Whilst there may be many women out there who will answer kitchen aid, mixer, hair dryer or even microwave when asked what their gadget in the house is, I am an engineer’s daughter and I find proper tools like screw drivers, hammers, wrenches and drills incredibly sexy. My father never played house with me or took me for walks as a child, and when I played with my Lego, he made sure I built proper and stable structures (I belong to the generation of Lego before they had windows, doors and people). He taught me how to use a hammer properly, and made sure I knew how to change the bits on a drill, and even use a manual shoulder drill. I watched closely when he tinkered in the bathroom or kitchen, and shook my head along with him when Mom disassembled an electric fan to clean it, but when she re-assembled it always had three screws left over.

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power! ©MTHerzog

I may not be able to read maps even if my life depended on it, much to the chagrin of fellow travelers, but I can install a washing machine and dishwasher without making any mistakes (or flooding the apartment) and do basic repairs on a car if I break down. Yes, I can change a tire as well, at least from a Toyota.

With all the relocations over the years, the tools have come and go, and the market keeps churning out more sophisticated toys to fiddle with, but the ability to use a basic slot or Philipps screw driver never left. When I moved to Berlin earlier this year I only had one measly pair of screwdrivers to start with, which got me through some basics. Thankfully the movers had their own tools with them to assemble the furniture, but today my electric (cordless) screwdriver and drill arrived and I feel empowered in every sense of the word. It’s almost like suddenly discovering a talent that I never knew I had. Naturally, I have to first charge the darn thing, and then figure out what the various buttons do. Daddy would have been proud of me, not just for the choice of tool, but for finally opting to invest in a Bosch after raising me on Black & Decker.

I have small hands, so although my choice of camera, for example, is determined primarily by the functionality, the size house of the casing is a major factor because if I am going to shoot for several hours, there is no way I can do that with a monstrosity that doesn’t feel comfortable in my hands (Hence my shift from Canon to Fuji, for example).

I expect power and performance from my gear – and nothing less. Same thing goes for power tools, although most of them are built for male hands, and understandably, here in Germany, for big German hands. It took me a while to decide on the right one, but the PSR-18 LI-2 was my path, with all the bits and bobs. It has aced all the tests and came highly recommended by hobbyists and professionals alike. It was love at first grip! Now all I need is a bit of wood and a wall to work on!