19 Rules You Must Always Follow When Using Hand Tools

19 Rules You Must Always Follow When Using Hand Tools

What are the rules when using hand tools?

  1. Always wear protection
  2. Use the right size and tools for the job
  3. Always follow the procedures
  4. Always sharpen your tools
  5. Don’t work with greasy hands
  6. Carry pointed tools correctly
  7. Make sure chisels and punches are always in good conditions
  8. Use a vise or clamp when necessary
  9. Never carry tools in your pockets
  10. Never use hand tools with cracked or loose handles
  11. Don’t use hand tools without handles
  12. Don’t use a screwdriver as a chisel
  13. Don’t use tools as other tools
  14. Don’t increase leverage with a cheater
  15. Clean your tools
  16. Repair or replace broken tools right away
  17. Store tools properly
  18. Cut away from yourself
  19. Don’t force screws if they don’t fit


It doesn’t matter if you have brand new hand tools or used hand tools; you need to be safe when using them. With that said, here are the rules that you must absolutely follow to make sure you don’t lose any fingers while handling hand tools or any other kind of tool.

Always Wear Protection

Always Wear Protection

No, not that kind of protection. What we mean is the ones you need to protect yourself from hazards while on the job. These include goggles, welding masks, gas masks, ear protectors, jumpsuits, etc. Of course, what you wear depends on what job you’ll do, so be educated enough to know it.

Use the Right Size of Tools for the Job

This is just plain common sense. Using the right size of tools for the job will ensure efficiency as well as safety. Imagine using a sledgehammer for something where a normal hammer hand tool is enough. You may cause unnecessary dangers by doing things like this.

Always Follow Procedures

There are procedures for a reason. Skipping one step may save time, but it will put you at risk, especially when handling heavy machineries.

Always Sharpen Your Tools

When a cutting tool is inefficient at its job, then you may need to exert extra effort. While a little more is fine, too much may cause unnecessary strains and dangerous movements.

Don’t Work with Greasy Hands

Working with greasy hands is a no-no, especially when you are working with metal and welding since this may cause sparks to fly.

Carry Pointed Tools Correctly

When bringing sharp tools with you, you have to do so by carrying them on your side with their point and heavy ends facing downwards.

Make Sure Chisels and Punches are Always in Good Conditions

Make Sure Chisels and Punches are Always in Good Conditions

Chisels and punches that are bad condition would be inefficient and dangerous; using these can cause chips and injuries. It would be better for you to buy and use brand new ones.

Use a Vise or Clamp

A vise or a clamp is being used to secure parts. Especially since using hand tools requires a lot of force and movement, you want to make sure that the part you are working on stays still so you can be accurate. These tools also ensure that no sharp and/or heavy parts go flying.

Never Carry Tools in Your Pockets

Carrying tools in your pocket is ill-advised, especially when it’s sharp or heavy. These can fall out onto your toes or just stab you when you bend or walk.

Never Use Hand Tools with Cracked or Loose Handles

Using tools with cracked or loose handles is not recommended because it may cause parts to fly and hit you. Evidently, you don’t want this to happen, especially when the parts could be sharp chisels or heavy hammers.

Don’t Use Hand Tools without Handles

Handles were made to protect your hand (aside from giving the friction needed to use it without slipping). That said, using a tool without the handle can lead to hand injuries because of slippage and a lack of grip.

Don’t Use a Screwdriver as a Chisel

Don’t Use a Screwdriver as a Chisel

Using a screwdriver as a chisel (and vice versa) is not only dangerous, it will also not work. These two tools are designed for different purposes after all. If you persist on using one as the other, you will end up ruining your tool(s) as well as your project.

Don’t Use Tools as Other Tools

Much like the previous item, using tools for something else rather than what they’re meant for would only cause damage. For example, using a wrench to drive the nails on a wood might end up with you hurting yourself. It would be much better for you to use a hammer from the get-go.

Don’t Increase Leverage with a Cheater

A cheater being used to increase leverage is a bad idea; it would be better to use the wrench, which is meant for the job, instead.

Clean Your Tools

Cleaning your tools is highly advised because doing so will prevent rust from forming and will keep your hand tools strong.

Repair or Replace Broken Tools Right Away

A broken tool has no room in a safe working environment. If it can be repaired with a guarantee that it won’t be dangerous, then go ahead. Otherwise, it’s better to replace it.

Store Tools Properly

Make sure they are always vertical and that the pointed and/or heavy ends are the ones facing downward.

Cut Away from Yourself

Cut Away from Yourself

When it comes to cutting items for your project, it would be wise for you to remember to cut away from yourself. This is because you will not end up with a wound or injury, if a cut goes wrong suddenly.

Don’t Force Screws

There is a correct screw size for every purpose, so you have no reason to use the wrong one. If you don’t have the right one on hand, then it would be better for you to head out and buy one.


Key Takeaway

Whenever you’re using hand tools (used or not), it is important for you to practice safety. Also, you have to know how sturdy old ones are. Look and inspect to see if they are still suitable. Like suggested above, if they’re broken, then fix them. But if they cannot be fixed properly, then replace them instead. Some hardware stores have trade-in deals, wherein you can give your old tools to get discounts on new ones! The point is, you must always have safe and sturdy tools.

When you do, you must always follow the rules stated above. The reason why you’re using your tools is to create new, amazing projects – not get injured! If you must, make these rules as your commandments and you won’t have to worry about getting hurt while doing a project.

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