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

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130
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2answers
15k 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.
32
votes
1answer
7k 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).
31
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
30
votes
7answers
11k 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 ...
28
votes
6answers
112k 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?
23
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
22
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
16
votes
8answers
13k 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?
14
votes
7answers
1k views

Putting together a tool set for children 8-11 [closed]

One of the many hats I wear is the hat of Bagheera, assistant cub scout leader. I'd like to introduce a project where we build a wooden tool box. But I'd also like to provide the cub scouts with a ...
14
votes
5answers
11k 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
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
4answers
13k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
7k 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
10k 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
3k 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
768 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
736 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
1k 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
3answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
8k 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
1answer
6k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
631 views

What type of woodworking clamp is this?

The pair of orange clamps are held onto a special mortising jig via threaded rod, the red inset image is a variation on the design but what are they called and where can you get them from?
10
votes
1answer
3k 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
99 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
2k 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
6k 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
799 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
406 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
2k 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?
8
votes
5answers
7k 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
325 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
7answers
17k views

What tool should I use to cut memory foam?

I need to cut 2x2 ft square pieces from a sheet of memory foam. Not sure what tool is best for this. Any ideas? In the future I'd like to cut circles and eventually sculpt irregular shapes, I don't ...
7
votes
5answers
28k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
920 views

What do volts and amps imply for angle grinders?

I have several home improvement projects that would be made enormously easier if I had a decent angle grinder with both grinding and cutting wheels to attach to it. But I've never used or bought one ...
7
votes
5answers
7k views

What is the best tool/method for vine removal?

i recently bought a 108 year old house with an ancient garage that has vines growing up the back of the entire structure. the vines have started getting into the gutters and even inside the garage. ...
7
votes
4answers
4k 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
733 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
1k 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
3k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
149 views

How do I interpret the type of steel used in a tool?

The description states: Material: 400CC Steel. Googling 400CC Steel shows only shopping offers, not the articles or tables about steels. How do I look up materials? Is it a good tool steel or some ...
6
votes
7answers
3k 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
517 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
6answers
421 views

streamlined snow shoveling

In my snow removal history, I've used a total of 2 different methods. The first and current method, involves using a normal cheap snow shovel which isn't very effective, strains your back, but makes ...
6
votes
2answers
9k 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
4answers
2k 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
2answers
212 views

What is the best method for carrying a 4x8 by yourself over tough terrain?

I have to travel about a quarter mile through the wilderness, carrying a 4x8 each time to get to a remote building location. Some of the terrain can be tricky, otherwise I might fall in the water. Any ...