Most sized tools are marked by stamped numbers on their sides, shanks or handles. All too often, I find myself looking for a specific drill or socket, unable to make out the stamped size. It becomes especially difficult in low or "flat light" where the reflecting edges of the numbers are less defined.
I've begun using this simple modification to make the stamped sizes stand out. Now I can quickly locate any size drill, socket or wrench no matter how they're tossed in my tool cabinet drawer.
Step 1: What You'll Need:
1. A set of drills, sockets, wrenches or any other tool identified by recessed stamping or raised casting and difficult to read.
2. Spray paint.
3. Acetone, paper towel and/or Scotchbrite.
Step 2: Paint Your Tool:
Tools such as large wrenches aren't too difficult to read. The problem begins with small sized tools where the identification marks are hard to find and too small to read easily. Because the small numbers are virtually the same color as the surrounding material, you rely on reflected light to read them. That means, you have to pick each tool, tilt and rotate it until you see the reflected stamped marks, then study it, tilting and adjusting it again to read the size.
Wouldn't it be easier just to flip through the pile of tools, reading the sizes as you sift through?
The solution is easy. We'll simply paint the tool's stamped size a color that contrasts with the tool's metal.
I've chosen black for my silver tools, but any dark color would work as well.
To begin, wipe the tool with acetone to get all the grease off of it. When it's dry, spray paint the area around the stamped or cast number and set it aside to dry.