Hand Tools

Must-haves for your tool box

Humans have been using hand tools for thousands of years. Cavemen crafted spears and weapons; blacksmiths pounded swords and hammers into shape; Native Americans carved out canoes; and modern construction workers nail together the frames of brand new homes. Many of these tools have barely changed over the centuries: a shaver performs the same task in the same way it did during the 19th century. So, too, does a hammer. However, in addition to the standard versions, there have also been dramatic technological advances for these and other hand tools over time, and today it's often much easier and quicker to complete an important project with woodworking hand tools, construction hand tools and carpentry hand tools. Here are some of the most useful hand tools for completing projects around the house or job site.

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Wrench

The first patent for a wrench was filed in the U.S. in 1835, but this tool has come a long way since then. Today, there are many different types and styles of wrenches to put in your toolbox, ranging from the box-end wrench to the open-ended wrench. Some, like the monkey wrench, are highly adjustable, which means that in most situations you can simply customize the width of the grips to a wide range of nut and bolt sizes. Growing in popularity is the Allen wrench, which some simple furniture manufacturers purchase as wholesale hand tools and include with their products as a one-tool-fits-all device.

Screwdriver

Screwdrivers can fit screws into various materials, like wood or plastic. However, there are many different types of screws, which can mean having to purchase a wide range of different screwdrivers. Thus, many handymen opt instead for customizable screwdrivers that come with replaceable bits that can be swapped out depending on the job.

Level

As far as basic hand tools go, the level might be the most modern. For years, handymen used the bubble level, where finding the perfectly flat surface meant adjusting a ruler-like device until an air bubble fell right in the middle. Now, laser levels that can actually stick in place on a wall offer users the ability to make precise measurements hands-free.