Hand Tools

Hand Tools Terms

Drywall Saw

  • Resembles a kitchen knife in design and is used to cut drywall and plasterboard in the same fashion as a keyhole saw, such as for sawing holes for electric outlets and switchplates.
  • The saw is self-starting with a sharp point for plunge cuts.
  • It may also have induction teeth for longer life without sharpening.

Hole Saw

  • Cup-shaped blade with a bit in the middle, called a mandrel.
  • Used for cutting holes in wood, plastic, plaster and light metals.
  • Available in a range of diameters.

Screening Tool

  • Used when installing door or window screening.
  • Has a cylindrical handle and bladed wheels on each end.
  • One end is tapered at the edge to help push the screening and spline into the proper slot of the frame.

Straight Edge Rake

  • Used to pull leaves and debris toward the user.
  • Also used to gather up heavy trash such as sticks and stones.

Sweep Rake

  • Used like a broom to pull leaves and debris past the user.
  • Fan-shaped.
  • May have a straight or round leading edge.

Shrub Rake

  • Used to rake around small plants and shrubs.
  • The flexible tines may have a straight or rounded edge.

Landscape Rake

  • Has a wide head braced with brackets attached to the handle.
  • Used for spreading dirt, gravel and sand.

Level Head Garden Rake

  • Has a level head set close to the handle.
  • Used to break up and smooth soil after it has been spaded and cultivated.
  • Has sharp, curved steel teeth to pulverize dirt clods.
  • The straight back is good for leveling the soil for planting.

Bow Head Garden Rake

  • Rake head is attached to the handle with a long, curved bows extending from each end of the head.
  • Handles are usually 48” to 54” long.
  • Used to break up and smooth soil after it has been spaded and cultivated.
  • Has sharp, curved steel teeth to pulverize dirt clods.
  • The straight back is good for leveling the soil for planting.

Bamboo Rake

  • Lightweight and inexpensive.
  • Used to gather light debris such as dry leaves or grass.
  • Teeth should be evenly bent for best raking results.

Thatching Rake

  • Used to remove thatch and dead grass from the lawn.
  • Pointed on one side for pulling and rounded on the other for pushing.
  • The wheeled version rolls along the ground. It digs as it is pushed forward and cleans itself of debris as it is pulled backwards.
  • The half-moon version does not have wheels. The user drags it along the ground. The pull stroke digs up the thatch, while the push stroke cleans.

Hand Truck

  • Also known as a dollie.
  • Use to haul trash cans, packages, firewood, etc.
  • Capacity ranges from 100 to 400 lbs., depending on the model.
  • Has either a solid metal toe plate or tubular shape to support the load.
  • Handle styles include pin, safety, continuous or upright.
  • Variations include a bag truck. It performs the same task as a hand truck but also incorporates a hoop to hold plastic trash bags with an elastic cord encircling the hoop. The hoop attaches to the frame to hold varying sizes of lawn bags.

Compression Sprayer

  • Most popular type of sprayer.
  • Also known as a pump sprayer or pressure sprayer.
  • When the sprayer is pumped, air pressure builds in the tank and forces the spray material through the hose, valve, wand and nozzle.
  • The nozzle adjusts spray pattern and the wand facilitates spraying under leaves and other hard-to-reach places.
  • Can be carried by hand, over the shoulder or mounted on a caddy.
  • Do not use galvanized steel sprayers for strong acidic solutions.
  • Plastic sprayers resist corrosion, are lightweight and easy to handle.
  • Typically available in 1- to 5-gallon capacities.

Hose-End Sprayer

  • Plastic or glass container with a spray nozzle.
  • Attaches to the end of a hose.
  • Best for jobs such as foliage feeding or applying fertilizers, insecticides or fungicides to lawns or gardens where large volumes are needed.
  • Spray pattern is normally a wide fan for lawns.
  • Uses a special attachment to prevent drift when spraying herbicides.
  • Comes with an anti-siphon backflow protector to prevent harmful chemicals from backing up into the water supply.

Knapsack Sprayer

  • Carried on the user’s back.
  • Used mostly for commercial applications.
  • Made of either polyethylene or metal.
  • Operates similar to a compressed air sprayer, but can handle a larger capacity.
  • Steady pumping maintains a constant pressure, which produces a uniform discharge rate and spray pattern. Some models only require intermittent pumping.
  • Capacity ranges from 3-1/2 to 5 gallons.

Slide Pump Sprayer

  • Operates by a two-handed, telescopic plunger action that draws the spray material from an open container and discharges it through an adjustable nozzle.
  • Develops pressure up to 150 lbs. and nozzles adjust for spray patterns up to 25’ or 30’.
  • Pump has continuous or intermittent action.

Hand Sprayer

  • One type produces a fine, floating spray suited for controlling insects.
  • Another type produces a wetter, heavier spray for treating exposed surfaces where insects feed, lodge or crawl.
  • Another model, a plant mister, produces mist for indoor plants.
  • Features intermittent, continuous or hydraulic pressure pumping action.

Power Sprayer

  • Powered by a gasoline or electric motor to assure greater application efficiency.
  • Tank is large enough to cover large areas with one filling.
  • Some models can be towed by garden tractors.
  • Used on shrubs, flowers, vegetables and trees.
  • Cordless electric models with 1- to 5-gallon tanks eliminate the work of pumping while spraying.

Plunger Duster

  • Ideal for pest control or for use on flowers or roses.
  • Capacity ranges from 1/4 to 1 lb. for home use and up to 3 lbs. for commercial use.
  • Discharges on the forward stroke of the plunger.
  • Volume of dust discharged and range or carry is controlled by the size of pump and speed of pumping.

Box-Joint Pliers

• General utility tool with up to eight adjustments, allowing for jaw openings up to 4-1/2″.

• Either multiple hole or tongue-and-groove designs available.

• Straight and curved jaws are available.

• Most common type of box-joint (multiple slip-joint) is 10″ water pump pliers.


Crimping Pliers

• Used for crimping sheet metal or metal duct work.

• Used in HVAC work to reduce one end of a metal pipe, gutter or duct so two pieces of the same size will fit together.

• May have a straight or angled head.


Cutting Pliers

• Can be side, end or diagonal types.

• Side cutters have a cutting blade on one side only and are available in long-, curved- and short-nose types.

• End cutting nippers have cutting blades on the end and are used to make sharp, clean cuts close to the surface on wires, bolts and rivets.

• Diagonal cutters have two cutting blades set diagonally to the handle. They offer leverage when pulling cotter pins and are used by mechanics and electricians for general cutting.

• Some cutting pliers are made with a spring in the handle to open automatically after each cut.


Fence Pliers

• Used to pull and cut staples in fencing and other work involving wire.

• Only tool needed for work on wood posts.

• Feature flat, heavy head for hammering, staple-pulling hook, wire cutters on each side and pliers jaws to pull wire.


Linemen’s Pliers

• Also called electrician’s pliers. Used by professionals engaged in electrical, communications and construction work.

• Used for cutting, holding, shaping and twisting wire.

• Heavy-duty, side-cutting pliers designed for all regular wire-cutting needs.

• Have gripping jaws in addition to cutting edges.

• High-leverage lineman’s pliers have rivet placed closer to the cutting edges to provide more leverage.

• Two head patterns are available: standard (bevel nose) and round nose, which is more streamlined.

• Sizes range from 6-1/4” to 9-1/4”.


Locking Pliers

• Adjustable, vise-type locking pliers that can be locked on to a work piece and operate like a clamp.

• Features an adjustment screw that changes the jaw size to apply the correct clamping pressure.

• Available in various sizes and shapes: curved jaw puts pressure on any style nut or bolt head; curved jaw with wire cutter also allows user to cut wire; straight jaw provides maximum contact on flat, square or hex work; long nose provides easy access in hard-to-reach places; large jaw is used by plumbers, welders and mechanics working with large objects; and bent nose is for work in tight places.

• Some use a mechanism that allows one-handed release; others require two hands to disengage.

• Many locking pliers provide a wire-cutting function, some from a full range, others from a restricted range of jaw settings.


Needle-Nose Pliers

• Also called long-nose pliers, they have a pointed nose for doing work in tight places.

• Used frequently for electrical and electronics work.

• Most have side cutters for cutting wire.

• The jaws and cutting blades meet evenly.


Midget Pliers

• Include straight, chain, round, end-cutting, diagonal-cutting and flat-nose pliers in extra-small sizes.

• Used by professionals such as electronic technicians who work with small objects in confined areas.


Self-Adjusting Pliers

• Feature an adjustable pivot with handles that allow compound movement.

• They have deep teeth and curved jaws that stay parallel as the handles are squeezed.

• Designed to provide additional leverage and gripping power.


Slip-Joint Pliers

• General utility pliers with two jaw-opening size adjustments.

• Some have a shear-type wire cutter to cut small-gauge wire.

• Available in regular or thin-nose design to reach into tight places.


Thin-Nose Pliers

• Also called bent-nose pliers, since the nose is bent at about an 80-degree angle so it can be used to grip and force wire through odd angles or reach around objects.

• Provide firm grip on fine work in tight places.

• Feature serrated jaws.


Tongue-and-Groove Pliers

• Features multiple size adjustments.

• Good for gripping and applying limited torque to round, square, flat and hexagonal objects.

• Jaws may be straight, smooth or curved.

• Sizes generally range from 4-1/2” to 20-1/4” in length.

• Widely used by plumbers, electricians and other professionals.


Wire Strippers

• Used for general-purpose wire cutting and stripping insulation from wire.

• Feature adjustable stops to remove wire insulation without damaging conductors.

• Feature pre-cut holes to cut different wire gauges.
Plier-style nose permits pulling and looping of wire.


Standard Slotted-Tip Screwdriver

• For driving and removing standard, slotted screws

• Slots generally range in size from 1/6” to 1/4”.

• Tip is flared at shoulder of blade so it is wider than the driver bar.

• Blades should not taper too sharply from the tip, because an improperly tapered tip has a tendency to rise out of the screw slot.

• Can have a square or round shank.


Cabinet Slotted-Tip Screwdriver

• Similar to standard slotted, but tip is straight and has no flare.

• For use with small screws and countersinking screws where regular tips with a flare would mar the wood or material on the side.


Phillips® Tip Screwdriver


  • Used on cross-slotted screw heads with modified U-shaped slots of uniform width.
  • Sizes range from 0 to 4, with 0 being the smallest.
  • Similar tip configurations include Frearson tips that have cross slots that are V-shaped slots with tapered sides, and Pizidriv® with additional, smaller slots at 45-degree angles to the main cross slots.


Square Tip (Robertson) Screwdriver

  • Have square tipped heads to help grip the screw on all four sides to provide more torque.
  • Range in sizes from 0 to 3 and jumbo.
  • Popular with decking projects.


Clutch-Head Screwdriver

  • Tips have four points of contact.
  • It locks into the screw head when turned counter-clock-wise.
  • The driver is unlocked by turning it in the opposite direction.
  • Because of the many contact points, the tip will not damage the screw head under high torque situations.


Hex Nut Driver

  • Similar to a screwdriver, but has a tip like a wrench socket.
  • Used mainly on small hex nuts and in confined areas such as electronic equipment, car ignitions and plumbing jobs.
  • Available in several sizes and styles, with a fixed-size or variable-size “socket” at the end to adjust to various nut sizes.


Offset Screwdriver

  • Designed for removing and inserting screws in places where it is impossible to use a straight shank screwdriver.
  • Available in two- or four-blade varieties, with one end slotted and one end Phillips
  • Some models available with reversible ratcheting mechanism to turn screw tip and magnetized tips to guide screws into holes or otherwise inaccessible areas.
  • Others have split-points that can be expanded in width to fill the screw slot and hold screws when guiding into inaccessible areas. A spring clamp that fits over the screw head, holding the bit in the slot, serves a similar purpose.


Ratcheting Screwdriver

  • Features a reversible ratchet mechanism in the handle that eliminates the need to grip and re-grip during the driving process.
  • Usually comes with interchangeable tips.


Spiral-Ratchet Screwdriver

  • Also called Yankee Screwdriver or Yankee Push Drill.
  • Drills and removes screws using a ratchet mechanism similar to a push-pull drill, with driving action provided by pushing straight down on the handle.
  • It has an adjustable chuck to permit interchanging different size driver tips and drill points.


Hex (Hexagonal) Tip Screwdriver

  • Also called a hex key or hex wrench.
  • It is used to tighten socket set (hex head) screws and usually comes in sets.
  • Some hex sets are attached to and fold into a metal carrying case.
  • Other variations include T-shaped hex tools with vinyl grips and L-shaped keys for greater torque power.

Multi-Bit Screwdriver

  • Allows the user to have a number of different types of tips in one tool.
  • Some models store the interchangeable tips in a self-contained unit.


Jeweler’s Screwdriver

  • Has a rotating head that is held by the forefinger to steady the screwdriver while the thumb and middle finger turn the screwdriver to remove or install small screws.
  • Mainly used by jewelers and hobbyists and others who often work with very small screws.
  • Generally manufactured in sizes ranging from .025” to .1”.
  • Usually available in sets with Phillips and slotted tips.


Bit Brace

  • A hand-drilling tool with a crank handle generally used to drill large holes in wood.
  • Drilling is done by turning the handle or center section in a circular motion. Pressure is applied to the knob or head of the bit brace with the heel and palm of the hand.
  • The knob or head of the bit brace is mounted on ball bearings so that it will turn freely from the rest of the brace and remain stationary when turning the tool.
  • Generally used with auger bits.
  • Can also be used as a powerful screwdriver.
  • Direction ratchet control in some models permits turning the bit in one direction and not the other which can be useful in tight spaces.


Push Drill

  • Operates by a push-pull movement using a spirally threaded shaft and chuck to hold the bit, similar to a push-pull screwdriver.
  • Generally has space in the handle for storing extra drill bits.


Hand Drill

  • Also called an eggbeater drill, the drilling action comes from turning a hand crank on the side of a drill frame.
  • Features adjustable drill chuck to permit easy changing of drill bits ranging in size from 1/16″ to 1/2″.
  • Usually has drill bit storage in handle.
  • Generally used for precise drilling in fine woodworking applications.



  • Used to make screw-starting holes for drilling, screwing or nailing when lightly tapped by palm of hand or with hammer or soft-face mallet.
  • Also used for scribing or scoring along a straight edge to produce a sawing or layout line on wood or soft metal.
  • gimlet is a variation of the awl with threads like a screw on the tip.


Open-End Wrench

  • Provides gripping power on two sides of the head with another side open so the wrench can be placed on a nut, which might not be accessible to a closed or box wrench.
  • Has different size openings on each end and should fit the nut exactly to prevent mutilating the nut edges.
  • Some types, called flare nut wrenches, are flared to fit hex fittings and flare nuts.
  • Generally available in sets.


Box (Box-End) Wrench

  • Has enclosed head and provides more leverage by completely enclosing the nut.
  • Some are offset to provide knuckle room and clearance over obstructions.
  • Ranges in size from 4″ to 16″ long and is available with either 6- or 12-point rings.
  • Some models have ratcheting capabilities.


Combination Wrench

  • Has a box and an open end on opposite sides of the same wrench. Both ends are usually the same size.
  • Used for working on machinery and is the most popular of all fixed-end wrench styles.
  • Also available is a reversible ratcheting combination wrench that allows the user to quickly tighten nuts and bolts without lifting the wrench off and repositioning it after each rotation.


Adjustable Wrench

  • Comes in two styles: locking and non-locking.
  • Non-locking styles feature an adjustable end opening with little provision made for slippage.
  • The locking style also has an adjustable head, but uses a locking mechanism to secure jaws in desired position, eliminating the need for constant readjustment. When properly adjusted to a nut or bolt, it will not slip.


Pipe (Stillson) Wrench

  • Screws pipes into elbows or other threaded devices.
  • Jaws actually bite into the surface to hold it for turning.
  • They should never be used on plated pipe installations because they will badly mar the finish.
  • Aluminum pipe wrenches are popular among professionals because of their lighter weight, but they are more expensive.

Socket (Hinge Handle) Wrench

  • Combines an offset handle with a male drive piece that has a spring-loaded bearing to lock on various size sockets. They can be used at almost any angle since handles may be attached to the head by a jointed hinge device.
  • The most common type is the detachable socket wrench, with square drive for hand use. Common square drive sizes are 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″, and these are normally used in conjunction with a ratchet wrench.
  • Sockets are available with 6-, 8- and 12-point gripping ends, in a full range of inch and metric sizes.


Hex Key Wrench

  • Hex-key wrenches are short, L-shaped tools designed to turn bolts or screws with hexagonal heads.
  • They generally come in sets of different sized wrenches.


Ratchet (Socket) Wrench

  • Available in a variety of handle shapes and lengths and used with sockets to make turning nuts and bolts easier than with a conventional wrench.
  • Available in 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ drive sizes and are used with socket wrenches.
  • Available with a round or teardrop-shaped head and contains a reversing mechanism to facilitate tightening or loosening a fastener.
  • Popular accessories include flex handles, speeder handles, T-handles, extensions of various lengths and universal joints to work on fasteners in hard-to-reach locations.


Locking Wrench

  • Through a locking action, jaws can be locked in a holding position with pressure up to 1 ton.
  • Can also be used as hand vises, holding clamps, pipe wrenches and hand vise pliers.
  • Available with both curved and straight jaws.


Torque Wrench

  • Designed to permit an operator to determine applied torque on bolts, nuts and other fasteners.
  • Torque value (generally measured in foot pounds) is set to a micrometer scale on the handle or preset by an adjusting screw in the handle.
  • Typically has square drives to use standard detachable 3/8” and 3/4” sockets.
  • Available with audible signal (clicking sound) or visual display.
  • Many torque wrenches are available with dual scales for conventional and metric measurements.

Chain Wrench

  • A pipe wrench used for tightening and loosening odd-shaped objects, such as pipes and square objects.
  • Has an adjustable chain that wraps around the object, with ends that connect teeth of chain to engage and turn the object.
  • Some models feature a locking mechanism with ratcheting action for turning in either direction.


Wood Chisel

  • Comes in a variety of sizes and styles. The butt chisel has a short blade that ranges from about 2-1/2″-3″ long. It is used by pattern makers, cabinetmakers, carpenters and do-it-yourselfers for carving and paring, particularly in tight spots. It can be used with hard-faced hammers.
  • A firmer chisel is square-sided, medium-duty chisel and has a longer blade, usually from 3-1/2″-6″ and is used mainly for cutting deeply into wood. It should be used with soft-faced hammers.
  • Paring chisels are for light-duty, detailed work such as trimming cabinets.


Cold Chisel

  • Also comes in a variety of styles, including flat (the most widely used), cape, diamond-point and round-nose.
  • A cold chisel should be used only for cutting and chipping cold metal (unhardened steel, cast and wrought iron, aluminum, brass and copper), never masonry.


Masonry Chisel

  • Used when cutting masonry, such as concrete block and brick.
  • Some models available with teeth for cutting soft stone.
  • One variation is the star drill, used for making holes in masonry to anchor fasteners.


Floor Chisel

  • Designed to remove flooring material
  • Larger head design, generally 3”, increases striking area.
  • Some models available with a target guard to protect against mishits.


Nail Hammer

  • Used for general carpentry, household chores and nail pulling.
  • Should be used only with non-hardened, common or finishing nails.
  • Curved claw offers leverage in removing nails and can also cradle a 2×4.
  • Choose 16 or 20 oz. weights for general carpentry; choose 7, 10 and 13 oz. weights for fine cabinetry or light-duty driving.
  • Available with smooth or waffled (serrated) faces. Milled face is for finishing jobs while waffled face provides more control when hammering large nails into lumber. Some claw hammers feature a side notch on the head for easier pulling of small nails and fasteners.


Rip Hammer

  • Also known as a Rip Hammer
  • Used mainly by professionals for ripping apart wooden components and demolition work.
  • Should be used only with non-hardened, common or finishing nails.
  • Choose weights from 20 to 32 oz. for framing and ripping.
  • Available with milled or waffled faces to grip the nail head and reduce the effect of glancing blows and flying nails.


Finishing Hammer

  • Used for general carpentry, finishing and cabinet making.
  • Head size generally between 7 oz. and 16 oz.
  • Smooth striking face so errant strikes don’t leave marks on the wood.

Tack Hammer

  • Used for furniture upholstery and to drive small nails and tacks.
  • Features a magnetic face used to hold small tacks. The other face is used to drive them.

Ball Peen (Ball Pein) Hammer

  • Ball Pein HammerUsed with cold chisels for riveting, center punching and forming unhardened metal work.
  • Striking face diameter should be about 3/8” larger than the diameter of the head of the object being struck.
  • Designed with a regular striking face on one end and a rounded or half ball on the other end instead of a claw.
  • Sizes range from 2 oz. to 48 oz. with 12 and 16 oz. the most popular.
  • Variations include a cross-peen hammer (with horizontal wedge-shaped face) and a straight-peen hammer (with vertical wedge-shaped face).


Soft Face Hammer

  • Used for assembling furniture, setting dowels and wood projects that require non-marring blows.
  • Available in weights ranging from 4 oz. to 22 oz.
  • Feature replaceable heads, typically one soft and one hard.


Bricklayer’s Hammer

  • Used for setting or splitting bricks, and chipping mortar from bricks.
  • Features a curved, chisel-like pick and a small, square striking surface.


Shingler’s Hammer

  • Drives roofing nails, assures proper shingle spacing, trims composition and fiberglass shingles.
  • Typically includes slotted, replaceable cutting blade.


Drywall Hammer

  • Drywall HammerUsed to score, sheet and set nails for drywall work.
  • Features a scored head and a notched blade instead of a claw.
  • Notch in the blade is used to remove exposed nails.



  • Has rubber, plastic, wooden or rawhide head.
  • Used to drive chisels or hammer joints together.
  • Sizes are specified in head weight or diameter with the exception of wooden mallets, which are specified by head diameter only.
  • Comes in variety of shapes and sizes for specific tasks.
  • Carpentry mallet features angled head to reduce fatigue; shop mallet with octagonal head is used for flat strikes; rawhide mallet is used in furniture assembly.


Sanding Disc

  • Most often used with disc sanders and random orbit sanders.
  • Available in a variety of grits and weights.
  • One style is PSA. PSA stands for pressure sensitive adhesive, so sandpapers of this type have a sticky backing. Generally, this type is used for sanding jobs where you will use the sandpaper until it is worn out. Not for tasks where you will be changing sandpaper frequently.
  • Another style is hook and loop, which attaches to the sander like Velcro. It is removable and good for jobs that require frequent changing of the sandpaper.
  • Holes in the sandpaper enable dust extraction to reduce buildup of dust on the abrasive.

Sanding Sheets

  • Most often used with orbital sanders and other types of profile and finishing sanders.
  • Square or triangular in shape, depending on the type of sander they are to be used with.
  • Available in a variety of grits and weights.
  • One style is PSA. PSA stands for pressure sensitive adhesive, so sandpapers of this type have a sticky backing. Generally, this type is used for sanding jobs where you will use the sandpaper until it is worn out. Not for tasks where you will be changing sandpaper frequently.
  • Another style is hook and loop, which attaches to the sander like Velcro. It is removable and good for jobs that require frequent changing of the sandpaper.
  • Another, more economical alternative to PSA and hook and loop sandpaper are sanders that use clamps to hold the sandpaper to the sanding pad. In this style, standard sheet sandpaper can be used. A paper punch tool is usually included with the sander to poke the holes in the paper to aid in dust extraction.

Fuse Puller

  • Used to remove cartridge-type fuses.


  • Also known as a force cup or a plumber’s friend.
  • Used to clear blockages in toilets sinks and tubs.
  • Combination plungers (usually black in color) consist of two cups, one inside the other.
  • Recommend combination plungers for clearing toilets.


  • Also known as a snake.
  • Consists of a coiled spiral cable, usually 1/4î thick and of varying lengths.
  • The most basic type has a z-shaped handle used to crank the cable as it snakes through the drain.
  • Another type uses a funnel-shaped container to store the cable and then to spin it as it works its way through the drain.
  • Professionals use an auger attached to a drill or other device that spins the cable. Usually these versions can maneuver a much longer cable.

Chain Pipe Wrench

  • Offers easy handling in close quarters on round, square or irregular shapes without crushing the object.
  • Consists of a forged-steel handle attached to a length of heavy sprocket chain. The chain wraps around a length of pipe and engages the sprockets in notches on the back of the handle. Sharp teeth on the face of the handle bite into pipe while the chain holds the pipe against the teeth to prevent slipping.
  • Turns pipe in either direction and can be used like a ratchet wrench. The handle can be loosened, shifted and turned again without removing the chain from around the pipe.

Strap Wrench

  • Recommended for working with brass, aluminum, lead, soft metal or plastic pipe because it grips pipe without teeth and does not damage the surface.
  • Consists of a fabric strap, attached to a loop ring that is fastened in the curved head of a straight forged bar or handle. It is then pulled around the pipe, back through the loop and over the head.
  • When the wrench is pulled tight, the strap grips the pipe.

Basin Wrench

  • Also known as a faucet wrench or a crowfoot faucet wrench.
  • One type has fixed jaws opening at right angles to the shaft handle. It is primarily used to remove supply nuts and hose coupling nuts on faucet spray attachments under worktables, sinks and lavatories.
  • The second type has spring tension pipe-gripping jaws that are reversible by flip-over on the end of drive shaft handle. It will grip pipe nipples, odd sized supply nuts and jam nuts in hard-to-reach spots.

Plastic Nut Basin Wrench

  • Used to reach and turn plastic mounting nuts on faucets, sprayers and ballcocks.
  • Notched ends self-center on 2-, 3-, 4- and 6-tab nuts.

Spud Wrench

  • A generic name for many types of wrenches that have large, flat-sided jaws.
  • Good for general purpose plumbing use.
  • The Adjustable type is an all-purpose model with notched jaws ideal for various sizes of nuts. It is the handiest and most common.
  • The Fixed type works with large spud nuts under kitchen sinks.
  • The 4-in-1 is similar to the fixed type and is use for turning locknuts on the toilet tank, basket strainers and spuds.
  • The Closet type is designed for toilet tanks and bowls.
  • The Internal type holds the sink strainer basket in place while you tighten the locknut below. It can also remove or install closet spuds, pop-up plugs, and strainers.

Seat Wrench

  • Also known as a faucet seal tool or faucet seat wrench.
  • Used to remove faucet seats.
  • It is L shaped. One end has four flat sides, the other has five flat sides.

Packing Nut Socket Wrenches

  • Also known as a plumberís wrench or wall socket set.
  • Available in sets and fits nearly all tub and shower valves.
  • Hex-shaped on both ends and hollow core to fit over faucet stem handles.

Propane Torch

  • Used to heat joints in copper pipe so solder can melt.
  • Also use to heat corroded fittings to loosen them.
  • Attaches to a cylinder containing the gas.

Star (Torx®) Tip Screwdriver

  • Designed for use with star head screws and bolts to reduce slippage.
  • Tips have six lobular drive surfaces to provide additional contact surface with the screw head.
  • Vertical sides transmit torque perpendicularly to the driven element so there is no slipping or cam-out.

Retractable-Blade Utility Knife

  • General-use tool designed to cut materials such as drywall, cardboard cartons, laminates and plastic.
  • Blade retracts into body of knife for safer operation and storage.
  • Some models have up to 3 different blade positions for different cutting depths.
  • Higher-end models have rubber grips and ergonomic designs for better gripping.
  • Handle generally unscrews or swivels open to permit blade changes.
  • Many models have extra blade storage in handle.
  • Some models have spring-loaded blades that automatically retract when the knife is released.

Fixed-Blade Utility Knife

  • Blade locks between the halves of the knife to provide more blade stability than retractable models.
  • Handle generally unscrews or swivels open to permit blade changes.
  • Higher-end models have rubber grips and ergonomic designs for better gripping.
  • Unlike retractable knives, accepts larger or special-purpose blades that can’t retract into the handle.


Snap-Blade Knife

  • Blade sections snap off (generally between 8 and 13 per blade) without having to open the tool to change blades.
  • Generally used for cutting light- and medium-duty materials such as wallpaper, rubber, vinyl and leather, or materials with adhesive backing that will stick to the blade and prevent sharp, accurate cutting.

Carpet Knife

  • Designed for trimming and cutting carpet and other flooring materials.
  • Angular design provides easier access to hard-to-reach places.
  • Many models feature retractable blades and blade storage in handle.


Precision Knife

  • A pencil-sized tool used for precision cutting of lightweight materials, such as paper or poster board.
  • Also called a hobby knife or X-Acto® knife.
  • Ultra-sharp blades made from surgical steel come in a variety of sizes in triangle and curved shapes.
  • Contains a built-in chuck to hold and secure blades.
  • Some models feature blade storage in the handle.


Straight Snips

  • Also called regular snips.
  • Used for all straight-line cutting jobs.
  • Cutting edges are sharpened at 78 degree to 85 degree angles.
  • Range in size from 7” to 16” in length.


Combination Snips

  • More versatile than regular snips.
  • Used for straight and moderately irregular cuts in either direction.
  • Range in size from 7” to 16” in length.


Duckbill Snips

  • Also called circular snips.
  • Feature long nose design.
  • Used for cutting tight circles or other curved designs in either direction.

Aviation Snips

  • Also called compound leverage snips.
  • Available in right-handed, left-handed or straight models corresponding to the various directions of the cut.
  • Cuts easier because of double fulcrum, compound leverage action.


Offset Snips

  • Have offset handles to keep hands above work.
  • Cut easier because of compound leverage.
  • Designed especially for long, inside cuts and are available for right or left cutting direction. However, both models will make straight cuts as well.

Bolt Cutters

  • Are heavy-duty cutters that cut bolts, threaded rods, cables and other metals from 1/16″ to 5/8″ thick.
  • Made from drop-forged tool steel and range from 12″ to 36″ long. 24” and 30” are most common.
  • The longer cutters have greater strength.
  • Special leverage joints allow great pressure to be applied with minimum effort.
  • End-cut cutters operate similarly to end-cut pliers, with special jaws available to cut special metals.


Bench Plane

  • An adjustable tool used for trimming, beveling, fitting and shaping wood, and smoothing rough spots left by sawing and drilling.
  • Blades are positioned bevel side down at a 45-degree angle.
  • Models range in size from 9″ smooth planes to 24″ jointer planes.
  • Smooth planes are smaller (generally 9” to 10”) and lightweight and used for flattening and smoothing the face of boards and other all-around work.
  • Jack planes are longer (12″ to 17″) and heavier than smooth planes, have more cutting capacity and are used for smoothing and squaring rough lumber surfaces.
  • Jointer planes, the longest (approximately 22” to 24” long) and heaviest of planes, are used to shape edges of doors or long boards so two boards may be joined together to make a close fitting joint.

Block Plane

  • Is much smaller than bench planes and used for smoothing the end grain of boards and shaping small pieces of wood.
  • Blades are positioned bevel side up and set at a low angle (12 degrees in low angle models and 20 degrees in standard models) to permit very thin shaving of work piece.
  • Available in both adjustable and non-adjustable models, adjustable block planes feature steel screws, usually on the end of the plane, to vary the height of the cutting iron.
  • Some block planes have an adjustable mouth to vary chip thickness. A very narrow mouth is best for fine finishing, while a wider mouth allows quick stock removal on less critical work.

Trim Plane

  • Smaller plane, generally 3-1/2: long.
  • Ideal for light detail work, including model work and sculpture.


Surface Forming Plane

  • Also called a pocket plane, the blade files away material like a cheese grater.
  • Blade design makes them much safer than most cutting tools and easier to use than a conventional plane.
  • Used for quick, single-handed trimming and cutting, particularly on drywall and PVC.
  • Leaves a rough surface on wood.
  • Available in regular, round and half-round patterns.


  • Used for detailed shaping of curved work, such as chair legs and seats, as well as for chamfering edges.
  • Replaceable cutters adjust for depth of cut and shaving thickness.
  • Generally 10” in length.

Rabbet Plane

  • Also called a rebate plane.
  • Lightweight tool (generally 4” long) used by cabinetmakers and do-it-yourselfers to cut rectangular recesses (called rabbets or rebates) out of the edges of boards and to make grooves in flat surfaces.
  • Has an adjustable mouth for either fine or course work.
  • Cutter is positioned at front of plane to enable tool to fit closely into corners


Router Plane

  • Used to make dados or grooves in areas inaccessible to a regular plane.
  • A variety of blade styles are available.
  • Requires two-handed operation.
  • Can be adjusted to control size and depth of cut.


Framing Square

  • 90 degree L-shaped tool made from one piece of material (steel or aluminum), with the long end (blade) usually 24″ and the short end (tongue) 16″.
  • Also known as carpenter’s or rafter square because this tool is generally used for laying out rafters and marking stair stringers.
  • Similar squares are also available in other sizes (8″ x 12″).
  • Generally has framing tables (rafter and Essex tables) etched into the body to provide information on roof framing.
  • Also has ruler increments printed on the inside and outside edges.

Try Square

  • An L-shaped tool used as a guide for pencil markings of 90 degree cuts and to check the edges and ends of boards for squareness.
  • Also used to determine whether a board is the same depth for its entire length.
  • Try squares have broad 6″ to 12″ blades set at right angles, with wood, plastic or metal handles.
  • Also available is a try/miter square, which features a 45º corner edge.

Combination Square

  • Has a grooved blade and head that can be adjusted (by loosening the thumbscrew) to many locations along the 12” blade to provide different measurements and for scribing.
  • One edge of the head (which is usually metal or plastic) has a 90-degree fence for crosscutting while the other has a 45-degree angle for use as a miter square.
  • The head also contains one level vial to check for level and plumb and a scratch awl for scribing.
  • Some combination square sets are available with an attached protractor that is movable throughout 180º for setting the blade at any angle within that range.

Sliding T-Bevel Square

  • Used for locating and transferring any angle between 0 to 360 degrees.
  • Has a movable blade that can adjust to any angle by loosening and tightening wing nut or locking mechanism.
  • Available with plastic or wooden handles.
  • Also used for bisecting angles for mitering when used with a compass.

Speed Square

  • A small triangle-shaped square with a flanged edge for butting against the edge of a work piece to draw 90-degree or 45-degree angles.
  • It has different angle measurements marked on its surface and edges.
  • Also used as a cutting fence for circular power saws.
  • Markings on diagonal edge correspond to layout dimensions for rafters and stairs.
  • Generally available in 7” and 12” sizes.

Drywall Square

  • Useful tool for measuring and marking 4’x8’ sheets of drywall, plywood and other 4’x8’ building materials.
  • Often used as a guide to score drywall.
  • Some models available with adjustable bevel for marking and scoring angles.

Folding Square

  • Square that conveniently folds for easy storage.
  • Locking mechanism locks tool securely for use.
  • Angle markings from 0 to 60 degrees.
  • Often used in tiling projects.
  • Generally available in sizes ranging from 12”x12” to 48”x48”.

Tape Reel

  • Typically 100′ long and designed to measure long distances.
  • Tape is contained in durable case and is generally rewound by a crank on the side of the case, with a small hook on the end for hooking onto objects to be measured.
  • Common tool of builders for measuring foundations.

Retractable Tape Measure

  • Ranges in blade length from 6′ to 35′, with 10’, 16′ and 25′ being common sizes.
  • The concave blade measuring rule varies in width from 1/4″ to 1-1/4″—wider tapes are easier to extend over longer distances without collapsing.
  • A spring mechanism contained in the housing automatically retracts the tape.
  • A locking mechanism locks the tape in place. Some models have buttons that slide to lock the blade, while others have levers and toggles that permit the tape to retract when squeezed.
  • Many have markings for laying out studs on 16″ centers or other specialized markings.

Digital Tape Measure

  • Similar to a conventional tape measure but with electronic features added, such as a digital readout to make measurement readings more precise and the ability to convert fractions to decimals or even metric equivalents.
  • Another useful feature is a function that compensates for the size of the tape case when taking inside measurements, such as a window frame or a door jamb.
  • Some models have a memory function which holds a measurement without having to write it down. Other models have a voice recorder to make it easy to keep track of multiple measurements.

Ultrasonic Measuring Device

  • Tapeless electronic devices allow a single person to measure interior spaces (generally up to 50 feet) without assistance.
  • These electronic tapes often include built-in calculations for area (square footage) and volume (cubic footage) and can store measurements in memory.

Folding Rule

  • Measuring device consisting of 6″ to 8″ hardwood, steel or aluminum lengths connected by spring joints that unfold for measuring distances.
  • Some models include an extension slide for measuring closed-in areas such as doorways and window frames where a regular folding rule will not work. The rule is unfolded as far as possible, then the slide is extended and its measurement added to the overall measurement for a total measurement reading.
  • Different models are designed for specific measuring needs of masons, engineers, carpenters and plumbers.

Measuring Wheel

  • Consists of a wheel, handle and odometer designed for lengthy exterior measurements—up to 10,000 feet.
  • Features include collapsible or telescoping handles, gear-driven counters, a variety of wheel sizes, different types of tread materials and optional carrying cases.
  • A push button reset returns the counter to zero.
  • Wheel diameters range from 4” to 25”, with professionals generally opting for the large-wheeled units that are suitable for rough terrain.

Yardstick Metal Rule

  • Used for measuring and cutting roll and sheet material using straight edge as a fence.
  • Also called a straight-edge rule, as thicker, rigid models can be used as a saw guide.
  • Some models measure in 1/8” and 1/16” increments on one side and in 1/32” and 1/64” increments on the other.


  • Tool consisting of two curved pieces of metal that are joined at one end with a pivot that has a screw to adjust the distance between the two pieces.
  • Used for transferring measurements from a model or prototype to a part being produced.
  • Can also be used to measure the inside or outside of holes or objects that cannot be reached easily with a graduated measuring device.
  • Common models include inside and outside calipers.

Dial Calipers

  • Tool used for measuring inside and outside diameters of cylinder-shaped objects, such as drill bits and pipe.
  • Dial readout provides accurate measurements in 1/64” or .01”.
  • Metric models are also available.
  • Other models include vernier calipers, which don’t have a dial and require the user to read from measurements on linear scale, and electronic digital calipers, which have a digital display readout.


  • A caliper shaped like the letter “P” used for close tolerance work on tools such as drill presses and lathes.
  • These devices can make inside, outside and depth measurements to within .001″.

Pitch Gauge

  • Used to determine the exact thread pitch needed for replacing screws and nuts.

Stud Finder

  • Stud finders are devices that help locate wall studs, enabling you to hang pictures, mirrors and shelves securely.
  • Come in two basic types—electronic, which finds the stud by measuring the density of the wall, and magnetic, which detects nails and/or metal studs in the wall.
  • In addition to wood and metal studs, some advanced electronic stud finders will locate pipe, conduit, electrical wires and even reinforcing bar buried up to 6” in concrete.

Carpenter’s Level

  • Tool that employs bubble vials positioned in the center and both ends to check vertical and horizontal surfaces for level or plumb.
  • Made of either hardwood with brass binding, metal (aluminum, magnesium) or high-impact plastic.
  • Typically 24″ to 48″ long, but some models (generally mason’s levels) are longer and can be up to 72” in length.
  • Some models include split level or graduated vials that have two sets of lines, with the outside line representing a 2 percent grade that conforms to the slope required for gutters and waste lines to drain properly.
  • Some models include electronic features to calculate angles on sloped surfaces (roof pitches, stair slopes and drainage angles) and display reading in degrees, percent slope or inches per feet (rise/run).

Torpedo Level

• Usually 9″ long and 1” wide, it is used for obtaining readings in close quarters where a typical carpenter’s level won’t fit.

• Because of its compact size, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, hobbyists and homeowners often choose torpedo levels.

• Enhancement features include magnetized models and models incorporating a battery-operated light for working in dark areas.


Laser Level

  • Also called laser chalk lines, they are used to level and provide reference lines for hanging pictures, tile work, etc.
  • New features for electronic levels include having preset angles commonly used in construction, a self-leveling feature, and offering a graphical display that tells the user the direction and extent to rotate toward level or plumb.
  • Accessories include a variety of mounting devices such as clamps and magnetic mounts that make setup and use easier and more convenient.

Plumb Bob

  • A small, tapered, pointed weight suspended from string or cord used to measure true vertical plumb or depth.
  • Commonly used in construction and framing.
  • Many chalk line reels can also be used as plumb bobs, hanging the tool from its string.

Line Level

  • Used for checking level over distances, such as when installing a patio, floor or a suspended ceiling, and when there is no flat surface available.
  • Generally attached to a string stretched between two points, allowing the user to make an accurate height comparison between the two points.

Circular Level

  • Circular in shape, this tool is used for leveling flat surfaces over a 360 degree plane, such as table tops and appliances.
  • Also called Bull’s Eye or Surface Level.
  • When bubble appears in center of circular vial, piece is level.

Angel Level

  • Locates angles and pitches (slopes) from 0 to 90 degrees.
  • Commonly used when installing drain lines to check for proper fall of pipe.
  • Generally reads slope or pitch with inches per foot rise scale.

Post Level

  • Used to set and plumb posts and columns
  • Attaches to post and displays level in two directions.
  • Also available in magnetic models for positioning waste lines in plumbing applications.

Rotary Laser Level

  • Rotates 360º and projects a level reference point on all vertical surfaces within range
  • Most units come with either a self leveling or manual leveling  base as well as floor and wall mounts.
  • Generally accurate to 1/4 ” at 100’ for manual leveling units and 1/8” at 100’ for self-leveling units.

Laser Plumb Line

  • A self-leveling device that projects a vertical laser line onto any surface
  • The laser line is always visible because it is not covered up with a pencil mark and it is not affected by wind like a plumb bob.

Single-Bit Axe

  • Most popular style of axe, the single-bit axe is used to fell, trim or prune trees, to split or cut wood.
  • The easiest and safest axe for inexperienced woodcutters to use because it only has one cutting edge.
  • The other end of the head, the poll, forms a hammer for driving wooden or plastic stakes. It should never be used to strike splitting wedges, steel posts, stone or any hard object.
  • Handles for single-bit axes are curved to help increase leverage. Axe handles are made of hickory and range from 20″ to 36″ long. The most common is 36″.
  • Common head patterns include Michigan, Dayton, Kentucky, Connecticut and New Jersey.

Double-Bit Axe

  • Performs the same function as single-bit axe, but has two cutting edges—one on each end of the head.
  • Generally used by professional lumbermen.
  • Double-bit axes have straight handles because the handle must be symmetrical with the double-edge head.
  • Common head patterns include Western, Michigan, Swamping and Reversible.

Carpenter’s Hatchet

  • Also called a half hatchet.
  • For general use of felling and trimming trees or notching wood.
  • Other popular hatchet models include Hunter’s Hatchets, Broad Hatchets, and Camping Hatchets.

Shingling Hatchet

  • Generally used for installing wood shakes and shingles made of wood, fiberglass and composition.
  • Some models have a replaceable adjustable gauge that helps installer determine the exposed length of a shingle.
  • Many models also include nail slots and draw knives built into the head.
  • Handles can be made of hickory, fiberglass, tubular steel or solid steel.

Splitting Maul

  • Similar to a sledgehammer, but one end of the head is wedge-shaped.
  • Used to make a starting notch in wood.
  • A wedge is then inserted and struck with the hammer end of the maul head to finish splitting the wood.

Splitting Wedge

  • Tool used to finish splitting wood when struck with splitting maul after a starting notch is made.
  • Made of steel, aluminum and plastic.
  • Steel wedges are forged from a solid piece of high-carbon steel and may be heat-treated.
  • Aluminum and plastic wedges are designed primarily for use with chain saws and crosscut saws to hold the kerf apart to prevent binding.
  • Wedges should be struck with a sledge or woodchopper’s maul having a larger striking face than the head of the wedge.
  • Never strike the steel wedge with the cutting edge of the maul.

Rip Saw

  • Has large, chisel-shaped teeth, usually 5-1/2 teeth per inch, and is made to cut with the wood grain.
  • Blade lengths measure from 24″ to 28″. • Teeth are cross-filed to ensure that the chisel point is set square to the direction of cutting for best performance.
  • This saw is best held at a 60º angle to the surface of the board being cut. The ripping action of the saw produces a coarse, ragged cut that makes the saw unsatisfactory for finish work.

Crosscut Saw

  • Designed for cutting across wood grain and produces a smoother cut than rip saws.
  • Has teeth shaped like knife points to crumble out wood between cuts.
  • The most commonly used crosscut saws are 10- to 12-point for fine work and 7- or 8-point for faster cutting. 10 teeth per inch is considered general purpose
  • Blade lengths range from 20″ to 28″, with 26″ the most popular.
  • Can also be used to cut plywood.
  • Best cutting angle for this saw is about 45º.


  • Is a fine-toothed saw designed to cut metal or plastic. Hacksaws consist of a blade held in a steel frame with relatively high tension to hold the blade rigidly straight. High-tension models (with tension to 32,000 p.s.i.) are also available.
  • Blades come in coarse-, medium (18 tpi), fine (24 teeth per inch and very fine-toothed (32 tpi). Regular or standard blades are used for general-purpose cutting; high-speed or bi-metal blades for cutting hard, extra-tough steel.
  • Most models can be adjusted to hold various blade lengths. Some have both horizontal and vertical positions for blades. Others provide blade storage.
  • A close-quarter (or utility) hacksaw holds and positions a hacksaw blade so it can be used effectively in narrow spaces and slots.
  • Replacement blades include rod saw blades capable of cutting through most hard materials—spring and stainless steel, chain, brick, glass and tile.

Compass or Keyhole Saw

  • Cuts curved or straight-sided holes.
  • Saw blades are narrow, tapered nearly to a point to fit into most spaces.
  • Blades come in three or four styles that can be changed to fit the job.
  • Some models have induction-hardened teeth for longer life without sharpening.
  • Keyhole saws are small compass saws with finer teeth that can cut metal.
  • Turret head keyhole blades can be rotated and locked in several positions for easier cutting in tight, awkward spots.

Coping Saw

  • Used for cutting irregular shapes, curves and intricate decorative patterns.
  • Name comes from saw’s usefulness in coping back the joints of molding when fitting two pieces together.
  • Saw consists of a thin blade and a C-shaped steel tension frame.
  • The removable blade is typically 6-1/2″ long.


  • Is a thick-bladed saw with a stiff, reinforced back to provide the rigidity necessary in precision cutting.
  • It varies in length from 10″ to 30″ and is found in tooth counts from seven to 14 teeth per inch.
  • Used with miter boxes to cut miters.

Bow Saw

  • Consists of a tubular steel frame and a saw blade for fast cutting of all woods.
  • The bow saw’s frame is important, since the thin blade, usually 3/4″ wide, must be held under high tension for fast cutting.
  • Advantages of this general-purpose saw are its all-around utility and light weight.
  • Some bow saws are designed to hold hacksaw blades as well as standard bow saw blades. These multi-purpose saws can be used to cut wood, metal or plastic.

Dovetail Saw

  • Similar to a backsaw, with stiff reinforced back, only smaller with finer teeth.
  • Used for fine finish cuts, such as cutting dovetail joints in woodworking.
  • Common saw for trimming molding and furniture repair.
  • Can also be used to cut plastics and laminates.

Toolbox Saw

  • Also called Panel Saw or Short Cut Saw.
  • Good for ripping, crosscutting and general cutting of lumber, plywood and particleboard and plastic materials.

Plywood Saw

  • Is specially designed for sawing plywood, veneers, laminates and moldings.
  • The blade, which cuts on the push stroke, is curved downward at the end to allow user to start cuts in the center of a board.
  • Not designed for cutting solid wood.
  • Standard saw lengths are 12″-13″, generally with 14 teeth per inch.

Pull Saw

  • Is similar to most traditional saws except the teeth are designed to cut with a pulling motion.
  • Pull saws cut wood faster and with less effort because of the thinner and more flexible blade.
  • The saws feature teeth diamond-ground on three cutting edges.
  • Because of the flexibility of the blade and the minimal set to the teeth, the saws are excellent for flush cutting.
  • Mini pull saws that cut sharply on the pull stroke are used for precision carpentry.

Retractable Saw

  • Comes in a variety of designs and is engineered for the blades to either retract or fold back into a plastic or wooden handle.
  • Also called a folding saw.
  • Some models have combination features, such as utility knives, on end opposite saw blade.

Plastic Pipe Saw

  • Designed to cut PVC and ABS plastic.
  • Can also cut wood and drywall.

Miter Box

  • Used to help cut exact angles for wood trim and rafters.
  • Better models provide a mechanism for a backsaw.
  • They are made of plastic, hardwood or aluminum.
  • Some boxes feature magnetic mount guides. The magnets grasp and hold the saw to the miter box saw guide or hold the saw blade to the plane of the saw guide.


  • The most common type of clamp—consists of a C-shaped frame, made of either forged steel or cast iron, into which an adjustable screw is assembled to change the jaw opening.
  • The size of a C-clamp is measured by its jaw capacity—the dimension of the largest object the frame can accommodate with the screw fully extended. Most range in jaw capacity from 2” to 10”.
  • Also important is depth of throat, the distance from the center line of the screw to the inside edge of the frame. C-clamps range from 3/4″ to 14″.
  • Most have a sliding cross-pin handle or a wing nut that is used to tighten the screw.

Bar Clamp

  • Has a clamping device built on a flat bar, which is usually made of steel.
  • The length of the bar determines the capacity of the clamp, which is the dimension of the largest object that can be accommodated between its clamping jaws.
  • “Reach” is the distance from the edge of the bar to the end of the clamping jaws.
  • Screw pressure applies the final clamping load.
  • Bar clamps are used for clamping large objects, making them popular with woodworkers and hobbyists.

One-Handed Bar Clamp

  • These are bar clamps designed with a pistol grip to allow the user to tighten or loosen the clamp instead of screwing it.
  • Can be adjusted by using just one hand on a trigger switch.
  • Perhaps the most significant innovation to come about recently in the area of clamps.
  • Available in jaw openings from 6″ to 50″ and a variety of sizes

Pipe Clamp

  • Can be mounted to standard threaded or unthreaded pipe to clamp boards together while gluing.
  • Clamping can be performed from one end or both, and jaws can be positioned at the ends or anywhere along the pipe.
  • Pipe clamps can also be quickly converted from a clamp to a spreader.
  • A hardened steel set screw holds the head firmly on the pipe, but is easily loosened. The 3/4″ size has a crank handle, and depth from screw center to pipe is 11/16″. The 1/2″ size has a crosspin handle, with depth from screw center to pipe of 7/8″.

Handscrew Clamp

  • Also called a cabinetmaker’s clamp, it consists of two hardwood clamping jaws adjusted to the work by two opposing steel screw spindles assembled into the jaws.
  • The jaws adjust to a variety of angles and come in a wide range of sizes up to 10”.
  • They are used for clamping wood, metal, plastic and fabrics.
  • Handscrew adaptors can be used to convert handscrews into miter clamps.
  • Also available are handscrew kits so woodworkers can make their own jaws.

Corner Clamp

  • Designed to hold miter or butt joints at a 90º angle.
  • They can be used for gluing picture frames, cabinets, molding and trim.

Spring Clamp

  • Similar to a clothes pin, this clamp consists of two metal jaws to which clamping pressure is applied by use of a steel spring.
  • They are designed for use with thin materials.
  • Spring clamps are versatile enough for home, hobby or professional use indoors or outdoors, holding round or odd-shaped objects.
  • They typically come with 1″, 2″ or 3″ jaw openings.

Web Clamp

  • Also called band clamps, they apply even clamping pressure around irregular shapes or large objects to hold tight by means of a spring-loaded locking fixture.
  • Commonly used on cylinder-shapes and to hold chair legs while gluing.

Hold-Down Clamp

  • Is the screw portion of a “C” clamp, designed to be secured onto any surface, with the screw used to apply clamping pressure.
  • Also available in locking models, similar to locking clamps.

Edging Clamp

  • Three-way clamp resembling a C-Clamp with a third screw located in the middle of the throat.
  • Used to apply pressure at a right angle to the side of the work surface.
  • Commonly used for installing molding and trim on furniture and countertops.

Welding Clamp

  • Also called Locking “C”-Clamp or welder’s pliers.
  • A unique type of clamp ideal for holding work while welding.
  • Typical jaw opening sizes range from 2-1/8″ to 8.”

Bench Vise

  • Tool that mounts on a workbench or table to hold work pieces securely in place between two flat jaws.
  • Generally used in light-duty applications.
  • Available in both stationary and swivel models to hold work at various angles and positions.
  • A threaded spindle opens and closes the jaws of the vise to hold and release work piece.
  • Generally has jaws ranging in length from 3″ to 8″.
  • Jaw opening ranges from 4” to 12” in different models.

Woodworking Vise

  • Has jaws made of wooden pads to hold work piece securely in place without marring surface of work piece.
  • Generally mounted to the side of a workbench
  • Some woodworking vises have a fast-acting screw arrangement for the rapid positioning of the movable jaw prior to clamping.
  • Smaller vises have continuous screws and are light and easy to clamp on a workbench or sawhorse.

Utility Vise

  • Similar to a bench vise.
  • Generally has jaws ranging in length from 3″ to 6″.
  • Better models feature swivel bases so the vise may be turned to the best angle for each particular job.
  • Some utility vises either have cast-in pipe jaws or permit special curved-face pipe jaws to be inserted between the regular jaws to add versatility.

Angle Vise

  • Contains marked adjustments to permit clamping at different angles.
  • Can also be adjusted to a flat position and used as a regular vise.
  • Can be locked into any position with a thumb screw, and bolts can be tightened for permanent positioning.

Clamp Vise

  • Is a combination fixed and portable vise, featuring a bottom clamp for easy attachment to workbenches, sawhorses or tables.
  • The best choice for portable use.

Drill Press Vise

  • Great for holding work piece still when drilling, tapping and reaming on a drill press.
  • Most models have grooves machined on both sides for mounting to machine table.
  • Used for 90-degree machining of sidebodies.

Vacuum Vise

  • Light-duty vise that has a lever-operated suction cup on the bottom to secure to tabletop or other work surface.

Staple Gun

  • Also called manual power staplers, this tool shoots a variety of staples (and many times brad nails) with a one-hand lever operation.
  • Good for a variety of jobs requiring material to be held with one hand and fastened with the other, such as lining closets, installing insulation, tacking ceiling tile or fastening roofing paper.
  • One new design features a handle that is squeezed toward the front instead of the rear, making it easier to use and control.
  • Other models are designed to fasten a variety of materials, such as different types of wire, including telephone wire, heavy-duty wire and insulated wire, etc.
  • Electric and cordless staple guns are also available. They have the same uses as the hand-operated guns but the staples are ejected automatically with the pull of a trigger.

Hammer Tacker

  • Also called a “slap tacker,” this tool resembles a hammer in design, with the stapling mechanism in the head and the staples stored in the handle.
  • The unit is used like a hammer and automatically drives a staple with each blow.
  • Commonly used by construction crews to install roll felt roofing paper under roofing materials.

Desk Stapler

  • Common household and office tool used to staple paper and other lightweight materials together.

Plier Stapler

  • Similar to a desk stapler, but is generally used in heavy-duty work.

Glue Gun

  • Electrically operated glue guns consist of a heating element, nozzle and glue chamber.
  • Glue or caulking sticks are put in the chamber, where they are melted by heat and released through the nozzle. The adhesive cures by cooling. Cordless models are also available.
  • Some models require the operator to maintain pressure on the glue stick with the thumb. Others are self-feeding. The trigger mechanism on some models closes the nozzle to prevent dripping.
  • There are a variety of glues available—both with a gun and in replacement packages including heavy-duty types for wood joints requiring about 60 seconds drying time and lightweight for paper, etc., with shorter drying time.

Rivet Tool

  • Plier-type tool that fastens materials together using rivets. The tool flattens the rivet heads to create a flange that sandwiches the material together.
  • Can be used in place of screws, nails and other fasteners in many applications, such as thin metal, leather and canvas.
  • It is usually purchased in a set containing one or two interchangeable nosepieces that set 1/8″ steel or aluminum rivets or 3/16″ aluminum rivets. Fixed nosepiece models are only capable of setting 1/8″ steel or aluminum rivets.
  • Many rivet tools feature self-storage of the extra nosepieces. Other features include sliding latches to lock handles closed for storage, spring opening handles to make constant usage easy and epoxy finishes to protect the tool.

Tool Box

  • Is available in a variety of configurations and made from a variety of materials, with steel being the most popular.
  • Plastic toolboxes are available in a number of styles as well. Some are suited for light-duty use, while others are comparable to steel in quality.
  • The highest quality plastic boxes are constructed of polypropylene, and some models can hold up to 75 lbs. of tools.
  • Some carpenters and precision tool users use hardwood chests because the wood absorbs rust-producing condensation.
  • Carpenters’ toolboxes are specially designed so carpenters can carry hand saws and framing squares in the same box with other tools.

Tool Caddy

  • Plastic revolving storage container that holds tools and items such as nails, bolts, screws, glue and wire in tiers of circular trays.
  • The caddies are made of a high-impact plastic and feature a ball bearing base plate, allowing the unit to revolve easily.

Work Belt

  • Is generally constructed of leather or nylon and has compartments to keep tools and fasteners organized.
  • Can be purchased as a single unit that comes complete with a belt and separate compartments and pouches for various tools, or as individual components with the belt and pouches sold separately.
  • Most work belts come equipped with a steel or leather hammer loop, a tape measure compartment or clip, and various nail pouches as well as individual compartments for tools and fasteners.
  • Belts generally fit waist sizes from 29” to 46” and even 52” and are constructed of leather or padded nylon for comfort.
  • Some come equipped with compartments for cell phones.

Nail/Tool Pouch

  • Comes in a variety of configurations for holding tools and fasteners.
  • Main pockets generally hold fasteners and smaller, individual compartments hold tools.
  • Generally constructed of leather or nylon.
  • Belt, which is sold separately, fits into slots in pouch.

Wrecking Bar

  • Also known as ripping bars or crowbars, these tools are used in construction, demolition and where pulling nails, ripping wood and similar tasks are done.
  • Those with curved ends are also known as gooseneck bars.
  • Because of their length, usually 24″ or 30″, they have more leverage than hammers, enabling them to pull much larger and longer nails.

Pry Bar

  • Smaller and flatter than a wrecking bar and not designed for heavy-duty prying.
  • Features beveled notches in each chisel-like end and ranges in size from 6″ to 21″.
  • Useful for removing nails with exposed heads and for prying paneling or molding without marring the surface.
  • One type of pry bar features an extra curve, which makes it useful for lifting and holding such things as drywall panels in place.
  • Double claw models provide equal force on push or pull.

Cat’s Paw

  • Tool used to pull nails when nail heads are buried beneath the wood’s surface.
  • Forked chisel end is hammered into wood surrounding nail head until the nail head is positioned between notches. It can then be pulled from below the wood surface.

Nail Set

  • Used to countersink nails before filling with putty, plastic, wood or other filling materials for a smooth surface.
  • Nail sets are sized by 1/32″ and range from 1/32″ to 5/32″.
  • It is important that the correct size set be used for each size nail to prevent enlarging of a small nail hole by too large a set.
  • The pointed end of the nail set should be cupped or hollowed out to avoid splitting the nail head. Self-centering nail sets are available.

Pin Punch

  • Used for driving or removing bushings, pins and keys that have been loosened.
  • Also called a drive pin punch.
  • Shaft has a long taper to the tip, which is flat.

Prick Punch

  • Used to make a very light starter mark that can then be enlarged by a different type of punch (usually a center punch).
  • Also used to mark layout lines.
  • The point of a prick punch has a long bevel.

Starter Punch

• Used to make a starter mark that can be enlarged with a pin punch.

• Generally ranges in length from 4” to 7”.


Center Punch

  • Also known as a nail punch, the point of a center punch has a short bevel.
  • Used for starting holes in wood or metal, or to align rivet or bolt holes.
  • Also used for driving rivets after rivet heads have been removed.
  • Good all-around punch that is useful for most jobs requiring a punch.

Automatic Center Punch

  • Punch that is not stuck by a hammer. It has a spring-actuated internal drive that pushes the attached punch point into the material to be center punched.
  • These punches are available in different sizes and with replaceable screw-on points.

Brick Trowel

  • Punch that is not stuck by a hammer. It has a spring-actuated internal drive that pushes the attached punch point into the material to be center punched.
  • These punches are available in different sizes and with replaceable screw-on points.

Pointing Trowel

  • Used by bricklayers for pointing up their work.
  • Pointing and margin trowels are used for patch work and for cleaning other tools.
  • High-quality pointing and margin trowels are forged in one piece and constructed the same as a brick trowel.
  • The length of pointing trowels may be from 4-1/2″ to 7″. Best sellers are the 5″ and 6″ lengths.
  • A 5″ x 2″ is the most popular margin trowel size.

Concrete Trowel

  • Also called a finishing trowel, this tool is used to compact and finish the surface of the concrete to the required smoothness.
  • Concrete trowels are narrower and longer than plastering trowels.
  • The blade is slightly convex.
  • Blades range in width from 3″-5″ and in length from 11″-20″. Most popular sizes are 14″ x 4″ and 16″ x 4″.

Corner Trowel

  • Used to form inside and outside corners.The most requested sizes are square and 1/2″ radius.

Tiling Trowel

  • Used for spreading mortar on substrate before laying tile.
  • Includes models that make both square and “V” notches.
  • Notch sizes range from 1/8” to ¼”.

Brick Jointer

  • Used to strike joints of brick walls for a finished appearance.
  • Because it receives hard wear, the tool is heat-treated.
  • Each end is a different size to make different size rounded joints.
  • The most popular combinations are 1/2″ x 5/8″ and 3/4″ x 7/8″.


  • Is made of aluminum, magnesium, wood, cork or rubber.
  • The most popular with concrete finishers is wood and magnesium.
  • The best-selling sizes in wood are 12″ x 5″ and 16″ x 3-1/2″ while the popular magnesium float is 16″ x 3-1/8″.

Bull Float

  • Used by concrete finishers to float large areas of concrete.
  • The most popular sizes are between 42″ and 48″ long and are 8″ wide.
  • Handle sections either 5′ or 6′ long can be joined together so that a finisher can reach out 15′ to 20′ over a slab.

Grout Float

  • Used to push grout into spaces between tile.
  • Consists of a handle with a thick foam rubber pad that is generally ¼” thick.

Tuck Pointer

  • Also called a joint filler, these tools apply new mortar between old bricks.
  • They are usually 6-3/4″ long by 1/4″-1″ wide.
  • The best models are constructed in one piece.

Concrete Edger

  • Tool that produces a radius at the edge of a concrete slab to minimize chipping.

Concrete Groover

  • Is used for cutting joints in concrete to control cracking.
  • Common groove sizes range from ¼” to ½”” wide and are generally ½” deep.

Flat File

  • Rectangular-shaped file with a single set of teeth used for general sharpening of metal objects.
  • Common types include millflat and hand, depending on thickness and the taper.
  • A flat double-cut file is commonly used to sharpen mower and axe blades where a mill bastard file is commonly used to sharpen shovel blades.
  • A hand single-cut file is used for more precise smoothing and for deburring metal and plastic.

Round File

  • Also called a rat-tail file.
  • Cylinder shaped tool used to remove stock from round holes in order to make them larger or smoother.
  • Also used to remove burrs from the inside of pipe.

Half-Round File

  • File that is flat on one side and round on the other.
  • Used for removing stock and rounding edges on curved metal pieces.
  • Can be used on concave, convex and flat surfaces, depending on side being used.

Taper File

  • Triangular shaped single-cut file generally used to sharpen gullets between saw teeth.
  • Also called a taper saw or a triangular file.
  • Generally 6” in length with a tapered body.

Chain Saw File

  • Is made for both round-hooded and square-hooded chain saw teeth.
  • For round hooded teeth, the file must be held level against the bevel of the cutting surface of the tooth at an angle of 25° to 45° with the saw blade.
  • File direction is off the cutting edge, pressing back and slightly up during the stroke.


  • Type of file used to shape wood.
  • Teeth are rougher than a file’s teeth for rapid removal of wood stock.
  • Rasp-cut files have individually punched teeth shaped like pyramids that are entirely separate from each other.

Hand File

  • Also called a shoe rasp or four-in-hand rasp/file.
  • Features four files in one, including a file section and a rasp section on the flat side, and a file section and a rasp section on the half-round side.
  • Handy for a wide variety of filing jobs.

File Cleaner

  • Also called a file card, this tool contains a brush used to clean out file grooves.
  • Generally used on finer cut files to remove sawdust and metal particles.

Sharpening Stone

  • Available in diamondoiled and dry models, these tools are used to sharpen various blades of cutting tools.
  • Diamond whetstones sharpen using the diamond dust from the stone.
  • Oil stones must be oiled to avoid accumulation of the metal particles from the tools being sharpened. To oil the stone, put a drop or two or lightweight household oil on the stone before each use. Also, new stones should be soaked in a bath of oil for several days before use.
  • Flat whetstones are the most common type of oil stones with both a smooth side and a coarse side for various sharpening requirements.
  • Drystones wear out much faster than oil stones because the stone’s surface crumbles away when sharpening.
  • Be sure to study manufacturer literature to recommend proper stones for different types of blades.

Drywall Taping Knife

  • Is used for taping drywall joints and spreading drywall joint compound between wallboard seams.
  • Tempered stainless steel blades bow for feathering.
  • It can be used in covering nail spots and other indentations in the board as well.
  • Blades range in size from 4” to 14”, with the most popular blade widths being 8” and 10”.
  • Handles are constructed of either wood, plastic or ergonomic foam rubber for added comfort.


  • Trowel designed for holding plaster and drywall joint compound during application.
  • Generally made of lightweight aluminum or magnesium in 13″ or 13-1/2″ square sizes.

Drywall Finishing Trowel

  • Designed for smoothing the various layers of joint compound when finishing drywall.
  • Has a slight concave bow in the blade that helps to feather mud when making drywall joints.
  • The tempered, flexible steel blade is securely attached to a lightweight aluminum mounting.
  • Handle varieties include smoothly turned basswood handle and ergonomic plastic.
  • The most popular size is 11″ x 4-1/2″.

Drywall Corner Trowel

  • Is used in applying compound to both sides of a corner at one time.
  • Comes in both inside and outside corner models.
  • A flexible one-piece blade of stainless steel eliminates tape snagging.
  • The blade angle is set at 103° to give perfect 90° corners when flexed in use.

Drywall Pole Sander

  • Is used for sanding drywall joints, especially ceilings and side walls without having to use a ladder or stilts.
  • Swiveling head design allows for excellent maneuverability and easy access into corners.
  • Some models feature a hammerhead tip to easily set drywall nails.
  • Sandpaper or sanding screens clamp to head.
  • Extension pole is often sold separately.

Drywall Hand Sander

  • Used for hand sanding drywall joints.
  • Generally accepts ½ sheet of sandpaper or sanding screens.
  • Some models come equipped with a 6” flexible hose adapter that can be connected to a shop vacuum to suction drywall dust during sanding.


  • Used with either a 3/8” or 1/2 ” drill for mixing drywall mud.
  • Has blades attached to a shaft that is inserted into power drill.
  • Shaft lengths generally range between 16” and 28”.

Mud Masher

  • Hand powered device used to mix drywall joint compound.
  • Features hardwood handle and square, grooved head.

Mud Pan

  • Pan for holding drywall joint compound in hand during application process.
  • Generally 12” in length with tapered sides for easily applying joint compound onto taping knife.
  • Plastic models generally have a replaceable scraping bar for cleaning excess joint compound from taping knives and trowels.
  • Galvanized steel models feature watertight seams and sheared sides.

Crank Duster

  • Provides a constant flow of dust while the crank is turned.
  • Capacity ranges from 2 lbs. for home use to 15 lbs. for commercial use.
  • Discharge is either in front of or behind the operator.
  • Larger models are carried by straps over the shoulder.
  • A regulating device controls volume of dust discharged.

String Knit Gloves

  • Used for general purpose work applications.
  • Provides cut and abrasion resistance.
  • Some styles are coated with a polymer to provide added protection or to provide a better grip.
  • May be constructed of cotton, a cotton/polyester blend, synthetic fibers and high-performance fibers.

Cotton Gloves

  • General-purpose glove for performing a variety of tasks around the home and garden.
  • Offers good comfort and breathability.
  • Quilted style is good for heavy, multi-purpose applications and added heat protection.
  • Chore gloves are for general purpose work.
  • Some gloves may be marketed for specific tasks, such as garden gloves with patterns or designs to attract certain types of buyers.
  • May be cotton or cotton/polyester blend, canvas, jersey or terrycloth. Often has a knit wrist.
  • Some styles may have PVC dots to improve gripping ability and durability.

Leather Gloves

  • May be solid leather for heavy-duty applications or have a leather palm.
  • Durable and long lasting glove. Handles a wide variety of applications.
  • Construction materials include cowskin, pigskin, goatskin and deerskin.
  • Driving gloves offer dexterity when operating equipment.
  • Welding gloves offer protection from heat and sparks in welding applications.
  • Gunn pattern leather palm gloves offer protection from rough objects, sparks and for cushioning blows.
  • Clute pattern leather palm gloves offer the best economy in leather protection.

Supported Gloves

  • Protects against solvents and resists chemicals, cuts punctures and abrasions.
  • May be constructed of neoprene, nitrile, PVC, rubber or vinyl.
  • One style is a coating over a lining of cotton or other fabric. The fabric helps insulate and adds comfort.
  • Another style is dipped, where the PVC or other material does not have a fabric lining.
  • Neoprene offers the most chemical protection and flexibility.
  • Nitrile offers good abrasion resistance.
  • PVC offers good liquid and solvent protection.
  • Rubber offers good gripping power and cut and puncture resistance.
  • Vinyl offers breathability, gripping power and minimizes absorption.

Glass Paint Scraper

  • Used to scrape excess paint off windows.
  • Can accommodate either single- or double-edge razor blades.
  • The most popular type has a retractable blade that slides out of the handle and back in for safety purposes when not in use.

Vinyl Patching Kit

  • Contains a patching material that forms a permanent patch over holes, tears, etc., in vinyl.
  • Some kits require heat, while other patching material cures in air and requires no heat.
  • Also included in these kits is an assortment of “graining paper,” used to reproduce any design in the vinyl.
  • With a backing behind the hole in the vinyl, patching material is brushed over the hole and proper graining paper is laid over the patch.
  • With material that requires heat, an iron is then pressed over the graining paper to apply the proper heat to the patching material, causing it to take on the pattern of the vinyl and to set properly.
  • An assortment of touch-up colors is available to blend the patch into the color of the vinyl.

Fiberglass Repair Kit

  • Contains fiberglass fabric for patching and waterproofing.
  • It remains flexible after application, preventing reappearance of the same crack.
  • Kits includes fiberglass tape and oil-based mastic.
  • After the tape is applied over the crack, the mastic is brushed over the tape.
  • The edges are then feathered to blend with the surface being repaired.
  • Recommended for repairing rain gutters, roofing, interior walls and wood surfaces.

Heat Gun

  • Aids in removal of paint and varnish, as well as flooring, adhesives and frozen nuts and bolts.
  • Either comes in one setting (generally 750 degrees F or variable heat settings ranging from 200 degrees F to 1,100 degrees F.
  • Higher heat settings are for removing paint and varnish.
  • Lower heat settings are for removing flooring, adhesives and bending or molding plastics.
  • Resembles a hair dryer.

Caulk Gun

  • Tool that applies caulk from cartridges to work area.
  • Ratchet Guns are less expensive, but are more difficult to use. To stop caulk flow on the ratchet gun, the user must turn the piston so the ratchet disengages.
  • Smooth Rod Guns are more expensive, but are easier to use. With a smooth rod gun, the user simply disengages a quick-release thumb plate to stop the flow of caulk. Drip-free smooth rod caulking guns allow the piston to back up slightly after each squeeze so the user does not have to turn the piston or depress a lever to stop the flow of caulk.
  • Some models use an automatic vacuum action to draw any unused caulk back into the nose of the tube.
  • Power Guns that operate with a rechargeable battery pack are becoming popular with pros and serious d-i-yers.


  • Comes in five general types, including garnet, emery, aluminum oxide, silicon carbide and alumina zirconia. Of these, the first two are natural minerals or abrasives; the others are synthetic materials that are tougher and longer wearing than the natural abrasives.
  • All U.S.-manufactured sandpapers conform to the same numerical system for grading coarseness. The smaller the number, the coarser the grit.
  • Coarseness generally runs from 12 (extra coarse) to 1500 (ultra-fine). Grit finer than 600 is usually measured on the European FEPA scale, and identified with a “P” immediately before the number.
  • The back of each sandpaper sheet contains important labeling information, including product and lot number, abrasive type, grit size, whether it is open or closed coat and backing. The backing weight is rated by letter. “A” is the thinnest weight, while “C” and “D” are the best options for hand sanding of wood. “X” is effective for heavy-duty sanding.
  • Manufactured on a variety of backings, including paper, cloth and fiber.
  • Garnet is a reddish-brown natural abrasive. By special heat treatment, a tougher, sturdier grain is produced. Garnet is used almost exclusively in the woodworking field; it is not suitable for use on metal.
  • Emery is a black natural abrasive that can polish metal surfaces. Emery is typically used in conjunction with an oil lubricant.
  • Aluminum oxide is the most common general abrasive. It is a synthetic brown that is hard and long-wearing. It is used on wood, metal or painted surfaces and is well suited to finishing high-tensile materials such as steels and bronzes, as well as some hardwoods.
  • Silicon carbide is hard and sharp—effective in sanding low-tensile materials such as cast iron, aluminum, copper or plastic. It is also useful between coats of finish.
  • Alumina zirconia is harder than silicon carbide and tougher than aluminum oxide. It should be used for grinding and shaping metal and wood—not for polishing.
  • Sandpaper comes in two styles: open coat (OC) and closed coat. “Coat” refers to how densely the grain is adhered to the surface. “Closed coat” means 100 percent of the surface is covered with grain. Open-coat sandpaper has greater spacing between the grains, which prevents it from clogging up as quickly with sanding residue. Closed-coat sandpaper, however, fills more rapidly with the substance being sanded and must be discarded sooner.
  • Many styles available in sheets as well as sizes for various sanding power tools.

Steel Wool

  • A popular accessory item. It should be used before painting on any glossy surface.
  • Uses include removing grime and sludge prior to refinishing, preparing new surfaces, removing old coatings on raw wood and for application in between coats of enamel, paint, shellac or varnish.
  • Also removes paint from glass, furniture, tile and other surfaces.
  • Comes in grades ranging from fine to coarse.
  • More water-based strippers and finishes have led to a man-made synthetic steel wool product. This product will not cause spotting in wood, as standard steel wool can when used with water-based finishes.
  • Bronze wool is a popular alternative to steel wool.

Wallpaper Activator Adhesive

  • Ready-to-use product that promotes adhesion and acts as a wetting agent.
  • Gives excellent slip for matching patterns.
  • Helps prevent seam pops.
  • Eliminates water trays.

Wallpaper Paste

  • Enables wallpaper to adhere to wall.
  • Water soluble, so cleans up with soap and water.
  • Special formulas designed for boarders where vinyl to vinyl adhesion is needed.
  • Some have tinting agent that ensures complete coverage.
  • Be sure to check the kind of paper before you buy paste. Some coverings require wheat paste, while others use liquid vinyl adhesive or a vinyl paste.

Wallcovering Scoring Tool

  • Hand tool that perforates existing wallpaper so remover solution can penetrate and attack dried paste.
  • Generally has a round handle and rotating scoring blades that are randomly run across wallpaper.

Smoothing Brush

  • Brush used to smooth out wallpaper after it is applied to wall.
  • Removes any air bubbles behind paper for a smooth finish.
  • Generally has polypropylene bristles.
  • One-piece handle.

Wallcovering Water Tray

  • Long, narrow tray used to wet pre-pasted wallpaper.

Wallcovering Stripper

  • Used when wallpaper is particularly difficult to remove. Features a razor-sharp replaceable blade.

Wallpaper Removers

  • A liquid spray-on solution that uses enzymes to break down the paste and destroy its adhesive strength.
  • Also available in a water-based gel formulations that can be applied with a brush or roller.

Belt Sander

  • Sands using a continuous belt or abrasive material.
  • Used for aggressive removal of stock.
  • Uses two pulleys, a drive pulley that drives the belt and an idler pulley that guides it.
  • Two handles allow the user to push or pull the machine with little effort.
  • Comes in sizes of 2-1/2” to 4” wide belts; 3” wide is the most common size.
  • Some models have dust collection systems to help control the dust from sanding.
  • Most models have an adjustment feature that automatically maintains the belt in the center of the pulley during operation to eliminate belts that wander off the pulleys.
  • When using, take care not to gouge or ripple a soft wood surface. This sander can remove material rapidly.
  • Use open-coat sandpaper as it is less likely to clog.