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I can’t figure out what this old tool is.

Does anyone know?

enter image description here

enter image description here

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  • 1
    It seems like a holder. Can you add another picture showing the inside of the working section?
    – crip659
    Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 12:07
  • @crip659 sure added. Holder for what?
    – Honey
    Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 12:13
  • 2
    That sort of looks like the holder part of a glass cutter, with the actual cutting section missing. There is some sort of logo/name on the handle, but I can't quite make it out from the top picture. What does it say?
    – Tonny
    Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 12:15
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    Could be a holder for the old one sided razor blades, and used for scraping, paint etc.
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 12:17
  • 5
    TBH, that's not a very old looking tool. Looks like the handle is modern plastic, and the tool itself is nice and shiny, not old and rusty looking as one would expect an old to to be.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 12:29

2 Answers 2

56

This is not a home improvement tool. It is a chip insertor tool.

Image found at https://www.ebay.com/itm/392277393572 Curtis Computer Repair Kit

It allows you to apply even pressure on a digital chip when inserting it into a socket. This was most commonly used for RAM upgrades. Adding 256K to an IBM PC might require 36 chips, so a tool to help install the RAM chips properly was very useful. You don't see these nearly as much anymore as RAM chips are now in easy to install DIMMs and most other chips are normally soldered in place and this style of chip has become less common.

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    Damn… I could have used one back in the days. Chip pullers (like the one on the far left in the picture) were common, but I never encountered an inserting tool. Always improvised by (slightly) inserting one side of the DIP first and then using a wooden spatula to push the other side inwards before pressing down the whole package.
    – Tonny
    Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 16:39
  • At least you don't have to wrangle the electrons in place anymore! Well spotted btw, like everyone else I could've sworn it was a glass cutting tool of some sort.
    – MiG
    Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 17:35
  • @Tonny I had a few variants of "PC Toolkit" in ye olden times, including this one - same color screwdriver handles and everything. But some didn't come with a chip inserter, and I think some had a slightly simpler chip inserter. But very common. Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 17:55
  • @MiG When I first saw the question, I was 99% sure this is what it was. But I didn't get to a regular computer to write up an answer until after UnhandledExcepSean did. Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 17:56
  • 1
    Man, I just used my thumb to push 'em in, you guys were advanced! The chip puller was invaluable, though.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 13:24
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I guessed it was a jeweller's hand vise and was missing some padded jaw inserts, but the accepted answer looks better.

enter image description here

These are a small version of a bench vise and are used for clamping small parts for filing. Something similar is used to hold gemstones for polishing, again with formed inserts to match the item.

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    Rats! Now I want one of these. So simple, so pretty. Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 7:42
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    To be fair, it looks like either tool could serve as the other in a pinch :) Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 14:55
  • 2
    @ShapeOfMatter I see what you did there. "In a pinch," indeed =D
    – nitsua60
    Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 2:03

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