Laymans description of the most common tools

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Blog entry by Liam posted 12-03-2007 03:22 AM 1194 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

*copied from the web

Explanation of Common Tools:

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 beer across the room, splattering it against that
freshly-stained heirloom piece you were drying.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under
the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and
hard-earned guitar calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you
to say, “YEOWW CRAPP….”

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their holes
until you die of old age.

SKIL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of

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

HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board
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.

VISE-GRIPS: Generally used after pliers to completely 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.

WELDING GLOVES: Heavy duty leather gloves used to prolong the conduction
of intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable
objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside
the wheel hub you want the bearing race out of.

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
inch socket you’ve been searching for the last 45 minutes.

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

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after
you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly
under the bumper.

EIGHT-FOOT LONG YELLOW PINE 2X4: Used for levering an automobile upward
off of a trapped hydraulic jack handle.

TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters and wire wheel wires.

E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool ten times harder than any known
drill bit that snaps neatly off in bolt holes thereby ending any possible
future use.

RADIAL ARM SAW: A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops
to scare neophytes into choosing another line of work.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of
everything you forgot to disconnect.

CRAFTSMAN 1/2×24-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A very large pry bar that
inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end
opposite the handle.


TROUBLE LIGHT: The home 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 cars at night. Health benefits
aside, its main purpose is to consume 40-watt light bulbs at about
the same rate that 105mm 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.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids
and for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on
your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out
Phillips screw heads.

STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to
convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws.

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 which were last over tightened 30 years ago by someone at Ford, and
instantly rounds off their heads. Also used to quickly snap off lug nuts.

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

HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to make hoses too short.

HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is
used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts
adjacent to the object we are trying to hit. Home owners primarily use it
to make gaping holes in walls when hanging pictures.

MECHANIC’S KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of
cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well
on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles,
collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts.
Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.

DAMMIT TOOL: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage
while yelling “DAMMIT” at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often,
the next tool that you will need.

10 comments so far

View DustyNewt's profile


671 posts in 3862 days

#1 posted 12-03-2007 04:14 AM

Hey Liam,
These were great. I haven’t laugh so hard in a while. The funniest part is they are for the most part true.
Thanks for the levity.

-- Peace in Wood ~

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4099 days

#2 posted 12-03-2007 04:24 AM

Oh yeah!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4005 days

#3 posted 12-03-2007 04:38 AM

C-clamp- A clamping device that typically has an 1/8” smaller jaw opening than what you actually need.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View VTWoody's profile


95 posts in 4057 days

#4 posted 12-03-2007 04:41 AM

I concur with dustynewt. Very funny and so true. Both the tools for cutting things too short are very much things I have used them for. :)

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3962 days

#5 posted 12-03-2007 04:43 AM


-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3874 days

#6 posted 12-03-2007 05:22 AM

I love it. After reading this I know I have a “hack saw,” “Phillips screwdriver,” and “flathead screwdriver.”

-- Happy woodworking!

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3895 days

#7 posted 12-03-2007 05:49 AM

I inherited my Dad’s Dammit tool. It works as advertised.

Thanks for the levity Liam.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4063 days

#8 posted 12-03-2007 07:20 AM

LOL, thanks Liam.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 3990 days

#9 posted 12-03-2007 04:29 PM

Cute Liam, but maybe you should give up your day job and take up something less dangerous, like writing lines for Jay Leno!

There’s another tool: The Missing tool. You’ll find it in your kids tree house.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3939 days

#10 posted 12-03-2007 05:01 PM

Very funny. There have been quite a few times I’ve used my belt sander to initiate a new beginning on a project. It’s like magic.

-- Working at Woodworking

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