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 Post subject: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Fri 24, 2017 11:16 pm 
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Joined: May Tue 30, 2006 4:46 pm
Posts: 9106
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
I had several Xcelite screwdrivers in my shop... recently all lost in No. California wild fires.

Would like to buy replacements. Is Xcelite still US-made? Any other brand that might be good quality?

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Fri 24, 2017 11:22 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 21216
Location: Haledon, NJ, usa
I too have a set of Xcelite nut-drivers... but i'm missing the P-9 (9/32) & P10(5/16).
Would love to replace it.
Where can I find another P9 & 10?

I found entire new sets here:
http://www.all-spec.com/Catalog/Hand-Po ... j0QAvD_BwE

Edit:
I just found a P10 on Ebay for $6.95... got it.

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Last edited by Pbpix on Nov Fri 24, 2017 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Fri 24, 2017 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Jul Sun 13, 2008 4:02 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Scranton, PA 18505
The xcelite/cooper tool group was acquired by the apex tool group. A google search should help you. Check mouser electronics.


Last edited by Ralph 100 on Nov Fri 24, 2017 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Fri 24, 2017 11:45 pm 
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Joined: Dec Tue 01, 2015 5:31 am
Posts: 574
Location: Columbus Ohio
have a set on my bench too, and a set in the garage, and a set in the toolbox. We used them at Xerox and got to keep my tools when I retired. (and spares)
Blades on Amazon about $10 each, eBay has a few listings too

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=X ... e&_sacat=0

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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Fri 24, 2017 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 21216
Location: Haledon, NJ, usa
I just found a P10 (5/16) nut driver I was missing, on Ebay for $6.95... got it.

There's lots of them there. Whole or part sets seem to be available all over.
I see that Channel Lock had them w/their name on them too.
I'm seeing them all over Ebay and elsewhere. Whole sets new and used.. but.
Not cheap anywhere

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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Sat 25, 2017 1:14 am 
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Joined: Feb Fri 13, 2009 5:09 am
Posts: 450
Location: Santa Clara, CA
To answer your question about "country of origin", my store has been a distributor of Weller and Xcelite for many years. I went out and looked at the stock on our shelves...their product seems to be sourced from a variety of countries: Mexico, China, Taiwan, Germany, Brazil, as well as USA. Most of the drivers seem to be US made.


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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Sat 25, 2017 1:35 am 
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Location: Columbus Ohio
Peter
do you have the blade extensions or the adaptor to use Xcelite bits in a 1/4" driver? nice to have.
They have handy T handle too.


Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Sat 25, 2017 5:39 am 
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Joined: May Tue 30, 2006 4:46 pm
Posts: 9106
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Thanks

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Sat 25, 2017 10:39 am 
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Posts: 21216
Location: Haledon, NJ, usa
glue_ru wrote:
Peter
do you have the blade extensions or the adaptor to use Xcelite bits in a 1/4" driver? nice to have.
They have handy T handle too.


Joe

Only the nut drivers... with the larger handle as needed

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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Sat 25, 2017 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Dec Sun 22, 2013 5:03 am
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Location: Santa Cruz mountains
I have several sets. They are common flea market finds. AFAIK, what I've got is all USA made. I have many nut drivers with the old Xcelite logo that are identified as manufactured in NY.

BTW, i have a pair of Xcelite diagonal cutters that i used for over 20 years without incident. They were still serviceable but worn, so i got two new ones. BOTH broke within a year. Never again. I now use Excelta, Erem, and Lindstrom, and i'm quite happy with them.


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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Sat 25, 2017 5:49 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Upstate NY, USA
Image

Got this Xcelite tool case back in the 1970s. Cost $299 back then and an extra $100 for the Anvil case I had made for it.
All the nut drivers are US. I've only had to replace the #1 and #2 Phillips screwdrivers over the years due to wearing out the tips. The new ones are US also.

Also... No stink from the Xcelite nut driver handles even after 40 years as I have always keep the tool case open when stored so they get plenty of airflow.

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Last edited by Steve Johnson on Nov Mon 27, 2017 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Sat 25, 2017 10:58 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Haledon, NJ, usa
The plastic handles on my little Xcelite nut drivers have always had an odd smell from the plastic. Has anyone else ever smelled them. ... Yuk.
Smells like vomit!

So... go smell 'em and report back. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Sat 25, 2017 11:02 pm 
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Location: Maryland 20709, USA
Pbpix wrote:
Has anyone else ever smelled them. ... Yuk.
Smells like vomit!
Don't swallow them in the first place.

If you do, you must regurgitate them to use them, and they smell as would be expected.

- Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Sun 26, 2017 1:02 am 
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Joined: Jun Wed 08, 2011 2:33 am
Posts: 6080
Location: Ohio 45177
I think the handles are a sort of urethane. Thus the smell when you open your toolbox. I went into electronics school in 1974 and a prerequisite was a set of standard tools that had to be purchased. Many or most were Xcelite. I have had those tools and still use them at work. Am on the third pouch now for the nutdrivers and screwdrivers set. The latest one I got was expensive and Chinese made but totally OK I guess. Lost two screwdrivers at work in the past few years though. And showing some wear, working on planes is vastly more destructive to tools than on electronics. The ones that want to make a career of it buy stuff like Snap On. I will buy Harbor Freight stuff if it is gonna get worn out or broken, plus, I can afford those. I would recommend Xcelite to anyone but maybe if you can find vintage or used in nice condition, consider that. Also got their spline driver set for work. They would wear down but then you just grind the tip down past the wear area.


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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools, rotten socks and jocks, and cheese
PostPosted: Nov Sun 26, 2017 2:25 am 
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Joined: Apr Tue 19, 2011 6:24 am
Posts: 331
Location: 07470
Socks, jocks, cheese, and Xcelite tools:

Quick answer – Xcelite and others use(d) an early cellulose acetate plastic called cellulose acetate butyrate for their “unbreakable” handles. It is not a urethane, but rather has cellulose from wood fiber or other plant material as its base. Eastman Chemical, a leading manufacturer trademarks their stuff as “Tenite™”. This useful material finds lots of applications beyond tool handles; aircraft dope and colored dice for gambling are cited, and early (1940s) football helmets also were molded from it.

This thermoplastic material has a disagreeable odor* and is subject to bacterial action that make is worse; it is slowly biodegradable, but fear little re your tools. Once your tool handles get a bit oily, bacterial action produces butyric acid and related compounds. These make the stink that Peter has remarked. Even oils from normal hands, the same ones that leave fingerprints on what we touch, can build up. FYI, the buytrate-based odors of certain cheeses (e.g., Parmesan, goat cheeses, etc.), rotten socks, and jocks are related.
Butyric acid is the reason. When it ferments , well...

Here’s a snip from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenite

“History - In 1920, George Eastman established the site that would later become the headquarters for Eastman Chemical to provide a reliable domestic supply of chemicals for Kodak’s photographic processes. Utilizing their knowledge of acetyl chemistry for film production, Tennessee Eastman developed compounded cellulose acetate in 1929, which was sold soon thereafter under the Tenite™ cellulosics trade mark. Over the next few decades versions utilizing mixed esters were introduced to meet a wider range of market requirements.
Manufacturing
Tenite cellulosics are manufactured from cellulose acetate and distributed as Tenite Acetate, Tenite Butyrate, and Tenite Propionate. Its mechanical, thermal, electrical, and optical properties may be tuned greatly with varying levels of plasticizers. Colorants are added for colored products. The material is processed into pellets for distribution. Downstream manufacturers mold or extrude the pellets into applications from eyeglass frames and tool handles to playing cards and casino dice. “

---
When my Xcelite tools start to stink after being unused for a while, especially after being kept in closed toolboxes, I clean them with ordinary 91% rubbing alcohol, if ordinary dish detergent fails. It also cleans up any white powdery residue that may have formed. That works for a while. Acetone really cleans and kills the germs - it also dissolves the surface and leaves tool handles very messy until they dry off; then they are shiny in spots and rounded off a bit, but not pretty. Don't ask me how I know. Us enothing stronger than alcohol that unless you want to refinish the handles with a buffing wheel, etc. ...

Keeping Xcelite and similar tools bone dry, and with plenty of air circulation also helps a lot. High humidity and warmth encourages our bacterial buddies more than I like. I run a dehumidifier near my toolchests and bench due to New Jersey's humid weather.


As to swallowing Xcelite tools, as Leigh suggested, butyrates are essential to your intestinal flora and to good health. However, the metal parts of Xcelite and similar tools haven’t been shown to be quite as beneficial, so consider removing them first.

If there are any biochemists here on ARF, perhaps they can contribute a simplified explanation of the complex reactions involved inside your colon. Here's a somewhat simplistic explanation:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butyrate
“…Butyrates are important as food for cells lining the mammalian colon (colonocytes). Without butyrates for energy, colon cells undergo autophagy (self digestion) and die.[1] Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which include butyrate, are produced by beneficial colonic bacteria (probiotics) that feed on, or ferment prebiotics, which are plant products that contain adequate amounts of dietary fiber. These SCFAs benefit the colonocytes (cells of the colon) by increasing energy production and cell proliferation, and may protect against colon cancer.[2]
---

Maybe this'll clear the air, unless you do as Leigh suggested.

73, OTH

---

* The odor problem is clearly recognized by the manufacturer:
http://www.eastman.com/Products/Pages/ProductHome.aspx?Product=71003999&list=Polymers
“… Product Description

Tenite™ cellulosic plastics are noted for their excellent balance of properties - toughness, hardness, strength, surface gloss, clarity, and a warm feel. The mechanical properties of Tenite™ cellulosic plastics differ with plasticizer levels. Lower plasticizer content yields a harder surface, higher heat resistance, greater rigidity, higher tensile strength, and better dimensional stability. Higher plasticizer content increases impact strength. Color concentrates are available in let-down ratios from 10:1 to 40:1. Tenite™ Cellulose Acetate Butyrate 575-10 contains an odor mask and has a plasticizer level of 10%. ...” (~ emphasis added by OTH ~) Maybe someone can offer slightly perfumed tool deodorants as a new product in ARF's Classifieds?


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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools, rotten socks and jocks, and cheese
PostPosted: Nov Sun 26, 2017 2:58 am 
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Joined: May Thu 14, 2015 4:15 pm
Posts: 533
Location: Dallas, TX
The original from of Tenite, simply cellulose acetate, wasn't very structurally stable. It shrank with time and exposure to heat. Pre-war auto steering wheels were made from original Tenite. They had metal cores so when the plastic shrank it cracked badly. I've seen pre-war radios that used Tenite for the bezel (and knobs) and there is evidence of shrinkage. Apparently the addition of butyrate solved the problem.

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"Excellent!" I cried. "Elementary," said he. - Sherlock Holmes


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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Sun 26, 2017 9:09 am 
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Joined: Dec Sun 22, 2013 5:03 am
Posts: 2310
Location: Santa Cruz mountains
I don't have the stinking problem with my Xcelite tools, so it must be a problem related to humidity (i'm from California). The oldest set of mini nut drivers is over 35 years old, and still perfectly functional. They are a regular fixture on my bench and I still use them frequently.

I also use the torque amplifier pretty religiously, so oil from my hands doesn't get on them too much.

I have a brand-new set of Metric nut drivers that I have never used that were bought at least five years ago. absolutely no stinking or mold-they look completely pristine.


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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Sun 26, 2017 3:38 pm 
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Location: Roanoke, VA
I have owned an Xcelite roll set for about 30 years. I was then a cliff-dweller and my tools lived in my vehicle for work. The Xcelite roll provided basic tools for use in my apartment so I would not have to bring tools in from the vehicle for basic tasks. I still use them (especially the nut drivers) in my shop. The pliers are in a rack on the pegboard and the rest on a magnetic holder:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Sun 26, 2017 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sun 23, 2017 11:22 pm
Posts: 103
Location: 44035 (Near Cleveland Ohio)
I picked up a brand-new-looking Xcelite hollow nutdriver set - in the yellow case - on ebay a few years ago for dirt cheap - about $10. The seller claimed to be liquidating Grandpa's estate. Doesn't look like they were ever used. However, the vomit smell was very strong - and made your hands stink when using them. Setting them out in the sun seemed to make it worse. Alcohol, Dawn, Krud Kutter and the like reduced the odor for about a day, then it crept back. I even tried wrapping them in dryer sheets for a few days, but it didn't help. One advantage, though - - - you can find them no matter where you left them. . . . just follow your nose.

As far as screwdrivers go, the best I've ever used are (were) made by Endress. In my many years of repairing automated printing presses, I've subjected screwdrivers to every stress test imaginable. Nothing came close to Endress as far as durability. In order to loosen stubborn phillips screws, I'd whack the handle of the screwdriver with a dead-blow hammer a few times - never broke either a handle or damaged the tip. The shafts were square; you could put a wrench on 'em for additional torque. I've used Snap-On, Matco, Craftsman, and others over the years - nothing compared to Endress. Their pin and taper punches were equally tough. I believe the company went out of business, but was resurrected recently.

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Xcelite Tools
PostPosted: Nov Sun 26, 2017 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Nov Sun 07, 2010 7:16 pm
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Location: Rochester, MI
Looks like Enderes went through some tough times, but the assets were bought by another local who also hired most of the original employees

http://www.enderes.com/aboutus.htm


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