Hand tool

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Motorists tool kit roll of 1912-2.jpg



  • Standard
  • Long
  • Stubby
  • 90 degree cranked
  • Ratchet
  • Flexible
  • Robertson


  • Household scissors
  • Wallpaper scissors
  • Bone scissors
  • Craft scissors
  • Children's scissors
  • Nail scissors


  • Rubber
  • Leather
  • Cotton
  • Latex

Bit Holder

  • Holds a set of hex shanked screwdriver bits
  • Small pocket sized one is handy

Security bits

Measuring & Marking

Tape measure


  • More accurate than fibreglass
  • Steel tape breaks eventually
  • Stiff springy tape
  • Popular & cheap


  • Floppy tape
  • Tape is not perfectl dimensionally stable, so small inaccuracies may occur
  • Long lived


Steel, aluminium, wood, plastic

  • rigid or folding

Check the accuracy; the BS standard for plastic rulers is/was quite liberal.

Pen & Pencil


  • For transferring & copying angles
  • When using a bevel for repeat angles in construction, it can move, ruining workpieces. Draw round it when the angle has been taken, and check the bevel against this drawing before it is used on each workpiece.

Set Square

  • 90 degree tool that overlaps the edge of workpiece
  • fastest way to mark an exact line across timber


  • Yard long ruler


See Tapes for a full list of the numerous types of tape & their uses in DIY & construction. These include:

  • Insulating - pvc
  • Building - fairly tough, rippable
  • Masking
  • Cellophane - minimum cost low performance tape
  • Duct Tape - reinforced tape for most jobs except ducting
  • Foil tape
  • Amalgamating tape
  • Friction tape
  • Wall tape - crack repair tape
  • Clear waterproof tape - repairs to glass & plastic cracks.
  • Paper tape - tapes over PB joints before painting for a low cost non-filled job.
  • Plasterboard tape - an open mesh tape
  • & many more


  • Mole grips
  • C clamp
  • F clamp
  • Sash Cramp
  • Spreaders
  • Bar clamp
  • Mitre clamp
  • Pipe clamp


  • Long nosed Pliers
    • Pliers for use in very confined spaces
  • Circlip Pliers
    • Pliers for fitting and removing circlips
  • Round nosed Pliers
  • Sidecutters
  • Type of wirecutting pliers
  • Fencing pliers
    • Hammer, wire cutter and tensioner in one
  • Grozz Pliers
    • Glasswork
  • Waterpump pliers
    • Slotted hinge mechanism allows large sizes to be gripped
  • Parallel Pliers
    • Not often found in DIY use, but much better performance than standard pliers.




Paint brush

  • Decorator's brushes are widely available in sizes from 0.5" to 6"
  • Brushes several feet wide are occasionally seen in use for exterior painting
  • The worst ones are identified by pulling on the bristles to see if some come out.

Artists brushes

  • For fine detail
  • for tight access
  • For touchup jobs

Block Brush

A thicker brush for bulk application of thin paints, eg some lime paints & wood preservatives.

Paint kettle

  • Carrying a small amount of paint is less fatiguing
  • Reduces magnitude of spills
  • Helps keep bits of debris out of the main tin


  • Paint removal


  • smoothing
  • stock removal
  • Wet & dry for wet use
  • dense particles for hand sanding
  • lower particle density for power sanding avoid clog

Sanding Block

  • use with sandpaper to apply an even pressure and help achieve a flatter result
  • wood or foam

Shave hook

  • Paint removal
  • Often blunt when bought. Sharpening them makes them work!

Paint Guard

  • Hand held plastic strip to keep paint off other items, eg carpet


  • faster coverage than brush
  • better quality finish
  • overspray is a real problem, everything must be masked
  • more than one type or category of sprayer

Paint Roller, Tray & Sleeves

  • Faster cover than brushes
  • Rollers tend to produce some amount of overspray
  • shorthair rollers for flat smooth surfaces
  • longhair rollers for rough surfaces
  • ridged rollers for patterning


Brick trowel

Cold Chisel

  • For masonry

Line & pegs

  • Enables straight line construction

Bucket handle

  • Shapes pointing


  • Clears holes drilled in masonry
  • Quick, easy and avoids a face/eye full of brick dust.

Rawl tool

  • An obsolete manual masonry hammer drill
  • hit the tool, turn it, hit, turn etc to make a round hole
  • a cold chisel may be used instead.
  • picture



  • rectangular tool for smoothing
  • steel
    • general purpose float
    • for cement render, gypsum plaster, etc
  • wood
    • used mainly with lime plaster
    • draws fat to the surface less than steel
  • plastic
    • textured surface
    • for

Plasterer's Hawk

  • small handheld platform for mixed plaster



Small tools

  • detailing, ribbon work & decorative work

Corner trowels

  • right angle trowels for internal & external corners


Many tools used in woodwork are in other headings. This section is for tools not generally used in other areas of DIY.

Wood Chisel

  • Some chisels need sharpening before first use to get decent results.
  • dont use them as a lever - or if you do, keep some separate ones for this kind of rough work.
  • Pics of various types


  • smoothing, flattening & stock removal of wood & non-brittle plastics
  • Planes typically need sharpening and setting up before use


  • Marks wood for drilling
  • Loosens rope knots


  • drills a shallow hole for a screw head
  • several patterns available
  • large drill bit makes a basic substitute

Profile Gauge

  • A row of lots of pins held in place by friction
  • Use to transfer profiles from one item to another or to paper

Hand drill

  • Not often used since cordless drills became popular
  • Allow much finer control than mains electric drills
  • Relatively slow
  • Pattern of top handle is the main difference seen among hand drills, and this affects stability in use
  • Very old hand drills may have types of chuck rarely seen today, eg a 2 jaw chuck.
  • most have a quarter inch chuck

Moulding Plane

  • Produces moulded timber profiles
  • Now replaced by routers & spindle moulders

Breast drill

  • Type of hand drill
  • Top end of drill designed to be pressed against the chest in use
    • This stabilises the drill, and allows more force to be applied


  • Another type of drill

Joist Brace

  • yet another kind of drill

Spoke Shave

  • A very short plane for use on curved surfaces and in restricted spaces
  • Designed for trimming wooden wheel spokes


  • Coarse file for wood stock removal

Cabinet Scraper

Carving Chisels

Bench Hook



  • Backsaw
  • Bow saw
  • Bucksaw
  • Coping saw
  • Crosscut saw
  • Japanese saw
  • Fretsaw
  • Hacksaw
  • Hand saw
  • Japanese saw
  • Keyhole saw
  • Mitre saw
  • Plywood saw
  • Rip saw
  • Saw set
  • Two-man saw
  • etc. See Saws

more woodwork hand tools:

Bench hook Bow drill Broadaxe Card scraper Japanese chisel Drawknife F-clamp Framing hammer Froe Gimlet Gouge Gripe (tool) Hatchet Mitre box Pole lathe Sanding block Scratch stock Sharpening jig Sharpening stone Shooting board Slick (tool) Staple gun Upholstery hammer Vise (tool)


  • Claw hammer
  • Cross pein hammer
  • Ball pein hammer
  • Clubhammer
  • Sledge hammer
  • Dead blow hammer
  • (non sparking) hammer
  • Scutch hammer


  • Wood Mallet
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Plastic Mallet


  • Prybar
  • Crowbar
  • Wrecking bar

Material Handling


  • for moving loose material


  • for digging
  • Stainless steel gives less friction


  • Stainless steel gives less friction


  • Dyson's original ballbarrows are much less likely to sink into mud, giving much easier ride on wet soil, but they're no longer made.
  • plastic, nothing like as robust as metal barrows
  • ideal for gardening

Carrying handle?

  • Enables one person to carry 8x4 sheets


  • separate aggregate of differing sizes
  • remove clumps from cat litter
  • Power sieves are useful for large quantities



===Trowel (garden)



  • Good idea to keep separate cutters for steel wire and copper wire, as iron & steel wires damage cutters.


  • Sheet metal cutting scissors
  • designed for thin sheet only
  • Uncomfortable & difficult with anything thicker
  • cuts straight lines
  • mostly useful for fabrication

Aviation Tinsnips

  • A much improved design of sheet metal cutter.
  • greater cutting force
  • greater comfort
  • causes more distortion to the workpiece
  • mostly useful for dismantling

Wire strippers

  • Any of a number of designs of wirestripper


  • wood chopping

Meat Cleaver

  • Designed for butchers, these make a good small axe for trimming small trees and general gardening.
  • Add some red paint if you want to keep the neighbours away :)

Bolt Croppers

  • Heaviest of all hand cutters
  • Cut rebar, brass locks, bolts, threaded rod, small bar, chain
  • Will not cut hardened steel

Tile Nippers

  • Cut tiles.

Pipe cutter - wheel type

  • ring turn, eg Monument
  • for copper pipe

Pipe cutter - pvc chopper type

  • fast cutting of pvc pipe




Centre punch

  • Dents metal to prevent wander while starting to drill a hole

Automatic Centre punch

  • Just press, a hammering mechanism is built in.


  • various sizes
    • rat's tail file
  • different teeth size for different materials
    • coarse for wood
    • fine for steel

More hand tools: C-clamp Combination square Drift pin F-clamp Hand scraper Machinist square Magnetic base Rotary tool Scriber Tongs Tube & pipe benders Vice


Oil filter wrench

  • Various types
    • chain
    • strap
    • set of fingers driven by socket bar.


Hydraulic Jack

Various types

Bottle Jack

One of the more popular types of hydraulic jack

Other hydralic one used in garages

Screw Jack

2 concentric screws, forerunner of the hydraulic bottle jack, not sure of correct name

Scissor Jack

A very popular DIYer's jack.

Side Jack

Minimum cost jack often supplied with vehicle. The quickest way to remove old unwanted jacking points from cars.

Inflatable Jack

  • This is a large bag that connects to the exhaust.
  • Exhaust gases inflate the bag, lifting the vehicle up.
  • Used where ground is too soft for other types of jack, such as desert use. The only useful jack for these situations.

Axle stands


Pressure Gauge




Engine Stand



Single section

  • Basic 1 piece ladder

2 section

  • Allows ladder to be collapsed to a little more than half its length
  • Normal configuration for longer ladders

3 section

  • For long ladders

Roofing ladder

  • Lightweight ladder enables safer use on rooftops
  • Use of heavier ladders is inadvisable for roofing, as they can unbalance the user, with potentially very serious results.

Telescopic Ladder

  • Telescopic action enables small ladders to compact to very small storage size
  • Ideal for carrying in the boot of a car
  • aka surveyor's ladder

Step ladder

Multipurpose ladder

  • 3 ladder sections that can be joined in various ways to make:
    • straight ladder in 1, 2 or 3 sections
    • Step ladder
    • work platform
    • work platform with different height legs for stair work

Access tower

  • Scaffolding tower, usually free standing
  • May be on lockable castors
  • Stability depends on construction type


  • Should always be set up by an expert

More... yet to be put under the right headings

Framing Square

Roofer's Square

Carpenter's Square

Torx keys


  • Used as a substitute for a torque wrench
  • 15lbs at 1 foot gives 15 lbfoot, 15lbs at 2' gives 30lbft.


  • Garden trimming

Bulb planter

  • Makes bulb planting very quick
  • pointed stick with handle


  • highly accurate measurement of small distances


  • smoothing & material removal
  • different grit densities for different purposes
    • high density for hand sanding, low density avoids clogging with power tools

Dentist's mirror

  • Small mirror on stick enables seeing into unseeable places
  • Strips of mirror out of dead scanners get into smaller holes

Inspection Lamp

aka Drop lamp

  • hand held lamp designed to use up your stock of spare mains bulbs
  • Rough service bulbs recommended


  • Fixing cloth

Crimper, non-ratchet

  • attaches crimp connectors to cables, but the connection is invariably weak & inadequte

Crimper, ratchet

  • attaches crimp connectors to cables properly

Magnet on string

  • Retrieve objects dropped in voids

Draw tape

  • Threading wires through otherwise inaccessible voids, eg under floor, within walls



  • Records damage or other issues before a job starts
  • A simple way to enable near identical reassembly of complex items, in theory


  • to call an ambulance!



  • waistbelt with loops & pockets to hold tools
  • saves having to keep picking tools up
  • very useful up a ladder

Hard hat


Direct vent goggles

Indirect vent goggles

Ear defenders

  • Several types available
    • foam rubber in-ear
    • headphone style
    • active noise cancellers


  • One sheet in each ear reduces noise levels
  • not a BS approved ear defender system
  • spectrum unmapped & reduction unspecified


S hooks





  • the budget toolbag

Cleaning link?


  • Plastic or cloth sheets for keeping dust & paint off floors, furniture, woodwork, etc


  • used as dust sheet

1st aid kit

Fire exting?


  • Shaping & smoothing tool for silicone sealant & similar
  • Polypropylene

Pipe bender

  • Used with pipe bending spring or sand to bend copper pipe

Storage cases for small parts

Magnifying glass?

Dustmask, filters

  • Wide range of qualities available
  • Most are not suitable for some types of dust
  • Budget masks are for nontoxic nuisance dusts only, and reduce rather than prevent dust ingress

Laser level

Grout spreader

  • Straight rubber edge pushes grout between tiles while wiping it off the tile fronts.


Metal, wire & stud detector

  • Beware of faulty ones that don't go off when pointed at yourself!

Space suit

  • For hazardous substances
  • Prevents personal contamination

Impact driver

2 different tools go by this name:

  • Manual: a hammer driven screwdriver that applies impact force both down and rotationally
  • Power tool: these apply rotational impact

Hot glue gun

  • Bodger's special


  • Used with a circular saw
  • Enables greater accuracy

Mitre saw, manual

  • Guide frame to enable accurate angles to be cut in wood etc

Tray & towels

  • For catching water spilt from CH


For de-flooding house after CH work.


  • freezes pipes to enable plumbing. If quick.
  • Unfreezes pipes to enable flooding - if not quick.

Box spanner

  • Tube with hexagonal end to drives nuts.
  • Turned by a bar inserted through holes in the tube
  • US usage of the term is different.

Letter punch & Number punches

  • Stamps text into unhardened metals


Fibro cutter

  • Cuts asbestos cement sheet.
  • Not suitable for modern sheet replacements for asbestos.

Jeweller's screwdrivers

  • tiny screwdrivers
  • For repairing small appliances

Hex bit Screwdriver

  • screwdriver wth standardised interchangeable bits
  • more robust & versatile than conventional screwdriver


  • Soldering plumbing
  • Applying unmodified flat roofing felt in winter


  • may mean a battery light or gas flame
  • For paint stripping, soldering, drying, etc


For sharpening Very large grindstones on broom handles were formerly used for terrazzo. Thank god for power tools.


  • cuts tiles

Nail puller

  • Removes [[nails]
  • Various patterns available


  • Breaking up hard & stony soil

Feeler Gauge

  • set of slips of very thin steel, each of a different thickness
  • measures tiny gaps

Allen Keys


  • Garden clearance


  • Garden clearance

Axminster No.1 Odd Jobs

  • Multifunction Joinery tool

Tuck Pointer

See Also