Our first independent review is out NOW!!! Back in January, we had a great show off in #ToolFair exhibition at Alexandra Palace in London. One of the days we have been promoting Muka product and one of #ToolKit editors listen to our story how Muka was born and how we developed Muka Pro. Editor Richard Hollis was so intrigued and offer us to do a magazine column. Things developed and he offered to do an independent professional review by legend Peter Brett.
That’s what Peter thinks
I HAVE had the experience of dropping tools from scaffolding, down a cavity wall and into deep water. The latter two were not too dangerous, but the 120cm long level I dropped from a gutter level scaffolding stage had my heart in my mouth, as it fortunately missed my workmate but smashed end down onto a concrete path. So, for safety and saving money reasons, it’s not a bad idea to think about tool tethering, especially when working at height.
New ideas from Norman New to the tool-tethering scene and the brainchild of Norman Kazaks, a tradesman with many years’ experience, is the MUKA tool tether. Norman’s new, patent pending design incorporates a few ideas that may have some considerable appeal to some users.
The biggest difference from other tethers I have used is that the MUKA design has a retractable cable. It is quite possible with other tethers that the user can end up with a nice tangle of elasticated tethers hanging from pockets or a tool belt. By using a strong, but fine, retractable steel cable housed in a plastic casing that can hold tool weights of up to 3kgs, tangles in the tool pouch or pockets are avoided
The look The MUKA tool tether looks a lot like a 5m tape measure in size and shape. But attached to the ‘tape shape’ is a back plate that incorporates a slot through which a belt can be fed.
Because the back plate is held on with four screws it is possible to mount the tethers in a number of different ways. The simplest is to slide a belt through the loop and put it round your waist and go to work. But on a standard builder’s tool belt this is not possible because of the buckle ends. By taking off the back plate the tether can be slipped over the belt and then the back plate can be reattached. One could also add a tether to a tool belt pouch by feeding the screws through the material and refitting the back plate.
Clearly Norman has tried his device out in a number of scenarios and ensured that users can get flexible applications with a minimum of hassle.
By using a strong, but fine, retractable steel cable housed in a plastic casing that can hold tool weights of up to 3kgs, tangles in the tool pouch or pockets are avoidedBy PETER BRETT
I am not sure if Norman would approve but when I used it, I found I had a way of using it to suit me because I don’t often need to tether heavy tools. Very often I am just using pliers or an adjustable spanner that are not heavy enough to trouble the retraction spring on the MUKA. By effectively having the MUKA upside down I could just pull the tool out, use it and let it retract safely to hang from my belt.
But the intended way of using the MUKA tether is to ensure that you have the correct belt placement on the back plate. On a standard belt, the MUKA needs to have the cable feed from the top of the casing. Attached to the cable quite near the end, is a metal nipple that slots into a metal socket in the top of the MUKA. When attached to a heavier tool, like a drill driver or an impact driver, this arrangement prevents the tool from answering the call of gravity and simply sliding downwards on the retractor spring. The tool is then held at your side where it is available literally within a hand’s reach.
Attaching to the tools
The Muka has a free spinning and robust hook attached to the end of the cable. The free spinning should avoid tangles and the hook element has overlapping jaws
that should prevent a tool from coming off accidentally.
Many tools these days have hooks or holes in the handles to allow them to be hung up or attached to tool tethers. A simple, strong, nylon string loop would be good enough for many smaller tools, but for power tools a nylon strap with a strong, metal loop attached is really necessary to either go through the handle loop or over the battery at the bottom of the tool handle.
Ideally I would have liked a smaller hook arrangement or possibly even a small carabiner instead, for extra lightness and security. But it wouldn’t be impossible for a user to change this by himself.
The MUKA comes in two versions – the standard and the Pro. The Pro is distinguished by having a red name label and a double backing plate for extra flexibility on belt fixings. Both versions can carry the same amount of weight – 3kgs – and both retraction springs have a similar amount of ‘pull’ on them.
Tethering my thoughts
Launching any new tool is a risky business and even well-known companies have got
launches wrong; who remembers acoustic ‘tape measures’ that relied on the radar effect to measure distances? They were overtaken by laser devices that were much more accurate and reliable once lasers became widely and cheaply available.
Trades too can be very slow to adopt new devices but can also be very quick to respond to an idea that suits them. Every tradesperson has a different way of working and different requirements, so if I was forced to guess which trades would adopt the MUKA tethers it would be scaffolders and window fitters. Possibly roofers could be added to the list too.
I couldn’t replicate working on a scaffolding when using the MUKA tethers, but I did use a long ladder to do some gutter repairs and some initial work on a custom-made wooden window on the upstairs of a small cottage. I found that the tethers were more useful attached to a cordless drill driver than, say, a pair of pliers or a hammer. This has a lot to do with the way in which the tools are used. It is handy to know that you can have a drill right near you and not have to worry about where to balance it when space is limited.
Source: Tool Business