One of the exciting discoveries in brain research is that the brain “maps” hand tools as if they were part of the body. The more you use specific tools, the more pronounced this effect becomes.

This explains how a mechanic finds bolts “by feel” without seeing or touching them. And it’s why you can feel the slot in a terminal screw when you put a screwdriver to it. As far as your brain is concerned, your hand tools are part of your body. The advantages of this adaptation include greater dexterity and heightened coordination that let you work faster and more accurately.

This adaptation doesn't extend to diagnostic tools. That's a good thing, because you wouldn't want to feel the 480V you're measuring with a DMM (tip: replace those test leads often). What you need isn't a physical adaptation, but one in the thought arena. We'll address that in our next issue. In the meantime, don't let the mapping effect cause you to be too attached to worn tools that need to be replaced.