Tool (n) - 1. A mechanical device intended to make a task easier, 2. equipment used in a profession, e.g., tools of the trade, 3. Something to perform an operation; an instrument; a means

learn more… | top users | synonyms

116
votes
2answers
10k views

What is the purpose of these holes on my wire stripper?

I have been using this wire stripper for a while, but I have always wondered what was the purpose of those holes in the center and above LOOP, and those teeth on the handles.
30
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it worth spending extra to get a nicer circular saw?

I'm doing some small projects such as building a workbench, and I don't have a saw to cut plywood with. I've got a 12" compound miter saw, so I don't currently need a circular saw for anything other ...
29
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the purpose of this Y shaped bit?

I have bought a bits set and there is this bit: It is a Y shaped bit, and there is a groove on the inside of the branches. The angle is approximatively 90˚ (a little more).
28
votes
7answers
7k views

Why are there so many different types of screws (phillps/flat/hex/star/etc)?

Newbie question. Why is it that there's a bazillion different types of screws? Why can't we just always use one standard screw type? Are there advantages/disadvantages to the different types? Are ...
22
votes
4answers
4k views

How to drive a nail in a confined space?

I keep finding myself needing to hammer nails in places where my hammer is too long to actually make the hammer head contact the nail. This isn't a situation where I need the leverage provided by the ...
21
votes
7answers
4k views

How can I repair rusty tools?

Should I use sandpaper to clean the rust from the tools (e.g. Needle-nose pliers), or can I soak them in vinegar or lemon juice? Would I be better off just buying new tools (which can be an ...
19
votes
4answers
58k views

When pre-drilling for screws, how do you determine the correct bit diameter?

Suppose I want to pre-drill for, say, a 5/16 screw. How do I determine the correct drill bit diameter?
16
votes
8answers
9k views

How can I coil up a rope so that it doesn't get tangled?

When I get stuff for DIY projects, I regularly use rope to tie it all down to my trailer. When I coil up a rope for storage I wind it around my palm and elbow (on the same arm) then use the last ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

What tool is a solid metal cube with dimples or half spheres on every side?

My neighbor found this metal tool in a box from his father’s workshop. It's a cube with all sorts and sizes of circles and half spheres on every edge. What is it?
13
votes
6answers
3k views

How do you sharpen a knife?

Just got done sharpening a few knives, and thought it could be useful to post a question about it here. So lets say I have one of these guys. With a coarse stone, a medium stone, and a fine ...
13
votes
5answers
9k views

What is the recommended home design software? [duplicate]

I am going to be finishing my basement. I would like to design the new basement myself using design software. What is the recommended home design software?
13
votes
2answers
5k views

When should I replace a circular saw blade?

Is there a rule of thumb for how often a circular saw blade should be replaced? Is visually inspecting the blade condition enough?
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Should I release the pressure out of an air compressor when it is not in use?

Just got a new compressor and I wondering if I should be releasing all of the pressure out of the unit when it is not in use? Or is it better to leave the pressure in so that the unit does not have ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What should I look for when choosing a stud finder?

Stud finders are notoriously unreliable at finding studs; some will indicate a "rapidly shifting network of hundreds and hundreds of studs". Is there a way to determine before purchase that a ...
12
votes
2answers
447 views

How do I caulk where a caulk tube won't fit?

I've got some door moldings that are about 1 inch from the adjacent wall. A caulk gun won't begin to get in there, and pivoting the caulk tube up so it's nearly parallel to both walls still doesn't ...
12
votes
2answers
594 views

What should I keep in mind when building my house myself?

I inherited a piece of land and want to build a house on it. Nothing fancy: one floor, 2-3 rooms. Since I don't really have the money :D to build it "in one go", I'm going to build it over a longer ...
11
votes
2answers
917 views

How can I tighten a bolt in a circular hole?

I've assembled a set of swings, and am trying to tighten the nuts at the top. The trouble is that they are embedded deep inside a circular hole and I can't get to them with a regular spanner. What ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I replace an axe handle?

I have an axe with a damaged handle that needs replacing, but I don't know how to do it. What tools and techniques should I use to get the job done?
11
votes
5answers
6k views

Do I need a cordless screwdriver if I own a cordless drill?

I currently own a cheapo corded drill and one of DeWalt's lower-end cordless screwdrivers. I want to buy a cordless drill because I am done with extension cords. Most (good) cordless drills seem to ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a special name for a 3 foot long drill bit, and where can I buy them?

I'm looking at the websites for our local hardware stores (Rona, Totem, Home Hardware, Home Depot) for a 3 foot long drill bit, but all I'm coming up with is standard bits. The problem is that it's ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What is this drill guide/template used when fixing electrical sockets called and where do I buy one?

My dad used to have one, you use it as a drill guide/template when fixing electrical sockets, but I cannot find anywhere that sells them, and as I don't know the name Google is not much help! ...
10
votes
1answer
93 views

Unidentified pneumatic part

I recently purchased a pneumatic micro die grinder and it came with pretty much no instructions and this piece with some clear plastic that screws inline. I have no idea what this for. What is it ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the difference between a ball/pin detent and friction ring impact wrench?

I have been looking into getting an impact wrench for my car and I have noticed that any given model (at least the one I am looking at) has two versions. One version has a ball to keep the socket ...
9
votes
3answers
721 views

Miter saw advice and recommendations

I'm buying a power miter saw sometime this week; and early birthday present to myself. What should I consider and what brands do you all recommend? I'm not a contractor, web guy by trade, and do ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Socket wrench: Is there an advantage of a 3/8“ drive over a 1/4” drive?

I notice that socket wrenches come in a variety of sizes. For homeowners and DIYers, it's common to see socket wrenches which come in two sizes: a 3/8" drive, 1/4" drive and sometimes 1/2". The 3/8" ...
8
votes
9answers
635 views

Should I purchase single tools, or a tool set?

I now happen to need a wrench to make some changes to my bed. I also realize that sometimes I may need other tools in my life as well. I was wondering Which way to build one's own collection of ...
8
votes
1answer
368 views

What is the name of this tool? It almost looks like an Allen without the wrench

Any body have any idea what this thing is called?
8
votes
4answers
5k views

How to prevent batteries leaking out in devices?

Is there a common method of preventing batteries from leaking out and destroying the device? Why does this happen in the first place? I have laid another head lamp to waste because it was sitting in ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the difference between a framing hammer and a claw hammer?

What is the difference between a framing hammer and a claw hammer? Can they be used interchangeably?
8
votes
4answers
281 views

What is this bit for with a hole in the end? [pic]

I just came across this bit in my toolbox, which I'm fairly sure came with an installers drill bit (54" long flexible bit, with a hole in the end for pulling wires back through). It's a standard ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

Can I use an 8“ dado blade set in a 10” table saw?

I have a 10" table saw... this is probably a stupid question, but can I use an 8" dado blade set in this saw? Is one only supposed to use 10" blades in a 10-inch saw? I read on some contractor's ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Are those oscillating tools any good?

Has anyone used those oscillating tools like the Fein Multimaster or the Harbor Freight version? Are they as awesome as the infomercials suggest? What jobs are they good for?
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Do I need a corded drill to mix thinset?

I've been looking at tearing out my fiberglass shower, installing Kerdi, and re-tiling the whole thing. During my research into this project, I've come across quite a few forums that have members ...
7
votes
1answer
400 views

Are there advantages / uses to having disk and belt sander surfaces?

On a tool like a Delta 31-300, what is the advantage of having a disk sanding surface as well as a belt sanding surface? When would you decide to use one or the other?
7
votes
1answer
659 views

What are “concretors' nippers” for?

I came across this tool called "concretors' nippers" I guess they are for some operations with concrete reinforcement, but can't find any details. What operations is this tool for specifically? ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Cutting a Custom Threshold: Best Tool for the Job?

I am in the process of creating a custom threshold to go from a tiled surface down to a carpeted surface. The tile is about an inch above the carpeted floor, so I decided to make a custom threshold in ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

How do I join 2x4s without mitering?

I asked this question on the Bicycles site: DIY wooden bike rack — looking for plans I'm planning to build this rack out of 2x4 pieces of wood. It'll live in my garage. I'm looking to make a rack ...
6
votes
4answers
379 views

How can I prevent a screw from slipping on a slippery veneer surface when I try to screw it in?

When using a screwdriver this can be difficult as the screw tends to slip. Once the screw passes the veneer it is easy to finish screwing in... I'm looking for an easy way to get the screw past the ...
6
votes
5answers
12k views

What should I consider when selecting an air compressor for the garage?

I was thinking to buy an air compressor and place it in my garage. I hate to look for change when i am at the gas station and i usually end up spending more than usual as some idiot has parked his car ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there any way to replace drill batteries?

We have a great (Porter and Cable) cordless drill but the batteries are no longer commercially available. Amazon has a listing but it's been sold out for the last five years. Do we have any other ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What is this kind of security bolt head called, and how can I remove it?

A previous owner fitted the light fitting pictured above, and has not left me a tool to remove the bolt. The bulb has blown so I need to get in to the unit. The head diameter is about 12mm and the ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the pointed end of a spud or construction adjustable wrench used for?

I saw one of these at Lowe's the other day and was just wondering what the pointed end is used for. I have seen it called a "construction" wrench and a "spud" wrench.
6
votes
3answers
802 views

“Bendy” screwdriver

I've got some screws right next to the geyser and there’s no space to get a screwdriver in. I'm guessing they were originally inserted before the geyser was installed. Is there such a thing as a ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why the price differential between a cheap hammer and an expensive one?

Went to my local DIY store last week to get a hammer (somehow managed to lose my tried and tested hammer over the winter). I had a rough idea a new hammer was going to cost me £10 to £15. When I saw ...
6
votes
1answer
654 views

Can I use two ladders to create a makeshift scaffold?

I have a really high stairwell to do walls around (cca 18 ft). Scaffolding is impractical. I had rigged a temporary platform that I used to hang drywall and it worked well but I had to remove it ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I use precision screwdrivers?

I am talking about those small and narrow screwdrivers with a thin handle. I can't get a tight enough grip on the handle to generate enough torque to remove a small screw. Do I have to use something ...
6
votes
1answer
859 views

Can cutting pressure treated wood harm my saw blade?

Should I take time to clean my circular saw blade after cutting pressure treated lumber? Since fasteners other than stainless steel or galvanized can corrode when used in pressure treated wood, is it ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I restore paintbrushes ruined by dried latex paint?

I have had a couple of good natural bristle brushes for several years. I've been careful about cleaning them until now, but a couple months ago I left them in a jar with water "to get back to ...
6
votes
2answers
237 views

What's a good way of detecting drafts?

In particular, I'm trying to insulate my loft. I'm not keen on the idea of taking a naked flame up there!
6
votes
1answer
806 views

How to stop a circular saw from locking?

I've been using my new circular saw for about a week. Today while making a plunge cut it just locked. It didn't get stuck on anything inside the board and it consistently locked every time I tried to ...