Questions tagged [tools]

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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204
votes
2answers
51k 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.
55
votes
77answers
47k views

What are the tools that every Do-it-Yourselfer must own?

What are the tools that every DIY'er should have? This is a community wiki as there is no one right answer. Instructions: One item per answer (so they can be voted on - answers with multiple items ...
50
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6answers
344k 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?
47
votes
2answers
44k 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).
44
votes
7answers
36k 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 ...
33
votes
10answers
12k 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
3answers
9k views

Why do Contractor Levels have two vials with the same orientation?

It seems to me that having multiple vials in the same orientation is redundant, but many levels seems to include this feature. What am I missing? There has to be some reason.
26
votes
5answers
26k 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 ...
25
votes
6answers
34k 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 ...
24
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7answers
11k 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 ...
21
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10answers
14k views

Turning a hard to access nut?

Working on the propane conversion of my gas stove. One of the orifices to be changed is in a very hard to access location - shown in the photo. The orifice is the "nut" I'm referring to, which you can ...
21
votes
6answers
85k 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 ...
20
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4answers
5k views

What is this tool called and what is it used for?

Can anyone tell me what these are used for? I have a full set that was handed down. There is NO edge on these at all for cutting and they are too light of a gauge to be snips.
19
votes
4answers
19k views

How can I unscrew the faucet nuts in the tight space behind my sink basin?

My bathroom faucet is dripping, and I would like to change the washers in it. The problem I am running into is the placement of the nuts holding the faucet valves in place: This is the underside of ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

What are wrenches called that are just cut out of steel flats?

There are wrenches that are used to get into tight spaces that are just flat pieces of metal with a hexagonal hole cut out of them. Often they come with things like table saws and are used to move the ...
18
votes
4answers
6k views

Is this saw blade faulty?

This may be the stupidest DIY question ever, but I want to make sure before I return it: is this non-ferrous metals saw blade faulty? In the picture, see where one of the titanium carbide teeth seems ...
18
votes
2answers
10k views

What is this welding tool I found in my attic?

I believe this is used with welders because i found it inside a welding helmet.... Could somebody tell me what this is exactly?
18
votes
1answer
4k views

Can you identify this tool?

Does anyone know what these metal tools in the bottom left of the photo are? I found them in my crawlspace and to me they look like some sort of medieval torture device.
18
votes
8answers
21k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
208k views

What are the differences between SDS, SDS Plus, and SDS Max drills?

Basically I had to use a breaker last weekend, it was clear I did not need the “heavy duty” as I did not have 6” of solid concrete, but the descriptions of the other options confused me.
16
votes
4answers
5k views

What is this attaching my toilet seat and how can I unscrew it?

I’m trying to unscrew my toilet seat but it seems to have been fitted with this plastic mechanism, which doesn't seem to want to be unscrewed. Do I need a special tool to remove it?
16
votes
5answers
28k 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 gap ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I release a bit from a jammed keyless drill chuck?

I have a Bosch PSB 650 RE hammer drill, with a keyless chuck: The chuck mechanism involves a button on top which, when pressed, allows the chuck to be tightened or released, rather than just rotating ...
15
votes
9answers
3k views

Basic power tool set for Home repair and simple projects

I have a feeling this has been asked before, but I didn't find it here. I've read a number of websites and there always seem to be a little fluff and maybe this favorite tool or that. I'm thinking ...
15
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 ...
15
votes
1answer
7k views

What are these tools used for?

I have recently found in a box these two tools: I do not have any knowledge on whether these tools are for wood or metal. The second tool can be winded and unwinded in order to form some kind of ...
15
votes
4answers
28k 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?
15
votes
1answer
3k 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?
15
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
14
votes
8answers
7k views

By manually impacting and cooling drill bit in water may one slowly drill concrete and bricks without impact function?

In theory, drilling a hole through concrete, bricks, and ceramic tiles needs a large power impact drill with concrete or ceramic tile bit. I googled, impact prevents drill bits head from wearing out ...
14
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
18k 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
11answers
3k views

How can I cut this recessed PVC pipe?

The top of this pipe is gouged where it needs to seal with the new shower base. I need to trim off a few inches from this pipe so I can glue on a clean piece. the hole is 10" square. The pipe ...
13
votes
8answers
13k views

What kind of tool can I use to tighten a faucet bolt in a tight place?

I am trying to tighten a kitchen faucet bolt (7/16 inch) in a very tight spot. Please refer to the picture. Standard size wrenches don't fit well enough for me to turn it. I've used a stubby wrench ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

What is this odd looking tool?

Neither myself nor a large group of people on a community chat can figure out what this tool is called or used for. It’s triangular with a thick solid 3 legged base, multiple flat wired blades (...
12
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
49k views

Should my first power saw be a circular or jig saw?

I'm just beginning DIY projects, and do not own a power saw. The projects I plan to begin with will be simple, and I mostly plan to cut wood < 2" thick, PVC, and maybe some thin metal. I've read ...
12
votes
6answers
38k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k 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
5answers
30k 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?
12
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
29k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
7k 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
2answers
12k 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
23k 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" ...
11
votes
2answers
4k 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! (...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Help identifying a tool?

Anyone know what this is? We have two of them. The long notched piece moves up and down. Thanks!
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Found an old tool - What is it?

I found this with a bunch of other old tools. This is the only one I can't figure out what it is. I wonder if it's a home made tool for some unique purpose. Or maybe it was just for made for fun out ...
10
votes
5answers
76k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
5k 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?

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