Can You Name the Tool From a Description of Its Function?


By: John Miller

5 Min Quiz

Image: Hans Hansen/DigitalVision/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Maybe you’ve used a miter saw once or twice or put a router to work on a massive kitchen project. And hopefully, you've touched a hammer or two at some point in your life. But can you name the following tools just by a one-line description of their functions?

It's a removable boring tool.

Drill bits are the "bit" that you insert into the business end of your power drill. Drill bits come in a variety of sizes to fit the job at hand.


Meant to remove the protective coating from electric wires

Wire strippers look a little like thin pliers. The strippers have notched blades that can accommodate different wire sizes, making them indispensable for electricians.


It helps you quickly make holes in hard materials.

Power drills are probably the most common power tool around. With them, you can make holes and drive screws much faster than with non-powered tools.


Designed to cut items like sheet metal

There are a lot of different types of snips, but they are all designed to cut things. Tinner's snips, for example, are meant to cut sheet metal.


They are used to apply torque to objects like nuts.

A combination wrench has one open end and a socket wrench on the other. This kind of wrench is fundamental to any toolkit.


Used to grab and pinch objects, particularly those in cramped spaces

Needle-nose pliers are some of the most useful tools around. You can use them for all of your pliers-related tasks and they're easy to manuever into tight spaces.


A length of flexible metal used for measuring things

A tape measure is indispensable for measuring everything from lumber to room sizes and much more. Plus, they are really, really fun to play with.


It has a rotating disk used for cutting things.

Circular saws are power tools that spin a circular cutting disc at high speed. With the right blade, you can use them to cut just about any material.


Used to clamp various objects together

A C-clamp looks like, well, the letter "C," thus its name. Did you glue two pieces of wood together? Use a C-clamp to hold them in place until the glue dries.


A handle equipped with a retractable blade

Like duct tape, the utility knife is something no homeowner should ever be without. Yes, the retractable blade will fall into the handle over and over again, causing massive exasperation. Don't worry, it happens to everyone.


Used for driving nails and demolition work

If you're using a screwdriver to drive nails, we're sorry to say -- you're doing it wrong. That's what hammers are for.


Perfect for cutting tough materials like steel and iron

Hacksaws use a thin blade tensioned on a small frame. They are exceptionally good for cutting hard materials like metal.


Serrated jaws used to grab onto various objects

Pliers are those tools that always seem to disappear when you need them most. And when do you need them? Well, if you own a home or work in construction … you need pliers all the time.


It's used to hollow out parts of a material, often wood or plastic.

A router "routs out" or hollows parts of a material. They are incredibly useful for projects like cabinet construction.


It cuts objects with a rapid back-and-forth motion

Reciprocating saws have a motor that pushes and pulls a blade at high speed. They are fantastic tools for both construction and demolition.


Features a rotating abrasive disc for polishing or cutting

Angle grinders are handheld power tools with rotating heads sporting abrasive discs. The discs can be swapped for the purposes of grinding, polishing or even cutting.


A device with an air bubble suspended in liquid used to determine whether something is level or plumb

A level is a tool featuring one or more tubes filled with liquid and an air bubble. Using a level as a guide, you can determine whether that countertop is truly level or if it's so crooked that your dinner plates will ultimately slide off onto the floor.


Great for making curved cuts in wood, plastic or metal

A jigsaw has a narrow blade and an oscillating motion that makes quick work of many materials, and the small blade means it's perfect for making curved cuts, too.


Designed to drive screws and bolts that feature hexagonal sockets in their heads

Allen wrenches, or hex keys, are those L-shaped metal tools that you need to deal with hex-shaped heads. You'll feel hexed because you can never find the right size for the current job.


It has rough, cutting ridges meant to smooth surfaces.

A metal file is a simple hand tool with rough ridges. Steel versions are hard enough to help you smooth out burrs and rough spots on metal.


Meant for turning soft lead pipes

Pipe wrenches are heavy-duty wrenches with big, serrated jaws that can grab onto the smooth surfaces of lead pipes. Don't use pipe wrenches on hex nuts unless you want to destroy the heads.


An open-end wrench equipped with an adjustable jaw

Adjustable crescent wrenches have a screw component that lets you change the jaw size for various objects. Novices often overuse these wrenches and slowly strip nuts, ensuring future frustration.


Applies fast, high-energy torque to things like nuts

Impact wrenches are powerful tools that often use compressed air to quickly apply high torque through a wrench head. They are very common in automotive shops.


Used to verify 45- and 90-degree angles, or for ensuring a short, straight line

A combination square is that L-shaped doodad that's perfect for verifying the angles of your project. Combined with a pencil, they're convenient ways to make straight lines on lumber, drywall or other materials.


A tool with a cross-shaped head meant to turn screws

Henry Frank Phillips was an Oregon businessman who invented the crosshead (Phillips) screwdriver. Phillips screwdrivers make it easier to center the tool for faster work.


Used to apply spackle during drywall repairs

A putty knife has a flat, dull blade that's perfect for spreading spackle on drywall. You can spread spackle using other tools, but putty knives generally make this job much quicker.


Used to sink the heads of nails below the surface of wood

In a lot of woodworking projects, you want nail heads to sink below the surface of the wood … but if you attempt this with a hammer, you'll leave an ugly dent that mars the finish. Nail sets help you push nail heads into the wood, creating a more finished look.


It has a ratcheting mechanism used to turn bolts or nuts.

Ratcheting socket wrenches proffer a soothing clicking sound as you loosen or tighten bolts or nuts. Unless, of course, you can't find the correct size socket head, in which case you'll simply give up and drink beer.


It is meant to cut wood.

A bow saw looks like a bow and features an efficient design meant to slice through wood as easily as possible. They are much lighter than chain saws, making them easier to use on ladders.


A tool with locking jaws that is effective at busting loose stuck nuts

Locking pliers utilize jaws attached to a sliding pivot that enables a locking action. It sometimes makes it easier to turn stuck nuts.


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