What are basic tools?

What are basic tools? - Fix It Cape Town

Learn About the Foundational Hand Tools That Form the Core of a Basic Toolkit

A well-stocked toolkit is a must-have for any DIY enthusiast or homeowner. Whether you are fixing a leaky faucet, hanging a picture frame, or assembling furniture, having the right hand tools can make the job much easier and more efficient. In this article, we will dive into the foundational hand tools that should form the core of any basic toolkit. From hammers and screwdrivers to pliers and wrenches, understanding their uses and features will help you become a more versatile handyman or woman.


A hammer is perhaps the most basic and essential hand tool for any toolkit. They come in various shapes and sizes, but the most common type is the claw hammer. Here are some key points to consider about hammers:

  1. Claw Hammer: This type of hammer features a flat face for striking and a claw on the opposite side for pulling out nails. It is ideal for driving nails into various materials and removing them when needed.
  2. Ball Peen Hammer: This hammer has a rounded end opposite the striking face. It is commonly used for shaping metal or driving cold chisels.
  3. Rubber Mallet: Unlike traditional hammers, a rubber mallet comes with a soft, rubberized head. It is perfect for tasks that require force without damaging or leaving marks on delicate surfaces.


Screwdrivers are another essential set of tools that should not be overlooked. Whether you are tightening screws on a piece of furniture or assembling electronics, having a variety of screwdrivers can save you time and frustration. Here are a few types of screwdrivers to prioritize:

  1. Flathead Screwdrivers: These have a flat, single-bladed tip and are suitable for screws with a single vertical slot.
  2. Phillips Screwdrivers: Recognizable by their cross-shaped tips, Phillips screwdrivers are designed to work with screws featuring a corresponding cross-shaped slot.
  3. Torx Screwdrivers: Torx screws have a star-shaped slot, and therefore, a Torx screwdriver is necessary to tighten or loosen them.


Pliers are versatile hand tools that can grip, bend, and cut a variety of materials. They come in various types, each designed for specific tasks. Here are some commonly used pliers:

  1. Slip Joint Pliers: These general-purpose pliers have an adjustable pivot that allows for two different opening sizes. They can be used for gripping, bending, or holding objects of different sizes.
  2. Needle-Nose Pliers: With long, slender jaws, needle-nose pliers are ideal for reaching into tight spaces or bending wire.
  3. Diagonal Pliers: Also known as wire cutters, diagonal pliers have angled cutting edges that allow for precise cutting of wires or small gauge metals.


Wrenches, also known as spanners, are used to provide grip and turn objects such as nuts, bolts, or pipes. Here are a few types of wrenches that should be included in your toolkit:

  1. Adjustable Wrench: This versatile wrench has a movable jaw that can be adjusted to fit different-sized nuts or bolts.
  2. Combination Wrench: Combination wrenches have a closed end and an open end. They are useful for working with nuts or bolts of specific sizes.
  3. Allen Wrench: Also known as hex keys, Allen wrenches have a hexagonal shape and are used to tighten or loosen screws with hexagonal heads.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What are the must-have hand tools in a basic toolkit?
  2. Hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches are foundational hand tools that form the core of a basic toolkit.

  3. How many types of hammers are there?

  4. There are various types of hammers, including claw hammers, ball peen hammers, and rubber mallets.

  5. What types of screws require a Phillips screwdriver?

  6. Screws with cross-shaped slots require a Phillips screwdriver.

  7. What are needle-nose pliers used for?

  8. Needle-nose pliers are used for reaching into tight spaces or bending wire.

  9. How many types of wrenches should be included in a toolkit?

  10. Adjustable wrenches, combination wrenches, and Allen wrenches are the most commonly used wrenches in a basic toolkit.


As a DIY enthusiast or homeowner, having a well-equipped toolkit is vital. The foundational hand tools discussed in this article, including hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches, will provide a solid base for your toolkit. Understanding the uses and features of these tools will enable you to tackle a wide range of projects with confidence and efficiency. Remember to choose high-quality tools and maintain them properly to ensure their longevity and effectiveness. Happy tinkering!

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