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12 Tools that Every Kid Should Learn to Use

12 Tools that Every Kid Should Learn to Use

We are firm believers that children should learn to use tools.  Tool use teaches hand-eye coordination and builds life skills that translate into self-confidence in adulthood. 

For more information, check out our article on Four Reasons Why Children Should Learn to Use Tools.

In this article, we will describe 12 tools that every kid should learn to use as part of developing these life skills.  You will need to decide for yourself which are best for your own child at their current age, but all of these tools are appropriate for most kids with appropriate supervision.

Hi-Spec manufactures toolsets for kids that are of high-quality; depending on the set, you can find any of the tools below from this manufacturer.  A great feature of Hi-Spec kids tools is that they are real tools simply sized for children, so your kid will not get frustrated with cheap plastic imitations that do not allow them to actually do anything.

Tools Every Kid Should Learn to Use

Here is our list of 12 tools all children should learn to use.  With each, we will give a brief description of why we think these tools are great for teaching your kid about tool use.  Who knows, your child might be your home’s next repairperson!

1 - Hammer

The hammer is one of the first things that comes to mind when someone thinks of hand tools.  Useful, simple, and timeless, teaching your child to use a hammer will teach them to be cautious while also having a lot of fun.

2 - Pliers

Pliers come in a variety of types, from adjustable to needle-nose.  These are versatile tools which can be used for a variety of pinching and object manipulation tasks.  Every young craftsperson should learn how pliers can be of use to them as there are countless tasks where pliers are useful.

3 - Screwdrivers

Screwdrivers come in different ends for different tools, and they also come in different lengths.  At a minimum, you will want to show your child the Phillips (cross-shaped) and flat-head types as these are the most common screws seen on today’s products.

The shapes of the ends also come in different sizes, so you will want to get a set that either has a few different screwdrivers or a single handle which can be used with different ends.

4 - Measuring Tape

As the old saying in carpentry goes, measure twice and cut once.  Learning to use a tape measure teaches your child the importance of precision and not wasting materials.

Many toolusers are not good at using a tape measure, so teach this skill at a young age.

5 - Straightedge

A straightedge has a rule and edge against which you can draw a straight line.  When you are planning to make cuts in materials, a straightedge allows the handyperson to create a nice template for their saw.

6 - Level

A level is used to line up an edge using gravity as a guide.  This tool helps determine is a object, like a table, it level in accordance with the ground.

When used properly with a tape measure and straightedge, this tool helps your child learn how to make quality repairs and create things that are straight and true.

7 - Scissors

Scissors are likely something your child has seen before.  However, at some point they will need to learn how to use a real metal pair.  We recommend you introduce your child to scissors in the context of a tool kit because this will impress upon them that scissors are tools, not toys.

8 - Carpenter’s Pencil and Sharpener

Not all pencils are equally effective at all tasks, and a carpenter’s pencil is designed to draw easy-to-see lines on a variety of surfaces without breaking.  That is why they offer a wide grip and thick lead.

It is worthwhile to show your kid how to use a carpenter pencil, but make sure you have a safe way to sharpen it.  We recommend that you buy a dedicated sharpener that will allow you to keep the pencil sharp safely instead of just using a knife which can lead to injury.

9 - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Anyone using tools needs to use equipment to keep them safe.  At a minimum, your child will need gloves, eye protection, and possibly a hard hat and reflective vest if this makes sense for the worksite.

Another thing to consider with PPE is that your kid may simply want to wear what you wear.  If you go to work in a hardhat it is a good idea to get them one just so they can dress up like you.

10 - Tool Box and/or Belt

A set of tools needs to be stored and transported in a organized manner.  Make sure the kit you buy comes with a tool box or tool belt that can hold all of the tools.

11 - Hand Saw

A hand saw, despite its many sharp teeth, is a good way for children to learn about saws.  They are far less dangerous than power saws but still allow your child the opportunity to learn to respect cutting instruments.

12 - Wrenches

More of a mechanic’s tool than a woodworkers tool, wrenches are used to turn bolts.  We highly recommend providing a wrench set to your child because this gives them the opportunity of working on items like vehicles and machines.

Related: 10 Best Metal Hand Tool Kits For Kids Under Age 9


Children should learn how to be handy with their hands.  Knowing how to use hand tools builds a foundation for lifelong independence and self-confidence, so knowing what tools to buy them is important.

We have presented a long list of tools for your kids, but at the end of the day it is best to buy those tools with which you have some basic skills so that you can teach you kid how to use them.  Many kits are available, so once you have found the right set for you, get going and build some memories!

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