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#211136 - 09/19/13 06:02 AM Southwire for Tools?
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
When I saw the ads in the trade press, my first thought was: "Just what we need- another clone of existing tools frown "

Well, I saw the tools at Lowes last night. I did not look over the display very much, but I saw enough to give me pause. In many ways, Southwire's offerings are not simply 'another Klein" or "another Greenlee."

The first thing I noticed was a very few sizes of very substantial T-handle hex keys. They looked ideal for panel lugs, and you had working tips on one of the short legs, as well as the long leg.

A glance at the screwdrivers showed the usual "9 in 1," as well as versions with a built-in light and a wire stripper.

I've used illuminated screwdrivers before, and loved them - for the short time before the light stopped working. Let's hope Southwire has a better light.

The wire stripper is sized for #12 and #10. I'm not quite sure how it works.

Next visit I'll be sure to look more closely at the display.

My only grumble is the brown color; what I don't need are dark tools hiding in a dark tool bag. I have the Greenlee set, and it's nearly impossible to find the black tools in their black bag. (Yes, Greenlee tools are far more 'black' than 'green').

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#211144 - 09/19/13 08:15 PM Re: Southwire for Tools? [Re: renosteinke]
schenimann Offline

Registered: 02/18/08
Posts: 194
Loc: Western North Carolina
I was in Lowe's and saw the display. After I got past the awful black and brown color scheme.I picked up one of the fish tapes that were there. It just didn't seem as durable as my current klien tape.

I looked at the brands that they replaced. They went from Klien to Greenlee, probably a lateral move. But now they have used Southwire to replace the cheap tools as well which tells me the quality is not the same. Not to say they are not good tools, just not the same standards as what is in my tool bag. And that ugly brown and black.

#211146 - 09/20/13 12:01 AM Re: Southwire for Tools? [Re: renosteinke]
NORCAL Offline

Registered: 09/25/02
Posts: 805
Just another cheap ChiCom tool line. Lowes can keep it.

#211148 - 09/20/13 12:30 PM Re: Southwire for Tools? [Re: renosteinke]
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6791
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
I'll check it out when I'm in the store. My pouch has 97% Klien tools. The rest are either Ideal, or GB.

BTW, the majority were bought at the supply houses.

#211151 - 09/20/13 02:12 PM Re: Southwire for Tools? [Re: renosteinke]
gfretwell Offline


Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9023
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I got a lifetime supply of Klein tools when Lowes was closing them out.
Greg Fretwell

#211154 - 09/21/13 10:38 PM Re: Southwire for Tools? [Re: gfretwell]
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8532
Loc: SI,New Zealand
I've only ever had the same set of Klein lineys pliers and I'm on my 2nd set of sideys (due to an apprentice using them to cut a live 3 phase cable a few years ago).
This over the space of 23-odd years, isn't bad value for money. cool
This all happened because of a chance meet-up with a sales rep from Klein at one of our supply houses, when I was still an apprentice, who gave me the pliers for free, if I bought a set of sideys and some long-nosed pliers.

Some jerk pinched the long-nosed pliers out of my tool-belt, years back, but you could say, I never even paid for them with the service I've got out of the other two tools I got at the time. grin
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#211179 - 09/22/13 06:41 PM Re: Southwire for Tools? [Re: renosteinke]
MarkC10 Offline

Registered: 09/22/13
Posts: 43
Loc: CA, Inland Empire
I use to buy nothing but klein, and some tools like cable cutters I will get through klein .. but as far as screwdrivers, linemans , dikes or nut drivers, I just go with what seems durable and affordable .. Kleins are the best but they get lost or damaged just like a lesser quality product.

I do try to stay with american made though ..
Anyone claiming to know everything about Electrical, is wrong.


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