What is your trade? Construction is a vast industry with many specialists contributing to the project build. Each professional will bring their own tools to the job site, but even with the vastly different fields, there are likely construction tools that extend beyond one occupation or the other. While there are many tools specific trades require, there are likely five no builder can go without.

1. Pencil and Notepad

It is easy to skip past the most essential tool in any builder’s toolbelt or bag when considering tools. However, a pencil is a crucial tool on the job site. It is useful in marking several different building materials, including wood and tile, and when it comes to marking precise measurements, the sharp point allows for minimal mistakes.

A small pocket notepad can also be helpful in combination with a pencil as it provides a quick space to jot down measurements for cut lists or materials needs. A pad also allows the builder to take notes on client requests or specific conversations and ideas.

You can either opt for a traditional or mechanical pencil or a carpenter’s pencil. A carpenter’s pencil is flat and harder to sharpen, but the lead is nearly indestructible, making it an excellent option on the job site.

2. Tape Measurer

When it comes to construction tools, a tape measurer is almost always clipped to a builder’s belt. No matter how precise the blueprints, measurements will almost always need to be refigured on the site and the fly. Tape measures are helpful in every trade, including electrical and plumbing. No construction project can be completed without the tool that allows for measuring once and cutting twice.

When selecting a tape measure, you want to buy one that provides enough length. Most builders will go for a 25-foot or 50-foot tape measurer. The 25-foot is less weight and more practical for most job site applications. A builder who might require something longer is a landscape engineer.

3. Personal Protective Equipment

When working on an active job site, protection is crucial. Therefore, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration recommends all construction workers, including builders, acquire PPE for their eyes, head, hands, face, feet, and ears.

To remain compliant with OSHA recommendations, you will need to purchase a hard hat, safety goggles, gloves, respirator, ear muffs or plugs, and steel toe work boots. Most employers will not allow you to step foot on a job site without wearing a hard hat at a minimum.

4. Screwdrivers, Wrenches, and a Hammer

Whether you are working framing, finish carpentry, masonry, electrical, or other demo work, you will need a basic toolset. Your basic set should include screwdrivers, wrenches, and a hammer at a minimum.

When purchasing a screwdriver set, look for the inclusion of at least a flathead and Phillips head. If you can, buy a screwdriver set with different length drivers. The same can be said for wrenches. You want a combination of fixed and adjustable wrenches that will accommodate different lengths and widths.

Do not skimp on your hammer. A solid construction or framing hammer will always come in handy on the job site. Do a little research before purchasing a hammer to make sure it is efficient for your specific job.

5. Utility Knife

A heavy-duty utility knife is always in need on the job site. When you invest in a quality knife, you will be able to cut everything from drywall to plastic to linoleum and wallpaper. Also, keep in mind you are investing in the handle. A durable handle will give you years of work with replaceable blades.

While the above only represent a small fraction of construction tools, these five categories provide insight into a foundational tool bag or belt. Check out Engineer Supply for more tool options for your specific trade.


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