Sort A Tool Wrench Storage Tray

Sort A Tool Wrench Storage TrayAs a professional auto mechanic, tool storage is very important to me. At work, all of my tools are organized in a way that helps me be neat and efficient. It took me years of fine tuning my tool. I sort tools in the following way:

  • Most frequently used
  • Size order, like a set of wrenches would be
  • Type of tools, wrenches with wrenches, sockets with sockets, and so on
  • By size of the tool, this is based on the size of the drawer they are in.

I have seen tons of different types of tool organizers. Some are great, some are junk, and some are crazy expensive. When the folks at Sort-A-Tool asked me to review their Wrench Sorting Tray, I was honored. So let’s take a closer look at the Wrench Sorting Tray.

About the Wrench Tray
The tray is made from hard black plastic. It can hold up to 28 wrenches. The Wrench tray has a footprint of 13.5″ x 10″ x 1.5″ which means it will fit most tool drawers. Included with the tray are labeling stickers to help you quick identity wrench sizes. One other cool thing is these are made in the USA!

The Pros

  • The hard plastic is durable and easily cleanableSort A Tool Wrench Storage Tray
  • Separations for each wrench
  • Holds a lot of wrenches
  • the spot for small wrenches is raised making it easy to get them out.
  • There are 2 parts trays built in
  • Labels for quick size identification
  • Makes great use of the space
  • It is portable with the wrenches moving
  • Almost impossible to put wrenches in the wrong spot
  • Its small enough to fit in most drawers of most tool boxes
  • It will not scratch up your wrenches

The Cons
Before I talk about the cons I just want to say all the “cons” I talk about are personal feelings. It comes only from the way I store tools. Keep in mind, they may not be an issue for you

  • If you use the labels, metric and standard wrenches are mixed together.
  • It only holds up to a 19mm wrench
  • The “sizing bar” at the top was a little strange to use for me. I asked my wife to take a look at this feature. She liked it saying “it was easy to find the right spot for the wrench”
  • There is limited flexibility in storage

Sort A Tool Wrench Storage Tray

Final Thoughts
I really like this tray! As I said above, any “cons” I wrote about were extremely minor. Almost to the point of nit picking. I think this is one of the better wrench holders I have put my hands on. I usually try and look at a product like this from 2 sides “Is it good for a pro mechanic” and “Is it good for a home toolbox”. I think this tray is great for BOTH! You can get them from Amazon SortATool Wrench Tray, They are also coming out with a socket storage tray later this year. I am excited to see it.

Have questions about this product? Please post them in the comments below. If you have a product you would like reviewed, please use this contact me form. I will be more than happy to provide a honest review of any product.

Sort A Tool Wrench Labels SORTATOOL will get you sorted out! SORTATOOL is a tool sorting and storing product line for professionals and enthusiastic DIY mechanics. The patented wrench sorting and storing tray has been a popular product in the US for over 10 years.  A novel socket sorting & storing tray will be launched around April 2014, and additional sorting and storage solutions for all the other things in tool chests and boxes are in the pipeline.
Humble Mechanic Logo

Hey everyone. I had something come up yesterday, and I want to clear it up.

I did an interview a while back for a writer. She was doing an article about ways to avoid overpaying for car repairs. It was an article meant to give folks some basic tips on saving money. Overall I think that the article was a pretty helpful. It was cool for me to be quoted in the article.

That is until I got a billion emails on Monday. Not really a billion, but it sure felt like it. Some of the emails were wondering if I was misquoted or there was a miscommunication. Some where saying that I was NUTS! To be fair, I could see why someone would think that. Here is what was written:

“You need to know when scheduled services are due,” says Charles, mechanic and blogger at “You need to know that at 30,000 miles your car needs to have an oil change and the tires rotated so a dishonest mechanic doesn’t do it at 5,000 miles.”

Now, I am not sure if it is the way that it is worded, or the lack of context, but it could read like I am saying “only change your oil every 30,000 miles. There are 2 ways that I think what I said was misunderstood.

  1. It should say 10,000 miles, NOT 30,000 miles. That would follow VW’s recommend service interval.
  2. It would say SERVICE not oil change at 30,000 miles. Think of something like spark plugs. A service interval MIGHT BE 30,000 miles. You would not want to replace them at 5,000.

I am not 100% sure where the miscommunication came. We talked about a lot of things. I may have said something in a confusing way. Or it may be just a simple typo. The problem with folks that live and breathe a topic, they tend to skip over really simple but important things. It is a huge flaw of mine. I am trying to work with her to get the article changed. I want there to be no confusion.

I also had said that people need to follow their owners book. I also said to take what the owners books says with a grain of salt. Giving the example of people that live at the beach may need to replace an air filter more often. Just like in the south US, I replace my pollen filter more than the book says, and more than I would if I still lived in Illinois.

Here is the thing to remember. Many people that write for big publications are writers. I respect the heck out of that. But often times they are writing about a subject they have no background in. My buddy John is a big time pro writer. He writes about video games among a ton of other things. He really know what the hell he is talking about. But often times people writing “5 ways to XYZ” have no clue what they are talking about. That means if there is a typo, they would not know the difference.

Here is a link to the article if you are interested. I spent about 3 hours last night responding to comments. To the point that MSN would not let me comment any more. I guess they thought that I was a spammer. If you read that article, and have any questions about what I said, please contact me, or post in the comments. I will be more than happy to address any issues you may have.

The plus side is, the article drove a ton of traffic to the blog. I like the fact that it helped our community grow.


Chicago Auto Show #FUELCAS

Chicago Auto Show #FUELCASI was lucky enough to spend a few days last week at the Chicago Auto Show. It is the oldest auto show in the USA. For me the Chicago show has a really special place in my heart. As most of you know, I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. The show falls right around my birthday, so when we went, it was extra awesome. The folks at the show tweeted out something about the show in 1987 where Walter Payton was signing autographs. I remember that show. 🙂

This year, I attended the media days for the show. This takes place the 2 days before the show is open to the public. Day 1 is was media day. That was when the manufacturers did their be reveals. Day 2 was social media day. This was a lower key day with plenty of cool manufacturer activities.

Overall I had a great time at the show. It really took me back to being a kid and seeing all the cool cars, and future technology that is showcased. To the point that I know I missed things. I really get caught up in the awesome. So I may be missing some specs from certain cars. 😉

Doing a ride along at the Toyota TRD course.
A pro driver took me around the course, up and down hills on rollers, and even fording 2ft of water. Plus the folks at the Toyota booths were some of the nicest people I met all day.

Unveiling of the Rockstar Beetle driven by Tanner Foust
I am an extremely causal fan of racing at all levels. I will tell you that the excitement around this car was crazy! The swarm of reporters around the cars and drivers was the biggest I seen. For me the coolest part of the release was the sound of the Beetle. I am digging around to find some of the video I shot.

Hyundai Chop ShopChicago Auto Show #FUELCAS
This was so cool. Hyundai paired up with the TV show “The Walking Dead” and developed an app where you design your own zombie survival vehicle. They had 3 cars all decked out in zombie defense gear. If you have a smart phone check out the app. It is such a cool idea.

Engine displays and cut-a-ways
It should come as no surprise that I was excited about engine displays. The surprising thing for me is the number of engines the show had on display. Most were nonworking models. A few displays were behind glass, and had actual moving parts with lighting. It is so cool to see the inner parts of an engine in that way.

The city life
One awesome benefit of this show is seeing family and friends. It is always great hit the city, have some great times with friends and family. And like always a stop at Lou Malnati’s Pizza, Bad Apple, and Half Acre brewing are a must. This year I even got to check out Hop Leaf for the first time. All some of my favorite spots in Chicago.

I know you have all been waiting for more pictures so here we go. I also uploaded a bunch of pictures to my Flickr account. You can see them all at 2014 Chicago Auto Show Pictures #FuelCAS. It is hard to show a ton of pictures on my site. That is an upgrade that I am working on. I uploaded about 200 pictures to Flickr!

I also want to mention that the folks that ran the Toyota booths and Chevy booths were by far the nicest. Some other manufacturers could learn a lot from the way Chevy and Toyota did it. It really bummed me out that some of the “brand ambassadors” didn’t know the brand, and seemed like they didn’t care about the brand. It really hurts when it’s a brand I care so much about.

If you are a social media fan, I recommend following the following awesome peeps on Instagram. Most of them have blogs, and are on twitter too. Seriously check these folks out!

  • Maria Talks Chevy on Instagram
    Probably the standout star of the CAS instagram scene.
  • The Greased Bunny on Instagram
    Another rock star for Chevy on IG
  • The Rock Father on Instgram
    A fellow blogger and great pics on IG
  • CleanMPG on Twitter
    Wayne has great info on MPG
  • Miss Motor Mouth on Twitter
    More great auto coverage
  • Chicago Auto Show on Instagram. They are on FB and Twitter too
    The folks running the SM did an AWESOME job. There were a ton of IG and Twitter contests. It made a great day even more fun!
  • Digital Megaphone on Twitter
    They ran an awesome IG video contest. I entered, and got crushed by some awesome videos. I was WAY out of my league.
Tiguan Fuse Recall

It is Wednesday, so you know what time it is. By the time most of you read this, I will be on a flight to Chicago for the Chicago Auto Show. I am not really a big fan of flying, or airports, or being away from my family, but I am looking forward to the show. I will also be posting plenty of pictures on the Humble Mechanic Facebook page.

Even though I have been out of the shop for the last few days, I still have pictures for you. Alright, let’s do this Shop Shot thing.VW engine Failure

First up we got some real nice VW engine damage. This a a picture of a Volkswagen CC engine. The car came in with strange noise/vibration while accelerating. One of the other techs in the shop was working on this car. I lent him a hand diagnosing the issue. We went around for a while trying to identify the noise. They vibration that the noise caused could be felt on the back side of the transmission. We pulled the trigger and replaced the transmission.

Sadly this was not the issue. After lots of conversation, we decided to remove the oil pan. This turned out to be a great move. We found little sparkley bits inside the oil. That prompted further engine tear down. We got the upper oil pan off and found this bolt had broken. This is one of the main bolts that hold the crank shaft in. If you are not an engine person, don’t worry. I will tell you it is really dang important. This car got a new engine. Luckily the customer had an aftermarket warranty. I think they only paid $100.

Bent VW Wheel damageNext up is something that seems to be a plague these days, bent wheels. It seems to be worse this time of year. My guess is the increase in potholes and bad driving that winter brings. I tried to shoot a video of this wheel spinning on the balancer. It came out terrible. 🙂 It is strange to me that someone could not feel they had a bent wheel. Many times a small bent in a wheel will be fine. This is a major bend. If you find out you have a bent wheel, most of the time they can be repaired. From what I have seen, the cost is around $120 or so. That is not cheap, but it’s better than $350 for a new wheel

Tiguan Fuse RecallA few weeks ago, I let you guys know that VW was issuing a recall for the Tiguan. It was related to a fuse getting too hot and melting the fuse panel. By the time the recall came out, I had seen a bunch of them fail. I wanted to post a picture of the damage to the fuse panel for everyone to see.

It is strange to me to talk about someone electronic OVERHEATING and causing something to melt in such a casual manor. When I hear overheating electronics, I think fire. I have seen a bunch of these fail, and the worst that has happened is exterior lights not working. Don’t get me wrong, having a bunch of your exterior lights not working is a real pain in the butt. But hey, it’s better than a car fire.

OREO super bowl tweet

I am sure by now you have seen non-stop coverage of the this years Super Bowl. From the game coverage, commercial coverage, and cooking shows, we have been full throttle for The Super Bowl. I even read an article about why the Puppy Bowl is better than the actual “Big Game”. Yeah, I really did. OREO super bowl tweet

This year, like most years, I don’t really care who wins. I think the game has become an overdone spectacle. Even the commercials are ridicules. All that changed for me last year when I hopped over to Twitter and followed the action there. There are some brilliant folks that were on their game last year. Like this little gem from OREO, when the power went out. I am all about the banter that companies have back and forth.

This year didn’t disappoint either. Overall I thought the commercials were good, not great. I got the feeling like companies were all about getting a big movie star, but no content. But there were a few gems in the mix. My favorite was the commercial from Jaguar.

I was really looking forward to seeing what VW and Audi would bring to the table. The VW “Wings” commercial was not too bad. The idea of “when a VW hits 100,000 a German engineer gets their wings” is funny. What was even better was what Victoria’s Secrets had to say about it. 😉 I also had to throw my 2 cents in too.

Audi had a commercial that I didn’t really get. I guess I got it, but didn’t care for it. Oddly enough Budweiser had the best Audi ad of the night. It is always hard for me to like a “Bud” ad. I don’t like the beer. I don’t like the company that owns them. I don’t like a lot about all “Big Beer”. But when it comes to Super Bowl ads, Budweiser has it on lock down. It is also easy to win me over with really cute puppies. Note the Audi ad at 47 seconds

Overall I had a great night watching the game, and hanging out on Twitter. If you are not big into things like Twitter and Instagram, I urge you to check it out. At least for “Big Game” type events. What did you think? Did you have a favorite commercial? Post your thoughts in the comments below. I am sure I missed some good stuff.

One More Update
I will be doing some traveling this week. For some crazy reason, I thought going to Chicago in February was a good idea. LOL Actually I will be doing some coverage of the Chicago Auto Show. For those of you that don’t know, I grew up just outside of Chicago. So the Chicago Auto Show is near and dear to my heart. Look for some cool stuff regarding that. Also, I am sure I will be complaining about how cold it is. 😉