A Question From Wirecutter

Wirecutter at Knuckledraggin’ My Life Away asked a great question in the comments of my last post.

How many times have you bought something only to find out later that you already had one, still new in the bag, under a pile of valuable stuff?

The answer to that question, honestly, is “Not too many.” However, if the question was, “How many times have you bought something because even though you know you know you already own one you can’t find it?”, the answer would be lots of times.

I have an Estwing hammer. 20 oz. framing hammer. I really like it. I try to keep up with it. I know where it is right now, it’s on the floor of the truck on the passenger side along with my speed square and my nail pouch. I also have a decent rubber handled, steel shaft hammer from Tractor Supply. I bought it when I couldn’t find the Estwing. Looked high and low. Buying the second hammer brought the Estwing out out of hiding, that’s my theory.

I have at least three 25 foot tape measures. One is on the shelf outside the kitchen. One’s in the truck. The other is currently in the truck, too. It’s in the nail pouch. I’ve been using it at the dojo doing some work upstairs. The first one moved with me from South Carolina. It’s a Stanley, aluminum case, pretty beat up, has burn spots on it from welding. The other two are both replacements bought to replace the original when I could not find it.

Screwdrivers are like potato chips. Some upstairs, some in the truck, some in the tool box, some on the bench (yes that bench, the one I’m cleaning up tomorrow). I don’t look too long, I have enough now that some of them turn up.

Sockets, flashlights, allen wrenches, files, knives, etc., the only working solution I have to keep them out of hiding is to own enough of them.

The last thing I bought that really fits Wirecutter’s question is chainsaw chains. I thought I needed a couple of new ones. I went and bought them one afternoon. When I opened the truck box, I put the bag right on top of two new chains still in their boxes that I bought sometime last year.



4 thoughts on “A Question From Wirecutter

  1. I work on the theory of 'saturation'. Have enough of the item that natural random motion means search times will be shorter than they could otherwise be.

    IE: Pens. There's a reason they sell them in boxes of 60.

    Tape measures should come in six packs.

  2. Having been a contractor, I tended to buy tools in sets of 'two', so as to have one for the truck and one for the shop.
    So explain how I managed to end up with four table saws, three miter boxes and three circular saws, all in the same place.
    Borepatch- you only have two six foot mason's levels? (Gonna keep my mouth shut.)
    But my real purchase power goes to pliers. I cannot count the number of pliers I have- and probably couldn't find any more than the one on the multi-tool on my belt right now.
    Shy III

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