Sunday, April 7, 2013

Tools You Should Have When The SHTF

While I have a pretty good shop, I know a lot of other people are just getting started. A friend sent me this pretty inclusive list of tools you might want to have, and what they're most commonly used for. I have most of these tools and can vouch for the accuracy of this compilation. 

A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench at the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers.

A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.  Exceptionally well suited to cutting its own power cord.

Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.

An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle... It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race.

A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.  Sometimes useful for splattering everything in sight with blood.

Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut good aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.

In the common, two-ton capacity, a tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.

Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.

A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

A tool used to make hoses too short.

Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent to the object we are trying to hit.  Ladies, it's also useful for applying today's black or purple coloring to fingers and nails in an all-natural way.

Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while being worn.


  1. Not just a smile - a rare, heartfelt chuckle ... even a giggle or two


  2. Chop Saw: makes studs and fingers too short faster.

  3. Thank you for a much needed laugh. BTDT on all of them. You might want to add the nifty MIG welder that I commonly use to convert smooth clean metals into splatter and to make holes in the aforementioned metal. Also useful for setting your sneakers on fire.

  4. OMG I am so reposting this! You made my day. LOL

  5. See - the reality is that those of us who are 'tool challenged' are actually ahead of the game by NOT having most of those vicious devices!

    1. Wait... you mean you're not on a first name basis with all the nurses in the local emergency room? Where's the fun in that?

      c w swanson - I told my wife that when I consider all my various hobbies, it's amazing I still have 10 full-length fingers. Pretty much all work as intended, too, although there's a bit of arthritis in a few of them

      Glad to see y'all enjoyed it as much as I did.

  6. Handyman says thanks for the memories...

  7. Hah! These tools sound useful collectively to keep zombies away when TSHTF --- no one will want to get near a flaming garage from which such cursing and yelling will be emitting!

  8. I have been in the building and mechanics trades for over a decade. I have had ALL of these wonder full experiences... thank you for the laugh!

  9. Great break down of hydraulic tools and a description of each. Thank you for sharing. Great information here.

  10. OMG! I had a good chuckle while reading this. I always thought that power tools are no laughing matter but my mind has since been changed after this post. It's informative in some ways but mostly funny. If anything, it's a good lesson for everyone working with power tools to respect the machines or suffer some dire consequences. Ha!