Tool Review - Kimball Midwest 3" Flexible Head Cut-off Tool
<iframe width="780" height="460" I've been in the automotive and truck industry for over a decade and a lot of that time was spent dealing with vendors on consumable shop supplies on things like brake clean, drill bits, and nuts and bolts, just to name a few. When it comes to these kinds of products there are some vendors who offer it all, some who are very specific in what they offer for the sake of price or availability, and some who can't seem to get you what you need when you need it. The fact is 90% of these things can be purchased anywhere, and there are dozens of different brands within each product that all claim to have the best of that product segment, and while Kimball Midwest may not be a name you've heard much from they do offer most anything needed to get a shop started, and keep it running. This includes hand tools, pliers, sockets, and air tools, in particular the 3" Flex Head Cut-off tool.
When it comes to air tools a lot of mechanics tend to be picky about what they buy. I would be one of those mechanics. I love tools in general, have been working with my hands since I can remember, and understand the value of a good tool. I've owned tools from all ends of the spectrum. In my box at work right now there are Matco screw drivers right next to Pittsburg pry bars. I know where I can skimp a bit and buy something cheap, and I know where I'd better invest in the best money can buy. Tools are an important part of any mechanic's life and having the right tool for the right job can mean hours of saved headaches, countless expletives, and more bloodied knuckles. I take tools seriously and for that reason when I was offered the time with this cut-off tool from Kimball Midwest I jumped at the opportunity.
Kimball Midwest has had a commitment to exceed expectations since 1923 and the 3" Flexible Head Cut-off tool is no exception. From it's heavy duty aluminum construction coupled to the composite sleeve to the 360 degree adjustable guard the Cut-off tool offers a lot of features not found on many comparable tools. It's adjustable rear exhaust keeps the air away from the working area and Kimball Midwest also offers a rebuild kit because they want you to use this tool for a long time.
The real trick to this tool, though is its 30 degree "Flexible Head" design that allows 3 different positions for the head of the tool. It's perfect for getting into tight areas and increased comfort in positioning while using the tool. With the knurled collar adjusting the head, even while wearing gloves, is as simple as sliding it up and leaning the head one way or the other. Being able to adjust the head really means you get two tools in one. I have a strait cut-off tool and a 90 degree cut-off tool. This one tool could take the place of two tools for me, and do both jobs very well.
Throttle control is the best I've used with it's linear input and reaction it does exactly what you tell it to do, not more, not less. It's powerful with a max speed of 20,000 RPM and yet is one of the quietest tools in the tool box coming in at only 90db.
Weight is where this tool doesn't compare to most. It comes in at 2.42lbs and if you're using this tool for hours on end the fatigue from holding it may mean you want to look else where. Where it benefits, though, from the increased weight is with the kickback. If you have used a cut-off tool in the past you know there are times when the rotation of the tool tends to pull, or push, the tool in a direction you don't want it to go. This is much less a problem for this tool because of the weight, but also because of the throttle control.
Precision and quality are the names of this game when it comes to the 3" Flexible Head Cut-off tool from Kimball Midwest. A full 30 degrees of adjustability and it's Made in America so you know the quality is top notch. If you are in the market for a new cut-off tool this is definitely one to consider. Just looking at the capability and features of this tool make it a leader in its segment, but couple that with a retail price of only $198.53 and it's a no brainer. Truly a bargain for a high quality tool and I do believe this is a high quality tool. Kimball Midwest offers so many high quality tools and mountains of fittings and bolts and lubricants and all kinds of other consumables all at great prices and this is one I will soon be adding to my box.
You can check out the 3" Flexible Head Cut-off tool here:https://www.kimballmidwest.com/87999
Be sure to check out all that Kimball Midwest offers at kimballmidwest.com and if you're in the Tyler, Tx area you can contact Glenn Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org and he can take care of all of your shop supply and tool needs.
Matt’s love of all things automotive came about at a very young age when his grandmother (an ex race car driver) would put him in her lap while driving around their rural neighborhood and let him “drive.” This started a passion that ultimately lead him to pursue a degree in Automotive Technology and several ASE certifications and a handful of jobs in the auto industry. His first car was non other than Kit from night rider (albeit a 12V Power Wheels like version). For Christmas some years later he was given a 1980 Honda XR80 dirt bike, which for a preteen made for an abundant amount of freedom. It was the sale of this beloved bike that funded his first car purchase of a 1971 VW Super Beetle, which he and his father rebuilt from the ground up. He currently works for an East Texas school district as a bus mechanic, but the passion for air cooled VW’s lives on.