What is a hand tool?

A hand tool is a tool that can only be powered by hand. Hand tools do not require a motor or electrical power, and can be used anywhere and anytime.

Hand tools are used to accomplish a variety of manual tasks. The tasks will vary depending on the hand tool being used. Hand tools are used by a variety of tradespeople. These include plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians.

What are the main classifications of hand tools?

Hand tools can be classified into several groups:

  • Measuring: Hand tools that measure allow you to get the length, width, and height, of two objects. Certain measuring tools also allow you to evaluate how even an object is.
  • Cutting: These tools allow you cut an object or material.
  • Gripping: These tools allow you to grab and twist objects.
  • Striking: These tools allow you to hit an object with force.
  • Driving: These tools are used for turning a bolt, pin, or other object in and out of holes.

What are the basic hand tools?

Although there are hundreds of different hand tools, the basic ones are listed below:

  • Hammers: These are a necessity for hitting something with force. They are commonly used for striking and removing nails.
  • Tape Measures: These are used for measuring the distance between two points.
  • Pliers: These are for bending, gripping, cutting, and holding objects. There are several types, but needle-nose and cutting pliers are the most common.
  • Screwdrivers: These are used for screwing and unscrewing machine screws, wood screws, and sheet metal screws.
  • Wrenches: These are for applying torque to nuts and bolts.
  • Saws: These are used for cutting various materials. This includes drywall, plywood, pipes, and even trees.
  • Utility Knives: These are used for cutting thin materials, such as opening packages or trimming a carpet.
  • Levels: These are used for checking how even a horizontal plane is.
  • Chisels: These are used for cutting or shaping various hard materials.
  • Prybars: These are used to create leverage between two objects, forcing those objects to separate.
  • Carpentry Squares: These provide a straight edge and helps you find or create 90° angles.
  • Pipe Cutters: These tools allow you to cut pipes made from different materials.

What should I avoid when using hand tools?

There are certain things you want to avoid doing when using a hand tool. Things to avoid include:

  • Avoid using a hand tool for a task the tool wasn’t designed for. This will increase the risk of injury to you and others.
  • Do not use excessive force when using a tool.
  • When using a cutting tool, make sure to cut away from you, not towards you.
  • Do not leave any tool unsecure after use. Make sure you store it in a safe place out of reach of children.