Data reveals young people are lacking everyday DIY knowledge

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  Posted by: electime      14th June 2022

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 per cent
  • Women scored higher than men on 69 per cent of the questions – with 9 of 13 tools correctly identified
  • 16-24 year-olds scored only 46 per cent – 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 per cent)
  • Greater London came up last in the Tool Lingo quiz with the region identifying just 55 per cent of tools correctly
  • The most unknown tool was the impact driver, guessed correctly by just 20 per cent 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 per cent.

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

Top five most unknown tools in the UK:

  1. Impact driver (80 per cent guessed incorrectly)
  2. Mitre saw (68 per cent guessed incorrectly)
  3. Jigsaw (50 per cent guessed incorrectly)
  4. Angle grinder (47 per cent guessed incorrectly)
  5. Paint sprayer (43 per cent 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 per cent overall. Interestingly, 63 per cent of respondents from Northern Ireland correctly named this tool, whilst only 27 per cent 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 per cent guessed correctly)
  2. Pliers (86 per cent guessed correctly)
  3. Stanley knife/utility knife (86 per cent guessed correctly)
  4. Cordless drill (83 per cent guessed correctly)
  5. Hex key/Allen key (82 per cent guessed correctly)

Only 9 per cent 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 per cent of people.

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

All Tool Results
Tool per cent guessed correctly
Claw hammer 91
Pilers 86
Stanley knife/utility knife 86
Cordless drill 83
Hex key/Allen key 82
Spirit level 77
Nail gun 71
Rotary multi tool 58
Paint sprayer 57
Angle grinder 53
Jigsaw 50
Mitre saw 42
Impact driver 20

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

   per cent guessed correctly
  16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55+
Average total score 43 56 67 71 77

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

43 per cent of 16 to 24 year-olds couldn’t identify a nail gun and less than 50 per cent 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 per cent of this age group correctly identified the pliers.

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

Londoners scored just 55 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent able to name pliers, but just 42 per cent were able to name a paint sprayer correctly.

Region per cent of correct answers
Northern Ireland 73
Scotland 72
Wales 70
South West 69
East Midlands 69
North East 68
Yorkshire and the Humber 68
East of England 66
North West 66
South East 66
West Midlands 61
Greater London 55

Edinburgh tops the list as the city that knows their tools the most with 75 per cent. Belfast came in third at 73 per cent 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: