Some of the hand tools industrial maintenance engineers and technicians use are familiar from the domestic front and DIY. For example, a wide range of screwdrivers including flat, Torx and Philips types are essential. Technicians also use hammers, mallets, pliers and drills. Ratchet, socket and wrench sets are typically found in their toolboxes, along with saws.
Other hand tools industrial maintenance technicians commonly use include callipers, wire strippers, and feeler gauges, which engineers use to measure the distance between two components. Specialist hand tools for electrical engineers include multimeters and cable cutters. Engineers working with Heating, Venting, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) equipment may carry digital thermometers and specialist tools such as coil fin straighteners, which help clean and unclog air conditioning units.
All hand tools exploit ‘mechanical advantage’ – a measure of the ratio of output force to input force in a system. It is vital hand tools are used correctly and safely to prevent injury to the technician. Maintenance engineers should wear correct personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times such as gloves, safety goggles, hearing protection, and masks if needed.