Trusty old tools

Article By : Michael Dunn

Are there items in your toolbox or lab that have been your constant and faithful companions through the years? Here are a few of mine.

For forty years (yikes), these Crescent cutters have never failed me. They've chomped through tens of thousands of component leads and wires, yet show no sign of wearing out. And I'll confess to not always treating them with kid gloves either. They feel good in my hands, and get into tight spots. I've even kept the box…

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These Heathkit breadboards have been with me almost as long. While the specs of the built-in gear are nothing to write home about, the overall convenience of these guys is hard to beat, and they've seen countless little circuits built up and torn down. BTW, the "front panels" are actually the PCBs – the components are hidden under the case at the top of the board.

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I bought my prized Fluke 8060A DMM when I was in my late teens or early twenties. New. For lots of money. Sometimes, you just gotta go for the best. It needs some servicing now, and has been joined by another 8060, as well as the even-better 185 (a.k.a. Tek TX-1). These two DMMs are the best handhelds ever made, as far as I can discern.

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