What these tools really do:
(Mike, Gordon and Fixer, please share your additions or observations!)
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 soda 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.
ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their
holes until you die of old age.
SKILL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.
PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation
of blood-blisters. The most often tool used by all women.
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 ½
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 x 24-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A very large pry bar that
inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end
opposite the handle.
AVIATION METAL SNIPS: See hacksaw.
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. Women excel at using this tool.
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
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 the object we are trying to hit. Women 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
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.