There is a Tom at Pro Tool Reviews. He’s a contractor. A professional tool guy. He can rattle off specs of the latest DeWalt or Milwaukee driver from memory. He wrote that review that made you smile or curse. He’s the one that you can aim like a gun. “Hey, Tom, that guy over there? He’s thinking of buying a new toolbox and needs suggestions.” Two hours later, Tom’s happily beginning the second of four “must have’s” of toolboxes as you laugh over in the corner. Tom’s a great guy. Very useful. You should meet him.
I’m not that Tom.
I’m the guy that will look at a name and snicker when everyone else doesn’t see it. After School Special? Snicker. Information for Financial Aid Professionals? Guffaw. Interior Updates and Design. I’m rolling. Intestinal Worm Assessment, Negation, and Knowledge? Okay, stop. You’re killing me.
When the Pro Tool Reviews guys came up with the idea of a tool review magazine and website that was created by professionals for professionals, they needed a name. Pro Tool Reviews was what they came up with. But, before they’d put pen to paper, they came to me.
“Hey, Other Tom.”
They don’t like to mix me up with the useful Tom.
“What do you think of the name ‘Pro Tool Reviews’?”
I didn’t laugh at the name so it stuck.
But I’m not completely without my uses. I’m also the guy that breaks things. You have a friend just like me. He calls you up and tells you he’s got a project that he’s started and just needs a little help on. You come over thinking you’re in for thirty minutes or so and then it is on to beers and pizza. What you find makes you wish you’d brought your heavy duty reciprocating saw and a blow torch.
Or maybe dynamite.
So that’s me. Other Tom. They don’t often send me tools. When they do, it’s to see if I can find out what can go wrong.
So why did the PTR guys, admittedly fine writers in their own right, ask for me to do this back page column?
Because I make them laugh. I don’t look at tools the same way they do. They think about RPMs and torque and battery life. I think about whether or not it will cut, drill, or chop through a plastic cutting board. I look at the model number and wonder why manufacturers seem to think that putting an ‘X’ in there will convince us that it is somehow better than the others.
You know, just like how the XFL was better than the NFL.
The Tool Fool’s Stool is about finding the funny in the world of tools. There is a lot of it out there. No one is as excited about finding it and pointing it out as I am. Let the games begin.
Of course, in the end, what is important is that TFS doesn’t spell out something dirty.