What you need to know:
It is important to understand your tools so that you know what to buy for which do-it-yourself fix at home.
Imagine a nail losing its head as you yank it out of a piece of wood. The claw hammer will be of no use at this time, and your only help will come from a pair of pliers. These levers, Louis Ssekamatte, a hardware dealer, says, make most manual work easier and they come in various designs and types with a nose (jaws), cuter (pipe grip), fulcrum (pivot) and handles. “They can be classified into two; cutting and multifunctional pliers.”
He says some of these include mini pliers which can easily enter small spaces to say, help unscrew a nut.
Others are diagonal cutting pliers which Grace Namuli, a hardware dealer, says are quite robust, having an angled edge and work well to cut thick objects such as nails. “They are thus an asset in electrical and carpentry work.”
Tongue and groove pliers or groove joint pliers help in grabbing irregular objects. “With an adjustable arm, they can also clamp objects thus ideal for fastening and unfastening nuts and bolts of various sizes,” ssekamatte says.
Combined pliers, Namuli says, are an example of multipurpose pliers with two separate sections; a circular jagged part that eases holding thick round objects such as tubes and a jagged grip surface.
Sliding connector pliers are akin to wrenches and have adjustable pivots that allow for one to change the jaw width. “With such a characteristic, these pliers are a plumber’s partner, aiding them in pipe applications.”
Namuli says any jeweller will attest to the importance of long nose pliers as these have a sharp and long nose that enables one to work with small wire to make intricate bends. “The nose of the pliers thus fosters accuracy while also allowing for wire snipping. They also help in electrical works as their nose can reach farther than other pliers can.”
● While some may say a utility knife is any used for manual work, Micheal Walugembe, a handyman, says it can also embrace a retractable, foldable and sometimes replaceable razor blade knife. Looking at the latter, Walugembe says these are great for indoor and outdoor activities. “From helping the artist chip at a piece of wood to create an art piece, cutting through taped boxes, trimming plastic, to cutting an apple as one takes a stroll, these come in handy, even for an emergency.”
● Owing to their sharpness, these knives are unlimited in use and for the retractable or foldable ones, they are safe to carry as the blades are hidden and they are small enough to fit in places fixed ones would not. Musa Lwembawo, a carpenter, says that some have replacement blades which allow for one to use the knife for longer. “These are stored in the hollow handle of the blade casing and can be got by unscrewing the handle. That said looking at using this knife for tough jobs such as chipping at wood, getting one whose blades are tough is important. Otherwise, the blade will break which is a loss and sometimes it snaps which could cause an accident.” When doing tough work, he advises that one wears protective goggles to avoid any harm.
Caring for your pliers
Ssekamatte says it is important that you take care of your pliers so that you can keep them in good thus use them for longer. Here are a few things to do:
● Once in a while, use anti-rust spray on the pliers. This will keep rust at bay.
● It is also important to keep them in dry place. A toolbox will work well here as it also ensures they do not get misplaced.