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General Tools


A drill is a power tool with two different directions that worked by spinning a drill bit either right or left. A drill is used to drill holes through specific materials.

Contrary to common belief, spinning the drill faster doesn’t always decrease the time taken to drill through the material. For example, when drilling through stronger materials like metal, add more force on the drill in the direction you are drilling while, holding the drill straight. However, when drilling through softer and more delicate materials like plastic and ABS, spin the drill faster.


The wrench is a two sided tool that is used to tighten or loosen bolts. Each wrench has a specific size and corresponds to the a bolt’s size. The most common size is the 3/8 wrench. The wrenches work by spinning one side of the bolt in one direction while holding the other side in place. Similar concepts apply where spinning right tightens the bolt while spinning left loosens the bolt. For faster removal or installation, rotate both sides of the bolt in opposite directions.


The ratchet is like a wrench, but only allows the bolt to move in one direction. This eliminates the need to rotate the tool in a full circle allowing bolts to be manipulated in small spaces. To change the direction simply push the small metal bar toward the corresponding direction. Ratchets like wrenches have different sizes.

Allen Key

The allen key is a hex tool that is used to turn allen head bolts. Allen keys are normally used to hold one side of the bolt while a wrench holds the bolt’s nut. Allen keys also come in many different sizes. In Skyline robotics, the green T handle is the most common allen key.

Vise Grip

The vise grip is more or less a handheld clamp. The vise grip can be used as a substitute for holding one side of a bolt or to pry/pull on objects.


The saw is a handheld tool used to cut material. It’s pretty straightforward.

Rivet Guns

Rivet guns are used to fasten materials together where nails or nuts and bolts are inapplicable. There are two types of hand riveters we use:

Pop Rivet Gun

This tool consists of two handles and a nozzle-like head from which a single rivet is pushed out of. The rivet is held snug in the head by a pin dye of matching size. Spare pin dyes are held on the front handle of this tool. To use the pop rivet gun, insert a rivet into the cavity in the tool head, align the rivet with the pre-drilled hole in the desired materials, then pump the back handle continuously until you hear a “pop” and the rivet should fasten cleanly. The stem of the rivet will break off in the process. For an instructional video, click here.

Heavy Duty Hand Riveter

This riveter is more applicable when fastening thicker materials together, such as sheets of metal. This tool consists of two large handles, a nozzle at the end, and a collection bottle between the two handles. To use the heavy duty hand riveter, insert the rivet and align it like before. Pump the two handles together until you hear a pop, and the rivet is secure. The stem of the rivet should end up in the collection bottle.