The military wants to know that you are handy with fastening tools. They test this on the Auto & Shop Information subtest of the ASVAB. Fastening tools apply fasteners, such as screws, to objects. Numerous tools make up the fastening category:
Stapler: A stapler is a fastening tool. Heavy-duty staplers can staple roofing felt to a roof, for instance.
Wrenches: Wrenches turn nuts and bolts. The bolt or nut fits between the jaws of the wrench, and the wrench turns the bolt. Some wrenches have adjustable jaws. Not only can wrenches be used to turn nuts and bolts, but they may also be used to keep nuts and bolts stationary.
Open-end wrenches: These wrenches have open jaws.
Box wrenches: Box wrenches are closed. Some wrenches have open-end jaws on one end and a box wrench on the other.
Socket wrenches: Socket wrenches have box-type sockets of varying sizes that can be attached to a handle, which in turn can be attached to an extension.
Socket, box, and open-ended wrenches come in set, standard sizes — either in inches or in millimeters. They’re not interchangeable. (Selecting the wrong socket wrench is how mechanics learn to use cuss words.)
Torque wrenches: These wrenches apply additional leverage to a fastener. A torque wrench looks much like a socket wrench but has additional internal mechanisms designed to measure and limit the amount of torque (force) being applied.
Pipe wrenches: Pipe wrenches have serrated jaws and grip round objects.
Screwdrivers: A screwdriver, in the shop world, turns screws. (In the civilian world, it’s a yummy drink!) Some special screwdrivers have different blades to fit different types of screws:
Standard screwdriver: A standard screwdriver has a flat blade at one end of the shank (the other end of the shank goes into a handle).
Phillips screwdriver: Phillips screwdrivers have a blade that is shaped like a cross; this blade fits into a cross-shaped Phillips screw head.
Offset screwdriver: Offset screwdrivers have the shank set at an angle to the blade to allow the tool to be used in cramped spaces. Offset screwdrivers can have a standard blade, Phillips blade, or any number of other blades.
Allen wrench: An Allen wrench fits hexagonal screw heads. Nobody knows why this tool is called an Allen wrench instead of an Allen screwdriver; after all, it’s used on hexagonal screws. That’s just one of the mysteries of the shop world.
The Allen wrench, which was designed in 1943, gets its name from the Allen Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut.
Pliers: Pliers can be used to fasten and unfasten fasteners, hold objects, and cut material. When you squeeze the handles, the jaws of the pliers come together.
Long-nosed or needle-nosed: Long-nosed pliers, also called needle-nosed pliers, have tapered jaws that can hold small objects or fit into small spaces.
Curved-nose: These pliers have curved jaws.
Slip-joint: These pliers can be adjusted so the handles lock in a certain position.
Wrench or vise-grip: Wrench pliers, or vise-grip pliers, have serrated jaws that clamp onto and hold objects of all shapes.
Cutting: These pliers are used to cut wire.