Odds And Ends About Tools
Aug 02, 2015
Odds and ends I've learned about tools over the years of doing shop-related stories for Farm Journal Magazine:
-There is no difference in strength or durability between polished chrome and "sand finish" wrenches. It is more expensive to put a polished chrome finish on a wrench, so that's the only reason they're more expensive than their equally durable but plain-jane cousins. But there are differences in the design of wrenches that increase their value--the quality of metal alloy used, the thickness of the wrench's head, and the "comfort" of the handle portion all are more carefully engineered in a high-end wrench
-No matter how proud your grandpa was of his skill at replacing a hammer handle, once a hammer handle gets loose it will eventually get loose again.
-Quality screwdrivers have a short, square section on their shaft just ahead of the plastic handle so the user can use a small wrench to increase turning torque.
-Unless specifically noted in the operating instructions, torque wrenches should not be used to break loose or loosen nuts and bolts. Use torque wrenches only to tighten fasteners.
-There are punches (Europeans call them "drifts") for pounding, and there are punches for prying and aligning holes. Punches for pounding are softer metal and bend if used to pry. Punches for prying are harder, and chip their tip if used for pounding. Chromed punches TEND to be for alignment, while dark metal punches TEND to be designed for pounding.
-The chance of a wrench slipping off a nut or bolt is proportional to the distance from your knuckle to the nearest sharp piece of metal, multiplied by the amount of force you're applying to the wrench.