Most unexpectedly useful tools

I had no idea just how useful a hot glue gun could be until I purchased a proper one.

Sure it was $40 but I consider it cheap when I see just how useful a hot glue gun that can deliver virtually unlimited hot glue can be.

Yes, I still believe in the right adhesive for the job but I had always considered hot glue as a thing for light crafting. No, with this I can see 40% of my gluing being hot glue now.

What tool have you bought (besides the :glowforge: ) that was way more useful than expected?


Now make the glue gun holder takitus
shared! Free Design - Glue Gun and Sticks Holder


Oh I made that a long time ago for my craftier quality gun. Nice design. This new super gun stands on its own so it will stand beside the box with the craft quality gun and a pound or so of sticks.


My first experience with a glue gun was around 30 years ago, I had this ‘princess’ phone in my old shop, and needed a place to put it. I loaded up the whole side of it and stuck it to the 2x4 edge of a bench top.
That older yellow glue that smelled of pine was stronger than anything else I have used to date.

Bought a ‘Harbor Freight special’ 10" sliding compound miter saw to do bamboo flooring in the kitchen, and as it happens, it slides exactly 12". I now use it to trim proofgrade to just what I need.


Probably the rotatrim.

If we are talking hot glue, definitely this dude.



Oh, I must agree with this one. I picked one up for a specific job. Now it gets pulled out not often but when it is it is because it will do the job much better than anything else I own.

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I could not even begin to list all of the crazy tools I have. It feels like almost every weekend there is some new project that needs a new tool or I can’t find the one I already have. For me, buying tools is so much cheaper and satisfying than hiring someone else to do the job. Assuming I can find the tool again the next time it’s needed I’m saving even more time and money.

After climbing trees this past weekend to trim limbs with a hand saw, I can see one of these in my future.


FYI - these are affiliate links. Hands down the most useful thing I’ve purchased so far is this set of bottles for precision glue application. I use Titebond II wood glue in them.

edit: I may have misunderstood the prompt. I thought it was tools that help in working with the glowforge. O well, I still love my little bottles.


Mine is SO simple…the plastic razor blade that Jules (and others) recommended a long time ago.


Retractable poke-y tool:


I can absolutely see these helping in Glowforge work. And, I love these. I’ve bookmarked the Amazon page for future purchase. Thanks!

I love this! Who’da thunk that someone would come up with a tool like this?! Tiring of no longer being able to open the steel split rings like those used on keychains, etc., I basically typed it into the Amazon search bar and lo and behold…there’s a tool for it, which I immediately bought. Dream it and…

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funny you should mention that, I ordered one of those as well and promptly forgot about it… and it never arrived. now I need to check records to see if I actually paid for it or left it sitting in a cart somewhere on the inter.


How are you finding the durability of the glue on smooth surfaces? My one problem with hot glue has been that it tends to release itself completely from smooth surfaces after a few months or a year.

Gotta be careful with those. I have one for laser work and when I’m teaching class and covering the tools they might want (like calipers, etc) I always take this one and hit the button on it absentmindedly and drive the tip into my hand.

You’d think I’d learn. But no. :blush:


I originally got it for weeding vinyl, as a replacement for an xacto knife. Reaching blindly for the pokey is way safer than reaching blindly for the blade. Retractable tip means no safety cap to lose.

I’ve only stabbed myself with it a couple of times.


I bring this out just about weekly. Just about all sheet goods are 24", so this allows me to quickly drop the extra 4 inches (which I use as test material). It’s limited in thickness to about 7/8", but that’s ok for me since I’m mostly cutting baltic birch or acrylic.

don’t know why the amazon photo didn’t show. maybe they’re still overwhelmed with prime stuff.
Anyway, if the photo still doesn’t show, I’m talking about the Skil Flooring Saw with a 4-3/8" blade.


I recently purchased the “TONIC STUDIOS Tim Holtz 819 Titanium Kush Grip Non-Stick Micro Serrated Shears” on Amazon. The blades are 9.5" long - perfect for cutting off a piece of the wide Gorilla Tape, which I use for weeding the masking tape off of my project. They are making my life a lot easier:
Non stick 9.5 inch shears