Use BOTH sides of the checklist to compare similar tools. For example, if you have two pliers and want to select the best of the two, compare each tool against the features on the checklist.
The more “Yes” answers the tool has, the better the tool.

Refer to Section D, Tips for Selecting Hand Tools, for more details.

  Check if "YES"

Checklist for Hand Tool Selection

Select the tool that has the most “YES” answers.
EXAMPLE Single-handle tools Double-handle tools
Tool1Tool2Tool1Tool2
1 For single-handle tools used for power tasks: Does the tool feel comfortable and have a handle diameter between 1 1/4 inches and 2 inches? Handtools      
2 For single-handle tools used for precision tasks: Is the handle diameter between 1/4 inch and 1/ 2 inch? Handtools      
3 For double-handle tools used for power tasks: Is the grip span at least 2 inches when closed and no more than 3 1/2 inches when open? HandtoolsHandtools     
4 For double-handle tools used for precision tasks: Is the grip span no less than 1 inch when closed and no more than 3 inches when open? HandtoolsHandtools     
5 For double-handle tools: Is the handle spring-loaded? Handtools     
6 Is the tool handle without sharp edges or finger grooves? Handtools
Handtools
     
7 Is the tool handle coated with soft material? Handtools      
8 Can the tool be used while keeping your wrist straight? Handtools      
9 Can the tool be used with your dominant hand or with either hand? HandtoolsHandtools      
10 For high- force tasks: Is the handle longer than the widest part of your hand (usually 4 inches to 6 inches)? Handtools      
11 Does the tool handle have a non-slip surface? Handtools      
Dababneh A, Lowe B, Krieg E, Kong Y, and Waters T, A Checklist for the Ergonomic Evaluation of Non-Powered Hand Tools, accepted for publication in the December 2004 issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. 14
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