Aim of this course:
After going through this course, the reader should be able to:

  • Understand what is building construction tools
  • Type of building construction tools and their uses
  • Different the different between hand tools, power tools, and machine tools
  • What to consider during selection of building tools

What is building construction tools? 

Building construction tools refers to instruments that are used by hand during construction or when workin in a construction site. While The term ‘equipment ‘ generally refers to a set of
tools used for a single purpose.

Type of building construction tools:

There are three major type of construction tools:

  • Hand tools
  • Power tools
  • Machine tools
  1. Hand tools: such as; screwdrivers, brushes, trowels, wrenches, knives, crimpers, clamps, and so on.
  2. Power tools: which may be powered by electricity, compressed air, liquid fuel , hydraulic power, or powder-actuated and might include; mixers, saws, cutters, drills, grinders, guns, breakers , and so on.
  3. Machine tools: used for shaping materials into components by cutting, boring, grinding, and so on.

What to consider during selection of building tools:

  • Appropriateness for the job.
  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Weight
  • Comfort of use (such as grip, balance, vibration and so on).
  • Duration of use.
  • Available space for use.
  • Storage.
  • Security.
  • Insurance.
  • Power and fuel requirements.
  • Maintenance and breakdowns.
  • Standards and regulations.
  • Potential to cause nuisance such as noise, dust , vibrations and so on.

Building Construction tools list for building construction works such as concrete, brick masonry, leveling, wood works, floor works, slab works, brick laying, plastering etc. is provided.

Hand tools

What is hand tools? 

A hand tool in building construction is any tool that is powered by hand rather than a motor, and it can be classify as portable tools since it can be easily move for outside job.

Types of hand tools and their uses:


Bolster is like chisel but it is used to cut bricks. Its cutting edge is wider than the width of brick. It is useful for accurate cutting of bricks.

Boning Rods

Boning rods are made of wood and they are T shape. They are used to level the excavated trench throughout its length. Minimum three boning rods are used to level the trench surface.

Brick Hammer

Brick hammer is used to cut the bricks and also used to push the bricks if they come out of the course line.

Bump Cutter

Bump cutter is used to level the concrete surfaces like concrete floors, foundations etc. It is also called screed.


Chisel is generally used in wood work and this must be useful to remove the concrete bumps or excess concrete in hardened surface.


Crowbar is used for digging the ground and to remove the roots of trees in the ground, nails etc.

Digging Bar

Digging bar is solid metal rod with pin shape at the bottom. It is also used to dig the hard surfaces of ground.

End Frames

Their use is similar to the line and pins. But instead of pins, L shaped frames are used at the end of thread which hold the brick work effectively and level the alignment accurately.


Float is made of wood which is used to smoothen the plastered concrete surface. It contains handle on its top and smooth wooden surface on its bottom.


Gloves are required to prevent the hands from direct contact with cement, paints etc. and to avoid injury while using machines, tools etc.

Hand Saw

Hand saw is used to cut the wood materials like doors, windows, slab panels etc.

Head Pan

Head pan is made of iron which is used to lift the excavated soil or cement or concrete to the working site etc. it is more commonly used in construction sites.


Hoe is also used to excavate the soil but in this case the metal plate is provided with acute angle to the wooden handle.

Jack Plane

Jack plane is used in the wood work to smoothen the surface of doors and windows etc.


Ladder is also required in construction works. To check slab work, to transport material to the higher floors, to paint the walls etc.

Line and Pins

Line and pins consists a thread whose ends are connected with two solid metal rods with pin points. It is used to level the alignment of brick course while brick laying.

Mason’s Square

Mason’s square is used to achieve perfect right angle at the corner of masonry wall. It is “L” shape. First course is laid properly using Mason’s square then based on the first, remaining layers of bricks are set out.

Measuring Box

Measuring box is used to measure the quantity of sand and aggregate used for making concrete. It is of fixed dimensions so, aggregate need not to be weighted for every time. The general dimensions of a measuring box are 300mm X 300mm X 400mm (length x width x depth).
The volume of measuring box is generally 1 Cubic Feet, which makes it easy to measure concrete ratio or mortar ratio.

Measuring Tape

Measuring tape is used to check the thickness, length, widths of masonry walls, foundation beds, excavated trenches etc.

Pick Axe

Pick axe is used to excavate the soil. It is more suitable for hard soil which is quite difficult to dig with spade or hoe.

Plumb Bob

Plumb bob is used to check the verticality of structures. It contains a solid metal bob connected to the end of a thread. It is also used inn surveying to level the instrument position.

Plumb Rule

Plumb rule is used to check the vertical line of wall whether it is perfect vertical or not. It contains a straight wood board with uniform edges. On its center a groove is provided in which plumb bob is situated. When the rule is placed vertically with the wall the plumb bob should be in the groove line otherwise the wall will not be vertical.

Putty Knife

Putty knife is used level the putty finishing and also used to reduce the thickness of finish when it is more thick.

Earth Rammer

After the excavation of ground, the lower surface may be uneven. To level the surface earth rammer is used. It contains big square shaped block at its end with which the ground is leveled.

Rubber Boots

During construction works, legs may damage due to contact with chemical materials like cement or physical accidents. So, for safety rubber shoes are required.

Safety Glasses

To prevent the eyes from dust, chemical actions of materials etc. safety glasses should be maintained.

Safety Helmet

The safety helmet should be necessary in construction works. Any material or structure may fall from height during construction work. So, to protect the head from injury or any fatal accident, this safety helmet should be used.


Plastering of a surface is carried out layer wise. Minimum 2 coats are necessary for plastering. To provide the good bond between the coats, bottom layer is scratched with a tool called scratchers.

Sledge Hammer

Sledge hammer is used when the ground is hard and contains rock layers. A large weighted metal head is provided at the wooden handle with which hard layers can be cracked, which makes easy for digging.


Spade is used to dig the soil for foundation trenches etc. It contains metal plate at the end of long wooden handle.

Spirit Level

Spirit level is made of wood or hard plastic with bubble tube in the middle. The bubble tube is filled with alcohol partially. So, the air bubble is formed in it.
Spirit level is used in brick masonry to check the level of the surface. The spirit level is placed on surface and bubble is checked. The surface is leveled when the bubble in the tube settles at middle of tube.

Straight Edge Brushes

Straight edge brushes are used to provide finishing to the plastered surface especially at corners and edges of walls.



Trowel is used to lift and apply the cement mortar in small quantities. It is made of steel and wooden handle is provided for holding. The ends of trowel may be pointed or bull nosed.


Wedge is a small hard metal blade which is used to cut the rock surfaces with the help of sledge hammer.

Power tools

What is power tools? 

A power tool is a tool that is actuated by an additional
power source and mechanism other than the solely manual labor used with hand tools . The most common types of power tools use electric motors. Internal combustion engines and compressed air are also commonly used .

Types of power tools and their uses

Circular Saw

Circular saw used to cut the wood boards, frames etc. It is used when accurate cutting is required in less time. It is safer than hand saw.

Drill Machine

Drill machine is used to make holes in the walls, slabs, doors, window frames etc.


Polisher is used to smoothen the surface of tiles, wood works etc. The smoothening makes them shine and the process is called polishing.

Machine tools

What is Machine tools? 

A machine is a mechanical structure that uses power to apply forces and control movement to perform an intended action or A machine tool is a machine for shaping or machining metal or other rigid materials, usually by cutting, boring, grinding, shearing, or other forms of deformation.

Types of Machine tools and their uses:

Chain Lewis and Pin Lewis

Chain lewis and pin lewis are two different tools which are used to lift heavy stones especially in the construction of stone masonry.

Concrete Mixer

Concrete mixer is machine which mixes the ingredients water, fine aggregate, coarse aggregate and cement to deliver the perfectly mixed concrete.

Measuring Wheel

Measuring wheel is used to measure the distances or lengths. It contains a wheel of known diameter, which record the no.of complete revolutions from which the distance can be measured. It makes the work easier.

Sand Screen Machine

The fine aggregate used in concrete should not contain impurities or coarse particles. The sand screen machine is used to screen the sand or fine aggregate before mixing it with concrete. This screen is also used for screening fine sand for plastering work.

Tile Cutter

Tile cutter is used to cut the tiles. Sometimes, normal tile size is larger than required at the corners where floor meets the wall in that case tile cutter is useful.


Vibrator is used to compact the concrete by this the air gaps are filled with water and workability varies without adding water to it.

Wheel Barrow

Wheel barrow is used to transport bulk weights of materials like cement, sand, concrete mix etc. it contains one or two wheels at its front and two handles at its back which are used to push the wheel barrow.