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66 votes

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

These appear to be snap-ring pliers. The pins at the nose go into the holes in the snap-ring, then you squeeze to compress the ring to release it from its groove, and flip the lock to hold the squeeze ...
  • 32.6k
65 votes
Accepted

Can you identify this tool that looks like a pyramidal rake with an integrated sliding plate to compress the tines?

It's a NEUMAN chimney cleaning tool from 1929 This chimney sweep tool is shaped rectangularly to match the inside shape of the chimney, and the expansion adjusts to match a range of chimney sizes. To ...
  • 11k
56 votes
Accepted

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

It's useful when using the level in the vertical direction (to e.g., check studs for plumb-ness) so that the bubble is at or near eye level no matter which end is up.
  • 8,523
54 votes

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

This is exactly the purpose of a basin wrench Here's a picture from familyhandyman.com that shows a basin wrench in action: Note that as mentioned in another answer, you usually don't need to ...
45 votes

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

For a spirit level to work the tube cannot be perfectly straight and of constant diameter. For the bubble to float towards the middle either the tube curves up towards the middle (a "block vial") or ...
  • 550
41 votes

What is this welding tool I found in my attic?

According to an ozzie web site, it's a non-flint electronic spark lighter.
  • 9,679
41 votes
Accepted

Can you identify this tool?

They are old ladder jacks. Here is a picture in use: And they can go under as well:
  • 2,410
40 votes

What is this measuring tool for?

Dual marking or cutting gauge Used for marking mortise and tenon joints. The yellow disk in the illustration below is the fence, corresponding to the disk shaped (hockey puck shaped) fence of OP's ...
  • 11k
39 votes

What is this tool that looks like a prybar with tapered tines?

I believe it is a ball joint separator tool for a car. Another example - Photo taken from here.
37 votes
Accepted

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

Maybe I'm missing something here but why are you trying to take off those nuts? The washers for the valves are topside. You just have to remove the valve stems to expose and change the washers. If you ...
  • 60.5k
37 votes

Is this a tool? Or a nail?

From the Harbor Freight Hook Assortment (item #67587), it's a straight line "hanging hook." Photo below from the above mentioned web site:
  • 9,679
35 votes

How can I cut this recessed PVC pipe?

When I had to do this for our basement I used an "Inside Pipe Cutter", a fancy bit that fits into your standard drill. Looks something like this: You chuck it in your drill, put the blade at ...
  • 1,091
35 votes
Accepted

Tool to help precision drill 4 holes in a wall?

I make a template with a piece of paper or cardboard (like the box the item came in). This makes drilling holes in a precise pattern a bit easier. In some situations, you might transfer the pattern ...
  • 3,363
34 votes
Accepted

What are these tools used for?

The top tools appear to be dies - used for cutting screw threads on rods. The lower tool appears to be a tap wrench (a tap is a tool a little like a drill bit, but used for cutting threads inside a ...
  • 793
33 votes

What sort of driver works the center screw in this hinge?

Sorry, but that is nothing more than a stripped out Phillips screw. I'd say drilling it out is your easiest bet.
  • 16.1k
32 votes
Accepted

Is this saw blade faulty?

The filling is melted aluminum that galled/melted and filled the gullet and is covering one of the Tungsten Carbide teeth. You can pull it off with a pliers. The negative rake angle of the blade is ...
31 votes
Accepted

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

That is called a blind jack nut, jack nut, blind collapsing nut, etc. They are typically used when you don't have access to and/or don't have the tools to hold onto a nut on the backside of whatever ...
31 votes

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

I recently had the same issue and tried numerous solutions with no luck. In the end I purchased a strap wrench: This kind of wrench grips the object via a strap or a chain: You basically put the ...
  • 391
30 votes

Basic power tool set for Home repair and simple projects

Shopping sprees are counterproductive There isn't a Great Depression coming up, and this isn't an expedition to Mars. Buy what you need... when you need it. As far as circular saws, I can't ...
27 votes
Accepted

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

Impact drills are used in concrete and stone, with the appropriate drill bits, because they drill faster by causing micro fractures of the material surface and thus easier removal. The drill bits can ...
  • 62k
27 votes

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

FreeMan's got it, Snap-ring Pliers. heres another example in use:
  • 2,275
27 votes
Accepted

What hand tool has a long spiral shank with cutting teeth?

I would say that it's an older style drywall saw specifically for cutting curves. You push the tip through the drywall (hammering the blue handle with your hand or other striking tool, if necessary) ...
  • 32.6k
26 votes
Accepted

Tool identification - possibly antique

The second two are to reach down into a valve/faucet and refinish or smooth a bronze seat. A hard rubber washer will seal against the bronze seat. If the seat becomes corroded or worn the rubber can ...
  • 7,801
25 votes

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

While I agree that when applied to bicycle maintenance these are called "cone wrenches", in general they're simply "thin open-end wrenches" or "tight-clearance wrenches".
  • 109k
25 votes

Can You Help Identify This Tool? Assuming It's 1800s!

This is a combination tool for Springfield Model 1892–99 Krag–Jørgensen rifles, the US army service rifle introduced in 1894 and phased out after 1903. The specimen that you own is missing the rivet. ...
  • 2,257
24 votes
Accepted

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

Die for creating sheetmetal hemispheres. There should be a set of punches with round ball ends somewhere in that mix, unless someone misused them for something else or lost them. Doming Block and ...
  • 11.1k
24 votes

Turning a hard to access nut?

A Crowfoot Wrench would work nicely. A 10 piece set of these is only $15.00
24 votes

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

These are often used in bicycle maintenance, because two nuts are often used to lock the bike axles. The tool is called a cone wrench, and good ones are not cheap. For example, this is a $75 set. ...
  • 2,275
24 votes
Accepted

What is the purpose of the notch at the end of the depth probe on callipers?

The narrowing allows you to avoid the rounding of an edge (e.g. of a lip) or the rounding of a conical hole bottom (e.g. of a drilled hole). Or you can opt to deliberately measure the depth at the ...
  • 11k
23 votes

Tool identification - possibly antique

The top picture is a swaging tool that is used to expand the end of soft copper tubing so you can solder the next piece to it with out the use of a CXC coupling. I at one time, had a whole set of ...
  • 12.2k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible