Wrenches with embedded LEDs make light of dimly lit fixit jobs
By Darren Quick
September 26, 2011
Homer Simpson's advice when his brother Herb shows him the baby translator he has invented is that Herb "should have just taken an existing product and put a clock in it or something." These days the "or something" could easily be a light or, more specifically, an LED as their tiny size, low cost and low power needs has seen them wedged inside a plethora of devices ... and not because it necessarily provides any real benefit. However, in the world of LED-embedded devices, this wrench set is far from the worst idea we've seen and could actually come in very handy.
I'm the first to admit that I'm not exactly someone who'd qualify as a Mr. Fixit. But even my limited experience under car bonnets, sinks and around the back of partially assembled furniture has highlighted the importance of a little light and the sometimes-difficult task of providing it in cramped spaces when a free hand to hold a torch isn't always available.
Like LED-equipped power-drills (which are definitely useful) this wrench set solves this problem with each wrench packing a rechargeable battery providing up to five hours of power to an LED built into the cradle of each wrench head. Sure, this means that once you guide the wrench to its intended nut, the light will be blocked, but it's the guiding and not the turning that is generally the problem in such situations.
The LEDs can be switched to high or low beam and there's also a flash setting for attracting attention in case of emergency or giving your workshop that nightclub feel. The set includes seven double-sided wrenches from 3/8-in (10 mm) to 3/4-in (20 mm), that are made from chrome-plated, drop-forged steel. The recharging dock stands upright or can be hung on a wall.
The rechargeable illuminating wrench set is available for US$99.95 from Hammacher Schlemmer. We can't comment on the quality of the wrenches themselves and if you've already got an LED-free wrench set, it might be an idea just to invest in a head mounted torch to solve any light deficiency problems in the workshop.