2017 Best of Hand Tools

Seems that each year more folks discover the allure of unpowered hand tools. Using a properly-balanced tool that can swiftly achieve results, without needing to be plugged in, is wildly satisfying. Here’s a look at some of our faves for 2017:

Our resident tool writer David Frane posted a slideshow of his tour to Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, the Maine-based manufacturer of highly-effective old-school hand tools:

Looking to buy classic and used? Shannon Rogers of the Hand Tool School offers both buying tips and a list of resources in “Where to Find Vintage Hand Tools“:

Useful new-school hand tools continue to emerge, as with 3Coil Design’s Crane Knife Portable Scalpel and Puna Multitool:

Leatherman’s Skeletool RX is designed for first responders, and/or those of us that wouldn’t mind having a glassbreaker option on our multitool:

Sometimes you need the convenience of pliers with the precision of a wrench. That’s when the Knipex Pliers Wrench comes in handy:

The Kirk Wrench is an unusual-looking tool that can get into tricky places that regular tools can’t:

When it’s time to destroy something, you’ll want to pick up one of DeWalt’s well-designed Demo Hammers:

Need a different kind of hammer, mallet or maul? UK company Thor makes every kind under the sun, including some wicked rawhide mallets:

Or maybe you’re looking for a single hammer that can be rendered multifunctional with swappable heads. In that case, look no further than the Martinez Tool Company’s Modular Hammer:

Wera makes this handy racheting driver bit with onboard storage called the Kraftform Kompakt Pistol RA. Click on the link to see the nifty GIF of how it pops open:

A design that looks newfangled, but which actually dates back to 1975, is the assisted-splitting Chopper1 Axe:

An unusual tool the likes of which I’d never seen, but which leathercarvers all know, is the swivel knife. Click the link to see how it operates, it’s pretty darn cool:

Lastly, using a lot of different hand tools without some way to secure the workpiece in place would be impossible. Journalist and woodworker Christopher Schwarz resurrected a forgotten 17th-Century design for a workholding device that has now become one of my most useful purchases, the Moxon Vise.

More of the best of 2017:

2017 Best of Furniture Design

Our Favorite Transportation Stories from 2017

2017 Best of Transforming Furniture

The Best of Footwear Design in 2017

2017 Best of Workshop Furniture and Hacks


Source: core77

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