Tools I hate


I mentioned that I have tools I hate and it follows that I have some that I am fond of as well.  My penchant for winches is inexplicable so they fall into a special category reserved for psychologists.  We’ll leave that discussion for a later time.

So, let me start with my favourites.  It is hard to beat a good chop saw well-established on the proper level (about 3 inches down) from a long, very stable work bench on either side of it.  What a handy way to cut lumber!  If there is one tool in the ‘essential-when-building’ category, it is that one.

That’s about it.  The rest suck.

Well, jury is still out on the cement mixer.  I don’t have one but the wheel barrow-as-substitute definitely sucks………

I mean, of course I like my chainsaw………….duh!  But, honestly?  We all know it is really just a cross between a weapon and a tool and it is the potential havoc that it represents that appeals to me mostly.

Chainsaw.……Chaos………kinda similar words because they come from the same Latin rootwords: I can sow havoc!  (it’s an anagram, silly………almost).

Actually working with a chainsaw is hugely dangerous and usually quite difficult.  And, face it, not very much of the work is constructive, now, is it?  No, I like what chainsaws represent as a deterrent to civilized behaviour more than as a tool.  In that regard they are on a parallel with guns.

Can you imagine trying to get a chainsaw approved if you had just invented one today?  Not a chance!  I am still surprised that there was no chain-saw registry proposed.

And I suppose I have a love-hate relationship with portable drills.  They, too, seem kind of macho.  More than once I have ‘drawn’ on an imaginary gunslinger while pulling the trigger on my drill.  Whhiizzzzzzzzzz………….

But they seem to quit on you, ya know?

Big, wired, half-inch drills, on the other hand, are lethal.  They’ll ‘turn on ya’.  Break your wrist.  Flip you over.  Hurt you bad.  Big drills are the tools that ‘get ya’ when you least expect it.  One minute you are drilling into a thick heavy piece of steel and the next, you are doing pirouettes in the air held in place by the ever tightening cord around your wrist.

But the ubiquitos skill saw is a really nasty piece of work if you ask me.  In fact, it seems to be the mother of all nasty pieces of work as well.  It is next-to-bloody-impossible to cut a straight line with the dam things and even if you manage to get in a position to attempt it, there is that irritating blade guard that seems to catch and stop you just as you get started.  Is that what they mean by a safety guard?  It stops you from cutting?

I used to like rock drills.  A little too much for my own good, mental health-wise,  if you ask Sal.  And I suppose the reasons are obvious…….including those that already spring too easily to mind…………but I am getting on now and well, drilling into rock has lost a little cachet lately…………ya know?  Just not as fun as it used to be.  I dunno……….maybe it’s just me.  Could be an age thing.

Mini-grinders?  Can’t live with ’em……..can’t live without them.  Certainly can’t remain unscathed messin’ with ’em.  Mini-grinders will ‘get you’.  If not soon, then later.  They are the weasels of the tool world.  Slimy little rascals with a nasty bite.  ‘Course, I took the blade guard off… ….that may have something to do with it, I guess.  Like playing with a pet Ferret.

Table saws have a bad rap.  Seems every ‘stubby’ handed fellow you meet, left his fingertips on a table saw.  I dunno.  Table saws don’t intimidate me.  I ain’t afraid of no stationery tool, really.  Maybe a lathe.  But as long as it can’t get up and chase me, I feel OK about it.  As a rule.  I may not like it (I don’t) but if it can’t chase me, move or jump around, I don’t have strong feelings about it.

I distrust anything that moves with me though.  And that includes hand tools.  Especially sharp hand tools like knives, chisels, planes, saws, even rasps and files.  To me, that kind of ‘attached-to-my-hand-tool’ means that we may not be able to part company fast enough for my liking.

And I distrust ladders for the opposite reason – they tend to try to escape being close to me by darting off when I least expect it.

As you can see by that short-list, I am not a friend of most tools.  I’d prefer to let sleeping tools lie, quite frankly.

Having said that, there is a certain beauty and appreciation for a simple tool handled by a skilled craftsman.  It’s delightful.  And there are fewer things more disturbing than a skill-requiring job in the hands of a simple tool.  It is just plain scary.  But the best of all is when an idiot has a lethal tool.  There is a you-tube on one such example – some blithering imbeciles trying to take down a tree with a chainsaw.  These guys are soon to be entries in the Darwin Awards.

I may have flirted with a nomination myself now and again.



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