7 Of The Worst Home Tools

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Owning home tools that don’t work or cannot get the job done is beyond annoying. Unfortunately, many of these items find their way into your home as gifts and impulse buys. When cleaning out the junk in your garage and getting rid of what doesn’t work in your home, consider tossing these bad tools. When in the market for new tools, beware of gimmicks and listen to the advice of people who work with tools for a living. The following list features several of what could be considered the worst tools for or in your home.

Cheap Adjustable Wrenches

The wrench can be an irritating tool, and must frequently be used in cramped or awkward spaces. Adjustable wrenches are designed to make this tool easier to use, however, a cheap model can make this tool unusable. A poorly made adjustable wrench can slowly loosen while being used, making it ineffective. Only purchase a quality adjustable wrench from a recognized brand, preferably with a warrantee.

Foam Paint Edger

Many homeowners take on the DIY project of painting. The paint accessory and tool shelf at any home supply store is loaded with gadgets to help you achieve a professional look. However, many of these devices that claim to speed up a paint job may actually slow you down. Beware of anything that looks too easy, especially when it comes to painting. A foam painting edger is an example of why you may need to call in a professional. Foam does not work very well as a material for paint edging, frequently smears and paint often drips because the foam cannot hold it. Learning edging techniques with paintbrushes or using blue paint tape to form edges is the best way to achieve a professional paint job.

Banana Slicer

Working with food and knives is often tricky and potentially dangerous, making handy gadgets a plus in the kitchen. Unfortunately, useless tools that waste time and money are abundant. Take the banana slicer, for example. Rather than simply slicing your fruit with the average kitchen knife, why not spend $10 or more on a tool that only cuts one fruit?

Magnetic Stud Finder

Finding drywall screws in walls is important to finding a stud. A so-called great gadget to find studs is a magnetic stud finder. This gadget can be a complete waste of money because if it’s cheaply made, it will not work. The magnet is not strong enough to find nails, meaning if it’s not directly on top of a nail head or screw, you will not find the stud. Running this tool over every inch of your wall is a huge waste of time, and can damage paint if it’s rubbed against the wall frequently.

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Star Bolt Identifier

The next time you find yourself unable to correctly identify the size of a star bolt, you’re in luck. OEM brings you the 12 piece star bolt identifier, a key ring tool filled with plastic, replica star bolts. At just under $5, this tool may not cost you much, but the hassle of carrying around 12 pseudo-tools just to identify another is probably not worth the hassle.

Homo Sapien Kitchen Tool

Can’t handle a knife? Wish you could smash your food instead of slice it? Then the Homo Sapien multipurpose kitchen tool is for you. Looking incredibly similar like a roughly peeled potato, this rock-like kitchen tool can flatten, smash and grind things just like… a rock. While you can sharpen knives on it, dropping $80 for this useless caveman kitchen stone feels like a waste of money.

Lead-Detection Kits

Important to your health, lead-detection kits can be useful items to detect old lead paint in a home or rental. These inexpensive kits are available in home and building supply stores, but can be very difficult to use and are sometimes inaccurate. In addition, these kits may not work on dark paint, leaving you with a false reading, or none at all. Always consult an expert if you have concerns about lead paint in your home.

The next time you find yourself tempted by something that claims to make basic household chores a breeze, beware of cheaply made products and gadgets that are a waste of time and money. Always consult a professional and when it comes to home-improvement products, always keep in mind that a little sweat and patience will probably work better. If you still find yourself intrigued by the latest “As Seen On TV” product or hardware store impulse buy, check out customer reviews online to see if other customers have found their purchase too good to be true.

Last Updated: February 6, 2012
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About Sabina Dana Plasse Sabina Dana Plasse holds a bachelor's degree in history from Bucknell University, a master's in liberal arts from Johns Hopkins University and a master's in film and video from American University. She is an award-winning writer and editor living in Sun Valley, Idaho. Besides writing on fine arts, lifestyle, home and garden, entertainment, philanthropy and business, she enjoys teaching film and writing screenplays. Sabina has served as the arts and events editor and living writer for the Idaho Mountain Express newspaper, a twice weekly national award-winning newspaper serving Idaho's Wood River Valley. Sabina adores mountain town living where she is an active snowboarding, skier, mountain biker, hiker, supporter of the arts and an avid seeker of practical living ideas.  

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