Tinker and Fix is a labour of love for us.
We each come from a different starting point. Edd’s all about carefully finding tools and kit that makes Tinkering and Fixing more enjoyable, and only selling stuff that passes muster and will actually stand the test of time. Cheap tools that don’t work, break, or can’t be maintained are the bane of his life.
Louise, on the other hand, is fixated with gifts. She’s spent 20+ years trying to buy really nice, and importantly, great functioning gifts for Edd. So her eye is always on what makes a great gift for makers, menders and growers - rather than ‘tick box’ or disposable gifts. Her goal is to create a treasure-trove of gift ideas for the tinkerer and fixer.
The company began with Edd’s 90-year-old grandpa passing down his tool roll after 50+ years of use. ‘The Frank Tool Roll’ was born because Edd wanted to reengineer the original design so he could pass one down to our son. We then started to sell some of the tools Edd had already received as gifts – starting with the Elementary Screwdriver – before then going out and sourcing others. The search continues – as does the testing. Does it pass muster? Does it function, and is it pleasing to use or give? There’s more being added all the time. From the perfect sewing scissors to the ultimate Japanese secateurs, or from specialist screwdrivers to the only spanners made in England.
Edd's Tinker and Fix philosophy
When I look at anything - the first thing I think is “I wonder how that works” …. And over the years that has led to “and I wonder if I can fix it if it broke.”
I like to be able to see the inner workings of everything. Elaborate body panels don’t do anything for me, they just hide the mechanics - the good stuff. And they usually stop you from being able to get at something to be able to fix it.
This is something that just doesn’t sit well with me. There’s an increasingly disposable nature to most of the things that we now own. I think it’s the result of rapidly improving technology and a desire to reduce costs (or maximise profit for the manufacturer.) But this is increasingly resulting in items being thrown away rather than repaired. Either because the ‘cost’ of the part, or of the labour required to make the repair, is somehow greater than a new replacement. That just doesn’t make sense to me … and recently its started to irritate. My solution is to attempt to fix things myself when they break. I’ve got nothing to lose - I enjoy the disassemble as it’s an insight into how it works, and sometimes you get the immense satisfaction of actually fixing it.
The items that we sell or manufacture are selected on their functionality and durability. Or they enable the “Tinker and Fix” mentality. Having the right tools for the job is a critical part of being able to repair anything. Sometimes that requires a few specific tools but often things can be solved with a basic set of spanners and screwdrivers. Working with quality tools is part of the enjoyment, and they are an investment for life and potentially to pass on too. Tinker and Fix is primarily about looking after that investment in tools and making your efforts more comfortable. That means how you look after your tools and work clothing in order to be able to fully focus on the job at hand.
We’ll continue to source new products, or manufacture them ourselves if we believe we can do things differently. For now I hope you get as much enjoyment from Tinker and Fix as I do.