Make the tool case a tool, or just simply usable

Sep 16 2012

Since many years consumer marker power drills (or any hand power tool) come with a case. Nice to store and protect the tool. But otherwise mainly useless.
But why does the case always have room for only the tool and nothing more? It is not a space question because if you put a hand power drill in a rectangular carrying case there will be room left. Unless the manufacturer makes sure the free space is unusable. More expensive tools are not much better even though there are those who stand out. A bit.

Think like this:
You have a power drill. You are most certain to need the very drills too. so make room for a cartridge or two. You have a sanding machine. You most certainly need papers; and possibly some space for lightly used papers. And the small tools for making adjustments.

Now when the carrying/storing case is usable; make it more usable. Putting a ruler, either right in the plastic or as a sticker doesn’t cost a penny. Make the case usable as a straight edge. And a square. Make it possible to open it to 45, 90 and 135 degrees (at the time of writing I can’t see the use for this but at the same time I can’t see the contra usefulness for it either). Hand saws have had 45/90 degrees handles for years.
Make the cases compatible and stackable. Get together for a standard, license free of course – users are tired of tie in, to be stackable with competitors. Make room for an extra cable. And a torch. And let the cable have a LED indicating voltage.

Make the case usable in such a way that the owner can invent uses himself. No one can foresee all possible needs and hacks. Here is one: A couple of times in my life have I been on the need of a make shift lathe. If the case had been part in whatever I made up for solving the problem I would also have remembered the case as a part of the tool. Not as just a cheap plastic case with no use.

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