New TechShop Column: ‘Not a Prybar or Punch’
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Not a Prybar or Punch

This new column is written specifically for the auto technician, with a look at the lighter side of the job.

If auto technicians could adopt a motto, this would clearly be it. There’s probably no phrase that we see more often. It adorns the handle of most of our screwdrivers. But do we really pay attention to it?

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After all, how many of us can honestly say that we have never violated the rule? If you think about it, why don’t they make prybars in all those convenient sizes? And why don’t they make “pocket prybars”?

Furthermore, if it works like a punch, then it must be one, right? Come to think of it, they work pretty good as chisels, too. Since that’s the case, what’s the point of a punch and chisel holder? Does anybody really buy those? Afterall, it’s built right in to every single one of those tools that is, oddly enough, not a prybar or punch.

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I’ve often wondered, too, who came up with the phrase? Did they really want us to use the correct tools because they didn’t want us to get injured, or did a tool manufacturer just figure out how to side-step the warranty on a clearly mis-used tool?

I must hand it to tool dealers for putting up with all of the excuses that we as technicians have used over the years. “I don’t know what happened, it just snapped right off!” “I was barely twisting it!” “Somebody borrowed it and that’s the way I got it back.”

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If you want to catch a tool dealer off guard, just tell them straight up. “Yes, I was using it as a prybar.” Even with our abundance of creative excuses, most tool dealers shoot us an awkward glance, so we know that they know what kind of tall tale we have just told them, but they still warranty the screwdriver anyhow.

Maybe that’s also why they recommend to always wear safety glasses when using a screwdriver. They know we’re going to use it wrong!

If you’re wondering what this is all about, it’s just nice sometimes to have some fun and look at the lighter side of things. But this is also an introduction. “Not a Prybar or Punch” is a new column, written specifically for the auto technician.

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It’s not another how-to, tech tip or article about new tools. It’s about the things we see and deal with as a technician. Some stories are bizarre, some are funny, some are serious about the way we do business, but they’re all true, taken from real events or dealing with real situations from the field.

None of these will be too long, they’re intended as a quick read; something to pass the time while you’re waiting for the OK on a job, waiting for parts or waiting for that leftover slice of pizza to heat up for lunch.

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One thing we all have in common is we love to tell the stories that stem from the daily lunacy of our choice of career. So, enjoy these as they come, and if you’ve got a good story to tell, send it my way. It just might make it into the pages of TechShop.

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