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CaseArts has produced many types of eye-catching parts for every PC modder. We are going to take a look at some tools CaseArts has provided us for power supply sleeving and modding. Now this is not going to be like an ordinary review, due to the fact that the product we will be looking at is actually a tool. What we are going to do is take a look at what the tool is used for, how it performs the task, how durable the product is, cost effectiveness, and a comparison to other devices that might perform similar tasks.
What the tools are used for?
Section above taken from Case Arts Home Page Link
How it performs the task? Or ease of use.
Lets start with the 4 pin auxiliary extractor. This is used on the standard floppy power connector. When using the tool, you should not need to pull on the wires too much to get them to come out. It is adamant to realize the importance of patience when performing any extractions. Just apply pressure, make sure the pins are depressed and gently pull out one wire at a time. Once you get the hang of using this tool, you will most likely be able to do all 4 pins at once, but its best to start small until you get used to the tool.
The second tool we will look at is your ATX power removing tool. This works on both the 4 pin and the 20 pin connectors. It takes a bit to get used to, but once you get the hang of it there should be no problems. Please make sure you know the pin configuration before removing the wires. There is nothing worse then messing up your wiring and blowing your PC components.
This item will most likely be your most used tool out of the kit, your standard Universal Molex extractor. Notice it uses a plunger to extract the wire harness.
The most important thing to remember when using this tool is not to pull on the wires. Let the tool do the work. Insert the tool into the Molex connector and hold the terminal firmly. Then just depress the plunger, if you have it right the wire will just pop out.
The last tool we are going to look at is what CaseArts calls an auxiliary extractor. It appears to be used for the AT style secondary power port. Unfortunately, I do not have one available to show how it works. This item appears to be a single probe used to depress a pin similar to the 4 pin extractor, with only the use of a single probe.
How durable is the product?
All of the tools provided in this kit are of very nice quality. They consist of all metal parts, so no plastics to break. I especially like the sturdy feel when applying pressure to the Molex pins. There is no flexing at all, this allows for more control and less damage to whatever you may be removing. Basically, these tools are multi layer pieces riveted together, with probes to release the pin latches from the connectors. The rivets appear to be well made and flawless. It would be very difficult to get these tools to come apart. The one tool not of this nature is the Universal Molex extractor. This tool is still made of a hardened metal and is by far the best quality extractor from the retail market I have used. You may say," Well how many are there?" Trust me, in a testing environment and with my background, there are several of these type of products, consisting from resin plastic with metal plungers, solid plastic, your more common tin, or soft metal composites generally sold in the market. These tools are built to last and to perform well. I am positive that they will hold up to almost any standard use or abuse that they will encounter.
The standard retail price is somewhere in the range of 25 to 35 USD. To be honest, this price is very good. Seeing that the average cost of your universal Molex remover is around 10 USD on its own, and you get 3 extra tools to make the PSU sleeving that much easier, there is no other conclusion I have even seen some of the tools individually priced over 20 USD each. If you do any Molex removing and want to reduce the risk of breaking the pins, it's best to invest into a kit like this.
Price 25.99 @ Directron.com
Other Notes of Interest:
The Universal Molex Extractor might not be the best tool for removing male terminals. To be honest, most that I have seen of this type strictly state that they usually work best for Female terminals. The Male ends are smaller, making the opening of the Universal tool a bit large. If you are not careful, this can cause the male locking flaps on the terminal break. I personally have a special male extractor for these jobs, but it is from having technician tools available to me when working on machines in former positions at a large corporate company. I have yet to find these tools on the retail market so just be careful when using this for male ends. **Note: this would be the case no matter what tool you purchased.
Another important thing to note when doing any kind of pin extractions is that most likely it will be necessary from time to time to adjust the catch part of the pin. The pictures above are hard to make out but if you look closely, you will see that when using an extractor tool, it will flatten the catch. All you need to do is use a flat head screw driver or your finger nail and gently pry the catch away from the base. This will happen when using any tool so it is not a flaw in the tool, it is just a fact in general.
All around well built tools, they will last a long time.
Easy to use, makes removing almost all connectors a snap.
Price can't be beat for a tool kit like this.
Packaging is very pleasant to look at nicely designed.
No instructions to speak of.
Male connectors can be a bit tricky, though it's the same for all competitors with similar products.
If you are doing any type of PSU Modding this kit is a must have. There is not one single other all around PSU tool kit like this on the retail market. I, for one, will be using this frequently in the future. I am pleased to award CaseArts "PSU Tool Kit" the Blue Ribbon Seal of Approval for a well made, easy to use product for the Modding community. Congratulations!
Rating: 5 out of 6 Stars
Review Date: 12/06/04
Reviewer: pr101j (Paul)
Contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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