10 Essential Hand Tools Everyone Must Have 

best hand tools

As a homeowner or woodworker, it is important to have a few best hand tools to do some simple but vital tasks around your home. 

For instance, if you need to hit a nail, it would be unfortunate if you had to hit it with a stone or piece of wood. Why not invest in the right tool, like a hammer, and avoid embarrassing and inconveniencing yourself? A well-rounded collection of essential tools is the way to go, to remain prepared when the need arises. 

Nonetheless, it might be difficult to choose considering the intimidating number of tools, which come in different shapes, sizes, and prices and serve different purposes. For this write-up, I have used my knowledge and experience as a woodworker and come up with these 10 essential hand tools everyone must have:


Owning a collection of reliable screwdrivers is vital. They help you fasten and undo screws from various surfaces. Besides, you can use them when you want to attach or separate parts of a given workpiece. 

Screwdrivers come in different sizes and shapes, including square, flathead, start, tri-wing, and hex. The end bit’s shape varies, and your choice should be based on the task. But since you might need more than one screwdriver, it might be a good idea to have a collection of several screwdrivers. 

Wire Cutters & Pliers 

Whether in your home or workshop, there are always some cables that need fixing. A decent set of wire cutters and pliers will come in handy in such situations and more! 

Pliers are useful for holding and grabbing things, while wire cutters help cut fine metal pieces. So, if you need to pull something out of a tricky situation, trim fine pieces of metal, or hold something in position, wire cutters, and pliers are your best options to get the job done!

Fortunately, they come in an assortment of sizes; therefore, it’s essential to have an inclusive set. 

Wrenches & Ratchets  

These are certainly essential and helpful when you want to tighten loose bolts and nuts. Additionally, if you want to remove these nuts, this set of tools will come in handy. Again, you will need a wrench and ratchet to do most mechanical tasks at home or around the workshop. 

You can find packages that include wrenches, ratchets, and even adjustable and fixed spanners. They will be handy in numerous trades and will assist in finishing many jobs without damaging the workpiece or causing delays. 

However, when using either of these two tools, it’s important to apply the right amount of torque so that you don’t overtighten. 

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Mallet & Hammer

As pointed out at the beginning of this article, it would be unfortunate if you had to hit nails using something else other than a hammer or mallet. 

Honestly, even your home wouldn’t be complete without a hammer. These two tools help hit things in position. For instance, a hammer drives nails into different surfaces, while a mallet attains the same goal but delivers a softer blow, reducing the risk of damaging the workpiece. 

Nonetheless, having both a hammer and mallet is important to perform multiple everyday trade tasks. 


These are hand tools that have a flat-end design that’s extremely sharp. When you use it with a mallet or hammer, a chisel helps to carve out wood, bricks, or stones into a specific shape or design. 

It’s essential to employ the right mallet to avoid damaging your chisel or workpiece. For instance, when you have a task that requires a chisel with a hardened bit end, the results won’t be as good if you use one with a blunt end. 

Chisels, like most of the tools in this list, come in different sizes. It would be best to pick a complete set to avoid any inconveniences. 


To cut plastic, metal, or wood, you will need two or more types of saws. Additionally, while the right saw is crucial, it is equally important to use the right blade. This way, you won’t damage the material you’re cutting or the blade you are using. 

Besides, some saws offer the option to detach the blade effortlessly without needing extra equipment. This feature is known as the tool-less blade change. It is common for many people to prefer a set of saws for ease when they want to cut different materials. 


Something else you shouldn’t kiss at home or the workshop is a file. It helps eliminate rough edges and make small adjustments to the workpiece so that the included parts fit together. 

There are many types of files, and each can be used on different materials, including plastic, metal, and wood. Keep in mind that when using your file, you should check your stroke technique so that you don’t ruin your workpiece. 

Clamps & Vises 

If you are a serious woodworker, you will need a set of clamps and vices. They have movable jaws which you can adjust mechanically to hold your workpiece. This hinders the workpiece from moving or vibrating when drilling holes, sanding, and cutting. 


Additionally, you can utilize clamps to attach two pieces, and they also come in different clamp pressure and size options. 

Flash Light 

You will require a flashlight to ensure you can finish your work in the dark. Whether you are woodworking at night or there are no lights, having a flashlight will be helpful when you want to do jobs like maintenance, installation, and other repairs with ease. 

They come in different sizes and illuminations, some bigger and brighter than others, but all useful in the dark. 

Measuring Tools 

Finally, you will need measuring tools. These will help you complete your work with incredible accuracy. Measuring tools include levelers, set squares, rulers, measuring tips, and many more. 

Whether you have to measure the size of a material or trim and cut it, it is vital to have a good collection of measuring tools sturdy enough to use continuously and will offer accurate readings all the time. 

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Ditch the endless research rabbit hole! At Woodworking Tool Guide, we believe in actionable advice, not armchair analysis. We get our hands dirty, putting every tool through its paces in real-world woodworking scenarios. Whether it’s the precision of a table saw, the versatility of a router, or the tactile satisfaction of a handplane, we test for performance, durability, and user-friendliness. No more sifting through dry specs – we deliver practical insights you can trust to transform your woodworking dreams into reality.

Woodworking Tool Guide isn’t just a review site, it’s your trusted companion on the sawdust-filled path to woodworking mastery. Our expert team, led by veteran David Jones, meticulously tests and explains tools in terms you understand. We cut through the jargon, bias, and confusion with real-world insights and honest evaluations. Join our passionate community, where decades of experience, cutting-edge knowledge, and shared love for the craft come together to guide you every step of the way. So grab your chisel, buckle up, and let’s embark on this exciting woodworking adventure, together!


The best hand tools everyone must have may differ based on several factors, including the material, precision needed, and personal preference. For this reason, it is essential to choose the right tools for the task at hand. 

Well, I hope you have all these hand tools in your arsenal, and if not, consider investing in them! 

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