Tools are dangerous in wrong hands

Published 2:11 pm Wednesday, May 31, 2017

When it comes to common, everyday tools, I’m about as useless as a screen door on a submarine.

I can’t drive a nail straight, even with directions.

Sure, I’m the proud owner of multiple tools, even one of those cordless thing-a-magiggies used for drilling holes into wood.

I’ve used the above tool on multiple occasions…without a lot of luck. This past weekend, my wife wanted me to hang curtain rods over our bedroom windows. I’ve been down that road before….the problem is those tiny brackets and equally miniscule screws.

My mind drifted back to one of my previous attempts to install those aggravating things. You start by “tapping” a starter hole for the screws. A few “choice” words later, I scramble to find the dag-gum Phillips bit for the drill. Then you have to hold that tiny bracket in one hand while attempting to use the cordless drill to install the screws. As is typical for me, both screws come to a halt about halfway in.

After a few choice words, I attempted to finish the job with a hand-held Phillips screwdriver. Two scraped knuckles later, I threw the screwdriver across the room and grabbed a hammer.

What I failed to realize is that a hammer, in the hands of an irate person, can and will inflict great harm on a mounting bracket.

With that previous failed encounter in mind, I summoned my brother to install the curtain rods. Tommy has been working at my house since earlier this year, putting up vinyl siding and fixing all the old windows….among a hundred or so other chores. He has all the talent when it comes to power tools and know-how

Thank God for H.T. Bryant Plumbing and Repair Service!

Upon thinking of my lack of general knowledge of handyman tools, I’ve devised descriptions of what use they are to me.

Skill Saw: a portable cutting tool used to make whatever you’re cutting too short.

Pliers: used to round off bolt heads and a device that creates blood blisters.

Vice-Grips: generally used after regular pliers to completely round off bolt heads.

Drill Press: a tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching a flat metal bar out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room.

Belt sander: an electric tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

Band saw: a large stationary power saw that slices good aluminum into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.

Oxyacetylene Torch: used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects on fire.

Phillips Screwdriver: normally used as a tool to make punctures in any type of sealed cans of liquid, leading to stained clothing.

Straight Screwdriver: a tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws.

24-inch Screwdriver: basically it’s a very long pry bar that’s also handy to even out hot charcoal in your outdoor grill.

Floor Jack: used raising a heavy object and later lowering the same onto your foot.

2×4 Yellow Pine: a handy device used to pry a heavy object off your foot.

Hose cutter: used to cut hoses too short.

Hammer: originally employed as a weapon of war, it is nowadays used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object you are trying to hit.

And, finally, my favorite – the Dammit Tool: any handy tool that you grab and throw while yelling ‘DAMMIT!’ at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.


Cal Bryant is Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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