The romance of hand tools
Romance: A mysterious or fascinating quality or appeal, as of something adventurous, heroic, or strangely beautiful.
(according to Answers)
It’s hard to deny that hand wrenches possess a romantic quality. As convenient as fancy ratchet wrench sets and air wrenches are, old hand tools keep die-hard car lovers coming back to them time and time again.
A hand wrench is like a samurai katana: there is a bond between the two, and each gives the other definition and meaning. There is a personal level of interaction with whatever machine being worked on when using hand tools. Instead of just getting the job done and having a working product at the end, you are investing time and loving care in what you do. You’re forced to take your time and think through each movement, every turn, every bolt that is torqued down. The result is a sentimental bond between mechanic and machine.
Also, hand tools are the most universal of all tools. They are the most likely tool to fit into any given nook or cranny, and the least likely to break (assuming decent quality manufacturing). If one should break, most sets come with a lifetime warranty, as well. Hand tools should be the foundation of any set of tools, regardless of how large or minimalistic that tool set is. If you don’t have a set already, find a full Metric and SAE set with an outstanding warranty and establish an organization system right away. That way if one of your tools goes missing you can start searching for it immediately and have some idea as to who had it last or where you might have left it. Fishing around your garage garbage can for a tool that was lost ‘some time in the past 8 months’ is no fun at all. Trust me on that one.