May is Hand Tool Safety Month. Test your safety knowledge with this quiz.

The following 10 True or False questions deal with hand tools commonly found in most toolboxes. Test your knowledge ― 10 correct is excellent; 9 is good; 8 is fair; 7 or less, poor.

(1) Plastic-covered handles on wire cutting pliers may be used to cut low voltage live electrical wire (True) (False)

(2) When tightening a nut with an adjustable wrench, always pull the wrench away from you; never pull the wrench toward you (True) (False)

(3) Claw hammers may be used to strike wood chisels (True) (False)

(4) When wood splitting, the flat striking face of an axe may be used to strike a wood splitting wedge (True) (False)

(5) Screwdrivers may be used for purposes other than driving or removing screws, such as prying open can lids (True) (False)

(6) Vises should always be secured to the workbench with screws (True) (False)

(7) Snips are permissible for cutting wire (True) (False)

(8) Open-end wrenches may be used to free a frozen nut (True) (False)

(9) A proper use of the ball pein hammer is striking chisels and punches (True) (False)

(10) Safety goggles should always be worn whenever you are using hand tools (True) (False)


(1) False. Plastic-cover handles are for comfort only. Always cut off electrical power before cutting.

(2) True. The force of the pulling should be on the fixed jaw. Pushing away gives better leverage and balance.

(3) False. Claw hammers are for driving and removing nails only.

(4) False. Only sledge hammers or wood-splitting mauls should be used to strike wood splitting wedges.

(5) False. Screwdrivers must be used only to tighten or remove screws and for no other purpose.

(6) False. Never screwed. Bolted is correct.

(7) False. Wire cutters are correct. Snips are for cutting sheet metal.

(8) False. Box open is the correct wrench.

(9) True. Ball pein hammers are specifically hardened to strike chisels and punches.

(10) True. Safety goggles should always be worn when working with hand tools to prevent eye injury.