What Is In a Deck Builder’s Toolkit?

If you’re planning on building a deck, you may wonder what is in a deck builder’s toolkit. You’ll need to get prepared with the right tools and other supplies. There are some basic tools that are important for anyone to have when they’re about to embark on this task. Consider carefully the brands that are on the market and what would be best for your situation.

Chalk Lines and Tape Measures

You’d do well to use blue chalk for your chalk lines when marking off your measurements. Make the actual measurements with a 25-foot tape measure or something larger if you’re planning to build a large deck.

Framing and Speed Squares

A framing square allows you to check corners for squares and mark your long square lines. Speed squares are used a great deal when you mark boards so that you can cut them. Use a torpedo level to work with small pieces. A 2-foot or 4-foot level is ideal for larger pieces.


You can sometimes get away with using hand tools for your excavation. However, it can be better to rent earth-moving and post hole-digging machines or to work with a landscaper if it’s a larger project. A mason’s line is a tool that you’d use to mark off the areas you want to excavate.


This is one of the more basic tools for digging and there are several types of shovels. Pick up a spade shovel in order to dig into the earth and remove the soil. Use a drain spade with a narrow blade to help you dig shallow post holes. When it comes to post holes that are deeper, a clamshell post hole digger is a good idea.


There are different kinds of clamps that allow you to hold pieces in place so that you can put in fasteners. You might use a pipe clamp, which is as long as the pipe to which you’re attaching two parts. You’ll have a firmer hold with a sliding clamp, yet you can grab things more quickly with a squeeze clamp.


Tighten nuts and bolts with a crescent (or adjustable) wrench. You might need a pair of locking pliers to hold onto the fastener’s other end. Make use of a hand sledge in order to move tight boards into position. You can get a flat pry bar to help you get into more narrow spaces so that you can pull boards into position, and you won’t damage the wood as much.

Cutting Tools

You’ll need tools that will make it possible to get extremely accurate cuts. This includes different types of saws that are as follows:

  • Circular saw – This is one of the best saws to build a deck. Find your circular saw and then be sure to fit it with a sharp carbide-tipped blade.
  • Jigsaw – A jigsaw is also known as a saber saw, and it’s used to cut in tight spots as well as for curved cuts.
  • Reciprocating saw – This is a crucial saw that is for demolition purposes. It’s great when it comes to finishing cuts on 6×6 posts, though you can use a hand saw for this purpose instead.
  • Table saw – A table or worksite saw will allow you to conveniently rip boards to the width you want.
  • Chop saw – Use a chop saw, also known as a power miter saw, to help you make accurate crosscuts easier.

Knives and Other Cutting Tools

A utility knife and wood chisels are perfect to have when it’s time to finish and modify your cuts. Use tin snips, also known as aviator shears, to help you cut plastic and metal flashings. A grinder is something you might sometimes need to cut away masonry or metal.

There are numerous other tools that would be beneficial for a deck builder to have in their collection. This includes hammers, nailer, drills, nail guns, routers, and sanders. As with anything else, it’s in your best interest to do your research first about not only what is in a deck builder’s toolkit, but also the best products out there and how they operate.

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