The Wood Plane,

Pliers, Pry Bars and

Ratcheting Screwdrivers


Common Hand Tools and Their Uses - The Wood Plane,
Pliers, Pry Bar and Ratcheting Screwdriver

By: The Working Man

Today we will go over more hand tools used by the home handy
man. These include the Wood Plane, Pliers, Pry bars and Ratcheting

The Plane

The wood plane is a blade set at an angle that cuts wood without
gouging the wood. It essentially shaves the wood until you
have the wood surface you want. The plane has been compared
with a razor used for cutting human hair, it shaves the wood
but it doesn't scar it.

What makes up a plane is a sole or flat bottom, a cutter or
cutting iron, one or even two handles for steadying while
cutting and an adjustment nut. Some planes can be adjusted
up and down for a deeper cut. They are usually made from
steel but the old fashioned planes were made from heavy
iron. You operate the plane by setting it down where you
want to start shaving the wood and pull or push toward the
end of the piece to shave the wood.


Pliers are for gripping objects firmly. From there you can
use pliers to bend, twist, turn or manipulate however you
wish. The pliers have a pivot where the handles are joined
to the jaws, the jaws used to grasp, and the handles
parallel to the jaws.

There are many types of pliers that are made for special
purposes. Engineer's pliers are used for gripping metal.
Needle nose pliers are used for gripping small objects or
hard to reach objects. Electrician pliers are used by
electrical workers to grip electrical wires. There are
pliers called slip joint pliers that can adjust to grip
objects that are larger or smaller. Then there are locking
pliers or vise grip pliers that once you clamp onto an
object the pliers stay clamped.

The Pry bar

The prybar, crowbar or pry bar is a hand tool that is used
for levering or prying apart objects. The pry bar can have
any of multiple types of heads on either side of a bar. The
bars are made in a variety of shapes. It can be formed from
various metals and can be a lot of different lengths.

Pry bars are used as levers. You can force two objects
apart, for example boards that have been nailed together, or
use the other end of the bar to remove nails. Crowbars are
commonly used to open nailed wooden boxes. Larger crowbars
are often used in general demolition for separating boards,
removing attached cabinets, or simply smashing things.

The Ratcheting Screwdriver

The ratcheting screwdriver is a screwdriver that has a
ratcheting action so that it only turns one way. You press
it down into the fastener and twist to drive a fastener. No
removal of the screwdriver is needed to further drive the

Most ratcheting screwdrivers have easy to grip handles, a
ratchet and a head. Some ratcheting screwdrivers have
interchangeable heads so that you can use them for different
fasteners and projects.

The ratcheting screwdriver was developed to make it easier
to drive a screw or bolt. Most ratcheting screwdrivers have
a setting for driving into, loosening or staying still. The
hand-ratcheting screwdriver has been mostly replaced by the
battery powered or electric ratcheting screwdrivers.

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