Improvements to basic hand tools such as the wrench, screwdriver and hammer make it easier to do-it-yourselfers to do it themselves.
On The Early Show Tuesday, "Rent-a-Husband" Kaile Warren showed Dave Price how far those items have come.
All the tools he displayed sell for less than $30 and enable users to work smarter, not harder, as he put it.
He not only pointed out the changes, he showed the proper way to use each tool, which is important for both convenience and safety.
The key to selecting the best hand tool, Warren says, is finding one that'll do much of the work. That means finding tools with good balance and handles that fit your grip comfortably.
A wrench is a tool that's usually operated by hand, and is made for tightening or loosening bolts, nuts or anything that needs to turn. Solymon Merrick patented the first wrench on Aug. 17, 1835. The British call the wrench a "spanner."
The physics of the wrench are that it works as lever. There are notches at the mouth for ripping. The wrench is pulled at a right angle to the axes of the lever-action and the bolt or nut. "Crescent" wrenches have mouths that can be tightened to better fit various objects that need turning.
A "socket" wrench has a hollow cylinder that fits over one end of a nut or bolt head. It may include a handle, but is usually used with various drive tools. It generally has either a six-point or 12-point recess, may be shallow or deep, and may have a built-in universal joint.
In addition, face driving sockets are available. These are more durable still, and have the ability to drive a range of hexagonal head sizes, with less risk of damaging the nut or bolt head than traditional "corner" drivers. The benefit of a socket wrench is that once you've placed the cylinder over a nut, tightening is made simple by the ratcheting motion of the tool's handle.
Newer wrenches also feature ratcheting heads, which will enable a standard wrench to act as a socket wrench. There is also a variation of the crescent wrench available from Black & Decker. It's called the automatic adjustable wrench. With the push of a button, the tool automatically adjusts to the size of the nut, making it great for those with dexterity issues.