The Must-Have Tools for Masonry Construction

The Must-Have Tools for Masonry Construction

Tools have been around for eons. And in some ways, not much has changed. Here are the top 8 essential tools for the masonry trade.

  1. Mason Hammer

Two-sided like a claw hammer, a mason hammer has a square face made to pound nails. The chisel-tipped side is used to split bricks or break pieces off of rock. Mason hammers help users line bricks up properly and set bricks into place.

  1. Brick Trowel

A small pie-shaped tool attached to a short handle, trowels are used to level, spread and shape mortar on bricks and block. The butt end of the handle can be used to adjust bricks into their precise alignment. Brick trowels come in various sizes and patterns depending on operator preference.

  1. Pointing Trowel

Similar to, but smaller than the brick trowel,  pointing trowels are used to fill small cavities, repair crumbling mortar joints and fill and shape masonry joints. With their triangular blades, they are more often used for repair and restoration work than new construction. 

  1. Bucket Trowel

Bucket trowels are wide-bladed tools for scooping mortar from a bucket. They are ideal for smoothing mortar on large bricks and blocks.

  1. Brick Jointer

Brick jointer is used to shape the mortar joint as the mortar begins to set. Joints improve the life span and look of the mortar. There are various types and sizes of jointers. They can be concave or convex as well as flat and pointed, depending on the desired look. S jointers, because of their shape, allow for different pitch angles while jointing the mortar. Grapevine jointers place an indented line in the center of the joint, making a shallow joint look deeper. Hubbard jointers come with various sized blades to accommodate different joint size requirements.

  1. Sled Runner

Sled runners are used for the same purpose as masonry jointers: to create concave or pointed mortar joints. With a longer blade, they produce long, straight, even horizontal joints (also known as bed joints) and come in various widths depending on the thickness of the mortar joint. When the tool is convex, or curved outward, it creates a concave joint. Typically, sled runners are used for longer, horizontal joints while jointers are used for shorter, vertical joints.

  1. Mason’s Level

Masons use levels to establish plumb and level lines. Plumb lines are perfectly vertical, while level lines are perfectly horizontal. Good levels are lightweight but sturdy. Levels are made from wood, plastic or aluminum. They have vials enclosed in glass, and each vial has a bubble of air suspended in liquid. When the bubble rests between two center marks on the vial, the mason knows the line is level or plumb. Many masons prefer I-beam or laminated wood levels known as  Crick levels.

  1. Masonry Saws

A masonry saw is used to cut block and brick. They are referred to as table saws and most commonly come in  14” or 20” gas or electric. Handheld saws, referred to as power cutters or quick cut saws, are most common in 14” and are portable and most commonly gas-powered. Diamond blades are the preferred blade type for all masonry saws.