Like some of the guys I run with, I’m finding more women who love tools—but it’s a rare treat when you find one that will enjoy talking about them as well. It’s extremely offensive, therefore, when a manufacturer thinks that he’s figured out “what women want” and makes a tool that condescends to their view of what a woman tool-user should supposedly use.
How NOT to Get Women to Love Tools
Case in point—several years ago I was shown a toolset by a manufacturer who getting ready to deploy it to multiple national retailers across the country. It consisted of a hammer, pliers, needlenose pliers, screwdriver set, and tape measure. The set was designed to fit into a standard kitchen drawer and be perfect for the novice homeowner.
It was a decent home starter set as far as the tools went. Nothing special, but it gave you everything you’d need to perform rudimentary household tasks like hanging pictures and assembling furniture. The tools, however, did have one fatal flaw…
They were all covered in a flower pattern. I kid you not.
Women Who Love Tools—Real Tools
Maybe you’ve seen this set—hopefully in the bargain bin, closeout sale, or the local flea market. To me, this was demeaning to women. What, they can only have tools if they are all flowery and pretty? I don’t think so. Women who love tools don’t want flower patterns—though they may actually like pink (but only if the tool bearing the color works as well as one that’s not pink).
Look at my wife, for example. She’s been known to do her share of tile work, painting, and other household projects as well. Recently, she hung curtains in our bedroom with what was, at the time, my best cordless drill. OK, it was slightly overkill, but I think it makes her sexier.
Editor’s Note: David’s wife is NOT pictured above. That’s Ashley—one of our reviewers. Her husband already won the “my wife loves tools” lottery.
Liking vs Loving Tools
Women don’t typically love (live?) to use tools like some of the guys I run with, but it’s a rare treat when you find women who love tools that will productively use them to accomplish various tasks.
That, my friends, is marriage material.
I know a couple where the husband and wife spent about 5 years restoring old homes and renting them out. They would do all the work together. We’re talking refinishing floors, renovating bathrooms, repairing walls, fixing doors & windows, and dressing up the landscapes. It was a match made in heaven, and it was great to see two people so intricately involved in actual work. And yes, there were plenty of tools being used by that gal.
Start Slow, and Enjoy the Journey
If your wife is like this, rejoice—you’re in the minority. For the rest of you—what’s to be done? How can you get your wife to share your love of tools? There may be nothing you can do, but you never know.
Still, it’s worth a shot.
So how do you get your wife interested? Well, the next time she asks for a screwdriver, hand her a cordless drill. You may have to work her up from an 8V Max screwdriver to a 12V Ridgid cordless drill or her choice of 18V cordless impact drivers, but it will be worth it. Heck, though loud, most impact drivers are surprisingly agile and even fun to use.
After some familiarity with certain tools that are easy to use and make household jobs easier, who knows, she just might like it.
That would be a great start.