Choosing The Best Hand Tool For Your ‘Handy’ Projects

Best Hand Tool

When it comes to choosing the best hand tools out there, it doesn’t matter whether you are an amateur or a professional tool handler, you will almost always make mistakes. One of the major reasons why it has become exceedingly difficult to choose the most ideal hand tool is because there are several brands available.

Choosing The Best Hand Tool

And considering the marketing hype around each brand, the buyer may be left with the arduous task of sifting through them to arrive at one that truly offers value for their money. However, a little homework and a comprehensive checklist could make the work easier for you.

In this post, we shall go through a detailed overview of hand tools; from classification to leading brands among other factors to keep in mind before choosing the best one for your projects.

Types Of Hand Tools

Hand tools are classified into different types depending on the nature of the projects they are used for. The following are some of these types;

Professional Hand Tools – Just as the name suggests, these are hand tools used for high-end projects. The hand tools are used by trained personnel and require skills to handle and operate. There are different types of professional projects requiring hand tools. Some of these include woodworking projects, mechanics projects, carpentry projects, plumbing projects, to name but a few.

A scissor car jack is an example of a professional hand tool used by mechanics. In carpentry, a vice and a jig saw are common tools used by professional carpenters. An adjustable wrench is a plumber’s most resourceful tool. There are several other professional hand tools and it all depends with the profession in question.

Consumer or DIY Hand Tools – These are hand tools used for DIY projects. As expected, they are fairly easier to use and do not require much expertise on the part of the handler. There are various hand projects we can complete without needing any professional skills. And there are many more we can do just by following simple manuals and online video tutorials.
All these projects require consumer hand tools. Some of the most common DIY hand tools include a pair of scissors for cutting paper and fabrics, a screw driver for driving screws into or out of objects, a tape measure, circular saws, putty knife, to name but a few.

Intermediate Hand Tools – These are hand tools whose utility falls in between professional and DIY. This means they can be used for a project that’s classified between DIY and professional; or one that shares both characteristics.

Therefore, while these hand tools can be fairly managed by DIYers, they require a bit of professional prowess in order to make the most of their use. A sledgehammer is a good example of an intermediary hand tool. Other examples include a pipe wrench, hack saw and linesman pliers.

Hand Tool Brands

As has already been mentioned, choosing the best hand tool brand will give you a head start if you are looking for some high-end tools to complete your projects with. The following are some of the market leaders in the hand tool category.

Best Hand Tool Brands

Crescent Brand – Owned by the Apex Tool Group, Crescent is a USA-based company with a presence spanning over a century now. The company was established in 1907 and over the years, has excelled in the provision of hand tools for all manner of projects. The brand is a renowned manufacturer of various hand tools but is especially known for its adjustable wrenches and pliers.

Their adjustable wrenches are manufactured in South Carolina as well as in China. And while the company has changed ownership quite a few times, one thing that has remained is its desire to be a trendsetter in the design and manufacturing of hand tools.

Stanley Brand – This company was introduced in 1857 and back then, it was owned by The Stanley Works before the March 2010 grand merger with Black & Decker, resulting in the name Stanley Black-&-Decker. The brand is known for the manufacture of saws, try squares, rulers, screwdrivers, chisels and lots of other hand tools used for both professional and consumer projects.

However, Stanley is known for other more innovative products such as the Stanley Utility Knife, the Stanley #1 Odd-Jobs which is a utility tool, the Surform shaper, the Bailey plane and the PowerLock tape-measure.

DeWalt Brand – Owned by Black & Decker, DeWalt is known for offering all manner of hand tools. From hammers to drills and saws, DeWalt offers it all. The company is headquartered in Towson in Maryland and was established way back in 1936 by one Raymond E. DeWalt.

In 1949, DeWalt was acquired before being sold once again to Black and Decker who’re the current owners. The company has been associated with high-end drills and lawn mowers. But the reason why professionals and novice tool handlers alike prefer this company is because of their reasonable pricing policies.

Bosch BrandBosch is a German company with headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. It is often considered a close rival of DeWalt due to the fact it focuses on more professional versions of hand tools manufactured by DeWalt. It is also important to mention that Bosch leans more towards power tools and it only manufactures hand tools to supplement its revenue streams.

However, the hand tools designed by Bosch are high-end and are also offered at fairly reasonable market rates. Grinders, saws, hammer drills, screw guns, sanders and fastening nailers are some of the hand tools this brand is known for.

Black & Decker Brand– Black & Decker is a household name in the hand tool manufacturing sector. The company was established in 1910 in Baltimore and since then, it has continued to manufacturer innovative and utility hand tools for both professional and DIY use.

Though it’s prominently known for its high-quality drills, there are lots of other hand tools by this company such as screw drivers, wrenches, hand saws, hammerdrills, to mention but a few.

Apart from the above, there are lots of other hand tool brands and we cannot possibly exhaust the list. They include Makita, Craftsman, Ryobi, Milwaukee Hitachi, Metabo, etc.

The Comfort And Ergonomic Requirements Of A Hand Tool

A hand tool is only as good as the comfort level it offers to the user. When choosing a hand tool based on ergonomics, there are various features to look out for. For starters, always check whether the handles are angled or straight, whether the coatings are non-slip and whether the handgrips are padded. However, the design feature of a hand tool only accounts for about 50% of its ergonomics. The way a user handles the tool and the nature of the project being undertaken also play a role in the comfort level of a hand tool.

Therefore, before choosing a hand tool based on ergonomics and comfort level, it is important to check how it fits into your hand as well as how easier it makes the job being done. Most importantly, the tool should prevent you from straining. The following is a checklist to go by before making such a choice;

>Go for hand tools with handles that have no built-in finger grooves because finger size as well as replacement differs from one person to another.

>Go for tools with cushioned handles for comfortable use. Therefore, the handles should be covered by a soft material such as foam or a flexible plastic.

>Choose a tool whose handles do not contain sharp edges or seams as these might cut and irritate the hand.

>Spring-loaded handles are especially encouraged when buying double-handed cutting and gripping tools. Such a mechanism will enable the handle to return to its open position automatically, thereby reducing chances of injury.

>Most importantly, always go for a hand tool that allows you to work continuously with the wrist kept in a straight position.

Another factor that affects the comfort of a hand tool is the working space. If your working space is so constrained, you may have to assume awkward working positions and that directly makes it difficult to have a proper grip on your tool.

Weight And Size Considerations

It is only natural that you will need lighter versions of hand tools for a more efficient work. A lighter tool reduces the effort required to perform any task and as a result, you will suffer from less wrist and hand fatigue. When a hand tool is light-weighted, you will not need constant breaks to ‘recharge’. Instead, you will work for longer hours and the overall output will be higher. But what parameters are used to test the lightness of a hand tool?

For starters, you need to determine the length of your hand as well as your grip and palm size. As a general rule, always go for single-handle tools whose handle diameters range between 1 1/4″ and 2″ for tasks requiring much force such as hammering and heavy chiseling. However, when handling projects that require high-precision and delicacy, you might want to settle with tools with grips ranging between 1/4″ and 1/2″.

Choosing A High-Quality Hand Tool

Quality is such a relative term and in order to determine it, various factors have to be kept in mind. First, the brand of the hand tool should be considered. Brands that have a longer market presence are likely to be manufacturers of quality hand tools. Also, the price factor comes to play here.

And while it’s not a hard and fast rule, it is generally observed that high-quality hand tools are priced much higher. If in doubt, you can always consult various online platforms and check reviews to determine the brands widely used out there. Even better, you can seek recommendations from a local expert in hand tools near you.


Choosing the best hand tool is no walk in the park. There are various things to keep in mind such as the comfort level it offers, the weight of the tool, among several other parameters.

Our advice would be; use professional tools for high-end projects and consumer tools for simple projects so as to ensure the outcome is desirable. When choosing a hand tool, the brand should be your number one factor to consider, followed by the ergonomic offered by the tool and then the price it comes with.

I am Caio Resende, Welcome to Power Tool Lab! It is a blog dedicated to all polular power tool and accessories including new, best for sale, expert reviews and guides. Whether you are a DIYer, Hobbyist, or professional contractors such as electricians and plumbers, I will provide you all the latest news and professional reviews for all your favorite tools and Brands. Our mission provides great perspective from many different end users.

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