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Unbranded Tools

by Ed 12. December 2013 08:33

broken hammer

Most people want to embark on some adventurous DIY in order to save themselves a bit of money, however this attitude should not stretch to the tools they use. Buying cheap tools might seem like a great idea at first, but tools which are unbranded or not bought from reliable suppliers may pose a serious threat to the user. Statistics from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents state that tools and machinery are responsible for 87,000 out of the 220,000 DIY enthusiasts admitted to hospital each year.

It is not only the dangers posed that cause problems, cheap tools can also end up costing you more in the long run because of their tendency to need replacement more frequently. With a brand name you get the assurance of better quality, along with a warranty that could save you money in the long term. Brand name tools can also help you do a better job, if you have ever had to pick paintbrush bristles off the wall you have just painted then you will understand. Cheaper screwdrivers and spanners tend to be made from softer metal than their branded counterparts, this means they will round off and wear out much quicker. These two points alone will cost you money, when you have to spend longer working on a job or replacing products that have completely worn out. A great brand for screwdrivers that is reliable and likely to perform well is Stanley, one of our bestsellers is the FatMax Phillips Screwdriver

van vault

If you think of buying tools as an investment, whether you are a tradesperson or DIY enthusiast then you are far less likely to suffer the backlash of cheap tools. If you really need to find something on a strict budget then spend some time trying to shop around. There are lots of sites that offer brand name tools at incredible prices, sometimes cheaper than non-branded cheaper alternatives, so it really pays to shop around.

Once you have decided to spend a decent amount of money on tools that will last a long time, it makes sense that you should keep them secure. Research conducted by NFU Mutual has found that tools are the number one targeted items in rural theft in the UK, demonstrating the importance of keeping your items secure and safely locked away. One of the best ways to do this is to invest in a site box, which you can buy in a variety of sizes and strengths. If you work on a busy building site or live in a rural area, then you should invest in some really trustworthy Site Boxes. If you leave your tools in your van quite frequently, then it is really important to invest in a decent Van Vault.

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Bolt Thread Lengths

by Ed 13. June 2013 06:31

We are often asked "What length is the thread on this bolt". Here is a quick guide to the bolts that we supply and the thread lengths that they have.

Before that we need to address one thing! When is a bolt not a bolt?

Spot the difference between a Bolt and a Set Screw

People use the terminology bolt for almost anything that has a hexagon head, this is wrong.  There are two main types that get confused, Hexagon Set Screws and Bolts.  Both have a hexagon head but the Hexagon Set Screw is fully threaded, where a true bolt is only partially thread. So with that cleared up here is how you work out the length of thread on our range of bolts.

Metric Bolts: If the bolt is 125mm in length or below, multiply the metric diameter by two and then add 6mm.  If the length is over 125mm and up to 200mm then add 12mm.  Any bolt over 200mm and you simply add 25mm.

Unified High Tensile Bolts (UNC and UNF): Multiply the diameter by two and then add ¼” for bolts up to 6” or add ½” for bolts over 6”.

Imperial Bolts: Multiply the diameter by two.

Coach Bolts

Cup Square Bolts: Coach Bolts as they are also known as are fully threaded up to 75mm in length if they are zinc plated and 100mm in length if they are self coloured steel. For all longer Cup Square Bolts you multiply the diameter by two and then add 6mm if the bolt is up to 125mm in length, from 125mm to 200mm long add 12mm and then any over 200mm in length add 25mm.

Self Colour Steel Bolt

Imperial Mild Steel Bolts and Nuts: These work slightly differently.  Up to ½” diameter bolts up to 8 inches in length you multiply the diameter by two, over 8 inches you multiply the diameter by two and a half times. Then bolts over ½” diameter you multiply by one and a half times the diameter up 4 inches in length, twice the diameter from 4 inches to 8 inches and then two and a half times the diameter on bolts that are over 8 inches.

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Masonry Drilling Tips

by Ed 19. April 2012 07:38

When drilling holes there are a few tips and tricks that help provide better results and avoid those little problems that require further work to fix.


Before drilling into a tile stick masking tape over the tile and mark the tape where the hole is required. Should the drill slip this could save you from scratching the tile surface. You can always double up the tape to give a little more protection to the surface of the title.


When you need to drill a hole right through an external wall make sure that the drill bit you are using is sharp otherwise when the drill bit is about to puncture through to the other side of the wall you will get some form of breakout. Also when the performing this type of operation make sure the drill that you are using has a powerful enough motor, so that the drill bit is spinning fast enough.


Another tip when drilling an external wall is to drill from the inside to the outside with the drill at a slight angle pointing downwards, this will prevent any water from flowing into the wall. Also make sure you are using the correct sized drill bit so that you do not end up with a hole much larger than the item you need to pass through the wall. And don't forget to seal the hole with silicon sealant.


When installing wall plugs,  drill to a depth about 5mm longer than your wall plug requires, some drills have a handy depth gauge you can set. This is to allow any residue dust to be pushed back beyond the wall plug when it is inserted. Take care not to drill the hole far too deep as you could then lose the wall plug. If your drill does not have a depth gauge you can always use a piece of insulation tape wrapped around the drill bit to mark the depth.


It is quite easy to drill an hole at an angle when you need it to be completely straight, some models of drills have a inbuilt spirit level. An alternative is to attach a small spirit level to your drill.


You have any drilling tips please feel free to share them with us.

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A How to Guide for Drilling

by Ed 5. March 2012 07:54

I spoke about drills and drill bits but what are the jobs that you might have to undertake around the home. Now lets try and put the drills and drill bits together to do a few projects and see how the right tool for the job works.


If you need to hang or fix something to a wall and the wall is dry lined, (this is a hollow plasterboard wall found in most modern houses) you would only need a small cordless or mains drill, no hammer action would be required. The drill bit would be a jobber type bit, you would drill your hole and fit a plasterboard expanding wall plug or if the intended load is heavy you would use a more specialist type plasterboard fixing such as a toggle fixing.


If you were doing the same job but fixing to a solid wall made of breeze blocks or normal building bricks, then you would need a drill, cordless or mains, with a hammer action. The drill bit required would be a masonry drill bit, set your drill to hammer action, drill your hole and fit a wall plug. These are supplied in different colours to suit the different sizes of screw. If you are fixing something light taking no weight then a yellow plug with a 5mm drill bit and a number 4 or 6 gauge screw would be fine. If you are hanging shelves designed to take medium weights or mirrors then you would need to use the most common wall plug, the red. Drill hole size 5.5 to 6.5mm and here you would use a 8 or 10 gauge screw. If you are putting up book shelves, very large mirrors or anything with a lot of weight then you would use the brown wall plugs, these need a hole drilled 7 – 8mm in size and you would then be using a 10,12 or 14 gauge screw.


If your wall were made of solid concrete then you again would need a masonry drill bit and a drill set to hammer action but you would also have to make sure the drill was powerful enough to spin the drill bit fast enough too drill into this dense material. You would likely need at least an 18v cordless drill or a mains drill of a minimum 700 watts rating. The fixings used would be the same as for bricks or blocks.


If you need to drill a much larger hole into or through the wall then this is where you would need a more powerful drill, if for instance you need to fit an extractor fan these are normally 100 or 150mm in diameter. This is where you would use a diamond core cutter and a core drill, you would use a dry cutter if going through brick and block or a wet cutter if the walls were concrete. You could mark out where you need the fan and then drill a series of holes around your markings, you would need a masonry drill bit long enough to go right through the inner and outer walls. The drill bit would need to be a minimum of something like  8mm and dependent how powerful the drill you were using was much larger. For this type of project you would need to be using an 18v or better still a 24v cordless drill or a mains drill with a minimum motor wattage of 700w and again the higher the better. Due to the amount of work and the type of holes being drilled here the more specialised SDS drill and drill bits could be used as the drill bit would not slip.


I hope that you find this a little helpful, if you have a project and need advice please ask the question and here at thesitebox.com we will always try to help.

About Ed

Cordless or Electric Drills

by Ed 23. February 2012 03:45

Cordless drills or mains powered drills, which to choose? Both have their advantages and disadvantages; both have a role to play for today’s tradesmen or DIY enthusiasts.


Cordless drills are more versatile because they are battery powered which allows them to be used anywhere. Cordless drills can be used as screwdrivers, rotary drills and impact hammer drills. With high powered batteries available to some models the cordless drill can be every bit as powerful as its mains counterpart. From a safety point there are no leads trailing on the floor so there is no cable to trip over or cut through. The downside to a cordless drill is that the more powerful units can be quite heavy, also the battery will run down and if you are doing a lot of heavy drilling you will need spare charged batteries to hand and these can be very expensive. It can sometimes be as cheap to buy a new drill with a pair of batteries than to buy 2 batteries separately.

 Cordless or Mains powered drill

Electric drills might not be so versatile in their screw driving capabilities. You may need long extension leads if there is no convenient socket nearby. If you need to drill outside where there is no mains power you will need a generator. But once plugged in they wont cut out unless there is a loss of mains power.


A small mains powered drill will provide more power that its cordless equivalent of equal size this will be easier on the arms if used for a long period of time.  If you need to drill large holes in heavy masonry then there are mains drills that are far more powerful then any cordless drill in the marketplace today.


For more advice on what would be the most suitable drill for your needs you can always give the team at thesitebox.com a call.

About Ed

Which Cordless Drill

by Ed 21. February 2012 04:44

With so many cordless drills on the market today it can be very confusing as to what model to buy. Hopefully I can give you a few pointers that will aid you in your decision making when purchasing a new cordless drill.


Firstly you need to decide what you will be using the drill for. If you need a cordless drill to just drill wood and screw in screws from time to time a 12V, 14.4V or an 18V Drill Driver would be sufficient. The higher the voltage the longer the drill would last on one charge, the higher the voltage the more powerful the drill would be but the higher the voltage the heavier the unit becomes.


If you require a general all-purpose drill for around the home then you would need to look at the Hammer Drills (also known as Combi Drills) here you would not want anything less than a 14.4V unit and realistically it would be worth buying an 18V unit. These drills are capable of drilling block and brick. If the drill will be in constant use or if you are needing to drill concrete then you would need to look at the 18V, 24V or even the 36V drills. The 24V and 36V units are every bit as powerful as a mains drill but these are large heavy units designed for industrial use.


Lastly if your requirements are purely for heavy duty use, drilling reinforced concrete or engineering bricks for long periods of time then you should look towards the SDS range of industrial cordless drills.


I hope that this helps a little in your decision making process, should you need any advice on choosing your cordless drill, you can always contact our team at thesitebox.com.

About Ed

A Basic Guide to Drill Types

by Ed 17. February 2012 05:52

Now that we have covered drill bits, now can now look at the basic types of Drill that you can use with these drill bits.


First we have Hand Drills, these are not widely used today but you will find hand drills are still used by woodworking craftsmen.  The standard Hand Drill with a winding handle is best used with jobber drill bits and lip and spur wood bits. The Carpenters Brace also known as the Bit and Brace is normally used for auger bits and flat wood bits. The Carpenters Brace can be used with small bits but due to its size it is normally used for larger drill bits as it’s design provides more torque but it requires more space in which to be used.


Cordless Drills have taken over in the main from hand drills and come in a variety of voltages and sizes covering a wide range of applications. You have the Cordless Drill Drivers which will drill wood, metal and plastics and can also be used as a screwdriver these are available in voltages ranging from 12V through to 18V.


Cordless Hammer Drills (also known as Combi Drills) are general use drills.  Cordless Hammer Drills normally have 3 actions, standard rotary drilling, screw driver and hammer action. These are ideally suited to drilling into very hard masonry as they can not only rotate the drill bit but also provide a small hammer action to help the bit bite into the material. You will find this range of Cordless Drill is supplied in voltages from 14.4V through to 36V. The higher voltage machines are as powerful as a mains drill.  These are good all round machines and unless you need the features or a more specialist unit one of these will prove to be the most useful type to own. Be sure to switch the hammer action off when drilling into delicate or brittle materials otherwise it could cause damage.


SDS Cordless Drills are designed to use SDS drill bits.  Again, these drills can be as powerful as their mains powered counterparts. These are also available in voltages from 18V through 36V. An adaptor for the SDS Drill will allow it to use a non SDS drill bits. An SDS Drill will provide more twisting torque than a traditional drill due to the way the bits are held in the SDS chuck, because of this it is advised that you select an SDS Drill with a safety clutch to prevent injury to the user should the bit become stuck.


Mains powered Electric Drills are available in 110V and 240V models. The 110V drills are designed to be used with a transformer and are mainly used on building sites for safety. The standard Electric Drill is a rotary drill, which can be used to drill wood, metal and plastics. If the drill has variable torque and speed settings then it may be used as a screwdriver. In a workshop or in situations where the drill will always be used in the same place a mains powered drill is the better option as it does away with the issue of having a charged battery to hand, full power is always available. These are also available with Hammer actions with the same advantages as the cordless type mentioned above and are sometimes referred to as an Impact Drill.


An Angle Drill is a special tool, designed to get into tight spaces that a regular drill cannot. You hold it like a torch and the bit faces down at the end. While they are not able to deliver the same power as a regular drill they find lots of uses, especially when you consider that they can be easily used at arms length.


Lastly there is the specialist Diamond Core Drill. This type of drill is a rotary drill with a special clutch mechanism designed to be used with diamond core cutters. They have a high torque output but should the Diamond core bit become stuck in the material that is being cut the clutch will slip to prevent any damage to the user.


If you need advice on which drill is best suited to your needs, you can always get advice from thesitebox.com.

About Ed

Diamond Drill Bits

by Ed 6. February 2012 11:51

With the current fashions of using tiles on walls a reliable method of drilling these hard materials is required. Fixing shelves, pictures and just about anything where you need to drill tiles could cause a problem with a standard tile drill because these can slip and skip across the surface of the tiles leaving unsightly marks. One of the greatest advances in tile drilling is the diamond drill bit.


These drill bits have tips coated in crushed industrial diamond. They work like a mini core cutter. The diamond drill bits will drill through almost any type of tile, giving a clean and smooth hole.


You will find with some harder tiles you will need to use water with the diamond drill bit to cut down on the heat generated, similar to using a diamond tipped blade in a tile-cutting machine.


Diamond drill bits can be used in most rotary drills, mains or cordless.  You should ensure that your drill is NOT set to its hammer mode when drilling tiles, as this will shatter the tile.

About Ed

SDS Drill Bits

by Ed 6. February 2012 04:13

SDS stands for Special Direct System, this was developed by Bosch in 1975. SDS drills do not have a spinning chuck like the standard drill, instead it’s the SDS bit only that moves increasing the power on the drill bit its self.

There are various types of SDS drill bits and here we will explain the differences to aid you in your choice of SDS drill bit.

Firstly you have the SDS bit and the SDS plus bit, these are very similar. The SDS drill bit has 2 grooves where the SDS plus drill bit has 4 grooves 2 of which are open and 2 are closed. The reason that SDS plus bits have 4 grooves is too allow for the higher torque of modern SDS drills.

SDS and SDS plus drill bits have a 10mm shank and the depth the drill bit is inserted into the chuck of a SDS drill by 40 mm. SDS drill bits are supplied in 5mm to 25mm diameters, this type of drill bit will drill most masonry and building materials.

Next we have the SDS Max bit, the SDS max bit has a larger diameter shaft. The shank of this type of drill bit is 18mm and it has 3 open grooves. The depth of insertions is 90mm. The SDS Max tool delivers much higher torque than the standard SDS drill. Drill bits start at 12mm and go up to 40mm in diameter.

The SDS Max drills are designed for industrial drilling and are normally used where the drill is in use all day everyday but these are much heavier units. SDS Max drill bits cannot be used in standard SDS drills and vice versa. You can fit an adaptor to an SDS Max drill that enables the use of a standard SDS bit.

There are a couple of other SDS drill bits. The first is the SDS Top, this has 4 grooves and has a 14 mm shank. There are also Spline Drive drill bits. These are both specialist drills and are not stocked at thesitebox.com.

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Specialist wood drill bits

by Ed 25. January 2012 11:25

Here we will cover the more specialist wood drill bits. Many of these drill bits are more like cutters, they can drill holes but can also be used to cut wood in various ways. I am going to cover here the countersink wood drill bit, the hinge cutter, plug cutter, router drill bit, multi head drill bits and the expansive wood drill bit.


The counter sunk head wood drill bit, also known as a rose cutter, is designed to drill countersunk holes when the screw head is to be flush with the surface of the wood.


Hinge cutters have a large head to drill a shallow hole into chipboard or MDF. These are used to drill standard size holes when mounting disk types hinges fitted to cupboard doors.


Plug cutters will cut a wooden plug from the wood, creating a recess. Once the wood plug has been cut from the timber, the fixing is fitted and fixed within the recess and the wooden plug is replaced over the top of the fixing to conceal it.


Router drill bits are designed to be used like a router cutter or drill bit. This type of bit has a sharpened spiral shaft and is generally used on thin timber.  The bit is drilled into the wood and then guided around the wood to cut out the shape required. These can be useful but you would get better results using a true router bit, which we will cover another time.


Multi head drill bits are designed to drill larger size holes but also they are used as a cutter which can be moved around the surface of the wood to cut channels and they will also cut mortise holes. The multi headed drill bits are used by tradesmen who are installing all manner of things when working on site and they need a one thing does all type of drill bit.


Specialist wood drill bits

Lastly, the expansive drill bit has an adjustable width head and works very much like a flat wood drill. The head is adjusted by moving one side in or out to the required size.

About Ed