The Ergonomics of Hand and Power Tools

Hand and power tools are a major industry, with an estimated $10 to $12 billion purchased annually. As a common part of our everyday life, and rapidly present in our industry, it’s important to have ergonomic hand tools or power tools that save labor and time on jobs and projects.

What Ergonomic Concerns Should You Consider?

There are a few ergonomic concerns of hand and power tools to keep a look out for.


The first is the weight of the tool. A worker should be able to operate the tool with one hand, ideally 5lbs or less. Any tool that is above 5lbs should be supported with a counterbalance.

Handles and Grips

The handles and grips of hand tools should be designed for a power grip. Tools with a bent or angled handle are beneficial to keep the exerted force in a straight line. Tools with a straight handle are best for tasks where the force is exerted perpendicularly to the straightened forearm or wrist.

A handle that is too short can cause unnecessary compression to the middle of the palm, which can extend across the entire palm.


It’s important that the materials and the texture of the handle is non-slip, non-conductive and compressible. Glossy coating and highly polished handles should be avoided, where textured rubber handles are ideal for grip and support.

Vibration can also cause injury, and can be avoided at the design stage by using anti-vibration materials that will dampen some vibration.

What are Some Good Ergonomic Hand Tool Options?

The ergonomic hand tools we offer our customers are designed specifically for the application, to improve workers productivity, reduce injury (including repetitive motion injuries), reduce installation times, lessen errors and reduce workers fatigue.

Here are a few of our favorite labor saving tools:

Greenlee LS100 Battery Powered Punch Driver

The Greenlee LS100 Battery Powered Punch Driver is faster, safer and easier than ever. It’s 26% faster punch set up and completion, meaning less time in the hand and less overall ergonomic impact. It’s 25% less total muscle effort during punch set up and completion and 34% less muscle exertion to hold and operate the tool. The LS100 is 41% lighter than the competitor’s tool, meaning low risk of muscle fatigue, which is the first threshold to ergonomic injury. It is compatible with all Greenlee knockouts including speed punch, slugbuster and slug splitter. The tool preference ratings consistently identify the LS100 tool as the most preferred for all categories assessed.

Panduit GTS/GTH Cable Tie Installation Tools

In an effort to help you choose the right installation tool to increase productivity and promote worker safety, Panduit created the GTS and GTH tools as part of their ergonomic series of hand-operated installation tools. The lightweight, ergonomic design speeds up the installation, and reduces operator fatigue and repetitive motion injuries. It also includes flush tie cut-off that eliminates sharp edges and improves safety by preventing damage to wire bundles and to workers’ hands and arms. The ergonomic series of tools is excellent for low to medium volume applications (under 50,000 ties/year) in the OEM, MRO, and Construction markets.

  • GTS Tool installs subminiature (8 lbs.) through standard (50 lbs.) cross section cable ties
  • GTH Tool installs standard (50 lbs.) through heavy (175 lbs.) cross section cable ties

Thomas & Betts ERG4001 Manual Crimp Tool

The Thomas & Betts ERG4001 Comfort Crimp Sta-Kon hand tool is engineered for crimping RA, RB and RC nylon and vinyl insulated terminals, splices, and disconnects. It has three color-coded crimp nests: red for 22 AWG – 18 AWG wire, blue for 16 AWG – 14 AWG wire and yellow for 12 AWG – 10 AWG wire. It features a Shure-Stake ratchet mechanism which ensures a complete crimp cycle and an ergonomic design which allows one-handed crimping with less force. Buy online.

Interested in learning more about hand and power tools and how you can save time, money and avoid injury? Give your French Gerleman Account Manager a call today or contact us.



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