Hand Tools Buying Guide
Hand tools have become an important
part of our work and personal lives. They are any type of non-powered
tools which are used to make a task easy , safe and efficient. These
tools are used not only in DIY (do-it-yourself projects) as in home
repair services but also by professionals in various industries,
construction, manufacturing, agriculture etc. There are different
varieties of hand tools available in the market and used for various
purposes. At times it becomes very difficult to make a purchasing
decision on hand tools.
Proper evaluation of a hand tool depends on various factors such as:
Factors to be considered
- The task
- The tool
- The workstation and
- The end-user
The factors that are to be considered while selecting hand tools are as
- Properly designed hand tools: Do not go for hand tools
which are poorly designed like as:
Such wrong designs can lead to various injuries of the hand,
forearm, wrist, shoulder, and neck.
- Poorly balanced
- Too heavy
- The grip of the tool too large
- The wrong shape or
- Grip: A well-balanced hand tool having the right grip on
the handle feels very comfortable in the hand. If a tool is not
properly designed, the grip also becomes bad and then it has to be
held more firmly, at an awkward angle. A proper grip helps in the
reduction of pain and fatigue while using the tool. First of all,
consider whether the task requires a tool with a pistol grip or an
in-line grip. When significant torque needs to be delivered,
consider those tools that allow for a power grip. Tools that can be
used by both the hands allow workers to alternate hands while
- Handle size: The handle size plays an important
consideration while purchasing hand tools. The handle of a hand tool
is considered to be of the right-size if it lets the hand to go more
than halfway around the handle without the fingers and the thumb
meeting. The recommended grip diameter usually falls between 50 and
60 mm. To provide good control as also to prevent pain and pressure
hot spots in the palm, handles should be at least 120 mm long.
Handles for precision hand tools should be 8 to 13 mm in diameter
and at least 100 mm long.
- Grip surfaces: Another factor to take into consideration
is the grip surface of the hand tool and it should be smooth,
non-conductive, and also little compressible in order to dampen
vibration and distribute hand pressure evenly. It is better to avoid
tools that have grooves for finger. This is because for most users,
the grooves are either too wide or too big or closely spaced.
Moreover, though grooves are given in tools in order to prevent
slippery, they can also cut into the hand and create pressure
ridges. So when a grooved handle is the only choice available, it is
necessary that they are narrow and shallow. Try a grip shape that is
- Weight: Weight is often a problem with hand tools of
large size such as axes, hammers, and saws. To prevent fatigue in
hand, arm and finger, the ideal hand tool weight should not be more
than 2.3 kg. If the center of gravity of a heavy hand tool is far
from the wrist, then the maximum weight should be reduced. Research
work has shown that hand tools weighing 0.9 to 1.75 kg feel "just
right" for most users. For precision work where the small
muscles of the hand support the tool, the weight should be far less.
The more the lighter it is the more the better it is.
selecting hand tools: A summary
- Look for a hand tool that requires less force to use it.
- Look for a hand tool that is balanced so that it does not
tip forward or backward when you hold it.
- The handle should be comfortable.
- Try to go for a non-slip handle. Prefer soft materials, like
rubber or plastic.
- The handle should be long enough for your whole hand if you
need to use a lot of force on the job.
- Thicker handles are recommended if you wear gloves when you
use a tool.
- A bent angle or adjustable angle on can help in keeping the
user's wrist straight on some jobs.
For bulk purchase of hand tools, the buyers besides considering the
above factors should also go for the following:
- All hand tools must be given their required B107 standards under
the ANSI procedure.
- What is the manufacturer's or the supplier's feedback rating?
- What do other buyers say in favor of them?
- Guarantee period of the hand tool.
- User's guide.