Friday Quick Tip: Tool Time

I love hobby tools almost as much as the hobby itself. And while I love my local game store, the few things I'll shop around for are tools. Mainly because I love my favorite local tool store and never visit without finding something wonderful. Here's the result of my latest shopping trip.

I've been looking for that wheeled punch for a long time. Now I can create rivets from 2mm to 4.5mm with ease. If you are looking for such a tool, look at tools for working with leather. This third hand was just handy and I needed an extra knife (or three!), and this one was a bargain. Speaking of bargains, all three of the above cost me $11.

I also found a tool to solve another problem. For a while I've lamented my 15W foam cutter. Even though it is a great design, it just didn't have the muscle when I had to tackle a large project (like the radio tower I did for BoLSCon-- carving a cubic foot of foam).

Well now I've found a foam cutting "sledgehammer" for when I need it:

Not only does it have adjustable temperature (for more power when you need it), but it will heat up to 840 degrees F. This baby will cut insulating concrete forms, nylon rope and probably half the furniture made by IKEA. Anyone need to hack up a Baneblade?

And let me be the first to say, in tone of the recently popularized video: "My 130W foam cutter is the greatest power for evil!"

What hobby bargains have you found out there? And what are some of your favorite tools?


  1. Love me some Harbor Freight. Would love to hear how that foam cutter works after you get a chance to play with it at different settings! I nominate you for a review! :)

  2. I cranked it up to 3 and was able to put the hurt on some GW plastic. I was indoors, so I didn't do more. This is definitely something meant to be done outside, with lots of fresh air and probably a respirator.

    The lowest setting seems perfect-- about as hot as my smaller 15W cutter gets at its hottest.

  3. I have that set and note the blue plastic insert where you place the blades. It wears out really quickly and it is not really worth the bargain price. I suggest getting a set with metal collets, they'll last a lifetime.

  4. The $2 I paid for the knife set was worth it for the blades alone. I've already got dozens of knives, but good tip on the blue collets. Maybe I'll use these handles as holders for painting and the blades in my existing metal colleted arsenal.

    And that's a good tip for Harbor Freight in general: you have to keep an eye on the quality of what you buy, since some stuff is decent but other stuff is pretty terrible.

  5. I really really like that foam cutter. I'm going to have to hit up the Harbor Freight again and see if I can't find it on the shelves. I'm a huge fan of that place. They've got a ton of great little tools with lots of wargaming applications.

  6. On top of it all, make sure you sign up for their email updates since there's a 20% off 1 item coupon that comes almost every week, and sometimes a 15% off your whole purchase one from time to time as well. Cheap being made cheaper is never bad.

  7. Yeah I use those scalpels too, got about 10 boxes left, they're so cheap at £1 per unit. Having said that the blade holder bits (blue sections seen on the pic) are crap, they snap under a stiff breeze. Get a set with metal holders and use the blades from the cheapo sets.

    ^^ I see Gabriel has the same opinion. I confirm his comment. Hopefully you haven't learned the hard way by hurting yourself Gabriel, I've been lucky so far but there have been a few close calls.

  8. So what is that 130W foam cutter actually called? I've searched the Harbor Freight web site for it but can't find it.