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The Right Tool Expdient Tools


If there's a universal truth among mechanics, be they marine, automotive or heavy equipment practitioners, it's "use the right tool for the job." Second only to "measure twice and cut once," this could be the standard mantra of shop teachers everywhere.

If you've ever tried to remove old cooling-system hoses from a marine engine, you know how difficult this job can be. Ambient heat literally bakes the life out of hoses. As a result, a hose that was once supple turns as hard as a rock, and more often than not, it's seemingly welded in place. If nothing in your toolbox seems to work, don't feel you're alone. Mechanics I have interviewed admitted to using everything from hunting knives, hacksaws, screwdrivers and wedges to a small, black-powder charge. But there is a privileged elite that knows of an easier way to force a hose to loosen its metal-fused grip. Simply put, these mechanics use the right tool.

This special tool looks something like a long screwdriver, only instead of a slot edge or Phillips tip, its business end is shaped like an ice pick that's bent at a right angle. It works its magic when you jam the point deep under the hose and run it all around the inside circumference. Admittedly, the procedure requires a little wrist strength, but it only takes a minute to complete and eliminates the likelihood of baptizing the job with your blood when the wrong tool slips under pressure. This no-name tool is available at automotive parts stores and from Snap-On Tool distributors. Your toolbox shouldn't be missing this one.