Hand Tools Explained (For The Novice)

Image used under a Collective COmmons License from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/30591561287Most people know what a screwdriver or a hammer is for, but there are many hand tools which the novice doesn’t understand, nor the expert at times for that matter.

This is a list of hand tools and their uses.

If you find it funny, please forward to your friendly craftsman or DIY “expert”.

AIR COMPRESSOR:

A machine that takes energy produced in a coal-burning power plant 200 miles away, and transforms it into compressed air that travels by hose to a Chicago Pneumatic impact wrench, that grips rusty bolts last tightened 60 years ago by someone in Springfield, and rounds them off.

BATTERY ELECTROLYTE TESTER:

A handy tool for transferring sulphuric acid from a car battery to the inside of your tool box, after determining that your battery is dead as a door nail, just as you thought.

BELT SANDER:

An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 16-INCH SCREWDRIVER:

A large motor mount prying tool that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end without the handle.

DRILL PRESS:

A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your coffee across the room, splattering it against that freshly painted part you were drying.

EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 2X4:

Used for levering a motorcycle upward off a hydraulic jack.

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL:

Normally used for spinning steel pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age, but it also works great for drilling mounting holes in fenders just above the brake line that goes to the rear wheel.

E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR:

A tool that snaps off in bolt holes, and is ten times harder than any known drill bit.

FLAT HEAD SCREWDRIVER:

A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.

HACKSAW:

One of a family of cutting tools built on the pessimism principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

HAMMER:

Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of radar device to locate expensive parts that are not far from the object we are trying to hit. A hammer is also attracted like a magnet to the end of your thumb.

HOSE CUTTER:

A tool used to cut hoses 1/2 inch too short.

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK:

Used for lowering a motorcycle to the ground after you have installed your new front disk brake set-up, trapping the jack handle firmly under the front fender.

UTILITY KNIFE:

Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door, but it works particularly well on boxes containing seats and motorcycle jackets.

METAL SNIPS:

See hacksaw.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH:

Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your garage on fire. It’s also handy for igniting the grease inside a brake drum that you are trying to get the bearing grease out of.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER:

Normally used to stab the lids of old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splash oil on your shirt. A Phillips screwdriver can also be used, as the name implies, to round off Phillips screw heads and can double as oil filter removal wrench by stabbing through stubborn oil filters.

PHONE:

Tool for calling your neighbor to see if he has another hydraulic floor jack, after you managed to break yours.

PLIERS:

Used to round off bolt heads.

PRYBAR:

A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

SNAP-ON GASKET SCRAPER:

Theoretically useful as a sandwich tool for spreading mayonnaise, but used mainly for getting dog poo off your boots.

TABLE SAW:

A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.

TIMING LIGHT:

A stroboscopic instrument for illuminating grease build up.

TROUBLE LIGHT:

The mechanic’s own tanning booth. Sometimes called a drop light, it is a good source of vitamin D, “the sunshine vitamin,” which is not otherwise found under motorcycles at night. Health benefits aside, its main purpose is to consume 40-watt light bulbs at about the same rate that 105-mm howitzer shells might be used during, say, the first few hours of the Battle of the Bulge. More often dark than light, its name is somewhat misleading.

TWEEZERS:

A tool for removing wood splinters from your hands and fingers.

TWO-TON HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST:

A handy tool for testing the tensile strength of ground straps and brake lines you may have forgotten to disconnect.

VICE-GRIPS:

Used to round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

WHITWORTH SOCKETS:

Once used for working on older British cars and motorcycles, they are now used mainly for impersonating that 9/16 or 1/2 socket you’ve been searching for, the last 15 minutes.

WIRE WHEEL:

Cleans rust off old bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprint whorls and hard-earned guitar calluses in about the time it takes you to say, “Ouch!”

 


Image used under a Collective Commons License from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/30591561287

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