Most Satisfying Tools

Hey all. I imagine most of us love the process of making things, not just the results. What are a few of the most satisfying tools you’ve used and why?

It’s no secret mine is a hand plane, but I’ve recently discovered how amazing a sharp draw knife on green wood is. You get this perfect feeling of just riding the cut as big strips of bark fall to the ground. When you get the angle just right and follow the contours of the wood, it’s a feeling that just kinda hums in your hands as you feel one piece become two.

How about you?

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I don’t think I have any particular favourite/most satisfying tools, at least not in the visceral way you describe.

The tools I find most satisying are the ones I can rely on to do their thing, and do it well. If it’s meant close, it closes completely. If it’s meant to be sharp, it’s sharp. If it’s meant to be hot, it’s hot. If it’s meant to click, it clicks. If it’s meant to be smooth, it’s smooth. Having everything you need to use be like that is blissful.

Some of that’s down to maintenence, some of it’s down to paying the price for good tools, and some of it’s down to being wise with purchases (or perhaps dumb but trying again and again! :slight_smile:).

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I’m a big fan of the metal and wood palette knife due to it’s versatility. I always have one on my desk and use it for tons of stuff. I’ve often described the palette knife as the one tool I’d definitely like to have on hand when zombies come over the hill. It’s like a swiss army knife…but in one elegant fun-size trowel.

Good for:

  • sculpting polymer clay
  • spreading glue
  • opening boxes
  • general scraping
  • potting up plants
  • spreading butter on your toast
  • hoking 3d prints off the printer bed
  • opening electronics
  • decorating cakes
  • making sand castles
  • mixing paint and painting
  • hand to hand combat
  • and so much more!

Did you know that Van Gogh painted with a palette knife and that Napoleon was defeated at the battle of Waterloo by a palette knife? No? Well, that’s because that last bit was a lie, but you get the idea.

In an amusing twist a palette knife cannot be used to chop up a pallet, but you can’t have everything I guess.

The dollar store and places like Daiso are good sources of palette knives. Buy a bunch!

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Last year I splurged and bought a Fluke 87V multimeter. I know it’s a meter I can rely on. Fluke 87V Industrial Multimeter | Fluke

I also love these scrapers https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/hand-tools/scrapers/32670-super-hard-milled-scrapers and I use them mostly for deburring the sharp edges off of plastic pieces that I’ve laser-cut.

For deburring sharp edges from metal, I’ve found that these work pretty well too:

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Wow, that’s gold!

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Right now at VHS probably still laser / plasma combo.

To go from CAD to metal so quickly is pretty satisfying.

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Plasma cutter, hand-held, no drag tip, on 3/8" steel. That moment where several pounds of iron calves off and drops on the floor under the blade of your lightsaber. Perfection.

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My Canadian-made, 1000 lb. behemoth, 3HP Oneway 2436 wood lathe. It has always been my dream lathe that I was fortunate to acquire a couple of years ago. It is ultra-quiet with zero vibration, extremely reliable, ergonomically excellent control placement and readily available, reasonably priced replacement parts from within Canada. For me, there are no compromises in quality or functionality which makes it a joy to use every time I use it. There is virtually nothing that can be done on a wood lathe that can’t be done on this lathe. It is the most used tool in my workshop.

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Large Multitool with locking blades, I am always carrying one.

  • knife
  • screw drivers
  • light hammer
  • ruler
  • can opener
  • metal file, emergency metal saw
  • emergency wood saw

Vise grips
Before the time of multitools, vise grips and a large folding knife were the 2 tools I used most often.
Old vise grips make great welding clamps.

hammer, hatchet and wreaking bar
With these tools and I can take down a old building, including the concrete block walls. Taking down a building by hand is incredibly satisfying.

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My wife bought me a fold up hand saw for Christmas. An Agawa Boreal 21.
It came with a leather sheath and extra blade. Light enough that when I am out on the trails hiking, biking and snowmobiling I’ll be taking it with me. I’ve also used to to cut firewood into lengths.
According to their website I guess I am an “outdoor adventurer”

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As a hard of hearing person, I fully endorse this post.

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a good pen. Doesn’t have to be expensive but the ink flowing onto the paper is important. needs to be smooth with no grit.

ever since industrial design school I have only been able to draw with a uniball or equivalent. sometimes I cant even sign my name properly with Bic ball point.

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I have a pair of IsoTunes Pro Bluetooth noise cancelling ear buds that I just love!

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I immediately thought of this when I saw this close up:

https://twitter.com/engineers_feed/status/1363434991863087113?s=21

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There’s a zen calm to using an oxy-acetylene brazing torch. The soft whoosh of the flame, the sight of the brazing rod relaxing and wetting the metal, and the warm red glow of the parts. It’s a lovely tool to use.

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