There’s nothing quite as frustrating as taking hours to do something that should take only a short while. Yet fleet maintenance professionals often find themselves in that position—working to solve an issue and finding at least three more to address. And this is especially true if the fleet is comprised of older models. Older models come with their fair share of headaches, and little aggravations such as stripped bolts on engine components can cause more downtime than necessary.
They tell you not to sweat the small stuff, but sometimes that’s impossible when the small stuff causes a major headache. Sometimes the small stuff prevents you from addressing the major problem, and that in itself becomes an issue. When it comes to fleet maintenance, it’s helpful to keep tools in your shop that work hard so you can work smart. This month we’re reviewing Bolt Biter from GearWrench, a product that prevents you from sweating the small stuff.
WHAT IS IT?
Bolt Biter is a relatively new extraction socket system by GearWrench. The extraction sockets are advertised to grip rusted or rounded fasteners instead of cutting into them. Its bidirectional design tightens or loosens damaged fasteners. The design is meant to sit easily onto the fastener and doesn’t allow the fastener to jam into the socket.
The Bolt Biter system features “minus-size” sockets that are designed to fit fasteners that are worn down past their original size. Bolt Biter sockets were also designed durable enough to be used with a variety of tools, such as ratchets, pliers, wrenches, and impact guns. It features dual-sized sockets that work with both SAE and metric fasteners. Finally, Bolt Biters are made from a durable chrome molybdenum body with a corrosion-resistant black oxide finish.
WE TRIED IT
Released in January of this year, the Bolt Biter has very few reviews online. In fact, I shopped around and only found reviews from The Home Depot’s website. Nevertheless, the majority of reviewers give this product five stars, using words such as “amazing,” “high quality,” and “exceptional strength and durability” to describe the product. As much as I rely on customer reviews when I consider a purchase, there’s nothing quite like first-hand experience.
I’m not a mechanic. I’m not sure I’ve ever used an extraction socket in my life. However, I know a good mechanic who uses them almost on a daily basis. His name is Jeff Honeycutt, and he owns Jeff’s Auto Repair in Anniston, Alabama. He’s been a mechanic for 16 years. Thankfully he was willing to try Bolt Biters for me.
He used the sockets on a 2014 Corvette engine with a stripped bolt. Normally he’d have to fight and tug at a stripped bolt awhile before it finally came loose, but he was able to extract that bolt from the engine in less than a minute.
He said he found the Bolt Biters easy to read, easy to see—thanks to Bolt Biter’s laser-etched markings—and very easy to use. “A five-year-old could use it with no problem,” Jeff said. “It’s easy as 1-2-3.”
Although Jeff hadn’t used the Bolt Biters for but a few days, he believes the tools are more durable than some of the more expensive tools he uses in his shop. “(Competitor tools) are more expensive and supposed to be the best, but not compared to the Bolt Biter.” (He actually said this, guys!) He admits he really put the Bolt Biters to the test and says they just wouldn’t break.
Maybe GearWrench should sign up Jeff for an ambassador program, because he seemed sold on the product. He told me he’s already recommended it to other mechanics, and he already lent them to a friend. According to Jeff, this is a tool every mechanic needs in their toolbox. It’s durable, easy to use, and can be found at The Home Depot for $45 for a set of eight. Breeze through the small stuff with Bolt Biter.
MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS:
OCTOBER 2019 ISSUE
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