The Best Tool Descriptions I’ve Ever Seen

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DRILL PRESS: 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, splattering it against that freshly painted car part you were drying.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprint whorls and hard-earned guitar calluses in about the time it takes you to say, “Ouch….”

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age.

PLIERS: Mainly used to round off bolt heads and nuts in hard to reach places.

HACKSAW: 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.

VISE-GRIPS: Used to round off bolt heads and nuts even more after you give up on using your plyers. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

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

WIRE WELDER: Used to burn holes in sheet metal. Work best on rusty body panels but also works well on door and fender edges and other hard to reach areas.

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new chassis or brake parts. It is also used to puts small dents in the bumpers, doors and fenders when the car comes down to fast.

EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 2×4: Used for levering an automobile upward off a hydraulic jack after installing your lowering kit.

TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters.

PHONE: Tool for calling your neighbors to see if he has a hydraulic floor jack you can borrow after you break the 2×4.

SNAP-ON GASKET SCRAPER: Theoretically useful as a sandwich tool for spreading mayonnaise; used mainly for getting dog **** off your boots.

E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool ten times harder than any known drill bit that snaps off in bolt holes you couldn’t use anyway.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the tensile strength on everything you forgot to disconnect.

CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 16-I NCH SCREWDRIVER: A large prybar that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end opposite the handle.

AVIATION METAL SNIPS: See hacksaw.

TROUBLE LIGHT: The home mechanic’s own tanning booth. Sometimes called a drop light, it is a good source of vitamin D, “the sunshine vitamin,” which is not otherwise found under cars at night. Health benefits aside, it’s main purpose is to consume 40-watt light bulbs at about the same rate that 105-mm howitzer shells might be used during, say, the first few hours of the Battle of the Bulge. More often dark than light, its name is somewhat misleading.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the lids of old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splash oil on your shirt; but can also be used, (as the name implies), to strip out Phillips screw heads.

AIR COMPRESSOR: A machine that takes energy produced in a coal-burning power plant 200 miles away and transforms it into compressed air that travels by hose to a Pneumatic impact wrench that grips rusty bolts last over tightened 58 years ago by someone at ERCO, and neatly rounds off their heads.

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

HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to cut radiator and heater hoses too short.

DRAIN PAN: A tool used to lubricate your oil pan plug before you re-install in on the car. Also used as a great source of entertainment for your friends after you’ve had a few to many cold ones and decide you are going to pour it’s contense into a milk jug.

HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts not far from the object we are trying to hit.

MECHANIC’S KNIFE: 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.

DAMMIT TOOL: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling “DAMMIT” at the top of your lungs. It is also the next tool that you will need.

FLOOR DRAIN: Used to permanently store nuts, bolts, washers, screws and other small parts that you didn’t have room for in that coffee can you had under the hood.

EXPLETIVE: A balm, usually applied verbally in hindsight, which somehow eases those pains and indignities following our every deficiency in foresight.

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