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Toolstation Study Shows Young People Lacking In DIY Knowledge

Tradesman - tool belt shutterstock_378589792 725 x 500

Toolstation surveyed 2,000 people throughout the UK, asking them to correctly guess the name of 13 common tools.

  • The average person was able to name 9 out of 13 tools correctly - scoring 69%
  • Women scored higher than men on 69% of the questions – with 9 of 13 tools correctly identified
  • 16-24 year-olds scored only 46% – naming the lowest of all age groups with just 6 out of 13 tools – while 55+ year-olds could identify 10 out of 13 tools correctly (77%)
  • Greater London came up last in the Tool Lingo quiz with the region identifying just 55% of tools correctly
  • The most unknown tool was the impact driver, guessed correctly by just 20% of the public.

Though we might not all be experts in DIY, chances are we know our way around a toolbox a little.

To put this theory to the test, Toolstation surveyed 2,000 people to quiz them on their tool knowledge – sharing nothing but a picture and asking for the respondent to name it.

The results showed that for much of the UK, the names of tools were still unknown - with the average score coming in at just 69%.

You can view the full quiz and try it yourself here:

Top five most unknown tools in the UK:

  1. Impact driver (80% guessed incorrectly)
  2. Mitre saw (68% guessed incorrectly)
  3. Jigsaw (50% guessed incorrectly)
  4. Angle grinder (47% guessed incorrectly)
  5. Paint sprayer (43% guessed incorrectly)

Only one in five of the UK correctly guessed the name of an impact driver, making it the most unknown tool.

An impact driver is a type of cordless power tool used to drive bolts, screws, and other fasteners into surfaces. It’s perfect for driving screws in tight corners or tough-to-access places.

The mitre saw was guessed correctly by 32% overall. Interestingly, 63% of respondents from Northern Ireland correctly named this tool, whilst only 27% of Greater London were able to get it right.

Identifying the jigsaw had the UK split in half - as only one in two identified it correctly.

Top five most known tools in the UK:

  1. Claw hammer (91% guessed correctly)
  2. Pliers (86% guessed correctly)
  3. Stanley knife/utility knife (86% guessed correctly)
  4. Cordless drill (83% guessed correctly)
  5. Hex key/Allen key (82% guessed correctly)

Only 9% of the UK failed to identify the claw hammer, making it the most identifiable tool. It’s by far one of the most well-known tools, used for nailing pictures and mirrors to the wall as well as small-scale demolition tasks.

After the claw hammer, the next easiest tool to identify were the pliers – guessed correctly by 86% of people.

98% of 55+ got this right while 37% of 16-24s got it wrong.

All Tool Results


% guessed correctly

Claw hammer




Stanley knife/utility knife


Cordless drill


Hex key/Allen key


Spirit level


Nail gun


Rotary multi tool


Paint sprayer


Angle grinder




Mitre saw


Impact driver


On average, 16-24-year-olds answered just 43% correct


% guessed correctly







Average total score






Are the younger generations losing out on essential DIY skills? 16-24-year-olds scored the lowest overall (43%), but scores rose with each age group.

43% of 16 to 24 year-olds couldn’t identify a nail gun and less than 50% could name a spirit level. In fact, on average this age group could only name 6 out of the 13 tools – 3 below the national average.

Comparatively, 55+ year olds could identify 10 out of 13 tools correctly on average. A huge 98% of this age group correctly identified the pliers.

Likewise 90% guessed the spirit level, cordless drill, claw hammer, stanley knife and allen key correctly.

Londoners scored just 55% in the quiz

Data showed that the average person named 9 out of 13 tools correctly. But when it comes to regional data, some regions knew less than this.

Londoners had the lowest overall percentage at 55% of correct answers, meaning just under half of the answers given by Greater London respondents were wrong. This could be down to a high proportion of renters living in the capital meaning they’re unable to redecorate or do large-scale renovations.

London residents performed far better when it came to everyday tools with 79% able to name pliers, but just 42% were able to name a paint sprayer correctly.


% of correct answers

Northern Ireland






South West


East Midlands


North East


Yorkshire and the Humber


East of England


North West


South East


West Midlands


Greater London


Edinburgh tops the list as the city that knows their tools the most with 75%. Belfast came in third at 73% whilst Plymouth, Nottingham and Sheffield in England followed respectfully.

A spokesperson at Toolstation comments: “Having a stocked toolbox is great, but to get the most out of your DIY it’s important to really get to know the tools. Being able to identify your tools and their uses will help to make your DIY process smooth and effective.”

For more information on the results of the survey and uses of the common tools and to try the quiz yourself, head over to the full study here:

Source : Toolstation

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02 June 2022

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