Fasteners and Fastening Tools
Fastening tools are simply tools that help you apply fasteners, such as nails, screws, bolts, and other specialty hardware. Ask a staff member for help choosing what hardware is most appropriate for your project.
A hammer is a tool consisting of a weighted "head" fixed to a long handle that is swung to deliver an impact to a small area of an object. This can be, for example, to drive nails into wood, to shape metal (as with a forge), or to crush rock. Hammers are used for a wide range of driving, shaping, and breaking applications.
A mallet is a kind of hammer with a relatively large head. Mallet heads may be of softer material, like rubber, for use in striking applications that require a softer more blunt impact.
A screwdriver is a tool, manual or powered, used for screwing (installing) and unscrewing (removing) screws. A typical simple screwdriver has a handle and a shaft, ending in a tip the user puts into the screw head before turning the handle. Typical screw driver tips include:
- Flat head
- Torx (star)
A wrench or spanner is a tool used to provide grip and mechanical advantage in applying torque to turn objects—usually rotary fasteners, such as nuts and bolts—or keep them from turning. The most common shapes are called open-end wrench and box-end wrench.
Ratchet / Socket Sets
A ratchet is a type of wrench that inserts into a socket to turn a fastener, typically in the form of a nut or bolt. A ratchet incorporates a reversible ratcheting mechanism which allows the user to pivot the tool back and forth to turn its socket instead of removing and repositioning a wrench to do so.
Hex (Allen) keys
A hex key, Allen wrench or Allen key, is a simple tool used to drive bolts and screws with hexagonal sockets in their heads. The tool is usually formed of a single piece of hexagonal rod of hard steel, with blunt ends that are meant to fit snugly into the screw's socket, bent in an "L" shape with unequal arms. The tool is usually held and twisted by the long arm, creating a large torque at the tip of the short arm. Reversing the tool lets the long arm reach screws in hard-to-reach places.