RCU Review: RTL Fasteners #992 Complete Metric Assortment

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    Contributed by: Andrew Griffith | Published: August 2012 | Views: 18702 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon

    Review by Andrew Griffith (BarracudaHockey)

    If your workshop would make Sanford and Son proud, then a little bit of organization could go a long way for you.  As many times as I have been digging through bins of nuts and bolts looking for the proper size, thread, and length for the project at hand, you would think I would have learned a long time ago.  Granted, I have made use of the neat little plastic square containers that Hitec and Savox servos come in to help out but it turned out that just meant I had a dozen clear servo containers with a hodge podge mix of modeling hardware to dig through.  It was time to get serious and a few months ago RTL Fasteners came to the rescue.

    I had the chance to review their Master Builders Assortment and I realized what I had been missing.  Organized containers that had most everything I needed, sorted by size, and accompanied by the proper washers, nuts, and lock nuts.  They even included a telescoping magnet for when things snuck off to hide in unexplored recesses of airframes.  I keep these kits in my shop but they transport so easily that I toss them in my truck for big days at the local field and any time that I travel to events.  They have saved many a good flying day that otherwise might have been abandoned due to lost nuts or stripped or missing bolts.

    Now I had another problem on my hands though; I was spoiled!  The Master Builders Assortment only solved half my problem.  Helicopters and many ARF airplanes that are made overseas contain metric hardware.  Rich and the gang at RTL Fasteners have the answer though.  A full assortment of metric hardware that is organized in their logically arranged Metric Assortments.  You can purchase the full metric assortment or a smaller assortment that is appropriate for helicopter pilots.

    All of the RTL hardware is of high quality, comes reasonably priced, and is packaged in useable quantities.  The storage containers they sell, and that come packaged with the assortments, are clear and come with removable dividers so they can be configured however you see fit though they provide maps that show optimal storage configurations.  In addition, you can shake the containers when they are properly latched and none of the small washers or nuts will migrate to other cells.

    Part # 992

    Price: $119.95

    The complete metric assortment contains 1006 pieces of high quality metric hardware.  The bolts are made of high grade hardened black alloy steel and the nuts and washers appear to be stainless steel.   Sizes range from 2mm (M2) x 8mm all the way up to 4mm (M4) x 35mm.  Also included in the metric assortment are three of the RTL compartmentalized storage bins and 48 of thier ever handy servo mounting screws in 7/16" and 9/16" inch lengths.  The servo mounting screws are not metric but RTL believes they are so handy they threw them in with the assortment.  The total value of the over 1000 pieces of hardware, if purchased separately would total $220, or nearly double the price of purchasing the assortment.

    As stated earlier the metric assortment contains 3 clear plastic organizers.  The organizers come with the plastic dividers and you're free to set them up however you please but for convenience sake RTL provides a "map" of an optimal layout.  When you're done assembling the dividers per the diagram you simply empty the bags into the designated compartments. 

    There is a correct and wrong way to install the dividers so if you feel like you're forcing it, try the other way.  The divider is thicker on one end than the other, the thick side goes towards the top of the container.  I used a hobby knife to trim the molding flash from each divider that I used to ensure a proper fit in the organizer.  Unlike some of the plastic organizers I have seen, the dividers fit very well and stay put and the lid stays snapped.  I have no problem throwing these in the back of the truck when I hit the road with the confidence of knowing when I need an M2 flat washer, that is what will be in that compartment.  Even the smallest hardware stays put.

    I saw someone with one of these assortments at our flying field and had one of those "ah ha!" moments.  He had cut the hardware maps out of the instruction sheet and taped them inside the lid of the organizer.  What a great idea, too bad I didn't think of it myself!  I had a pretty good idea of what was what by looking at it in the standard assortment but now that I'm stocking both metric and standard I will probably go ahead and implement this so I can easily tell them apart.  After all I'd hate to be back to the digging and fitting of my old system to find the correct bolts and such.

    The complete inventory is listed on the link above but in short the metric assortment contains 2, 2.5, 3, and 4 millimeter hardware.  Each size includes an assortment of bolt lengths, hex nuts, nyloc nuts, flat and split (lock) washers.  I have found their split washers highly effective in preventing meandering bolts even in high vibration environments such as nitro helicopters and gas airplanes.  RTL has also added metric blind nuts to the assortment to make it even more versatile.  The M2 and M2.5 hardware is in one organizer and the M3 and M4 sizes each get their own container.  If you want helicopter specific metric hardware you can purchase the more modestly priced Helicopter Assortment that contains 502 pieces of metric hardware.

    Installing the dividers in all three of the organizers, sorting the bags of parts, and filling all the compartments took me approximately 20 minutes.


    Part Number: BW4, BW6, BW8, BW14  (#4, #6, #8, and 1/4" respectively)

    Price: $2.95 to $4.35 for 24ct depending on size (at time of writing)

    RTL also sent me some of their bonded or sealing washers.  Bonded washers are curved steel washers with neoprene rubber bonded to one side.  They are mainly used by plumbers but somewhere there is a plumber that flies R/C and realized that these have several uses in our models.  RTL carries the bonded washers in sizes ranging from #4 (for 4-40 screws) up to 1/4" for 1/4-20 bolts.  The #4 bonded washers can be used with a #2 bolt by using a flat washed (pictured) or in combination with one of their servo screws which has the washer built into the head.

    Someone showed me these a few years ago when I got into gassers but I keep finding new uses for them in all my models.  They excel in mounting fiberglass cowls or plastic canopies.  Over the years I have had tried a number of mounting methods to keep fiberglass cowls affixed to the nose of aircraft without the holes elongating or the fiberglass cracking.  More often than not I ended up with a nasty looking, cracked, or poorly fitting cowl.  The rubber on the bonded washers distributes the load evenly and prevents plastic or fiberglass from cracking better than any mounting method I have ever tried. 

    In addition they seem impervious to loosening from vibration.  On all of my gas planes I use them on the cowl mounting bolts, on the canopy bolts, and on the horizontal stabilizer mounting bolts.  The rubber allows you to get them tight enough to stay put without cracking the wood like smaller flat washers can do.  Vibration damping for engine mounts?  These bonded washers would do it!

    If you keep a good supply of these on hand while building models I'm sure you will find even more uses for them.


    Part #:582 and 583 (7/16 length, 9/16 length respectively)

    Price: $2.65 / $2.70 24 ct, $5.35 / $5.40  100 ct (price current at time of writing)

    RTL has included 48 (24 of each size) of these little gems in their Metric Assortment and Master Builder assortments but they are so handy they deserve separate mention.

    The servo mounting screws are zinc coated, self tapping wood style screws with a hex head and built in washer.  The deep socket head uses a 5/64" allen wrench or ball driver for positive control.  Unlike phillips head screws, these heads won't strip out and with a ball driver you can get them properly tightened despite the stringer or bulkhead that the airplane designer seemed to put in your way on purpose.  The built in washer will completely cover servo grommets.

    Aside from attaching servos the 7/16" length screws work great for applications such as cowl or windshield mounting and can be used in conjunction with a #4 bonded washer for smaller cowls and windows.

    Once you start using these you will find nearly as many uses for them as CA.


    RTL Fasteners sells high quality hardware in usable quantities for the R/C hobbyist.  I've mentioned airplanes and helicopters mainly because those are the areas I participate in but the RTL assortments are valuable no matter whether you're into planes, boats, or cars.  Simply find the assortment that works best for you or give them a call and they are more than willing to discuss your needs with you.

    Aside from saving money by not buying hobby store bags of screws that are 4 for a dollar, the RTL assortments have saved me time countless time and aggravation.  When I'm busy with several projects I simply don't have the time to waste digging through endless boxes and the bottom of drawers to find to screws that match.  Perhaps the best use of these assortments though is when I don't have to give up on a day of flying and go back to the shop because I lost, stripped, or broke a piece of hardware.

    The RTL assortments are time and money well spent.

    RTL Fasteners, Inc.
    708 Battlefield Blvd South, Suite 107
    Chesapeake, VA 23322

    Phone Number: 1-800-239-6010 or 1-757-482-0012
    Fax Number: 1-757-482-0038
    email: info@rtlfasteners.com


    Comments on RCU Review: RTL Fasteners #992 Complete Metric Assortment

    Posted by: wdelorme on 11/05/2012
    Absolutely concur with that above review. I have been doing business with RTL now for about two years. They are awesome!!
    Page: 1
    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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