Send us your Tool Tipsfor the chance to win $200 worth of RIGID tools.

Get A Grip
This Tool Tip solves a real-life problem with 1/2-inch copper to 1/2-inch male pipe adapters. These fittings are always a problem due to their rolled threads and narrow hex. You can't get a good grip without deforming them.

To tighten those pesky 1/2-inch copper to 1/2-inch male NPT adapters, I use a 21-mm, 6-point flarenut wrench.

These are available from Home Depot or McMaster-Carr, a major industrial supplier; visit

With this wrench I can actually tighten them enough to seal without crushing the fitting.
Martin Ziskind
Dynamic Repairs
Hopewell Junction, N.Y.

Good Ol' Roger
Twenty years ago, I was struggling to remove the corroded nut on a kitchen sink basket strainer that kept spinning on me. A fellow employee named Roger with 40 years-plus of experience brought in a drill, drilled through the locknut, splitting it and it fell right off.

This was just one of the many tricks of the trade Roger taught us. It has saved me countless hours of labor and frustration over the past 20 years.
Michael Letsinger
Pearson Plumbing and Heating
Rockford, Ill.

Deposit Required
For the most part, I have only lost tools when I loaned them out on a job. Now when someone wants to borrow a tool, I have them leave their hat, cell phone, keys, anything. And you know what? I don't lose tools anymore.
Mike Grow
Plumb Crazy
Bend, Ore.

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, 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.