7 Must-Have Hand Tools for Metalworking Mastery

7 Must-Have Hand Tools for Metalworking Mastery

Metalworking is the process of working with metals to create individual parts, assemblies, and structures. The use of hand tools in metalworking along with skills and processes will make some of this work for you. Metalworking hand tools in this field are recognized as quite essential and necessary in order to create all types of products, from small pieces of jewelry to building components and large-scale constructions. In this article, we will go through more details about the most important types of these practical and handy metalworking tools and introduce their features and usages. First, let’s see what are metal work hand tools.

Use of Hand Tools in Metal Working

What Are Metal Work Hand Tools?

As their name suggests, Metal work hand tools are designed for working with metal materials. These tools are typically used for cutting, shaping, joining, and finishing metal to create a variety of objects, structures, or components.

Metal working hand tools should deliver characteristics such as durability, precision, and ergonomic design. Additionally, features like non-slip grips, adjustable settings, and compatibility with safety equipment enhance the performance and safety of these tools in various metalworking applications. Now let’s see what are metal work hand tools and their uses exactly.

Types of Metal Work Hand Tools

Along with all the high-tech, electric, and pneumatic power tools used for metal fabricating, you will need specific hand tools as well. Here are some types of metalwork hand tools:

Types of Metal Work Hand Tools
Hacksaw  A fine-toothed cutting tool, designed for cutting metal such as steel and pipe.
Cold Chisel  Used for cutting metals in a cold state and designed to cut or shape thick metal.
Hammers  Ranging from lightweight taper to a heavyweight sled, hammers are used for shaping, forming, and striking metal surfaces during fabrication and forging processes.
Mallet  Generally used for shaping, forming, and pounding metal.
Snips (Shears)  Metalworking scissors that are able to cut metal roofing, flashing, metal sheets, and thin metal plates.
File  A bar of metal covered with serrations that is used for smoothing, shaping, and removing metal.
Bolt Cutters  Designed for cutting through materials like bolts, chains, wire, and other metals.


When looking at the metalworking hand tools list, Hacksaws are at the top. They are fine-toothed cutting tools specially designed for cutting metal such as steel pipes, etc. However, they can also be pretty useful for cutting plastic when you don’t access a special tool designed for that purpose.

Most of the hacksaws are manufactured with a C-shaped walking frame that holds a blade under tension. This practical hand tool makes tubing and sheet shock easier to accomplish. To have a perfect cutting result, you can adjust and accommodate different blade sizes according to your uses. In this regard, you can absolutely count on the organically designed Ronix RH-3611 hacksaw with an ABS grip and a sharp Bi-Metal blade.

man using a Hacksaw for metal

Related Article : Use Of Hand Tools

Cold Chisel

The second metalworking hand tool that we should mention as one of the most practical ones is cold chisels. They are usually used for cutting metals in a cold state and are designed to cut or shape metal when the stock is thick and other tools, such as a hacksaw or tin snips, may be not really suitable.

They are made of hardened steel with a beveled cutting edge and an octagon-shaped handle. This useful tool also chops easily through metal screws, bolts, rivets, brackets, and nails.

An Infographic about Cold Chisels


Metalworkingalways needs a trusted hammer. So, when gathering metal working hand tools, you should first look for a high-power hammer.

Hammers usually come in different shapes and sizes for a wide range of applications. In other words, there are various types of hammers that are designed for a specific task or metal thickness. You can find a lightweight taper to a heavyweight sled for the most stubborn metal piece in the project. The Ronix RH-4726 and RH-4751 are quite suitable Claw Hammers for metalworking projects with their non-slip rubber grip handles and the heads made from drop-forged polished steel which guarantee a long service life and maximum strength.  

infographic about Ronix hammers’ features

Ronix, one of the best hand tools suppliers, delivers excellence through durable, ergonomic products, empowering artisans with precision and superior craftsmanship


One of the most important metalwork hand tools is mallets. Mallets are generally used to shape, form, and pound metal in a workplace. They could also have either wooden, plastic, metal, or rubber faces.

It is also worth mentioning that hammers have a smaller metal head that is meant to output blunt force, while, mallets have a larger round head that is made of wood, rubber, metal, or other softer material. In addition, mallets are usually made from soft materials that can be used on any surface without leaving any marks, but hammers are pure steel, allowing one to strike with all of one’s might.

Two mallets on a surface

Related Article : a complete History of Hand Tools

Snips (Shears)

Snips or shears are the hand tools for metal work used to cut metal sheets and other tough webs. There are diverse types of snips for different applications and metals with different thicknesses. These metalworking scissors are also able to cut metal roofing, flashing, metal sheets, and thin metal plates.

Generally, there are two main kinds of snips:

  • Tin Snips 
  •  Compound Action Snips

Tin snips have long handles and short blades, and are commonly used to cut low-carbon tin or mild steel, while compound action snips are designed for cutting steel or softer materials, although the occasional use on stainless steel is not detrimental. If you want to have a professional one, the Ronix RH-3901 Aviation Snip will handle cuts through cold-roll steel and stainless steel with a high-leverage design and ergonomic TPR handle.

A snip used to cut a metal sheet


File is one of the hand tools for metalworking that helps in the material removal process. In other words, it removes fine amounts of material from a workpiece.  It is a bar of metal covered with serrations or sharpened scales and is mainly used to smooth, shape, and remove metal. There is a wide range of fines that are utilized for different applications. In fact, they could be different in length and appear in a variety of shapes, including cylinders, triangles, and rectangles.

All in all, for carrying out a metalworking process in a perfect manner it is necessary to be equipped with some particular tools, especially if you are a beginner or DIYer, since at the beginning you will absolutely require the specific hand tools used in metalwork. Furthermore, these kinds of tools, in comparison to the electric and more professional metalworking tools, aren’t so expensive, therefore you can provide them easily with a low budget at any tool shop.

Bolt Cutters

The last item in the classification of metal work hand tools is Bolt cutters. They are designed for cutting through materials like bolts, chains, wire, and other metals. In metalworking, bolt cutters are particularly useful for cutting through metal rods, bolts, and similar items. They consist of two long handles, often with rubber or plastic grips for comfort, and leveraged cutting jaws at the end. The cutting jaws are usually made of hardened steel and come in various designs to accommodate different types and sizes of materials.

Hand Tools for Sheet Metal Work

Sheet metal work hand tools should be consistent with the unique demands of working with thin metal sheets. Aviation snips (shears), and sheet metal hammers (which you have read about them in the examples of metal work hand tools) are indispensable for cutting and shaping, while bench anvils provide secure joining and forming.

Ergonomic designs and durable construction are crucial for life-long use, providing comfort and reliability. Additionally, specialized tools like metal brakes enable precise bending at specific angles. The selection of these tools depends on factors such as metal thickness and the specific tasks involved in sheet metal fabrication.

Hand Tools for Cutting Metal

Among Hand tools used for metal work, the following are specifically used for cutting the workpiece.

  • Hacksaws
  • Snips
  •  Bolt cutters
  •  Metal shears
  • Files

Hacksaws are versatile tools for cutting thin metal sheets, pipes, and rods. Aviation snips are designed for cutting sheet metal in various shapes. Bolt cutters are used for cutting thick metal rods or bolts. Metal shears provide clean, straight cuts in thin to medium-thick metal sheets. files are used for shaping and smoothing metal surfaces. It’s important to follow safety precautions and wear appropriate gear when using these tools.


What tools do you use in metalwork?
Hacksaws, Cold Chisel, Hammers, Mallets, Snips, and Files are some of the most important hand tools used in metalworking.

What are common tools in sheet metal work?
Aviation snips(shears), and sheet metal hammersare indispensable for cutting and shaping, while bench anvils provide secure joining and forming.

Why hand tools are essential in metalworking?
Hand tools are accurate and versatile, offering an essential connection between craftsman and material while serving as a reliable backup in case of power failures.

5/5 - (1 vote)


16 November 2020

One response to “7 Must-Have Hand Tools for Metalworking Mastery”

  1. Accusharp Cutting Tools says:

    Really Good Blog!

    Thank you for sharing with us.

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