Garrett Wade

Unusual hand tools

This is my favorite source for hard to find tools. Garrett Wade has been around since 1975 as a mail order company selling fancy woodworking tools, but in recent years they offer a marvelous selection of hand and speciality tools of all types. They still have the best selection for wood planes and the classic woodworking stuff, but it’s their stock of cool and unusual pliers and saws and drill bits and fantastically weird clamps that make it worth a visit. The modern version of the Yankee screwdriver is a Garrett Wade bestseller. In general their prices are on the high side compared to say discounters like Harbor Freight, but quality is usually up a notch as well (and their prices seem better on the web). They produce a paper catalog, which some folks like. Often a great idea begins with the possibilities suggested by the existence of a tool.

-- KK 08/10/09



Woodsman's Pal With Leather Handle
Standard US Army issue since 1941. Weighs less than 1-1/2 lbs. If you only work one-handed, this will feel like an extension of your arm.


Very Special Pliers
A modeler's sail rigger tool so unusual, it is really useful for everyone
Imagine having to reach into a very tight space in order to grab something small. Ordinary grippers will be useless, but this unusual tool has its hinge placed way down at the end of a 3" long bent arm. The small mouth opens up 1/4" and will grab whatever you need to retrieve. You'll soon find yourself reaching for it in a variety of situations, and will be mighty glad you have it. Made in India.


Pro Half-Moon Ratcheting Wrench
Professional mechanic's tools. Unique half-moon shape makes it easy to reach around obstructions. And the fine tooth action needs as little as 5° of movement. Has dual access reversing levers. Reach is 4-1/2 to 9-1/2". The 8 SAE sizes are 3/8" to 7/8", and the 10 Metric sizes are 10 to 22mm.


Heavy Duty Nail Pullers
An old standby - and still great today
This serious tool is a huge time and worksaver, and one you simply don't see around much anymore. When you need it, though, it's absolutely fantastic. It's basically a slide hammer with movable jaws. Position the jaws around the nail head and move the heavy sliding handle down briskly. The jaws dig around the nail head, and you can lever back on the 16" long handle to remove long nails quickly. It's for rough, quick work, so some crushing of the wood around the nail head is inevitable. Weighs 5 lbs.

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