OldNFO added this as a comment on one of my posts.
It used to be said that what separates us from the animals is our ability to use tools. They no longer say that, as there are some animals that do use tools, it is still a good differentiator.
It is all well and good to have a tool, but if you don’t know how to use it, it is just about worthless.
My mother gave me a reproduction “coffee grinder” many years ago. It was based on a brass coffee grinder from the area of Turkey. It is a brass cylinder about 10 inches tall, 2 inches in diameter. There is a crank on the top with a grind adjustment nut.
The reason it is a reproduction is that they didn’t have coffee bean burrs but instead pepper burrs. At the time, most people either had expensive coffee grinders or electric grinders. Almost nobody was grinding coffee manually.
On the other hand, it was, and is, a beautiful pepper grinder. For the last 20 years ago, it was forced into service as a coffee grinder. About 15 years ago, it was taken out of service because we had some superb manual coffee grinders.
All of which takes us to Thanksgiving. I make a wild rice, sausage, and Cognac soaked raisin dressing. It needed some pepper. We have a nice pepper grinder for the table, but it is slow to use. I had cleaned the “coffee grinder” a year or so ago.
It was time to put the tool back in production. I did, it worked perfectly. The family was informed that it was ready to use.
The next day, my wife went to make breakfast and grabbed the “pepper grinder” and cranked. The pepper doesn’t come out because there is a catch cup in place.
She can’t figure out how to take the catch cup off. She ends up using the black pepper from a can.
She didn’t know how to use the tool.
I’m willing to bet that each and every one of us have tools we don’t know how to use. There is only one way to know that you know how to use a tool. That is, to use it for the purpose for which it is intended.
I have a suture kit. I don’t know how to use. I could learn. That tool isn’t for me, it is for properly trained medical personnel that don’t have gear.
There is a MIG wielder in the shop, as AvE says, “a grinder and paint makes me the wielder I ain’t”. I should run beads for a few hours, but I never take the time to do so.
I have an internal threading tool I’ve never used. I really should, just to prove to myself I can cut internal threads.
Please take the time to put some tool you own that you don’t know how to use (well enough) in the comments. Maybe take a moment to decide to learn how to use some tool.
It is always better to know how to use something and not need to do so, than to need to know how to do something and having to learn when time is tight/short.