In Praise Of Power Tools
0 comment Friday, August 8, 2014 |
I am a power-tool sorta chick and always have been; I didn't want Barbies as a kid, I wanted Tonka trucks. I've been working heavy equipment since before I could drive, and knew how to change spark plugs and oil filters before I was ten. The right tool for the right job has always been my motto, and my ex (who was utterly CLUELESS about DIY before I met the man) has been converted to The Way of the Tools.
When we went our separate ways, most of the powertools went with him, and I managed with what I had. However, over the past year and a half, things have changed; the tools I have no longer are sufficient for requirements. I can't use screwdrivers anymore because the twisting action is too much for my wrists. The bear-down-on-it drilling isn't happening either because there's masonry in my walls and I'm also rather unsteady on my feet so I don't want to slip and risk injury - in short, the drill I do have isn't powerful enough anymore. The loppers and pruners I have require too much hand strength, which I no longer have, and the strimmer's spool system which requires a bear-down-and-twist motion is now effectively useless. Jobs are not getting done, are being put off until they become even more difficult to do, because I have no tools to sort it out. I have by necessity turned into the rather girly type who has to ask people to do things for her because she's apparently too frail or clueless in DIY to sort it herself. I...ugh....I hate it, but lately I've had to play into that sort of testosterone-fueled mentality if I wanted to get anything done and had to ask a neighbour, only to grit my teeth, nod and smile as he patronisingly explained to me why I should be doing A, B, or C - yes, I know jolly well how to change a lightbulb/put up a fire alarm/fix a blocked pipe/drill and set guides into a masonry wall...I just physically CAN'T right now.
So, in a bid to save myself a bit of dignity, I'm hunting about for tools which will allow me to do the things I already know how to bloody well do myself if I just had the right stuff to do it with. Electric screwdrivers and a cutter a bit more powerful than my Dremel for one; a strimmer that does the job without me having to fight the spool for more nylon line; loppers with a ratchet action to get through saplings; and a new hoover and carpet cleaner so I don't have to keep getting on my hands and knees to get the job done. This should help a LOT as there are a load of jobs around the house which I have been utterly unable to sort out due to just plain not having the tools to get it sorted out.
However, there's also some brutal honesty which needs to be faced and dealt with: gone are the days I can just work with any power-tools I choose. It's like the elderly person who is half-blind yet still insists on driving; a mentality I refuse to allow myself to get into as the risk of injury is not just to myself, but also if anything happens to me, my son is affected whether he realises it or not. Anything with heavy cutting blades is now officially right out. No tablesaws, no chainsaws. The board on the chimney is something I'm going to have to call someone in who is infinitely more able to open it out, and then put it back than I am. Sucks, but that's the way of it. Anything that would be disastrous if it slipped because I lost my balance or I dropped it is not a tool I can afford to use - no nailguns, no petrol-powered mowing/strimmers (because they often don't have an instant safety cut off button - the electric ones I have do, however). Safety actually does over-ride performance now which may irk me a bit. Ultimately, I'd rather have equipment that isn't super efficient but controllable when I'm only-half aware of my surroundings than a potentially dangerous piece of equipment I will eventually hurt myself on.
So as I've said to my ex every time he asks me what I'd like for my birthday/xmess whatever the answer is the same - "Buy me a drill!" Hopefully this year I'll get one!