From Your Handyman: What to Use If You Do Not Have a [Insert Tool Here]

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Any amateur or professional handyman requires a set of tools to get their work done, but what are you supposed to do if you lose a tool or it breaks? Stop what you are doing until you can get a replacement? No! Here is what to do if you happen to lose access to your drill, hammer, screwdriver, or wrench.


If you are attempting to drill a hole into some plastic, you can simply heat a sharp piece of copper and hold that piece of copper over where you want the hole to be. The copper will quickly melt the plastic, so be sure to keep a close eye on it. Alternatively, if you have a tool called a brace, you can apply pressure to the top of it and rotate the bit to mimic the motion of a drill. Finally, an out-of-the-box solution that any amateur handyman would appreciate is self-drilling screws. You can find these at your local hardware store, and you can use a simple screwdriver to put them in place.


If you find yourself without a hammer, you are actually in luck because this is the easiest tool for which you can find a substitute. An easy alternative to using a hammer is to use a rock. Different types of rocks are suitable for different activities that you may partake in as an amateur handyman. A flat rock is often considered to be “all-purpose” because you can use it to hammer nails into wood and put together furniture. A long flat rock is great for those times when you are having trouble reaching the nail you are trying to hammer in, such as hammering tacks into the wall near the ceiling. Finally, you can also use a slightly rounded rock when you are trying to hang up a photo because the rounded edges protect your gripping hand from getting smashed by the rock.


If you are working as an amateur handyman and taking something apart that needs screws removed and you do not have a screwdriver, you have a few options. To remove most Phillips or flathead screws, you can insert a coin, a butter knife, or even your thumbnail (be sure not to break it!) into the screw and twist them to remove it. If these methods prove to be unsuccessful, you can also melt the end of a plastic toothbrush, insert the melted end into the screw head, and wait for it to harden. Then, you will have a sturdy, custom-made tool that you can use to remove a screw.


For removing a nut and bolt, using a wrench is definitely going to be a handyman’s first choice. Yet, if one is not available, there are still a few other household items you can use to complete the task. The first item you can use is duct tape! Rip off a piece of strong duct tape, tear that piece in half lengthwise, and wrap a part of it around the nut while leaving a ‘tail’. Pull the tail in the direction the nut is supposed to go, and it should loosen. You can also use this same method with a zip tie! Tie the zip tie around the nut as tightly as possible, then use the tail to pull the nut loose. Finally, if you are in a real pinch and do not have many tools to choose from, you can use two coins. Grip each of those coins between the knuckles of your index and middle fingers, then twist the nut as hard as you can.

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