Kangan Institute Blog

6 Must-Have Tools that Every Builder Needs

When you’re walking past a building construction site, do you often stop and admire the work those people are doing? After all, building any type of structure is no easy task. From the foundation to the roof, every step must be performed with skill and precision. After all, you don’t want the roof caving in on everyone.

Building work is a major hands-on industry. It means using all sorts of cool tools to get the job done and get it done right. You’ll use plenty of high-tech equipment and tools to make your job easier and keep your client happy. When the work is done, you’ll have a deep sense of pride whenever you walk past the building or structure.

If you’re considering a career in this hands-on industry, here are the 6 must-have tools that every builder needs.

1. Hammer and nails
A builder is nothing without his trusty hammer and a few nails. Whether you’re pounding in nails or clawing them out, you’re going to need these two tools for the job. Before leaving for the construction site, be sure you have a few different varieties of nails. You never know if you’re going to need long thin ones or skinny short ones. Save yourself the hassle and grab several different kinds.

Don’t forget about the different types of hammers you might need. If you’re knocking down walls, you’ll need a sledgehammer to take down drywall or building wood. If you need to pound a surface without risking any damage to it, you’ll probably need a rubber mallet for the job.

2. Power drill
When you need a tool for a job that requires more than just a few nails, a power drill will be your best friend. Nails aren’t good for materials such as brick or sheet metal so you’ll have to use your power drill at one point or another.

Most builders use two types of power drills the most: a power cord one and a battery-operated drill. You’re probably thinking that you’d rather go with the cordless one because it’s easier to maneuvre, and in most cases, you’re right. The battery however, will not last forever, and you don’t want to wait while it charges. Always have a power cord option available.

It’s important to know that the power drill itself doesn’t do the actual drilling; it’s actually the drill bit that goes through the wood, brick or whatever other material you’re using. Power drills come in all shapes and sizes. The bigger the chunk (the part that holds the drill) the bigger the bit you can use.

3. Screwdriver
For you Renaissance enthusiasts out there, the screwdriver is one of six simple machines as classified by these great scientists. Your standard screwdriver is basically an inclined plane fitted around a cylindrical shift. The plane fits into the grooves of the screw, and with a little force, a screwdriver forces the screw to turn and loosen or tighten itself, depending on the direction you’re turning the screwdriver.

Builders use these tools for two jobs: lifting weights and fastening two objects together. While balancing a screwdriver under a board, you can lift it with the right amount of force. You can also use your screws to connect two materials, such as two boards. Some people prefer screws to nails because they are usually a bit stronger.

The two most common screwdrivers would have to be the flathead and the Philips head. Flathead screwdrivers look like chisels, and you can use them for screws with a single slotted head. A Philips head screwdriver resembles a plus sign. These are usually stronger and more preferable than flat screws.

Screws and screwdrivers come in a wide variety of sizes so it’s always best to have a good mixture of them on hand. They’re one of the more versatile tools that every builder needs.

4. Saw
No matter what type of construction project you’re working on, there’s no way you’ll have all of your materials cut to the exact length that you need. To prepare yourself, bring a saw to cut through wood and other materials.

You’ll find a few different types of saws at construction sites. There are power saws that go through materials swiftly. You’ll also find jigsaws and table saws that can come in handy. The problem is that none of these tools will fit in a toolbox so always remember to bring a small one just in case.

In addition to the traditional straight saw, you can also bring a circular saw. These are usually too big for toolboxes, but they’re easy to carry. The blades can also be swapped out for blades that cut through metal, plastic or wood.

5. Level and tape measure
If you need to cut a piece of wood a specific length to fit a doorway. How will you know how to cut it? Are you going to stand by the doorway, hold the piece of wood up and cut while you’re measuring? Certainly not. You need level and tape measure to ensure you get the right cut every time.

A level is used to measure whether or not a surface is one level or plumb. Most builders use the bubble or spirit level because they have small vials inside with coloured liquid. If there is an air bubble in the liquid, it’s straight. If it’s settled between the markings, the surface is level.

You’re going to want a tape measure in your toolbox at all times. It’s one of the most important tools that every builder needs. It wouldn’t hurt to pick up one in imperial measurements and one in metric. You never know which one you’ll need.

6. Electrical tester
Whether you’re planning on wiring an entire home or just trying to make your Christmas lights work, it’s important to have an electrical tester on hand. Though you might not need it too often if you don’t do electrical work, there’s no substitute for it when you need it, short of sticking your finger in the socket.

This handy little tool has two probes with a light bulb. The light will glow when there is an electric current. You’ll be able to test out electrical outlets to see whether or not they work, and you’ll feel safer knowing you did it. You’ll be out of work for a long time if you forget this step.

Building and construction jobs always have job security on their side. New buildings and houses will always be going up. For those than love to work with their hands, building might just be the perfect job, so don’t forget your toolbox.

If you want to find out more about building and construction, check out one of Kangan’s wide variety of courses.

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