Tinter’s Top Tools

August 13th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs

By Emmariah Holcomb

Tools, especially the ones that make installations go a lot smoother, are what many think of as their must-haves. WINDOW FILM magazine reached out to a number of industry professionals who always carry specific tools with them for each installation. Since there are so many to choose from narrowing it down to just one might be an unforeseen challenge.

Marcus Quintana, national field operations manager for Campbell Corporation, located in Huntington Beach, Calif., says choosing just one isn’t an option, as there are several in his arsenal.

“I honestly don’t have just one favorite tool, but three came to mind,” Quintana says. “My first pick would be my Red Dot knife, I take this tool everywhere I go, even as far as New Zealand. It travels around the world with me.”

Quintana notes that this blade can be adjusted for even the most intricate of cuts. He’s such a fan of this tool that he’s been using it for more than 20 years. But his second favorite is also a top contender.

“The wet edge hard card is one of my favorite hard cards to use,” says Quintana. “I’ve found that it can be used on any film, vinyl, gradient and printed graphics. It doesn’t scratch vinyl or gradients and is extremely useful for solar and safety films. This tool has been my savior on large-scale graphic projects, that’s part of the reason why I’ve been using it for over 13 years.”

A squeegee blade is also a go-to for Quintana and he says there’s one particular model that has been in his tool belt for more than 15 years.

“My last top tool is that Blue Channel Squeegee Blade, it can be used in many different lengths and even on the thickest safety films on the market,” says Quintana. “I often find myself using it on solar, safety, anti-graffiti and decorative films.”

Former Film Stars have also weighed in on their must-haves. David Williams Jr., owner of Dave’s Tint located in Shreveport, La., instantly knew which item he would select time and time again for his installations.

“My favorite tool is the Sledgehammer by Gasket Pro Tools, says Williams. “There are many reasons why I love it so much, but it’s mainly because of its water extraction ability. Throughout my career I’ve used many tools that claim to be the best in water extraction, but this one exceeds them all by far.”

Williams adds that this particular sledgehammer “glides nicely across the film without grabbing or leaving any squeegee marks.” “Another great feature about it is that it’s long lasting,” Williams says. “The blade doesn’t start to streak after a lot of uses as I’ve seen that happen in other tools. This is hands down my favorite and would highly recommend to others in the industry.”

Les Helton, owner of Performance Window Tinting, located in Carrollton, Ga., also has only one top tool that he can’t imagine forgetting while out installing. “My favorite tool is definitely the De-Hydra five inch squeegee blade,” says Helton. “This squeegee blade was formally known as the Great White, and picks up where some others might drop off.”

The De-Hydra squeegee can be used for automotive, residential, commercial, or security film installations, according to Helton and is something that can stay in your tool belt for a long time.

Emmariah Holcomb is the assistant editor of WINDOW FILM magazine. You can reach her at eholcomb@glass.com.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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