Are you handy (good with tools) around the house? Do you like taking care of small projects that need to get done in your home? Then you may be in need of some tools vocabulary in English! These tools are very common when you’re doing work around the house, so we’re sure these tools vocabulary words will be useful. You’ll know exactly what to ask for the next time you need to hang up a picture frame or fix a loose doorknob.

Keep reading to learn some useful tools vocabulary in English!


hammer is a tool that is used to put nails into things. From hanging pictures on a wall to building your own bed, a hammer is a very common tool that is used quite often (a lot). A hammer head is made of iron and has as one flat end that is used to bang nails into things like walls or wood. The other end of the hammer head looks like a claw (the hand of a bird) and is used to take nails out of something. The handle of the hammer is usually made of wood. “To hammer” is also the  verb that is used when you’re using a hammer to describe the action.

For example:

  • Could you hand me the hammer, please? I need to take this nail out of the wall.
  • She hammered the nail into the wood as she was building the bed frame.
  • I dropped the hammer on the floor while I was hanging some art.


Nails are used along with a hammer to keep two things together. Nails are long, thin pieces of metal with a sharp point on one end, and a flat top on the other. When you’re using a nail, you use the hammer on the flat end to drive (push, hit) the nail into the wall or the wood. Nails can also be used to hang photos or artwork on walls in your home, but if this is the case, you don’t hammer the nail all the way into the wall. You usually only hammer the nail in about halfway, so that the picture frame (or wire that holds it) can hang from it.

For example:

  • We need to buy a box of nails when we go to the store. We’re almost out.
  • She needed to use a longer nail, but she didn’t have any. The nails she had were too short to keep the two pieces of wood together.


Another important word on our list of tools vocabulary is a screwdriver. Screws look sort of like nails, but they have metal spirals (twists) along them to help grip (hold on) and keep them in place. Just like you use a hammer to put nails in place, you use a screwdriver to put screws in place. Screwdrivers help you twist screws into either the wall, or pieces of wood to help keep them in place. Screwdrivers have two different ends to use with two different types of screws: one is a straight line across the head, or a flathead. The other has a shape like an X cross the head and is called a Phillips head screwdriver.

For example:

  • Can you please hand me that screwdriver? I can’t reach it.
  • I need a Phillips head screwdriver rather than this one. Do we have one?


How do you cut wood? You do so with a saw! A saw has a long, serrated (jagged, zigzag, not straight) blade, which is used to cut wood. If you have a piece of wood that is too long or is not the right shape, you can use a saw to cut it into the right length or shape. A saw is a less common tool since (because) not everyone has a saw. However, they’re a good tool to have around! Just like with the word hammer, “to saw” can also be a verb used to describe the action of using a saw.

For example:

  • We don’t have a saw, do we? I’d like to build a sofa when we move into our new apartment.
  • This saw is too small. I need to buy a larger one.
  • He sawed the end off of a piece of wood so that it was the right shape.


Another common part of tools vocabulary in English is a drill. A drill is like a screwdriver, but is electric (uses electricity) so you can build things faster using less physical energy. A drill can be used to make holes in walls if you need to put a screw in the wall but with more speed or power. A screwdriver is great for small tasks, but if you’re building furniture or working on bigger projects, a drill can help you work faster! Like many other tools vocabulary, “to drill” is also a verb to describe the act of drilling. Do you own a drill?

For example:

  • We can hang these shelves on the wall, but we need to use a drill to make a couple of holes in the wall first.
  • Can you plug the drill in, please?
  • He drilled a hole in the wall before using a screwdriver to put the screw in.

Do you know any other important tools vocabulary? What tools do you use most often? Share with us in the comments below!

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Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, and uses tools vocabulary whenever she hangs a photo in her home. What kind of tools vocabulary do you use?

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