It’s mind-boggling! If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But with a good arsenal of work equipment, you can approach any problem in various ways. The sign of a good tool is that it does the job it was built for very well. But you’d be surprised by just how specialized they can get.
The r/specializedtools subreddit is a fascinating online community that documents some of the most bizarre, most niche tools ever created. From steno machines and nuclear power plant demolishers to cyanometers (which measure the blueness of the sky) and beyond, it’s incredible to see how inventive humankind can get. It’s so fascinating to learn about the inventions, and we couldn’t help but share the most exciting pics with you, dear Pandas.
Scroll down, upvote the pics that impressed you, and let us know which of these tools wowed you the most. Were there any that you knew about? Were you surprised to learn about any of these? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so grab your digital ink quills and swing by the comments. Meanwhile, you’ll find A&D’s previous article about the sub here.
01. Scania P360 With A Penetrating “Scorpion Stinger” That Can Penetrate A Building To Deliver Water Directly Into A Fire Without Putting Firefighters In Danger
02. Beach Cleaning Robot Designed To Pick Up Small Pieces Of Garbage Hidden Beneath The Sand!
03. A Sliding Chair To Help Disabled People Into The Sea
Most of these tools are interesting because they’re scarce. Or, instead, only people in particular fields get to see and use them regularly. For the rest of us, it’s like a visit to a museum full of (slightly alien) artifacts.
When you sit down and have a good long think, you might realize that you do a lot of things every day that most people have no clue about. On the other hand, you are so used to it that you barely notice it. However, you could probably argue that every single profession demands that people use specialized tools (or, in this day and age, software, too). We’re all experts in our little fields. And our tools are unlike anyone else’s.
04. The Cyanometer. A 230-Year-Old Tool Used To Measure The Blueness Of The Sky
05. Cleaning The Solar Panels
06. The Spider, An Aerial Lift For Getting Into Tight Spots
The r/specializedtools subreddit is massively popular. Created in mid-February of 2015, it has grown significantly in the nearly-8 years since its founding. At the time of writing, the community was home to nearly 1.6 million Redditors.
Curiosity is a very human emotion and a tricky beast to control. It’s like a splinter in your mind: you have to figure out what it is, what it does, and why it looks like it does. The unusual photos are probably what draws people in. After all, it’s hard to resist discovering the story behind some mysterious object that comes across our internet feeds.
07. A Shoe Testing Machine From The 1940s
08. This Thing To Clean A Kitchen Hand Whisk
09. A Tool For Testing Smoke Alarms. It Covers The Unit Snugly And Then Releases A Puff Of Smoke; From There, A Bloke On The Control Panel Can Tell Whether It Is Working Properly Or Not
You would think that people would only post specialized tools on a subreddit called r/specializedtools. Alas! That’s not the case. The moderators who run the show have a small list of rules that the community members should follow. Some folks post pics without any tools or share photos of tools that aren’t specialized.
However, tools don’t have to have just a single purpose. You should be fine if you don’t post something generic, like a computer that can complete a seemingly endless number of tasks. In short: the more niche, the better.
10. This Is A Steno Machine, Used For Recording Words Verbatim At Speeds Over 225 Words Per Minute. Used In Court Rooms And Legal Depositions
11. A Stainless-Steel Pallet Jack For Use Inside Clean Rooms
12. Temporary Traffic Light
Moreover, the sub’s mod team asks its members to avoid reposting photos other Redditors have recently shared. There’s also no room for any offensive content. Treat others kindly, and be polite.
Meanwhile, explain precisely what the tool or device does when making a post. Don’t opt for clickbait. Oh, and don’t use the subreddit to promote any products you sell or profit from.
13. A Whole Set Of Non-Sparking Beryllium Copper Wrenches For Working With Hydrogen. Does anyone Want To Guess The Cost?
14. This Truck Is For Servicing Street Lamps
15. Remote-Controlled Special Excavator To Demolish Cooling Towers Of Nuclear Power Plants
You could argue that without tools, we aren’t human. However, quite a few species use tools as they see fit. For instance, chimpanzees are capable of making spears to hunt other primates.
Meanwhile, orangutans have been known to make improvised whistles from bundles of leaves in the wild. They use these to ward off predators, according to Live Science.
16. Jig For Chalking The Hip And Waist Widths For The Pleated Section Of A Kilt. It also Has Guide Lines For Accurate Alignment To The Tartan Pattern
17. Network Cable Comber
18. Mountain Index For Identifying Nearby Peaks In Rocky Mountain Np
However, it’s not just primates and apes that can use tools. Crows, for example, craft their feathers, twigs, and leaves into tools. They’re also known to drop stones in pitchers to raise the water level inside them so they can drink.
19. Paper Crumpler For Padding Boxes To Ship
20. DIY Door Painting Frame
21. Ruler, My Allergist, Used For Measuring Welts On My Arm After An Allergy Test
Meanwhile, elephants, dolphins, octopi, and otters are also known to use tools for getting rid of pests, uncovering prey underwater, for shelter, and cracking open shells, respectively.
So while the tools we use are far more complex than what can be found in the animal kingdom, we also shouldn’t imagine that human beings hold a monopoly on them.
22. Star Apple Parer And Slicer, 1871. One Of Three Known To Exist
23. This Elevator That My Installation Crew Is Using To Hoist Photovoltaic Panels Up To The Second Story Rooftop
24. Non-Metallic Pliers For Pulling Fuses
Our ancient ancestors developed the first stone tools at least 2.6 million years ago. The Smithsonian explains that early humans made hammerstones, stone cores, and shark stone flakes during the Early Stone Age.
1.76 million years ago, these evolved into handaxes and other extensive cutting tools.
25. Met A Truffle Hunter In The Peloponnese Mts. And I Got A Chance To Snap A Pic Of His Truffle Shovels! The Flat One Is For White Truffles, Which Tent To Grow In Softer Soil, And The More Spear Shaped Is For Black Truffles, Which Are Found Deeper And In More Rocky Soil
26. Hollowing Out A Clog
27. Large Wave Flume At A Wave Research Lab
By the Middle Stone Age, 200,000 years ago, the range of tools exploded in variety. Suddenly, you could find spears and scrapers for preparing hide, wood, and other materials. By the Later Stone Age, people began using more diverse crafting materials. From bone and ivory to antlers and stone. Different groups started developing their own specific cultures and ways of making things.
28. An Optical Inspection Train
29. Pickle Lifter. It Came Inside The Jar
30. Huge Bottoming Drill-Tap We Made Today
31. For When You Get Off The Water Rides
32. Howitzer, 105mm Artillery Gun, Used By Ski Patrol To Clear Avalanche Hazards
33. I Saw This Escalator Hoist
34. The Costco Food Court Table Dolly
35. Non-Sparking Pipe Wrenches. And Channel Locks, Just In Case. About $1600.00 In This Picture
36. Laser Railway Rail Profile Scanner – Absolute Single-Purpose Machine
37. Space Mouse – A Mouse For 3D Model Navigation
38. Tool Used By Georgian Bakers To Remove Bread From The Oven
39. Thread Cutting Scissors You Can Keep In Your Hand Without Having To Take Them Off After Each Snip. Huge Time Saver And Very Ergonomic!
40. Yarn Winder In Action
41. Olives Harvester
42. These Special Tweezers Are Used For Removing Nose Pads From Eyeglasses
43. UV Microphone Sterilizer
44. Violin Peg Fitting Tools
45. Old Poppy Seed Grinder That My Mom Uses When Baking Poppy Seed Rolls
46. Hydraulic Post Driver With Country Upgrade
47. Pokey-Picker-Upper Tool Invented By A Highway Maintenance Worker To Pick Up Metal Shards Along Shoulders
48. I’ll Raise Your 30 Year Old Cheese Slicer For This 30 Year Old Hard Boiled Egg Slicer
49. Hip Clamp: A Tool To Help A Cow Stand Up
50. Blade Removal Tool For Deli Slicer
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