Rustic Cyberpunk

Coffee. Code. Cabins.

That One Tool

4 min read

I have a wire cutter which has a blunted edge, multiple pairs of pliers which grip poorly and have too little leverage, a wrench that is too short. A cornucopia of almost usability. I'm not fond of spending on things for the heck of it, even for short-term dopamine to stave off existential dread, but my situation was approaching a catastrophic handicap.

Functioning within a dwelling of any sort entails some manner of upkeep.

The purpose of tools has been a sore point in my life. Owning "things" is yet another form of personal burden for the most part and having purpose was a key measure of my continued ownership. And yet purpose is often transient while utility, when most needed, can't be bought with aspiration and hope. I really do need to cut things, hold things, remove things, and beget other verbs connected to things in various degrees.

To that end, I decided to set aside most of my almost-tools and for a usable one, both for my own safety and thought hygine.

plier package
Engineer PZ-78

From Engineer Co., Ltd which is also sold in local shops in New York and elsewhere in the U.S., rebranded as "Vampliers". The Japanese version is still significantly cheaper in my neck of the woods. These are part of the "Nejisaurus" line. A play on "neji" for screws or fasteners and "saurus" for dinosaur. The dino-grip does leave every other gripping and cutting tool in my arsenal in the dust.

I'm still not fluent enough in Japanese such that I can read this without great difficulty, but here is the packaging.

front packet
Front packaging.
rear packet
Rear instructions, dimensions and specifications

There's enough leverage here so that I can handle most of my stubborn leftovers from previous jobs. My primary concern was carrying out routine maintenance tasks around my place and the cabin without fighting the tool and causing myself an injury.

Pivot point. Notice it's close to the edge which gives greater leverage.
side profile
It's also wide enough that I've yet to lose grip on any bolt I've tried it on
cutting edge
Looks like it was just taken off the local shelf in a Japanese hardware store and put into a shipping box

One of the tools this is replacing is my wire cutter. I needed to run some wiring to a closet light and realized I may actually end up hurting myself if I can't easily cut the 12/2 wiring already installed in my apartment. While my future library will not be wired, I will still have some electricity and wired runs in some of the planned shelters and I can hopefully avoid buying another tool to do all of the work.

cut slice
This can cleanly cut a piece of the packaging. It should make short work of every gauge of wire I have.
closed profile
It actually closes flat. This was never a feature on any previous pair of cheap pliers I owned.
I have a feeling I'll need the crimper more often than I thought. Especially for cabin-related work where soldering isn't always practical.
crimper back
The crimper slot is a nice feature that lets me rest the wire before closing. This reduces guesswork, especially when I'm tired.

I've noticed that a lot of the smaller gauge connections almost never get soldered. Sometimes, soldering isn't necessary and other times, I'd rather have a crimp connection that I can remove from a source later. This is especially true of low-voltage wiring and smaller devices.

grip face
The bolt gripping feature is thanks to the horizontally cut section. While most of the face is dedicated to typical grip, this allows grasping at stubborn fasteners edge-wise. Impossible with any of my previous pliers.
grip closed
The side gripping feature is more obvious when looking at the front face while the pliers are closed.

I've seriously considered swearing off machine screws. They're supposed to be a convenient fastener for metal boxes, but in my experience, they're almost always never worth the pain of future removal. If the box is to be closed permanently, I'd much rather opt for a spot welder or an epoxy product such as J-B Weld.

Aside from the pliers, which will hopefully replace or support the rest of my plier-like tools, I also got a set of short rulers to leave around. I'm amazed at how often I'm reaching for one when I need to quickly measure something and need to fumble in a drawer.

ruler set
A set of short rulers

One stays on the nightstand just so I can visualize something in a hurry. I noticed I'm quite bad at imagining the smaller sizes of things.

ruler closeup
Each ruler is graduated to 6" or 5.5cm. There are submillimeter and 1/64" graduations that doubt will get much use, and I can barely discern with my naked eyes, but they're nice to have. I'm more interested in the overall size of the ruler.
ruler conversion table
There's a conversion table in the back that I doubt I'll use much. Whenever possible, I try to stay with just one measurement system and any conversions take place via calculator or the Internet.
conversion table closeup
This level of precision is unlikely in my cabin plans, but good to have.

The last few months have been involuntarily eventful for me. I hope to return to regular posting in the coming weeks.