Space-age tools

Published: Wednesday 15 May 1996

Designers from the Research Centre of Building Power Tools, Russia have designed tools that, they claim, disobey the sacrosanct third law of motion laid down by Newton. The tools are specially designed for use in space, where the zero-gravity situation gives astronauts a hard time in doing a simple job like hammering a nail. They have designed a hammer which is filled with pellets and absorbs all the backspring, a special cone-shaped drill that allows it to cut a hole without transferring the backward torque to the handle, a scissors that draws into the cutting material itself and does not require much effort from the user and a non-inertial pliers where the force on the jaws is 100 times that on the grip.

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