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Saturday, September 20, 2014

The wrong tool for the job



We've all heard about having the right tool for the job. There's nothing like a well equipped toolbox with everything in its place and no parts missing.

If you don't have the right tool for the job, the next best thing is to have the wrong tool for the job. There are a few tools out there that are essential if your budget or space is limited.

One of the most abused tools in the world is the common screwdriver. It's used a pry bar, chisel, scraper, paint stirrer, hammer, ice pick and even as a self defense weapon. Anyone ever use one to short across a bad solenoid in a car? Once in a great while someone even turns a few screws with one.

My next favorite tool to abuse are locking vise grips. They are often used instead of a good set of socket wrenches. Unlike the right tool, they mar and even deform nuts and bolts. On the plus side they get the job done. Get the brand name ones, especially if you are going to use it as a hammer or slip a piece of pipe over it for better leverage. I've removed wheel nuts on a one ton pickup truck with one of those babies. They make a pretty good emergency clamp and even have little cutters built in.

Moving on we have the much maligned multi-tool. These are the generalists of your personal tool kit. They do nothing perfectly, but many things well enough. Their handles tend to be uncomfortable and dig into your hands. Screwdrivers, knives, and other tools are often awkward to use. Some models have little attachments that get lost and are nearly impossible to replace. While never the ideal tool for any particular job, they are usually good enough.

There you go, the poor man's tool kit. Throw them in your bugout bag. Carry on your bicycle. Keep them in your car. Wrap them in an oily rag and toss them in your boat. They are cheap enough to own several sets.

Throw in a roll of duck tape and a clever person can make emergency repairs on just about anything.

-Sixbears

15 comments:

  1. You're right about the vice-grips, get the "Vice-Grip" brand, when you need them to work right you really need them. I've split too much blood with off brand locking pliers.

    The multi tool, it's great when you need it and small enough to be with you. I like the 6 way screwdriver too.

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    1. The cheap vise grip knock offs will bust your knuckles.

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    2. Now you know why my internet handle is Bustednuckles.
      ;)

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    3. You've been there. Avoid those China mart tools.

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  2. Heh, you just reminded me of the time I didn't have the right tools to change the spark pug on a lawnmower I was using once.
    I literally used a screwdriver and a hammer.
    Angle the tip of the screwdriver on the corner edge of the flat in the direction you want it to turn and smack it with the hammer.
    Worked like a charm.
    A chisel would work also but would want to bite and then you couldn't get a socket on it anymore.

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  3. You forgot cable ties. As well as their many other uses you can even use them to remove an oil filter. Though you can use a normal belt to do that.
    Incidentally in at least two trial in Australia and the UK the presence of cable ties, duct tape and a utility knife has been termed a 'kidnap kit' by the prosecution.
    If they ever search my truck I expect about 30 years lol :-)

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    Replies
    1. I always have a variety of cable ties handy. Cheap and useful.

      Buddy of mine was stopped by the state police as they were looking for a serial killer. He had a machette, rope and duct tape in his van -left over from a recent camping trip. Caused no end of grief.

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    2. I know the feeling mine always has a machete, billhook, a slasher, side axe and at least two felling axes as well as numerous other tools.
      If you ever get chance look at JB billhooks in the UK. Beautiful workmanship but they look positively medieval lol.

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  4. Experience can really help in putting together a reasonable tool kit. Lots of the things in mine are often used for other than intended jobs.

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    Replies
    1. Given enough stuff anything is possible.

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  5. And then when those tools fail to get the job done, get a very big hammer!!

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    Replies
    1. I was told to never force anything -get a bigger hammer!!

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  6. duct tape is wonderful. add steel wire, epoxy mixes, zip ties , and clothsline you can repair or build anything you want

    and WD-40 is great for creaky parts, even on a human

    Wildflower

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    Replies
    1. I don't even want to know what human parts you are using WD-40 on . . .

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