Editor's Note

Dec. 20, 2006
You can tell when a mechanic invents a tool!

One of my favorite parts of my job is getting to see all of the new products available. On any given day, my inboxes (both mail and e-mail) are full of new product releases. In addition to that, manufacturers seek us editor-types out at trade shows so that we can see their new products first-hand.

I was in Vegas in November attending the SEMA show, an automotive trade show that I was covering for another magazine I now oversee in addition to AMT. I was sitting in on a press luncheon sponsored by Danaher. Danaher is the parent company of Matco Tools and several other tool brands. At the luncheon, the company had products on display from its GearWrench division. There were plenty of new products for all of us to pick up and try out. But there was one product that really stood out — the X-Beam wrench.

One look at the X-Beam wrench, and I had two immediate thoughts. My first thought was, “Surely this tool was invented by a mechanic!” My second thought was, “Why the heck didn’t I think of that?” The wrench is simple, but don’t let its simplicity fool you. The first feature I like is that the wrench is a combination wrench, with an open-end wrench on one end and a ratcheting wrench on the other end. But what is truly neat about this wrench is that the center of the wrench is turned 90 degrees. So no matter what end you are working with, when you put your hand against the wrench to apply pressure, you are applying pressure to a flat surface instead of a thin edge as in traditional wrenches. Danaher shares that this increases contact area between your hand and the wrench by 500 percent. And talk about comfortable!

No, I don’t get paid in any way by Danaher or GearWrench. I just couldn’t help but share my thoughts on how something as simple as twisting the center of a wrench 90 degrees could improve a tool so much. As the Guinness commercial guys would say, “Brilliant!”

If you want to read more about the X-Beam wrench, you can turn to page 22. Also, be sure to check out all of the products we have featured in this month’s issue. And if you want more information about any product, as always, we provide you with the contact information with the product listing. If you contact a manufacturer for more information, do us a favor — let them know you saw it in AMT magazine!

Thanks for reading!