Hand tools are great for learning the basics of any task. They are affordable compared to power tools, and you can do almost all small to medium scale tasks of woodworking, metalworking, and construction work with hand tools.
Hand tools refer to the gears that don’t have any motor attached to their intended tasks. As humans are familiar with hand tools from stone age, there are numerous hand tools available. Therefore, some tools become useless, and some types of hand tools are still trendy among all.
Here, I am going to put shed on those common hand tools, their types, and usage. So, stay tuned.
A Complete Guide on Different Types of Hand Tools
You may need not use all the tools available in the market at the moment, but who knows; you may need to use any one of them later. Therefore, I have created this hand tools list mentioning their diverse uses. I am sure you will enjoy going through all of them to enrich your knowledge about them. Let’s see…
A wrench is also called a spanner. This is the most common hand tools that may be found in almost all household. They are made from chromium-vanadium alloy tool steel and coated with chromium. There are several types of wrenches for accomplishing different purposes, and I am going to talk about the most used ones so that you can get the right one to make your job easier.
It is a U-shaped wrench with two open ends. However, the two ends’ sizes are not the same, and this feature makes the wrench more versatile. These wrenches are easy to use, and ideal for general-purpose wrench works.
These wrenches are also double-faced, but they have enclosed openings for gripping the top of a bolt or nut. You can unfasten and fasten a hexagonal shape nut with twelve-point wrenches and square-shaped nuts with eight-point wrenches.
This wrench combines the features of a box-end and an open-end wrench. In addition to that, both ends have the same sizes of bolts.
Flare-nut wrench/ line wrench
These wrenches are ideal for working with softer metals like plumbing nuts. They come with a long handle and thick jaws to provide an increased contact area with nuts.
Ratcheting box wrench
The specialty of this type of wrench is that its end-section ratchets. However, you can reverse the ratcheting by flipping the wrench over. These wrenches are ideal for working with pawls and complex captured rollers. It also has a drift pin at its back.
Flex-head socket wrench / Saltus wrench
This double-ended wrench comes with a socket attached on its one end and an open-end head on the other end. Moreover, you can rotate the socket around the wrench to make the tools more user-friendly.
Slammer wrench/ slugger wrench/ hammer wrench
It is also called a “striking face box wrench”, and this tool is fashioned to work with a hammer. You can also use the wrench with big fastener nuts and studs. Moreover, this wrench allows you to tighten nuts to a certain number of index marks. Also, it is utilized to release bolts and nuts placed in a narrow area.
As the name suggests, an adjustable wrench comes with adjustable jaws that can be extended or narrowed down by turning its knob. As a result, it can come in handy while dealing with many different-sized nuts and bolts. Also, you can get large and small adjustable wrenches according to your need.
This wrench’s gripping face is perpendicular to its handle, and its jaws are smooth. However, this wrench offers adjustable jaw features.
Pipe wrench comes with self-tightening facilities with the appearance of a monkey wrench. Nonetheless, they have serrated jaws to grip the soft iron pipes securely. So, these wrenches are excellent for plumbing jobs.
It’s a hollow cylinder that can be attached with various handle and drive tools. These wrenches are used in opening man-hole caps.
Clamp ratchet wrench
This is a multi-sized and open-ended wrench with a ratcheting mechanism for tightening or loosening nuts in a reciprocating motion. The clamp action makes the wrench more versatile.
It is a fantastic tool used to deal with rusty nuts, which are hard to loosen. It’s a long non-ratcheting break-over handle that provides high torque compared to the usual socket wrench.
Cow-foot wrench / Crow’s-foot wrench
This special type of wrench is also used with a handle to reach hard-to-reach places to deal with non-cylindrical-shaped objects. You can use these wrenches to produce controlled torque.
This wrench is equipped with a crank-shaped handle that drives the socket placed on its head. This name “speed wrench” comes from its quick operating speed that saves a lot of time. Also, you can easily loosen sturdy nuts with this wrench.
It’s a kind of socket wrench specialized in making precise and controlled amount torque to any delicate nut. This type of wrench is used to deal with internal mechanisms.
Allen wrench/ hex wrench/ L wrench
Allen screws are fastened and loosen with Allen wrench. There are two types of Allen wrenches: L-shaped and T-handled. The front ends of the wrench have a hexagonal-shaped socket. These tools are very common in cycle repairing industries.
This is a unique wrench with a star-shaped internal socket-head screw design. Trox wrenches are handy in situations when a normal screwdriver slips out. Also, these wrenches are useful in automobile industries and fixing computer components.
It’s an open-end and thin wrench which is used to work in bicycle hubs and some cone-shaped adjustable hub bearings. These wrenches produce a small amount of strength; however, they have large heads for more convenience.
Drum wrench / Drum key/ Lug key
As the name tells the story, this square head socket wrench is utilized for securely tuning lugs and fasteners of the Drum set. This wrench is specially chosen for doing such tasks.
4-way lug wrench
This type of wrench is also known as wheel lug cross wrench for its appearance and role as it’s an “X” shaped wrench, and it is used for fastening and loosening automobiles’ wheels nuts.
You need this amazing wrench to remove cylindrical oil filters. These kinds of wrenches come in a strap or socket-type shape.
It is a chain drive sprocket wrench that has a self-tightening feature. You need to hold the chain’s one end as there is no friction. You can use this wrench to deal with bicycle cog sets or cluster.
You need this unique wrench to line up bolt holes when you are mating two pipe flanges. Its one side has an open-end, and the other end is a spike.
This is the second type of hand tool on our list. This is an extremely handy tool used for holding, cutting, bending, compressing, and straightening various materials. It consists of short jaws on end and a long handle on the other side. These jaws are made with metal and connected to a fulcrum. So, when you grip and force the handle inward, the jaws will generate massive pressure on the workpiece.
Let’s see different types of pliers that are employed on our workshops for various purposes.
Slip joint pliers
These particular types of pliers’ have movable fulcrum or pivot point. As a result, you can adjust their jaws’ size to perform different tasks. Jaws can be thick, thin, or regular in shape.
You can also call them diagonal cutters, and their name describes their role. You can easily rip wire with the tool but can’t grab or turn anything. It is very popular in the electrical industry as they can cut brass, aluminum, copper, and soft steel wire with it.
This is another type of pliers widely used in electrical wire cutting. It is also known as combination pliers. Electricians, linemen, and this sort of worker utilize these pliers for twisting, bending, cutting, and gripping small metal pieces, cable, and wire. Moreover, you can do a heavy-duty manual job with it.
These pliers are also classified as pinch-nose or pointy-nose pliers. Some people also call it long-nose pliers for its extended jaws. You can cut and hold things with them. These pliers are used to re-position, bend and snip wires for jewelry crafting, electrical, and network engineering task.
Bent nose pliers
This is an efficient tool that has long jaws, but the jaws are not straight. Instead, the jaws are bent to provide a better working view where the pliers’ handle don’t block the way. These pliers offer a gripping advantage on hard-to-reach places. Also, shaping wire and jump ring’s opening and closing is done with these pliers.
It’s a special type of hand tool that is used to cut, pinch or pull things. Pincers’ force is concentrated on any point to generate extreme pressure on that point or edge. It’s very popular in carpentry.
Terminal crimping pliers
As the name implies, you need this amazing tool to do crimping at insulated terminals. This tool is a favorite instrument for electricians as it improves wire retention.
Tongue and groove pliers
The exciting thing about this tool is it is so popular that it has multiple names. The names are- slippy pliers, adjustable pliers, arc-joint pliers, gland pliers, water pump pliers, and groove-joint pliers. However, you can call these pliers slip-joint type pliers.
You can grip unevenly shaped things with these pliers. Also, you can employ them in rotating and holding nuts and bolts.
Vise-grip is another name of these pliers. Their lever action is much stronger and generates enormous force. As their jaws do not close more than the preset point, you can control these locking pliers smoothly. You can use them to hold metal parts firmly while doing welding tasks.
These pliers are also known as Snap ring, Jesus clip, C-clip, and Rotor clip. Circlip has two types: external and internal. These pliers are employed to install or remove pinned connections.
In some parts of the world, these pliers are also called rosary pliers. Their jaws are not sharp, and the jaws’ surfaces have a smooth finish. These pliers are used to make loops in jewelry and electrical wires.
This tool is used in tile working to pick or remove small-sized hard tile materials to fit tiles properly in their position. You will also find another nipper tool called “rail nipper” which is used to cut rail lines in rail track construction work.
Cutters and Saws
There are various types of hand saws and cutters that are pretty useful in different aspects of our life. Let’s know about them serially.
You will find this cutter in almost every house in the world, and for good reasons. These small knives are used for doing a wide range of cutting and shaping tasks from fish cleaning to box cutting.
This tool is also called bolt cropper, and you can apply this stunner cutter on the padlock, bolts, chain, wire mesh, and rebar. It consists of a long handle incorporating short jaws or blades. You will find different types of bolt-cutters that can perform angle cut, center cut, and shear cut.
This tool is very commonly used in shaping cookies and biscuits. And, in some regions, it is also known as a cookie-cutter. Apart from cookie cutting, these cutters are also used in designing and shaping other types of food and fruits.
To cut fragile glasses with hands, you can’t use any ordinary cutter. You need a glass cutter to draw a score on a glass surface to break it down with slide hand pressure. It consists of a steel-made wheel.
This is also called the paper guillotine. This tool is commonly found in offices and classrooms. You can cut a considerable amount of paper sheets effortlessly to resize them with this amazing machine.
Crosscut saw is a handy hand saw that can cut wood perpendicular to the grain. This tool is very common in the woodworking world. You can easily use this saw as both ends have handles. You need two people to operate the saw precisely.
This saw is also called a pull saw, as you have to cut things by pulling the saw. It ensures exceedingly precise cuts with convenience. This saw features a thin blade and great for cutting softwoods.
Pad saw is also known as key hole saw, and this saw comes with a long narrow blade and a metal or wooden handle is attached to its one end. Some pad saws also have a retractable blade. This saw is good at cutting small-sized building materials.
This is a special type of rip saw or crosscut saw that has a very long and wide blade, and you need two men to grab its two ends’ handle. These saws are very helpful in cutting large and old trees and logs by hand.
As the name suggests, you need a veneer saw to cut the hardwood veneer. However, a veneer saw has fine teeth on both edges of the blade. Though the saw is small in size, it provides adequate output every time.
This saw has a firm back. I mean, you will find a stiff rib on the dull end or opposite-cutting edge of the saw blade. These saws are used in cutting joinery, dovetails, cabinetry, and that sort of woodworking task.
The name bow saw came from its shape as it has a bow-like appearance. It’s a special type of crosscut saw having a long uneven blade. It is also called swede saw or bucksaw. You can use this rough saw in cutting a bunch of woods with less preciseness.
Coping saw falls under Bow saw’s category, and this saw is mostly used for doing complex internal design and external shapes in carpentry or woodworking. It consists of a thin blade attached to the metal frame. It takes a U shape. You can cut plastic, wood, and medium-hard materials pretty quickly with this saw.
If you are looking for a saw that deals with metal, then you can depend on this simple but powerful metal cutter. It has a fine-toothed blade fixed in a frame. This saw is exceptionally cost-effective, and you can use it in your DIY projects.
The file is a fantastic hand tool that is master at removing materials from metal or wood to smoothen the rough surfaces. You can trim things using a file where you can apply any saw or cutter. You can also sharpen the edge of any blade using a file.
There are many types of files that play various roles in different circumstances. Let’s see them
You can reduce the flat surface using this rectangular cross-section file. You can do both single-cut and double-cut using a flat-file.
Instead of a flat surface, these round files have a round section. You can use this type of file tool on narrow diameter.
This file is a combination of flat and round files. It can be used for fixing damaged keyholes.
It is tapered and square in shape. You can do the filing of square grooves, rectangular nut slots, and keyholes with this amazing tool.
As the name suggests, this file is triangular in shape. It is also called three square files. It consists of 3 flat faces, and its angles are 60-degree.
This file is also known as a safe edge file. It looks like a flat file, but you can cut materials using this file. It is used for all-purpose filing works.
You can use this file for welding operations or slotting. With an arced knife-edge, these tools are tapered in thickness and width. It is used to make keys.
Dead smooth file
This file very special. When you finish your project, this file is used to file the product so that it achieves shining.
The teeth of these files are tinier than the teeth of rough files. These files are applied for large-scale metal filing jobs.
Joint round edge file
This file is widely used for shaping hinges and joints. These files are parallel in thickness and width. However, its edges are round in shape.
You can apply this file on soft materials as it has lesser and big sized teeth. Nonetheless, the rough cutting file shouldn’t be employed on hard metal.
Single cut file
This file is ideal for hard metal. You can also do the finishing job with it. It makes the metal surface smooth. The single-cut file is crafted with one-directional parallel teeth. These teeth are positioned on the center part of the file.
Double cut file
This file may not give you a smooth cut, but you will get the job done pretty quickly. These files have double rows of cutting teeth. This file is also called a coarse type file.
Curved cut file
With this curved-cut file, you can do filing work of soft metals like copper, zinc, brass, and aluminum. Its teeth are round in shape. Some people also call this file a vixen file.
Rasp cut file
This is a unique file that is made with thick teeth. Its teeth are triangular in shape and curving outward. It can be used on various surface including plastic, fiber, wood, and rubber. See Our Favorite Wood Rasps Files.
This file’s teeth are made with industrial diamond. As a result, these diamond teeth allow the file to be applied on very tough metal and other rigid surfaces like stone and glass. Its teeth are irregularly projected.
You will find different kinds of needle files of various sizes and shapes. These files are tiny, and you need this tool to achieve fine finishing in small workpieces.
This is a special type of file with a long shape. You can use this file to work in irregularly shaped areas and hard-to-reach places.
Hammer is another standard hand tool that is mostly used for striking objects. You can fix or break things using a hammer. As we all know, a hammer has a rigid hitting part and a long metal or wooden handle to hold the hammer efficiently. Many types of hammer available in the shop offer diverse functionalities.
Without further delay, let’s have a look at them.
This hammer is also called a ball-peen hammer. These hammer two heads come with a rounded and a flat face. This tool is mostly used in metalworking, especially for peening work. The hammer’s round part helps to make gaskets and flat part is good for striking chisels, nails, and punches.
For inserting and pulling out nails from various types of workpieces, a claw hammer is super common in that situation. However, you shouldn’t use this tool in heavy metalworking. There are special kinds of claw hammers that are used for framing work too.
Dead blow hammer
It’s a special kind of mallet-type hammer that causes minimum rebound when you hit with immense force. As a result, it minimizes accidental damage. This tool is used in auto repairing jobs for doing chassis work. Also, this hammer is used for the removal and installation of the hubcap. You can also do a knock joints job with it.
These are long-handled hammers with two large and flat metal heads. These hammers are very heavy, and they can produce enormous striking pressure. You can use this hammer for doing demolition work, rail-line construction work, and building construction works.
Gavel is a special hardwood hammer that is used in the court or ceremony to punctuate proclamations and rulings.
This hammer is also known as the joiner’s hammer. It’s a kind of mechanic’s hammer that is widely used in woodworking. To lower the accidental damage, its striking face is made rounder in shape.
The specialty of this hammer is that it can be used both as an axe and a hammer. Yes, one side comes with a hatchet blade, and the other side consists of a rigid flat hammer face. Its is very useful in the mass wood cutting job.
It’s a soft hammer. It is used in a place where you need a delicate strike is needed. The hitting face of these hammers is rubber or wood made to ensure softer striking. These types of mallets are very popularly used in carpentry and upholstery industries.
Rock climbing hammer
As the name suggests, this hammer is specially made to assist the rock climber. This hammer is also called a wall hammer or aid hammer. Its head can easily stick to the rock terrene. Some rock-climbing hammer comes with a strap for ensuring more convenience while climbing.
This hammer is similar to the Lathe hammer and sledgehammer but only has one sharp hatchet blade face. It cuts woods with grain, and it can rip a vast amount of wood quickly. Maybe that’s why it is also called “block buster”.
You will get a chisel-like face and a flat face on a stonemason’s hammer. This hammer is good at breaking brick, and for that reason, it is also called the brick hammer. You can also cut CMU (concrete masonry unit) without the need of a chisel. It is very commonly used in geology sample collecting work too.
This is a small and lightweight hammer applied in attaching upholstery fabric to furniture. To make the placement of the small nails or tacks, its hitting surface contains a magnet. You can have really quick tacks with this hammer.
Chisel is a special curving and cutting tool that is hit or forced by a hammer or other striker to cut materials. Some chisels have wooden handles, whereas the majority of the chisels have metal handles with a sharp blade attached to their other end. Let’s go through different types of chisel and their uses.
Firmer chisels are made with solid steel. Its handle is built with hardwood, and you can deal vast amount of woodworking tasks with this chisel. You can make fine corners with this tool.
Bevel edge chisel
It is a very popular chisel in carpentry especially in making dovetail joints. You will get acute angles smoothly with the chisel.
With 5 inches blade and handle, you can make cabinets and household furniture with the stunning chisel. It is perfect for paring, joinery, chopping, and trimming woods.
This durable chisel is good for sturdy materials like metal, mortar, stones, and bricks. However, this special chisel also works well with soft stone.
As the name indicates, this chisel is employed to cut mortise joints. It has a heavy blade and wood-made handle with a metal part for striking with a hammer or mallet.
Sash mortise chisel
It’s the smaller and thinner version of the mortise chisel. You can apply sash mortise chisel on shallow windows’ mortises. The majority of these chisels have a wooden handle.
This paring chisel is expert at applying on the tight spot, and you can also clean grooves with its long and beveled blade. For woodworking tasks, you can use this chisel to clean woods for making fitting-joints.
If you want a chisel for cutting or paring thin woods having a user-friendly grip, then you should try this chisel with a baseball-like handle. Moreover, this improved version of the paring chisel has a bigger blade for convenient cutting.
These chisels are good at installing hinges and butts. These chisels come with a short blade and you can do reshaping and recutting tasks with this guy.
You can easily guess that a dovetail chisel is an expert at making dovetails and make the smooth finish on dovetail joints. It comprises a 30-degree bevel-edged long blade. You can also apply this chisel to clean out the joint.
With a V-shape cross-section, this chisel with an average length blade is suitable for cabinetry and carpentry. You can quickly cut the mortises’ corner with this chisel.
This chisel is also called Nomi. Its blade’s frontal part is crafted with sturdy steel, and the middle part is made of soft steel metal. This chisel is extremely useful for designing softwoods.
This woodworking chisel is very popular due to its angled-tip and long blade. These chisels are good for making V-cuts effortlessly. However, it is not recommended for DIY workers.
This special chisel has a socket-shaped handle, and this shape allows you to strike the chisel repeatedly without breaking or cracking its handle. For mass woodworking, you can use this tool with great comfort.
If you are looking for a long and thick chisel for timber framing, boat building, and other complicated framing work, this chisel will be an extremely handy tool. Its cutting edge has 25-30 degrees of angle. Typically, they have a wooden handle with a metal-striking tip.
This chisel looks like a giant nail with a sharp-pointed front part. You can effortlessly reshape any concrete surface with this chisel. Also, you can take out small concrete pieces from big projects with this tool.
Cranked handle chisel
These chisels’ blade is slightly lower than its handle. As a result, you can use the whole blade without getting your fingers below the blade. You can easily shave woods with this amazing tool.
You can cut a straight line on a brick’s surface with this kind of chisel. It is also called a brick chisel. However, its blade will become dull if you use this chisel for metalworking or stone crushing work. So, you must use it on bricks.
Rivets, old rusted bolts, and nuts are cut using a cold chisel. It is crafted with sturdy steel materials and widely used in woodworking and metalworking.
This is a special sort of cold chisel. Its front part looks like an arrow. Nonetheless, you can shape soft metal like making horizontal groves and keyways with this tool.
This round chisel will be the perfect tool if you want to get narrow channels into your working surface. You also found half-round style round chisels. Its cutting edge is made with steel and has a wooden handle.
You will find two types of curved chisels that are widely used for different purposes. They are straight-blade with a curved gouge and curved-blade with a straight gouge. These chisels are good at crafting critical wooden structures.
From electrical work to woodwork, screwdrivers have a special place in every worker’s toolbox. The simplicity and availability of screwdrivers have helped it to become that popular. Yes, you will find many power-tools that do screwdrivers’, yet they can’t outdate or replace screwdrivers for various reasons.
In the modern era, you will find many kinds and shapes of hand-powered screwdrivers that fit different types of screws. I will discuss some popular types among them so that you can adequately understand which one is suitable for you.
If you search your toolbox at this moment, you will find this tool. It can fit into many screw slots because of having a flat head. Its flat blade may vary in size. These screwdrivers also have a rounder and bigger grip to hold and operate them smoothly.
Interchangeable head screwdrivers
These are special screwdrivers that enable you to alter their heads according to your screws’ size and shape. Don’t worry; their heads are easily replaceable, and they can produce huge force to fasten or loosen any set of screws.
Phillips screwdrivers are also very common as their front part has an “X” shape blade, and the majority of screws haves cross-shape slots nowadays. In other words, you need a Phillips screwdriver to work with Phillips a screw. Some Phillips screwdrivers also come with magnetic tips to hold the screws to place or take them out smoothly.
Allen key screwdriver
L shape hexagonal screwdriver is called Allen screwdriver. These tools are mostly found in professional artisans’ toolboxes as they need to use them for many big or small projects. Also, DIY hobbyists love to have this amazing tool for doing many crafting and repairing jobs.
To do your woodwork, metalwork, or DIY projects flawlessly, clamps will provide supreme control and convenience by holding objects securely. Different types of clamps available in the marketplace offer various facilities in the works. Let’s have a look at these tools.
This type of clamp is perfect for clamping any loop or frame. However, you will find multiple band clamps styles and sizes for various packages, frames, skids, etc.
This clamp is also called an F clamp or speed clamp. It is F-shaped and has a wider opening for holding big wooden or metal objects.
This clamp is also known as G-clamp. This metal clamp is widely used in welding and woodworking for holding things securely.
When you want to clamp mitre joints, you need to use this special clamp. Modern mitre clamps are very efficient and come with one movable jaw and one fixed jaw and a durable body.
Here, I have tried my level best to discuss some crucial types of hand tools. However, you will find thousands of different kinds of hand tools in this world, and people are also making new and upgrading old handheld tools every day to make life easier and simpler.
Hopefully, this article will help you learn and become a professional artisan. Good luck.