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  • Pinto Carpentry

Carpenter's Corner: Exploring Hand Tools Used in Carpentry Work

Welcome to another edition of Carpenter’s Corner! With this column, we hope to help our readers understand the ins-and-outs of carpentry terminology, so that you may be able to better communicate with your contractors and understand the work behind the project. Today’s topic is devoted to defining the different hand tools used by carpenters and their purpose.




A Claw Hammer is a commonly used tool that you’ll recognize right off the bat! This is used for driving nails into wood or pulling them out of it. It features a metal head and either a wood or metal handle,on average weighing between 15 to 30oz on average. It can also be used as a demolition tool, or with a chisel.


Tape Measures are essential to this field, and a carpenter cannot complete a job without it! These come in a variety of both widths and lengths, but a good multipurpose tape measure will be 25 to 50 feet and about 1 inch in width.


Measuring Squares also known as speed squares or rafter squares are used for marking and referencing 90° angles; mitre squares are used for 45° angles. Carpenters use these to check the correctness of a right angle, and ensure their project is precisely measured for an even fit.


Combination Squares are multi-purpose measuring and marking tools used by carpenters which feature interchangeable heads that can be attached to the ruler, and often feature a bubble vial level. They’re used to gauge depth and flatness, as well as measuring the center of a circular object or simple distance measurements.


Diagonal Cutting Pliers are used for cutting and skinning wires, but also for cutting and removing nails, pins, and other fastening hardware. The cittomg edges are diagonally offset by about 15° which means a carpenter can cut flush with the surface. They’re great for reaching into spaces that larger tools cannot fit.


Nail Setters or nail punches are steel bars with a short stature and tapered end used in conjunction with a hammer to strike the head of a finish nail and sink them into the surface without damaging the wood around it.


Pry Bars are metal bars with two flattened ends which have one curved side, and one or both ends featuring a divet or fissure for removing nails and other metal fasteners. These are used to pull apart two objects by using leverage.




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