The Handyman approval is considered to be one of the best certifications for DIY-focused consumer goods in the market right now. To be Handyman Approved means that the tool can take on any job and is recommended by experienced professionals in the market right now.
Of course, the Handyman approval is never given. It is earned. To be worthy of such approval, a tool has to undergo several tests. One of these tests is the universal Tensile Strength test. This does beg the question: what tools need to be tensile tested so they have a shot at being Handyman approved?
To answer that, there are a few fundamentals we have to set first.
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What’s a Tensile Test?
The Tensile Strength Test is a universally-applied materials testing procedure that primarily measures a material’s ability to withstand stress before breaking. In this test, a machine will pull at a sample material until it starts to deform and then break.
As the name would imply, the test measures an object’s tensile strength. This is an inherent quality to withstand stress before breaking. The tensile test has seen a lot of use in various industries as it helps manufacturers, product designers, and even inventors determine which materials to use for their projects, depending on how they behave when subjected to a certain kind of stress.
But even with the universal application, the Tensile Test is not meant for every known tool, material, or 3-dimensional object out there. The reason is rather simple: not every object is meant to handle tensile stress. Not every object was meant to be highly durable.
The material used for that object will not even matter in this regard. For instance, a plastic button will not undergo the same tensile stress as a rope even if they share the same polymers, thus not needing to undergo tensile testing.
To answer as to which tools need to be tensile tested to get the Handyman approval, you only need to consider several pointers:
- That tool is meant to withstand high tensile stress.
- That tool is meant to maintain its shape even after heavy, repeated use.
- That tool is meant to withstand impact, force, pressure, compression, and other deformity-causing factors.
- That tool is comprised of more than one part or features a mechanism.
To summarize, a tool needs tensile testing if it was designed to be durable for as long as possible.
Tools That Need Tensile Testing
A tool is simply any man-made implement that aids a person in performing a specific task. By their basic definition alone, almost every handyman’s tool needs some form of material testing to pass a quality check. Below are some of the tools that you will commonly find in a shed that will most definitely benefit from some form of tensile testing.
- Hoses and Ropes
This gardening tool is made from either rubber, vinyl, or polyurethane and must be able to hold a considerable amount of compression to be useful for a long period. A rope, on the other hand, is made from the same polymers as most plastic products, but in the form of small fibers. And by design, they are required to hold a lot of tensile stress for a long period.
Tensile testing hoses and ropes are pretty straightforward and would generally yield accurate information. The trick here is to prepare a sample with the proper length as it can be hard to predict the exact point of failure when it comes to hoses for these tools.
- Pliers, Priers, and Hammers
It might sound odd that tools essentially made of thick components need tensile testing. Their overall profile would ensure that they retain structural integrity, right? The answer is no.
Aside from inherent tensile strength, a tensile test can also look into the structural composition of any tool and determine what kind of force is needed to inflict a fracture so fatal to cause failure in these tools. For instance, a crowbar might be made out of carbon steel but there is a chance that it might bend if enough resistance is applied to it. The same goes for wrenches, pliers, and other tools with a solid metal/carbon component.
Also, these tools can be subjected to creep testing where they are exposed to stress over a prolonged period. This test will determine the approximate usefulness lifespan of these tools before they need to be replaced.
- Rotating Tools
Tools like screwdrivers, drills, buffers, and saws feature a central rotating component powered either manually or through a built-in motor. From their design, these tools have a common point of failure, which is their rotating shaft. Thus, a manufacturer needs to make sure that these shafts can withstand intense tensile stress to qualify for several quality certifications.
Also, tools like drills and saws have components that would require their separate tensile strength tests. The general rule is that any motor-powered and multi-component tool will have to be comprised of several durable components. After all, if one part breaks down, then the entire tool will be rendered useless.
Lifting implements like the manually operated or hydraulic car jack are designed to lift tremendous amounts of weight from a car and hold that position for as long as possible. These tools, aside from being comprised of several mechanical components, have a common point of failure at the lifting jack.
A tensile test on these tools will help a manufacturer decide which material is best for the jack’s most crucial components. Ancillary non-destructive tests can also be conducted to determine if the jack’s components have the right structural strength to withstand the stress being inflicted on them.
When it comes to consumer tools, the goal of tensile testing has always been to determine if these implements are “fit for use”. That means that they will function as advertised and have a consistent rate of performance throughout multiple uses.
Their recommended lifespans notwithstanding, any handyman’s tool is expected to be in its best possible state whenever its owners need them. With a tensile test, the certainty of these tools being made from the best possible components and materials will be rather high.