7 Must-Have Hand Tools That Will Make Your Job Easier

December 14, 2018 9:06 am

Machining nowadays is no longer like it was back in the days.

With CNC machines, robots and computers taking over it almost feel like there’s hardly any manual work left to do in a machine shop.

However, although most of today’s machine shops let the computers run the machine, there are still a number of operations that require the manual skills of a machinist. Especially in the setup and finishing phases.

Moreover, there is still a multitude of old-school machinist out there that still enjoy working with their bare hands.

For all those machinists who like to put their hands into work, we put together a special list of hand tools that will make your life easier and your work more enjoyable.

Here’s what we recommend.


Deburring Toolset

NOGA SP7700 7 Pc. Complete Deburring Tool Set in Plastic Case

A fundamental tool to have, especially when dealing with holes on mild steel or aluminum. A deburring tool removes burrs from around the edge of a hole or entrance in a workpiece and creates a chamfered edge.







Allen wrench set

TEKTON Hex Key Wrench Set, Inch/Metric, 30-Piece | 25253

Allen wrenches are a universal tool that should always be part of a machinist toolbox. It is one of the simplest wrenches to use and is designed to help tighten or loosen crews and bolts that have a hexagonal socket in the head.






Crescent wrench

Crescent AC212VS Adjustable Wrench Plated Finish 12 Inch

The same concept of the Allen wrench but used to loosen or tighten a nut or a bolt. We recommend using an adjustable one.









No explanation needed on the use of this tool. However, it’s important to understand the difference between the different types of hammers to chose the right one for your application.



TEKTON 30409 Jacketed Fiberglass Ball Pein Hammer Set, 4-Piece

The name derives from the ball-shaped head that is used to deform or “peen” soft materials. The historic use of a ball-peen was to manually round off edges of rivets.







Dead blow

Pit Bull CHIHD190 2 lb Neon Dead Blow Hammer

A hammer designed to dispell all of the energy into the object being struck. The dead blow is generally used for objects which need a little more force in order to move.








Soft hammer

TEKTON 30812 Double-Faced Soft Mallet

These hammers are good for hammering objects without damaging the object the way a solid metal hammer would. Additionally, the head of the hammer tends to be much smaller making them more ideal for precision work where a mallet wouldn’t fit.







Brass hammer

TEKTON 30903 Jacketed Fiberglass Brass Hammer

Brass hammers should always be used in place of steel hammers in any metalworking application. They are specifically designed to prevent or eliminate work damage. Also, their non-sparking properties make them safe to use near combustible materials.







Craftsman 9-31794 Slotted Phillips Screwdriver Set, 17 Piece

One of the most used tool ever. No need to explain what they are used for.








Tap Wrench

IRWIN Tools T-Handle 1/4-Inch Capacity Tap Wrench

Tap wrenches are used to turn the taps by hand. T-handle tap wrenches have self-centering tool steel jaws and a tapered, knurled chuck sleeve for a positive grip on the tool, providing easier access to tight spaces.







General Tools 88CM Tungsten Carbide Scribe and Magnet

Although they look similar to a center punch, scribes are generally used for a different purpose.

The scribe is a layout and marking tool and is used for making clear lines on metal sheet to indicate cuts, folds, or other layout lines.






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  • JZ

    In my day, a deburring tool was called a file !

  • Ian

    What about files and dial calipers to 0.01 mm

  • Andy

    A machinist square and 1-2-3 blocks, then an edge finder and some parallels.

  • Phatlump

    I still prefer old world machining on my step pulley J-Head. Yeah it’s old like me… well not As Old as me. Some table keys and dowel pins, good mill vise (I don’t care what brand as long as I can square it up good, and it locks down square), parallels and of course a Babbitt and brass hammer. But when I bought my machine after retirement, I spent a rediculous amount on all the trimmings I did’t personally own. As a matter of fact, my first few jobs didn’t have “the trimmings” back then. But seriously, an end mill sharpener really saves a lot of money.

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