Monday, April 09, 2018

The Tools You Need

Last week's issue of the Washington Post's "Local Living" section had an interesting article titled "10 Tools Every Homeowner Should Own - and 3 They Shouldn't." Naturally, I had to compare my oddly diverse collection of tools and add my own commentary ...

According to the article, the ten tools everyone should own are:

1. A Claw Hammer. This is handy for killing big spiders that intrude on your workspace. It also needs to be addressed in any reform of our health care system, because according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, the most common tool-related injury is striking one’s own fingers with a hammer. I can attest to this.

2. A Manual Screwdriver Set. If you didn't get that spider with the claw hammer, you can impale it with a large screwdriver. Screwdrivers also have many other uses, such as stand-ins for crowbars, can openers, and awls.

3. A Cordless Drill. This is truly one of the world's great devices, the inventor of which deserves canonization. Except when you don't push the little button that governs direction of rotation, and the screw you were trying to insert flies across the room to land in an inaccessible place.

4. A Level. A useful tool for hanging pictures that will be exactly level until your guests arrive, at which time they will petulantly go crooked.

5. Needle-Nosed Pliers. There's no better tool for delivering a world-class blood blister in a highly-visible place.

6. Tongue-and-Groove Pliers. These are wonderful for replacing several tools at once, and are heavy enough to use as a defensive weapon.

7. An Allen Wrench Set. If you shop at Ikea, you don't need this. You already have at least a thousand Allen wrenches that came with your Swedish-named furniture.

8. A Putty Knife. In addition to everything else, it's useful for extending your reach into the inaccessible place your cordless drill threw that screw.

9. A Staple Gun. These are really cool, until a pair of good ol' boys end up in the emergency room after shooting each other with them while imitating an old West high-noon scenario.

10. A Digital Tape Measure. A digital tape measure? Okay, it's a neat toy, but for thousands of years, carpenters have been writing their measurements down on the piece of wood they're getting ready to cut, without the aid of a tape measure with a digital memory. I'll stick with my trusty old regular tape measure, of which I have three, none of which I can ever find when I need them.

 And the three tools you shouldn't own are:

1. A Table Saw.

2. A Circular Saw.

3. A Hacksaw.

You'll note that the common factor among these three tools is that they will quickly and efficiently remove parts of your body if you're not careful. And most of us aren't.

So, Dear Readers, what is your tool you wouldn't be without? Leave a comment to guide your fellow amateur handymen.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


P.S. - in the interest of full disclosure, I should note that my daughter, her husband, and I built her chicken coop with a claw hammer, two cordless drills, and a circular saw. And a first-aid kit.



Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I did it the old-fashioned way. I married a man who had the tools and could use them. Whew. He sucks at killing bugs though. I can live with that. :-)

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Thanks for the great tips on the necessary tools for the household.

Grand Crapaud said...

I'm a retiree,and I find those tools to be indispensible.

Still, a power drill screwdriver is nic too!

Mike said...

I don't have a digital tape measure. Other than that I have all those in multiples and many more. And yes I did have two table saws at one time.

allenwoodhaven said...

Tools are very important. It's a good list. I certainly agree about the tape measure. I'm glad to have a hacksaw. I've never had a power saw, but did borrow a chain saw a couple of times.

An odd tool I find very useful is a picture hanger guide. It's basically a plastic stick with a end hook to hold the picture wire on one side and a knob on the other to mark the wall where the hanger needs to be so the picture hangs at the correct wall height.

My favorite tool is a fireplace poker blowpipe. Solid brass, 40" long, it's a hollow poker with a mouthpiece to precisely direct your breath to fan the coals. Best. Fireplace. Tool. Ever.