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The joy of tools 

1 year ago

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Andrew English | Journalist


10 February 2023

Covetousness is an ugly and ill-becoming emotion, but I have to confess to experiencing it over a pair of pliers – for Pete’s sake.

I first saw these lovely pliers lying under a pile of worn-out tools on a market stall many years ago. Plain jawed, with long handles and special fulcrums which bestowed mechanical advantage and closed the jaws parallel with each other, these pliers would get you out of all sorts of trouble if you didn’t happen to have the right spanner in your pocket. They’d unfasten nuts, hold bolt heads, cut wires and securely grasp linkages, even crimp wires, I supposed, as I stared at them and imagined them tucked safely in my tool box.

Then, showing an up-to-then unknown speed of hand, my friend Richard reached forward to snag them and haggled the price down to the giveaway.

‘Aren’t these great,’ he said, brandishing his new bargain pliers; my bargain pliers, stolen from under my nose. ‘They’ll unfasten nuts, hold bolt heads…’

You get the picture.

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