When it comes to being useful around the house, I can do basic repairs. I come from a family of carpenters and mechanics, so I am fairly handy around the house. I used to be able to do basic auto repairs until the car started computerizing all their systems. I have the basic tools I need for around the house: hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches, socket wrenches, and assorted power tools.

However, if you do enough home and auto repairs, you eventually will need a very specialized tool that isn’t available on the market, or perhaps doesn’t even exist. For example, sometimes I would have to pry something open, but a crowbar or a screwdriver was too thick to squeeze in. However, a table knife, but not a steak knife, would do the job. Sometimes, a paper clip would fit right in a small circular hole that no other tool could. And, of course, there’s my favorite! A wire coat hanger! I’ve used it as a car antenna that received very good reception. A hanger is also good for reaching into places where your hand and arm won’t fit; you can shape it so it will go directly to where you’re aiming. Coins also help in some situations because they come in different sizes and I will find one that will my needs.

What other objects have you used as tools when an existing tool wouldn’t do the job?