How much do you really know about the hand tools in your tool box? If you are like most people, you don’t know much beyond how to use your tools to get the job done. That’s okay. Below are some interesting facts about hand tools you probably don’t know about.

The History of Tools

One of the things that differentiates man from most animals is our ability to use tools. How long have we had that ability?

  • Tools discovered in Kenya in 1969 are estimated to be some 2.6 million years old
  • Tool specialization for agriculture may have begun as long as 10,000 years ago
  • Humans developed tools, like chisels and saws, approximately 4,000 years ago

Early hand tools were made with materials like:

  • Antlers and tusks
  • Animal bones
  • Stones and rocks
  • Volcanic glass

Top 10 Hand Tools That Should Be in Every Tool Box

Putting together a basic toolbox is something every homeowner and renter should do. You never know when you might need a tool to do a job around the house. Here are the top 10 tools that should be in every tool box:

  • Claw hammer – every nail needs to be driven in or pulled out
  • Flathead screwdriver – turn it, baby, turn it
  • Phillips screwdriver – a flathead just doesn’t work on a Phillips screw
  • Tape measure – measure twice, cut once
  • Adjustable wrench – a.k.a. crescent wrench, NOT crescent roll
  • Socket wrench – a.k.a. ratchet
  • Vice grips – when a pair of pliers just won’t cut it
  • Needle nose pliers – sometimes you need pliers with a tiny nose
  • Cordless drill – don’t forget to include some bits for that drill
  • Crosscut saw – cut lots of stuff without electricity

Early American Tool Chests

No one knows exactly when the tool chest was invented, but tool chests have been prevalent in America from the earliest days of our founding. Beginning in the 20th century, tool chests entered the world of mass marketing thanks to a number of key manufacturers:

  • Union Tool Chest Company – made tool chests for machinists
  • Sears Craftsman – offered tool chests for machinists and more casual users
  • Stanley – produced tool chests with a design similar to steamer trunks
  • McCormick, John Deere – made tool chests for farmers to mount on their tractors
  • Snap-On – a brand of tool boxes made for auto mechanics

 

Sources:

  1. Encyclopaedia Britannica – https://www.britannica.com/technology/hand-tool
  2. Collectors Weekly – https://www.collectorsweekly.com/tools-and-hardware/tool-boxes
  3. Art of Manliness – https://www.artofmanliness.com/2009/02/15/mentors-for-men/

 

 

Infographic - Interesting Facts about Hand Tools
 

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