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Why Hand Tools Still Matter in the Age of Power Tools

You’ve probably gotten frustrated trying to assemble furniture or hang pictures without the right tools. Sure, you made it work with that flathead screwdriver you found in the junk drawer, but it took way longer than it should have. Don’t torture yourself – it’s time to get yourself some real hand tools. With just a few basic tools, you’ll be surprised how much easier home projects go. In this article, we’ll go over the hand tool or tools everyone should have and how to use them properly. Once you’re set up with a small arsenal of tools, you’ll feel empowered to tackle all kinds of DIY projects around the house. So read on to learn which tools you need and how they’ll make your life better!

The Top 10 Most Useful Hand Tools Everyone Should Have

Durability and Dependability

Hand tools have staying power. A quality set of hand tools, if properly cared for, can last a lifetime. No batteries to die, no cords to fray – just simple, durable tools ready when you need them. While power tools certainly have their place, for reliability hand tools can’t be beat.

Precision and Control

Hand tools give you a level of precision and control that power tools often lack.  Chisels, planes, handsaws and other hand tools are only as fast or as inaccurate as the hand that guides them. For detail work or projects requiring an artistic touch, hand tools reign supreme.


Hand tools don’t have the kickback and entanglement risks that power tools pose. No spinning blades or belts to grab loose clothing or hair. And without the noise of power tools, you can actually hear yourself think while you work! For beginners or projects involving kids, hand tools offer a safer way to learn real woodworking skills.


There’s a simple satisfaction in working wood with your own hands and quality hand tools. Each shaving cut, each joint fitted by hand, each surface smoothed to perfection gives a sense of accomplishment.  While power tools have enabled woodworking on an industrial scale, hand tools keep the craft accessible and meaningful on a human scale.

For all their nostalgic charm, hand tools remain vital and relevant. They open the door to woodworking for beginners, bring safety and control, last a lifetime, and above all, reconnect us with the materials and the satisfaction of working with our hands. That’s why hand tools still matter.

How to Properly Use and Maintain Hand Tools for Safety and Efficiency


You’ll want a set that includes flathead and Phillips head screwdrivers in multiple sizes. They’re essential for tasks like assembling furniture, installing light fixtures, and basic repairs. Look for a set that has comfortable, ergonomic handles and magnetized tips to keep screws in place.


Pliers are useful for gripping and turning objects like nuts, bolts, and wires. Needle nose pliers have a long, pointed jaw, while standard pliers have a wider, serrated jaw. Channellock pliers have adjustable jaws to grip items of different sizes. Pliers are a must-have for any basic repair or installation work.

Adjustable wrench

Also known as a crescent wrench, it can grip many different sized nuts and bolts. Get one with an ergonomic handle that’s at least 8 to 10 inches long. It’s ideal for plumbing work, assembling furniture, and general repairs.


You’ll want a standard claw hammer for driving and removing common nails. A rubber mallet or dead blow hammer is useful for tapping objects into place without damaging the surface. Hammers are essential for tasks like hanging pictures, assembling furniture, and basic carpentry work.

Utility knife

A utility knife, like a box cutter or razor knife, has a retractable blade for cutting, scoring, and trimming various materials. They’re ideal for cutting drywall, linoleum, cardboard, and packaging. Get one with an ergonomic handle and multiple replacement blades.

With a set of essential hand tools like these, you’ll be ready to tackle basic tasks around the home, garage, and workshop. Best of all, they require no power source and have minimal maintenance needs – all you need is a little elbow grease!