Tools are Great Tools: Focusing on Wrenches and Screwdrivers

Hello everyone:

Wrenches: These are not Renaissance Festival Gals

Wrenches, according to Wikipedia, are used to “provide grip and mechanical advantage in applying torque to turn objects- usually rotary fasteners such as nuts and bolts- or to keep them from turning.”  While they may sound similar to those barely-dressed women at Renaissance Festivals (aka wenches), they are not. You need to have one or two on hand (the tools, not the scantily-clad women), in case of mechanical difficulties.

Wrenches would be helpful to have in your tool box, if you need to put something together, such as furniture or a bike, and if you need to be able to hold onto something with one hand and turn something else with the other hand.

Wrenches give you enough strength (aka torque) to tighten the bolts well enough so that the baby seat that you put on the back of your bicycle doesn’t leave the baby dumped out on the street when the whole thing falls apart because you didn’t use a wrench to put it together correctly.

(Yes, I did put one together many moons ago, but I used a wrench, did it correctly, and my son never got unceremoniously chucked into the street. For that, he was extremely grateful and I was greatly relieved.)

Screwdrivers: Don’t Use Them As Chisels

Screwdrivers are good for screwing and unscrewing screws. They should not be used as chisels or crowbars because that will damage the tip of the screwdriver.

This means that, when you go to use the screwdriver as a screwdriver, it won’t work because it will no longer fit into the place where it needs to go.

If you need a chisel for something, buy a chisel. If you need a crowbar to get into something, buy a crowbar. Don’t use your beloved screwdriver.

Use the screwdriver to tighten and loosen screws. If you use a screwdriver in place of a crowbar, you can damage the shaft, making it useless.

Two of the most common types of screwdrivers are the Phillips head screwdriver which looks like a star on the tip and the flat head screwdriver looks, well, flat. Look at whatever it is you wish to screw to see what type of screwdriver it will need.

Please note that screwdrivers come in different sizes; the screwdriver you use to fix your eye glasses is not the same size that you would use to fasten the screws on the picnic table you are putting together, for example.

Use caution when using a screwdriver because it can slip off whatever you are using it to screw on (or off) and end up puncturing your skin. (Voice of experience.) Take your time and don’t rush things.


Dr. Sheri

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