Every one of us would have used a tool at some point in our lives. Ever thought about how easy our lives are with hand tools to solve our day-to-day problems?
We have been using hand tools for ages. The earliest known tool has been dated to 3.3 million years ago in the middle of the Pliocene Epoch in Kenya, which was implemented to shape raw materials into the desired form.
The demands of a settled way of life led to the transformation of the tools to higher degrees and their evolution has never come to a stop.
From the tools, used to chop wood and prepare food, to today’s most precise and practical hand tools, tools have made giant strides in human culture and civilization throughout history.
The demands of a settled way of life led to the transformation of the tools to higher degrees and their evolution has never come to a stop.
Today, the manufacture of tools has transitioned from being craftsman-made to being factory-produced to meet every demand.
According to estimates, the global hand tools market size was valued at USD 22.07 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 28.74 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 4.14% during the forecast period.
That’s why I have prepared a complete guide on the importance of handtools that can help you figure out more about hand tools.
Also, I have covered the different types of hand tools, and how and where they can be used to increase your productivity.
This article is going to be very interesting so don’t skip any points.
Why You Should Own Hand Tools?
Owning hand tools is like an investment. You are definitely going to benefit from them in the long run. But is it worth investing in?
I will take you through all the factors that will help you understand how important are tools at your home, at your workplace, and at places where you make your presence.
One should be completely informed before spending a penny on something. Here we will be discussing all the factors that will help you make your decisions before investing in them.
1. Save Cost
Do you end up paying dollars to a technician for a small task that you need to do? A task that takes no longer than a few minutes!
Owning hand tools will save you paying bucks for simple jobs like fixing a broken kitchen cabinet, assembling furniture, fixing a loose door hinge, and many more that you can do by yourself.
Buying the tools might mean spending some initial amount, but this is a cheaper option in the long run.
2. Handle Home Emergencies
There are times when you need to fix things at home immediately. For example; pipe leakage, blocked drains, loosened nuts, bolts, etc.
If you have the right tools, you can fix them instantly without having to wait and hire home repair experts.
3. Enhances Creativity
All of us enjoy our time watching DIY Projects. At times, we think of making one for ourselves.
If you have the necessary hand tools at home you can expand your imagination and creativity and carry out small improvement projects at home.
You can do many things on your own. For example; improve your closet, boost kitchen storage, add window boxes and not necessarily wait for someone to come and carry out the work.
4. Better Efficiency
Imagine your son or daughter has a school project in which he or she has to carve something out of wood. How are you supposed to do that if you don’t have a chisel?
Trying to fix a screw without a screwdriver is next to impossible. With the availability of tools, it is very easy to promote efficiency.
With the right tools, you can carry out your projects with greater efficiency saving both time and money.
5. Stress Relief
There is nothing better than sitting down on a project on Sunday afternoon after a long stressful week.
Stress can be linked to countless medical conditions and is the result of overworked and over-connected modern humans.
Whatever skill level you are at, putting aside time on a personalized project using hand tools without a deadline reduces stress and increases self-esteem.
Types Of Handtools?
A tool basically is equipment or a device that can be used on the desired material in order to shape, cut, or fix it into the desired form. A hand tool is any tool that has no motor and is rather powered by hand.
Hand tools are of different types and can be used for any kind of work. Some tools are versatile and some of them are specifically used for a specific job.
Hand tools are classified into different categories based on their purpose of usage. Let’s dig deep into it.
1. General-Purpose Tools
General-purpose tools include those tools that can be used anytime and anywhere for all types of jobs. Common tools include Wrenches, Screwdrivers & Nut Drivers, Pliers, Hammers, Riveters, Clamps & Vises, and Wrecking Bars.
A wrench also called a spanner is usually operated by hand for tightening nuts and bolts. They are made in various sizes to fit specific bolt and nut sizes.
Basically, a wrench has a stout lever with a notch at one or both ends for gripping the nut and bolt in such a way that it can be twisted by a pull on the wrench at right angles to the axes of the lever and the bolt or nut.
A screwdriver is a tool usually hand-operated for turning screws with slotted heads. Screwdrivers are many types of screwdrivers having different styles, shapes, and sizes according to the screw head type.
For screws that have one straight slot cut in the screw head, standard screwdrivers with a flat blade are used whereas screws that have cross-shaped slots in their head requires a special screwdriver with a blade tip that fits the slot.
Pliers are tools with hardened and tempered jaws used to hold objects firmly or to cut and turn wires. They are also useful for bending and compressing a wide range of materials.
There are different designs of pliers used to handle fasteners, wires, pipes, electrical equipment, horseshoes, and electrical components. The size of a plier varies from 4” to 10” For different kinds of jobs.
Pliers are the thumbs of your workshop. Without this, you would have a hard time turning and twisting. So make sure to replace plier handles once they are damaged. This will keep your pliers flexible and long-lasting.
A hammer is the most common tool found in every household. It consists of a weighted head fixed to a long handle that is swung to deliver an impact to a small area of an object. For example, to drive nails into wood, shape metal, or to crush rock.
Hammers come in a wide array of weights and sizes, each designed for a specific task. There are hammers for blacksmithing, carpentry, automotive mechanics, and many other applications.
Also Read: Best Wooden Hammer Handles
A rivet is a permanent mechanical fastener with a smooth cylindrical shaft with a head on one end which gives a quick and sturdy joint.
Riveters (also called rivet guns, rivet hammers, or pneumatic hammers) are tools that are used to drive rivets. You just need to hold the riveter firmly and give a hard punch and there you go.
- Clamps & Vises
Clamps and vises act as an extra set of hands to hold objects tightly in place that can be useful for a range of projects, including cutting, filing, sanding, gluing, drilling, soldering, and many more.
Vises function similarly to clamps, but they usually have larger contact areas. Clamps and vises are available in a number of different configurations measured in terms of the vise’s capacity.
- Wrecking Bars
A wrecking bar also called a crowbar is a tool consisting of a metal bar with a curved end with a small fissure in between generally used to pull nails.
Having a hammer to hit nails without a wrecking bar or crowbar can be difficult. Many times nail bends while hammering. If you don’t have a crowbar to pull out the nail, you are going to have a hard time struggling to pull the nail out.
2. Cutting Tools
From the word cutting, we understand that cutting tools are those that are used to cut and sometimes shape and remove material from a workpiece.
The most common cutting tools are knives, Saws, Chisel, Files, and Cable & Wire Cutting Tools.
A knife is perhaps one of the earliest tools used by humanity. It is a tool or a weapon with a cutting edge or a cutting blade on one side attached to a handle.
A saw is a tool for cutting solid materials to prescribed lengths or shapes.
Most saws are in the form of a thin metal strip with teeth on one edge or a thin metal disk with teeth on the periphery which are invariably machine powered.
A chisel is a tool for carving or cutting a hard material such as wood, stone, or metal by hand, struck with a mallet or mechanical power.
It is important to choose the type of chisel best suited to the work that you will be carrying out. Additional factors such as the chisel size and blade shape should also be taken into consideration.
Work should begin with a general inspection of the chisel to ensure that it is in the best possible condition. A square can be used to check the flatness of the blade. It may be necessary to sharpen the chisel to ensure that it is well-protected throughout the process.
A file is a tool used to remove fine amounts of material from a workpiece for smoothening commonly used in woodworking, metalworking, and other similar works.
They are made up of a case-hardened steel bar of rectangular, square, triangular, or round cross-sections with one or more surfaces having sharp parallel teeth.
3. Layout And Measuring Tools
Layout and measuring tools play a major role in whatever work you are doing using your tools. With a small collection of these tools, you can handle any task efficiently and accurately.
Some important layout and measuring tools are a combination square, tape measurement, compass, ruler, and marking knife.
- Combination Square
The most versatile tool that you can own is a combination square. It is mainly used for marking 90° and 45° lines on your working object. Not only this, but the sliding blade can also be used for measuring, used as a short straightedge, and also as a layout gauge.
So, do not skip this tool at all. Buy yourself the best combination square you can afford. it surely will be used in your everyday work.
- Measuring Tape
A measuring tape is a flexible ruler used to measure size or distance. Its design allows for a measure of great length to be easily carried out and permits one to measure around curves or corners.
When you are into your projects, nothing will be accurate unless you measure your work. Therefore it is a must tool you should have it in your bucket.
There are many varieties of tape available but choose one for yourself that has fine and easy-to-read markings.
Not all woodworking and metalworking are done along straight lines. Often curves are needed to be added to your projects.
If you want to draw these arcs and circles accurately on a workpiece, you definitely need to keep a compass on hand.
A 6-inch steel ruler comes in handy for all sorts of precise layout tasks you perform.
The advantage of a 6-inch ruler over a bigger ruler is the compact size, thin blade, distinct, and easy-to-read markings.
- Marking Knife
For many tasks, we simply use a pencil for marking. But for more demanding work, the fine and incised lines which are made by a marking knife are more precise and accurate.
The sharp line made by a marking line makes it very clear and leaves no doubt about where to make a cut.
Things To Follow When Using Hand Tools
Handtools are a very common part of our lives. Most of us have some or the other tool at home. But they can also be dangerous if not used properly.
Here are some of the things you need to follow when using hand tools.
- Pay attention to safety when working with hand tools.
- Always use the right tool for the right job. Substitutes increase the chance of having an accident.
- Always keep your wrist straight while using your tools. Otherwise, you may injure your wrist.
- Ensure your tools are of good quality.
- Keep tools in good condition at all times.
- Have a thorough inspection of your tools before and after use.
- To safeguard the tool and avoid injuries from inadvertent contact, keep cutting tools sharp and cover sharp edges with a suitable covering.
- Replace cracked, splintered, or broken handles on files, hammers, or screwdrivers.
- Ensure that the handles of tools like hammers and axes fit tightly into the head of the tool.
- Replace worn jaws on wrenches, pipe tools, and pliers.
- Redress burred or mushroomed heads of striking tools.
- Keep your tools away from dust. Keep them clean and dry.
- Store tools properly.
- Carry tools in a sturdy toolbox to and from the worksite.
Things To Avoid When Using Hand Tools
- There is no doubt that handtools are life saviors. They provide you with so much leverage to perform your work smoothly.
- However, if not used properly can be very dangerous
- Do not use tools for jobs they are not intended to do. For example, do not use a slot screwdriver as a chisel, pry bar, wedge, or punch, or wrenches as hammers.
- Do not apply excessive force or pressure on tools.
- Do not cut towards yourself when using cutting tools. Always cut away from you
- Do not wear bulky gloves to operate hand tools as you may not have a good grip.
- Do not carry tools in a way that interferes with using both hands on a ladder, while climbing on a structure, or when doing any hazardous work.
- Do not carry a sharp tool in your pocket.
- Do not use tools for electrical work unless they are designed for electrical work.
- Do not leave tools lying around on elevated structures such as a platform or scaffold as they may be bumped and fall.
So, In this article, we have discussed all the important points about the importance of hand tools and how can it help you out in your daily to day lives.
There are many different kinds of hand tools available in the market for different uses and you can choose a set of perfect combinations that suits your work the best and according to your need.
Apart from this, if you have any questions or tips you can give your suggestion below in the comment section. Till then keep trying and practicing the different tool skills.
Make sure you stay tuned for more informative articles that can really help you out.
I hope that this article would have helped you out in understanding what are the importance and functions of all the important hand tools.
Thanks for reading!!
FAQ: Handtools and their importance
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that people mostly ask about and are confused about. That is why they ask a lot of questions. I’m sure these questions will help you clear your idea.
Q1. What is the difference between a wrench and a spanner?
Ans: Both the wrench and spanner are the same tools made to perform the same work i.e.Twisting of rotary fasteners. Mostly the difference is in your location. In the US, it is called a wrench while in England or other countries it is called a spanner.
Q2. Why is it important to inspect your hand tools before your buy?
Ans: The purpose of the inspection is to verify and cross-verify that all the tools needed are free from damage, defects, or any loose joints. This is necessary in order to ensure proper and consistent production when the operation starts as you don’t want your work to get hampered in spite of investing money in your hand tools.
Q3. Why is there a need to properly maintain a hand tool?
Ans: If you want them to last, you need to maintain them. Tools are really expensive. It’s rather cheaper to maintain them rather than buy new tools. Moreover, tools work better and are safer when they are well-maintained and sharp.