There are quite a few answers to the question of what makes up a good tool. Normally for us the answer depends on what you’re trying to do and how the tool helps you do that. If it allows you to do something you can’t or wouldn’t do before, then you’ve got a winner. Reader ghb624 tells us how he came by his latest find.
Went to the hardware store today for some info and advice. As usual, they came through for me. But they also got a wee bit of business in return. An impulse purchase of the item seen here. It’s got a little magnet near the end of the gadget, so that you can hold a nail in position and get it started, with minimal risk to one’s thumb. I know, I know, an experienced carpenter hits the nail, not his thumb. But I’m not that experienced. Besides, there are awkward places where you need to start a nail and can hardly squeeze in with a hand. Plus overhead locations, and so on.
Still, this little item may be somewhat like the fishing lures I’ve heard about — the ones that are more likely to “catch” a fisherman than a fish, and therefore ideal for the manufacturer and retailer.
In the end, no one cares how the nail got driven into the wood. About three seconds afterward no one is going to be able to tell if he held it with his hand or used a nail holder to drive it. The nail is in and that’s really all that matters. If ghb624 is pleased with his purchase and he’s getting projects done that he might have otherwise put off, this is a net win.