Toolaholics Anonymous


Hello, my name is Diane, and I’m a toolaholic.

I first realized I might have a problem the day I caught myself whining at my husband because he wouldn’t let me buy a hydraulic engine hoist (it was on sale, too, dammit).

Everybody needs an engine hoist.  I have an engine stand.  How am I supposed to get my engine block off the stand and back into my car without a hoist?  At the time, I rationalized it as reasonable behaviour.  But I knew I’d hit rock-bottom the day I sneaked home with a knife-sharpening kit… and hid it.

Maybe I was feeling guilty because I already have a wet-wheel sharpener for my wood-turning tools.  I’ve used it in the past, but the stone is really too coarse for my good-quality kitchen knives.  And Hubby’s diamond sharpening set doesn’t have a jig, so it’s hard to put a precise angle on the blade.  And I’ve never mastered the art of using the steel to hone knives.  And nothing drives me crazier than a dull knife.

So really, I needed a five-stone sharpening kit with a jig.

My husband is my enabler.  Sometimes he buys me tools for my birthday and for Christmas.  Sometimes he buys me tools “just because”.  Tools are the perfect gift.  They’re beautiful.  They’re shiny.  They’re powerful.  They’re practical.  I need tools.  Everybody needs tools.

I wasn’t always a toolaholic.  When I got married, I only had one set of carpentry tools, one set of kitchen tools, and one set of automotive tools.  My tools were always clean and organized and ready to use.  Hubby had a couple of sets of his own tools.  Everything should have been fine.


I’m a put-it-away-er.  He’s a drop-it-where-you-used-it kinda guy.  So he misplaces tools frequently.  Then he steals mine, because “they’re easy to find”.

Yeah, because I actually put them back where they belong after using them.

Then I go to do some small job and I can’t find my goddamn-sonuvabitch-where-the-hell-are-my-fucking-TOOLS?!?

He’s a resourceful fellow with a well-developed sense of self-preservation, so he solved the problem.  Not by putting my tools back after using them.  Oh, no.  By buying me new tools when he gets in trouble.

For example, we now own at least eleven hammers.  A couple of framing hammers, a couple of ball-peens, a couple of hand sledges, and several multi-purpose claw hammers.  Oh, and a brass one for when you can’t risk striking a spark.  And a rubber one.  Plus three full-size sledgehammers of varying weights.

I still can’t find a hammer when I need one.

The same thing has happened with socket sets and screwdrivers and pliers and drill bits and oil filter wrenches.  I may have actually threatened him with death the day I couldn’t find my nice little ultra-fine flexible Japanese hand saw.  (It still hasn’t turned up, but he bought me another).

After a few years of marriage, I began to stash tools in out-of-the-way places, hoping they’d still be there the next time I needed them.  Then I started buying extra tools “just in case”.  Soon I couldn’t walk into a tool store without buying something.

So really, the tool addiction isn’t my fault.  He drove me to it.

But I can quit any time I want.


22 thoughts on “Toolaholics Anonymous

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  9. I currently have 4 of those nice socket set that fold up like a briefcase and i STILL DONT HAVE A SINGLE FUCKIN 14mm SOCKET….. in shallow or deep, 1/4, 3/8, or 1/2 inch…. Lol can you guess which size is most commonly used on my vehicles????


    • OMG! that is so me!!!! well, not as bad, but only cos I cant afford it! LOLOL! it’s dad’s fault I tell you! growing up in a house were there’s a tool to fix or handle just about anything you need to… the moment I started building and fixing stuff for myself, I simply couldn’t imagine life without tools!!! I go bonkers when a client asks me if I can drill a bigger screw whole on some wall appliance because “I don’t have a drill at home”… WHO ON EARTH doesn’t own a drill??? or a knife sharpener. or a full set of screwdrivers, or pliers in every shape, hammers or different sizes and materials, multimeters, wrenches, battery chargers and desufators, cordless everything, but a generator should be handy too, etc etc. LOLOL! no seriously. I can stop, really, I just need to check the hole at the end of my pockets…


      • LOL! Dads are the worst (best) enablers! I can probably blame my dad for the seeds of my tool addiction, too. Not that he bought that many tools; just that we lived on a farm that had been in the family for generations so we had a huge accumulation of tools in the old garage and he taught me how to use them.

        Best question ever: “WHO ON EARTH doesn’t own a drill???” 😉


  10. I’m in awe of people who can use tools correctly, let alone with finesse. In my high school shop class, I spent 20 minutes sanding a piece of wood with an electric sander before somebody told me I needed to put a piece of sandpaper in the thing. A few years, back I accidentally weed-whacked my leg with a weed whacker. And I wasn’t even whacking weeds at the time. I guess it didn’t help that I was walking around with it with my finger on the trigger. My leg looked like a wild cat got a hold of it. And just yesterday I managed to cut the palm of my hand (yet again) while slicing potatoes. No, I wasn’t palming the potatoes (I stopped doing that years ago.) I was slicing carefully, with a cutting board and everything, and somehow . . my palm got in the way. It’ a wonder I still have all my fingers and toes. 🙂


    • Attack of the evil weed whackers! Those things have a mind of their own. The fact that you still have all your digits is a testament to your survival skills. 🙂

      P.S. I hate sanding, too. It speeds up the process a bit to put sandpaper in the sander, but it seems like it takes forever regardless.


  11. LOL. Anytime, huh? Yeah, right. I’m grinning. Bet you salivate when a snap-on truck drives by!

    I’m really with you on the clean as you go thing. It drives me nuts when people can’t put something back where it came from.

    At one stage I had the same problem with hard disk drives. I mean, how many of the things can you have? I used to copy data back and forth, hanging onto stuff that was years old, until one of them packed up. I had a backup (of course) but somehow never got around to using it. After about a year I realized I didn’t need all this stuff anyway, and now I’m down to just a single backup disk. But I do get the shakes when I walk past anything that says “terabyte.”



    • Any time. Seriously.
      *Begins to tremble and salivate just from reading the word “Snap-On”*

      I completely understand the “terabyte” issue. I recently bought a 2 TB external USB drive. It was on sale. I had to talk myself down from buying two of them.

      I hope there’s a twelve-step program for that…


    • Yes, I confess to using the handle of the screwdriver as a hammer, too. I’ve also been known to use a pipe wrench, a crescent wrench, or a crowbar. Sometimes it’s less frustrating than trying to search out one of the hammers. But mostly it’s because I’m too lazy… 🙂


  12. Oh, god, this had me laughing! I, too, tend to be a “drop it where you used it” kind of guy, and I have a hard time finding my tools – luckily, the house isn’t that big, so whatever I’m looking for is usually in plain sight from some room or another.
    But I’m snickering at the idea that you’re sneaking home knife sharpeners and HIDING them. This would worry me if I lived with you – “oh, shit, she’s been sharpening the knives on the sly? Didn’t she just have me sign some insurance thing? How much am I worth dead, anyway?” As it is I’m careful to remind SOBUMD of my earning ‘potential’ as opposed to the purse on my life insurance policies…
    But I’m with you about the hammers. I have a couple small ones for SOBUMD and the kids, a few standard claws, and two Persuaders that I dearly love. Nothing solves a problem with the statisfaction of a hand-sledge!


    • I don’t think he’s too worried about the knives. I’m not really the “stabby/slashy” type. Blunt force, on the other hand… ah, you’re right, there are very few problems in life that can’t be solved with a bigger Persuader!

      He’s golden for a while, anyway. He just bought me a beautiful new 120-piece tool set. Love that man. 🙂


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