I love when style blogs take on the subject of tools. I suppose if you write about “men’s issues” enough, you’ll eventually work your way around to tools. Not that tools are at all a “mens only” game. But it’s a subject that “men’s magazines” or blogs will eventually stumble upon — usually with pretty scary results.
Score one for Valet, however. Their recommendation for “the modern man’s” toolkit: a tape measure (“buy a durable one”), a hammer (“look for a lightweight fiberglass handle and a curved claw”), an adjustable wrench (“you don’t need a bulky or fancy set of socket wrenches”), a 4-in-1 screwdriver (“again, no set is necessary”), a utility knife (“three-position retractable blade”), and Vise-Grips (“think of these as pliers that won’t give up”).
And yes, I too agree that you sometimes do need the “fancy set of socket wrenches.” But think about who this article targets: guys who spend far more time picking out matching shirts and sweaters than they do working on old cars. For that crowd, this is (in my opinion at least) some pretty decent advice. Sure, you can find better tools for specific jobs. But you could do a hell of a lot around the house with just the tools in their kit.
This reminds me, too, of the kind of car kit my father used to assemble for each of his vehicles. To keep the kit small, he’d often ditch specific tools for adjustable ones. Admittedly, he always included one of those low-buck wrench sets from Harbor Freight — you know, the ones that come in a wrap-up case. But he’d also include a medium-sized adjustable wrench to catch anything in between the set’s sizing and a large adjustable to handle anything bigger than the set. I’m a fan of the 4-in-1 (or more-in-1) screwdrivers for compact kits. Bits are way smaller than drivers, so why waste space?
Anyway, kudos to Valet for passing on the over-the-top fancy stuff and offering some pretty sound advice.
The Modern Man’s Toolkit [Valetmag.com]