boxedfox Reader
1/6/19 8:06 p.m.

I hate padded mechanic's gloves. You lose all manual dexterity so I end up dropping something every two minutes. Over the course of a job they get soaked through with grease. Then at the end of the day one of them goes missing, and I can never find it again.

So if you can't pad your hands, why not pad your tools instead? I recently found out you can use old bicycle inner tubes to make an add-on grip for your ratchets and hand tools. They're tough, grippy, chemical resistant, and super cheap (or free). 700c x 18 road bike tubes make an excellent pull-on grip for smaller tools while big 1.75" - 1.9" mountain bike tubes can be used as a sliding pad that keeps long combination wrenches from digging into your fingers.

Here's a quick video I put together that shows how to do it:

DIY Grip Upgrade for your Wrenches and Tools (on YouTube)

And here's what you get when you're done:

This is especially handy if you have those square handled Craftsman or Snap-On tools, which some people find especially uncomfortable.

I also use this stuff to cover the sticky, deteriorated plastic handles on my old screwdrivers and pry bars:



Stefan MegaDork
1/6/19 9:40 p.m.

I just wear thin rubber gloves.

Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
1/6/19 10:43 p.m.

Nice, I may have to try this.

nderwater UltimaDork
1/6/19 11:13 p.m.

FWIW, another cheap and  way to coat handles is to spray them with plastidip (aka peel coat or custom wrap). Cans are $5-6 at walmart/lowes/homedepot and contain enough material to cover a bunch of hand tools.

boxedfox Reader
1/7/19 9:47 p.m.

In reply to nderwater :

I used to plastidip all of my tools. That stopped when I found out that pretty much every automotive fluid dissolves dip. Especially brake fluid and WD40.

nderwater UltimaDork
1/8/19 10:10 a.m.

Thanks for pointing that out -- I've used it on construction tools but not around solvents.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/8/19 10:13 a.m.

This is actually what plastidip is for, not a crappy looking paint substitute :) But the solvent thing would be a problem.

I like this, I'll give it a shot. I still wear rubber gloves because it's easier than constantly washing my hands, but a bit of cushioning would be welcome.

Robbie UltimaDork
1/8/19 10:17 a.m.

very smart. 

There's a good "don't put used rubber on your tool" joke in here somewhere. 

amerson New Reader
2/18/19 12:52 a.m.

Nice idea. Might try that at some point in time.

AngryCorvair MegaDork
2/18/19 8:47 a.m.

probably also knocks down the cold-shock that us snow belt folks get when turning wrenches in sub-freezing temps.

Robbie UltimaDork
7/7/19 10:04 p.m.

Added a grip to one of my hammers this afternoon after replacing the tubes on my son's bike.

So far, I'm a fan. Thanks!

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