10 Tools Every Engineer Should Have to Fix Everything

10 Tools Every Engineer Should Have to Fix Everything

Who needs a handyman or repair guy stopping by your house? You're an engineer! More often than not, you can figure it out on your own and save yourself some cash.

All you need is the right tools to do the job. Before investing in well-stocked tools, start with an adequate and inexpensive tool kit to avoid the tools being scattered inside random drawers, basements, and garage shelves. Along with the tools, make sure your toolkit has safety glasses, dust mask, measuring tape, level, and flashlight.

It's easy to focus on the latest gadget or drone, but it's the simple tools of the trade that get things done. With these 10 essential tools, you'll be ready for a smooth-running home:


Simply put, a wrench turns nuts, bolts, pipes, etc. Wrenches can be purchased individually or in sets and are available in many sizes. Shorter the tool, the minimum is the amount of force you can use to tighten a smaller nut and vice versa. Different wrenches are listed below:

Box end wrenches offer a firmer grip. The jaw’s thin wall makes the nuts accessible even in tight spaces. Open end wrenches are the easiest and quickest wrenches. They have flat jaws that slid over the even in insufficient spaces. Combination wrenches have an open-end jaw at one end and box-end jaw at the other. Adjustable wrenches are low cost and most widely used. Most commonly used types are crescent and monkey wrench. Allen wrenches are steel bars bent into L-shapes. They are often used to set screws and to hold part firmly in position.

Wrench[Image Source: Wikimedia]

2. Saw:

Saws are perfect cutting instruments, equipped usually with a toothed blade or disk. They're used for woodworking, stone masonry, DIY projects, etc. Saws come with a blade of many shapes and sizes. To ensure the best work, understanding the types of saws is important. Below are the different types of saws:

A hand saw is a most commonly used saw, which is an unpowered tool that comes with a simple blade. They are used in versatile applications especially in construction industry.

Circular saws are power tools which come with electric and cordless rechargeable varieties. They are used for woodworking and metalworking projects.

Band saw is powered by a single motor, which uses a continuous band to cut through a material. It is used for cutting meat, metal, and wood.

Saw[Image Source: Pixabay]

3. Pliers:

Plier a tool that is used for holding small objects or for bending and cutting. As they are highly useful, it is advisable to have several types in your toolbox. Pliers have either a fixed design or adjustable design. According to the requirement, different pliers are listed below:

Cutting pliers are the most commonly used pliers. Also called wire cutters, they are used for cutting wires, bolts and also to remove small nails. Channel pliers are used to working on larger objects, such as pipes, removing a P-trap. They are also called as angle-nose or groove-joint pliers. Crimper/Stripper pliers are used for electrical applications, and to sheave-holes while cutting screws. Electrician pliers are designed for electrical wires. Fence pliers are used for cutting and pulling staples from fencing. Locking pliers are similar to a wrench in functioning. They are used for pulling and twisting without grip lose. Needle nose pliers are used for a wide range of tasks, such as cutting small-gauge wire, crafts, and jewelry work. Slip-joint pliers are used with smaller objects to Tighten and get the grip of the applications. Wire Stripper pliers are used to remove the outer cover of wires.

pliers[Image Source: Pixabay]

Make sure you get a good set of combination pliers to cover your needs.

4. Hammer

Hammer is used for the demolition in addition to pounding nails. A quality and comfortably gripped hammer can be a lifetime investment. To avoid surface damage and nail slippage, make sure the head of the hammer is smooth. Different varieties of hammers are available depending on the requirement. Few of them are listed below:

A claw hammer is the most common hammer used for heavy work such as timber framing, wrecking and putting down floorboards, which is why it is called Builder’s hammer.

Cross pein hammer is used for furniture making, to start off the tack or nail.

Ball pein or engineers’ hammers are used for shaping metal, closing rivets and rounding edges off metal pins and fasteners. Club or Lamp hammer is used to hit things like cold chisels to break masonry. Sledge hammer is used for breaking up masonry, stones and concrete and also for driving in stakes. They are similar to a club hammer, except they have a longer handle and little heavier. Deadblow Hammer is the variation to the sledge hammer, which is designed to deliver maximum power on impact and minimize damage to the surface. Mallet comes with a wooden block on a handle, which is used to hit and drive a chisel, tap wooden joins together.

However, due to the popularity of the cordless drill, the twin thread screw and air nailer, the use of hammers has been reduced.

Hammer[Image Source: Wikimedia]

5. Chisel:

A chisel is a metal tool with a sharp beveled edge that is used to cut and shape stone, wood, or metal. Chisels are mainly used for pairing, joint cutting or for cutting out small areas of wood. While buying a chisel, check the blades and size. Note that chisel backs are flat in width only, and slightly `arched’ in length. For heavier work such as fence-building and frame construction, use firmer chisels which have rectangular cross-section blades.

Chisel types differ in blade width or length, as well as shape and hardness of the blade.

chisels[Image Source: Pixabay]

6. Screwdriver:

A screwdriver is a tool used for the turning the screws. They are differentiated based on the tip and type of screw they drive. Few of them are listed below:

The flat head screwdriver is the traditional and the most commonly used screwdriver. Also called slotted screwdrivers, comes with a flat blade which varies in size depending upon the slot size. For example, the slot size of 4-5, the blade width is 4.8mm. Though they are becoming less common, they can be used for all applications.

Philips Screwdriver is also the most common cross-shaped screwdriver with each cross blade being tapered at 57 degrees. They are used for all applications like woodwork, furniture, electronic equipment, and jewelry.

Pozidriv screwdriver is an enhanced version of the Phillips screwdriver with a difference in the recessed flanks which are not angled upward like the Phillips screwdriver. They are more used in Europe than in the United States. Square recess screwdrivers are used with furniture. Torx screwdriver is shaped like a slightly rounded six-pointed star. Screw drive sizes range in size from T1-T100. They are used with automotive and electronic items.

Hex screwdriver is shaped as a hexagon with six even sides. Along with different applications, they are commonly used with furniture. Tri-wing screwdriver is the less commonly used, with three slots radiating out from a triangular hole in the middle. Spanner screwdrivers are used with electronics, stall doors for restrooms, and elevators.

screwdriver[Image Source: Pixabay]

7. Cordless Drill:

A cordless drill is a versatile tool designed to drill holes and drive screws. For consistent screw driving, they are equipped with a slip clutch which allows you to adjust the amount of torque. When finding the right cordless drill, understand the features and decide based your requirement.

drill[Image Source: Pixabay]

8. Drill bits:

Drill bits is a cutting tool which is used to create holes. They come in different sizes and shape. Based on the type and material used for its manufacturing, the drill bits are used in various applications. Few types of bits are listed below:

Twist bit is the most common type for home use. It is used in wood, plastic, and light metal projects.

Brad-Point bit and Auger bit are designed for wood boring, while the latter is used for more chip removal, thus allowing for deeper boring.

Installer bit is a specialized twist bit which can drill through wood, plaster, and some masonry.  They are designed for installing wiring, such as that for entertainment or security systems.

Hole saw bit is used for drilling large holes to install door hardware or for creating a wiring pass-through.

Glass and tile bit are used for glass or tile. To reduce the chance of chips and cracks, this bit uses a carbide tip to drill.

Masonry bit drills into tough materials such as concrete, brick, and masonry.

drill bit[Image Source: Pixabay]

9. Utility Knife:

Utility knife comes with a small sharp blade, designed to cut wood, cardboard, and other materials. A high-quality utility knife is used for cutting away carpet edges to scraping away resin or paint that may keep a window stuck.

utility_knife[Image Source: Wikimedia

10. Inflator/Air compressor:

Also called as pneumatic tools, they help with drain cleaning, tire inflating, deck building and more.

compressor[Image Source: Pixabay]

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Weekend Projects for Engineers

Written by Alekhya Sai Punnamaraju