Common Tools used in Construction Industry
Construction process involves creation of a variety of structures and their substructures. Each component requires a somewhat different set of codes, workmanship, skill and tools. Every task on a construction site is either aided or entirely performed by different tools. Without these construction fasteners and tools, respective to different jobs in a project, the workers cannot perform their jobs. Construction tools are an essential part of executing construction processes. All types of construction tools can be regarded to be essential or not according to their use on site.
Tools used in construction work must be more advanced and durable as compared to tools used in normal day-to-day life. The reason being that construction tools must last much longer given the frequency and time length of usage on several projects. They must be durable enough to withstand heavy reactions against it while working on different surfaces. In short, construction fasteners and tools must be of good quality that can withstand and work without any malfunctioning due to the adverse conditions of a construction site. Construction tools can be segregated into a number of different categories as per their usage.
Commonly used Construction Tools
The categories to which they belong and all the essential construction tools are as follows:
- Hand Tools-All construction fasteners and tools that can be operated with muscle power only rather than a battery or generator can be considered as Hand Tools.
Hammers-Hammer is the most typically used construction tool on a construction site. It is used to push nails that serve as connecting linchpins for wooden planks and many other areas too. A claw hammer is used to punch nails or to pull out nails from the additional claw in it. Sledge hammers are generally used for demolishing purposes.
Screwdrivers-Screwdrivers are one of the most commonly used construction fasteners and tools. It can either be flathead or phillips, that are used in twisting in screws by matching its head as per the bit. Manual screwdrivers provide more precise screwing and unscrewing than power drills or electrical drivers.
Pliers-Pliers are used for various functions but mostly used in electrical work. Pliers have a heavy but narrow pair of claws that can be used for twisting and untwisting nuts and bolts. Pliers provide one of the most diverse options when it comes to their types as per special functions. Combination pliers can roughly perform all functions expected from any specialized plier. Some other specialized pliers used are lineman's pliers and diagonal or side cutter's pliers.
Wrenches-These construction fasteners and tools are used to turn rotatory fasteners such as nuts and bolts. Wrenches are also known as spanners in some places and they are mainly of two types - adjustable wrenches and fixed wrenches. Adjustable wrenches have a moving claw to adjust to different nut sizes. Fixed wrenches come in different sizes for each nut.
Trowels-Trowels can be pictured as miniature versions of a shovel. These are one of the most iconic construction tools used for applying bonding material in bricklaying and levelling of cement or poured concrete.
Shovels-Shovels are used in digging trenches, preparing foundations and moving material from ground to a carrying container and vice-versa.
Spade-They are often confused with shovels because of the similar build. Spades perform almost the same types of functions as a shovel, the only difference being that shovels are typically used for digging whereas spades are used for carrying loads.
Rakes-These are horticultural tools commonly used in preparing construction sites. They are used to level highly granular areas such as gravel stones and pebble
Screeds-These construction tools are used for levelling of freshly poured concrete and shaving of excess mass evenly off the top surface. Wider screeds are preferred to complete levelling before hardening of concrete.
Rammers-Rammers are used to ram soil layers and materials together in order to compact the soil by removing air gaps.
Head Pan-These are pans with sufficient carrying capacity that are used to carry and transport construction materials manually such as bricks, mortar, debris, etc.
Ladders-While speaking about construction tools, one cannot ignore how important a function the ladder serves on a construction site. Most commonly used ladders are step ladders, platform ladders and extension ladders.
Wheel Barrows-Materials need to be carried across sites and heavy vehicles cannot be used all the time. Wheelbarrows are used in moving and logistics on construction sites.
Floats-These flat shaped tools that are used in plastering to make the surface flat.
- Measurement Tools-Measurements and checks need to be done throughout the project duration. Many types of measuring tools are used for different tasks. Commonly used measuring tools are:
Measuring Tape-This tool is carried around by workers in their pocket or tool belt for quick measurements. This usually comes in sizes of 25ft or 30ft.
Measuring Wheel-This is one of the simplest construction tools used for taking straight measurements. This can only take accurate measurements on completely flat surfaces free from imperfections.
I-Beam Level-Traditional levels are known as beam level or straight level. These construction tools are used to check if surfaces are perfectly levelled at 0° for horizontal surface and 90° for vertical surface.
Laser Level-These are modern versions of the traditional level. Laser beams are used to check if surfaces are perfectly level.
Chalkline Level-This is one of the oldest invented construction tools still being used today.These are used to create perfectly straight chalk lines with just a few rope pinches wherein the chalk particles settle on the surface.
Survey Ropes-One of the most basic construction tools used for alignment purposes. They are used to take straight measurements on uneven terrain and when laying bricks to keep the wall even.
Plumb Bob Level -Also known as plummet it is one of the simplest and oldest construction tools being used since time immemorial. It looks like a pendulum used to level vertical surfaces as well as vertical walls such as the construction of brick walls.
Protective Tools-Tools can also come in handy when providing protection services. Some of these tools are:
Safety Helmets-It is a kind of hard hat very commonly seen on construction sites being worn by employees and is compulsory to be worn on most sites. These helmets are quite durable and protect from heavy falling objects.
Tool Belts-Tool belts help in keeping hand construction tools such as hammers, pliers, screwdrivers, etc for quick access.
High Visibility Vest-These vests are preferred so that workers are easily visible in high traffic areas to prevent accidents.
Construction Gloves-A pair of sturdy construction gloves prevents scratches and cuts on hands that may impair the ability to work on construction sites. It also protects the skin from chemical hazards while handling.
Safety Shoes-These shoes have steel casings in the front section of shoes to provide safety from heavy falling objects and chemical hazards. It has high wear and tear resistance.
Protective Eyewear-These are made from impact resistant material such as polycarbonate that are shatterproof against small particles such as shrapnel, wood chippings, etc.
Hearing Protection-To avoid serious hearing damage on construction sites due to long exposures to high noise levels, hearing protections are used.
Power Tools and Equipment-Power tools are used where muscle power is not enough to create the required force for operations. They are usually powered by electricity or batteries. Power tools and equipment must be purchased with higher strength and durability along with better ease in maintenance.
Circular Saw-These tools are used in cutting wood, metal and masonry bricks.
Power Drills - Power drills are specifically used for creating holes in surfaces or turning screws.
Nail Gun-Nail guns help in saving time by punching small nails in wooden planks rapidly for framing.
Concrete Sanders-Concrete sanders provide a strong and durable sanding surface for finishing of rough concrete surfaces. Generally two types of concrete sanders are used that are floor sanders and edge sanders.
Welding Tools-These are mainly of two types generally used on construction sites - arc welding and torch welding. These are used in welding metal components together.
Concrete Mixer-It is a signature tool specific to a construction site only. They can be hand operated or powered batch mixer drums.
Sand Screening Machine-The sand procured for construction site work might not always be fine or free of unwanted particles such stones, pebbles, etc. Shaking sand screeners or cylindrical sand screeners are used on site to remove junk from sand.
Jackhammer-These tools are very loud to be heard a good distance away and are used to break concrete and asphalt with repeated vibratory hits. A chisel shaped protrusion vibrates and performs the breaking action.
Backhoe-A backhoe is a manually operated large excavating machine used to excavate large quantities of soil. They are used for various functions such as worksite cleanup, levelling of road, vegetation removal, removal of snow, digging for trench, etc.
Bulldozer-It is a tractor with continuous tracks(crawlers) that have a metal dozer attached to it,which is used for collecting large quantities of soil, sand, rubble, snow, etc.
Dumpers-Dumpers are used for carrying bulk materials from construction sites. They have provisions in its machinery that allow it to skip materials in front of the driver. They can be tread in almost all terrain.
Forklift-Forklifts are used to lift cargo and move it with the help of a forked platform attached to the front.
Road Rollers-These heavy equipments are used in compacting subgrades, sub-bases, asphalt layers, etc
Concrete Mixer Trucks-These are specially designed trucks that help to transport RMC from plant to construction site.
Small construction tools do not need to be documented on usage but for medium and large tools and equipment that are costly enough to be lost need to be tracked for usage and scheduled availability. This process of keeping track of the usage and maintenance of construction tools can be done effectively and efficiently using construction management software in present times. There are many softwares out there that provide a plethora of construction management services. In my opinion, Powerplay construction management application provides eons of services needed to manage all types of construction sites. This application can help site workers and site authorities to inspect and assess construction equipment services via pictures and a structured timeline of activities.