I took some heat for my topic on the Gates belt inspection tool. One of the reasons I do this is to stir the pot and bring forth controversy. As I have said before Techs have a hard time agreeing on anything that has more than one option. One item of discussion that I agree with is that the vacuum gauge is also a tool that is not high tech but is a very useful diagnostic tool. Yes, there is a vacuum transducer that connects to a lab scope to help in locating a miss but to quickly determine engine condition or help diagnosis a no start you can’t beat the ease of use of a vacuum gauge. I also agree that we use a lot of flashy tools that could be performed by a simpler one. One case in mind is the non-contact stat many times we could use a regular stat but we grab the non-contact, because of ease of use and why have it if you are not going to use it. A recent tools magazine showed a techs new tool box and it was over 6 feet high, how do they access those top drawers without a stool, it was at least 15 feet plus long. I would guess he had more invested then my first house cost. But then our tools were worth about the price of a car so with that in mind they are about equal. I do wish I still had a shop so I could justify buying some of the cool new tools. Labor rates exceeding $100 an hour in many places, with the cramped engine compartments and complicated systems in today’s vehicles today’s techs need every tool they can put their hands on to make their job easier.