Barbara K! girl power toolkit

You can do it! Whether it is fixing, replacing or improving, Barbara K's Toolkit for women empowers even a complete novice to tackle and complete basic home repair projects. That's the promise from Barbara Kavovit, media savvy CEO of Barbara K Enterprises Inc.

Kavovit, who is all over American home improvement magazines and TV makeover shows, was inspired by another media creation, Sex and the City character Samantha, to design tools designed for the size and strength of women's hands. We put her toolkit to the test.

The set includes a claw hammer, slip joint pliers, 2-in-1 level, interchangeable Philips and flathead screwdriver, adjustable wrench, 3m measuring tape, putty knife, 16 hex key wrenches and a fastener assortment. Everything comes in a case, which according to Kavovit, is styled to look like a laptop from Apple. A booklet guides you through DIY projects including hanging pictures, replacing doorknobs and repairing a running toilet.

Let's start with the thing we liked most about the kit. All the tools have good rubber grips, so there is no slipping and hurting yourself by accident as you apply pressure. Where you apply extra force, Barbara K! tools have extra, ribbed rubber patches that give just the friction you need, just where you need it. We also liked the turquoise, not pink logo, which spells out Barbara and means your partner is only going to pinch your tools in an emergency.

What we did not like so much was the weight and balance of the hammer. At 200g, we thought it belonged in a Fisher Price toolkit and was not weighty enough to be useful, it lacks the meat of a standard 16oz claw hammer. The tape measure is imperial not metric and if it did have a stopper, we could not find it. The spring-assisted pliers are easy to use but there is no way of closing the spring mechanism, which means they are always open so you cannot drop them into your pocket in between jobs.

Verdict

The wrench is petite, as are all the tools, but we found the size spoilt the ergonomics and we would have preferred a wrench with a longer handle. The putty knife doubles as a filler knife but has drawbacks as both. As a putty knife, it isn't an ideal shape and as a filler knife it lacks flexibility.


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