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Please click on the above picture to see a detailed list of contents.

The following is a reprint of the above "Product Test Report" from the January 2006 edition of RC Report magazine.

Item Tested........Master Builder Assortment #5000
............................MSRP $419.98 Special Price $175.95
Type....................Hardware assortment selected especially for R/C aeromodelers
Seller ..................RTL Fasteners,  Chesapeake, VA

CHEERS: A very generous supply of hardware applicable to model building: each different item comes in individually marked bags; good quality; includes clear tough-plastic organizers and labels; includes a nice and powerful telescoping magnet retrieval tool.

Jeers: One plastic bag split open in transit, allowing 100 locknuts to roam loose. (RTL Note: Packaging has now been secured).

My hardware bins needed replacing, to be sure, but when I ordered this hardware assortment, I was buying more than just hardware. I was buying time.

When I built my workshop back in 1980, all my modeling hardware was neatly sorted into little plastic drawers in stand-up hardware storage racks. over the years, however, the supply has not only dwindled, but pieces have found their way into drawers where they don't belong, In short, my once neatly organized hardware has become a mess, and it's not unusual to spend 15 minutes or more trying to find four matching motor mount bolts, washers, and lock-nuts, or even just four similar servo screws. I've been telling myself for months (okay, okay...years!) that I would someday spend a whole day just going through all the hardware, re-sorting everything, and getting them back into the correct drawers and bins. And I'm still telling myself that today.

Recently, however, things came to a boil when I spent over 30 minutes trying to find four matching motor mount bolts, washers, and nuts, and was unable to do so! Luckily, this was during the day, so I was able to jump in the car, burn at least a gallon of $3.00 gas driving to the hardware store, paying just over $2.00 (with sales tax) for the twelve little pieces I needed, and arriving back at my workshop about 30 minutes later. So, all in all, I spent about an hour and $5.00 to gather up 12 little pieces of hardware. That was intolerable.

So, I called RTL Fasteners and ordered their Master Builder Hardware Assortment #5000. I felt a little guilty about ordering something for a "master builder", but we'll overlook that for now.

Two or three days later, a surprisingly heavy box arrived. Inside I found a heavy cardboard box and four plastic organizer trays.

At first I was tempted to just toss the organizer tray into the trash. I've used similar items before, and they seldom hold up to rough handling, and the little separators inside often come loose, allowing one type or size of hardware to mingle with another. Upon closer examination, however, I found it's more like a hard but flexible nylon. Nor does the lid simply close with a light click. These have very positive folding snaps that lock the lid closed, even if dropped. The little slide-separators don't merely slide into open slots in the walls, either. The slots have undercut angles into which the specially formed separators lock. And finally, the separators fit the wall well, and are the exact height as the walls, so when the lid is closed and latched, each and every compartment is well sealed to prevent wandering hardware.

I also received a bonus I didn't even know about. What appears to be a long ball point pen is actually a powerful telescoping magnet retrieval tool. About 5.5" long when collapsed, it extends like a transmitter antenna to a full 25" long. Tools like this are very handy when you drop a tiny screw down into a narrow fuselage.

Okay, so much for the accessories. What about the hardware itself? Each of the different pieces comes in its own plastic bag labeled with the name, size, quantity, and part number. Some of the bags even had an inspection sticker indicating that someone had opened the bag and counted the pieces to make sure it held the correct amount. That made me curious, so I opened and counted the pieces in some bags that hadn't been inspected. I didn't find any shortages, but I found two bags containing more items than indicated.

There are 2,124 pieces counting the trays and retrieval tool!

Yeah, I think I got my money's worth alright.     Gordon Banks, RC Report Magazine
Please click here to see The " Master Builder Assortment #5000" list of contents. RC Report Product Test