Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft? - Tools & Equipment - Contractor Talk

Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-26-2018, 11:32 AM   #1
Pro
 
WBailey1041's Avatar
 
Trade: Gutters
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 811
Rewards Points: 1,577

Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


I'm updating a spreadsheet with tools and serial numbers in case I get my tools stolen again.

I'm trying to etch my drivers license number on everything with a dremel. It's slow and tedious. My DL number is 12 freaking digits.

The only helpful thing the detective offered after the last break in was that street cops are trained to look for markings. A street cop can't run serial numbers if he stops a car full of suspected stolen tools. (or won't bother) But, if it has a drivers license number in the same format he is accustomed to seeing its much more likely the tools are recovered and returned.

I'm wondering if there is a better permanent way than a dremel to mark everything? I have a set of metal punches but that won't work on power tools.

I can get a custom branding stamp from Amazon for about 50 bucks. Think I could carefully brand all my tools on the plastic housings and the batteries?

The gunsmith at my range uses a $3500 laser engraver. Any of you fellas have a better method?
WBailey1041 is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 12-26-2018, 07:10 PM   #2
Pro
 
Windycity's Avatar
 
Trade: Masonry
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: chicago
Posts: 2,026
Rewards Points: 8,044

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


Dont have anything to add but i am subscribing to this for ideas

Obviously any sort of paint or marker could easily be removed with a shot of brake cleaner so I would think the best bet would be to branding the plastic with hot numbers like i think you are suggesting

Something like this maybe? Try searching for a Branding iron

https://brandingirons.com/collections/plastic


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Advertisement

Windycity is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Windycity For This Useful Post:
WBailey1041 (12-31-2018)
Old 12-26-2018, 09:56 PM   #3
Pro
 
Windycity's Avatar
 
Trade: Masonry
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: chicago
Posts: 2,026
Rewards Points: 8,044

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


Doing a little research they do have electric branding irons with heads that have interchangeable letters and numbers in various sizes from 3/16 inch up to whatever. I think this is kind a neat because it would be a nice clean hot stamp of whatever info you wanted on your tools and batteries

The irons are not too bad pricewise however you have to buy each individual letter or number and there about 20 bucks apiece which would add up a little

But I do like the fact that you can plug it in, wait till it heats up and brand away as opposed to fooling with scribing individual letters/numbers or holding a flame to it to heat it up




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Windycity is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-26-2018, 10:05 PM   #4
Pro
 
Lettusbee's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ft Collins, CO
Posts: 2,588
Rewards Points: 838

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


How is a branding iron gonna work on a little room that has mostly round surfaces. Sanders, drills, routers. What do you do for your metal tools?

Also, I'd think having your DL# on your tools is almost as bad as posting your ss# on everything.

Not that I have any better ideas.
I just photograph every tool, including making sure serial #s are legible in the pictures. That along with the spreadsheet. May not help as much with recovery, but will help with insurance

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
Lettusbee is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Lettusbee For This Useful Post:
KAP (12-30-2018)
Old 12-27-2018, 11:33 AM   #5
Pro
 
Dan_Watson's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling Contractor/Helical Post Installer
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 4,294
Rewards Points: 2,594

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


FWIS - When our trailers were recovered, the cops started calling the phone numbers on the stolen tools. I received a few calls from different officers as they found tools throughout the property.
Dan_Watson is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Dan_Watson For This Useful Post:
AustinDB (12-30-2018), Calidecks (12-27-2018), KAP (12-30-2018)
Old 12-30-2018, 07:29 PM   #6
Renaissance Man
 
superseal's Avatar
 
Trade: Masonry, Carpentry and everything else.
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 6,805
Rewards Points: 5,816

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


I use an old vintage craftsman engraving pen...have owned it forever...marks anything, plastic, metal etc...
__________________
"Under promise, over deliver and all that!" JBM
supersealconstruction.com

https://www.facebook.com/Superseal-C...2699413750013/
superseal is offline  
Old 12-30-2018, 10:47 PM   #7
Pro
 
Ohio painter's Avatar
 
Trade: Painting and wallpaper
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 1,505
Rewards Points: 2,786

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


Once a drivers license has expired can your old number still be run?

I was told by a police officer friend the tool serial number can be entered into a data base and if you have reported it stolen it will then come back to you. BUT, that is not done by street officers but more likely by the officers investigating thefts etc. takes time no doubt. He also said it is amazing how many times people reporting stolen items can not produce the serial number.

I wonder how many stolen tools are found by on the spot checking by street officers vs those that turn up after investigations for other crimes? therefore i question the value of any marking beyond recording the serial number.

I record serial numbers of my more expensive tools, but could do better.
Ohio painter is offline  
Old 12-30-2018, 10:55 PM   #8
Pro
 
Lettusbee's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ft Collins, CO
Posts: 2,588
Rewards Points: 838

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio painter View Post
Once a drivers license has expired can your old number still be run?

I was told by a police officer friend the tool serial number can be entered into a data base and if you have reported it stolen it will then come back to you. BUT, that is not done by street officers but more likely by the officers investigating thefts etc. takes time no doubt. He also said it is amazing how many times people reporting stolen items can not produce the serial number.

I wonder how many stolen tools are found by on the spot checking by street officers vs those that turn up after investigations for other crimes? therefore i question the value of any marking beyond recording the serial number.

I record serial numbers of my more expensive tools, but could do better.
I've had the same DL# since I was 16.
Lettusbee is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Lettusbee For This Useful Post:
tgeb (12-31-2018)
Old 12-30-2018, 11:35 PM   #9
GC/carpenter
 
Calidecks's Avatar
 
Trade: Decking, Railing, Carpenter/General Contractor
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Anaheim Hills, California (OC)
Posts: 36,530
Rewards Points: 18,330

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


In this state you will only have one license number for the rest of your life, regardless of its status.


Mike.
_______________
Calidecks is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Calidecks For This Useful Post:
griz (12-30-2018)
Old 12-31-2018, 02:12 AM   #10
Pro
 
WBailey1041's Avatar
 
Trade: Gutters
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 811
Rewards Points: 1,577

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Californiadecks View Post
In this state you will only have one license number for the rest of your life, regardless of its status.


Mike.
_______________
True In all but 5 states.

The Driver License Compact is an interstate compact used by States of the United States to exchange information concerning license suspensions and traffic violations of non-residents and forward them to the state where they are licensed known as the home state. Its theme is One Driver, One License, One Record. The home state would treat the offense as if it had been committed at home, applying home state laws to the out-of-state offense. The action taken would include, but not be limited to, points assessed on a minor offense such as speeding and suspension of license or a major violation such as DWI/DUI. It is not supposed to include non-moving violations like parking tickets, tinted windows, loud exhaust, etc.
WBailey1041 is offline  
Old 12-31-2018, 02:16 AM   #11
Pro
 
WBailey1041's Avatar
 
Trade: Gutters
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 811
Rewards Points: 1,577

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Windycity View Post
Doing a little research they do have electric branding irons with heads that have interchangeable letters and numbers in various sizes from 3/16 inch up to whatever. I think this is kind a neat because it would be a nice clean hot stamp of whatever info you wanted on your tools and batteries

The irons are not too bad pricewise however you have to buy each individual letter or number and there about 20 bucks apiece which would add up a little

But I do like the fact that you can plug it in, wait till it heats up and brand away as opposed to fooling with scribing individual letters/numbers or holding a flame to it to heat it up




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
20 bucks a letter? Can I buy a vowel? Iíll borrow against the house
Did you see the image in my original post? I think thatís the electric branding iron...?
WBailey1041 is offline  
Old 12-31-2018, 02:33 AM   #12
Pro
 
WBailey1041's Avatar
 
Trade: Gutters
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 811
Rewards Points: 1,577

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lettusbee View Post
How is a branding iron gonna work on a little room that has mostly round surfaces. Sanders, drills, routers. What do you do for your metal tools?

Also, I'd think having your DL# on your tools is almost as bad as posting your ss# on everything.

Not that I have any better ideas.
I just photograph every tool, including making sure serial #s are legible in the pictures. That along with the spreadsheet. May not help as much with recovery, but will help with insurance

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
You are 100% correct about insurance. See my old thread linked above. I got questioned on my spreadsheet until I sent screen shots of purchases from eBay, amazon and Hdepot. Erie insurance still doubted my claim. When I sent pictures of new tools and pictures of jobs that showed some of the tools they changed their tune. They overnighted payment which was more than 25% of my coverage limit. One of the few times Iíve come out ahead after telling the complete truth, I didnít pad the numbers.
WBailey1041 is offline  
Old 12-31-2018, 09:41 AM   #13
Pro
 
Windycity's Avatar
 
Trade: Masonry
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: chicago
Posts: 2,026
Rewards Points: 8,044

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


Quote:
Originally Posted by WBailey1041 View Post
True In all but 5 states.



The Driver License Compact is an interstate compact used by States of the United States to exchange information concerning license suspensions and traffic violations of non-residents and forward them to the state where they are licensed known as the home state. Its theme is One Driver, One License, One Record. The home state would treat the offense as if it had been committed at home, applying home state laws to the out-of-state offense. The action taken would include, but not be limited to, points assessed on a minor offense such as speeding and suspension of license or a major violation such as DWI/DUI. It is not supposed to include non-moving violations like parking tickets, tinted windows, loud exhaust, etc.

My dad told me that before that law or whatever agreement he had several truck driver friends back in the 60s that have numerous drivers licensees from different states.....one state suspends your license it was no biggie since they could keep on trucking....i think they would be ďhiddenĒ from arrest warrants as well by having different licenses since it wouldnít show up on traffic stops. They would just avoid going through the state where the warrant was issued

People used to get away with so much back then


Quote:
Originally Posted by WBailey1041 View Post
20 bucks a letter? Can I buy a vowel? Iíll borrow against the house:


Yes you can but vanna white isnt going to get it for you....lol


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Windycity is offline  
Old 01-01-2019, 08:26 AM   #14
Pro
 
RichVT's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 328
Rewards Points: 919

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Windycity View Post

Obviously any sort of paint or marker could easily be removed with a shot of brake cleaner
A neighbor had some tools stolen. He said that the thieves didn't touch anything that was marked.

A large, obvious marking will also help prevent another worker on the job site from "accidentally" thinking that your tool is theirs.
RichVT is offline  
Old 01-01-2019, 08:37 AM   #15
Pro
 
Joasis's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hennessey, Oklahoma
Posts: 9,287
Rewards Points: 4,386

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


You can buy a set of number/letter stamps...and we used to heat them and then stamp a few places on the cordless tools and cases....and on laser bodies and detectors....etc. Then model paint and wipe off.

Everyone paints their batteries a different color of rattle can paint....
__________________
Ladwig Construction
Hennessey, Oklahoma
405 853 1563

Insulated Concrete Homes / ICF's
My Facebook Page
Joasis is offline  
Old 01-01-2019, 08:37 AM   #16
Contractor of the Month
 
Inner10's Avatar
 
Trade: Control Systems
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 25,680
Rewards Points: 4,082

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


Someone pull the trigger on the branding iron because I like this idea and want to know if it works.
__________________
The Following User Says Thank You to Inner10 For This Useful Post: Leo G
Inner10 is online now  
Old 01-01-2019, 12:58 PM   #17
Pro
 
Windycity's Avatar
 
Trade: Masonry
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: chicago
Posts: 2,026
Rewards Points: 8,044

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Inner10 View Post
Someone pull the trigger on the branding iron because I like this idea and want to know if it works.


LOL i agree, i think wbailey should pull the trigger so we can see how well it works!

I did some work at a factory where they had serial numbers nicely etched into their powertools and i was wondering how they did it, obviously they used a branding iron since most etchings i see look like an etch-a-sketch was used and these numbers were nice looking


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Windycity is offline  
Old 01-01-2019, 05:35 PM   #18
Pro
 
META's Avatar
 
Trade: General and Trades
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: MI
Posts: 2,028
Rewards Points: 3,372

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


Replacement value insurance and a photo log of all tools along with their model and serial numbers as was mentioned.

Funny, though. I had a $10k claim about 6 years ago. It took me months to recover the loss even though I had replacement value insurance...thankfully. I ended up solving my own case, though, by visiting a pawn shop about 20 minutes away and identifying tools that I had painted hot pink.

It is amazing what people will risk and do for $40 dollars from a pawn shop.....
META is offline  
Old 01-01-2019, 06:11 PM   #19
Pro
 
Jonbuild's Avatar
 
Trade: Log home builder
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 245
Rewards Points: 484

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


I have an electric branding iron, that I have the letters I & J on it (I & J is my business name) Iíve marked a few of my batteries, you need to be careful on plastic it will kinda smear if you set it on to long, I just havenít got around to doing all my tools yet, it wonít brand on metal but most tools have plastic on them somewhere.

I canít remember if I got it from woodcraft or Rockler but it the one where you have to special order and only can fit three letters



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Jonbuild is offline  
Old 01-01-2019, 08:40 PM   #20
Pro
 
KAP's Avatar
 
Trade: Custom
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 11,042
Rewards Points: 33,980

Re: Easier Way To Mark Tools In Case Of Theft?


Put a sign on the door of your trailer...

"All equipment/contents are recorded and registered for recovery/tracking purposes by law enforcement. Premises and interior of trailer is under wireless video surveillance. Violators will be recorded real-time and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law".

Then install a flood light that automatically shines when they open the door... and a fake code keypad...

If they want your stuff, there's nothing going to stop them from taking it, so deterrence is about all you can hang your hat on (and insurance...) and hope they pick a target with less risk...

With the advent of cellular/wireless systems, be on the watch for alarm companies to begin marketing these type of solutions more...

Advertisement


Last edited by KAP; 01-01-2019 at 10:01 PM.
KAP is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dewalt tools Michaeljp86 Tools & Equipment 86 02-07-2015 02:14 AM
Mark Andrews - The 2nd (Business Growth Expert) MarkAndrews (2) New Member Introductions 1 04-08-2013 05:20 AM
Don't forget about Dremel tools MarcP Finish Carpentry 8 01-30-2013 05:26 PM
Premium tools...worth it (warning, long post) samthedog General Discussion 25 12-31-2011 06:57 AM
Ipad Otterbox Defender case review BCConstruction Technology 1 07-13-2010 08:04 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?