If you’re here at Jalopnik, there’s a good chance you’ve got a pretty hefty collection of tools of all shapes and sizes. But you can’t love using every single one of them, can you?
To find out which tools cause maximum dread, we asked you what tools you absolutely hate using. Here are some of the best responses we received.
2 / 18
“A coil spring compressor tool.
“You want to point to a tool that terrifies me because if it does ‘spring loose,’ all that potential energy instantly turned into kinetic energy that can maim or kill, yeah, the spring compressor is IT.”
If you have a problem with your car’s suspension, you might find yourself digging out your spring compressor. This scary looking device squashes down a spring so that you can safely remove or instal it during repairs.
Suggested by: the1969dodgechargerguy
3 / 18
“Swedish nut lathe. Adjustable wrenches should not be used for ANYTHING. But from time to time I run into a nut that just does not abide by the laws of ISO sizes and I need to resort to using one of these.”
For some reason, these infinitely adjustable wrenches never seem to fit anything properly, no matter what size the nut you’re trying to twist is.
Suggested by: Derel1cte
4 / 18
Anything That’s Not Mine
Anything That’s Not Mine
“Anything I have to rent from an auto parts store. Always broken, missing pieces or worn out.”
“Tap and die kit, because it usually means something’s gone horribly, terribly wrong.”
I’ll be honest, I thought this was a threat when I first read the suggestion. But alas, it wasn’t someone playing a vicious game of tag, it’s instead a device for carving new screw threads into objects — most likely, after you’ve thoroughly destroyed the original threads.
Suggested by: @Tim_Stevens (Twitter)
6 / 18
“Most if not all specialized plumbing tools, if for no other reason than I inevitably get wet doing plumbing work and its not from sweat.
“Specific to mechanic’s tools though? Stud remover. I bought a cheap one once and could never get the studs back out of the tool after it was out of the engine case. So I bought a good quality one and had the same problem. Convinced me to just take engine cases with bad studs to a machinist and let then yadda yadda yadda to remove them.
“Personal tools? I love all my tools, mainly because I’ve learned to either adapt them to various tasks or keep the in good condition so they don’t let me down. I toss tools that don’t work right or that I cannot find a use for.”
“Any pliers with the ‘blood blister’ section between the handles. I’ve never used or seen anyone use that part of the pliers, so as far as I can tell it exists solely to hurt you when the pliers slip and some piece of skin inevitably ends up crushed between the teeth.
“A close second is the garbage Harbor Freight wire stripper/crimper that came in a cheap tool kit I bought to keep in my car. I never intended to use it, but recently I was working on something where I needed that style of crimper so I gave it a try. The thing folded over on the first crimp and very nearly left me with a partially installed connector on a very short wire. Thankfully, it did such a terrible job that I was able to pull the connector back off without damaging the wire.”
It’s happened to us all, right? Getting a bit of your hand stuck in between the two arms of a set of pliers. There’s no pain quite like it.
Suggested by: nemebean
8 / 18
“In my case, a 2009 Chevy Silverado HD... or trucks in general. Trucks are tools, not ‘lifestyle’ accessories.
“Because there is a limit to how much deck lumber or many kitchen cabinets my MR2/Genesis Coupe can carry. Or in the case of the farm, cattle trailers to tow.
“Because of 1-2 trips a month, I need a (larger) capacity vehicles more than a the Mrs’ Subaru Outback. I borrow the old farm truck. I park my sportscar in a barn and drive that thing until next week bored as all heck, loathing filling it up of gas upon return. Still, it is a “free” tool but I hate using it. No matter the side comments from the in-laws, I am not spending 40K on a tool and drag it around everywhere I don’t use 99% for trips. You don’t see me carrying a circular saw around the grocery store just in case... plus the manager ask nicely to leave it at home since I was scaring the other customers.”
“2nd runner up: The air ratchet. It is noisy, too long with the air hose attached, and always manages to blast dirt into my face from the exhaust. Then there’s the occasional wrist impact or finger trapping.
“Thank God for the m12 fuel ratchet.
“Runner up: The two handed 1" air impact wrench. Deafening noise, tooth loosening vibration, and oppressive weight. I strongly feel that using this piece of shit too often will make you infertile. A 3/4 gun will deliver nearly as much torque with less than half the weight. A battery powered 3/4 is even better.
“Winner: The 15-pound sledge hammer. This is what the company supplies. Who the fuck buys a 15 pound hammer? 10 pounds is heavy enough. These things hit back just as hard as whatever you’re hitting, and one swing with poor form will likely put you out of commission for a few days. If I have to pick this thing up, it’s not a great day.”
You could have a big dipper. Going up and down, all around the bends.
You could have a bumper car, bumping. This amusement never ends
“Screwdriver bits. Doesn’t matter the style, they all suck.
“Flathead. Also known as a spinning chisel when it hits your hand.
“Phillips. Did you know that each screw size has a perfect sized bit? Do you how to know what bit you need? Simple, look in the box of bits and the one that is missing is the one you need. Besides, since the last person didn’t use the right sized bit, it wouldn’t work anyway.
“Square: What sort of country comes up with square drive screws where there are 80 sizes that look about the same to each other? Likely some place cold and full of Hockey players.
“Torx. GM’s revenge on everybody.
“Allen. Joy, now I can loose the right sized bit in two measurement standards. Screw it I’ll jam in a torx bit, what’s the worse that can happen? SNAP. Oh, that’s the worse that can happen. Anyone know how to remove half a torx bit from inside an allen head capscrew?
“Torx with a stupid hole in them. When you need one, you will have found you broke them all trying to use them as a normal torx bit.
“Even the fricking boxes these bits come in suck. The clip never clips easily. About the 3rd time you use it, the clip comes undone and dumps the entire box full of bits on the floor to never be found again. Or only leaving the bits that nobody uses.”
It’s ok, QOTD is a safe space where we’re all free to vent.
Suggested by: yeardley68
11 / 18
“Regular screwdriver. It has no redeeming qualities that I can discern.
“Worn screws means the driver won’t stay engaged without a ridiculous amount of pressure, if the axis of the blade is offset at all from the axis of the screw then you’ve got leverage wasting your torque, if there is any offset then trying to turn the screw with any haste results in quick disengagement, there is no centering force at all.
“Regular screwdrivers should be used as pry bars only. They’re worse than useless as screwdrivers.”
“Non-magnetic screwdrivers/bits, inevitably the only one I’ll have that can get into or fits the screw head in a given awkward space and as soon as gets loose the screw disappears into the dark bowels of whatever I’m working on (but then get to use the magnet on a stick which is a lot of fun as never know what all you’ll pull back up).”
Yes. Magnetize all of the things so that you never have to worry about dropped bolts or screws.
Suggested by: citronc
13 / 18
Snap ring pliers
Snap ring pliers
“Snap ring pliers.
“You’ll get it off but then that little snap ring flies off into the abyss and you have no idea what size it was.”
File this away with springs, washers and other small pieces of metal that vanish into thin air as soon as you’ve extracted them from their homes.
Suggested by: @DFlashmann (Twitter)
14 / 18
“Personally, I loathe the ice scraper the most. Mainly because if I have to use it then everything is horribly cold, and guaranteed it is gonna slip at some point and I’ll end up scraping my knuckles on a lump of ice and that really hurts. It may be petty, but that is the tool I hate the most.”
A very good suggestion for something that we all need to use when the conditions take a turn. And scratching a knuckle on a chunk of ice is one of those annoyingly painful experience.
Suggested by: skeffles
15 / 18
“It’s the regular box wrench. Specifically when you need to constantly switch the orientation of the open end to get that one bolt/nut loose. You all know exactly what I’m talking about and it’s so annoying.”
Sure, there’s something satisfying about how snugly these little wrenches fit the right bolt. But all that off and on again nonsense to try and loosen something can get right in the sea.
Suggested by: i86hotdogs
16 / 18
“Of all tools somewhere between post hole digger (painful) and toilet snake (poop). For more automotive stuff, screw extractors, because something has gone badly wrong and given my history with broken extractors something may go even more wrong.”
Another little tool where when you need it, you know that you’ve messed up. These handy little devices can help get even the most stuck screw from wherever it lays.
Suggested by: geoff-vader
17 / 18
Whenever You Need More Than One
Whenever You Need More Than One
“When I am forced into a 3 way tool combo, Torch, Impact and Wrench. Or Torch And Hydraulic Press.”
If you can’t fix a problem with just one tool at a time, you know something’s gone seriously wrong. Especially if the multitude of tools you’re calling for needs an innumerable number of power outlets.