Please Never Ever Assemble Something With the Tools That Came With It

That wrench that came in the flat pack doesn't deserve to be called a wrench. Do yourself a favor and go grab your real tools.

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Ezra Dyer

I really ought to know better by now.

A couple months ago I was trying to assemble a home , which came with its own 3/8-inch wrench and hex key to "help" with the installation. The tools, if one can even call them that, were such garbage that within minutes I'd rounded off a key nut and stripped a hex or two, rendering the rest of the assembly pointless. Granted, even if I'd successfully assembled the pull-up bar, I probably would have ripped apart an interior doorway the first time I tried to use it. So I count my blessings. But I still should have taken two minutes and retrieved my tools from the garage before I started assembling the thing.

You should do that every time, no matter what you're putting together, because no tools will ever be worse than the ones that come with the item you just bought. Keep that in mind when you're putting together the family's Christmas gifts, or assembling anything you just bought. Until DeWalt branches off into making ping-pong tables, that thing you're assembling is surely made by a company that doesn't know anything about tools. Nor do they care. So why would you use those tools, if you have a choice?

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Don’t do this to yourself.
Ezra Dyer

Case in point: Grandma got the kids a for Christmas. The game was packaged in a flat pack, so the task of assembly fell to me. The instructions didn't appear too daunting, and the plastic tray of nuts and bolts was modest compared to some of the flat-pack monstrosities I've tackled. So I gazed upon the flimsy, nearly two-dimensional wrench and stubby hex key and thought, "Well, I'm not going to bother going out to the garage to get real tools. That will take too long and this doesn't look very involved."

Cut to two hours later, as the wisp of a wrench flies out of my hand for approximately the 438th time and I utter oaths to make the saltiest Nantucket whaleboat captain blush with embarrassment. Enterprising convicts have made better tools out of bars of soap. And still I didn't go get my sockets. Because I kept thinking I was almost done. I wasn't.

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Actual tools.
Ezra Dyer

I don't know what was wrong with me. Those disposable 3-cent imitation tools are meant for people who've just had their Pop-a-Shot delivered to Disappointment Island in the South Pacific and don't have any other tools. Meanwhile, back in civilization, I could've used a sturdy ratchet and a 20-volt driver. Every step would have gone quickly. And easily. This is why I own tools in the first place. But, you know, they were all the way out in the garage.

So I used the included "tools." Which, if they were discovered in the mammoth-hide pocket of a mummified neolithic man, would cause scientists to reassess what we know about the timeline of human technological advancement. "Well, we thought that humans used tools by this point. But maybe not. That paper-thin thing is shaped like a wrench but we can't see how it would possibly function as one. Perhaps it's a talisman of some sort, or a kind of joke that we no longer understand. It appears to be sized for a 3/8-inch nut but the tolerances are so sloppy we assume it would barely grip anything and go flying off all the time. There's a strong chance this poor fellow died of frustration."

Long story short: I got the Pop-a-Shot assembled. And then I threw the tools in the recycling bin, where they belonged from the start.

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