Send us your Tool Tips for the chance to win $200 of RIDGID tools.

Dual Purpose

I work for a large mechanical contractor that only does commercial and industrial jobs. I have to use unistrutt for a lot of different reasons. I mostly use 1/4-inch drive pins that you drive in with a hammer. I have found it hard to get a hammerhead in between the unistrutt and drive the pin in as needed. As a result, I came up with an inexpensive way to get those drive pins nailed in.

I took a chisel - one of those old knuckle-busters, not the new ones with hand protectors - and drilled a hole in the top flat part of the chisel. After I drilled the hole, I took the chisel and turned it around. The drive pin head now sets perfectly in the 1/4-inch hole. I can fit the chisel between the unistrutt gap and drive the pin in with a hammer. Works great. You can still use the chisel as it was meant for. Another multipurpose tool.

Jason Bradley
Bradley Plumbing
Lexington, Ky.

Retractable 'Sharpie'

I've just purchased a Pro Press B100 and found that marking the pipe where the fitting stops to ensure it is fully seated on the piping prior to pressing the fitting can be a bit of a juggling act. I then found that “Sharpie” markers are available in a retractable model, which eliminates the need to remove and replace a cap. A small thing, but I'm sure it will save time overall.

Craig Weidner
Weidner Plumbing
Franklinville, N.J.

Cordless Power

All of our work trucks have an inverter hooked up to a battery isolator. This way we can maintain all cordless equipment. We can even run some low-draw electric tools from the truck.

Alex Kuga
Dania LLC
Watchung, N.J.

Send Us Your Tool Tips!

If you have an idea that has saved you time and money, Plumbing & Mechanical would like to share your tip with our readers. You can e-mail your idea directly to PM editor Steve Smith at, or mail it to him c/o PM, 1050 IL Route 83, Suite 200, Bensenville, IL 60106.

Our first-place winner will receive the following from Ridge Tool Co. The RIDGID® Prize Package consists of eight professional hand tools and has a $200 total value:

  • 14-inch and 18-inch HD RAPIDGRIP™ Self-Adjusting Wrenches for easy, one-hand operation.
  • One-Stop™ Wrench, a compound tool for installing compression couplings.
  • 10-inch Wide-Mouth Adjustable Wrench featuring tapered jaws for tight areas.
  • 10 1/2-inch Plumber's Tongue-and-Groove Pliers with extra-wide opening jaws.
  • No. 117 Midget Tubing Cutter for use in confined areas.
  • No. 151 Quick-Acting Tubing Cutter for smoother operation.
  • 6-in-1 Multi-Purpose Screwdriver with two Phillips heads, two flat heads and two nut drivers.