The most under appreciated and most useful tool in the shop.

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Forum topic by BurlyBob posted 09-13-2015 11:27 PM 1329 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5936 posts in 2441 days

09-13-2015 11:27 PM

Today I was working on a drawer and pulled out my utility knife to trim a little piece of wood on a dado. Got me to thinking how often I pull it out to scrap, trim, cut or what ever the heck. I’ve got it in my apron pocket almost all the time. Going for it is second nature after all these years, muscle memory. I mean a quick trim , little snip and I’m good to go. It’s kinda like that Dixon Ticonderoga #2 there’s always one in my apron. I never gave it a single thought till today. Any of my fellow LJ’s got a similar, under appreciated go to tool?

16 replies so far

View Daruc's profile


460 posts in 1308 days

#1 posted 09-13-2015 11:53 PM

I’m not sure if it’s under appreciated, or how much of a tool, but something I use A LOT,
My cap with lights.
Can’t say how many times I can’t see something, just reach up and press the button and instant light. Love it.

-- -

View BurlyBob's profile


5936 posts in 2441 days

#2 posted 09-14-2015 12:17 AM

Maybe I mistyped! Perhaps I should have said under appreciated rather than unappreciated. I’ve corrected myself.

View lew's profile


12382 posts in 3931 days

#3 posted 09-14-2015 12:28 AM

Not a utility knife but my Kershaw speed safe pocket knife.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Clarkie's profile


462 posts in 2017 days

#4 posted 09-14-2015 12:49 AM

Hello Bob, good topic. My go to tool is my middle weight hammer, been with me for over 30 years now, just love using it. When I bought it second hand it had electricians tape on the handle, even though the handle wasn’t cracked, I replace the tape when it gets dried out, why? I dunno, lol. Have fun, make some dust.

View Handtooler's profile


1628 posts in 2308 days

#5 posted 09-14-2015 02:00 AM

I just have come to really like and depend on my Rabone four fold boxwood 36in rule. It’s improved my accuracy in measuring and layout many fold. Always in my apron when it is not in use.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

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5936 posts in 2441 days

#6 posted 09-14-2015 03:30 AM

You guys know my new go to measure is a woodpecker 6” tri square. I’m trying to talk the wife into a 12” and that table saw gauge. That 6” is so awesome that I’ve got to go bigger. The table saw gauge has got to be the answer to the chipping on my outside edge cuts on my table saw. I’m going to start building a new kitchen cabinet set up for my wife this winter using a lot of melamine. I’m thinking the chipping on the left side of the blade is due to an alignment issue.
That gauge should solve the problem. What do you all think?

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18380 posts in 3851 days

#7 posted 09-14-2015 03:52 AM

Probably my folding utility knife; just take it for granted.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View canadianchips's profile


2609 posts in 3173 days

#8 posted 09-14-2015 11:58 AM

It used to be utility knife. Always had one in tool belt. NOW IT.s READING GLASSES ! This old age thing sucks !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Clarkie's profile


462 posts in 2017 days

#9 posted 09-14-2015 12:11 PM

Hey Canadian, I can relate to that. Make sure you go to the dollar store and buy as many pairs of them as you can find. Inevitably you are gonna start dropping them and stepping on them, that is if you are anything like some of us other maturing people. lol

View artsyfartsy's profile


1064 posts in 1334 days

#10 posted 09-14-2015 01:33 PM

Hey Bob, that’s quite an interesting topic. I’ve sat here trying to think of what tool I use the most and it’s a toss up between a few. The most obvious one is my trusty pocket knife. I have a Smith and Wesson S.W.A.T. knife I have worn in my trouser pocket since I was a fireman. I used to use it for cutting seatbelts when needed. But since, I use it for most anything. It’s wore out and looks pretty haggard. The point is gone and it doesn’t hold an edge anymore. The funny thing is, I have a brand new one just like it that I can use but, I prefer the old one.
The second tool is my glasses and a sharp pencil. My glasses are certified shop glasses with a bi-focal lens for reading. I have 4 sets scattered throughout my shop so I can pick them up when needed. As for the pencils, I keep several in a drawer sharpened. I sharpen them ever so often when the become dull. When they become dull, I set them in the same drawer in the oposite direction so I can tell which ones are sharp and which ones are dull. Without these items, it would be like trying to use sign language without hands.

-- DWelch. Michigan, The only dumb question is the one not asked!

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1414 posts in 1906 days

#11 posted 09-14-2015 01:54 PM

I have the most neglected and underused tool ever. When I finally do use it, my attitude about working changes drastically. Every person on this site has one and knows how to use it. It’s the lowly broom. ........... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View bigblockyeti's profile


5257 posts in 1896 days

#12 posted 09-14-2015 01:54 PM

For me it’s a little hand held whisk broom to knock the dust off a tool or surface if a dust collection hose isn’t close by. Only when it disappears from it’s usual spot do I realize how much I use it.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View kiefer's profile


5620 posts in 2843 days

#13 posted 09-15-2015 12:22 AM

I have several also and my break off blade knife is one of them and a couple others are my .7mm mechanical pencil which I buy in packs of five and the reason is I always get a consistence line width and another is this little mallet I call the little tapper it lives on my bench and has become indispensable .


-- Kiefer

View BurlyBob's profile


5936 posts in 2441 days

#14 posted 09-15-2015 02:08 AM

Kiefer, that is one sharp looking mallet.

View Tennessee's profile


2889 posts in 2690 days

#15 posted 09-15-2015 02:56 PM

There are a couple for me…
Starret 6” steel rule, with inches on one side and MM on the other.
Number 2 pencils and those rectangle pink erasers – way easier to erase a pencil line than it is to sand it off.
I have two old school pencil sharpeners.
Set of french curves I’ve had for maybe 30 years.
And up until last week, I had an older, (but not vintage), Stanley tape, only about 12’, with a black plastic case and the tip finally broke off. Have had a heck of a time getting used to one of the other dozen or so lying around the shop. Like an old friend, buried and gone since it was not worth the price to replace the tape.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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