shop tools



I ran across this today., and it is so true.

Tool Definitions for Dummies.

DRILL PRESS: A tall upright drilling 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 stained heirloom piece you were drying.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint, dirt and rust off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, "You son-of-a...."

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

SKILL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters. The most often the tool used by most women.

BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touchup jobs into major refinishing jobs.

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: 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.

WELDING GLOVES: Heavy duty leather gloves used to prolong the conduction of intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

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

WHITWORTH SOCKETS: Once used for working on older British cars and motorcycles, they are now used mainly for impersonating that 9/16" or 1/2" socket you've been searching for the last 45 minutes.

TABLE SAW: A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes without the brake drum and tire, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

EIGHT-FOOT LONG YELLOW PINE 2X4: Used for levering an automobile upward off of a trapped hydraulic jack handle.

TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters, metal cuttings and wire wheel wires from your hands and fingers.

MASKING TAPE: Useful for securing the Band-Aid on your index finger so you can finish the job without worrying about the Band-Aid coming off.

SMALL THREAD CUTTING TAPS: A tool for making new threaded bolt holes that is just as hard as any known drill bit that snaps off neatly thereby turning a good day into a bad one.

RADIAL ARM SAW: A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to scare neophytes into choosing another line of work.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of the motor mounts you forgot to disconnect.

CRAFTSMAN 1/2" x 24" SCREWDRIVER: A very large pry bar that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end opposite the handle.


TROUBLE LIGHT (with a bulb, not the fluorescent kind): Sometimes called a drop light, it's the home mechanic's own miniature "sunburn tool." Its 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 vacuum seals under lids and 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. Women excel at using this tool.

STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws.

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 Chicago Pneumatic impact wrench that grips rusty or stubborn bolts or nuts which were last over-tightened 30 years ago by someone at Ford, and instantly rounds off their heads. Also used to quickly snap off lug nut studs.

PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.
HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to make fuel, vacuum, heater, etc., hoses too short.

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 adjacent 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;(MOTOR BIKE PARTS) 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 in use.

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, most often, the next tool that you will need.
Last edited by a moderator:


Another addition:

Lathe Bit: A sharp gouging instrument intended for the destruction of rotating pieces of metal. There are two chief varieties of these implements of torment, those of steel, and those of carbide. Of the steel variety, there is plain high-speed steel, Bad Cobalt (5%) Really Bad
Cobalt (8%) and deep-dark-stake-in-the-heart T15 Tungsten.

And then, there is Carbide. Brittle as glass, and hard as a brigand's heart. Best to get
it in inserts, as the solid pieces are more expensive when they break your heart.


Well-Known Member
May 26, 2008
The most important shop tool for me is the 5th drawer down in my tool box, the infamous JUNK DRAWER! I couldnt live with out that. Ive spent many hours looking for that perfect washer or 6mm ft x 15mm bolt.


Apr 17, 2008
I have to have done most of these things. I am glad to know I am so normal or whoever wrote this is so strange. Laughed pretty hard just thinking of all the messed up parts and blood blisters created.



Bins, and bags, and shelves, and more bags (double-sewn, drawstrings, usually of canvas, and labeled) and recycled pill-bottles, and soon to be proper drawers for all of the tools and.... Oh, big bins under the workbench, and a muslin cover for the bandsaw, and... Oh! I must conceal the welder. Where shall I hide it? And the heat-treat furnace, for those hard-hearted tool bits and an oversized cylinder head
for Pat's 'Unhappy-Time' engine so it doesn't turn into a glowing puddle of pot-metal when he widens on it? And where shall I put the scrownged car-bur-rators and other things pertinent to engines?

(Naw, that 'un's too big for a little ol' 48-cc sput-sput. It came off'n a Tecate three-wheeler. No matter how I open up those ports is that engine going to suck
through a thirty-two millimeter mikuni. Best keep it for the Double-Trouble.)

And all of this is hid in a kitchen, too.


Yet another addition - and most critical.

File (pronounced 'Fie-all). An oblong of hardened steel covered with curious-shaped stress-risers of sharpened form used for the ruining of workpieces. The usual means of working the thing completely disregards the set of the 'teeth', which usually dulls the thing into uselessness in short order.
Files are made in many locations, but the best ones are said to be Swiss - and like Swiss Chocolate, they are both expensive and flavorful in the extreme.
Unlike chocolate, however, files do not cause lengthy stays in the privy, at least as a general rule.