Construction is the driving force behind the development of buildings in the residential, industrial and commercial sectors, and the construction workers are the ones who hold the tools in hand, guided with directions from project planners and architects.
It can be said that construction is a craft, but in fact, it’s composed of many other trades and crafts, each with a unique set of skills and necessary tools.
In this article, I will be going over a list of over 50 essential tools and equipment for construction workers, which are used for various crafts like bricklaying, masonry, carpentry, demolition, electrical works, and many more.
Here is a quick navigation that will point you to each tool in this guide:
Claw Hammer | Brick Hammer | Screwdrivers | Pliers | Adjustable Wrench | Set of Fixed Wrenches | Trowel | Shovel | Spade | Hoe | Rake | Screed | Rammer | Sawhorse | Ladders | Wheel Barrow | Tile Cutter | Tape Measure | Diameter Measure Tape | Measuring Wheel | I-Beam Level | Laser Level | Stud Finder | Chalkline Reel | Survey Rope | Plumb Bob Level | Construction Calculator | Construction Hard Hat | Tool Belt | High Visibility Vest | Construction Gloves | Steel Toe Boots | Protective Eyewear | Hearing Protection | Face Protection Visor | Respirator | Concrete Mixer | Sand Screening Machine | Plate Compactor | Jackhammer | Angle Grinder | Circular Saw | Power Drill | Impact Driver | Nail Gun | Hammer Drill | Oscillating Tool | Concrete Sander | Welding Tool | Wall Chaser | Reciprocating Saw
Stages of Construction
For reference, here are also some of the crucial steps in construction that I will refer to in the list to explain a specific tool’s purpose better.
Foundation Pouring: The first step of construction is preparing a flat surface, framing the foundation, and then pouring and leveling concrete to create a foundation for the building.
Rough Framing: When the concrete has cured, it’s time to frame the floors, walls, and the ceiling of the building. Depending on the project, this step will require wood, bricks, stone blocks, or other building material.
Rough Plumbing and Electrical Works: This part of the process involves setting up pipes, wires, supply lines, bathroom units, and ventilation.
Insulation: A comfortable home or building needs to be insulated from the elements with foam, panels, concrete blocks, or other materials with a high capacity for heat.
Interior work: This section involves setting up drywall, doors, windows, hardwood flooring, tiles, but also completing and sealing any electrical, plumbing, and ventilation work left unfinished in the previous phases.
Construction Hand Tools
With the introduction to construction work out of the way, let’s jump into the list, sorted by the primary type or functionality of the tool and starting with hand tools:
1. Claw Hammer
The claw hammer is a common construction tool and the hammer of choice for construction workers.
It has a couple of advantages compared to other types, such as a claw-shaped tail that can be used to pull out nails or as a pry bar for demolition work.
The hammer’s capabilities are further enhanced by a curved head that gives pulling leverage when pressed against a flat surface.
Claw hammers are a staple tool in carpentry, but construction contractors commonly use a variant called the framing claw hammer. It features a checker pattern nose for better grip when framing pieces of lumber into place, and the head is much more massive than usual hammers, weighing up to 32 ounces.
Small Safety Tip: When picking up a hammer to use in construction, be it a framing claw hammer or any other variant, look for hammers with fiberglass handles. They absorb shocks from repeated use much better than wooden handles that are prone to breaking with heavy use.
2. Brick Hammer
Right behind the claw hammer, we have his distant brother – The Brick Hammer, known as Stonemason’s hammer too.
It features a traditional flat nose of a square shape, while the tail is shaped like a flat pick or a chisel.
This tool’s primary use is to cut bricks, cinder blocks, or chip small stone pieces.
Before any cutting is done, it’s in your best interest to mark the cutting line with a carpenter’s pencil.
The repeated shockwave causes a deep cut to split the pieces along the edge line by hitting the flat edge of the hammer’s tail against a brick, concrete block, or other building block material.
After the whole body’s initial cut, minor chipping of any protrusions ensures a near-flat building piece, ready for insertion into corners, archways, or other unusual places that require specific shapes.
Screwdrivers come in clutch when setting up electrical and plumbing work, which is commonly secured with screws.
They are also used in framing work, though the power tool options are usually superior.
Your set of screwdrivers needs to have a Philips head and a flathead screwdriver at a bare minimum, but other types like Torx and Robertson are also growing in use with newer construction materials.
It’s a good idea to allocate a substantial size budget for a set of steel screwdrivers with resistant handles and long shanks for added torque.
Remember, if your screwdrivers don’t have magnetic tips, you will commonly drop screws in the busy construction environment. It’s especially bad if you need to use a ladder.
Pliers are utility hand tools with various uses, but most notably, they’re used for electrical work.
Depending on the type of pliers, they can cut wires, bend them, create crimp connections, squeeze and hold objects.
Their simple design of 2 metal levers connected to a fulcrum can create considerable force by multiplying the gripping power.
As for plier types, there are dozens of specialized pliers for various purposes (for example fencing pliers). This variety makes them the most diverse hand tool by a significant margin, but you can get away with having just a couple of types first.
Important: If you plan on working with live wires or electrical equipment, pick up pliers with insulated handles rated for a high electric shock protection level.
You should possess diagonal or side-cutter pliers, which are the typical wire-cutting tool. The side-cutter has a jaw made up of 2 blades and lineman’s pliers, which are very similar, but the bladed jaw is shorter to allow for gripping and bending sheet metal in addition to cutting wires.
It could be said that combination pliers are the jack of all trades, as their jaw allows for gripping, squeezing, and cutting at the same time, but they excel at none of these operations, so having a specialized set is a must in my opinion.
5. Adjustable Wrench
The wrench is known as the best friend of plumbers and mechanics. Still, unless you want to regularly carry around a whole set of wrenches around the construction area, I recommend that you get a high-end adjustable wrench for convenience.
In English-speaking places other than the United States, the adjustable wrench is commonly referred to as the adjustable spanner.
The adjustable wrench has a movable jaw that can be adjusted with a rotating bolt or cylinder. The jaw allows it to replace a whole set of wrenches for most bolts essentially, but there is one notable exception – In cases where a lot of power needs to be exerted.
There are many conveniences to be enjoyed with adjustable wrenches, but keep in mind that they can’t withstand nearly the same amount of torque stress.
If a bolt is cemented in place and pulling with one hand on the adjustable spanner doesn’t create movement, it’s best to switch out to a fixed wrench with a long handle for even more torque.
Otherwise, you risk wearing out the adjustable jaw and potentially breaking it. That’s is the reason why I’ll cover wrench sets as well.
6. Set of Fixed Wrenches
Now that you understand the limitations of adjustable wrenches let’s look at their simple counterparts – the fixed wrenches.
Fixed wrenches are commonly made out of chrome or stainless steel to give them the sturdiness necessary to withstand high torques, while also staying resistant to abrasion and rust.
They are used to turn nuts, bolts, and other rotary fasteners, and as such, they come in a variety of types, like open wrenches, ring wrenches, ratchets, Torx wrenches, and many others.
For works related to construction, you should have a set of open wrenches that scale in size. I believe a fine starter set is that of 10 or so wrenches, ranging from a quarter-inch to a full inch, or even up to an inch and a half if you work with plumbing projects bigger than those for a normal residence.
The trowel is one of the iconic hand tools used in construction. It resembles a miniature shovel, or for masonry work, a flat-surface triangle attached to a handle.
You will encounter two main types in construction work – the masonry trowel, used for applying cement or other bonding material when bricklaying, and the flat trowel, used for leveling a surface of cement or freshly poured concrete.
Trowels appear to be fairly simple tools at first, but the learning curve of properly utilizing them is pretty steep, and to become a master at masonry or concrete laying takes many years. These skills are often categorized not as crafts, but as an art form due to their complexity.
It’s best to expand your budget when buying a trowel and go for one that won’t rust and will be easy to clean, that also has a comfortable, sturdy handle. You will be practicing with it for many years, and a long-lasting trowel will ease the learning process.
Stacks of shovels can be found on any construction site with good reason. They are an essential tool in creating a strong foundation for future building.
They are used for digging piping trenches, moving material from the ground to a carrying container or vice versa, and preparing the foundation.
It’s often the case that construction work is done on the dense ground filled with rocks and stone blocks, and these conditions require a particularly sturdy shovel when digging.
When choosing a shovel, look for those with sheet metal blades and handles made out of maple wood. These shovels are highly durable and sturdy.
Also, it’s important to make a distinction between shovels and spades, as these two hand tools are often confused for each other.
Spades look and function very similarly to shovels, but they are meant for carrying loads, while shovels are superior at digging due to the blade’s sharp angle.
The Hoe is not a tool commonly associated with construction work, but depending on the work grounds, it can play an important role in preparing the foundation.
Before a foundation can be poured, the ground area needs to be excavated and leveled.
Hoes are sharp, and their pointy blades can easily dig themselves into the ground, allowing for greater penetration than shovels.
Many types of soil are solid and tightly packed, requiring the hoe to break them apart first. After the soil is aggregated with a hoe, it’s easy to remove the excess top layer and level the ground.
Rakes are another horticultural tool that sees widespread use in preparing construction sites.
They help level highly granular areas, especially gravel stones and other small pebbles.
Just brushing the gravel field back and forth with the rake is enough to rearrange small stones into place, which prepares them for the next step of leveling, which is pounding them into place with a tool such as the compactor or rammer.
Screeds are used to create a perfectly flat concrete surface through leveling and shaving off excess material evenly off of the top.
It’s important to use them while the concrete is still wet and freshly poured, so wider screeds are the preference of many contractors.
Many types operate in the same way, with the main difference being the type of handle and the blade’s size. Blades can be anywhere from 3 feet to 15 feet long or more, and with the greater size, they require better handling to keep them steady.
High-end screeds often have two handles, one for each arm, that can be fastened to your underarms for better balance, but these screeds lack flexibility. Slightly smaller screeds can afford to have a single rotating handle, which can change the blade’s angle by turning the handle, much like a rotating mop.
13. Rammer (hand rammer tool)
The rammer is a simple hand tool used for ramming layers of soil and material together.
It has a handle usually made out of wood to absorb vibrations, with a flat, reinforced metal head shaped like a square.
It’s the hand-tool counterpart to the compactor power tool, which I will cover further below.
Repeatedly striking the square head flat against the surface will push the soil particles such as gravel together, removing air gaps and creating a very solid surface for further foundation pouring.
Ramming the earth before foundation pouring is essential for the entire project’s longevity, as rammed earth is much more resistant to water, slipping, and even earthquakes.
The elements could cause areas of the earth to seep down, leaving the foundation without the support and causing big structural cracks.
The sawhorse isn’t exactly a tool; it’s a whole workstation. It’s a simple bench with four legs that resembles a horse, hence its name.
A sawhorse is highly portable and easy to set up anywhere, especially if you get one with foldable stands.
They are a typical sight on construction sites in industrial-level work and small DIY projects.
It’s hard to cut and work on a material without a proper stand precisely. This highly stable setup allows you to lay material such as timber, plywood, or sheet metal and perform cuts on a flat surface.
Sawhorses will not only help you make cuts; they act as a stationary assistant for many construction tasks. You can use them as a bench, table, stand, and even a stool to climb small heights.
It goes without saying that construction workers and other men of trade can’t perform without appropriate ladders, but at the same time, ladders can be incredibly hard to pick.
Your ladder is your lifeline on any project involving heights over more than one floor.
As such, I recommend that, first and foremost, you look for stability in ladders. Stability entails padded stands and steps, additional supportive legs if possible, and rigid and durable construction, preferably from fiberglass.
The main types are step ladders, platform ladders, and extension ladders as for types of ladders.
These 3 offer varying height levels, and having a set of all three will cover almost all construction needs for regular houses and smaller buildings.
16. Wheel Barrow
A lot of moving and logistic work comes into construction. Often, materials need to be carried long distances across difficult terrain.
The wheelbarrow offers a handful of features to make your job easy and fast.
The deceptively big carrying capacity is limited only by your body strength to push the cart.
Also, wheelbarrows come in two typical set-ups, with one wheel at the front, or two wheels at the side. Generally, one wheel types are suitable for pushing across curved, flat surfaces.
Two wheelbarrows are harder to steer with but are also much more stable across rougher terrain.
17. Tile Cutter
Laying tiles is a simple and even fun job, but only when you have correctly sized tiles for every part of the surface. Tiles regularly need to be cut down to size to fit areas such as door frames, window shafts in bathrooms and kitchens, and irregular walls.
The tile cutter is pretty simple in design, and it’s easy to operate.
A tile is cut by placing it into the cutter and adjusting its position, so the cut is aligned with the cutter’s lever.
By lowering the lever and applying mechanical force, the tile breaks across the line to form a perfectly straight cut.
The process can then be repeated with the smaller pieces of the tile to create smaller sizes like one-fourth of a tile.
Tools for Measurements and Estimates
A lot of planning and preparation goes into construction work, but quick measurements and checks need to be performed constantly to keep the workflow correct.
Contractors employ various measuring tools depending on the area’s size and shape or item they are measuring.
The following section covers essential tools for measuring the construction area, dimensional leveling, and surveying finished work.
18. The Tape Measure
Your tape measure should always be in your pocket or attached to your tool belt to take quick measurements in any work stage.
Tapes are usually 25 to 30 feet long, and the strong aluminum construction allows them to be one of the most accurate tools.
The bending is minimal when laid on a flat surface or pressed against a wall, though with long distances, it’s best to have a sidekick around to hold the other side.
Pick up a model with magnetic tips if you are working with many metal surfaces, such as when doing measurements for electrical work, heating, ventilation, or framing of metal areas in general. If you want to know how to read a measure tape check this article.
19. Diameter Measure Tape
While very similar to the tape measure discussed above, this one allows for measuring round objects and easily calculating their diameter. Think of it as a tailor’s tape, but for construction workers..
The main difference with this tape is that it’s not dented inward to keep it straight, but it’s completely flat and flexible to allow it to lay on a round surface.
Once you have measured the circumference, a quick division with Pi will net you the diameter, and the best part is that almost all diameter tapes have length marks divided with Pie right below on a separate notch.
It’s not a tool used too common, especially with calipers having the advantage when measuring piping elements and other short-diameter objects, but if you are installing things like silos to a countryside house, be sure to have it ready.
Other names: Pi Tape, Inside Diameter Tape, Periphery Measuring Tape
20. Measuring Wheel
The measuring wheel is a pretty simple device used for making straight measurements on a flat surface.
Make sure the surface is completely flat and with as few imperfections as possible before measuring.
The tool operates by counting the number of revolutions the wheel does when pushed by you, with the final number appearing on a digital counter on the handle.
Try to stay at a steady pace when guiding the tool to avoid mistakes, but remember that the measuring wheel is meant as a tool for making estimates, not laser-sharp measurements. You can expect inaccuracies of around 2% in the best-case scenario, with the percentage increasing due to imperfections in the surface and potential bumps.
It’s best used as a tool for estimates when planning out where long, flat surfaces will be installed during construction, such as parking areas, driveways, garage approaches, backyard space sections, and more.
21. I-Beam Level
The traditional level is known as the I-beam or straight beam level to differentiate from modern alternatives.
Any construction work should have a set of levels on-site to assist with checking if all surfaces are perfectly leveled at 0 degrees for horizontal sides or 90 degrees for horizontal.
Most beam levels also have the third indicator for 45-degree surfaces, such as roofing or stair elements.
22. Laser Level
Laser levels are a modern step-up from traditional levels.
They operate based on a laser technology that creates beams in all horizontal and vertical directions.
When laid on a flat surface, commonly with a tripod attachment, you should compare the beams to existing surfaces to ensure proper alignment.
There are also rotating laser levels that rotate around an axis and check a big area easily. As long as the beam creates a straight line on every surface, the area is properly set-up.
Laser levels are used as early as framing the foundation for pouring, so it’s paramount to operate them properly to get the project going right.
23. Stud Finder
Stud finders are a modern device used to locate wood and metal elements behind a wall.
When installing new elements to space or remodeling a room, it isn’t easy to perform safe work without diagrams that show the locations of piping, electrical work, vents, and wood beams.
Stud finders use a variety of technological advancements to detect studs.
The simplest of them are magnetic finders, which use magnets to detect magnetized metal up to a distance of ¾ of an inch, or 19 millimeters.
Advanced stud finders use radars, metal detecting, density sensors, and other scanning and imaging methods.
High-end models can detect the precise location and density of a material and have special notches in their outer box for marking the area with a carpenter’s pencil or marker.
24. Chalkline Reel
The chalk line reel and the two entries below are historic construction inventions that are still regularly used.
When something is used for thousands of years without change, you know that it’s good.
The reel is a retractable rope that is covered in chalk, stored in the reel compartment.
It is used to create perfectly straight chalk lines that are many meters long, with just a few rope pinches.
When pulling the rope back and releasing it, the chalk flies off the rope and shoots straight for the ground, creating a perfect line.
25. Survey Rope
Survey ropes are one of the most basic construction tools on the list.
They are special braided ropes that you attach to sticks or bars inserted into the ground to create straight measurements on uneven terrain, and they are also used when laying bricks to help the mason keep the wall perfectly even.
They come with marked distances, so it can be said that they are a replacement for the measuring wheel when working with very rough or uneven terrain.
Survey ropes need to be under light tension when set up to make sure they don’t slump.
26. Plumb Bob Level
Also known as the plummet, the plumb bob is a surveying tool as old as humankind, yet still used today.
It’s probably the simplest measuring tool out there, consisting of only a rope and a ‘bob’, or a heavy hanging object that’s symmetrical in all directions.
The tool is very reminiscent of a pendulum, though it’s not meant to swing, but rather to stay perfectly still.
The bob’s sizable weight is heavily influenced by gravity to extend the cord or rope fully and keep it perfectly straight, pointing straight down.
This setup allows for leveling vertical surfaces, as well as planning vertical construction such as brick walls.
27. Construction Calculator
A lot of on-site calculating is done even after a construction project has been planned out and begun, and having a proper calculator ensures high precision of work, free from human error.
Construction calculators are specialized calculators adjusted for a construction worker’s needs, and I would like to emphasize a few of their advantages over regular calculators, especially over devices like smartphones.
Most would think a special calculator app would save them money, but I firmly believe this is not the case.
Construction calculators come built with units of measurement necessary for construction, support various unit conversions, easily compute complicated volumes and surfaces by inputting basic measurements, and often come pre-programmed with data for various construction materials.
When compared to smartphones, you don’t have to worry about running out of battery life at the worst possible moment.
They won’t be damaged as easily by dust, debris, and possibly from freefall. Even if they do break on the job, they are ten times cheaper than your phone and easy to replace.
Protective Apparel Items Used In Construction
This section doesn’t directly pertain to tools, but the apparel you wear on the construction site helps the workflow be convenient and safe.
Safety is always the number one priority on the site, so ensure you have appropriate protection for yourself and everyone else in the work team.
Depending on the geographical area and local laws, you will encounter varying regulations on the safety equipment.
It’s every contractor’s duty to know the local regulations regarding safety before starting work on a project.
28. Construction Hard Hat
The hardhat is the signature of every construction workplace.
It’s required that everyone wears it on-site, as it can be a difference between not only a huge injury and a minor scratch, but much more than that.
These hats are usually made from hardened plastic in modern times but do not let that dissuade you – they are highly durable. Falling objects are a constant threat in the workplace, and the hat can save you from deadly deep cuts.
29. Tool Belt
The toolbelt is where you store all your small hand tools for quick access, such as hammers, pliers, screwdrivers, measuring tape, and more.
Some people have developed a habit of carrying around a toolbox, but the toolbelt reduces strain on your arms as the weight is evenly distributed on your waistline.
An upgrade over a belt could be to purchase a full construction vest, which has pockets for measuring equipment, notebooks, digital devices, pens, and still carries all of your tools comfortably around your waist.
30. High Visibility Vest
These vests are worn on construction sites that are next to high-traffic areas.
The added visibility helps drivers spot you easier and slow down.
Traffic workers always wear them, but it’s not a bad idea to wear them if you are working next to a highway or busy street.
Everything that adds to overall safety is in everyone’s best interest.
Not to mention that having high visibility vests adds a unique level of professionalism to your construction project.
31. Construction Gloves
A pair of sturdy, comfortable gloves for construction is one of the key safety elements.
Scratches and cuts happen constantly, and they can impair your ability to work in the long-term.
Also, there are chemical hazards to watch out for, such as those used in building materials that can irritate or burn the skin.
Gloves that have rubber padding for improved grip are my personal go-to choice. Make sure to try out gloves before buying them, and watch out for size charts.
Your gloves should never have the risk of slipping off or have hanging material that can get caught onto sharp edges or machines.
Important: You should take off your gloves when working with cutting tools or rotary tools. There is a risk of your gloves latching onto the blades of the tool when handling it.
32. Steel Toe Boots
There are as many hazards for your feet as there are for your head or hands.
I recommend wearing sturdy rubber boots with steel toes as a safety precaution against dropped objects and chemical hazards such as fresh cement.
Ordinary footwear wears out ten times as quickly in the messy construction environment and leaves your toes vulnerable to physical injury.
A pair of steel-toe boots is one of the biggest investments in personal safety and comfort you can have. Look for boots made out of outer material that’s easy to maintain, as your new pair will require maintenance on a day-to-day basis.
33. Protective Eyewear
Protective glasses or goggles are the second most important protection element together with the hard hat.
These glasses come in various forms, but what they all have in common is the transparent or slightly tinted design made out of impact-resistant material such as polycarbonate.
They are far from shatter-resistant when hit with enough force. Still, their protection rating is generally high enough for things like small flying objects, wood chipping projectiles, shrapnel, and sparks from metalwork, and dust and rocks lifted from the ground by debris.
Basic protection glasses don’t protect your eyes from the sides, and protective goggles are a considerably safer option, although these goggles can cause nausea and strain to many people.
It’s also important to consider the risk of fogging that occurs when humidity in the air condensates on the lenses. Anti-fogging coated glasses are more expensive but allow for much more visual clarity.
If you value your health, spend as much as possible, you can never be too safe.
34. Hearing Protection
Construction sites can get incredibly loud. Power tools, falling objects, and big machinery all cause a lot of noise.
Over time, exposure to high noise levels can cause serious hearing damage, so I recommend picking up hearing protection as good health is invaluable.
The exact type of hearing protection you should purchase depends on how closely you’re exposed to loud noise.
If you’re working in an area with constant background noise that isn’t directly next to you, it’s best to purchase noise-canceling earbuds. If they’re comfortable, you’ll quickly forget you’re wearing them.
However, if you are exposed to intense short-term noise, like working with jackhammers and power drills, I recommend purchasing special noise-canceling headphones.
They offer higher protection levels, and if you’re not constantly exposed to noise, it’s easy to put them on and take them off when necessary, while carrying them around your neck.
35. Face Protection Visor
Following hearing protection, it’s important to protect your face, eyes, nose, and airways.
Construction is a field that’s very taxing on health, and investing in top gear for protection is always worth it.
It’s important that the gear your purchase for protection doesn’t inhibit your work or endanger you in any way, so I always recommend non-obtrusive face protection such as visors.
They aren’t shatterproof and are made out of the same material as the goggles I mentioned earlier, but their advantage is in the forehead, cheek, and chin protection.
When it comes to protecting your airways, it’s best to pick up a lightweight mask that will keep particles from being inhaled.
In some specific situations, you might need a mask with filters, known as a respirator.
Filters will absorb certain particles when working with paint fumes and organic matter such as mold in old construction and basements.
Construction Power Tools and Equipment
Power tools bring the raw strength that hand tools simply can’t achieve. They are externally powered by electricity, combustion, or pressurized gas, and most construction tasks, while doable with hand tools, are simply not convenient without power tools.
There are many types of every device in the list below, so having practical knowledge in using them is important to select the best one for the job.
Power tool purchases are sometimes significant expenditures, so carefully assess how much the tool can contribute to your workflow.
Things to consider with power tools are:
- Manufacturer Brand
- Power Consumption
Also, check my full list of different power tools.
37. Concrete Mixer
The concrete mixer is another signature piece of a construction site.
There are many ways to mix concrete, from hand-operated mixers to trucks with huge cylinders for continuous production.
A typical construction site will do just fine with a powered, batch mixer drum.
Batch mixers require constant feeding and emptying of material from the drum. Still, they are small, easy to carry and maintain, and a couple of dedicated workers will produce constant concrete output.
Emptying is also made simple with these mixers, as the drum can be turned upside down to spill the concrete.
38. Sand Screening Machine
Sand is a staple material in construction used for mixing concrete.
Often, it’s not even necessary to purchase large quantities of fine industrial sand.
It’s a readily abundant material found in many types of soil, however, natural sand needs to be screened before use.
Specialized machines for screening can remove any excess rocks, branches, stones, or junk found at the site. There are a handful of different types like rotating cylinders, shake screeners, and industrial level machinery.
A small construction site will do just fine with a shaking screener, which usually looks like a box with a shaft at the bottom, keeping any particles bigger than sand from falling into the clean sand compartment. It’s held by flexible springs to allow for shaking by hand.
However, I’d recommend a cylinder screener, which is essentially a big barrel with shafts in every direction. It can hold much more material and screen it faster by manual rotating with a crank, but it can also be powered with electricity.
39. Plate Compactor
The plate compactor is similar to the rammer hand tool, though a power model is much more convenient and useful.
It uses the powerful back and forth motion of the bottom plate to ram soil elements together.
Due to its weight and electrical power, it’s much more practical than hand ramming, though I’d only recommend investing in a plate compactor for bigger projects on highly rough soil.
Plate compactors come with handles for pushing and steering, so in that regard, they’re very simple to operate.
Remember to make multiple passes over every part of the ground, since force applied in one area could lead to soil deforming again in surrounding areas.
A good jackhammer can be heard and felt a long way. It’s a powerful tool used to break apart concrete and asphalt with repeated hits.
It’s powered through pneumatic or purely electrical force to an engine that pushes a chisel-shaped blade back and forth.
The engines that power jackhammers are usually supplied with ~1600 or more watts, making them one of the biggest power sinks on the construction site.
Small bursts of force applied around a foot apart from each other will quickly demolish any stone, rock, asphalt, or concrete surfaces into smaller parts to be removed and hauled away.
However, jackhammers are not meant for prolonged use due to their vibrational force on the human body.
Jackhammers can be incredibly dangerous to operate over long periods. You must wear comfortable gloves and hearing protection while using them.
41. Angle Grinder
Angle grinders, also known as disc or side grinders, are power tools for grinding, cutting, and polishing surfaces.
They are usually powered by electric motors that apply rotational force to the grinder disc, which can also be exchanged with other types of discs for sharp cuts or abrasive discs for sanding edges and surfaces.
They are most commonly used to cut materials made out of wood or metal and depending on their size, they pack varying degrees of power. Their discs come in sizes of anywhere from 4 to 12 inches in diameter.
The best part about angle grinders is their flexibility in use. After purchasing an angle grinder, you only need to purchase a few special discs to give the tool a completely different work dimension, be it cutting, sanding, polishing, and more.
42. Circular Saw
Circular saws are power tools used for straight cutting of wood, metal, and even masonry materials.
There are many similar saws to circular ones, though this term refers specifically to the hand-held version I’m talking about.
The tool is easily recognizable by the big, circular blade that is vertically placed, with flat metal framing around it acting as a shaft.
The blades of the saw are specialized for a specific type of material like wood or metal. If you plan to use your circular saw for a variety of different materials, make sure to have appropriate blades for each one.
Also, materials cut by the circular saw are under constant force pushing them perpendicular to the saw, so it’s highly recommended that you fix the object with vises and clamps.
43. Power Drill
Power drills are hand-held power tools for creating holes and turning screws.
They are powered by electricity either with a cord or with internal rechargeable batteries.
Corded drills don’t have an active time attached to them like battery-powered ones, but at the same time, cordless drills are much more maneuverable and easy to use anywhere on the construction site.
You will find a handful of options on almost every power drill on the market, mainly the speed and torque dial and the reverse button.
The speed dial works like a car’s transmission, with the lower speeds having a lot of torque for raw rotating strength, and higher speeds are faster at the cost of low torque.
The reverse button will change the direction of rotation, which is suitable for unscrewing difficult screws.
Drills are accompanied by sets of drill bits of various diameters, and your collection can always be enhanced with new bits for different uses, like drilling through wood and screwing bolts.
44. Impact Driver
Impact drivers are very similar to drill drivers, though they are specifically used to drive screws.
Having a power drill with bits for driving screws can get the job done for DIY projects; however, impact drivers have a handful of advantages.
The torque of impact drivers is two to three times greater than any other power tool for the job while being much easier to handle and use.
Impact drivers combine rotating and concussive action to transfer all the force onto the screw and away from your hands. They can quickly drive screws into any material, be it the most challenging timber, metal, or masonry.
The versatility of regular drill drivers is an advantage, but impact drivers make up for it in efficiency. If you’re going to be inserting screws and bolts all day long, get an impact driver. It will free up your time and energy by getting the job done faster.
If you plan to drive screws into rigid materials, make sure to replace the stock battery with a more powerful model from the same manufacturer. Otherwise, your screws will take a long time to get fully inserted due to less torque.
45. Nail Gun
A nail gun is a crucial tool for framing and setting up wooden constructions. Pushing nails with hammers is only recommended with big, long nails.
Their small counterparts are best done with nailers because of the speed and efficiency you can achieve.
Nail guns are usually powered pneumatically or with electric cords and batteries.
They drive fast, powerful pressure behind the nail to instantly shoot it into the wood. Also, standard nailers come with a special attachment to adjust the nail insertion angle, allowing for easy 45 or 60-degree nailing.
Nail guns work best when used for small nails that need to be inserted quickly, like framing drywall or plywood. They make quick work of any nailing work that requires a lot of nails evenly spaced out.
46. Hammer Drill
A lot of construction work revolves around hard materials such as masonry and concrete. The hammer drill is a special type of drill used specifically for drilling holes into them.
These holes are necessary for various screws, anchor bolts, and attachments for framing in walls and ceilings.
The hammer drill’s main advantage over regular drills is the versatility of use and the drilling speed it offers.
Contrary to regular drills that use a simple rotating motion, the hammer drill utilizes rotation combined with percussive back and forth motion to pound the drill bit into hard material such as bricks, cement, or concrete blocks.
The pounding motion distance is minimal yet perfectly adjusted to crack and chip away the hard material with every drill bit insertion.
The back and forth motion speed can reach thousands of impacts per minute, known as ‘IPM’, or in other words, dozens of impacts every second.
Also, most models have a switch that turns off the percussive motion, turning the hammer drill into an ordinary rotating drill.
A potential compromise is necessary for adding a hammer drill to your arsenal. It’s more expensive than a regular drill, and it’s only used in specific circumstances to save time and energy.
However, the hammer drill can tackle almost any material, so the versatility it brings to the table is unmatched by any other power tool.
47. Oscillating Tool
The oscillating tool is another powerful tool for cutting material such as wood, metal, and many other materials.
What sets it apart from other entries in my list is its utility compared to regular saws.
Oscillating tools can be attached to dozens of different attachments for various uses and types of cuts. Many attachments can even be outfitted with sandpaper for sanding.
Oscillating tools are the masters of freehand cutting. It’s very easy to make curved and irregular cuts with them.
The tool works by moving the blade back and forth quickly. The only disadvantage of oscillating tools that need to be pointed out is that they have a hard time cutting objects that arent firm in place.
If the object wobbles, it will absorb the tool’s motion, so make sure to use vises and clamps to secure the object firmly.
48. Concrete Sander
Concrete surfaces often come out rough and need additional finishing.
Even with the best leveling efforts and using screeds, sanding is required before the surface can be polished.
Concrete sanders work just like regular sanders, except that their sanding surface is much stronger and durable.
There are floor sanders and edge sanders, with the floor sanders being pushed and dragged across a floor, and edge sanders are hand-held power tools used for more delicate work like corners of a room.
Instead of sandpaper, which is insufficient for concrete, these sanders use diamond grinders.
Diamond grinders are essentially discs with industrial-grade diamonds layered on the rim. Their sharp edges and solid structure allow them to shave concrete-like sandpaper does to wood.
Once the concrete’s surface profile is sufficiently smooth, epoxies are applied to give them a protective finish.
When concrete is ground, a vacuum should be attached to collect all the hazardous airborne concrete particles. Masks with filters should be worn as well.
49. Welding Tool
The welding tool is completely essential to any work related to metal.
Welding allows for pieces of metal to be connected into a stable structure through the use of flame or electricity.
The two main types of welding are arc welding and torch welding.
Arc welding uses a welding tool powered with electricity to melt pieces of metal together.
Usually, there is a filler material that connects the 2 components, such as a welding rod. Arc welding requires a steady hand and constant pace to create good welds.
On the other hand, torch welding relies on gas-fueled flames to heat the metal and connect it through high temperatures.
This form of welding produces superior welds, but it’s considerably harder to learn and requires a complicated rig of tools. It’s also falling out of favor in the industrial sector, while still seeing use for small repair and DIY work.
50. Wall Chaser
Wall chasers are very reminiscent of other cutting tools. They are smaller versions of a circular saw.
They are meant to cut plywood or drywall sections to allow for electrical, piping, and HVAC installations.
They feature abrasive discs of small diameter for precise, shallow cuts in the material.
While other saws can do the same job, chasers excel in several aspects. Due to their lightweight and portable design, they are easy to carry and maneuver with.
Due to their lighter design, it’s easy to level them and hold them for straight cuts. They don’t stress the power output as much, meaning they can be safely connected to the same supply as big spenders without risking overload.
51. Reciprocating Saw
The reciprocating saw is often used as an umbrella term for many power tools like saber saws and jigsaws.
This versatile tool sees a lot of work in construction, especially demolition work that requires quick curved cuts of difficult angles.
The long and thin blade of reciprocating saws moves back and forth to create cutting force, and it’s needless to say that this type of saw is highly maneuverable for irregular cutting.
In general, having a saw that works with reciprocating action greatly enhances your existing arsenal and allows for complicated cuts that other tools simply can’t perform due to their blade shape.
Related: Examples of Power Tools | Most Used Carpentry Tools | Hand Tools and Their Used