10 Essential Construction AccessoriesAndrew Brandon
Hammers are one of the most commonly associated tools with the building trade. A Hammer could be needed at any point during the construction process, either for a quick fix or to secure structurally integral elements. It is advised that your hammer should weigh between 350g and 450g for a good balance of comfort, precision and power.
Good building work, especially when it comes to structural work, must be precise. If the measurements of these critical structural parts are even slightly off, the whole structure could be compromised. This is why you should have a tape measure to hand at all times, you will never not need it. With this piece of kit, the difference in effectiveness by cost is basically non-existent, so purchasing a tape measure is down to personal preference in terms of qualities that you will find useful.
However, it is important to choose a tape measure that gives you as much length as you need for your project or projects, the safe bet would be to go for one that is slightly longer than you will need.
Just like the Hammer, a Screwdriver is one of the more thought of tools that builders keep to hand at most times. If both a Hammer and a Screwdriver are present in a tool belt, most of your fastening and unfastening needs are covered. We would recommend having both a Phillips-Head and a Flathead Screwdriver on hand, but if you use one significantly more than the other, or not at all, then one is the better option for you.
Although not first thought of as an essential part of a tool belt, pencils should definitely be within arms reach when undertaking any construction jobs. If any markings need to be made on any construction material you’re using, a pencil will do the job every time. Builders and others in the trade use a specific type of pencil, often referred to as a Carpenter’s Pencil or a Lumber Pencil.
These pencils are squarer in shape as opposed to a standard round pencil, this is done for a number of reasons, including stopping them from breaking so easily, to stop them from rolling away when placed on a flat surface and the larger surface area makes the pencil easier to grip. The downside of using a Lumber Pencil is that they cannot be sharpened with a traditional pencil sharpener, but must instead be sharpened using a utility knife.
Just like a tape measure, a spirit level is a tool used to ensure the precision of a project but in terms of evenness rather than length. Using these tools in combination will guarantee ultimate precision when undertaking building work. Of course, we don’t suggest carrying a standard 40cm spirit level in your tool belt, but a mini version will do the job just as well in a much more compact format.
Screws & Nails
Most projects cannot be completed without the assistance of screws or nails, but it is not always convenient to be carrying a large container of them around with you while you are trying to work, which is why a generous handful of screws and/or nails should always be kept in a secondary pouch of a tool belt so whenever a screw or nail is needed, one will always be there.
A tool that does that job like nothing else, pliers are a multi-purpose tool that specialise in the process of gripping, bending and cutting materials, with even more specialist pliers being used by electricians to splice wires and strip insulation. While pliers that are capable of doing all three of these jobs can be purchased, it is usually the case that you will purchase pliers based on the job you need them for most, making for optimum efficiency.
Slip-Joint Pliers are the type that are associated with gripping objects and holding them in place for stabilisation, and even removing nails, screws and other fasteners. In terms of bending objects, most pliers are capable of this, but Linesman Pliers are designed specifically for this task. Finally, cutting materials often require tools that are more often known as wire cutters rather than pliers, for obvious reasons.
Various Items of Safety Gear
The safety equipment you carry and wear when you are undertaking any construction work is just as if not more important than the tools you use to do the job itself. All the safety gear you will need is lightweight and doesn’t take up much space, leaving plenty of room for your tools while having peace of mind that you’re taking on the job carefully. Examples of the safety equipment you’ll need include a sturdy pair of work gloves, safety goggles, ear plugs and a mask.
All of these items are particular important when working with power tools, ear plugs will protect you from damage caused by the extreme volume of the tools, while the gloves, goggles and mask protects from direct injury from using the tool, and secondary injuries caused by the dust accumulated from using saws and drills.
A Utility Knife is another multi-functional tool that serves a purpose that will always need to be served on site. Also known as a box cutter, Utility Knives can cut anything from pipes, to insulation to drywall, lessening the need for power tools to carry out specific jobs, which is particularly useful if working from a height. As previously mentioned, Utility Knives also serve the specific purpose of sharpening Lumber Pencils, as these pencils cannot be sharpened with a standard pencil sharpener.
The one important thing to remember if you carry a Utility Knife on your person is to make sure the blade is pushed down when not in use, preventing injury to yourself and others.
One of the most well-known tightening and loosening tools, Hex or Allen Keys are a small and portable way to screw and unscrew hexagonal bolts and other fasteners that are compatible with this tool. Hex Keys have become such common place amongst site workers and DIYers alike, they have become a free extra included with many items of flat pack furniture or any product that requires some form of assembly.
Therefore, having one in your tool belt will be a handy tool to have if you are working with anything that requires or has been secured with hexagonal bolts.