Do You Know If This Tool Is Used by a Carpenter, a Plumber, an Electrician, or Someone Else?
By: Zoe Samuel
Image: Ozgur Donmaz / Photodisc / Getty Images
About This Quiz
These days, a lot of our devices just keep getting more complicated. Our phones are actually more powerful than the computers the Apollo astronauts had at their disposal when they went to the moon. Our cars are so full of advanced electronics that anything more complex than replacing a tire or changing the oil is generally beyond the average person's capability.
That's why it's so lovely that some devices don't change so quickly. The tools of carpentry in particular are so old that you could recognize version of them from thousands of years ago. Plumbing is somewhat newer (though the Romans had under-floor heating using hot water in pipes), but the basics haven't really shifted a lot since the Victorian era, when indoor plumbing became common in modern homes. Electricians have to update what they do as fire codes and other regulations change, but even as the source of the energy that lights our homes may change - from coal, to oil, to natural gas, to nuclear and these days, to solar - the basics of what makes a circuit work are as they ever were. That means the outlines of the tools don't shift so quickly.
All of this means you'd know their tools if you saw them... or would you?
Who uses this device to heat metal so that it can be bent?
It's not impossible that a carpenter or electrician might need some metal bent, but they generally wouldn't do it themselves. A plumber, on the other hand, will have a blowtorch in order to be able to bend smaller pipes by first softening them.
Who uses this long rod with a hook on the end, and what is it called?
Plumber; a fish hooker.
Electrician; a fish stick.
Sometimes you need to find a cable in an area you cannot see into, or pull it through a space too small for your hands. This fish stick is designed to let you pull the cable where you cannot reach or see.
This is the tool of an electrician. It is for cutting through copper cables. What's clever about it is the ratchet system whereby you can move it tigher one click at a time, without worrying that it will slip.
Electrician; because you can't always turn all the circuits on and off until you find the right one!
It's easy to turn all your own circuit breakers off until you isolate the right one, but you can't do that in an office building. This device helps you figure out which one isn't working without making potentially hundreds of people mad at you!
Plumber; because water and electricity do not mix.
Electrician; because they can't work on a circuit that is on.
This nail gun is a very dangerous tool in the wrong hands! It can shoot a nail deep into wood - though it could probably also go into an electrical circuit or scratch up your sink, a carpenter is the only person you want using it near you!
Who uses this device for smoothing the insides of pipes, and what is it called?
Electrician; a deburrer
Plumber; a deburrer
This device is called a deburrer. It's designed to smooth out the surface of metal objects. Deburring is a major cost in manufacturing, and if your pipes are not properly deburred, you will get blockages all the time.
This is actually not a carpenter's tool, though it looks like one as it is a saw. A reciprocating saw is largely used to cut conduit, which as we've seen is used to trail cables or bundles of cables around buildings.
Who uses this device that dislodges simple blockages?
This is a plunger, of course - we're giving you an easy one to reward you for your performance so far! A plumber uses this to break up and dislodge basic blockages. It's something you should own and know how to use, as it will spare you a lot of misery.
Who uses this device to ensure smooth ends on their work, and what is it called?
Electrician; a reamer
There are tubes in your building that carry electrical wires about the place, called conduit. If you cut them with regular tools, you can end up with jagged and thus dangerous edges. A reamer will ensure this doesn't happen.
Who uses this enormous hammer, and what is it called?
Carpenter; a wallhammer
Stonemason; a sledgehammer
This is not for carpenters, electricians or plumbers. It's for someone else; a stonemason or other type of craftsman who needs to take out a section of wall. He may well be working with all the others, though!
Who uses these device with a laser on either end, and what it is called?
Plumber; two point laser
Electrician; two point laser
This is a great device to help you figure out where to put say, a light fixture, when you can't mark up the ceiling easily. You map it on the floor and use the laser to show you where to put your circuitry.