Hammer, screwdriver, scissors? Check, check, check. We know the basic tools around the house. We use them all the time. But some tasks need a specialized tool. And guess what? Nobody knows how to use a socket wrench the first time, so don’t sweat it when it seems like you’ve tried them all and none of the sockets will fit. Even using a simple tool like a drill with a cord can be tricky, which is why we've delved into more detail to help you out below. Best of Machinery have a great guide to corded drills that is worth checking out.
While we’re thinking about it, let’s run through a list of tools you will, eventually, need to know how to use.
#1: Let’s plunge right in with… The PLUNGER! Ever searched online for “How to unclog a toilet?” It’s one emergency situation you should definitely know how to clean up, fast. For health reasons, always wear rubber gloves when using a plunger. Store them together so you don’t forget. For prop7er plunger technique, The Family Handyman has a great (and popular) section on toilet repairs of all kinds. There are also tips on preventing toilet clogs.
#2: Next up, that pesky SOCKET SET. A socket wrench with a ratchet can be faster and easier than open or crescent-end wrenches. It is also handy for hard-to-reach places. There are two key steps in using a socket wrench: fitting the right socket to your project and working the ratchet.
#3: Let’s switch to a kitchen tool, the SPICE GRINDER. Even if you buy pre-ground spices, a few pulses with a quality spice grinder will enhance the flavor by releasing oils. Grinders can also convert steel-cut oats into quick oats, turn old bread into breadcrumbs, even grind nuts. Each spice grinder is different. Take a few minutes to look at the options on yours. Does the top have a locking mechanism? What settings are offered for quantity and fineness of what you’re grinding?
#4: The WINGED CORKSCREW is the bottle opener with the circle on top and two little arms. It’s much less likely to spill or break a cork than the collapsible double lever corkscrew style. But you do need to get a feel for the mechanism. Practice using it before you’ve got guests over, holding out their empty wine glasses.
#5: Don’t be intimidated by a DRILL MACHINE! You can use it to finish that long to-do list of projects around the house, from making an extra belt loop to tightening the loose cupboard doors. Carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions for your drill machine and read these Safety Tips. For help with tricky projects (like drilling into concrete), search The Family Handyman. ToolsInside.com has a great beginners guide to using a power drill machine, including troubleshooting tricks.
#6: SANDPAPER is one of the most underrated tools around your house. You can use it to open stubborn jars or even buff suede shoes! However, when you’re using it to smooth a wooden surface, make sure you use a sandpaper block (any small block of wood). This will help you apply even pressure, ensuring a smooth, flat surface.
#7 Now something is different. You probably haven’t thought about the PROTRACTOR since high school. Guess what? It’s back! That half circle of plastic is a super-friendly tool to have around the house like for hanging pictures if you can remember how to use it. For those of us who forgot, there are lots of helpful YouTube videos.
These seven are the tools you’ll forget you even had until you need them! But you will need them, so try them out and you’ll be ready when the situation calls for them. Good luck!