The first tool set I can remember my parents bought me for Christmas when I was 5 years old. It amounted to an interesting looking wooden box and a set of about half a dozen tools mostly made of wood as I recall. They weren’t very functional but boy oh boy was I a happy kid.

Antique Brace and Bit Tool Set

My dad grew up on a farm and learned how to use tools to fix all kinds of things. As a young man he worked for his uncle building houses and eventually he became a tool & die maker.

I was fascinated watching my dad whenever he would open up his tool box and pick out a tool for the job at hand. I was particularly interested in a brace and bit tool set he would use on occasion.   Dad would pick out a bit just the right size and insert it in the brace and begin cranking.  Watching those chips curl out amazed me then and I still love to watch it on the rare occasion I take those trips down memory lane.

One day dad allowed me to try my hand at using his brace and bit set on some old scrap lumber.  I managed to drill a couple holes all the way through although they weren’t very round.  I didn’t have the weight or the strength to hold the brace stationary while cranking.

Wow, have things ever changed!

Tool & Die MakerEventually, as I began to grow my dad would give me a real tool out of his vast assortment until I had a modest set of my own.  And when I graduated from high school I entered an apprenticeship program to become a tool & die maker just like my dad.

For those of you who are not quite sure what a tool & die maker does, its a person trained to design and build tools, usually from metal using machining processes.  The tools a toolmaker makes aren’t hammers or screwdrivers.  A toolmaker makes tools such as dies, molds, jigs, and fixtures which are used to manufacture products.

In my career as a toolmaker I became proficient using metal working tools.  But because i’m one of those persons who insists on doing everything myself, I also developed various other skills such as wood working, auto and industrial mechanics, household electrical and gunsmithing.  Over the years I have accumulated a large collection of tool sets for each of those categories that enable me to do just about any kind of job around the house.  These tool sets are my prized possessions and have made otherwise difficult tasks easier.

My dad used to say “you can never have too many tools!”  I believe my dad was right.

With my background I have developed a unique perspective when it comes to selecting the best tool for the job.  I can usually recognize a well-designed tool just by looking at it.  I know what type of material it should be made of to perform well and last.

Why Purchase a Tool Set?

Purchasing a single tool for a one-time job makes financial sense.  But, when the job calls for multiple sizes or variations, a tool set, combo, or kit is the smart choice, especially if you anticipate needing the tools for future jobs.

Fortunately for the professional tradesman and the skilled DIY’er ( Do it Yourself-er) there are tool sets and kits for just about any job you can imagine.   From socket sets to tap and die sets, if there is a need for it you can just about bet there is set of tools designed for that need.

I have decided to pass along my knowledge and experience with tools with the hope it will save you time and money and so you end up with a tool set you will be proud to own.


William Marcus