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Hand Tools

Hand tools can be described as any device placed in the hand and powered by hand to complete tasks and help make a task easier, more efficient and/or safer.

Four Hand Tool Safety Principles

Selection Use Care Storage

Hand Tool Safety

Hand tools are often underrated as sources of potential danger. Hand tools may look harmless, but they are the cause of many injuries. Eight (8) percent of all workplace compensable injuries are caused by incidents associated with hand tools. Injuries can include sever disabilities. Proper evaluation of a hand tools may include characteristics such as the task, tool, workstation, and end-user.

Types of Injuries
Cuts, abrasions, amputations, and punctures. Hand tools are designed to cut or move metal and wood, remember what a single slip can do to fragile human flesh.

Repetitive motion injuries.

Using the same tool in the same way all day long, day after day, can stress human muscles and ligaments. Carpal tunnel syndrome (inflammation of the nerve sheath in the wrist) and injuries to muscles, joints and ligaments are increasingly common if the wrong tool is used, or the right tool is used improperly.
Causes numbness or poor circulation in hands and arms. Flying chips of wood or metal are a common hazard, often causing needless and permanent blindness. Tools can slip, fall from heights, or even be thrown by careless employees, causing severe injuries. A hammer that falls from a ladder is a lethal weapon.

Continuous vibration Eye injuries.

Broken bones and bruises

Injury Examples
1. Loss of eye/vision 2. Puncture wounds Using striking tools without eye protection. Using a screwdriver with a loose handle which causes the hand to slip. Dull knife

3. Severed fingers, tendons and arteries 4. Broken bones

Using the wrong hammer for the job and smashing a finger.

5. Contusions

Using a small wrench for a big job and bruising a knuckle.

Hand Tool Safety Principles

1. 2. Safety is a state of mind. Always think when using a tool. Every tool was designed to do a certain job. Use it for its intended purpose. 3. Keep your tools in good condition: sharp, clean, oiled, dressed and not abused. 4. Worn tools are more dangerous. 5. Tools subject to impact tend to "mushroom, keep them dressed. 6. Use tool holders. 7. Do not force tools beyond their capacity or use "cheaters" to increase their capacity. 8. Secure your work in a vise whenever possible. 9. Chisels, screwdrivers or other pointed tools should never be carried in clothing pockets. 10. Cutting tools should be kept sharp to ensure good smooth cutting. Always use proper handles. 11. Drill Bits should be kept sharp, not dull, chipped, rounded, or tapered.

Hand Tool Safety--cont.

12. Screwdriver points should not be badly worn and handles should be in good condition. 13. Wrenches, if adjustable, must work freely and adjust properly. 14. Always wear the PPE required for the job. 15. Cut in a direction away from your body. 16. Keep close track of tools when working at heights. A falling tool can kill a co-worker. 17. Pass a tool to another person by the handle; never toss it to them.

Selection of Hand Tools

The correct tool must be selection for the job.
Improves longevity of tool. Reduced chance of injury to operator. Improved quality of results.

The correct tool is one that was designed for the work.
You should not use a hatchet to chop down a large tree.

A hammer should not be used with a plastic handled wood chisel.

A screwdriver is not a pry bar. The correct tool is also one that fits the hands and abilities of the user. Higher quality of construction will lead to longer life and higher quality of work.

Use of Hand Tools

Because the working part of many hand tools are close to the hands and other body parts, correct uses is important.
Always cut away from body Use two hands if tool is designed for it. Keep hands clean and especially free of oil or other slick substances Insure handles are tight Keep focus on the activity.

Each hand tool was designed for a specific purpose. Not using it for that purpose constitutes misuse/abuse, which increases the risk associated with its use.


Many hand tools are precision devices and should be cared for according.
Steel must be protected from rusting. Wooden parts must be protected from water.

Dulled edges must be sharpened.

Rivets, screws, etc. must be kept tight. Handles should be tightened when loose. Wooden handles should be replaced when cracked. Dont place tools on concrete floor.


The goal of storage should be to maintain the condition of the tool.
Hand tools that are organized and stored correctly are easier to find, harder to damage, and easier for students to put back when they are done.
Cutting edges must be protected from contact with hard surfaces. Tools must stored so that hand does not contact sharp points and edges when removing the tool from storage. Organize tools by subject matter area. Lock tool storage when not being used.


Tool classification
It is a common practice to classify hand tools by their function. Agricultural Mechanics--Fundamentals and Applications
1. Layout and measuring

2. Cutting
3. Boring 4. Driving 5. Holding

6. Turning
7. Digging 8. Other


1. Layout and Measuring Tools

Layout and measuring tools may be measurement transfer tools or have scales for determining distances.
Transfer tools are used to transfer a measurement from one point to another.
May not know or care what the dimension is
Dividers Calipers T-bevel

Measuring tools have a scale that can be used to determine a dimension, distance, or angle.
US tools use fractional scales. Must know how to add and subtract fractions.
Rules Squares Measuring tapes


2. Cutting tools
Cutting tools are used to cut, chop, saw, or otherwise remove material by shaping.

Planes Axes Cutters


Cutting Tools-cont. Three common principles of cutting tools.

1. Two (2) types of edges, three (3) shapes 2. The best cutting angle is determined by the hardness of the material. 3. The correct speed of cutting is determined by the hardness of the material.


Cutting Tools-cont.
Types: 2 Bevels and 3 Shapes (6 possible combinations)
Single bevel: used to make fine slices or cuts

Double bevel: used to chop or make courser cuts

Straight shape: general purpose shape Coarse cuts but more durable cutting edge Concave shape: finer, more accurate cuts, less durable edge Convex edges: Very durable edge, combination of cutting and splitting Hollow ground shape is a combination of two shapes


Cutting--cont. 2. The best cutting angle is determined by the hardness of the material.
The harder the material--the smaller the cut

Requires small chip clearance

The softer the material--the larger the cut Requires larger chip clearance

3. The correct speed of cutting is determined by the hardness of the material.

The harder the material the slower the speed The softer the material the higher the speed Note: All cutting tools are designed to cut material that is harder than skin and flesh.


3. Boring Tools