When performing construction work, whether you’re building, repairing, restoring, or maintaining, you need the right set of tools for the job. While some tools can be used to perform tasks for which they were not designed, improvising is less efficient than using tools designed specifically for that purpose.
The Top 10 Masonry Tools
Before beginning any masonry construction project, you should ensure you have sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE), such as hearing protection, goggles, gloves, and masks, to prevent injury from flying debris, dust inhalation, or chemical irritants. Once you’ve organized your PPE, you’ll need manual and power tools that allow you to shape, cut, grind, and spread masonry materials, including mortar. You also need instruments for taking measurements for accurate work to ensure the structural stability of your masonry project. Here are ten essential masonry tools you’ll need.
1. Stonemason’s Hammer
The traditional stonemason’s hammer (or mash hammer) is a versatile two-sided hand tool that allows you to deliver two different types of strikes. The flat face of the front end allows you to hammer nails and shape stone, whereas the tapered blade allows you to perform the work of a chisel, cutting bricks and cinder blocks.
2. Tape Measure and Bubble Level
Two measuring tools that are essential to any construction project are a tape measure and a bubble level. A tape measure allows you to precisely measure distance using a flexible and retractable ruler. A bubble or spirit level uses a bubble of air suspended in a liquid-filled glass cylinder. Its purpose is to ensure that the surface is even on the horizontal plane. If the bubble is in the center of the cylinder, the surface is level. If the bubble is right or left of the center, the surface is uneven and requires straightening.
3. Power Saw
Using a masonry saw with a diamond-coated blade allows you to cut through a variety of hard materials during the construction process. However, when performing cutting work, it’s essential that you don’t apply excessive pressure or let the blade linger, so you don’t damage the substrate.
4. Wire Brush
After using a stonemason’s hammer or power saw, you’ll often have dust, masonry chips, and other debris left over. A wire brush and a broom or shop vacuum allow you to clean the worksite, ensuring that it’s free from debris.
5. Mason’s Trowel
A mason’s trowel, available in various configurations, is a hand tool designed for shaping, spreading, and leveling mortar on brick and stonework. Alternatively, the mason’s trowel is used for shaping and spreading concrete.
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Creating masonry joints is critical to the construction process, ensuring that the units, whether brick, stone, or concrete blocks, remain securely bound together following installation. A jointer is a masonry construction tool used to finish mortar joints, whether vertical or horizontal, ensuring a smooth, flat surface between blocks.
7. Straight Edge
Another critical measurement tool in construction and other industries, a straight edge is a long rectangular instrument designed to provide a perfectly straight edge for measurement and adjustment.
8. Masonry Square
Straight, even lines are crucial for masonry work. A crooked wall can’t support adequate weight and is at risk of falling, and the point at which two walls meet is where a lot of masonry projects run into problems. A masonry square looks like a standard set square but is crafted from steel, plastic, or wood. It is used to ensure that perpendicular walls are at perfect right angles.
9. Mortar Pan
Mortar is a paste that acts as a binding agent in masonry construction, allowing you to join concrete, brick, or stone blocks together. Once the mortar cures, it secures the masonry units in place, completing the wall or structure. Mortar can be messy, and you need a way of mixing, carrying, and lifting it to the application site. Every mason should have a mortar pan. Mortar pans, usually made from plastic or steel, are deep three- or four-sided vessels used to carry small quantities of sand, mixed mortar, or concrete around the construction site.
10. Blocking Chisel
A specialized tool, a blocking chisel — when combined with a mash hammer — allows the mason to split a concrete block more precisely. If you need to split several blocks, this is the ideal tool for the job.
Find High-Quality Masonry Tools at Contractors Direct
At Contractors Direct, we have all the tools you need to construct, repair, restore, and maintain brickwork, stonework, and concrete. Whether you’re laying tiles, building walls, repairing damage to masonry structures, or cutting concrete, we’re your one-stop shop.