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Ms. Fix-It

Are pink hammers and others “women’s” tools the real deal, or just a gimmick?

Clockwise, starting from top, Tomboy Tools Mini Hacksaw, 10-inch Pump Pliers. and Think Pink 57-piece Tool Set. Clockwise, starting from top, Tomboy Tools Mini Hacksaw, 10-inch Pump Pliers. and Think Pink 57-piece Tool Set. (Globe Staff Photos / Yoon S. Byun)
Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Elizabeth Gehrman
March 16, 2008

With home improvement all the rage, manufacturers have finally caught on to a vast, previously untapped market: women. And many of the tools designed for these new customers are pink. We wanted to know: Are pink tools as tough and trustworthy as the best brands already on the market? Sally Addison, a carpenter for 15 years who lives in Everett, agreed to test out a few at her MBTA job site.

TOMBOY TOOLS MINI HACKSAW
$9.95 at tomboytools.com

Addison's Review I like this tool because it's small and easy to handle; usually hacksaws are longer and harder to control. Its quality is not good, though. It's the kind of tool you might get at a dollar store. You can tell that if you worked with it a lot, the hollow handle could snap really easily on something. It's not rugged enough for rougher work, but the size is what I like. It's actually going into my bag of tools.

THINK PINK 57-PIECE TOOL SET
$24.99 at ladiestoolsonline.com

Addison's Review Oh, my God, these tools are a joke. This set is made for an 8-year-old girl who wants to be a carpenter like daddy or mummy and will make little birdhouses and stuff. This isn't for an adult at all. Everything is very cheaply made. The hammer is probably 6 or even 4 ounces, and is 10 inches long, as opposed to the 28-ounce, 16-inch one I carry. There are needle-nose pliers in here that don't close together. You can see light through them. There's a set of wrenches that are the disposable kind that comes with furniture you have to assemble. The plastic handle on the razor knife just broke when I used it, the measuring tape is only 3 feet long, and the tips for the screwdriver – which has a short, flat, annoying handle – stripped immediately. I would never bring it to a job site, ever. The guys were all laughing at me. They were like, "Why are you even using them?" I'm going to give the set to my niece.

10-INCH PUMP PLIERS
$5 at littlepinktools.com

Addison's Review This is actually good. The handle is comfortable, and it's a good size, 10 inches. I would use this on a job, no problem. It's not cheap like the rest of them. I used it to rip a bolt out of a wall, and it worked fine for me. No teasing from the guys on that, but they liked the pink handle.

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