“Pick and hook” or “pick and probe” sets maybe aren’t something you use every day, but they’re still good to have around.
Sure, you could try to improvise if the need for a pick or probe comes up and you don’t have one, but doing so comes with the risk you will damage what you are working on – or worse, injure yourself.
It’s always a good idea to use the correct tool for the job, but this is one type of tool you want to have at your disposal when you need it.
Milwaukee says that other hook and pick sets “often fail to withstand regular use.” I have certainly experienced that with a cheap set.
They say that their new hooks and picks are up to 50% more durable than other leading hook & pick sets.
The hooks and picks in their new set have an all-metal core, to help prevent the shanks from being pulled out of the handle.
The handle features what looks like an over-molded “comfort” grip. The shank is chrome plated to prevent corrosion and abrasion, and also looks to have knurling so you can grip the shaft closer to the end for more precise work.
The Milwaukee 4 piece hook and pick set ships in a plastic tray that can be used for keeping the set corralled in your toolbox. The set will be available starting June 2017. When it’s released, it will retail for $17 and will have a lifetime guarantee.
ETA: June 2017
Prior to eventually picking up a pick and hook set, whenever I had to remove a bearing race, gasket, or O-ring, I’d use a knife blade, usually an X-Acto #11. Surprisingly I’ve never hurt myself this way even after cleaning hundreds of Rollerblade bearings.
A few Christmases ago I picked up a Husky Pick and Probe sets from one of the “special buy” displays. The first time I used one of the picks, I bent the end. I didn’t think I was using it inappropriately, but it bent like it was made from a paperclip. Despite their poor quality, they still can get the job done and are safer than a knife blade.
Because of this, I have an interest in seeing just how tough this pick and probe set from Milwuakee is. I’m hoping for a lot better quality from Milwaukee, but I guess it’s maybe not fair to compare what I bought to a set that costs 3X more.
Stuart’s Note: I like Ullman picks and probes
I like the fact that it comes in a plastic storage tray. While it looks like it’s just a cheap plastic tray of the kind used in packaging, I’ve found these tray are about the most space-efficient ways to organize screwdriver-like tools in a drawer — I can’t get anywhere near the same storage density using Kaizen Foam.