Show Me Your Tool

I was struck by an epiphany the other day.  And yes, it left a nasty mark; thanks for asking.  I won’t offer to show you the mark, but the gist of the epiphany was this:  If you’re considering a serious relationship with a man, ask to see his tool first.

It’s not about size.  It’s what he does with it that counts.

If a man refuses to show you his tool, run away.  A man who has no pride in his tool isn’t even worth considering.

If he does show it to you, you can infer a lot by observing the type and condition of his tool.  In particular, get him to show you his torque wrench.  It tells you everything you need to know about him.

In the first place, owning a torque wrench indicates some automotive know-how and a willingness to get his hands dirty.  This is good.  Tread cautiously if he doesn’t own a torque wrench at all.

The cleanliness of the tool is important, but don’t generalize this statement to his box-end wrenches or sockets.  They’re meant to be ingrained with black grease.  In fact, if a guy’s box-end is too clean, watch out.  You may be dealing with a compulsive neat freak.

The torque wrench, however, is a precision instrument, so it should be relatively well-kept.  Is his tool shiny and clean, or caked with nameless grime?  If he doesn’t take care of his tool, don’t let him anywhere near you.

The type of torque wrench is also instructive.

  • Beam-Type:  A beam-type torque wrench is a solid, flexible tool that’s good enough to do most jobs.  Its owner is an easy-going guy who isn’t extravagant.  He cares enough to do the job right, but he won’t drive you insane over tiny details.
  • Click-Type:  A man with a click-type torque wrench offers you a rigid, accurate tool that’s a joy to use and handle.  He will do the job with enthusiastic precision.
  • Electronic:  Ah, the electronic torque wrench.  Yeah, it’s impressive at first glance, but does he know what to do with it?  Some guys can handle these bad boys just fine, but this can also be a sign of anal-retentive pickiness and a tendency to overcompensate.

Brand can be difficult to interpret.  If his tool is Snap-On brand, ask some pointed questions to determine whether he is, in fact, a pit rat at the local track and/or a qualified mechanic.  If the answer is yes, you can relax.  This is a guy with a high-quality tool, and he knows how to use it.  This is the way life should be.

But if he’s just a backyard mechanic, a premium brand like Snap-On could go either way.  On one hand, he might be a spendthrift who’s hung up on brands and status symbols.  On the other hand, he might have lots of money and appreciate the finer things in life.  Tough call, but consider this:  a guy with a Snap-On tool is pretty much every woman’s dream.

I have both a beam-type and a click-type, and I’m not going to speculate what that says about me.  But here’s some free advice for my male readers, too:  If you find a woman who owns any kind of torque wrench, it means she knows how to handle tools, and she’ll know how to appreciate a good one when she finds it.

You can thank me later.

28 thoughts on “Show Me Your Tool

  1. Pingback: I Love A Guy With A Big Deck | Diane Henders

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  3. LOL. Brilliant, Diane. I’m glad, and not surprised, to hear you take tool selection seriously. We have the whole gamut of makes at work, but mostly snap-on. The important thing is to make sure your handling a calibrated tool – the last thing you want is to over-tighten someone’s nuts by mistake (doing it on purpose is acceptable, of course). I’m sure a girl like you can find someone to calibrate your tool with. Or avoid disappointment and send it off and have it measured to see that it’s up to snuff.



    • ROFL! Nigel, you made my day! I completely neglected the vitally important calibration issue. Fodder for another post, without a doubt. 🙂

      And sending it away to ensure it’s satisfactory is sheer brilliance. Life should be like this.


    • It’s okay, a soldering iron still counts. And the hammer is a nice touch. It’s always nice to be able to offer your significant other a choice between finesse and brute force. Variety, spice of life, yada, yada.

      Loved the bike! I bellowed laughter so loudly my step-mom thought I’d hurt myself (and it was a near thing). It was even funnier since today’s outside temperature was -41 degrees Celsius with the wind chill. Hope that Harley has heated handgrips.


  4. My husband has lots of tools, each one marked with his initials. Whenever he disappears for more than a few minutes, I always know where to find him- in the basement, polishing a tool. Sometimes I offer to help, but he always says he can do it himself. Should I be concerned?


  5. OK Let me be the first to say it….that is not the tool I thought you were referring to but I’m just as happy with what you have presented us with. As a Nurse, I have seen enough “tools” to fill a Home Depot Shopping cart and to say would I prefer one over another? no! no way! un uh!
    so long as they work when they are supposed to and don’t bring me any drama!


    • I’m shocked – I never even considered the possibility that someone would think I was discussing other “tools”. *nose grows like Pinocchio*

      You’ve made me thankful that I didn’t choose a nursing career, though! 🙂


  6. that did make me chuckle, and the pictures make it even funnier. Question though: what if the man has not only not got a torque wrench, but also doesn’t know what one is? Is that something to be very worried about?


    • Hmmm, tough question. Ultimately it comes down to one’s personal taste. I personally could tolerate a man without a torque wrench, but I’m afraid I’d have to draw the line if he doesn’t even know what one is. Unless, of course, he owns and uses some other sort of esoteric tool with confidence and pride. That could work.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting!


        • Okay, you made me snort tea out my nose (one way to avoid using the nostril hair trimmer, but I can’t say I recommend it).

          Regarding the trimmer’s tool status, ummm… no comment. Maybe he plays a musical instrument instead? That could qualify. Help me out here. I’m reaching.


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