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A collection of various tools

A tool is any physical object that can be used during an activity, with the said object not being consumed in the process. Tools are necessary when doing any sort of work, and for the amateur chemist they are very important when doing any engineering.


Tools are often made of metal (steel, brass, aluminium, etc.), but depending on the activity, they can also be made of wood, plastic, rubber, or other materials.

Below there's a list of various tools that are useful for the average joe. Obviously you will not need them all, but at least a few are necessary when doing any work.

Basic tools


A vital tool for any metalworking.


Awls (bradawl, scratch awl, stitching awl) can be used as aid when making various wood or plastic lab equipment, either for marking or for piercing holes in them. They can also be used to break apart hardened reagents, though being short, an icepick would more suitable for this task.


Good for cutting and splitting wood and other materials.

Bolt cutter

A useful tool for cutting chains, padlocks, bolts and wire mesh.

Box cutter

Used for cutting boxes, paper, foam, thin wood and plastic.


A simple tool for cleaning items.

Cat's paw

Good for removing nails.


Good for carving out wood, stone and hardened materials.


Good for opening boxes and other woodwork. Come in two main shapes: curved and straight.


Used to grind hard materials, they are useful when making powders, though the resulting particles will have a large size.


A hand tool for drilling small holes, mainly in wood, without splitting. Can also be used to break apart hardened reagents from fragile bottles.

Glass cutter

Used for cutting glass plates, though with enough skill can be used to cut other types of glass items.

Glass tube cutters are a pipe cutter-like cutting tools, which is designed for cutting glass tubes, like test tubes and more.


Useful when cutting metal.


Useful for beating stuff.

Hex key

Vital when working with different types of screws.

Ice pick

A good tool when trying to break apart hardened reagents inside bottles.


Knifes are good for cutting.


Useful for pulling nails when doing woodwork.

Pipe cleaner

Useful for cleaning test tubes and other glass tubes.

Pipe cutter

Useful for cutting pipes and other tubular materials, like batteries.


A very useful tool, which should not be missing from your toolbox. Lineman's pliers is a must. So are tongue-and-groove pliers.


Hand-operated shearing tools, commonly used for cutting paper, tubings, parafilm, or plastic items.


While not very often used in lab, it is a very important tool that should not be missing from anyone's inventory. Can be useful for breaking and removing hardened solids.

Sewing needle

Used for sewing cloth or poking small holes in wood, plastic or other soft materials. Needles are often kept in a pincushion.

Socket wrench

A type of wrench or spanner that has a socket attached at one end, usually used to turn a fastener.


A necessary tool when working with fresh concrete. Or in garden.

Wire brush

Good for removing thick rust from corroded steel items.

Wire stripper

Hand-held device used to strip the electrical insulation from electric wires.


Different size wrenches are necessary when doing any sort of work.

Advanced tools

Adjustable spanner

An adjustable spanner or adjustable wrench (US and Canada) is an open-end wrench with a movable jaw, allowing it to be used with different sizes of fastener head.

Blow torch

A fuel-burning tool used for applying flame and heat in various activities, like burning stuff, melting materials, etc.

Bubble level

An instrument designed to indicate whether a surface is horizontal (level) or vertical (plumb).


A useful lifting device, which can be used to hold various items or installation at a desired height.

Locking pliers

Useful when doing woodwork.


Useful for measuring very thin objects, it is more sensitive and precise than a Vernier caliper.

Monkey wrench

An important tool when working with large nuts.


Versatile hand tool that combines several individual functions in a single unit.


A mechanical device that joins pages of paper or similar material by driving a thin metal staple through the sheets and folding the ends.

Tongue-and-groove pliers

Pliers useful when working with nuts and screws of various sizes.

Vernier caliper

Useful to measure various small items.


Useful for holding various objects in a tight grip.

Power tools

Angle grinder

A very useful tool when cutting thick and hard material, like metal or ceramic. Can also be used for polishing.

Ball mill

Ball mills are very useful when making powdered materials.

Bench grinder

Can be used to grind metals and other items. You can also make powdered material with it, though the powder will not be fine.

Die grinder

Handheld power tools used for grinding, sanding, honing, polishing, or machining material, typically metal, stone, plastic or wood.

Dremel rotary tools are the most common type of die grinders.

Heat gun

A very useful and versatile tool when it comes to heating and drying items and materials. It is also a handy device when it comes to desoldering electronics.

Hot glue gun

A device that heats sticks of hot melt adhesive (HMA) or hot glue, which, upon cooling, hardens. Useful for gluing various items, where classical adhesives are unsatisfactory.


Useful for cutting wooden boards, planks, etc.

Soldering gun

The most important tool in any electronics hobbyist kit.

Soldering iron

A hand tool used in soldering, similar in operation to a soldering gun.

Vacuum cleaner

If you don't have a vacuum pump and you don't need high vacuum, a vacuum cleaner is sufficient for your needs, though it's very noisy.

Vacuum pump

Necessary for working with vacuum.

Power drill

Useful when drilling holes, screwing screws. By attaching a stirring rod, it can also be used as a makeshift mechanical stirrer.

Cordless power drills have the advantage of not relying on power cords, though their charger does not last very long.

Kitchen tools/utensils

Baking dish

Heat-resistant glass baking dish can be used to dry or recrystallize salts and compounds from a solution.


May be used as a Pasteur pipette.

Cutting board

Useful for cutting soft materials or mixing static-sensitive energetic materials.


Both plastic and stainless steel versions can be used in chemistry experiments.


Useful for cutting materials.


Useful when scooping a larger amount of granular material from a bag or large and tall container.

Measuring cup

Can be used as beakers or conical measures.

Measuring spoon

Just like simple spoons, they can be used instead of spatulas.

Oven glove

Useful when working with hot items or casting metals.


Useful for separation of granular materials or drying wet items.


May be used instead of splints.


Can be used as replacement for spatula.


Useful in metal casting.


May be used for holding soft materials.

Other tools


The best tool to draw circles.


Useful to climb to higher places or as stand.

Measuring tape

A flexible ruler used to measure distance.

Self-retracting metal measuring tapes are often used by carpenters when measuring distances.


Used for measuring angles. Made of transparent plastic, though older models were made of metal or wood. Available in 180 and 360 degree scale.


A ruler is a straightedge with equally spaced markings along its length. Used for measuring short objects or drawing lines on them.


Useful for removing rust or oxidation from metals or making boiling chips from glass.

Set square

A set square or triangle is a vital tool when drawing geometrical shapes or lines.

Sharpening stone

Useful for sharpening blades.


Useful when cleaning glassware or other things.


A toolbox is a box designed or used to organize, carry, and protect the owner's tools.


Tools can be bought from hardware and home improvement stores, as well as online. Price and quality depends on the brand.


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