Tool Guide: When to Use Hammers, Pliers, Wrenches and Screwdrivers

All the industries employ tools to fix fasteners, nuts or bolts. Choosing the right tool makes the work easier, time and cost efficient. From the large scale construction jobs to DIY projects, these tools make the outcome successful and durable. It is important to pick the right tool to deal with a fastener.

If you aim at fixing nails, you need a hammer. Screws call for a screwdriver. If you want to tighten or loosen a screw or pull out a nail, you need a good pair of pliers. When it comes to nuts and bolts, the wrench is the best option.

We will have an overview of when is the right time to use each of these tools.

Hammers

A hammer is a tool designed to drive nails into softer materials like wood or a wall. You can drive in a screw with the help of a hammer as well, but it is not recommended as it can damage the screw as well as the surface you are driving the screw in.

If you are dealing with large sized nails for projects like framing walls and roofs, securing plywood sheathing or installing floors, you need a hammerhead of a large size. In most of the cases, 16 OZ. hammerhead can sufficiently drive in the nails from ½ inch tacks to 16 penny nails.

wright tool hammers

You can also use hammers for driving in small diameter nails like finishing nails or bards.

hammer and nails

Finishing nails have a small nail head and can be driven slightly below the surface of the wood where it can be concealed with wood putty. In such an instance, hammers can be used for nailing up interior moldings, installing exterior house trim like rake boards, fascia, frieze or corner boards, or fixing stiles and rails to the cabinets.

Screw Drivers

A screwdriver is a tool used for screwing or unscrewing the screws into different surfaces. Ideally, a screwdriver is used in projects like hanging drywall, attaching ledger boards, installing cabinets, fastening wood decking or fabricating cabinets, wooden toys, bookcases, and other woodworking projects.

screw in fence

Depending upon the nature and size of the screw you are dealing with, screwdrivers could be:

  • Slot head Bahco BE-8150 slot head screwdriver
  • Philips head Bahco BE-8610L Phillips head screwdriver
  • Torx drive Bahco BE-7930 torx drive screwdriver
  • Robertson Bahco BE-9002 Robertson drive screwdriver

They are also available in a variety of sizes. Screwdrivers are used in different carpentry projects or fixing parts of electrical machines.

One of the common pitfalls of using the screwdriver is to use the wrong size of a screwdriver to tighten the screw. It can damage the screw, making it unusable. It is advisable to use the right size and type of screwdriver for a screw.

Pliers

Pliers are multi-purpose hand tools for gripping, bending and cutting. They are used for loosening or tightening the bolts, holding objects or removing pins.

Standard utility pliers have flat jaws with serrations for gripping small objects and a round opening for gripping bolt heads and nuts. These pliers can be used for pulling out nails of different sizes.

Linesman Pliers - Williams 23402

Tongue and groove pliers have long, angled jaws that are adjustable and can grip large nuts.

Alligator Pliers - Bahco 221D

They are ideally used for bending and holding, crimping metal, looping and cutting wire and soft nails. You can use them for loosening and tightening nuts. Pliers can be used in a variety of plumbing, carpentry or electrical projects.

Wrenches

Wrenches are used for tightening bolts and nuts. Three of the most common types of wrenches are adjustable wrench, combination wrench, and a torque wrench.

Adjustable wrench allows you to grip various sizes of nut heads with perfect ease. Their head size can be easily adjusted.

Adjustable Wrench - Bahco 8069 RC US

A combination wrench is a set of wrenches with various sizes. Choose the appropriate size to tighten or loosen a nut.

Combination Wrench - Gearwrench 9417

A torque wrench is a tool that allows you to apply torque on a nut with precision. If you are doing projects from the automotive, mechanical or electrical industry where the fasteners need to be torqued with precision, it is ideal to use a torque wrench.

CDI 10005LDFESS 1-inch Drive 0-1000 Ft. Lb. Single Scale Dial Torque Wrench

Take Away

Each of these hand tools and their sizes is designed to deal with a particular type of a fastener or a nail. Pick up the right tool and the right size of it to fix a particular fastener.