The Right Tool for the Job

We can all agree that a guy should have some tools.

With that in mind, my older son has started getting Christmas gifts like a Craftsman socket set — and this year he found a tape measure, Channellock pliers, and a decent hammer under the tree.

Channellocks, with their distinctive blue grips, are an American classic. They were the brand favored by my father and other guys who worked with their hands when I was growing up. Like Maglites, and Leatherman tools, they’re still made in America, even though spitting these things out in China would be dirt cheap.

There were few things that drove my father crazy like people taking his tools and not putting them back where they found them.

You’d grab a pair of tin snips or a screwdriver to do something stupid — as twelve-year-old boys are apt to do — and leave them on the floor of the garage. Invariably, he would find it there and be very, very unhappy.

A man will end up with a collection of tools he’s accumulated over a life of fixing things or attempting to fix things. Many of them will be used just once, highly specialized stuff bought for some obscure task.

As a responsible father, it’s my job to get them started.

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8 responses to “The Right Tool for the Job

  1. “A man is known by his tools.
    I earn my keep with my tools.
    You fools, you fools, you fools, you fools!
    You will not touch my tools!”

    –Steve Albini, “Grinder”

  2. “Many of them will be used just once, highly specialized stuff bought for some obscure task.”

    Like my “beam-type, inch-pounds, torque wrench.”

  3. “beam-type, inch-pounds, torque wrench.”
    lawn tractor blade replacement

  4. Channellocks are made in Meadville, PA, hometown of Sharon Stone (there’s a sign when you drive into town). If you’re ever stuck between Erie and Pittsburgh, it’s a great town to visit. Lots of family-type restaurants, a great hospital (a client of mine), nice people, and employers who pay a living wage and exactly as you write, refuse to ship jobs out of the country. There’s even a company that makes ceramic/clay poker chips for some casinos, but you won’t find it on a map – – they’re pretty hush-hush about it.

    To visit the town is to step back in time – no one’s filthy rich, and no one appears to be wanting, either. Just nice people, and what appears to be a great place to live.

  5. I’ve got to say, as tight as the Supply corp was during my days in the Sub Service (Sorry, J. Eric Smith!), we always had Snap-On tools and Channel Lock products. Being a nuclear divison had some perks. Other divisions couldn’t get a decent screw driver, so they had to come and borrow our stuff to get work done. My love of tools came from the Navy. My dad wasn’t much of a handy man, sadly.

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