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Profile for D. Berube > Reviews

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Content by D. Berube
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Reviews Written by
D. Berube (Ottawa, ON Canada)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

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GearWrench 81012P 120XP Full Polish Flex Teardrop Ratchet, 1/4-Inch
GearWrench 81012P 120XP Full Polish Flex Teardrop Ratchet, 1/4-Inch
Price: CDN$ 46.01
9 used & new from CDN$ 45.91

5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Ratchet, Jan. 5 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have to say I debated quite hard as to what rating to give this 1/4 ratchet as although I do love this ratchet I can by no means call it a perfect. That said, I'll start with what I love, this ratchet does have a great feel to it and the 120XP feature certainly makes it very handy. I've used the ratchet many times in tight spaces and can get a fastener moving easily that my older big box store ratchet could maybe get a single click out of (sometimes with great effort). Not to mention this ratchet has the flex head, which further improves this ratchet's access to tight areas.

My one gripe though is although the direction switch is flush with the head of the ratchet (so in theory this prevents accidental switching of direction) I still find it easy to kick the switch over while using this 1/4 model as it offers little resistance when touched. That said, while this can be annoying, at the price point of this 1/4 model and it's numerous advantages over similarly priced ratchets (pretty much nothing in this price range competes with this), I can't bring myself to dock the ratchet a star for it.

In general if you're after a nice 1/4 ratchet without dropping the big bucks to your local Snap-On, Mac or Matco dealer, this GearWrench 120XP is a compelling choice that I can't recommend enough despite that switch being a slight annoyance. There's simply nothing else I've seen that offers a better value for your money.
In conclusion, if you're after

Corsair Vengeance K70 Black Cherry MX Brown (CH-9000067-NA)
Corsair Vengeance K70 Black Cherry MX Brown (CH-9000067-NA)
2 used & new from CDN$ 284.43

5.0 out of 5 stars A Keyboard Worth The Asking Price, Dec 18 2015
For awhile I had debated whether spending over $100 on a keyboard was worth while, till now I had always used sub $30 Logitech keyboards and usually been quite happy. Lately though my cheap Logitech keyboard ($10 refurb unit) had been annoying me as it has no media controls and wasn't the best keyboard for typing for extended periods. So when this Corsair came up on sale, I finally relented and purchased a Cherry MX Brown switch model and I haven't regretted that purchase since the day I first brought this keyboard home. It's a dream to type on, has the satisfying mechanical feel/sound without being obnoxiously loud and of course media control with a volume wheel (which I love having, it makes adjusting the volume of something very quick and easy with one motion).

Of course you also you get red backlighting that honestly isn't that great. Though you can switch between lighting the entire keyboard or just your main gaming keys, the lighting is far from even on the top row of number keys (the symbols on the tops of the keys are much brighter than the numbers on the bottoms of the keys) and honestly the backlighting isn't the reason I purchased this board, so on my unit, I keep the lighting turned off almost all the time. Finally to round things off you do get a USB port on the back which does offer convenience to plug in a USB drive or other USB accessory should your PC not be in easy reach.

So while I may not be the biggest fan of the lighting, it's far from being something I could dock a star for, especially since it's easily disabled. So as long as you're after a keyboard that doesn't carry the full RGB back-lighting of higher Corsair models or some of the competition (such as the Logitech G910 Orion Spark), this is a fantastic choice of keyboard to round out a good PC build.

GearWrench 3358 Wheel Weight Tool
GearWrench 3358 Wheel Weight Tool
Offered by CanadaAutoSupply
Price: CDN$ 40.54
6 used & new from CDN$ 40.54

4.0 out of 5 stars Not Perfect, But Still An Excellent Tool, Nov. 1 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
While this is a great wheel weight hammer/removal tool, I can't say it's perfect as the tip of the tool that actually pulls weights off on my tool is just wide enough that it struggles to pull some wheel weights that have very small holes in their clips off which results in me reaching for one of the tools that is supplied by my shop. That said, unlike those tools, this one has a hard plastic cover on the hammer which transmits more striking force to the weight than the soft rubber used on the shop ones while still preventing marring/damage to the new weight or the rim and as long as the hole isn't too small in the weights clip, this tool has pulled off weights that the others simply refused to.

Also, as other reviews on Amazon.com have noted, there are 2 version of this tool. The unit I received from my seller was the original KD Tools version whereas most sellers these days will send the GearWrench version. Functionally speaking, they are the same tool, the only difference between them is KD version has a red handle whereas the GearWrench version is nearly all black. Should it matter which version you get, no, this is an excellent wheel weight tool regardless of what version you receive for most clip-on weights and were it not for the fact it struggles with those stupidly small holed weights, I would gladly give it a perfect rating

Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E250B/AM)
Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-75E250B/AM)
Offered by Westpac Technology
Price: CDN$ 116.00
42 used & new from CDN$ 101.98

5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Upgrade, Nov. 1 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought a 250GB 850 EVO to replace an aging 60GB SSD that was simply too small for my needs these days and I must say, I don't regret spending these couple of extra bucks on an EVO drive over some of the competition's cheaper options as Samsung makes switching to your new SSD very simple with their drive migration tool (available from their website, no redemption codes necessary) and their Magician software makes optimizing your existing Windows installation for SSD use very simple if you've never used an SSD before. Am I using the full potential of this drive, no, in my benchmarks SATA II (the maximum supported by the laptop it's installed in) limits this drive to roughly half it's rated read and write speeds (274MB/s read, 262MB/s write) but even performing at half it's potential, it still outdoes the old SSD it replaced in bootup time and general system performance.

In short, if you've got an older PC/laptop that's getting awfully slow with age, buying an 850 EVO will breathe new life into it, even if you can't use it's full potential and it will make this process easy for anyone to perform as long as you can use a screwdriver to install it (and if installing in a laptop, have an external hard drive enclosure handy, as it makes duplicating your old drive much easier).

King Canada K-2538H Arctic Flex-Hybrid Polymer Industrial Air Hoses, 25-Feet x 3/8-Inch
King Canada K-2538H Arctic Flex-Hybrid Polymer Industrial Air Hoses, 25-Feet x 3/8-Inch
Price: CDN$ 28.56
4 used & new from CDN$ 28.56

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Decent Air Hose, Oct. 20 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have to say, I wanted to love this hose and while I don't regret purchasing it, it didn't blow me away either. While the hybrid polymer does make this hose very flexible and pretty much completely kink resistant, under pressure this hose does not like to lay flat or coil consistently (something my older, less kink resistant hose was much better at), which it makes it very hard to store out of the way neatly while working during the day.

That said, this hose is proving to be far more durable than others I've used in the past, largely due to the built in strain relief at each end (a common failure point on cheaper hoses I've tried) and fairly resistant to everyday shop exposure to various chemicals and abrasion (it's been pinched many times by car hoists without so much as a blister) so while I can't give this hose a perfect score on account of being a pain to get to lay flat or coil neatly under pressure, I can say if that kind of thing doesn't bother you much, this King air hose offers good durability at a fair price.

UPDATE: April 2016: I have found a weak point in this hose, the 1/4 NPT brass ends are not as strong as you might think. On my setup I have a rather heavy push on style air fitting that allows quick hookups of my air tools and I let the heavy fitting drop onto the floor while working one day. The end result was the brass fitting at the end of the hose broke clean in half and sent my hose whipping around the shop. Now this isn't the end of the world since I was able to simply cut the busted end off, put in a repair fitting and my hose is almost as good as new but do keep in mind if you have heavier air fittings don't let your hose simply drop to the ground or you may face a similar failure. That said, my hose is still blister free and otherwise holding up very well, so I don't think this failure warrants a change in rating, just keep my experience should you purchase and use this hose.

Monoprice 10-Feet USB 2.0 A Male to A Female Extension 28/24AWG Cable (Gold Plated) (105434)
Monoprice 10-Feet USB 2.0 A Male to A Female Extension 28/24AWG Cable (Gold Plated) (105434)
Price: CDN$ 4.99
9 used & new from CDN$ 4.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Performance, Oct. 20 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Though this feels like a quality cable and at first this cable was exactly what I was looking for, I have to say I'm disappointed with this product's performance over time. I originally bought this cable to add some extra length to my HTC's charging cord (which I had done with a shorter extension cable in the past) and for the first few weeks it did so wonderfully, but lately the cable triggers my One M8 to warn of slow charging or quite a few times left me surprised to find out many hours later it's hasn't charged my phone at all. Unplug and replug the cable back in though and it often resolves the issue until the next time I go to use it. On the other hand, the minute I switch back to that existing cable I've had for many years all the problems disappear. Needless to say, as a result of this inconsistent performance I can't give this any higher than a 2 star rating as it does technically "work", it just doesn't always work when you want it to.

Knipex 7402250 10-Inch High Leverage Diagonal Cutters, Comfort Grip
Knipex 7402250 10-Inch High Leverage Diagonal Cutters, Comfort Grip
Price: CDN$ 67.15
8 used & new from CDN$ 67.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, Long Lasting Cutters, Oct. 7 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you're after a pair of diagonal cutters, these Knipex cutters should be high on your list. I've used many of the cheap ones available at your local hardware or big box store and even some more expensive brands such as Mac and these Knipex ones are hands down the best I've used. They will cut through many things those others cutters take some effort to cut (wire, valve stems, nails), thanks to the long handles, without so much as a scratch. My pair still close perfectly and I've yet to mark the cutting blades despite spirited use, something my old cutters could not do after a month of use. I will say though, unless you're going to use them all the time, you could probably get away with purchasing the standard dipped handles (which are usually cheaper). The comfort grip handles, while nice to hold, are far from necessary with the effort these cutters require to cut materials. But whether you purchase the standard handles or the comfort grip ones, if you're after an excellent pair of diagonal cutters, Knipex has you covered with these diagonal cutters.

Astro Pneumatic 3018 3-1/2-Inch Digital Tire Inflator with Hose
Astro Pneumatic 3018 3-1/2-Inch Digital Tire Inflator with Hose
Price: CDN$ 93.89
7 used & new from CDN$ 86.53

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Gauge, Sept. 1 2015
Now I'll say before I get any further, I actually own the Matco DT4 (which appears to have been discontinued by Matco), which is essentially this Astro unit, just in a red rubber casing and it bears the Matco logo instead of Astro, but otherwise, the units are identical design wise. Now whether you buy the Matco or the Astro, you'll love having this tire inflator available, especially with TPMS equipped vehicles as it is dead accurate, can inflate and deflate (inflating is done by squeezing the trigger all the way, deflating is done by just squeezing the trigger part way) and it has a large, easy to read display that you can trigger a back light on if you need it. Not to mention you can easily change units with this inflator to accurately match vehicle ratings should the vehicle read in kPa instead of PSI.

The two major downsides with these units is the air chucks they come with can leak when you clip them on valves. Mine does unless I press down on the chuck to keep it firmly seated, which I don't care about much. The other is issue is a well documented one, the battery changes. These gauges use a CR2450 battery (which I suggest ordering from Amazon, far better value usually) to power them and they don't last forever. My unit lasted about 9 months on the first battery installed by my Matco rep who was kind enough to give me a spare that I'm currently using and installed myself. Now I didn't have that big a problem getting mine changed as I simply pulled the rubber case back till the rear of the unit was fully exposed, which makes the job much easier and I had my battery changed in 5 minutes.

So even with the minor downsides these inflators may carry, if you're looking for an accurate digital gauge to keep those TPMS warning lights at bay, whether at home or in a shop, look no further than an Astro Pneumatic 3018/Matco DT4.

OTC 5744 TPMS Tire Deflator/Locator
OTC 5744 TPMS Tire Deflator/Locator
Price: CDN$ 37.44
2 used & new from CDN$ 37.44

5.0 out of 5 stars A Time-Saver For Any Technician, Sept. 1 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you've ever dealt with TPMS sensors with cores that are seized or TPMS in general, these deflators can be a real time saver. Screw one on the valve and you'll have the air out in just a little more time than it takes with the core out of the valve and be ready to perform any tire work you're doing. Plus unlike some kits on the market, these OTC deflators are color-coded and stamped for wheel location so you can return the sensors to their original locations when finished, eliminating the need to re-learn the sensors locations on many vehicles. So while this tool is a single-purpose tool that is by no means necessary, it's wonderful to have waiting in your toolbox for whenever a TPMS equipped vehicle rolls in.

Ammex GPNB48100 GlovePlus Powder Free Nitrile Gloves, 230mm Length, Beaded Cuff, Extra Large, Pack of 100 (Black)
Ammex GPNB48100 GlovePlus Powder Free Nitrile Gloves, 230mm Length, Beaded Cuff, Extra Large, Pack of 100 (Black)
Price: CDN$ 10.18
6 used & new from CDN$ 10.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars By No Means Are These The Best, Sept. 1 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These gloves are definitely best described as light duty use. While I've used disposables that tear easier than these do, you can still tear these open fairly easily and I've broken a few putting them on. I will say though, these gloves do fit more loosely than some other gloves I've purchased in an XL size and for what I use these gloves for, I actually prefer that as I tend to use these gloves for oil changes and general cleanup jobs and it makes them easy to get off when I'm done with them, unlike my favorite disposable gloves (Greasemonkey 15ml thickness). So if you're after gloves for an oil change or cleaning work, these might not be a bad choice, but for general automotive work, look at something else.

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