In the Shop
As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.
Another Impulse Buy of Tools
Jun 03, 2014
I'm usually pretty frugal when it comes to buying tools. I used to beat myself up whenever I gave into temptation and bought a tool just because it looked cool, or because it was, "On Sale This Week Only!" It bothered me to waste money on tools that I rarely used.
I'm still a tightwad, but I no longer get angry at myself when I buy tools without good reasons. Four years ago, on impluse, I bought a radiator hose puller. It's like a sturdy screwdriver with a right angle bend to the shaft that allows the user to hook, free-up, and pull radiator hoses off thermostat housings or radiator fittings. That puller laid in my toolbox and taunted me for two years, until one hot July day when the puller was the perfect tool for a unique situation. That $15 puller was worth $500 to me that day, and even if I never use it again, I'll never regret having it in my toolbox.
An older mechanic once told me, "You can't use tools that you don't have," and encouraged me to buy as many tools as I could afford. I now see the wisdom of his advice. I can't afford to own every possible tool. I don't WANT to own every possible tool. But I no longer feel guilty when I buy a tool that could someday make my job easier.
At least that's what I'm telling myself tonight, after I spent $50 on a full set of radiator hose pullers to complement the single, save-the-day puller I bought those years ago. This set has long and short-shafted pullers, with hooked ends, right-angle ends, and several other interesting variations on the theme.
Someday, I'll be glad I spent the money. Just not tonight.