It used to be that tools belonged to a realm only occupied by sweaty men with their testosterone and hair coming out of all kinds of places. Women didn’t tread those paths, for fear of werewolves, and, presumably, for a lack of an inviting color palette that included pinks of every variety. Presumably, since more and more women are remaining single longer and choosing to buy homes on their own, toolmakers have started to wise up, flooding the market with pink tools and toolkits.
Are these tools really necessary or even warranted?
Smaller Tools Exist…
The reality is that there have been smaller hammers, smaller pliers and more ergonomically designed tools as long as there have been major tool suppliers. After all, men don’t come in one size, there are small fellas and large ones and tools for every kind of guy in between.
So what’s the deal with pink tools? It’s primarily marketing hype. If you start to look at the brands that offer pink tools, by and large, they’re poorly made tools not designed to last. They’re cheap because they’re cheap and they’re pink because there’s a market for tools that women feel belong to them.
Skip the pink, if you need smaller tools, go to your local hardware store and try them out. Choose good tools, don’t choose them because they’re a particular color. There’s a whole paint department that can help you turn said tool pink if that’s how you want to go.
Choosing the Right Tools: Step By Step
Finding the right tool – for anybody – starts with a trip to the hardware store. Unless you’re really familiar with a brand and how it fits for you, buying a tool is just like buying a pair of boots. If you don’t try them out before you buy them, you may realize you’ve made a horrible mistake once you put a few miles on.
Obviously this won’t always work for all kinds of tools since they’re hardly likely to let you flip on a table saw in the middle of the tool department, but you can check out the demo models to see how it would be to work with said table saw.
Hand tools, which are what are by and large more likely to be part of the pink tool movement, are easy, though.
- Figure out what kind of tool you need. What’s the job? What’s the right tool for the job? Choosing the correct tool, not the tool that’s close enough or almost right, is where many people go wrong in their tool hunt. It leads to bad fits and poor results because it’s simply not the right tool.
- Approach the display and check out all the options in your price range. Don’t be scared to spend a little bit on a tool you’re going to use a lot – names like Dewalt are more expensive because they’ve got a reputation for longevity and warranties to back that up.
- Grip that tool like you’re going to use it. Are the pliers too wide? Are they too narrow? Do you feel that hammer slipping in your grip? Keep looking until you find what you need. If you can’t find what you need, you may have to get close. Choosing a tool slightly loose in your grip will give you room to add additional grip tape for a custom fit. You may see grip tape at your hardware store, but you can also pick it up at a sporting goods shop, especially if they sell baseball or softball bats. A rubberized texture will give you far better results than using Duct tape, though it can work in a pinch.
- Check the weight. Can you swing that hammer, carry around that power tool or move that table saw around without issue? You generally want some bulk when it comes to tools, both for increased power and stability, but there’s such a thing as too much weight. That can make it impossible for you to really use that tool effectively.
- Once you’re happy with the grip and the weight, take that tool home. If you want a pink tool, by all means, pick up some paint and do it up. You’ll know which tools are yours, that’s for sure. Some female contractors have reported that they find their tools walk off a lot less often if they’re painted in colors considered “feminine.”
The thing is, though, that women don’t specifically need pink tools, nor do men have to have tools that are too heavy or too big for their grips. Everybody needs the tools they need, that fit properly and weight the right amount. You’d never choose a bowling ball or a work shirt based on color alone, so why would you do that with tools?
Fit is everything, color is virtually meaningless.