This Christmas my wife skipped the tool buying and bought me a reflex punching bag so I can take out my aggression without smashing any more of her oh-so-precious Fiesta ware. (Just kidding. I like the Fiesta ware and have smashed very, very little of it over the ten years of our marriage.)
But enough about my excess testosterone: back to tools.
I like good tools. This is no secret. I’m moderately good at carpentry, I can do a sweet mosaic on your floor, and I’m a whiz with a bandsaw. I firmly believe that part of preparedness involves owning good tools and knowing how to use them, so I’ve got a collection of them, both hand-powered and electric.
The problem is, I’m also rather disorganized, plus my kids often borrow my tools for their own strange projects. (This Christmas my nine-year old son took a half a coconut and some wood scraps, glued them to a piece of plywood, nailed about 3,000 nails around the pieces and declared the completed object as a “lego play area,” then gave it as a gift to his four-year-old sibling. My wife took one look at the terrifying assemblage [which was dropping lots of tiny sharp brads onto the floor within moments of being unwrapped] and quickly banished it to the outdoors.)
One of the tools that disappeared from my workshop at some point was
my pair of good vise-grips. (It was probably my fault, not the kids’
fault, but one of the reason to have children is so you can blame your
own mistakes on them.)
Vise-grips are the bomb. They’re the classic tool you use when you can’t find your pliers, a C-clamp, a ratchet, a wrench or a hammer. They’re also decent for cracking nuts.
I missed my good vise-grips. I have another cheap Chinese pair that
are inexplicably painted fluorescent orange. They’re cheap, I hate them,
wish they had never been made, and that I never saw them… yet for some reason I still have them.
So – now you know the problem. No good vise-grips.
Last week, I thought I’d found the solution. I was at Lowe’s and saw a
display for the new Kobalt Magnum Grip Self-Adjusting Locking Pliers.
I threw them in my cart and kept shopping.
A couple of days ago, I got around to taking them out of their packaging and seeing how well they worked.
My first indication that they were less-than-adequate for gripping
was that the little ones popped open on their own, multiple times, after
being clenched shut… (read the rest over at The Prepper Project)