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It’s Christmas!!

As promised in our previous post here’s a run down of our top 10 Christmas gifts for 2019 from Langs! They’re listed in no particular order, so here they are:

No.1.. the classic 3 piece Bahco’s spanner series 80 set @ £34.99 inc VAT. These 3 spanners, 6 inch, 8 inch and 10 inch are the professionally made and most popular range of Bahco spanners. With phosphate finish, 16 degree head angle and non slip handle and knurled sized adjusting nut.

Made to standard ISO 6787, DIN 3117, ASME B107.8-2003 and BS 6333

Item 2.. Another Bahco product, the S240. This is a comprehesive and useful selection of sockets and accessories, which any DIY or professional will find complements any set of tools. The set consists of the following;

  • 18-Piece 1/2″ hex sockets 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 30 and 32 mm
  • One 1/2″ ratchet, quick release, 60 teeth/6° action angle
  • Two 1/2″ extension bars, 5″ and 10″
  • One 1/2″ universal joint
  • One 1/2″ T-adaptor
  • One 1/2″ breaker bar with two-components handle: 10″
  • One removable three-section plastic box with lid
  • Matte finish
  • High-performance alloy steel
  • Less wear and damage to fastener thanks to Dynamic-Drive™ profile sockets
  • Quick socket release button on ratchet
  • Case: High density polythene (HDPE)
  • Standards: ISO 1174 and DIN 3120

Selling for £55 including VAT

Our 3rd Christmas product is the Irwin Marples M373 8pc chisel set. Incredible value for this splitproof bevel edge set are ideal for heavy-duty use and have splitproof handles. They are made from best in category steel for improved sharpness and edge retention. set consisting of 6mm (1/4in), 10mm (3/8in), 12mm (1/2in), 19mm (3/4in), 25mm (1in), 32mm (1.1/4in), 38mm (1.1/2in) & 50mm (2in)

Selling at £70 inc VAT

No 4 the Stanley antivibe hammer and wonder bar pry bar set.

More classic design, this time from Stanley with their one piece antivibe hammer and their wonderbar prybar made from highgrade carbon fibre with a powder coated finish, with bevelled nail slots and contoured grip. Both together are £29.99 inc VAT

No 5 Draper’s Redline 14pc spanner set; consisting of 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19, 22, 24, 27, 30 and 32mm made of Chrome vanadium steel, hardened and tempered with a chrome finish. All coming together in a roll-up teflon pouch making this Incredible value @ £49.20 in VAT

No 6 Draper tap and die set; Suitable for cleaning and rethreading mild steel or aluminium. Manufactured from high carbon steel, hardened and tempered. Supplied in plastic case. Contents: 8 metric dies size: 3 x 0.5, 4 x 0.7, 5 x 0.8, 6 x 1.0, 7 x 1.0, 8 x 1.25, 10 x 1.5 and 12 x 1.75mm die 1/8″ NPT 8 metric taper taps: sizes as metric dies tap 1/8″ NPT bar type tap wrench M3-12 (1/8-1/2″) die holder screwdrive. A great starter set or replacement to anyone’s precision equipment for £31.08 inc VAT

Our 7th item is another Draper item. 110volt, 30Watt, 360 degrees LED site lamp. 2800 lumens of 360 degree light coverage. Has a carry handle, hanging hook and tripod fixing holes. Our price £76.20 inc VAT

8th on the list is the DeWalt DWE315B corded oscillating tool with bag. For ease of use, it features quick accessory change and adjustment, no hex key required. The body features superior ergonomics, the soft comfort grip helps to reduce user fatigue whilst improving control. Supplied with a 37 piece accessory set that contains: 1 x Rigid Scraper 1 x Sanding Plate 25 x Sanding Sheets (Assorted Grades) 1 x Universal Adaptor 2 x Hex Keys: 3mm and 5mm 1 x Dust Extraction Adaptor 1 x Depth Stop/Straight Cut Guide 1 x Tool Bag Specification: Input Power: 300W No Load Speed: 0-22,000/min. Weight: 1.5kg

Langs Industrial price £119.99 inc VAT

No 9 is the Einhell TC-VC 18125 Wet and Dry vac 1250W 240v. This compact wet and dry vac is extremely flexible and versitile for both wet and dry cleaning. Supplied with: 1 x 3 Piece Plastic Suction Pipe, Ø36mm 1 x Suction Hose 1.5m x Ø36mm 1 x Big Comfort Nozzle with insert for carpets/smooth floors 1 x Crevice Nozzle 1 x Foam Filter for wet vacuuming 1 x Paper Bag for dry vacuuming Specification Incredible value at £40

Our last item no 10 is the 25 piece Wera Kraftform Kompakt W1 Maintenance Kit includes the following:

  • 1 x 817 VDE Kraftform Blade Holding Handle
  • 4 x 154mm VDE Slotted Blades: 0.4 x 2.5, 0.6 x 3.5, 0.8 x 4.0, 1.0 x 5.5mm 2 x 154mm VDE Phillips Blades: PH1, PH2 2 x 154mm VDE Pozidriv Blades: PZ1, PZ2 4 x 154mm
  • VDE TORX Blades: TX10, TX15, TX20, TX25 1 x Screw Gripper Attachment 1 x Single Pole Voltage Tester 1 x Joker Double Open Ended Wrench 10 x 13mm
  • 1 x Zyklop Speed Ratchet 1/4in Drive 1 x Zyklop Bit Adaptor 1/4in Drive 1 x 75mm Zyklop Extension 1/4in Drive
  • 8 x Sockets: 5.5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13mm 1 x Universal Bit Holder 2 x 25mm Pozidriv Bits: PZ1, PZ2 1 x 25mm TORX Bit: TX25 4 x 25mm Hex Plus Bits: 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0mm

All in a robust textile box @ £100 inc VAT

That’s it for our top 10 Christmas products listed on our website! We’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone reading a happy Christmas and a happy new year for 2020! See you in the next year!

Tales from the counter-side

I haven’t written to this blog in a while and thought I’d post something a little different. 

During our time working in retail, hardware, engineering supplies and tool sales.  We’ve met some interesting people.  Many have been weird, wonderful and some have been just totally mad or strange.  I think for the most part, mistakes, misinformation and misunderstandings are what this comes down to, for the most part…

Here’s a few comical examples of 30 plus years working with the public.  I think the title and the original “two ronnies” sketch says it all “I’d like four candles!”  And here it is if you’ve never seen it.

And there seems to be a trend; when you don’t know the name of what you want, make the name up!  I can’t fault this for the most part, although sometimes it can be annoying when a customer insists on using a term which is wrong or you just don’t understand what they are saying. The amount of times I’ve been asked for a gromet, a thing-amy-jig, or even an bolt – all of which can be anything at all to anyone who’s asking.

The “wags” over at British Rail, Ford and Sterling (among others) would send their neophyte fresh-face workers into the shop on a wild goose chase. Having an official purchase order in hand or just verbally told “Get over to the supplier, we are in urgently need…..”.

A recipricating bore. Tartan paint (pictured below). A left or right handed coat hook. Glass hammers. (although apparently Yoko Ono actually created one in 1967!) A Teep-Opt with four digi-stiff display. Skirting board ladders. An “I-M-nu”. Or a “long wait”, and of course “four candles….” to name a few of the items asked for.

A good example of misunderstandings is when I was asked for an “Axsaw” To this I naturally said, “Do you mean a hacksaw sir?” The man looked angrily at me saying, “NO, an Axsaw! A. X. S. A. W!”…..This is when we get the tool catalogue out to show the customer, to discover what the customer means as communcation has failed.   I always say that if we the assistants/counter staff/shop keeper/Sales team are doing our good job right, we are part detective and can usually get to the bottom of what it is they’re after.

On a side note – It turns out, there really is something called the “axe saw” (see picture below) however, this wasn’t really what he wanted and didn’t exist at the time – he wanted a Hacksaw, and confirmed this with the catalogue pictures.

This of course is the tip of the iceberg.  The word “Gromet” seems to cover almost any small item that a customer is searching for from a small piece of rubber (yes, a real gromet) to a furniture cam or roll pin.  “What’s one of those? ” I hear you say….

Give us a screw…

Screws are a huge source of humour, until you’ve heard that joke everyday for 10 years. “I’d like a screw please! No not that kind!” There was actually a well known brothel….er massage parlour very close to where our shop was, within crawling distance.

There’s many a time a customer has come into the shop for a “bolt” and it turns out they want a woodscrew or machine screw, a padbolt or a chutebolt. Yes these are all different as a customer can tell when they look at you like you’re insane when you bring the “bolt” back.

No good deed….

Then there’s the maxim “No good deed, goes unpunished!” which I have personally felt the sting from more than once. Sometimes we would get customers come into the shop who desperately need something “fixed”. I fell into this trap many times, notably with one lady with a leopard print shopping trolley (Yeah, snazzy). Unfortunately she was constantly overloading it and the metal reinforcements had broken, along with the wheels, and most of the rest of it. She kept coming in to fix it so I thought, I would do her a favour and fix the cart for her. I was at it for a hour, she wasn’t grateful in the least in fact she didn’t like the fix and complained. So I fixed it in a different way with some jubilee clips, which she was much happier with. By the time this was done I’d been with her for an hour and a half before she was satisfied, until I told her the price. £5…Yeah for an hour and a half’s work and the goods to fix her cart. She looked at me like I was cheating her!

Irregular regulars

Then we get the “regular customers” who treated the business like their very own hire purchase establishment. Having “a tab” (although this was stopped very quickly because of lack of funds the shop’s direction) that he would put goods on and then pay for later….Much much later. Sometimes bringing back goods that were purchased 6 months earlier and expecting us to take them back or swap them. Some of these items were hundreds of pounds.

The undesirables

Yes, you get thieves, con men/women and aggressive customers if you work with the public in any way.

Three are more noteworthy than most (that I can mention here); the first a woman who came into the shop with her two kids picked up a 5 liter tin of cleaning solution (I saw her) and proceeded to ask for a refund for it! Saying “Sorry, I don’t have the receipt for it…” To this was said “You can’t have a refund then! When did you buy it?”….She said “Ok, I’ll just take it away again and look for the receipt!”….How about we call the police and see what they say, we’ve got video evidence of you picking it up from the shelves!

The second was stranger. A customer came into the shop asking “Can you come and have a look at this miter saw I want to buy?” I said “Yes Sir I’ll just come over….” to this, the customer leads me down the aisle of the shop and out the front door. I said “where are we going? I thought you wanted me to look at a saw that you want to buy?” He said “I do, it’s out here!” He lead me to a transit van outside where an Irishman was standing in front of opened its open doors. I looked at the miter saw, then at the customer. “This is a fake…..Hold on a minute!” I went back into the shop and got my colleague who had worked there 25 years out to have a look. He couldn’t believe it, there was some guy selling counterfeit powertools out of the back of van in our car park! We told the Irishman to leave our car park and we were calling the police! To this the Irishman said ” Don’t be cheeky….”. The customer who called me out to look at the saw, looked at me bewildered saying “thought it was too good to be true” and left.

The third was just odd and very quick. A eastern European man came straight into the shop, and into our large showroom. Then immediately turned around and walked straight out again. However, while leaving he had a new DeWalt hat on his head which no-one missed and a chorus of 4 counter staff shouted “Oi! That’s not your hat!” To which the man turns and feigns ignorance….takes it off, throws it on the floor and runs.

The other side of the coin

Then there are the very strange people who work for the company. Yes, it takes all sorts to make a world….

One assistant, we will call “Rambo” the reason for which you will find out soon. Worked for the company for around a month, maybe a little less, but left a trail of angry customers and destruction in his wake and finally was “let go” because he came in late shirtless claiming he was “beaten up” at the nearby train station. He had only scratch marks over his chest and stomach. (self inflicted?)

Another assistant had literally breath-taking extreme halitosis! Having a conversation was difficult because you couldn’t breathe or you would choke and gag. His breathe could peel paint from a wall without any paint stripper or heat gun involved. I ended up offering him a mint every time I saw him.

So it can be fun, weird and interesting working for an Engineer’s suppliers as you can see.