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While the Philips screwdriver remains the most oft-utilized tool on our boat, there are countless others that we have need for on a regular basis. Although a bit more uncommon, one that we use quite a bit is a pick, similar to that which might be put into service by a dentist. To be honest, I’m not sure where I even picked up our set of picks, or when. I do use them so frequently though that I keep at least one within easy reach all of the time.

The forceps, also pictured below, I have not had cause to use all that often. Our friend Bob on Boat Bits reportedly uses them for splicing though so, when I came across an inexpensive set in a tool store one day, I decided to add them to our kit. You just never know!

Picks: they’re not just for dentists anymore!


  1. What sorts of things do you find yourself using the picks for?

  2. My first thought was to undo stubborn knots.

  3. Forceps?

    * Fish hook removal, smaller fish. For this reason alone, they stay in a cockpit bag.
    * Nuts that have fallen under the outboard cylinder head.
    * Holding said nuts and also pins to prevent dropping them. Very handy when swapping carbs, depending on the model.

    Needle nose vice-grips are one on my favorites; similar uses.

  4. Did you know that the phillips screwdriver was developed by an engineer at Ford? In the early years of developing the assembly line, flat head screws were used. If you’ve ever used a power screwdriver on a flat head you know what happens. They wobble and pop out. So the P-head was developed to better accommodate power drivers!

    I’m now head in Cheers for a beer, Cliff Claven

    • Did you know that the Robertson (square) screw/driver is Canadian? And that ALL screws should be switched out for them? 🙂

      Note: During my very brief stint after college when I installed alarm systems, we would take the packages of Phillips screws that came with all of the devices we used and throw them away, substituting Roberston screws them for. Roberston are MUCH easier to deal with with one hand.

  5. Dangit, I’ve got to edit befor I hit send.
    That should read,
    I’m heading to Cheers for a Beer.
    Nothing ruins a quip like missssspellllingssszzz

  6. Good instruments cost a lot, I guess you got a bargain:

    Hopefully don’t need them for this:

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