More in Hand Tools

Tool Advice from TOH Master Carpenter Norm Abram

New best-ever homeowner tips throughout the month, plus add your own

Illustration by Edwin Fotheringham
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Adjustable Wrench:

 

Adjustable Wrench:

"Keep the wrench's jaws parallel to the work surface. An angled grip cuts down on contact with the nut."

Chain Saw: "Never cut in the "danger zone," the upper half of the bar's nose; the saw will likely kick back at you."

Chisels: "I sharpen my edge tools on a diamond honing stone dampened with a few drops of water. An oilstone or waterstone is also fine, as long as it's flat and not dished from frequent use."

Claw Hammer: "A comfortable handle is as important as the hammer's weight. A handle that's too big around—with more than a finger's width of space between the tips of the fingers and the base of the thumb—is worse than one that's too small."

Coping Saw: "In the curves, use shorter, faster strokes than when cutting along a straight line. This way, you won't twist the blade, which would make it harder to control and easier to break."

Jigsaw: "For me, getting accurate cuts with a jigsaw is mostly a matter of positioning. I put myself directly above the saw blade, not off to one side, so I can see the teeth cutting along the line."

Have your own tips? Share them below.

"Keep the wrench's jaws parallel to the work surface. An angled grip cuts down on contact with the nut."

Chain Saw: "Never cut in the "danger zone," the upper half of the bar's nose; the saw will likely kick back at you."

Chisels: "I sharpen my edge tools on a diamond honing stone dampened with a few drops of water. An oilstone or waterstone is also fine, as long as it's flat and not dished from frequent use."

Claw Hammer: "A comfortable handle is as important as the hammer's weight. A handle that's too big around—with more than a finger's width of space between the tips of the fingers and the base of the thumb—is worse than one that's too small."

Coping Saw: "In the curves, use shorter, faster strokes than when cutting along a straight line. This way, you won't twist the blade, which would make it harder to control and easier to break."

Jigsaw: "For me, getting accurate cuts with a jigsaw is mostly a matter of positioning. I put myself directly above the saw blade, not off to one side, so I can see the teeth cutting along the line."

Have your own tips? Share them below.

 
 

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