A hammer, mallet, screwdriver, cutting tools, punches, wrenches, torque wrench, strap wrench and impact driver are some of the most common tools used for aircraft maintenance. Aircraft maintenance technicians encounter many special tools as their experience widens; large transport category aircraft have different maintenance tasks from those of a light airplane, and special hand tools are often required when working on complex aircraft.
Occasionally, it is necessary to use a soft-faced hammer, which has a striking surface made of wood, brass, lead, rawhide, hard rubber or plastic. These hammers are intended for use in forming soft metals and striking surfaces that are easily damaged.
A mallet is a hammer-like tool with a head made of hickory, rawhide or rubber. It is handy for shaping thin metal parts without causing creases or dents with abrupt corners.
The screwdriver can be classified by its shape, type of blade, and blade length. It is made for only one purpose, to loosen or tighten screws or screw head bolts. When using the common screwdriver, it must fill at least 75 percent of the screw slot.
There are times when definite pressure must be applied to a nut or bolt as it is installed. In such cases, a torque wrench must be used. The torque wrench is a precision tool consisting of a torque indicating handle and appropriate adapter or attachments. It measures the amount of turning or twisting force applied to a nut, bolt or screw.
In certain applications, the use of an impact driver may be required. Struck with a mallet, the impact driver uses cam action to impart a high amount of torque in a sharp impact to break loose a stubborn fastener.
The drive portion of the impact driver can accept a number of different drive bits and sockets.