Only 1 in 33 People Can Identify These Carpentry Tools from a Photo. Can You?

B. Turner

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Can you tell a circular saw from a jigsaw, or a carpenter square from a moisture meter? Know when to use a table saw versus a router, or what a miter saw is designed to do? If you consider yourself a master carpenter, take our quiz to prove you can identify the right tools for the job!

Woodworking is one of the oldest crafts of all time. Prehistoric man used rudimentary chisels to shape items out of wood, and the ancient Egyptians carved beds and other furniture out of timbers and fallen trees. While our ancestors had to work hard to make wood take on the desired shape and properties, modern tools make the job much easier. 

You may also be surprised to learn just how long ago man figured out how to make some of the most popular woodworking tools. Medieval sites reveal evidence of hand planers used by builders nearly 1,000 years ago, and the first circular saws were being developed just as the United States was being formed as an independent nation. Since then, many traditional tools have gotten upgrades as materials and methods change over time, but the basic principles of woodworking remain rooted in tradition.

Think you know what tools it takes to build find furniture, cabinetry or trim? Prove your knowledge of carpentry with this quiz!

What is the name of this tool?

A good carpenter knows you always measure twice and cut once. A quality tape measure will become one of your most frequently-used tools on the jobsite.

What is the name of this tool?

A chisel is one of the oldest known carpentry tools. Available in various shapes and sizes, they are used to carve out wood by hand. Chisels are useful for prepping doors for hardware, or for crafting furniture and trim.

What is the name of this tool?

Let's face it, no matter how good your work is, it will look bad to your customers if everything doesn't line up properly. Levels use small air bubbles to let you know when shelves, molding and trim are even and parallel to the floor.

What is the name of this tool?

Flathead or slot-head screwdrivers have a simple straight tip for use with standard screws. They have been replaced in many applications with Phillip's head screwdrivers, which have a cross-shaped tip.

What is the name of this tool?

You can do only some much carpentry work with your own two hands. Clamps hold pieces of wood still while you work on them, or hold two pieces of material together long enough for glue to dry completely. They come in simple C-designs for small spaces, as well as corner, pipe and parallel models.

What is the name of this tool?

People have been cutting wood with hand saws for thousands of years. Crosscut versions can be used to cut against the grain of the wood, while rip saws are used to cut along the grain.

What is the name of this tool?

Ever tried to hang a shelf or a picture? If you simply screw it to the drywall, it probably won't stay up too long. A stud finder uses magnets or electricity to locate the wooden studs hiding behind the drywall so you can safely attach items directly to the studs.

What is the name of this tool?

A saw horse is a versatile piece of equipment for carpenters. You can lean wood against a single saw horse while cutting, or use two saw horses and a sheet of plywood to create a portable work table out in the field.

What is the name of this tool?

A claw hammer has a flat surface at one end for pounding nails, with a split curve at the other for removing them. Take time to test different models to find one that's not only comfortable, but has the right balance when you swing it.

What is the name of this tool?

Excess moisture levels are bad news for homeowners because of the way moisture affects building materials like wood or drywall. A moisture meter is a handy tool for carpenters to detect excess moisture, and to spot and fix problems before they become expensive headaches.

What is the name of this tool?

Utility knives are multi-purpose tools that carpenters can use to score and snap a piece of drywall, or to cut away old caulk or paint when doing renovation work. These tools are also useful for opening tough packages, and can he handy to keep around even when you aren't doing work around the house.

What is the name of this tool?

A carpenter who fails to clean up the job site after finishing a project is unlikely to find himself with repeat customers. Between wood dust and drywall sand, carpentry work leaves plenty of a mess behind. A basic shop vac allows you to leave no trace, resulting in happy customers.

What is the name of this tool?

Circular saws use toothed discs to cut through plywood, lumber and other pieces of wood. Both table and chop saws are types of circular saws.

What is the name of this tool?

Power drills make it much easier and faster to remove and replace screws compared to non-powered hand tools like screwdrivers. They come with a wide variety of bits to meet the needs of various applications, including drilling holes and removing specialty fasteners.

What is the name of this tool?

The jigsaw, or scrollsaw, uses a reciprocating blade with a push-pull mechanism. It's the ideal tool for creating curves and details in a piece of wood, and can be used in very delicate pieces with finesse.

What is the name of this tool?

Table saws use a round blade to cut through various types of wood. They range from bench top units, to heavier contractor models, to industrial cabinet models used in wood shops.

What is the name of this tool?

Miter saws can make more complex cuts than most other power saws because they have a pivoting arm. This cutting flexibility makes miter saws ideal for cutting things like crown molding so that it fits perfectly together.

What is the name of this tool?

A router is a power cutting tool used to hollow out a section of wood. It features a blade that drops down, or plunges below the tool to cut mortises, trim and specialty items like cabinet doors.

What is the name of this tool?

If you ever wonder whether you really need to wear your safety glasses, do a quick Google search to find videos and photos of people who really, really regret not donning those safety glasses on the job site.

What is the name of this tool?

Framing walls, installing roofing or laying flooring requires a surprisingly high number of fasteners. Sure, you could pound every nail in by hand -- or you could use a nail gun to shoot thousands of nails a day with less effort.

What is the name of this tool?

A carpenter's square or speed square is a simple tool shaped like a right triangle. It allows carpenters to quickly determine if corners of interior and exterior walls are perfectly square.

What is the name of this tool?

Ladders allow you to easily access areas that are out of reach. This tool is essential for any carpenter who might be working on a roof, or refinishing a ceiling.

What is the name of this tool?

A chalk line consists of a length of string coated in a chalky powder. When stretched across a surface and snapped, the line leaves behind a guideline of chalk, which is useful for laying tile, installing trim or hanging cabinets.

What is the name of this tool?

Carpenters work in all kinds of conditions, and there aren't always working electrical outlets on every job site, especially in the early stages of a project. An extension cord allows you to bring power to where you need it for drills and other tools.

What is the name of this tool?

An air compressor is an important piece of equipment for any carpenter who uses pneumatic, or air-powered tools. Things like pneumatic angle grinders or impact wrenches are common among carpenters.

What is the name of this tool?

A jointer is a piece of specialty carpentry equipment that is used to flatten the surface of a piece of wood. Wood can also be fed through the jointer to square off an edge that is uneven or not square.

What is the name of this tool?

A drill press is a fixed drill mounted to a stand or table. It can be found in many wood shops, where it's used to cut and drill holes, as well as sand and polish wood using bits and attachments.

What is the name of this tool?

A planer is a machine that is similar to a jointer, but offers one key difference. After the jointer flattens a sheet of wood, the planer ensures the wood is of equal thickness from end to end.

What is the name of this tool?

A lathe is used to spin wood. It can range from very small, like versions used to turn a pen, to larger models used to spin things like table or chair legs.

What is the name of this tool?

There's a really good reason hard hats are required on so many job sites; falling tools, even small ones, can do an incredible amount of damage if you are unlucky enough to have one land on your head. Don't tempt fate -- wear your hard hat any time you are on site to protect yourself.

What is the name of this tool?

For all the attention paid to safety glasses, hard hats and steel-toed boots, safety gloves get surprisingly little attention. Carpenters should invest in quality gloves to protect hands from splinters, metal shards and chemicals used in stains and finishes.

What is the name of this tool?

A metal file is a useful tool for any carpenter's tool belt. It can be used to smooth out burrs or widen a door strike plate opening when the door isn't latching exactly right.

What is the name of this tool?

Allen wrenches, also known as hex keys, work almost like screwdrivers, but are designed specifically for screws with hexagonal heads. They come in sets of various sizes, and are a handy addition to any toolbox.

What is the name of this tool?

Slip-joint pliers are adjustable to grab nuts and bolts of various sizes. They are used to tighten and loosen larger fasteners, and can often replace a more elaborate set of wrenches for certain projects.

What is the name of this tool?

A laser level if a box that shoots laser lines out in multiple directions to guide work. They are useful for a variety of carpentry projects, including drywall, flooring, cabinets and trim.

What is the name of this tool?

Putty knives are multi-purpose tools consisting of a wide metal blade attached to a wooden or plastic handle. They are useful for scraping and cleaning putty or paint, and many carpenters use them to apply drywall joint compound or various adhesives.

What is the name of this tool?

There's nothing like a crowbar for rough demo work. The swan-shaped neck provides excellent leverage, while a split in the end can be used to pull nails and other fasteners.

What is the name of this tool?

Plumb bobs consist of a metal weight attached to a length of string. They are an old-school tool for transferring measurements vertically, or for determining whether a vertical surface is perfectly perpendicular to the floor.

What is the name of this tool?

The bevel gauge is an adjustable tool with a pivoting blade that can be locked at different angles. It performs much of the same job as a carpenter's square, but is much more portable and compact.

What is the name of this tool?

The Phillips head screwdriver has a cross-shaped indentation at the tip. This design is much more effective than a flathead design because it provides a more secure grip for loosening and tightening fasteners.

What is the name of this tool?

Plenty of carpenters work on job sites before electrical power has been established. On those projects, it's handy to have a cordless drill so you're not running endless extension cords to a generator.

What is the name of this tool?

A reciprocating saw, commonly referred to as a Sawzall after a popular brand name version, uses a push-pull motion to cut through tough materials. It's an ideal tool for cutting holes in drywall, but also used in demo, or to cut wood studs or PVC pipes.

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