Tools Of The Trade are chosen without thinking. Not the fix-it tools, but the “check it out” tools. Not knowing what is broken, I grab a few of the most common hand tools an amateur or professional can use when poking about the mechanical systems of a house or restaurant.
A 4-in-1 screwdriver. I’ve managed not to lose my Craftsman 6-in-1 for over a decade. Although well qualified for free replacement, with a shaft collar which pops out of the handle, I’ve refrained from enjoying Craftsman’s Lifetime Warranty. With occasional replacement of the reversible bits, the screwdriver has gotten me into problems and out of trouble countless times.
Channellock 430 pliers are perfectly sized for tightening compression nuts on a 1 ½” trap under most sinks. It doubles as a hammer. Punches holes through drywall with ease. A digging tool? You bet! Anything that needs squeezing, Channellocks will make quick work of it.
Lastly, a good flashlight. Some years ago this super-bright Surefire was gifted to me. Surefire has since developed brighter LED handlights, but the Executive E2E has proven both indestructible and handy. Small enough to conceal in a pocket, bright enough to expose the issue at hand, in the darkest of crawl spaces.
As the chain-smoking plumber taught me decades ago, I do know need to know what we are doing. “Plumbing” was often the only answer I’d receive. Whenever reprieve was given to hauling his 80 pound toolbox, it was in response to my question, “What do I need to bring?”