temperature may be. Important features include the focus ratio, number of lasers, and whether you can adjust the emissivity setting. TOP PICK: Fluke 62 MAX Plus Infrared Thermometer The Fluke 62 Max earns its place as [&hellip

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The best multimeter is going to mean something different for every user. An electrician may want a meter that has auto-ranging and a focus on high voltage alternating current, while a hobbyist is looking for a multimeter that offers a full range of testing options. Analog multimeters with an actual swinging needle-gauge are still manufactured, but precision electronics will demand the accuracy of using a digital meter, and all of the top rated models are digital multimeters, called DMMs. Whether you are in need of a multimeter for auto diagnostics, hvac work, home use, or other electronics use, here are three highly rated units. TOP PICK: Fluke 115 True-RMS Compact Digital Multimeter Fluke is widely recognized as one of the very best multimeter brands on the [&hellip

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