Selecting the Right Tool for the Job

When I was young it amazed me how many different tools my father stored in his garage. He did not enjoy home repair yet, ironically, he had tools to fix everything from a car to the furnace. Even more impressive was my grandfather.  He owned a small trucking company and did all the repairs on his “rigs” himself. I spent a lot of time with my grandfather wrenching on Mack trucks and driving with him on long hauls.  Later in life, I obtained my Commercial Driver’s License learners permit and drove a few tractor trailers during the learning process, but that is a story for another time…

As I got older, my interests expanded to cars, boats and real estate. I quickly learned that it can be costly to outsource repairs to a professional so I learned to do it myself. Making simple repairs has saved me a small fortune over the years.

When I encountered different scenarios, from fixing a leaky sink to repairing a marine diesel engine, I found specific tools were needed for each job.  Selecting them became the challenge. Some hand tools and saws can be very expensive depending on the brand.

The Basics

Let’s start with the basic hammer. Just out of high school, I spent 6 months working with a concrete crew pouring house foundations. I needed the hammer every minute of every day to build footing forms out of wood and to slam massive 8 foot tall forms into place to pour the concrete.

I could have spent $4 on a basic hammer that would do the job, or I could have spent $30 on one that was much better quality. I decided on the more expensive hammer, which would save my wrists and arms great pain, because of the good handle grip and better shape and balance. I purchased an Estwing hammer which comes is various types and weights depending on the job. Twenty years later I still have that very same hammer!

Selecting the Right Tool for the Job

I don’t always select high-end tools for every job.  My decision is based on how often I will use the tool and the price.  I am a big fan of Dewalt power tools, though there are many other great brands. They are well built and reliable.  If I’m going to buy a power tool that I will use frequently, such as a hand drill or a saw, my choice is Dewalt.  For other tools that I use occasionally I will select something that is cost effective. For these types of tools my go-to place is Harbor Freight, though other options are available online.  They are very inexpensive and will get the job done.

Determining your specific needs and how often you will use these devices will guide you in determining the right tool.  A bunch of expensive tools hanging on the wall may look impressive but can also be a waste of money.

My teenage job experience pouring concrete foundations taught me a lot! It was a determining factor in selecting a career in technology- a lot easier on the body.

Let us know your tips on selecting the right tools for you and the job in our comments section below!


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