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The Essential Construction Tools List: 25 Different Types & Their Uses

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construction tools

Building things take a lot of work and a lot of different tools. We have listed what we believe to be the top 25 different types of tools that are used in construction and what they are used for.

1. Pencil

A pencil is every construction worker’s best friend. There is a saying, “measure twice, cut once.” Pencil marks can be erased if you find that you have made an error. You will have a clean surface and start over without any chance of getting the different lines mixed up.


2. Tape Measure

You have to measure everything when you work in construction, so a tape measure is an essential tool in every construction worker’s toolbox. Tape measures are handy because they are small enough to fit into your pocket, yet still long enough to measure a room. You want to make sure that you get one that is long enough to meet your needs, but when they get to be over 25 feet, they tend to have issues recoiling.

tape measure

3. Claw Hammer

The claw hammer has dual purposes. One side of the hammerhead is flat for pounding, while the other side has a claw that is used to remove nails without damaging the surface of your material.

claw hammer

4. Screwdrivers

Screwdrivers are one of the most frequently used tools in any home. They are used for everything from putting together a piece of furniture, to removing light switch covers, or tightening the knob on the kitchen cabinet door. Every tool needs a certain size and style of the screwdriver, so be sure that you get an assortment that includes various sizes of flathead and Phillips head screwdrivers. Flatheads obviously have a flat blade, where the Phillips tip is star-shaped.


5. Utility Knife

Utility knives are a must-have for any toolbox. You never know what you may need to cut. They are safe to keep in with other tools or in your pocket because the blade is stored inside. There is no chance to get cut accidentally.

utility knife

6. Hand Saw

A good hand saw has multiple purposes. It will cut through wood, PVC pipes, metal pipes, plastic tubing, conduit, brackets, and much more.

hand saw

7. Cordless Drill

A cordless drill is a screwdriver on steroids. It is used for drilling holes in multiple types of materials, and for putting things together with screws. The cordless drill is convenient because it can be taken anywhere, without any limitation. We do recommend that you have two batteries, though, so that one of them is always charging.

cordless drill

8. Power Drill

A power drill is different than the cordless drill since it has a cord. Having the constant power source attached to supply it, makes this drill have more power than the cordless drill. The power level doesn’t waiver like that of a battery going dead.

power drill

9. Extension Cord

You always need just a little more cord than you have when you are doing construction. A standard house extension cord cannot handle a load of all of the power tools, though. A heavy-duty cord is needed for that.

extension cord

10. Crowbar

Crowbars are used to pry boards apart and to open crates.


11. Combination Square

As you know, a square has two straight sides that ensure that you get them when you need them. They also have a 90° angle to make sure that whatever you are putting together has a perfect corner. A combination square works the same way except that it has a 45° angle, as well as the 90°.

combination square

12. Laser Level

A laser measure tell you how far away something is. It measures the distance between itself and any chosen object.

laser level

13. Step Ladder

Your legs are never long enough when doing construction work. A step ladder is needed to reach those out of reach places safely.

step ladder

14. Combination Pliers

Combination pliers have teeth to use when gripping an object, as well as a cutter for cutting wire.

combination plier

15. Sanders

You use a sander to sand down and smooth out any rough areas on a surface. They have clamps that allow you to change the sanding paper whenever it is needed. You always start sanding with a coarse grit paper and gradually work your way down to fine grit. It is crucial, especially for wood, that you don’t jump directly from the coarse to the fine because the rough paper will leave marks that the fine paper can’t sand out.


16. Nail Gun

Construction workers nail a lot of things together. If you had to pound every nail in by hand, your arm would get tired quickly. Nail guns store the nails inside a casing that will drive your nails in for you with just the pull of a trigger.

nail gun

17. Impact Driver

An impact driver is a lot like a drill, except that it has a hammering action inside. It also has a lot of different accessories that you can attach to it. The impact is used instead of a drill when you are doing more heavy-duty jobs.

impact driver

18. Adjustable Wrench (Crescent Wrench)

Adjustable wrenches can be a bit awkward to use because they are bulkier than combination wrenches. The nice thing about them is that one wrench will adjust to fit many different sizes. Getting a couple of different sized crescent wrenches will cover just about anything.

crescent wrench

19. Wood Chisels

Chisels are used to chip wood out of areas that need to be open. They are also used to clean out joints and saw cuts.

wood chisels

20. Oscillating Multi-Tool

An oscillating multi-tool is precisely what it sounds like. This tool can be used for a lot of different jobs:

oscillating multi-tool

  1. Make all different types of cuts
  2. Remove grout
  3. Window repair
  4. Wood floor installation
  5. Preps wood for painting
  6. Sanding
  7. Drywall cutouts
  8. Caulk removal
  9. Thinset removal

21. Angle Grinder

Angle grinders are used to remove any excess material off of metal.

angle grinder

22. Vise

A vise has two parallel jaws that are used to hold whatever you are working on in place.


23. Bar Clamps

Bar clamps can be used like other clamps, but they are mostly used to hold large objects together while waiting for glue to dry.

bar clamps

24. Electrical Tester

Electrical testers check wires and outlets to see if they have live electricity running through them.

electrical tester

25. Soft Broom

There is no way around making a mess while doing construction. The soft broom will be needed to clean the place up periodically.

soft broom

We hope that this list will help you get started doing your construction work. This is by no means an exhausted list of tools that you may use, but it is an excellent place to begin. You can add to your collection as you get further into construction whether you are building something at home for yourself, or if it is your career.

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Header image credit: Pxhere

About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!