Cool gadgets or tools you use that have a very specific purpose

I just received my new gadget I ordered the other day. It looks like a dorky cousin to a fidget spinner, in red anodized aluminum. My wife fiddled with it and said “it’s nice”
Her response notwithstanding, any machinist will be familiar with the problem it solves, setting lathe tool height. It’s a bit of an odd looking thing for anyone else.

Here’s a different specialist gadget, for musicians.
To the layperson it just looks like a steampunk guitar / bass tuner key. But to a four-string bassist it’s the way you reach for that low D. Yes, this expensive little gadget exists solely so you can play a low Eb or a low D. Two notes.
I have one on each of my basses.

What cool gadgets or tools do you use that have very niche uses?

Tupperware still makes them too:

Just used ours today. It’s awesome.

Rabbit style wine cork remover.

Vacu-Vin wine stopper. I’ve left one of the stoppers in a bottle for several weeks and found it still holding a vacuum.

I just got one of these.

I have one of these: Economy Reversible Safety Wire Twisters 6-Inch | Aircraft Spruce

You’ll learn something about general aviation when you notice it’s a simple hand tool, it’s billed as the economy version thereof, and it sells for a mere $50.

How about a book weight, which I bought for myself last year, monogrammed no less? Two lead slugs sewed into a length of leather, to hold your book open.

In my industry, we sometimes use this tool. That’s a PAR lens removal tool for ETC PAR fixtures (curiously, it is not made by ETC). That’s about as specific a purpose as a tool can have, IMO.

This tool is quickly replacing the 8" adjustable wrench as the standard for most hangs, focuses and load-outs (and there’s a seemingly infinite variety of “wrench +”-type “quick tools” available, too). That is a ratcheting multi-tool with a pin-splitter and a continuity checker built in. The various cut-aways are for different types of handles and clamps common in lighting.

I just bought one of these a few months ago; my hands already love it! That’s a Cam Wrench, for mating Cam-lock connectors fully and properly.

Oh, and we have this gadget too. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve got a one of those!

Got one of these, too! tire chain pliers - Bing

Tire-chain pliers. I made ridiculous custom tire chains for a hobby

I roast my own coffee…

Oh, you’ll know this one. An oldy but a goody:

I’ve have the premium version of one of those in my tool box for 30 years. I think I’ve used it twice.

This tool line is very cool for pocket hole joinery. I just used it for my screen door.

If you have vinyl siding - unzip tool:

Best $6.99 you can spend vs trying to remove/replace siding by hand or with motley assortment of small pry bars, putty knife, teeth etc.

If you ever need to cut flexible hose:

Far superior to trying to use utility knife


If you need to cut Plexiglas:

$4.43 (there are a lot of similar tools)

Scoring with knife and snapping is mission impossible. Scoring with little $5.00 tool and snapping is a breeze.

Neato…it does its job perfectly I bet!

And that is a totally awesome one. I was thinking about this exact tool about an hour ago as I used my Brown & Sharpe edge finder. It’s a little different from the Starrett model in that it has a tiny flat on it that makes a clicking noise when it kicks out, very good for weak eyes in a dim basement.

I know what it’s for, but I don’t think I have the courage to use one of those–woodworking is scary business indeed IMHO, especially with large cutters and the forces involved.

Panosaurus 2.0 and a Sigma 8mm f/4.0 on my D300

I also still have a Sima 100mm f/2.0 soft focus lens I got about 35 yrs or so ago. Still fun to use.

Got one of these, too!

Snowboarder Bo, those are definitely oddly-specific gadgets. I have no idea what they are used for, but I’m sure those in the trade all nod and say “Yep…I need to get one of those”

Wow! After reading the comments and seeing terminology I know nothing about, it’s clear that this is for experienced coffee roasters only. It’s like they ought to have a warning on the front saying “Don’t buy this unless you have been roasting your own coffee for at least 6 months”

Ah, sure, a Hipshot quick-tuning changer. So many gadgets just to change tunings on guitars, from whammy bars built in or aftermarket; B-String benders to sound like a pedal steel guitar while playing a Tele; robot tuners that sound a lot better than they perform.

Guitar-type instruments, being the biggest selling category, has SO many specialized tools. The ones I have in every include a Snark clip-on tuner and a Dunlop combined string winder and string clipper. And a Kyser capo. And a slide. Sigh.

About the only esoteric pilot tool I have is this Pilot Supplies - Pilot Shop - Aviation Supplies - Flight Training Supplies - Home. It’s a shirt-pocket-sized specialized circular slide rule and vector math tool. Which is now a more-or-less obsolete antique; since switching to computerized airplanes back around 1995 I haven’t carried it nor missed it. People on non-computerized airplanes, especially younger ones, now use apps on their tablet / phone for the same purposes.

Back when I was in software dev I had a lot of specialized tools, many made by our company, for assisting in building, testing, and deploying our app stack. Plus all the stuff that we used to fill gaps in the bigger stacks we built off of. But somehow these “tools” don’t seem as interesting to talk about.

I still have 20-30 lbs of specialized aircraft / automotive tools, but many of those are pretty obvious: oddball screwdrivers or sockets or such for oddball fasteners, specialized pliers, etc.

My other main hobby is cooking but I don’t have too many esoteric gizmos there. An asparagus pot, some silicone bread pans and some silly tea infusers: : manatee tea infusers The Manatee is sorta the local unofficial mascot and these infusers are real cute. They hang by their flippers on the edge of the cup (scroll down to see). :slight_smile:


As I pitted yesterday I have to fix the vinyl siding - and probably the wood panel behind it - on my shed.

I was planning to remove every piece of siding, but this will make my life much easier.

Thank you!