Monday, 26 December 2011

Tools- it's what makes us more than monkeys

There's a good chance that over the festive period some of you may have received a tool for Christmas. I myself had my eye on a cordless Bosch drill with two lithium-ion batteries.

I didn't get it, but I'm not bitter.

Anyway it got me thinking as to what the best tools were. I've had to seperate them into categories as it's not fair to put a hammer against a drill, there would just be no competition.

So to start with let's kick off with hand tools-

Screwdriver (flat head)- It's a good one to kick us off. There's nothing better for removing flat headed screws (although a rarity these days). Where it really comes into it's own though is removing lids of paint cans.

Chisel- The scope of the tool is limited, and once blunt it's nothing more than a crap screwdriver. However when it's sharp wood better watch out. It's other advantage is that when blunt you get to sharpen it on a wet stone. Which, if you've done it, is pretty cool.

Screwdriver (posi-drive)- You won't get far in life without one of these bad boys in your tool box. Now the screw of choice for most this screwdriver makes mean work of most. It's only drawback is that it is not a one size fits all. This can lead to screw stripping and the ensuing headache.

Hammer- Boom. Who would have though that a lump of metal on a stick could bring so much joy. It's uses are endless (as long as those uses are hitting things, or removing nails). You can build and destroy in equal message with this tool. Want something made? Club it together with a handful of nails. Not happy with it? Smash the shit out of it after.

Hand saw- They look mean. They don't just cut wood. They gouge it. As long as you're dealing in straight lines, and have arms like a WWE wrestler, you can halve wood all day long.

The winner- Hammer.

The next category is where we really get into it, power tools-

Sander- Sick of splinters? Smooth those fuckers out with one of these bad boys. Take the effort out of repetitve sanding by strapping your paper to the under side of this and let it go to work.

Jigsaw- Don't let the name fool you. This is no toy. Even the basic models now come with laser guides. There is no better way to quickly cut a wonky shape.

Nail gun- With some tinkering you can actually shoot nails. Amazing. Unfortunately this also requires that you don't use a hammer, so it loses point there.

Circular saw- Sick of using the manual saw? Upgrade to this beast. It's no wonder power tools feature so often in horror films and Casualty. Don't take your eyes of it for a second. This fucker will have your fingers off faster than a chav's staffy. For added manliness cut without the hoover extractor and spray your wooden victims all over the floor.

Drill- Screwdrivers? Fuck' em. Unblemished wall space? Fuck it. With a handful of rawl plugs, a drill bit, and a heart full of dreams you can turn any wall into a picture hanging, shelf having, paradise. You can also assemble furniture, hang doors, and drill out locks with this puppy. Plus once you've got the hang of using the chuck without a chuck key, you'll feel like a god.

Winner- Most people will have guessed my winner, it is of course the mighty drill.

Of course there are a multitude of tools that have not made this list. Some simply because i've forgotten about them. Others because I felt they didn't quite belong in either category. So I'd now like to present the honourable mentions. Tools that compliment the above-

Tape measure- You can do a lot of things without this, but the chances are they won't end that well. Only a metal retractable one will do.

Spirit level- Is it a game? What's the spirit? Who knows, what I do know is that without one your shelves will be pissed.

Stanley knife- Before it was adopted by 'football casuals' in the mid-eighties the stanly knife was perfect for cutting carpets, trimming errant wood, or sharpening pencils in a manly way.

Plane- A now underused tool, but if you need to take gouges out of the side of a door, there is nothing better. If you get it going properly it's a joy to use. Get it wrong and whiplash awaits.

Pliers (all types)- This was close to being included in the hand tools section. Pliers can do so much, from gripping things, to,, gripping other things.

So that's it. If you can have only two tools opt for the hammer and drill.


  1. Love this blog. Awesome commentary on tools! I think a detailed analysis on drills is required. I recently had to go and hire an industrial drill that would carve through a lintel (bloody Venetian blinds had to go up). I felt very manly.

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