Back in the day, you could open up a tool chest and find the classics, the stand-bys, the tools everyone seemed to have buried in their houses someplace.
A hammer-rusted, dented, maybe a little cracked.
A long-toothed saw- equally rusted, with a handle that needs repair and swivels when you try to use it.
An unknown screwdriver- oddly clean, but the tip is ripped to pieces. You'd be lucky to use it for anything other than an ice pick. In fact, it may have been an ice-pick at one point.
And lastly, a bag of mismatched nuts and bolts- where did those even come from? Did they come with the house? Does anybody know?
These days, tools have evolved. A hammer is no longer just a hammer. You have roofing hammers, ball-peen hammers, claw hammers, and a pile of smaller hammers that may have been designed for infants. So, how do you know what you need? How can you be sure you're buying the right tool, or, more importantly, the best quality tool for your money? What follows is a list of general hints and tips to look out for when you're buying tools.
1. Be sure of the job you're doing.
If you're new at this, you may go through the entire process of, say, tiling a floor, only to discover that using a wood-saw for cutting tile not only ruins the blade, but ruins the tile as well. Be sure you know what tools you'll need before starting any job. Using that same example, does the tile require a light or dark grout? Do you use glue or mortar to hold it in place? Is there a special trowel you need to use? As always, if it's a job that's above your level, always seek out and ask a professional.
2. Check the manufacturer.
Not every name brand is built the same, and a single brand isn't always the best at making every tool in their inventory. Do a little research on the tools you need and be sure to check out user-reviews or specs on the tool itself. For instance, buying a 40lb bar clamp. It's a common item, most manufacturers make one, but some make excellent clamps that hold to the micrometer, and some make not-so-excellent clamps that hold to the centimeter. Know what you need and what you're buying. If you need a better clamp, get the right one the first time and save yourself a headache later on.
Wait, there are how many saws?
It's true, there are numerous saws of any type and style imaginable. Diamond bladed hacksaws, box-saws, dovetail-saws, rip-saws, the list goes on. So, what do you need to cut a few limbs from a tree? Or to run a few pipes? When it comes to saws, it all depends on the jobs. Most cutting can be done with two types: a small-tooth hacksaw and a wide-tooth rip saw. The hacksaw allows you to cut dense items such as aluminum or PVC, where a wide-tooth saw is for cutting just about everything else. Of course, the more you learn, the more saws there are for those special cuts and projects, and as always, if you have a lot of cuts, go powered.
3. Power Tools
Power tools get work done quickly and efficiently, but they can go wrong just as fast. Always read the manual before using any power tool, and if it's too much for you, don't use it. Sometimes it's worth hiring out.
More questions? Ask them at your local ToolFix store.