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Forum topic by MattB101 posted 06-19-2015 05:29 PM 2624 views 0 times favorited 71 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 2050 days

06-19-2015 05:29 PM

In your shop, how long do you search for a missing tool before you say the heck with it and buy another one. Obviously this doesn’t apply so much to power tools, stationary or otherwise but, small hand tools. You know drill bits, wrenches, screwdrivers and that kind of stuff. I find myself doing it quite often as I don’t have a lot of patience. Usually I will find it when I finally clean up the garage/shop. I think I have 15 1/2” wrenches and at least two of every kind of screwdriver I can think of. I lose screwdrivers so often that my wife gives them to me every Christmas.
Just curious if I was a loner in this (I hardly think so) and would like to hear from others. Also what’s the biggest tool you ever bought for this reason.

71 replies so far

View Bill1974's profile


158 posts in 3962 days

#1 posted 06-19-2015 05:54 PM

I lose utility knives and tape measures. Most other tools i have learned to put away in the same spot or I have enough of that i don’t notice them missing.

View DalyArcher's profile


147 posts in 2096 days

#2 posted 06-19-2015 05:58 PM

I buy pencils by the caseload. I have never been able to keep track of pencils even when I am wearing a toolbelt on a jobsite. I built a wall station for my coffee grinder pencil sharpener, holds 20 pencils easy. I couldn’t find a pencil last night anywhere in my small shop.

I should buy pilot size drill bits by the gross as well, seems I loose them after every use. I couldn’t find my favourite countersink a while back, bought a new one, which I do not like near as much as my old one. Found my original a month later in the bottom drawer of my trim tote.

I live in a small, northern BC community, quality specialized tools are hard to find around here. I honestly do not think I could go to the store and get a cabinet scraper today. If I have to replace a tool, it is likely Lee Valley mail order, so I will put in a good, solid effort to hunt it down.

View TheFridge's profile


10861 posts in 2463 days

#3 posted 06-19-2015 06:07 PM

I’ll wait till I find whatever I’m looking for. I’ll usually find it in the yard where the kids last played.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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Gerald Thompson

1269 posts in 3211 days

#4 posted 06-19-2015 07:15 PM

All of my tools are “Missing.” I almost never know where any hand tool is.

-- Jerry

View MakerofSawdust's profile (online now)


38 posts in 3593 days

#5 posted 06-19-2015 07:35 PM

I think it’s directly related to how far you live from the tool store. If Lowe’s is only 1 minute away, then don’t spend more than 1 minute looking.

-- - Kevin from Cincinnati. All my work is guaranteed: Three minutes or three feet; whichever comes first.

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 2401 days

#6 posted 06-19-2015 07:52 PM

I am pretty organized and my tool boxes are well labeled.

Like you though, it is the safety glasses, reading glasses, pencils, and tape measurers that I misplace quite often during a project. Rarely do I actually lose something for good. I know it is time to clean up when I have to go back in the garage for a spare tape measurer, glasses, or pencil. Yep, find them every time during clean up.

-- Brad, Texas,

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262 posts in 2572 days

#7 posted 06-19-2015 08:06 PM

Rarely :)

It took me forever to learn this but now that I have life is better.

Organized and messy people are both lazy. It’s just that organized people are lazy on the back end of things and messy people are lazy on the front end.

Keep things simple, manage what you have, make ease a priority in life (sometimes it takes money but a lot of times it doesn’t, either way it’s well worth it), if it’s a hobby it should be fun(looking for tools is not fun, fix it), if it’s for business you should be making stuff(looking for stuff doesn’t make you money, fix it).

I’m not super anal about organization but it is a good thing to learn. Oh and organization is something that is learned like a habit and not something people are born with so it’s something everyone is capable of.

View hotbyte's profile (online now)


1023 posts in 3952 days

#8 posted 06-19-2015 08:27 PM

I mostly look until I find them…usually find them in the last place I look :)

View lateralus819's profile


2243 posts in 2866 days

#9 posted 06-19-2015 08:34 PM

I lose pencils a lot. I have probably 50 or so in the shop ready to go ha.

Since I built my big tool cabinet I don’t misplace stuff a lot. I’m getting better at putting stuff back after I use it.

I’m super anal about picking up/putting away tools at work while I’m working. I just don’t practice it at home cause I don’t have to.

View Kazooman's profile


1540 posts in 2929 days

#10 posted 06-19-2015 10:01 PM

Man, I hear you! The manual and the tee-handle Allen wrench for my DeWalt DW735 are among the missing. I keep all of that sort of stuff in one place. I have the original manuals for every piece of equipment in my shop, except this one. Where it went is a real mystery. In the past year or two I have donated my old Delta contractor saw and Delta planer to some friends who are trying to set up their shops while raising some kids. They were both amazed that I had all of the original manuals, safety warning cards, wrenches, set-up jigs, etc. However, the manual for my planer is among the missing. I have looked MANY times, to no avail. Fortunately we have the Internet and I was able to download a copy. Now if I could just download a new Allen wrench. I will have to buy one to make my planer whole again.

View splatman's profile


585 posts in 2376 days

#11 posted 06-20-2015 12:16 AM

Here’s another for pencils going MIA/AWOL. Sharpies are a close second.
I used to misplace utility knives (and buy a new one every time, then find them all), now I just keep one in every place I use one.
Anyone misplace a wheelbarrow? I have.

Now if I could just download a new Allen wrench.
- Kazooman

Soon, that will be possible.

View Andre's profile


4136 posts in 2783 days

#12 posted 06-20-2015 12:41 AM

Misplaced my 2 1/2” Lufkin square a couple of weeks ago, looked everywhere no luck ordered a new one this morning and guess what showed up in the afternoon. Guess that is why I have at least 2 of everything LOL!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View runswithscissors's profile


3128 posts in 3002 days

#13 posted 06-20-2015 01:05 AM

Around here we have the “mystical conveyor belt.” Anything goes missing, it’s on the belt. Sooner or later (when you’re not looking for it), it comes around.

We were unpacking boats and loading up the van after a kayaking trip in Baja, and my wife borrowed somebody’s Swiss army knife. She asked everybody if they’d seen it. “En su mano,” said one of the Mexicans, pointing to her hand. And of course that’s where it was.

My biggest frustration is losing a tool I had in my hand 30 seconds ago. I’ve learned that if I want to find an item again within a reasonable period of time, I have to consciously say, “Okay, I’ve set the tape measure on the bench vice.” That usually works. It’s when I’m distracted that I don’t pay attention, and the penalty for that is frustration and plenty of self imprecation involving all the bad words I know.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View MrUnix's profile


8363 posts in 3176 days

#14 posted 06-20-2015 01:12 AM

In your shop, how long do you search for a missing tool before you say the heck with it and buy another one.

I’ll just keep looking until I find it… because I know if I don’t, it will show up the minute I get home with a new one. Would most likely be different if I actually got paid for the stuff I make though :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View jesinfla's profile


275 posts in 2115 days

#15 posted 06-20-2015 01:37 AM

Problem form me is I put my tape measure, pencil, screw driver or whatever down – turn around to do something and forgot where I put it – I will spend a lot of time looking if I have to since I already have 2 of everything and not really interested in buying a 3rd of everything.

My biggest problem now is I got an apron and keep forgetting to put my tools, tape measure, pencils etc in my pockets LOL

-- They said I could be anything... So I became Sarcastic! They also said making drawers is easy... I think they lied :(

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