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Top Ten Non-Tools for a Tool Box

September 6th, 2009 · 8 Comments · Random Stuff

Every blogger should have a “random stuff” category. I know I am the Trade Show Guru, and you expect to read about trade show marketing here, but sometimes I get brain freeze on the subject of trade show marketing, and need to write about something else (actually, regular readers will know that this happens more often than just “sometimes”). Anyway, this is one of those times, and this is one of those list posts that bloggers love to write and people love to read, or so it is said.

I was working on the zip line out back that I built for my kids and needed a tool out of my tool box. Every good tool box has the basic tools: a hammer, a big screw driver, an adjustable wrench, vice grips, etc, plus enough other tools to make the tool box extremely heavy and difficult to move. But as I was rummaging through my tool box I realized that in addition to the many tools in it, there was also a blog post in it as well, figuratively speaking of course… Looking at the contents of my toolbox, I realized, as any Mr. Fix-It will know, a good toolbox will also have some very important “non-tools”. Here’s my list of the Top Ten Non-Tools for a Tool Box.

The Trade Show Guru’s
Top Ten “Non-Tools” for a Tool Box

1. A roll of duct tape. Duct tape is the ultimate McGyver tool, or non-tool. Very few things can not be fixed if you have a big enough roll of duct tape.

2. Bailing wire. If there is a runner-up for the ultimate McGyver tool, it would have to be a roll of bailing wire. Of course you want to make sure your tool box has a pair of wire cutters also.

3. A can of WD-40 (that isn’t empty).

4. A pocket knife. Preferably an old folding buck knife, passed down thorough at least two generations, with a story behind it. Of course, you also need to carry a pocket knife in your pants, and have one in your junk drawer in the kitchen. You can basically never have too many pocket knives.

5. Superglue. There is a reason it has the word “super” in it. Just be careful not to glue your fingers together.

6. Bandaids. In the event you do glue your fingers together, and then have to cut them apart with your pocket knife (see #4). In the event you run out of bandaids, you can always use a little bit of duct tape (see #1).

7. Cable ties. Nylon cable ties, not the cheap plastic ones.

8. A small bottle of Tri-Flow Superior Lubricant with Teflon. Amazing for fixing squeaky hinges, as well as oiling bicycle chains.

9. A pencil. Preferably the style that can be sharpened with a knife, such as the buck knife (see #5).

10. Several pieces of scrap paper (see #9). Useful for jotting down notes and measurements, as well as that brilliant widget idea that is destined to make you a millionaire.

Four additional bonus “runner up” non-tools:

11. Four or more random keys on a keychain (such as a house key, car key, or bike lock key). It is critical that you have no memory of what any of the keys are for. One day, one of the keys may prove to be critical! Never throw away anything!

12. A combination bottle opener/cork screw… in anticipation of a job well done, or to help you think about how to do a job, it’s important to have the means to open a bottle.

13. Chuck Norris – for those jobs that nothing else can take care of…

14. Condoms -Before you start thinking the condoms are for that, click the link. You learn something new every day.

A big thanks to the good people at the MultiTool Forum that provided suggestions and inspiration for this post, and especially to the Duct Tape Hero there for enlightening me on alternative uses for condoms.

So is there a non-tool that you think should have made my Top Ten Non-Tools for a Tool Box list but didn’t? Leave me comment and let me know.


8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Will // Sep 6, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    I once tried to keep Chuck in the toolbox but he would get upset every time I closed the top and I got tired of having to buy new toolboxes.

    And as to your link on #14. The first listing on “Other uses of condoms include”, makes me think that I now know more than I need to about this subject.

    That multi tool forum is something else. I would never have thought it would be so active and popular. “253,373 Posts in 12,882 Topics by 1,468 Members.” Amazing! That is an average of 174 posts per member although of course it is unevenly spread among the members. Several of the non-moderator, “normal”, using the word loosely, members have thousands of posts. Some people have too much free time indeed!

  • 2 The Trade Show Guru // Sep 6, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    hi Will,
    I hadn’t thought about the logistics of getting Chuck to stay in the tool box. Good point! 🙂
    I took closer look at the wikipedia page on other uses for a condom, and several are a bit disturbing and could fall into that category of “more than I want to know”. But if you read the last “other use”, it is “Condoms are used as a one-way valve by paramedics when performing a chest decompression in the field.” Nothing wrong with saving someone’s life!
    And finally, MultiTool is probably one of the most active forums I’ve seen. And if you post enough in it, I think you earn the designation of “member of the No Life Club”. ~ Steve

  • 3 Todd Morris // Sep 7, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Hey Steve,

    I’ve got one for you.

    Since I still haven’t achieved my goal of having enough money that I can always buy furniture which somebody else has put together; from time to time as I’m sitting on the floor with my latest Chinese made wally world puzzle; I’ve found an essential “non-tool” to be …

    One of those little stress balls, that I can squeeze in the hope that it will distract me from using some of the words I wouldn’t be too thrilled about having my 1 year old daughter (who is started to mimic) repeat. 😀

    Keep havin FuN!

  • 4 The Trade Show Guru // Sep 7, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    hi Todd, LOL on putting together the “wally world puzzle”. I hear you brother. But that’s were a big hammer really comes in handy, as well as a roll of duct tape for when you realize those two pieces really WEREN’T meant to go together. And then I suppose a stress ball would come in handy! Thanks for dropping by! ~ Steve

  • 5 Will // Sep 9, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Hey Todd – I have been in that same position, sometimes having to improvise to get whatever it is put together. And I am VERY skilled at that sort of thing. I have been building furniture and stuff my whole life. Years ago I even had a jpb where people paid us to go to their house and assemble stuff they had bought.

    Sometimes when assembling something now, I end up wondering if I am having trouble, what is the average person going to do?

  • 6 Rudy // Sep 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I’ve used condoms for “Dual Waterproof Firing Assemblies.” — NOT.

  • 7 The Trade Show Guru // Sep 19, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    hi Rudy,
    I’m not sure what “Dual Waterproof Firing Assemblies” are… but I’m pretty sure I’d blow my fingers off if I was playing with them, so I’ll leave that to someone else! Thanks for dropping by! ~ Steve

  • 8 Jeremy // Feb 20, 2015 at 9:54 am

    I’d add a flashlight in there, just in case you need to tinker with something in the dark.

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