Use of different Tools

Be able to use safely, and maintain the under mentioned tools. Hand axe, knife, hammer, mallet, etc.

Tools are particularly important in construction work. Tools are often classified as hand tools and power tools. Hand tools include all non-powered tools, such as hammers and pliers. Hand tools include a wide range of tools, from axes to wrenches. Power tools, in general, are more dangerous than hand tools, because the power of the tool is increased.

Handle Tools with care, follow safety guidelines

Hand Axe

Parts of a hand axe

Axes are versatile and useful tools. Axes can be used for felling trees or splitting wood, while hatchets can be used for trimming small branches and making kindling, but they need to be used properly. Here are some guidelines for their safe use.

Safe Practices and uses

  • Use the right tool for the job. Axes should be used with two hands. Hatchets can be used one-handed for smaller jobs.

  • Remove any hazards from your work area. Ensure it is on level ground and that your striking area is free of rocks.

  • Set up a safe area to use the tools. The perimeter of your work area should be the length of your arm combined with the length of the tool. This is called the “blood zone” – only the person using the axe should be in this area. Mark the area off with rope or flags.

  • Always position your body so that you are not in the direct path of your swing.

  • Always swing in a controlled, well-balanced manner.

  • For axes and hatchets, inspect the handles before use for any damage and looseness in the head.

  • Never use a dull blade. Always make sure your axe or hatchet is sharp. Use a chopping block so that you don’t hit the ground or a rock with the blade.

  • Don’t unsheathe your axe or hatchet until you are ready to use it. Cover it back up when done.

  • When carrying an axe, hold it with the blade pointing down toward the ground. If on a long hike, securely lash it to your backpack.

Given that a hatchet is a tool for one-handed use, you have less control when swinging. Minimize potential accidents – use a stable position when using a hatchet; take a knee or find a well-balanced standing position.

Sharpening an axe

An axe with a blunt edge becomes no more than an inefficient hammer, and indeed a great deal more dangerous as you struggle to use it. Always keep your axe sharp. For large 'burrs' a file is probably your best bet. Make sure you use the file correctly though, it will only work in one direction, it works when pushed, not pulled.

To sharpen your axe prop the axehead between a log and a peg driven into the ground. Always try to sharpen inwards from the cutting edge (to avoid producing any burrs). First use a file or rough stone to remove any burrs and rucks. Then finish with a smoother stone, using a circular motion. Don't drag the stone off the cutting edge, push on to the blade. Turn the axe over and repeat the process, circling in the opposite direction.

However we are unable to find sharpening stones everywhere we go , but if you are frequently using the axe you may need a sharpening stone. You can sharpen your axe with a rock (Granite Stone). Here is a video for your reference

Tree Felling

Many do not know the proper way to chop down a tree with an axe. If you take many camping or hiking trips, melanoma it would be very beneficial to learn this very important skill just in case of a bug out situation. Extremely-Sharp is here to show you the correct and simple method on how to chop a tree down. Grab your axe and let’s get to work!

IMPORTANT!! Let’s assume you’re chopping down a small tree that’s 12 feet tall and a trunk with a diameter between 12 to 20 inches. You want to choose a small tree when starting. Large trees require proper safety equipment.

First, dysentery find a tree that isn’t rotten or dried out. (If a tree looks to be twisted, hemophilia leave it alone. It’s drying up and branches could come down and seriously hurt you.) Next, determine which direction you want the tree to fall. Make sure you choose a path where it falls completely to the ground and not on other obstructions.

Chop the tree at an downward angle (about 60º) then at an upward chop (about 30º). Your goal is to create a notch in between the tree. (See picture below) Once you have a deep cut that’s about halfway in the tree, start chopping directly behind the tree but slightly above the initial cut. Create a smaller notch than the first. This will help cause the tree to fall forward and not in any other angle.

Splitting Logs

For a large log, as before, stand behind the log with your feet well apart. Swing down the cut the side away from you. Do not chop downwards. If you wish to split a smaller log, lay it against another log. Do not put your foot on it. There is an alternative to this though, hold the smaller log against the cutting edge and bring them both down together on to a larger log.

If in doubt, or if you have any difficulty, split larger logs with a wedge and a rock. Do not hold the wood upright in your hand and try to split with an axe. When chopping branches from a large log, always stand on the side away from the axe. Always cut branches from the outside of the fork, not the inside.

Never attempt to repair an axe handle.

Never use any axe that has a damaged or split handle


Parts of a Knife

A sharp blade can be a useful tool when setting up camp, fishing or cooking. It can also be dangerous when used carelessly.

Some big no-no’s:

  • Throwing a knife

  • Using a dull or dirty blade

  • Handing a knife to someone blade first

  • Cutting while others are within your “safety circle” (arm’s length)

  • Carrying an open pocket knife

  • Carving into something that doesn’t belong to you

  • Cutting toward your body

Treating pocket knives with respect and using them accordingly not only ensures the Scout’s safety but also keeps others safe.

Common knives that are used in Scouting

Pocket Knife (Multi-tool knife).

This is by far the most common knife used in scouting. This knife usually contains a variety of tools that fold into the handle. The main blade of a pocket knife ranges from 2 to 4 inches in length. The pocket knife is named due to its compact size and can be carried in pant pockets or in a sheath that fits on a belt. Most pocket knifes have a “Slip Joint” which means that the blade does not lock, but, is held in place by a spring device that allows the blade to open and close if a certain amount of pressure is applied.

Buck knife.

The Buck knife typically contains a single blade knife up to 4inches in length which folds into the handle and contains a locking mechanism. The buck knife is usually too large to fit into a pocket and should be carried in a sheath that attaches to the belt. Most buck knifes have a “Locking mechanism” which means that the blade will lock in place when folded into the handle or fully opened. The lock is typically triggered by a pressure pad on the knife handle.

Kitchen Knife

Most cutting tasks in the kitchen are achievable with a good chef’s knife. That said, a blade that’s designed specifically for a purpose can bring more ease and precision to the cut. The right knives will encourage you to prep food with confidence and creativity: you’ll be free of worries about how best to approach a cut. This knife is common in camps when preparing food.

Safe Practices and uses

  • Knifes should be kept sharp, clean and in good working order. Any part of a knife that is loose should be considered a hazard. A sharp knife will cut easily and have less chance of slipping.

  • A knife should be kept clean and free or rust.

  • After each use the user should clean the knife of all debris and periodically apply a light coat of oil in order to protect the knife from moisture and that the ‘slip joint’ move freely.

  • Store the knife in a sheath to protect it from accidental damage and from outside elements

General Knife Safety rules

  • Only personnel who are authorized in knife use may use a knife or supervise others in using knives

  • The knife is an important survival tool and it must be treated with respect in that it should be kept sharp, clean and in good working order

  • A knife should never be left unattended (see Knife Log for Scouts Own)

  • A knife should only be used for outdoor skills use or whittling activities.

    • It should never be thrown

    • It should never be used in a threatening manner such as pointing or waving it at another person

    • Knives are not to be used inside a tent area

  • A knife should be cleaned after use

  • A knife should placed in its sheath when not in use

  • Do not run or play games with a knife

  • Hold the knife blade when passing the knife to someone else.

Sharpening a knife

When your knife blade has a reflection on its cutting edge and/or it doesn’t cut through wood easily, then it is likely that the cutting edge has dulled and it needs sharpening.

You can make your own sharpening stone. Follow this tutorial


A wide range of Hammers are available, varying in shape, size and weight. The different styles reflect different uses. Around the house, the average diy'er only really needs one or two type.

The shape of Hammer heads has not changed much over the years although some modern materials are now used in both the head and handle. Traditionally handle were made of wood fixed through a hole in the head; this allowed the handle to be easily replaced if required. Modern hammers use modern materials and the handles are often built into the head - often with a form of built-in shock absorber to make them easier to use.

  • Claw Hammer

  • Ball Plein

  • Cross and Straight Pein

  • Club Hammer

  • Sledge Hammer

Parts of a hammer

Safe Practices and uses

Use the right hammer for the job. Don’t upholster a couch with a sledge hammer or drive drywall nails with a tack hammer. You won’t get the job done right, and you might end up injuring yourself.

Don’t strike a hardened steel surface with a steel claw hammer. Flying metal chips can injure you or a bystander.

Never use a hammer with a loose or broken handle. The hammer head could come flying off while in use. If you don’t want to explain to your wife why grandma’s china cabinet is in a million pieces, replace the handle if it’s loose or cracked.

Never use a hammer with a chipped or cracked head. It’s an accident waiting to happen.

Where to hold the hammer. Hold the hammer like you’re shaking hands with somebody. When you need more control over the hammer, like when you’re starting a nail, grip the hammer closer to the hammer head. When you need power, grip the hammer near the handle’s end.

Starting the nail. Place the nail where you want to drive it and hold it between the thumb and forefinger of your non-dominant hand. Place your fingers near the top of the nail when holding it. If you hold the nail near the bottom, a missed hammer swing will crush your fingers between the wood and the hammer. Not a pleasant feeling.

Grip the hammer near the middle of the handle. Tap the nail lightly until the nail has sunk into the wood enough that it can stand on its own.

If you’re driving in nails that are too small to hold between your thumb and forefinger, use this handyman tip: Grab a piece of thin cardboard or thick paper and push the nail through it. Instead of holding onto the nail, you hold onto the cardboard. Remove the cardboard before you finish driving the nail.

For some hardwoods, it’s a good idea to drill a pilot hole before you hammer in a nail. It makes the job easier and prevents the wood from splitting.

Preventing wood splitting. In addition to creating a pilot hole and blunting the nail will also keep the wood from splitting. To blunt a nail, simply tap the nail point with your hammer. Also, avoid hammering a nail into the grain of the wood.

Swing from the elbow for power; swing from the wrist for control. For maximum power and efficiency, swing from the elbow. When you need more control and finesse, swing from the wrist. Many hammer newbies try to hammer with just wrist action.

Focus on the nail, not the hammer. When hammering, you want to avoid sideways and glancing blows. To score a direct hit every time, focus on the nail head, not the hammer.

Let the weight of the hammer do the majority of the work. You don’t need to use every ounce of strength in your body when hammering. That will only lead to wild swings and bent nails. The weight of the hammer head plus your smooth swing provides enough force to get the job done.

Removing Nails

Claw hammers are designed to remove nails. Simply slide the claw underneath the nail head. Pull the hammer’s handle towards you to extract the nail. Here’s an old trick from grandpa to help you pull nails: Stop the first pull back before the hammer’s poll touches the surface of the wood. Place a wood block under the hammer head to provide some leverage. Using the block puts less strain on the hammer’s handle and allows you to lift the nail straight up without bending it.

Some nail heads are too small for the tongs of the hammer to grasp. To deal with such nails, hammers are sometimes made with a small v-shaped notch in one of the prongs. If yours lacks this feature, you can simply file a v-shaped notch into one of the claws with a metal file.

Being Familiar with Tools

Safety comes first! Use safety gloves, goggles and equipment according to the work you are going to be doing.

Every Scout should be familiar with tools and should practice maintaining the equipment being responsible.

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