Hand Tools: Q thru Z
Hand Tools (continued)
Rulers: Rigid devices with marked increments, used to measure something. They commonly come in lengths, from 6 inches to 4 feet.
Safety Equipment and Supplies: Items in this category can be found on a separate page. Click the Link: Safety Equipment & Supplies
Saws: A device with teeth, designed to be used to cut some type of material with a back and forth motion. Some common Saw types are as follows:
Back Saw: Used for fine woodcutting, molding and trim. Has a rigid piece along the back to prevent the saw from kinking during use.
Compass Saw: Used for circle and curve cutting in wood. Has a longer, coarser blade than a keyhole saw for slightly heavier work, such as cutting holes in subflooring for plumbing or electrical wiring.
Coping Saw: Used for fine woodcutting and coping molding joints. Has deep steel tension frames and very thin blades to make intricate cuts at extreme angles.
Cross-Cut Saw: Used for woodcutting across the wood grain. Doesn’t cut as aggressively as rip saws but leaves a much smoother edge.
Door Jamb Saw: Used to create clearance for flooring under door jambs and other obstacles. Rear handle is offset to allow the blade to cut close to the floor.
Dovetail Saw: Used for wood joint cutting. Has a rigid back like a backsaw, but is usually smaller and has finer teeth.
Drywall Saw: Used for cutting wallboard, gypsum and backing board. Resembles a compass saw but has coarser teeth for cutting through wallboard quickly.
Hacksaw Saw: Usually used for cutting metal, but can be used on a variety of materials. Has very fine teeth and thin blades, held under tension in a steel frame.
Hole Saw: A circular blade or spade-type blade used in conjunction with a drill for making circular holes in various materials, although usually wood. Hole Saws come in a variety of sizes, but it is more cost effective to purchase them in sets.
Keyhole Saw: Used for circle and curve cutting in wood. Has a very thin, pointed blade for cutting small, tight-radius curves and holes.
Laminate Saw: Used for cutting molding and plastic pipe. Front of blade is rounded to start plunge cuts.
Panel or Box Saw: Used for woodcutting across the wood grain. Usually shorter than regular cross-cut saws, for easy portability.
Rip Saw: Used for woodcutting with the wood grain. Cuts very aggressively and leaves a slightly rough edge.
Screwdrivers: Tools used to install and remove screws. There are two main types:
Slotted: Slotted Screwdrivers are usually used to screw (in or out) screws that have only one slot in them. Although not recommended, they are also used to pry open paint cans, lift bent nail heads, etc. However, this can often be damaging to the tool. There are other specific tools made for this type of usage. (see: Paint Can Key and/or Pry Bars)
Phillips: Phillips Screwdrivers are usually used to screw (in or out) screws that have crisscross slots or X slots in the heads.
Small Parts Containers: Containers, usually plastic, with multiple small compartments for storing: screws, nuts, bolts, washers, etc. Allows you to separate by size and/or type for easier accessibility when looking for a particular item.
Squares: A Square is a device consisting of two straightedges set at right angles to each other. It is used for checking the correctness of right angles, as a guide when drawing lines on materials before cutting, or for locating holes. Some types of Squares typically used are:
Combination Square: Used for multiple purposes in woodworking, stonemasonry, and metalworking. It is composed of a ruled blade and one or more interchangeable heads that may be affixed to it. The most common head is the ‘Standard’ or ‘Square’ head which is used to lay out or check right and 45° angles.
Framing Square: Consists of a long arm and a shorter one, which meet at an angle of 90 degrees (a right angle), and is typically used to check if adjacent walls, and wall to ceiling are square. It is also used in stair and/or roof framing.
Folding Square: A square that conveniently folds for easy storage. Often used in tiling projects.
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 a wing nut or other locking mechanism.
Speed Square: A triangular-shaped, carpenters’ marking out tool. The Speed Square combines some of the most common functions of the combination square, try square, and framing square into one. It is used to make basic measurements and mark lines on dimensional lumber, and may be used as a saw guide for making short 45 and 90 degree cuts.
T-Square: In the shape of a ‘T’ (at right angles), and usually comes in either 12″ long, or 48″ long on the long end and 24 inches long on the short end. The 12” is usually used to mark cut marks, and the 48” is typically used to quickly and easily mark drywall and/or paneling for cutting.
Squeegee: A tool with a rectangular rubber blade for wiping surfaces of liquids.
Stanley Knife: (sometimes referred to as a Box Cutter) This tool is a hand held device with a retractable and replaceable razor blade. It is commonly used for scoring and cutting wallboard among it’s many uses.
Stud Finder: Used for locating studs and/or conduit or water pipes behind wallboard in order to either locate a solid spot to install a nail or screw into, or avoid hammering or screwing into existing electrical or plumbing lines. The better versions have two scanning options. One for locating studs, and a deep setting for locating pipes and conduit, which are usually set further back into the wall cavity.
Tapes: Thin material, having a sticky adhesive on one side, commonly used to hold something in place. The various types of Tape commonly used in Home Repairs are:
Double Sided Tape: With a strong adhesive on one side and lighter adhesive on the other, this tape sticks firmly to objects being mounted, but is removable from mounting surfaces.
Duct Tape: (or Duck Tape) This type of tape has a wide variety of uses for holding together just about anything. It comes in clear, and a variety of colors.
Electrical Tape: Is typically used to cover bare wires in an electrical connection, or as added security in covering electrical wire nuts. Designed for use with up to 600V in temps of up to 176°F (80°C), this PVC tape is UL listed, has pressure-sensitive rubber adhesive, and comes in a variety of colors.
Masking Tape: Is made of easily to tear paper, with an easily released pressure sensitive adhesive, and it is a tape that can be used in a variety of ways.
Painter’s Tape: Designed to deliver sharp paint lines and removes cleanly without leaving any residue. Painter’s Tape is rated by how many days it can be left up without leaving residue on the surface being masked. It is available in 1-, 3-, 7-, 14-, 30-, and 60-day ratings, with the 7- and 14-day tapes being the most common.
Tape Measure: (or Measuring Tape) is a flexible ruler. They commonly come in 3/4 inch and 1 inch widths, and in the following lengths: 6′, 12′, 25′, & 100′. The 1 inch wide, 25′ long version is best suited for most Home Repairs. It will stay rigid when extended, more so than the 3/4 inch wide, 12′ version. The 100 foot version is excellent for many yard projects.
It is always best to use the same Tape Measure for both measuring the length of the area where the item is to be installed, as well as the board to be cut. The reason for this, is the floating tine on the end of the Measurer will become worn over time, and therefore measurements may vary, from Tape Measure to Tape Measure. When new, it is designed to float, equal to the thickness of the tine, insuring accurate measurements for both inside and outside measurements.
Tool Belts: Are belts with many pockets, designed to hold a variety of tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers, etc. They can be worn over your pants belt.
Purchase Tool Belts at: AceHardware.com Amazon.com HomeDepot.com Walmart.com
Tool Boxes: Containers coming in various sizes, used for storing, carrying, and/or organizing tools. Larger styles are meant to be more stationary, while smaller versions are designed to allow you to transport a selection of tools easily to the work site.
Purchase Tool Boxes at: AceHardware.com Amazon.com HomeDepot.com SamsClub.com Walmart.com
Tool Holsters: Are holsters designed to hold a single tool, such as a hammer or pair of pruners. These Holsters are notched for the purpose of threading your pants belt through them. Styles vary, but all are designed to keep certain tools of your choice on your person for easy access when working on a project.
Purchase Tool Holsters at: AceHardware.com Amazon.com HomeDepot.com Walmart.com
Trowels: Tools used for spreading various types of material, such as, mortar, concrete, adhesive and grout for tiling , etc. A Trowel is made up of a handle and a blade, and comes in a variety of shapes. Each specific shape or blade design is made for a specific purpose. Some Trowels are smooth, while others are notched with varying widths. Notched Trowels are designed to leave a specific amount of the material being spread.
Two-Wheel Dolly or Cart: A two-wheeled device which is mainly used for assisting in the movement of heavy or awkward objects.
Vices: Usually mounted on a workbench, a Vice is very useful device for holding a variety of workpieces in place, while cutting, sanding, etc. Some have interchangeable jaws: metal jaws for working with Piping and wooden jaws for working with wood (prevents marring).
Workbench: Any table like device used to perform work on. Designs are plentiful. Plans for building your own and/or premade workbenches are available.
Wrenches: Tools used to provide grip in applying torque to turn objects, usually rotary fasteners, such as tuts and bolts. There are many types of Wrenches. The most common Wrenches are:
Adjustable Wrench: (sometimes called a Crescent Wrench) The most common type of Adjustable Wrench in use today. The Adjustable Wrench differs from the monkey wrench in that the gripping faces of the jaws are displaced to a (typically) 15 degree angle relative to the tool’s handle, a design feature that facilitates the wrench’s use in close quarters.
Allen Wrench: Used to turn screw or bolt heads designed with a hexagonal socket (recess) to receive the wrench. The wrenches come in two common forms: L-shaped and T-handles. The L-shaped wrenches are formed from hexagonal wire stock, while the T-handles are the same hex wire stock with a metal or plastic handle attached to the end. There are also indexable-driver-bits that can be used in indexable screwdrivers.
Box-End Wrenches: Come in a variety of standard and metric sizes, and usually come in 6-point or 12-point styles, which refer to the number of contact points between the wrench and the nut or bolt head.
6-point wrenches typically provide better grip on the nut or bolt head to reduce the chance of ’rounding’ it off, especially in the cases of rusted or very tight nuts. 12-point wrenches fit onto the fastener at twice as many angles, an advantage where swing is limited. Usually Box-End Wrenches have two different sizes, one on each end. The opposite end is usually a size up or down from the other end. They can either come in flat or off-set styles. Off-set styles will sometimes be advantageous in tight areas.
Combination Wrenches: Have an open-end on one end and a box-end on the other. Both ends are the same size.
Die wrench: A double-handled wrench for turning the dies used in threading operations (cutting or cleaning up the male threads such as on a bolt).
Extensions: Used between a ratchet (or other driver) and sockets to facilitate ease of use of those tools. Extensions come in various lengths, usually: 3 inch, 6 inch, 12 inch, 18 inch, 24 inch, and 36 inch lengths.
Line wrench: (sometimes referred to as a Flare-Nut or Tube Wrench) is a wrench that is used for gripping the nuts on the ends of tubes. It is similar to a box-end wrench but, instead of encircling the nut completely, it has a narrow opening just wide enough to allow the wrench to fit over the tube, and thick jaws to increase the contact area with the nut. This allows for maximum contact on plumbing nuts, which are typically softer metals and therefore more prone to damage from open-end wfrenches.
Monkey Wrench: An old type of adjustable wrench with a straight handle and smooth jaws whose gripping faces are perpendicular to the handle.
Open-End Wrenches: One of the most common wrenches, and come in a variety of standard and metric sizes. They provide easy on and off again action, but typically do not work well on rusted or very tight nuts, as they are prone to ’rounding off’ the nut (slippage). However, once the nut is broken loose, Open-End Wrenches sometimes have the advantage in tight places with limited movement, as you can flip the Wrench over to get a slightly different gripping angle.
Pipe wrench: Similar in design and appearance to a monkey wrench, but with self-tightening properties and hardened, serrated jaws that securely grip soft Iron pipe and pipe fittings. Popular sizes are: 10 inch, 14 inch, and 24 inch. These should handle most, if not all, of your repairs.
Plumber Wrench: A tool to screw (rotate with force) various pipes during plumbing.
Sink Wrench: A self-tightening wrench mounted at the end of a shaft with a transverse handle at the opposite end. Used to tighten or loosen fasteners located in recesses, such as a sink.
Socket Wrench: A combination wrench consisting of a drive tool and a socket. The drive tool can be a ratchet, a tee bar, or a breaker bar. A ratchet provides speed in tightening or removing a nut through a ratcheting action. A tee bar is generally used for both speed and careful tightening (not to over tighten). A breaker bar is used when extra force is needed to break a nut free. The socket is a hollow cylinder that fits over one end of a nut or bolt head, and attaches to one of the driving tools. It generally has a six-point or twelve-point recess, may be shallow or deep, and may have a built-in universal-joint or swivel.
Spark Plug Wrench: A tube with six-sided sockets on both ends. It is turned with a short length of rod (Tommy Bar or T-Bar) inserted through two holes in the middle of the tube, and is used to install or remove a spark plug.
Speed Wrenches: Are box wrenches with a ratchet attachment to provide greater speed in loosening or tightening.
Tap Wrench: A double-handled wrench for turning the square drive on taps used in threading operations (cutting the female threads such as within a nut) or a precision reamer.