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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 ...
FreeMan's user avatar
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65 votes
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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 ...
P2000's user avatar
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56 votes
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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.
mmathis's user avatar
  • 8,882
55 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 ...
batsplatsterson's user avatar
46 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 ...
user20637's user avatar
  • 610
43 votes
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Why do so many of my screws break?

You're trying to drive screws directly into hardwood? Or, even, really old softwood? Doesn't matter much what screw or brand you use, you'll end up breaking them. You need to drill a pilot hole that ...
FreeMan's user avatar
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42 votes
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Can you identify this tool?

They are old ladder jacks. Here is a picture in use: And they can go under as well:
Tim B's user avatar
  • 2,469
42 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 ...
P2000's user avatar
  • 16k
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.
fred_dot_u's user avatar
38 votes

What is this sharpened steel rod with rubber coating?

From the Harbor Freight Hook Assortment (item #67587), it's a straight line "hanging hook." As noted in comments, it is a padded nail for hanging things. You hammer it in at an angle and ...
fred_dot_u's user avatar
38 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.
HandyHowie's user avatar
  • 1,413
37 votes
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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 ...
JACK's user avatar
  • 82.1k
36 votes

What is this squeezable hand tool with various inserts?

This is a compression tool for terminating F connectors on coaxial cable, for cable TV and satellite applications. It looks identical to the one from Harbor Freight. (Harbor Freight catalog photo) ...
user71659's user avatar
  • 1,065
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 ...
Jamie M's user avatar
  • 1,131
35 votes
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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 ...
Jeff Wheeler's user avatar
  • 3,382
34 votes
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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 ...
aucuparia's user avatar
  • 803
34 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 ...
user79408's user avatar
  • 421
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 ...
Tyler Swenson's user avatar
31 votes
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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 ...
Iceberg86300's user avatar
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 ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
27 votes
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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 ...
Michael Karas's user avatar
  • 65.1k
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:
mark f's user avatar
  • 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) ...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 47.4k
26 votes
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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 ...
blacksmith37's user avatar
  • 8,321
26 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. ...
MiG's user avatar
  • 2,385
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".
isherwood's user avatar
  • 140k
25 votes

How can I sharpen oscillating tool blades?

As Leah Bolden from See Jane Drill shows, this is easily done using a tri square file. She shows her technique in this video. Basically, you use a triangular file to file new teeth. This even works ...
SQB's user avatar
  • 890
24 votes

Turning a hard to access nut?

A Crowfoot Wrench would work nicely. A 10 piece set of these is only $15.00
Jerry_Contrary's user avatar
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 ...
P2000's user avatar
  • 16k
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 ...
d.george's user avatar
  • 12.4k

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