Simply put, MIP makes the best hand tools in RC. We’re not in the habit of stating such bold statements, but in this case we are not only saying it, we are saying it loud and clear.
Superlatives like “best” can be difficult to use when reviewing products because blanket statements that claim a thing as being “the best” in a particular category can paint a product reviewer into a corner. In what way is a product the best? Are there any caveats you’re not mentioning? Can one thing really be the best? Of course any review is subjective, but in our experience the best hand tools in the radio control hobby are made by MIP.
Those who have been in the RC hobby for a long time are almost guaranteed to already know MIP. The company’s iconic translucent-amber-handled tools are seen in the pits at the highest level of RC competitions, as well as on the workbenches of seasoned RC builders worldwide. MIP’s products have become the benchmark that others are compared to. For those who may not have heard of MIP yet, let us fill you in on why their tools are so well respected.
MIP’s sole focus is on RC and nothing else. While other big-name tool makers make tools that are meant to help build a house or fix a leaky faucet, MIP’s attention is hyper-focused on creating tools that are used to build, maintain and repair your RC vehicle. Whether you reach for a hex driver, nut driver, turn buckle wrench or another tool in metric or SAE, MIP has the tool you need for your RC vehicle.
The MIP crew is comprised of fellow die-hard RC enthusiasts as well as engineering geeks, so they know what micro-adjustments are needed to get the most out of an RC-specific hand tool. This means precision is the key. There’s a reason why other tools, while the correct size, can strip your hardware. It’s also the reason why MIP’s don’t.
Precision design and engineering and being able to control the quality of the tools’ construction from raw bar stock metal to final machining, all in house, combine to help MIP create the best tools in the business. It’s all about tight tolerances. MIP holds their tolerance to within 20 microns, which equates to 0.02mm or an incredible 0.0008-inch. To put that into perspective, 20 microns is taking a human hair and dividing it by 4. That’s how tight the tolerances are that these tools are machined to.
On top of that, all the tools are made in MIP’s own facility in Southern California using USA-sourced materials such as high-quality US Grade tool steel and polycarbonate. We recently visited their headquarters and have to say that it contains the cleanest machine shop that we’ve ever toured. Loaded with CNC machines that run 24 hours a day, it’s an impressive sight to behold.
All this quality does come at a cost, however. MIP tools aren’t cheap, but like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Tools that perfectly grip fasteners and don’t chew them up are one of the main reasons people love them. Another is their longevity. How many long-time RC hobbyists are still using their very first MIP tool that they purchased one, two, or even three or more decades ago? We’re betting plenty, because we see it all the time. Over time, an MIP tool may be the least expensive investment that you end up making in the RC hobby. These tools last and they work, it’s really that simple.
Let’s hear from MIP’s founder, Eustace Moore, Jr., on what makes his tools so special: “What makes our products special is that we design and create them around the specific application using the highest-grade materials and processes to achieve the quality needed to put our name on that product. And we back everything that we sell with customer service that reflects a knowledge of being both a manufacturer and a consumer.” We couldn’t say it any better.
Text and Images by Jerry Tsai