Michigan State University

Hand Tools

  • Keep light. Keep under 3 lbs if using with 1 hand and under 1 lb if doing precision work.
  • Distribution of weight should be balanced in the user’s hand.
  • Avoid twisting your hands and wrists. Keep your wrist straight. Bend the tool, not the wrist. Use angled handles or power tools when necessary.
  • Reduce excessive grip or pressure while holding or using the tools including force needed to use or turn on power tools.
  • Do not use awkward positions. Don’t raise shoulders or elbows. Reposition your work piece, stand, or lower the work surface.
  • Avoid repetitive motions. Rotate tasks.
  • Relax your grip between tasks.
  • Reduce vibrations from power tools.
  • Make sure the tool fits your hand and the handle is comfortable.
  • Use long handles with a length of 4-5.5 in and diameter of 1.5 in (example screwdriver) or .4 in precision items like tweezers.
  • Use fitted gloves.
  • Keep tools in good condition.
  • Use tool belts that are not on the body or distribute the weight over the body not just the waist. Keep it light.

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