Buying tools that meet ANSI standards is assurance that you can expect a high level of performance and safety from the tools. The standards establish requirements and describe methods of testing the tools, and list intended uses as well as limitations of use.
ANSI is the American National Standards Institute, the highest standards organization in the United States. ANSI is the US representative to the International Standards Organization (ISO), and accredits standards developers including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and is comprised of hundreds of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations.
ANSI Standards for Hand Tools are published by ASME and developed by representatives of users, distributors, and manufacturers of hand tools. The Hand Tools Institute (HTI), the trade association of North American manufacturers of non-powered hand tools, leads and facilitates the development of standards for publication by ASME by providing resources and technical input to the preparation of hand tool standards.
There are many standards for Hand Tools, including standards for pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers, chisels, and torque instruments. The standards describe tools intended for use by professional and industrial users, and the requirements are stated in terms of performance rather than specific details of manufacture, so that as new manufacturing techniques and materials are developed, the tools can continue to be objectively tested to the standards.
Meeting the standards is important for manufacturers, as it provides a “seal of approval” for their products. In particular, meeting standards is important in cases of product liability, where the first question is usually “Does your product meet the ANSI standard?”
Users of tools that meet ANSI standards can depend on their tools not to break or under-perform when used properly – they can trust American tools.
The American National Standards Committee B107 on Socket Wrenches and Drives was originally under the sponsorship of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). It was subsequently reorganized as an ASME Standards Committee, and its title was changed to Hand Tools and Accessories. In 1996, the Committee’s scope was expanded to include safety considerations.
B107 Series Standards are published by ASME after approval by ASME and ANSI.
B107.4 - Driving & Spindle Ends for Portable Hand, Impact, Air, and Electric Tools (Percussion Tools Excluded)
Scope: This Standard applies to portable power tools for drilling, grinding, polishing, sawing, and driving threaded fasteners and hand tools for driving threaded fasteners. Other tools not classed as percussion tools belong in this category and may be added by revision or addition through the usual procedure.
This Standard includes dimensions and tolerances for both driving and driven elements where such coordination is important and not established by reference to the pertinent American National Standards. All dimensions are in inches and millimeters.
B107 - Gages and Mandrels for Wrench Openings
Scope: This Standard establishes final inspection gage sizes and test mandrel sizes for wrench openings and spark plug wrench openings for inch and metric sizes. This Standard does not cover every available size, but only those most commonly manufactured.
B107.100 - Flat Wrenches
Scope: This Standard provides performance and safety requirements for combination wrenches; for open-end adjustable wrenches, with rack and worm adjustment, generally used on both
Consumers are requested to consult with manufacturers concerning lists of stock production sizes.
B107.110 - Socket Wrenches and Attachments
Scope: This Standard provides performance and safety requirements for socket wrenches (sockets), handles used with these wrenches, nutdrivers, and attachments used with socket wrenches, hereinafter collectively referred to as tools. Inclusion of dimensional data in this Standard is not intended to imply that all of the products described herein are stock production sizes.
Consumers are requested to consult with manufacturers concerning lists of stock production sizes and lengths.
B107.300 - Torque Instruments
Scope: This Standard provides performance and safety requirements for manually operated torque instruments, commonly used for mechanical measurement of torque for control of the tightness of threaded fasteners; for manually operated electronic torque instruments with integral or interchangeable heads; and for electronic torque testers used for checking manually operated hand-held torque wrenches and torque screwdrivers. It includes requirements for endurance, torque value ranges, and accuracy for these torque instruments It is not intended to describe products infrequently utilized or those designed for special purposes.
B107.400 - Striking Tools
Scope: This Standard provides performance and safety requirements for nail hammers that are intended specifically for use in driving or pulling unhardened nails and ripping apart or tearing down wooden components; for hatchets (that are intended specifically for use in driving unhardened nails or striking wood products, or both; cutting, notching, and shaping wood products or wall board products, or both; cutting, spacing, and aligning soft roofing products, and pulling unhardened nails when the tool is provided with a nail slot) and axes (that are intended primarily for use in felling, trimming, and pruning trees; splitting and cutting wood; notching and shaping logs and timbers; driving wooden or plastic stakes; pulling
unhardened nails when the tool is provided with a nail slot; or digging when the particular tool is provided with a digging blade); for ball-peen hammers which have a striking face on one end of the head for use in striking punches and chisels, and a ball peen on the opposite end for use in riveting, shaping, and straightening unhardened metals; for heavy striking tools; for body repair hammers, dolly blocks, and spoons that are intended specifically for the reshaping of sheet metal panels normally found on bodies and fenders of motor vehicles; for bricklayers’ hammers that are intended specifically for use in setting and cutting (splitting) bricks, masonry tile, chipping mortar from bricks, and also of prospecting picks
that are intended specifically for use in pulling samples from the ground; for riveting hammers intended specifically for driving, spreading, and setting unhardened rivets in hardened materials (also called tinner’s or machinist’s riveting hammers); for scaling hammers intended specifically for removing scale, paint, welding flux, rust, or other similar flaking material from the surface of unhardened metal (also called chipping hammers); and tinner’s setting hammers intended specifically for closing, forming, and peening sheet metal (also called peening hammers).
This Standard is intended to serve as a guide in selecting, testing, and using the hand tools covered herein. It is not the purpose of this Standard to specify the details of manufacturing.
This Standard is also meant to serve as a guide in developing manuals and posters and for training personnel to work safely. This Standard may be used as a guide by state authorities or other regulatory bodies in the formulation of laws or regulations. It is also intended for voluntary use by establishments that use or manufacture the tools covered. The methods employed to ensure compliance with this Standard shall be determined by the proper regulatory or administrative authority.
B107.410 - Struck Tools
Scope: This Standard provides performance and safety requirements for splitting wedges that are used specifically for splitting wood; for glaziers’ chisels intended for installing and removing putty around window panes and for general wood chisel work relating to glazing, wood chisels intended for making rough and finish cuts in wood, ripping and flooring/ electricians’ chisels intended for use in cutting wood and light prying, such as cutting the tongue of installed flooring sections and raising and removing floor planks; for handheld screw and pipe extractors that are intended specifically for removing broken screws, pipes, bolts, studs, and fittings from threaded openings; for handheld and handled metal chisels intended specifically for use in cutting and shaping metal objects, punches and drift pins intended specifically for use in marking metal, driving and removing such things as pins and rivets, and aligning holes in different sections of material; for nail sets that are intended primarily for setting unhardened finishing nails below the surface of the material being nailed; for brick chisels and brick sets intended specifically for use in scoring and cutting brick and masonry block, for handheld star drills intended for use in drilling holes in brick, tile, concrete, or stone; for nail-puller bars intended primarily for use in extracting nails, and for pry bars that are intended for separating, prying, ripping, lifting, scraping, and aligning applications; and for slugging and striking wrenches that are intended for torquing of fasteners.
Power-driven chisels, punches, and drift pins are excluded from this Standard.
B107.500 - Pliers
Scope: This Standard provides performance and safety requirements for pliers suitable for cutting wire; for long nose, long reach pliers; for hand shears generally used for cutting sheet metal; for wire twister pliers, which are used primarily for securing safety wires; for pliers suitable for inserting and removing internal and external retaining rings, including those covered by ASME B18.27; for pliers having gripping surfaces and/or cutting edges; for cutters and pliers less than 6 in. long, equipped with a spring, typically used in the manufacture of electronic equipment; for adjustable joint and slip joint pliers; for locking pliers that are suitable for gripping, clamping, pinching, cutting, and wrenching; for pliers (also known as Cannon Plug Pliers) that are used primarily for connecting or disconnecting threaded lock collars of electrical connectors; and for wire strippers, and the cutting and stripping functions of multipurpose tools, for use on solid and stranded copper wire. Inclusion of dimensional data in this Standard does not mean that all products described herein are stock production sizes, nor that all production sizes are listed.
B107.600 - Screwdrivers
Scope: This Standard covers straight handle-type screwdrivers of flat tip design intended for manual operation in driving or removing screws with slotted recesses. The screwdrivers are of the types normally used by cabinetmakers, carpenters, sheet metal workers, production workers, mechanics, etc. The intention is to specify performance rather than design detail.
To purchase any of the above hand tool standards, visit the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Standards Shop