One of the easiest home updates I’ve read about is changing the hardware on your cabinets. New knobs and/or pulls is an inexpensive way to update the appearance and give cabinets a fresh look. Old hardware can date your cabinets because what was once popular has now changed.

As I embarked on that journey, I didn’t give any consideration for how difficult it could be. The hardware is held in by a screw. You unscrew the old and screw in the new … right? At least that is what should happen.

First, I took on the challenge of updating the cabinet hardware in my bathroom. Five round knobs and six handle pulls. How difficult can that be? I mean I am the woman who has changed light fixtures, installed ceiling fans, and even used closet organizer parts to build a custom storage unit in my basement closet. Changing the hardware should be a piece of cake!

Since the screws for the existing hardware were in pretty decent shape, I planned on reusing them. However, the original hardware was made in America and the new hardware was made in China. My American hardware was based on the Imperial system, which is feet and inches, while the new hardware was based on metrics. In other words, it didn’t fit properly. A roadblock for sure, except that the new hardware came with its own set of screws. In fact, my next dilemma was that the two sets of screws that came with the hardware were either too short or too long. My once easy-peasy project was now taking on the look of a real work situation. I was frustrated. What should have been a simple 1-2-3 project was becoming complex.

In the past, some of the screws would come with little notches where you could break them off to be certain lengths. But not these screws. How do you shorten the screw? I really didn’t know. Thank goodness for the internet. A quick Google search revealed a video where the woman had a similar situation. She then went on to display a tool, where all you had to do was thread the screw into the corresponding size hole. Then squeeze the two handles and almost like a nutcracker, the screw is shortened. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

I do like the notion of supporting local business. But when it’s freezing cold outside, and all you have to do is go to the internet to order, that’s what I did — from the warmth of my bed. These vice grips will also strip electrical cords, but they’re well worth the under $12 price to be able to shorten screws. Less than 48 hours later, I had the tool delivered to my doorstep and got to work. OMG … it worked just like the woman said. I even cut one screw too short. Fortunately, I had so many, I could redo it to the correct length. I even went down to my kitchen cabinets and fixed a couple of the screws that were too long, I was able to trim them down for a tighter fit. I highly suggest that this tool become a part of every homeowner’s tool workbox.