Do You Recognize These 13 Obscure Tools?

Specialty Implements
an adze stuck in a block of wood

Everyone knows the basic tools to use around the house—hammers, drills, saws, and so on—but an entire world of tools exists out there you may not even be aware of. Can you name these obscure tools along with their uses?

1. Stork Beak Pliers
beak nose pliers with long grips that bend down

These pliers resemble traditional pliers but have a skinny tip that bends down like a bird's beak. This shape allows them to reach into small holes to grab little parts. Very handy!

2. Cape Chisel
wilde cape chisel

This intimidating small tool looks like something a dentist would use, but this chisel is quite useful for fine woodworking projects, and its pie slice top can cut hardened dirt, debris, paint or rust out of another narrow chisel.

3. Egg Beater Drill
an old fashioned drill with manual, circular handle

Similar to a traditional egg beater, this tool is a battery free drill. Where does it get its power? From you! They're a bit of a throwback, but they're both fun to use and reliable.

4. Ball-End Glass Cutter
a metal tool with a fork like shape on one end and a ball at the other

The small wheel on the end is used to score glass, while the other end, which boasts a ball, is tapped along the cut line. Finally, the break-out notches snap the glass clean.

5. Adze
a pointed, axe like tool on a white background

An adze is a simple tool made up of a sharpened piece of metal attached to a wooden handle, making it useful for carving and shaping wood. In olden-timey days, these were used for myriad tasks—from creating beams out of tree trunks to hollowing out bowls. Nowadays, adzes are used for woodworking and gardening projects. 

6. Cartridge Puller
a metal, corkscrew like device on a white background

Yanking the cartridge from your faucet to repair a pesky leak can be a cumbersome task. That’s where a cartridge puller comes in. This is a hand-held mechanism that’s lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to use. If you find yourself DIYing a lot of plumbing repairs, this is a must have in your toolbox.

7. Stubby Nail Eater
wide looping drill bit

Thanks to this tool, you can easily bore through lumber, even when nails are in the way. This short tool can fit in tight spots, and its tough construction is made to chew through nails that act as roadblocks, spitting them out as you go.

8. Inflatable Shim
airshim inflatable shim

Resembling the blood pressure tester you see at a doctor’s office, this useful device can help position windows or doors while you work on a project such as aligning cabinets, leveling appliances. The gentle support it offers reduces the risk of leaving scuff marks behind in the process.

9. Torpedo Level
a small leveling tool tapered on both ends

While most DIYers have a level in their toolbox, they may not have one of these clever contraptions. Tapered on each end, these levels are small—no longer than a foot long in length in most cases. They sport vials that indicate plumb, level, and 45 degrees, and their unique shape makes them convenient for use in small spaces. You can even get this tool with magnetic edges, which is helpful when working with metallic construction elements.

10. Tailpipe Cutter
tailpipe cutter that looks like clippers with a bike chain attached

This tool is essentially a combination between a chain wrench and pipe cutter. The chain wraps around a tailpipe and locks in place. Turning the device several times will cause the pipe cutting wheels to sever the excess length of metal.

11. Knee Blades
plastic and foam knee pads with wheels

This tool is all about convenience and comfort. Many DIY projects or repairs require you to sit on your knees for quite some time. Knee blades are like roller blades for your knees, giving them a more comfortable place to rest and the ease of moving around as you work.

12. Halligan Bar
a multi-purpose metal halligan bar tool on carpet

Halligan bars are commonly used by people like firemen or rescue workers. They’re also good for demo projects. Usually these are made of high carbon steel, these powerful implements are typically three to four feet in length and pretty hefty, weighing in at 12 to 14 pounds.

13. Darby
darby concrete smoother tool with two handles

Designed to easily smooth plastering or concrete, a darby typically features two handles on a flat plate with slightly lipped edges. This tool is most usually used in the final stages of wall and floor coatings and is appreciated for its ability to efficiently flatten out large areas.