I have enjoyed the recent posts on tools, so thought to ask your best inexpensive tool purchase of recent years. A ‘favourite tool of all time that costs under USD30 for this week’ or something like that.
For me, it is a sprung centre punch. I use it all the time for marking centres for turnings, to mark and align drill holes in harder wood and occasionally it is a nice texturing tool for small items. It also finds use for the odd metalwork job I have to do. I only have the one and if it has been misplaced, I find myself willing to expend considerable effort hunting for it, rather than using an awl or other tool to do the job, which is a mark of it’s utility and the pleasure obtained from using it. It cost me about USD10 (NZD 20) from a local engineering supplies shop.
Second prize goes to a set of igaging engineers squares from chipsfly.com – dirt cheap and dead accurate – I use them for machine setup, small spaces and as a reference for other tools. at $8-12 each for the useful sizes, these are amazing value.
So, what is your best small or cheap tool that punches above it’s weight in the value stakes?