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We like to discover tools from around the world and to try and figure out what they’re used for — even common items like a wrench might look different somewhere else.  Reader Noel found this Lithuanian spanner on eBay.  Even though we’re not sure exactly what it was designed for, a spanner is a spanner no matter where in the world it comes from.

The maker’s mark is in Russian, so unless someone can read it or recognizes the brand, Noel may never know its origin.  He says it swings to adjust to the proper size, then stays tight as you use it, which makes sense since we don’t see any other mechanism.

Nice find, Noel — we’re always suckers for strange, old tools ourselves.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


Rob Todd must have gotten a little frustrated working in his garden and not having both spade and fork available at the same time. So he went into his shop and Frankensteined up this combo between a fork and a spade.

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The thing about the world’s largest anything is that there can only be one.  Each of these things is in a class all by itself, and we tend to give them a healthy respect — especially when, as is the case with the Creusot steam hammer, it can flatten us like a pancake.

This huge-ass steam hammer was built in 1877 by Schneider and Co. in the French town of Le Creusot. Its big selling point was the unholy ability to deliver a blow with up to 100 tons of force. We’re guessing it made a little noise, too.

The funny part is that the forge work it was responsible for is now done in a different manner — so a steam-powered machine that was built over a hundred years ago is still king of all hammers.

World’s Largest Hammer [New York Times]


If you’ve ever punched the clock for a living, you know what it means to feel like a tiny cog in a much larger machine. Next time you feel that sensation rushing over you, think of these Chinese factory workers who ARE part of the machine.

Place-Duck-Grab, all day long. The management cautions against daydreaming or zoning out, and bathroom breaks are as much about timing as scheduling. Safety regulations are pretty lax, so the likelihood that you’ll get a cool nickname like “Lefty”, “The Stump”, or “Mr. Screams Like A Girl” are pretty high.


We love it when readers post pictures of their personal tool kits exploded on a table for all to see, and this pic from Sam Ose is no exception. It looks like a pretty standard (and quite well thought-out) home maintenance kit — until you read the comments.

Guess what? They’re all Chinese tools — purchased in China. Apparently Sam lives about an hour west of Shanghai. Please accept our thanks (and a set of gloves that’ll come to you on the slow boat to China) for heeding our request to post tools from around the world.

Anyone else? How about Australia? Or Europe? We’re stuck here in Texas, USA, and we’d love to see hat’s different tool-wise for you.

Toolmonger’s Photo Pool [Flickr]