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Popular Mechanics has a quiz, a list and videos of 100 skills everyone should know, the article says “men” but as I went through the list I know more women who can do more of the skills than men, so I’m going to suggest they call it “100 skills everyone should know”… check it out, see how you do.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. The Oracle says:

    I only got through the automotive list, but “replace fan belt??” Cars haven’t had a “fan belt” since the mid-80′s. They switched to a single unified belt that goes to pretty much everything. It’s well beyond the scope of “every man or every person” to replace that belt, and on a modern car it’s not even really accessible without major tools, work, and the service manual. Replacing a belt is certainly not routine maintainace on a modern car.

    I find it funny that the include read error codes on the list, which only really came into usefulness in the mid-80′s on high-end cars and mid-90′s became more mainstream. So it’s mutually exclusive with replace fan belt.

  2. Anonymous says:

    That old-school sexism makes the list seem irrelevant all on its own.

  3. The Oracle says:

    True enough, between the sexism and the outdated skills, it seems like the list was written in the 70′s or earlier.

  4. gear head says:

    I think it’s a pretty good list actually, and as far as the fan belt goes I’m pretty sure that’s a skill you’re going to want to have if you ever buy a classic car, or any car for that matter that pre-dates the electric fans or serpentine belts. Or how about fixing the drive belt in a washer or dryer? Simple fixes can save a lot of cash.

  5. The Oracle says:

    You’re right that you’d want that skill if you buy a classic car, but that’s a very tiny portion of the population who probably already knows how to change a fan belt. This list is things “every man” should know.

    They don’t even have anything about drive belts in other appliances, so you only further prove how bad the list is. And for what it’s worth, I’ve only ever once had to change a serpentine belt and that was in a 1986 car. It just hasn’t come up for me in the last 20 years. For all the automotive stuff, they don’t bother with “drive a car”.

    A lot are so inane, it’s like they’re trying to be silly. “Drop and give the perfect pushup.” That must be way more important than balancing a chequebook which isn’t on there. How is tackling steep drops on a mountain bike more something everyone should know. Whittle? wow I don’t know how I made it this far in life without ever having whittled. Tie a Bowtie and necktie are two separate things, yet tie your shoelaces doesn’t make the cut. It’s important to know how to install a graphics card but not a hard drive.

    And I think being able to put up a basic website to get a message across is much more important a skill than using a sandblaster. And an infrared thermometer is literally point and shoot.

    Also, simple fixes can save a lot of cash, but what’s a typical person going to do with mixing concrete, they still won’t know what to do with it.

  6. TheSpleen says:

    @ The Oracle

    It’s actually easier to change a serpentine belt than it is an old school V belt. Most cars have a diagram under the hood showing how the belt is routed and all you need is a wrench to pull back the belt tensioner.

  7. Phaedrus says:

    You beat me too it.
    Changing a serpentine belt in most cases boils down to pushing over on the tensioner pulley and swapping the belts. I will grant that many new engines are covered with plastic shrouds and crap that hide all the workings, but come on.
    Heaven forbid someone might pinch a finger or have to work a screwdriver.

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