View Full Version : Tools Explained

09-14-2002, 10:17 PM
Tools Explained
Here's a list of tools and their typical usage. Anyone who has spent time working on cars will be able to relate to this. This list was posted to the DragNet mailing list by Dave Maddalena. Thanks Dave.

HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate expensive car parts not far from 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; works particularly well on boxes containing convertible tops or tonneau covers.

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning steel Pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age, but it also works great for drilling rollbar mounting holes in the floor of a sports car just above the brake line that goes to the rear axle.

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads.

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: Used to 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.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting those stale garage cigarettes you keep hidden in the back of the Whitworth socket drawer (What wife would think to look in there?) because you can never remember to buy lighter fluid for the Zippo lighter you got from the PX at Fort Campbell.

ZIPPO LIGHTER: See oxyacetelene torch.

WHITWORTH SOCKETS: Once used for working on older British cars and motorcycles, they are now used mainly for hiding six-month old Salems from the sort of person who would throw them away for no good reason.

DRILL PRESS: A tall upright 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 the Rolling Stones poster over the bench grinder.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans rust off old bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprint whorls and hard-earned guitar callouses in about the time it takes you to say, "Django Reinhardt".

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering a Mustang to the ground after you have installed a set of Ford Motorsports lowered road springs, trapping the jack handle firmly under the front air dam.

EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 2X4: Used for levering a car upward off a hydraulic jack.

TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters.

PHONE: Tool for calling your neighbor Chris to see if he has another hydraulic floor jack.

SNAP-ON GASKET SCRAPER: Theoretically useful as a sandwich tool for spreading mayonnaise; used mainly for getting dog-doo off your boot.

E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool that snaps off in bolt holes and is ten times harder than any known drill bit.

TIMING LIGHT: A stroboscopic instrument for illuminating grease buildup on crankshaft pulleys.

TWO-TON HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST: A handy tool for testing the tensile strength of ground straps and hydraulic clutch lines you may have forgotten to disconnect.

CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 16-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A large motor mount prying tool that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end without the handle.

BATTERY ELECTROLYTE TESTER: A handy tool for transferring sulfuric acid from a car battery to the inside of your toolbox after determining that your battery is dead as a doornail, just as you thought.


TROUBLE LIGHT: The mechanic's own tanning booth. Sometimes called a drop light, it is a good source of vitamin D, "the sunshine vitamin", which is not otherwise found under cars at night. Health benefits aside, 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 lids of old-style paper- and-tin oil cans and splash oil on your shirt; can also be used, as the name implies, to round-out Phillips screw heads.

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 suspension bolts last tightened 40 years ago by someone in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, and rounds them off.

09-15-2002, 12:46 AM
How true ................. here's a few more!

OPEN END WRENCH: A hand tool used to remove excess skin from your knuckles and the back of your hand. Also useful to test the strengh of your magnetic retreval tool. This type of wrench also makes a great tool for smoothing out the sides of those grade 3 nuts and bolts the last guy used on the car.

ORBITAL SANDER: An air powered tool used to sand glass, chrome, body side moldings and window trim that gets in the way while you are doing the body work.

FLAT BLADE SCREWDRIVER: Although it has a very basic name, and it can drive screws in and out of things, this tool can also be used to test for electrical current, both in the car and around the house.

OIL FILTER WRENCH: A very useful tool that is used to sqeeze the last few remaining drops of oil out of the filter before it is removed from the vehicle.

BROOM HANDLE: Long wooden object used to hold the hood open while you are changing the plugs, wires, battery, head gaskets or even a water pump. When properly sanded and painted to match the vehicle, it also makes a dandy accent item in your car show display.

12-31-2007, 12:43 AM
I know that this is an REALLY old post but these are great. I have a few more;

20" 120V BOX FAN: Used to evacuate noxious fumes generated by the double quarter pounder you had for lunch ealier.

SAWZ-ALL: This unique device helps to generate bruises on your chest and face when the blade indicates additional metal at the end of the stroke while cutting up body panels.

4" ANGLE GRINDER WITH CUTOFF DISC: This dual purpose tool allows you to remove stubborn rusted fasteners while simultaneously trimming off that pesky ABS wire that seems to dance around whenever a power tool is placed nearby.

24" LONG 1/2" DRIVE BREAKER BAR: This tools assists you in pushing your foot through the garage wall while attempting to remove the large transmission to crossmember nut.

NEEDLE NOSE PLIERS: Great for creating beautiful purple blisters on the palms of your hands while trying to remove cotter pins.

OIL-DRY: This wonderful material has MANY purposes. One use is to help that brother-in-law learn how to dance. Just pour 1-2 tablespoons down the crack of his pants while he's helping to pick up tools off of the garage floor and stand back. Fred Astaire watch out!

CHILD (APPROXIMATELY 2YRS OF AGE): Great assistant when washing the car OR when you need that final pass of polishing on you freshly painted passenger door by using a wooden stick discovered next to your car. The new swirl marks do take your attention away from the light orange peel you spent hours trying to rub out.


White Lightning
12-31-2007, 08:42 PM
It's good to start the new year with a laugh, owning these cars were going to need it......! Cheers and Happy New Year! Frank and Michelle H.