Complete List of Tools for Construction Workers

If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

In my years working in the construction industry, I’ve learned that mastering the right tools can make all the difference. Whether you’re just starting as an apprentice, delving into DIY projects at home, or are a veteran contractor, there’s a set of essential tools that you should know inside and out. 

In this article, I’ll guide you through these foundational construction tools, so use them effectively and safely.

Essential Tools You Need for A Construction Kit

In terms of quantity and type, you may need a different construction kit as an apprentice or professional. 

Below are the important tools used in construction sites. These are all that you need:

Hand Tools


Hammers are one of the most widely recognized and essential tools used for driving nails into wooden planks, serving as crucial connecting lynchpins.

person using hammer

They are classified into several types, with the most common being the claw hammer. They have a claw-like shape at the back of their head for pulling out nails. 

Brick Hammer

Brick or masonry hammers can split and score bricks. That is why it is the toast of masons and bricklayers. This hammer is popular among homeowners because most of them will work more with a brick than hot steel.

Claw Hammer

This hammer is very popular. Its primary function is to drive nails into wood. Also, it has a claw at the back of its head that you can use to pull out nails. 

This tool is a must-have for every construction worker. If you do not have it, you may need to get it.

Drywall Hammer

This hammer is used to hang drywall. They shape one end like an ax, with a significant notch near the handle. You can use this notch to secure the hammers without damaging the delicate drywall.

drywall hammer


The two common types of screwdrivers are Phillips and flathead. They are used to turn screws into place by ensuring that their heads match the good bits. 

Most workers prefer manual screwdrivers to electric screwdrivers because their heads attach to their bodies and do not fall off, thus allowing for more accurate screwing and unscrewing. But if prefer a more seamless work experience, you get a screwdriver set for all applications and installations. 

Manual Saws

In my line of work, I often use manual saws for cutting lumber. On rare occasions, you can use them to cut metals like aluminum. These saws are specifically designed with blades that have a row of wedged teeth, allowing for clean incisions when moved up and down.

There are different manual saws, one of which is the antique crosscut saw type, which you can use to cut across wood grains.

Set of Wrenches

In my toolkit, wrenches are indispensable, and they come in various shapes and sizes. They are used to grip, fasten, turn, tighten, and loosen things like pipes, fittings, nuts, and bolts. Broadly speaking, wrenches fall into two categories: fixed and adjustable.

gearwrench wrenches

Fixed Wrenches

Fixed wrenches are common, easy to get, and come in various sizes. They have jaws with parallel tines that fit comfortably on nuts and bolts.

Adjustable Wrench

An adjustable wrench differs from a fixed wrench. It has a movable jaw which makes it multipurpose. You can use it for different nuts and bolts instead of a fixed size. 


A pair of pliers has a heavy but narrow jaw at the end that can twist and untwist nuts and bolts. Depending on the type, you can use a plier to cut cables, bend metal, strip wires, etc.

Nail Pullers

Nail pullers work the same way as pullers at the back of a claw hammer. They design this tool specifically for pulling out big nails that are difficult to yank out. This tool is effective and a must-have for every contractor.

Masonry Trowel

A masonry or brick trowel is one of the essential tools found on a construction site. The trowel has a point-nose that you can use to spread mortar on concrete blocks or bricks using the buttering technique. The trowel shape allows for precise placement of the mortar on the brick or concrete.

Masonry Trowel


This list of essential construction tools wouldn’t be complete without a screed. It is a thin layer of material that you can place on sharp sand and cement. You can add a coarse aggregate to form a thick layer in industrial settings.


Hoes are hand tools designed with a wooden handle and metal plate to help you excavate the soil. Contractors and workers use a hose to dig tree roots and loosen the soil.


Just like hoes, rakes are also considered vital hand tools. They design them with long wooden or metal handles, with long sharp prongs at the base. 

You can use them for packing leaves at the job site. A large version of rakes for mechanized farming is called hay rakes. 

Shovels and Spades

Shovels or spades have a wedge or scoop that you can use to dig through soil and dirt. These tools are ideal for clearing trenches and plumbing materials‌ they are good for yard work. 

Shovels and Spades

Using their sharp heads, you can use them to clear roots and organic debris.


They design crowbars with long steels you can use to excavate objects during building construction. You can use them to dig up objects such as nails, roots, and the like.


Floats are one of those essential construction tools needed at the construction site. They are wooden tools that you can use to smooth concrete surfaces when plastered. 

It features a top handle and a smooth wooden surface at the bottom. To smoothen any surface, all you need to do is move it in a circular motion.


Chisels are wedge tools commonly used in carpentry. They specifically designed these tools for removing wooden services. Additionally, you can use them to remove concrete bumps and excess concrete from hardened surfaces.


Putty Knife

Putty knives are specialized tools used for glazing single-glazed windows. Additionally, you can use them to work putty around each glass pane’s edges and for applying filler material. Professional glaziers will apply the putty by hand and use the knife to smoothen it. 

Utility Knife

Utility knife, as their name implies, is one of the essential and versatile tools you’ll need. You can use this tool to cut duct tape, strings, and the like without tearing through them with your hand. 

One amazing thing about this tool is that it is handy and can fit into your pocket.  

Sanding Sponges

As their name implies, sanding sponges are sponge-like tools used for sanding. Attached to the bottom of the sponge is an abrasive material. They are effective for plastics and drywalls.


Bolsters are hand shovels that you can use to cut through bricks. They design them with a wider cutting edge, making it easy for you to use them to slice through bricks or break down a building feature.



A rammer, which is also called a “tamper,” is a hand tool used in construction sites for compacting soil. 

Workers use this tool to make the soil hard or uniform to achieve excellent groundwork.

Tile Cutter

This tool is a scoring tool used by tile installers. They use it to cut straight lines in porcelain and ceramic tiles. As small as this tool might seem, it is one of those essential construction materials needed during building construction. 

Adjustable Spanner

An adjustable spanner is an essential tool that comes with a wrench head. Spinning a control wheel near the head opens or closes it. The adjustability of the wheel around its head makes it possible to use it for any size of a nut. This is an invaluable tool for construction workers, especially plumbers.

Tie Tensioning Tool

Cable tie tensioning tools are effective for tightening heavy and lightweight cable ties. Aside from this, they effectively cut excess material with their easy-to-use lever.

tie tensioning tool

Power Tools and Equipment

Power tools come in two types: corded and cordless. They design these tools to give you more power using a battery pack, electricity, or generator. With these tools, you can be sure of faster performance.

Corded and Cordless Drills

Hammer Drill

A hammer drill, which is also known as “percussion drills” or “impact drills,” are designed to help you bore holes into tough surfaces. They do this by using an impact mechanism that creates a hammering motion.

Power Drill

Power drills come in corded and cordless varieties. They use electricity from a battery or generator to drive an electric motor that helps carve holes in materials such as metal or wood. Additionally, you can also use them to screw or unscrew bits from surfaces.

Drill Drivers

Drill drivers are one of the essential power tools for boring holes. You can power them using batteries, and they have two modes for screw driving and drilling. 

The drill driver features a torque selection ring to select how low or high you want the torque to be. This determines the force at which the drill drives the screw.

Read Next: Recommended Impact Driver Bit Sets 

drill driver

Ground Auger

A ground or earth auger is a spiral-shaped drilling tool for drilling holes. This tool is also an example of a power tool and is very effective for construction activities.

Rotary Hammer

Rotary hammers are also power tools. They are ideal for heavy-duty construction activities such as chiseling and drilling of hard materials. They feature a piston driven by a crankshaft, moving in a circular motion, allowing users to drill or bore holes efficiently.

Powered Saws

Reciprocating Saw

This machine-powered tool achieves its cutting action through its blade’s push and pulls motion.

It is a versatile tool that is used by professionals or DIYers. You can use them to cut a large chunk of different materials in little time.

Circular Saw

A circular saw is a powerful tool that uses a disc or abrasive blade to cut many materials. Some of these materials include masonry, plastic, and metal. 

10 ¼ Inches circular saw

They design circular saws to be handheld, or you can mount them on machines.


Jigsaws are versatile power tools. They feature an electric motor that drives a reciprocating saw blade, making them suitable for cutting wood, stenciled designs, metals, and other materials.


Surface Grinders

Surface grinders are machine tools with a rotating abrasive wheel to help you smoothen metallic and non-metallic materials.

Angle Grinders

These are handheld tools designed primarily for polishing and grinding. Aside from this, you can use them for different fabrication projects, such as cutting iron pipe or replacing a faulty valve.

Die Grinders

Die grinders are handheld power tools that are specifically for polishing, honing, grinding, sanding, etc. They design this tool for rotating at a speed of 2,500 RPM, which is faster than most cutting tools.

die grinder

Wall Chaser

Wall chasers are specialized power tools powered by an electric motor. This tool features an abrasive disc that rotates in a circular path, just as in an angle grinder. You can use them to cut narrow grooves in walls.


Jackhammers are pneumatic tools that feature a hammer and a chisel. You can use them to break hard surfaces such as concrete, rocks, pavement, etc.

Concrete Sander

Often called “edge grinders,” these tools play a vital role in the construction process. They’re used to level and grind concrete surfaces, ensuring a smooth finish. Additionally, they’re effective in removing stains, epoxies, and other concrete coatings.

Portable Concrete Mixer

As someone who works in construction, I consider this tool indispensable. It boasts a revolving drum that mixes construction components like gravel, cement, and sand, creating the perfect concrete blend. Additionally, it has wheels that make it possible for you to move around the site.

Sand Screening Machine

Sand screening machines are another essential on site. They design this tool to help you sieve sand for construction work. It features a vibrating mesh that sieves the sand to achieve a fine grain.

sand screening


Routers are a type of power tools that feature a rotating blade and a flat base. They design the router with a spindle which you can drive using a pneumatic or electric motor. 

This tool is also a must-have for cutting a notch in wood and for people into woodworking projects such as cabinetry.

Nail Gun

Nail guns bear a resemblance to hammers in their purpose. They are engineered to drive nails into wood and other materials using means like electromagnetism, compressed air, and flammable gases.

Due to their efficiency, these tools have largely replaced conventional hammers in many tasks.

Caulk Gun

Caulk guns are special tools with a tube or cartridge that you can fill with caulk, a type of sealant. This tool makes it easy to apply this material to areas the hand might not reach. You can use it to seal a crack between a sink and vanity or a window frame.

caulk gun

Plate Compactor

A plate compactor is a construction tool with a heavy plate at its base that moves up and down rapidly to compress different soil types. They are an ideal tool for achieving a stable sub-surface in construction sites.

Oscillating Tools

An oscillating or multi-tool is a power tool that oscillates and is powered by a battery or electricity. This tool is versatile and can use for construction activities such as scrapping, grinding, and sanding.

Also Read: Top Oscillating Tool Choices

Impact Driver

Like the cordless drill, this tool uses a rotational force to drive screws. However, instead of a 13mm chuck, it comes with ¼ inch hex bit to help you grip a small screwdriver. This tool has a high driving force. Hence, they can drive large screws into hard materials.


There are different types of generators, depending on the configuration, size, and output. For construction projects, the best type of generator is the dual-fuel portable generator. These generators are very efficient and will give you the best output power.


Compressors play a crucial role on construction sites, often serving as a power source for various electric tools. They are generally categorized into two types: dynamic and positive displacement.


Welding Tool

Welding tools are also essential construction equipment. You can use them to generate heat at a high temperature to melt metal parts so that you can join these parts together.

Shop Vac

A shop vac, which we can call a wet or dry vac, is like a vacuum cleaner. The only notable difference is that this tool allows you to pick objects such as nails or little wood scraps. You can also use them to clean spills.

Measuring Tools

Tape Measure

A measuring tape is an essential tool for D.I.Y. and construction projects to measure the distance and size of different things. They are over 1-foot long, and you can carry them around your waist.

Measuring Squares

A measuring square or carpenter’s measure is a tool you can use to measure a right angle with utmost accuracy using a carpenter’s pencil or any writing utensil. 

Some of these tools come with a flat ruler-like tool with little liquid and bubbles. This feature allows you to check whether a surface is a uniform.

Measuring Wheel

A measuring wheel which we can also can a surveyor’s wheel, is a tool that helps you measure distance while working. This tool features a wheel that attaches to a long handle with a grip. 

measuring wheel

Diameter Tape Measure

A D-tape is a type of tool used for measuring and gauging the diameter of a cylindrical object. This includes pipes or a stem of the tree. A diameter pipe comes in either metric or imperial measurements.

Plumb Bob Level

The Plumb bob level, also known as a plummet, consists of a weight attached to the end of a string. This tool is used to establish a vertical reference, commonly known as a plumb.

I-Beam Level

An I-beam level is like a box beam. It contains spirit level to help you get an accurate lead. These tools are good for small construction projects.

Laser Level

In construction, a laser level is a control project tool. It comprises a rotating laser beam projector you can attach to a tripod. This electronic device can project red and green beams along the vertical and horizontal axis.

Survey Rope

They make measurement ropes, such as survey ropes, from durable blade materials, with different measurement units. It has a handle that makes it easy for you to use. They calibrated the blade materials in inches and meters.

survery rope

Chalkline Reel

A chalk line reel is a hand tool comprising a box with a string reel inside it. To impart straight lines, chalk powder is applied to a string coated with chalk powder, which is then reeled out and placed on various surfaces to impart straight lines.

Stud Finder

A stud finder is an electronic device powered by a battery. This device senses changes in the wall density to help you locate framing studs behind walling surfaces.


A calculator is a tool used by building contractors and carpenters to estimate the cost of materials that they need on-site. A good construction calculator will help you calculate construction-related calculations with ease.



A wheelbarrow is a small hand-propelled open cart. It has a wheel you can use to transport material from one place to another on the site. The most common movement on the construction site is concrete and building materials.


Ladders are essential tools for construction workers and DIYers. They are height-boosting tools with steps and a stable base that allows you to reach your target. 


Rolling Carts

A rolling cart is mobile storage equipment that you can use to hold bottles of glue, grease, or other essential materials for easy access. For added security, these carts come with a rolling wheel you can lock.

Toolbox and Tool Belts

Every artisan should have a quality toolbox. They’re designed with a convenient handle and divided compartments to organize different tools efficiently.

Similarly, a tool belt is a must-have. I find them to be robust, durable, and thick, offering the necessary support when carrying the tools from the toolbox.

Utility Vise

A utility vise is a mechanical clamp. It has a tightening mechanism allows you to hold an object within its grasp. Once the vise holds the material in place, you can work on the object without worrying about moving around.


A workbench is a high table with flat surfaces used by contractors, DIYers, and plumbers. They place their tools and equipment on this table for more stability while doing their work.


A sawhorse is a metal or wooden structure with a flat surface and four legs. Carpenters use this structure to support boards and other cutting materials used for sawing.



Lockers are storage units. They design them to provide you with compartments to help you store your construction tools and other materials. You can secure them with padlocks to keep your items from those you do not want to have access to.

Folding Chairs

Folding chairs are for sitting. It is useful if you know there will be important downtime on site. Aside from this, you can use them with a workbench to avoid hunching and giving yourself back pain after working long. 


Buckets have a wide variety of uses on the site. You can use it to carry fresh concrete, water, or other materials. Additionally, you can use them as a temporary storage unit for your screws, bolts, and nuts.


Lights are essential in the worksite to illuminate the environment during nighttime hours. Also, you can make use of them for indoor activities. This tool has long stands that allow you to tower it in the direction you need.

Construction Safety Clothing

Construction Gloves

Construction gloves are personal protective equipment you must wear to protect your hand, wrist, and fingers from injuries such as blisters, cuts, splinters, heat, and chemical burns.

construction gloves

Protective Goggles

Protective goggles, also known as safety glasses, are essential eye accessories designed to safeguard both your eyes and face. These reliable accessories play a crucial role in shielding your eyes from potentially harmful chemicals and other substances or debris you might encounter on a construction site. 

Most workplace eye injuries that occur during construction work are preventable, if you wear regulation safety glasses.

Hard Hat

A hard hat is indispensable P.P.E. It shields the head from potential hazards like impacts, falling objects, electric shocks, and even rain. Anyone involved in electrical tasks or working in areas where there’s a risk of falling objects should definitely have this protective gear on.

Hi-Vis Safety Vests

The Hi-Vis safety vest or reflective safety gear is a gear that provides a signal or warning to vehicles or individuals when working on the site during the day or at night. If you work in dangerous areas, you should wear this gear.

Steel-toe Boots

These boots have protective reinforcement at the toe. This protects your leg from compression or falling objects while working.

Full Face Shields

A face shield is a P.P.E. that helps to protect your entire face from hazards on the work site, such as debris, flying objects, chemicals, etc. We recommend you use these face shields with safety goggles.

full face shield

Ear Plugs or Ear Muffs

Ear plugs and ear muffs work almost the same way. They fit against your head and enclose the entire perimeter of your ear to help prevent noise.


A respirator is designed specifically to help you filter the surrounding air. When used on the construction site, this device will protect you from inhaling harmful substances such as chemicals and infectious particles.

Other Accessories

Below are other tools you may need for your construction process:

Carpenter Pencils

A carpenter pencil has a rectangular cross-section and is easy to hold than other types of pencils. You can use this pencil to mark out any material.

Voltage Checker

Voltage testers are devices designed to help you check the flow of electrical current in a battery, outlet, or circuit. This device features a neon bulb and two insulated wires connected to the base of the bulb housing. 



A multimeter is a measuring instrument to measure electrical properties such as resistance, voltage, and current across a circuit.


Batteries are portable and rechargeable power cells that provide you with portable power for your construction tools.

Extension Cords

An extension cord or power extender is a length of electrical cable with a plug and socket holes for extending electricity from one part to the other on-site.

Things To Consider Before Buying Construction Tools

Are you going to use it for D.I.Y. or professional construction work?

Before purchasing any construction tool, it’s crucial to evaluate its relevance to your project. Every tool in the construction realm has distinct functions and specifications.

Moreover, spending money on a tool that doesn’t align with your project’s needs isn’t a wise investment. Hence, always have a clear understanding of your project’s requirements before diving into the purchase of construction tools.

Dremel Rotary Tool Accessory Kit- 710-08- 160 Accessories

Do you need portable or stationary tools?

Another question is whether you will need a portable or mobile tool or a stationary tool in a fixed location. This will also depend on the type of project you are planning and executing.

Phases of Construction

#1: Concrete Pouring and Leveling

Depending on your project type, you can mix your concrete using a wheelbarrow for mini or DIY projects or a portable concrete mixer for big projects. 

When mixing, ensure that the concrete has a dough-like consistency. Also, the surface of the concrete must be perfectly level, and it must drop at about ¼ inch per foot. This will allow the water to drain from the surface.

#2: Framing

During this stage, your construction takes shape. The decking, walls, and roof trusses will be installed in the framing stage. Also, it includes windows, shingles, and exterior doors.

#3: Electrical and Plumbing Work

This stage includes the installation of activities that makes the construction function. It includes the installation of electrical, gas, sewage, heat, elevators, and air conditioning systems. 


#4: Insulation

This phase is essential. It helps you to create a consistent and comfortable indoor climate [1]. Also, it helps to improve the energy efficiency of your home. You will need to insulate the attic, floors, and exterior walls. 

#5: Setting Up the Interior

This stage is the final stage. It includes the type of upholstery you want, lighting, painting, etc. The fact is, this depends on what suits you. Therefore, you can set up your interior to suit your specific needs and taste.

Most Popular Brands for Construction Tools

In no particular order, here are 10 brands I highly recommend for construction tools:

Safety Precautions

According to the Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), several records of accidents and injuries happened while using power tools. On this note, they have advised to follow strict safety guidelines when using these tools [1]

ClearArmor 141001 Safety Ear Muffs

Here is a list of the safety precautions:

  1. Always make use of safety gears.
  2. Conduct pre-construction risk assessment.
  3. Ensure that first-aid kits are readily available.
  4. Install warning signs on-site.
  5. Schedule regular safety meetings.
  6. Ensure you maintain all equipment 
  7. Make sure that the storage of dangerous components follows all precautionary safety guidelines


What tools are used by bricklayers?

Tools for bricklayers include hammers, bolsters, heavy-duty drills, mixers, measuring devices, etc.

What tools are used by a construction worker for digging?

A construction worker uses excavators, bulldozers, crawl loaders, pickaxes, and so forth, for digging during construction work.

What is the best way to organize hand tools?

The best way to organize hand tools is to keep the following in mind:

  1. Keep similar items in place.
  2. Make use of color coordinates.
  3. Store your work tools vertically.

What are tool brands made in the U.S.A.?

Here is a list of items that are made in the U.S.A.

Are workers required to bring their hand tools to a construction site?

Yes, they are required to bring their hand tools. Members of a construction team are mandatorily supposed to have their work tools handy when on-site.


Selecting the right tool is key to the success of any construction project. In this guide, I’ve laid out a comprehensive list of tools essential for anyone in construction. 

I recommend keeping this list close for your future projects. Given the right training, anyone can master the use of the tools mentioned here.

robert headshot

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles
Join our community on facebook and get 3 woodworking plans for free!
    Your Cart
    Your cart is empty