Hand Tool Descriptions


An understanding of the appearance and application of common hand tools prepares you to perform routine repairs and maintenance around your home. Common hand tools drive and remove fasteners and loosen or tighten components.


  • The hammer pounds nails to connect adjacent components, such as planks of wood or pieces of lumber. The hammer consists of two parts: a long handle and a heavy, metal head. The hammer's head consists of two sides: one side for striking nails and one side for removing nails. The striking side of a hammer's head is called the striking face and the removal side is called the claw.


  • The screwdriver drives and removes screws. The average screwdriver consists of three parts: a handle, a shaft and a screwdriver tip. All three components align to form a long, straight tool. The shape of a screwdriver's tip determines the type of screw that the screwdriver drives or removes. Screwdriver tips range from flat and straight for working with slotted screws to cross-shaped for removing Phillips head screws.


  • The wrench grips hexagonal-headed fasteners called nuts and bolts. The most basic type of wrench is the box wrench. The box wrench consists of two parts: a gripping head and a straight handle. The box wrench's gripping head is shaped roughly like the letter C. The opening of the wrench's head slips over the hexagonal head or collar of a nut or bolt. Once attached to a nut or bolt, you simply twist the wrench to tighten or loosen the component.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images the hammer image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com screwdriver image by Sid Viswakumar from Fotolia.com
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