Ikea Nail-Driving Utensil

Brilliant free knickknack

I am an engineer, so I admire the way Ikea consistently uses a small set of fastening systems, all suitable for untrained labor. Ikea has even invented this tiny plastic device to protect customers from smashing their fingers with tack hammers.

A pinch of the clever friction-grips opens a small crevice in this utensil, and it neatly grips any small nail. Place it against a wall, tap the nailhead, and the nail goes in quite straight. Remove it and you are ready to safely hang a picture. The ergonomics are brilliant, the understanding of process is good, the operative results are excellent, and many innocent fingers go unsmashed. A real triumph of Swedish design!

Best of all, this plastic utensil is so cheap that it’s as free as hotel matches. In fact, if you venture into Ikea and talk knowledgeably about Ikea things you have built, and then ask for them for fasteners, they will commonly hand them over for free. And they’re good components, too: you can build whatever you want. Please don’t wreck this good deal for the rest of us by abusing Ikea’s patience.

-- Zarko Vujovic 05/22/09

(Since Ikea is Ikea, this tiny plastic widget must surely have a cute Swedish name and some parts number, although it costs nothing. Does anyone know that data? Please tell me. Even "Ikeahacker" is stumped. -- BS — editors)

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