Have you ever had one of those days where everything that can go wrong does go wrong?
So what about those days when you're doing what should be a simple job, taking maybe a few minutes, but, due to something so small going so wrong, that simple job takes more time than you actual have?
I mean, we've all been there, working away on something, maybe repairing a part in the engine of your car, maybe even dabbling in the art of repairing an electrical appliance. Then, when it comes to that most crucial part, where you have to put the very last screw into place, the screw that holds everything together. The one that you know if you don't put back into place then things will just fall apart in front of your very eyes.
Then, just as you are about to slot the screw into the hole, taking aim, balancing the tip onto the surface of the tiny little hole, your hand goes into spasm, the screw driver flicks and the screw flops out of the hole, dropping into the abyss of the machine that your are working in.
And, to make matter worse, you can just about see the tip of the screw, with it seeming to be looking up at you with a smile on its face, (if it had a face that is...but you know what I mean). but no matter how hard you try to get the screw out, you just can't get your fingers into, no matter how hard you push and pull at the area around where the screw is sat in, with it still seeming to be looking up at you laughing at you, tempting you to try again, causing you to rip bits of skin off your fingers as you push in a bit further. But no matter how hard you try you just can't get the screw back from it's new hiding place.
So what do you do? Do you get a piece of wire, stick a bit of second hand chewing gum on the end, then try and poke at the screw? Or maybe you just start taking the whole thing apart in order to get at that one screw that you so preciously need in order to finish what was supposed to be a simple job?
Well, I've been through this sort of scenario quite a few times in the passed, leading to a lot of frustration, many layers of skin becoming dislodged from my fingers and a fair amount of 'not so pleasant language, (and we're not talking German here). So I decided to sort any future 'accidental drops' and invested in a long torch,
WHAT..? I can here you screaming.
How on earth does a torch help you out when it comes to rescuing a small screw from the depth of a area that seem no man should ever think about entering? All a torch would be good for is actually helping you see the screw, sat there at the bottom of the pit, smiling at you as your eyes begin to turn red in anger.
A TORCH... are you mad..?
No, I'm perfectly sane, (almost), as this torch I am talking about it not just a torch, it's an M&S torch... no, it's actually a 'silverline' torch that is not only a torch, it is a magnet as well, which is why I use this sort of torch to help when it comes to picking up small screws that have fallen into places that they should never have gone anywhere near. And, to make life a lot easier when it comes to getting into those eve deeper places, the neck of this torch has the ability to extend and flex so that it can double in length.
The torch I am on about, which I have been using for quite some time now, is on fact called the silverline 483730 3LED extendable magnetic torch, which explains exactly what it is really.
* Let's look at this torch then...
At first glance it looks like a simple torch, being a lovely blue colour and being about 170mm long, 12mm in diameter around the handle and about 22mm in diameter around the bulb section.
The casing is made of a thin and lightweight, yet remarkably strong aluminium that can withstand quite a bit of pressure, drops and stamping on, which comes in handy when it falls on the floor and gets kicked about the place.
When you look at the top, taking a peak at the end that lights up, you'll see that there are three small light bulbs carefully protected underneath a glass covering. Then, surrounding this glass, there's what looks like a ring of metal, but this is not just any old metal, this is M&... no, hang on, we've done that one. This ring of metal is actually a magnet which surround the lights and is strong enough to pick up anything from screws to washers, (not washing machines... ring washers, as washing machines may be a little too heavy to lift).
But that's not the only magnet, as if you look at the other end of the torch, checking out the far end of the handle, you'll see what looks like a small disc of metal. This is not just any old metal.... (You get the point there don't you? So I won't mention M&S). this is another magnet that can pick up screws, washers, nails, clips... in fact, anything that is metal and of a smaller size.
But it doesn't end there either. Even if you think it does.
If you take the torch in both hands, one hand on the lower handle, the other hand on the bulkier bulb end, you can pull the two ends apart to reveal what looks like a shiny thin pipe that would not look out of place wrapped around the waste water pipe on a washing machine. This metal pipe is actually the extendable neck that lets stretch this torch from its closed size of 170mm to a good 545mm, which is where the ability to get the light and magnet into those really difficult to reach places.
So that's what you've got... it's a torch that turns into a magnet whilst stretching further than your arm can reach
* How do you use it..?
It is used in the same manner of most torches, you simply press a button on the top, this button being underneath a thin rubberised cover that feels nice under the finger and is gentle on the skin. The you simply press the same button in order to turn the light off.
But before you can get any light from the 3 little LED bulbs you do have to put in four of those little flat 'watch' batteries, or 'coin' type, what ever you want to call them, the official name being LR44. These batteries are inserted in the base of the handle, which is a matter of unscrewing top section, where the bulbs are, then you turn this section over so that you can 'tap' out a small black plastic tube that is where you pop the batteries into. This is a lot easier than trying to drop the batteries into the longer handle section as we all know that these type of batteries have a tendency to turn upside down when we don't want them to.
Anyway, once the batteries are in the plastic tube, you then simply slot the whole tube back into the handle. After that it's a matter of screwing the bulb section back onto the top of the torch, being careful that the spring doesn't fly off into oblivion, and you're ready to shine on.
You can still use the magnet without the batteries of course so even if you can't use the torch you can still pick up metal objects that you would not normally be able to reach.
* Will it last..?
Well, I've had mine for a while now and, apart from a fresh set of batteries, it is still going strong. The bulbs seem to be ever lasting, managing to keep their brightness most of the time, depending on the batteries of course, but even the batteries last quite some time to be honest.
As for the construction of the casing, well, this is second to none, so to speak. It is made of a thin metal that can take some battering indeed, and, with the roughness of the handle, it is so simple to get a grip of without being too rough in the hand.
Even pulling the battery section away from the handle is made easier due to what looks like two 'bolts' that surround that section, which not only act as a grip but also add to the style of the entire unit.
* What do I think then..?
This may not be the most powerful of torches, with the actual area that the light covers properly being the size of a fifty pence coin, but it is so useful when it comes to locating and then retrieving small metal objects in those hard to reach places. Plus, the bonus of this one is that, due to the thin design, it is easily carried in the smallest of pockets, making it a very useful addition to anyone's tool box.
The light itself is actually 3 LED bulbs in a triangular manner which is what makes it so bright, if a little on the smaller side when it comes to lighting up a dark room.
As I said, when you first look at it it looks a bit useless in the torch world, being so thin and small, making you think that it would be as bright as a character from TOWIE. But it's not really the all round brightness that this torch is designed for. It is more for seeing into small places like inside a cars engine, or behind an unmovable object, so that you can see what ever is behind there. Then, if you find that screw, bolt or nail, you can then get it back using the brilliant extension technique that this torch gives you.
This is one torch that I always make sure is in my tool box, no matter what job I am doing, as I have a habit of dropping things into places that only an ant, and a screw, can get into. So this stops me scraping my fingers as I try and retrieve the fleeing metal object.
So, to be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that this one has an extendable body and magnets on both ends, I wouldn't be so boastful about this torch as the illuminating side of this isn't the best on the market by far, in fact, it falls well short when it comes to lighting up a room. Don't get me wrong, the torch is not terrible, I mean, you can see where you're stepping if you use this in the dark, so it's not like it's useless as a torch, but as it only gives a small illumination area it's not that good when it comes to a total blackout in a field filled with horse manure.
As for the magnets. These are very strong indeed, considering the sizes of them anyway, and they will attach them selves to anything metal, which comes in handy when you want to put this down without it falling into the hole your trying to get your screw out of. You simply stand this up on a piece of metal, a radiator, car wing or the like, and it will stay where you put it so you can get at it when ever you want to.
* So what about the price..?
This extendable torch, that may not be as bright as Carol Vorderman's maths teacher but has more magnetism than Sean Connery sells for a mere £8.00, or less. Which in anyone's books is great value for money when it comes to rescuing lost screws from almost inaccessible places.
* Would I recommend this..?
If you need to stop a ship from hitting the rocks around the coastal area then I would have to say that this one may not be able to help you out there. But if you simply want a small torch that will help you see into tight spots, then retrieve any lost metal objects, then this is well worth the money that this cost.
Short name: Silverline 483730