Let us begin this article by stating that we admire any person who picks up a tool to complete a job. Nowadays, it’s a lot easier to just hire someone to come fix whatever is broke than taking the time to fix it yourself. And that’s why we have to tip our hat to anyone willing to do it. However, now that we put that into the universe, we do have one thing that we need to get off of our chests. A lot of DIY’ers either use their tools in the wrong way or are at least not using them in a way that’s the most effective.
Yes, we know, sometimes a person feels like they have to use a tool unconventionally to get it to do what they want it to do. We’ve seen everything from people using hammers to break bags of ice to people using potato peelers for wire stripping. And in just about all of these cases, using a tool for something other than what it’s designed to be used for is just bad form, and it may even lead to tool damage. And sometimes, it may even cause harm to the person using the tool. That’s why we’ve decided to write this guide. A guide that will hopefully show everyone the right way and the wrong way to use a tool.
Screwdrivers As Pry Bars
One of the biggest tool mistakes we’ve seen is people using their screwdrivers as pry bars. They take the screwdriver right out of their best screwdriver set and they then misuse it. It’s a terrible practice that can easily result in the person bending the screwdriver’s shank, breaking the object being pried apart, or even breaking and then causing significant damage to the user’s hands. While we understand that screwdrivers might seem like handy tools for use as pry bars, they only have one purpose and that purpose is tightening or loosening screws. Please, please, please, don’t use them for any other purpose.
Using Pliers With A Screwdriver
Since we’re on the subject of screwdrivers, it’s worth noting that using them as pry bars aren’t the only way that they’re misused. They’re also paired with a pair of pliers so that the tool user can get more torque. They do this by grabbing the handle of the screwdriver with the pliers and then using the plier’s extended handles for the torque they need to unscrew whatever they’re trying to unscrew.
While this initially sounds like a marvelous idea, the practice is fraught with peril. That’s because using pliers with screwdrivers in this way can not only damage the screwdriver’s handle, but it can also lead to the screw being stripped out. The better way of giving yourself additional torque while unscrewing a screw is by using a screwdriver with a longer handle.
Of course, if using a longer screwdriver doesn’t work, then you may want to instead use an impact driver instead of a screwdriver for the job. That will ensure that it gets released and do it without potentially stripping the screw.
Using Pliers As A Wrench
Let’s say that you have rounded bolts and nuts that you want to remove, what do you do? For some people, they would go ahead and use their pliers instead of heading to their toolbox and getting out a wrench for the job. Of course, that’s the absolute worst thing that you can do. It’s always better to use a proper size wrench for taking care of these bolts to prevent them from stripping them out.
However, that’s not to say that a pair of pliers is never useful in any situation involving nuts and bolts. There is an exception that’s worth noting. If the nut is already stripped, then the tool user can go ahead and use their favorite locking pliers to try and remove it, but that’s the only circumstance allowable.
Making Your Own Improvised Breaker Bar
This next thing is something that we see far too often. It’s using a wrench on another wrench, or sometimes a ratchet, to make a breaker bar for additional leverage. This is commonly called a cheater wrench, and while it will work occasionally, it will also fail remarkably just as often. And when it fails, and the wrench slips, then the user can end up getting their knuckles busted, losing skin off of their hand, or even having one of the wrenches slip up and hit them in the face. A better way is to just use a proper breaker bar to give you the leverage you need for the job.
A Different Type Of Breaker Bar
Another method of making an improvised breaker bar is to take a torque wrench and use them backward to apply a tremendous amount of torque to the bolt. While this does have a chance of working, it’s also just as likely to break the torque wrench. After all, torque wrenches are specially calibrated and sensitive tools and aren’t designed to be operated in this way. A better way is to use a proper breaker bar to generate the torque needed.
Using A Screwdriver As A Chisel
Oh no, we’re back at people using screwdrivers in the wrong way. Why is this tool so often misused? We’re not sure, but it sure does seem like more people are misusing the average screwdriver more than it’s being properly used for its purpose installing and removing screws. It is a shame.
Using a screwdriver is a chisel is a great way to not only not get the job done correctly, but also cause damage to it. Screwdrivers don’t have the same shape as a chisel and aren’t as sharp as them either. That makes them a terrible choice for using as a chisel.
Using A Drill As A Paint Mixer
The last tool gaffe that we want to talk about is using the power drill as a paint mixer. Please, don’t do that. Drills aren’t paint-mixers and never should be used as such, or you seriously risk burning out their motor. A better way is to buy your own paint mixer, or have your local hardware store mix it for you.