Tools. TOOLS. TOOLS! To an expert, craftsman tools are your best friend. You’re probably the type that will delightfully peruse the tools aisle at Lowe’s or Home Depot, searching for just the right tool for what is needed for a new project. You know their names and their histories. They have never failed you, and they will never leave you.
On the other hand, If you have no idea what tool does what job, or what makes a clamp different from a wrench, you might walk down that same tools aisle at Home Depot and be totally lost. If you can relate, this article is for you.
How to Choose The Best Tools
There are a wide range of tools to choose from. From minute to the gigantic tools, the options are endless. You’ll need to read the manual on the furniture you’re building or take accurate measurements of the materials you will be using for your project before taking a trip to the hardware store. We’ll give you the rundown on different types of tools.
These tools are the most common ones out there, they are the ones you’ll need for pretty much any job (construction, home repair, craft-making, etc.) that you might happen upon. Read on, and happy hammering!
20 Types of Tools Every man should have
The hammer is every construction worker’s lifeblood. You’ll see it hanging from their sides, dangling from their tool belts, always at the ready. We’ll begin with the handle. A wooden handle will be cheaper, but a metal handle will be sturdier and last longer. If you’re planning on using your hammer a lot, you may want to opt for a fiberglass handle. For woodworkers who end up pulling a lot of nails out, definitely make sure any hammer you buy has a clawfoot for pulling nails.
One more thing—make sure you give any prospective hammer purchase a couple of pounds before checking out. This is an important tool, maybe the most important, and it should feel like an extension of your arm. It should be a part of you.
Screwdrivers are another object that pretty much everyone will at least be somewhat familiar with. You can plug them into a screw and either twist it into a piece of wood or twist it out. That’s not the end of the story though! Screwdrivers can come in both Phillips heads and flat heads. A Phillips head looks like a cross, while a flat head is a single straight line. You’ll want to have both on your toolbelt, as you’ll encounter both kinds of screws in the course of any repair or construction project.
Pliers are one of those tools that everybody has but few people ever seem to use. But! When you do need pliers, you will really need them. They are invaluable for picking stuff out of tiny holes or for twisting things into inconvenient spaces. Pliers, like screwdrivers, also come in different shapes and sizes. Some pliers will have thin heads for nuzzling into small spaces, whereas other pliers will have big, thick heads for ripping out and twisting big objects. You will want to invest in at least two pliers, a big one and a small one, but anything more than that is probably unnecessary.
Ladders aren’t just for firemen. They are probably the biggest tool on this list, and far from the least important. You will want and need a ladder that is long enough to reach the places you need it to while being sturdy enough for you to feel safe. Ladders used to be made from mostly wood, but wood tends to get loose and wobbly over time, so any ladder purchase you make in the future should be metal, preferably aluminum to keep it as light as possible.
Wrenches are a tool that most people, short of hardcore craftsmen and construction workers, can avoid. However, everybody could benefit from having an adjustable wrench on-hand. Wrenches are for screwing and unscrewing bolts and the like. The thing with wrenches is that bolts vary greatly in size, and you’ll need exactly the right size wrench for each one. A wrench set is a possible solution, while most DIY-ers will opt for a single adjustable wrench that can take care of the majority of the jobs.
Clamps are an absolute necessity for woodworkers and craft people, but optional for the rest of us. Clamps are mostly used for holding together pieces of wood (or other materials) that are being glued together. There are many different kinds of clamps you can purchase. The main thing to look for with clamps is their reach. If you are a woodworker, you’ll need everything from a few inches to a few feet. Clamps can be a slippery slope. They will tend to hang on the wall and get very little use, unless you’re dedicated and always building furniture or working around the house.
Rulers are another absolute necessity! It is impossible to complete (or even start!) any project that involves cutting or sawing without a ruler. Rulers are therefore a standard implement in everyone’s toolkit. Like with many tools, there are a couple of different types of rulers. First you’ll have your standard, 12 inch ruler. Beyond that, you’ll have a yardstick. Another classic item in any construction worker’s tool belt is a tape measure, where the ruler is thick plastic that rolls up together in a small case to conserve space. All three of these are must haves for your projects.
Axes come in all shapes and sizes. There is a wide range to choose from, varying from a small boy’s hatchet to an enormous wood ax for chopping down trees. Like with hammers, the handles for axes vary. They can be wood, metal, plastic, or other artificial fiber. Experiment and choose whichever material best suits you and your needs. Be careful! Axes are one of the most dangerous tools on this list and one wrong swing can end someone up in the hospital.
Handsaws, along with hammers and screwdrivers, are a must have. Though many people would probably rather use power tools, there is no replacing the good old fashioned handsaw. Handsaws can vary in size and weight, so make sure to understand your need before beginning your project.
10. Circular Power Saw
This is maybe the most well-used item in any woodworkers tool cabinet. A circular saw is relatively safe, but should still be used with care! The circular power saw can be used for basically many different types of projects. Circular power saws can be both battery-powered and require cords. Generally, what battery-powered saws boast in mobility they lack in power. So serious woodworkers often have both.
Circular saws are for long, straight cuts. Jigsaws are for everything else. You will need to use a jigsaw to cut holes in wood, or really for any rounded cut. A jigsaw is a perfect item to buy battery powered, as it’s unlikely you’ll need something more than that. Plus, with jigsaws, you’ll have ample mobility.
12. Power Drill
A power drill, like a screwdriver, is an absolute must. There is just no way you’re going to be able to drill in screw after screw like you’ll need to do in any DIY project with a hand drill. Plus, it is nearly impossible to hand drill a hole for a screw in the first place! Get a good, battery-powered drill. You won’t regret it.
A sander is an item that can be viewed as a luxury. Sanders are for taking the edge off wood so that it isn’t scratchy and brings out the beauty of the grain. This is not only an aesthetic issue, as sanded wood will always look better than rough wood. It’s purely a safety issue. Unsanded wood around the house will give you cuts and splinters. You can sand wood by hand, but it will take forever. If you’re doing any big project that involves pieces of wood, you will need a sander, preferably a cordless one.
Of all the outdoor tools, the shovel is the most important. If you’re working outside, chances are you’ll need a shovel eventually. Shovels dig holes, they fill them in, and they transport loose materials from point A to point B. Shovels, like hammers, come in different sizes with many different handle materials. When purchasing, really pay attention to how a shovel feels in your hands. The wrong materials will give you blisters. The right material will allow you to shovel for a project with a long duration.
Augers are the shovel’s cousin. They are basically giant drills that are used to hand drill holes in the ground for fence posts and things of the like. Like a shovel, you will want to get an auger with handles that are comfortable for you to use. If you get an auger with rough handles, it’ll just end up being rough on your hands. You should also invest in some gardening gloves for extra safety precautions.
While the auger is the shovel’s cousin, the mallet is the hammer’s little brother. Mallets are for gently pounding anything that a hammer would damage, such as wooden dowels. Mallets are very simple tools and have a wooden handle and a rubber or steel head. Make sure that you get one that is heavy or light enough to do the job you’re asking it to do. Don’t use a five pound mallet on a piece of wood the size of a toothpick or you’ll be greatly disappointed at the result.
17. Riding Lawn Mower
Some people might not consider a riding lawn mower to be a tool, but it really is! It is an especially important tool for anyone with a large lawn that needs to be mowed, not to mention how serious a job it is to mow something like a soccer or a football field. Make sure that any mower you buy is well-researched and durable. There is nothing worse than spending a bucket load of money on a huge lawn mower that lasts six months and then becomes an unsightly lawn ornament.
18. Push Lawn Mower
While those with big lawns will need a riding lawn mower, most of us will make do with a push mower. Push mowers are all pretty standard, but you will be able to decide between manual and self-propelled. Self-propelled mowers will be easier for you to use, and they are even made battery-operated now! No more need for smelly, expensive gasoline with those.
19. Lawn Trimmer
A necessary piece of equipment for anyone who prides themselves on a pretty lawn is a lawn trimmer. Lawn trimmers take messy, unkempt edges and corners of grass and make them neat, tight, and straight. If you are the type to be concerned with the appearance of your grass, a lawn trimmer is a must have.
20. Tool Belt
No tool inventory would be complete without a good tool belt. A good tool belt is an absolute necessity for anyone who will be taking on serious projects in a workshop, construction site, or around the house. Your tool belt should be customized for the kind of jobs you are looking to get into. If you’re a simple DIY-er, space for a hammer and pliers should be enough. For a construction worker, however, you’ll need loads of space for a hammer, pliers, screwdriver, nails, and everything in between.
How to Care for Your Tools
If you get a lot of use for your tools, you’ll need to inspect your inventory quite thoroughly on occasion. Check for any dull blades on saws or lawnmowers to ensure a safe working experience in addition to a project result that you can be proud of! If your tools are dull, you could have difficulty cutting into materials with ease. Another thing to do for tool maintenance is to clean your tools. Cleaning your tools is a great habit to form so that you don’t have particles building up. Dirty tools could increase the risk of your tools rusting or tarnishing.
Some tools are manual like screwdrivers, shovels, and axes, while others are powered by gasoline or batteries like lawnmowers and power drills. Make sure to create your list of tools you’ll need before starting your project. Whether mowing your lawn or building a house, we hope our list has helped you decide on the most essential tools to use!