Last week I needed to change a tire on my 2017 Ford F350. This seems like a simple task, but it becomes problematic when you realize that the wheel weighs about 130lbs. Jacking up the truck and taking it off is not a big deal. However, trying to get it back on and incrementally lift the wheel so that you can engage the studs on the hub is not a task for the faint of heart. You of course could try wrestling the wheel into place, but that’s all unnecessary. As it turned out, I went to my tool cabinet and pulled out my Tech Team model 707 5pc. Pry Bar Set https://www.amazon.com/Mechanics-Prybars-Chisel-Angled-Rolling-Head/dp/B07CSBZ4ZM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1537363234&sr=8-1&keywords=tech+team+pry+bar+set
and low and behold, I took out my 24” pry bar and used this to set the wheel in place. The process was ridiculously easy. I put the pry bar on the pavement immediately beneath the center of the wheel hub, rolled the wheel onto the top of the pry bar, and then simply elevated the handle of the pry bar and I was able to work the wheel up to then finesse the holes in the wheel onto the studs in a matter of 5-6 seconds. It was an incredibly easy process.
After my tire changing episode I took a more serious view of my pry bar set. It is really a nifty professional grade set of tools. It consists of 4 pry bars with square shanks that ends at a beveled tip, which is angled at 30° and they are sized 8”, 12”, 18” and 24”. On the other end is a generous oversized insulated plastic handle that provides purchase for a firm grip. I checked further and found out that the steel meets ASME B107-410-2008 standards, and is heat treated to provide maximum strength and resiliency. The other item in the set is what you call a lady slipper round head pry bar. This is constructed from the same high quality tool steel. It is 15 ½” long, has a shank that tapers to a point on one end, and at the other end has a lady slipper shaped prying end. This is a truly interesting and useful tool.
I now use the lady slipper bar probably more than all my other pry bars put together. It has so many uses. Once you engage the edge under something you need to pry, because of the angle and the construction, you are able to apply maximum leverage and can very easily move substantial weight. The pointy end can be used as a drift pin. What a drift pin does is allow you to align two holes. For example, if you have a hole in a casting that must be aligned with a threaded hole in another casting, sometimes it is very difficult to get the two holes to line up to be perfectly concentric so you can thread a bolt into them. By using the tapered end of the bar as a drift pin, and inserting it into the holes, you can very easily lever the two holes into alignment, and then hold them in place with another pry bar or clamp. Now the holes are lined up and are perfectly concentric and you can easily insert and thread the bolt into place.
When you really think about it, pry bars, aka leverage tools, have an essential place in anybody’s tool inventory because they have so many uses. As the name implies, prying is a primary use. However, they are also perfect for scraping, for removing molding, the small one is ideal for opening lids on paint cans, and of course not to mention, levering tires into place. Features you want to look for in a pry bar set, like the Tech Team Set, are a tool grade, tempered heat treated shank, with an angle beveled tip, and a comfortable grip. In addition, a square shaft provided maximum strength and if it has a black oxide finish like the Tech Team set, it’s going to resist oxidation and corrosion. This set is truly a professional grade work horse that can withstand a tremendous amount of punishment and still not fail. Finally, to seal the deal, it is priced very competitively.
Tools with similar characteristics can be purchased at Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, Harbor Freight, Advanced Auto, Napa, Pep Boys, and of course Amazon. Other popular brands are Tekton, Stanley, Snap On, Mayhew, ANB, Performance Tool, and Gear Wrench.