Different Types of Hand Tools and Their Uses

As I was browsing the tool store yesterday I had a thought:

There are so many types of tools. If you have never picked up a tool before it must be overwhelming.

It was shortly after that I started working on this guide. I made a list of the different types of hand tools and their uses.

This guide is made for the complete beginner.


1 Different Types of Hand Tools and Their Uses

1.1 The Hammer
1.2 The Measuring Tape
1.3 Hand Saw
1.4 The Screwdriver
1.5 Pliers
1.6 Levels
1.7 Wrenches
1.8 Ratchets and Sockets
1.9 Staple Gun
1.10 Stud Finder
1.11 Voltage Tester

2 Conclusion
2.1 Related Posts:

Different Types of Hand Tools and Their Uses

The Hammer

The claw hammer is the most basic hammer and should be in every homeowners toolbox. It is used for two things: pounding nails into wood and pulling nails out.

A 20-ounce claw hammer will suffice for the majority of work around the house.

The Measuring Tape

Without a measuring tape in your toolbox you can’t measure things. Their use is not limited to woodworking either. Want a new set of blinds in the living room? You will have to measure the window to buy the correct size.

A basic measuring tape is also handy to have in your car. Now when you are shopping you can make sure that big box will fit in your trunk.

You will notice the tape measure is divided into sections: Inches, 1/4 inches and 8th of an inch.

Hand Saw

A hand saw is used to cut wood. They are best used on smaller pieces and rough cuts. I wouldn’t want to cut a large sheet of plywood with one!

The Screwdriver

The screwdriver is probably the most used tool around the house. They are used to drive screws into wood and other materials. Screwdrivers are also used to take things apart and put them back together.

Pictured are two of the most common screwdrivers: philips on the left and flat head on the right.


A quality set of pliers can do many jobs around the house. Pictured are just a small set of the many types of pliers.

Pliers can be used to cut and strip wires, fix plumbing, clamping and holding small parts and turning fasteners.


Levels are used to check whether an item is horizontally or vertically level. They are useful when hanging pictures or mounting shelves to a wall.

During construction they are used to make sure wall studs are level when building.

The level has a small tube filled with liquid with an air bubble. When the bubble is centered then the item is said to be level. More advanced level systems use lasers and are more expensive.


A set of wrenches is a must for working on a car or anything that has bolts. Combination wrenches are the more common wrench in a toolbox.

One end is open and the other is a box end. These wrenches are used to loosen or tighten nuts and bolts. Just like other tools there are many types available.

Ratchets and Sockets

Sockets are used to install and remove bolts similar to wrenches. When attached to a ratchet they are faster than a wrench for turning bolts.

There are many types of sockets from deep to shallow, 12 point, 6 point and spark plug sockets to name a few.

A good socket set is always welcome in the home garage.

Staple Gun

A staple gun is made to drive staples into a variety of materials. You can use them to attach house wrap, upholstery, wiring and carpeting. Staple guns are strong enough to drive staples into wood and sometimes masonry.

Stud Finder

The stud finder is a must have tool if you are hanging items on your walls. Stud finders are used to find the studs when it is slid across the wall. This allows you to securely mount items without them crashing to the floor.

Voltage Tester

If you plan on doing electrical work then you need a voltage tester. The best ones to buy are the non-contact voltage testers. They look like a pen and are simple to use: place the tip near the wires and it will beep if the wire is live.


I have not included all hand tools on this list. If I did this post would be hundreds of pages long. Instead I included more common tools used around the house.

Do you have any ideas for tools I should include? Leave them in the comments below.

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