When you hear the word “fastener,” you probably think of the nails, screws, and bolts that you have lying around in your workshop, and use on a regular basis for your projects.
If you use them, you’ll need the right fastening tools to apply them as well.
But, exactly, what fastening tools do you require?
In this article, I’ll go through the most common fastening tools and what you can do with them. At the end of this article, you will have a clear overview of the most significant fastening tools in carpentry.
That way, you can figure out which tools to buy first for your workshop and how to spend your money wisely.
The most common fasting tools in carpentry are:
- Hex keys.
- Screwdriver bits.
In the search for the right Fastening tools, you need to be aware first that there are more than just screws and bolts. There are several methods of connecting one or more items together and preventing them from moving or separating.
As a result, in addition to these 7 commonly used fastening tools in carpentry, you’ll learn about different methods of joining, different types of fasteners other than screws and nails, and what a fastening tool is.
So read everything carefully, learn everything there is to know about fasteners and fastening tools in carpentry, and apply what you’ve learned in your workshop, so you can build the best connections possible.
Disclosure: At zero cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. I earn from qualifying purchases as an Amazon associate. Products featured are selected based on quality, performance, and reputation, regardless of affiliate relationships.
What are the methods of fastening?
Before we dive right into the 7 fastening tools in carpentry, you first need to understand that there are three methods of fastening: chemical fastening, thermal fastening, and mechanical fastening.
Although not all three are used in woodworking, I will go over them briefly to give you a clear insight.
Chemical fastening is a type of fastening where there is almost no visible evidence of the used fastener after it has been completed. The joint can be formed by adhesive, (like wood glue or CA glue) or solvent welding.
Thermal fastening is a type of fastening that uses heat as the means for securing two objects together, such as with welding and solder joints.
Mechanical fasteners use pressure to attach one object to another, usually by inserting a screw or bolt through two or more objects and tightening it down with a screwdriver, wrench, or any other fastening tool.
Mechanical fasteners can be split into 2 major groups: permanent fasteners and non-permanent fasteners.
Permanent fasteners, once installed, cannot be removed, or are very difficult to remove. Examples of permanent fasteners are rivets and snap-fits.
Non-permanent fasteners, on the other hand, can always be removed when desired. This includes the screws, bolts, and nuts.
Mechanical fastening is most commonly used in carpentry, and that is what I will elaborate on this in the rest of this article.
What are the types of fasteners used in carpentry?
To get a better insight into using fastening tools in carpentry, you need to know what different types of fasteners are used in woodworking.
The seven main types of fasteners that are commonly used in carpentry are nails, screws, bolts, nuts, washers, rivets, and dowels.
Nails are usually made of steel, and are mostly used for framing and carpentry.
When greater force is required than nails can supply, screws are utilized in woodworking. These are generally constructed of a softer metal than the steel used in the nails.
Check out my article, — Nail vs. Screw – a clear guide on what to use when — if you’re not sure whether to use a nail or a screw for your project. In this article, I’ll dig deeper into this topic and explain the differences, so you’ll know exactly which fastener to use.
Bolts are less commonly used in woodworking than nails and screws, although they may be the better option in some cases. Bolts are available in a variety of lengths and diameters, depending on the size of the wood that has to be secured together. They may fasten wooden pieces together under enormous pressure when used with the washers and nuts.
Rivets are the least commonly used fastener in woodworking, yet they should not be ignored. These are the ideal fasteners for attaching thin pieces to each other when no bolts or screws can be used.
Dowels are the final, but certainly not least, fastener. When two pieces of wood must be bonded perpendicularly on the edges and no visible fasteners are permitted, they are frequently utilized. The dowel becomes the ideal and undetectable option.
Related article: When to use dowels in woodworking (4 great reasons)
What are fastening tools?
Fastening tools are tools that help you insert or remove mechanical fasteners, such as nails, screws, bolts, nuts, washers, rivets, and dowels.
These tools are not just used by carpenters, but by a variety of other professions as well.
I’ll go through the seven most popular fastening tools in carpentry in this article. Examine them all to find which one you’ll need the most to complete the task.
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What are the different fastening tools in carpentry you should own?
The days when only a hammer was used as fastening tools in carpentry are long gone.
The number of fastening tools in carpentry has increased in recent years as a result of new and improved methods for combining wooden pieces.
In this section, I go through the most common fastening tools in carpentry, which I believe that you should have at the very least in your workshop too.
As you can see in many of my YouTube videos, the fastening tools I use are from Beta tools. I like them a lot because they are strong, yet affordable. However, there are many other brands that have great tools as well.
The first one in this list of fastening tools in carpentry is the hammer and should be in every workshop.
A hammer is a hand tool that consists of a long handle with a weighted head on top. The handle is generally made of wood or fiberglass.
The most typical material for the head of a hammer is steel, although there are also hammers with nylon or rubber heads.
A hammer is a tool that is used to smash a component or parts of an object. The most frequent application of a hammer is to drive nails into wood, but it may also be used to shape metal, make small adjustments, or break things down.
The most common types of hammers used as fastening tools in carpentry are engineer’s hammers and claw hammers. There are a variety of options and styles, and the steel head can have different weights. This type of hammer is mostly used for nail driving.
In my workshop, I also have a nylon hammer that I use frequently.
Due to the softer nylon head, there will be much less damage to the wood when I use the hammer when making connections, for example, or when placing dowels. This is a type of hammer I recommend you to have!
Screwdrivers can’t be missed as fastening tools in carpentry nowadays.
A screwdriver is a tool that has a wooden or plastic grip, a sturdy steel shaft, and a shaped screw head. To fit into the recess on the head of a screw, the screw head might be of various forms. In most situations, the screw head will be hardened as well. This is to prevent wear and ensure a secure grip on the screw.
With the screwdriver, you can manually insert or remove screws.
Nowadays, a cordless drill is frequently used to put screws more rapidly, although in some circumstances, hand screwing is still suggested. The cordless drill may not be able to reach it, or it may be too strong for the workpiece you’re working on, causing damage.
The basic ‘blade’ type for slotted screws and Phillips or “cross head” are the two most popular screw heads. Torx screws, on the other hand, have been increasingly popular in recent years, owing to the improved grip while inserting the screw. Personally, I use Torx screws more and more because of this benefit.
These are the three types of screwdrivers that I keep in my workshop and advise everyone to use.
The third tool in the list of fastening tools in carpentry is a wrench. This is also called a spanner, and it is used to fasten or loosen fasteners such as nuts and bolts.
The wrench is available in many shapes, for all kinds of different applications.
With a wrench that is adapted to the size of the hexagonal head of the bolt, an enormous force can be applied to a bolt by means of the long handle.
Wrenches are often chrome-plated. This ensures that they can withstand corrosion and are easy to clean.
With a standard combination wrench, like you can see in the picture below, you will be able to handle a lot of jobs.
Next in the list of fastening tools in carpentry is the Hex key. This is the most basic tool on the list. It consists of a hexagonal rod bent at a 90-degree angle to resemble an “L” with two arms of unequal length. Screwing may be done on both sides.
The Hex key’s design allows it to fit into uniform screw sockets, which are essentially a combination of a bolt and a screw.
Hex wrenches are frequently sold in sets of various sizes.
The hex wrench is sometimes known as an Allan key, which relates to a hex wrench maker.
Pliers are a hand tool that may be used to firmly grasp a variety of things.
A pair of pliers is made up of two metal handles that are joined at a pivot, much like a pair of scissors.
Short jaws on one side of the pivot and longer handles on the other are created by placing the pivot closer to the tip. The gripping power of the hand may be enhanced thanks to the lengthy handles, allowing the clamped object to be held securely.
Pliers, on the other hand, aren’t just for getting a solid grasp on items. It can also help you cut electrical cables or manipulate items that are too tiny or difficult to do with your fingers.
When looking for pliers for your workshop, you’ll discover that they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. These may be constructed in a variety of sizes and for a variety of uses.
The ones I use all the time in my workshop are the Combination pliers, Long needle nose pliers, and cutting pliers.
A ratchet (or socket wrench) is a type of wrench that uses sockets rather than an open wrench. The ratchet, like the wrench, tightens or loosens a nut or bolt. By clicking a hexagonal socket on the ratchet, nuts and bolts of various diameters can be tightened.
Because of its reversible ratchet mechanism, a ratchet has the benefit of working a lot faster than regular wrenches. Simply crank the ratchet back and forth to tighten the nut or bolt without having to loosen and reposition the ratchet. The ratchet will save you a lot of time and will make things a lot easier.
The ratchet is bigger than the wrench due to the sockets, which is a disadvantage. You won’t be able to use the ratchet in any difficult-to-reach areas. That is why I have in my workshop both wrenches and ratchets, so I can switch between them depending on the situation.
Ratchets exist in a variety of forms, but I love having a small and a big model of the regular ratchet in my workshop. I can loosen or tighten practically any nuts and bolts for my projects thanks to the combination of these two types. When I cannot use these two types, I switch to wrenches.
Screwdriver bits are the last one in the list of fastening tools in carpentry and may be used to tighten or loosen screws just like a regular screwdriver. They’re little metal components with a chuck tip that, like screwdrivers, may take on many forms.
Some manual screwdrivers are constructed with interchangeable screw heads that are retained magnetically. In this manner, depending on the screw you wish to install or remove, you can identify which screw head to use.
I use them in three distinct ways in my workshop. I use them in a specifically designed screwdriver, in the cordless drill, or in the ratchet, as a third option.
Screwdriver bits are versatile and may be used for a variety of applications. There is always a method to use them that is best appropriate for the project you are working on.
Now you have come to the end of this article, you will know that there are 3 methods of fastening and that screws and nails aren’t the only kinds of mechanical fasteners. To apply a mechanical fastener, you will need an adjusted and unique tool. By getting an overview in this article of which fasteners are used, you now know what the most commonly fastening tools in carpentry are. Thanks to this list, you can now decide what tool you need to buy for your workshop and the projects you work on.
Oh, in case you wondered, I’m not sponsored by Beta tools (yet), I just love their products.
Building your workshop can be daunting, filled with trial and error. Believe me, I’ve been there too.
But it was “The Ultimate Small Workshop” course, a gem I discovered and now endorse on Christofix.com, that provided insights unparalleled to any other. This expertise empowered me to invest wisely and save substantially.
I really suggest it to all of my fellow DIYers and creators!
I hope this information on the 7 Essential Fastening Tools in Carpentry was helpful, and that this blog inspires you.
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Christophe, founder of Christofix.com
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration