What is the best tool in your railroad toolbox?

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Slow Learner
Name the best tool you have for building or maintaining you railroad.

I will start with my #1, the CMX Track Cleaning Car. Before getting this track cleaner I could never keep my track clean and my locos stalled out on the dirty track. I had a hard time cleaning the track in my tunnels and other hard to reach places. I fill the tank car with alcohol and push it with one of my locos. Very easy and super effective.


Well-Known Member
My best tool was and is the internet. I used it greatly in researching the line CN’s Valley Sub prior to building the layout and used many you tube videos in building the frame work and making the road bed.

I still use as the layout matures and I research new industries or looking for details that belong at an industry



Well-Known Member
It's hard for me to select just one. A dental pick is very important, as is an Opti-Visor. Good lighting in the train room is indispensable. The NMRA gauge is right up there. And needles files, which I use all the time.


Gandy Dancer
I'd be lost without this baby:



Section Hand
I can't think of one particular tool that strikes me as more important than the others. But, I did find I'm replacing many of my older "Cheap" tools with better, more expensive tools and higher quality tools made the work go so much more enjoyable. One tool does stand out above many others is my "New" wire stripper made by Zuron. It strips thin wire without cutting the strands of the wire down to 32 gauge wire.

Better tools make for better jobs.



Loveably weird
I use my precision screwdrivers quite a bit. I have a Tool Shop (Menards house brand) magnetic screwdriver with interchangeable bits. It's on the right in the pic. I have long wanted a small battery powered screwdriver set. While searching for something else on Menards website, I noticed they had 1 in stock at the store I usually go to. Since I had to go there this morning to get some spackling paste, I decided to buy it. I asked at the hardware desk, and no one could find it, so I assume it not actually in stock. I did spot a set of 30 bits in a plastic holder for $4, so I bought it. After I got home, I wondered if Harbor Freight had anything. The last time I had looked there they only had a couple of options, neither of which appealed. Well, lo and behold they actually had what I was looking for! I'm a bit leery of buying electrical items from Harbor Freight, but all the reviews on this set were 4 or 5 stars, so I figured I didn't have much to lose for $11.99 if it turned out less that stellar. I've only played around with it a little while, so I can't speak to it's longevity, but it seems to be doing the job for which it was designed. And as a plus: all the other bits from both sets fit it! :)
I wish it was magnetic, but I figure I can use the magnetic screwdriver to get the screw in place, and then drive it home with the battery powered one.

The set I bought is here: 19-in-1 Compact Cordless Screwdriver Set (harborfreight.com)

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