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45 degrees

45 degrees is an angle created when 90 degrees is divided in half


5 in 1 tool

A 5 in 1 is amultifunction hand tool often used for scraping


90 degrees

90 degrees is an angle created when two lines are square or perpendicular to each other



Abrasive is different grades of rough grit applied to a paper backing to remove material when sanding. Abrasives range from coarse to fine and have numbers to indicate their roughness with lower numbers meaning coarser grits and higher numbers meaning finer


ABS is black plastic pipe used in plumbing for drain, waste, and vent pipes.


The actuator is the part of a caulk gun that moves the plunger forward


Adhesion is the ability for a material to stick to a surface

Adjustable wrench

An adjustable wrench is a tool for tightening hex nuts and bolts of various sizes


An Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter  or AFCI is a specialelectrical safety device in the form of an outlet or breaker that shuts the power down when arcing conditions are detected

Air dry

To air dry is the hardening process of a material that depends on the air or solvent in the mix to evaporate completely

Air exhaust port

An air exhaust port on a nail gun is the location where air escapes after the tool is fired

Air filter

An air filter is a replaceable device for cleaning air as it enters the compressor

Air inlet

An air inlet port is the location on a pneumatic tool where pressurized air enters the tool

Air outlet

The air outlet of a compressor is a connection point for the hose at air compressor


To align is to place or arrange things in a straight line.


Alkyd is the synthetic resin used in oil-based paints.


Amperage is the volume of current flow through a circuit


The American National Standards Institute  or ANSI is an organization that sets safety standards for construction equipment


The arbor is the threaded motor shaft on a saw to which a circular blade is fastened


An arc is a partial sweep of a circle’s perimeter from it’s center


Arcing is the jumping of current over an air gap caused by poor or damaged electrical connections in a circuit that can become an electrical fire hazard


Argon is a gas filled between glass panes to slow heat transfer through a window


An axis is a fixed reference line often for a measurement


Back rolling

Back rolling is the process of applying a roller over a brushed or sprayed area to add a uniform texture

Backer rod

Backer rod is a foam strip used to fill larger cracks prior to caulking

Base plate

The base plate of a saw is a flat saw surface that makes contact with the material being cut and helps keeps the tool under control

Base section

The base section is the fixed ladder section that does not move on an extension ladder. It remains planted to the ground and supports the fly section


A basin is a bowl for washing which is typically attached to a wall and having faucets connected to a water supply and a drain line for removing wastewater 

Battery pack

A battery pack is a portable and rechargeable power source for cordless tools

Belt clip

The belt clip is a convenient hook for storing a tape measure

Belt sander

A belt sander is an aggressive sanding tool that turns a continuous abrasive belt for use on large flat surfaces

Bend measurement

A bend is a measurement method for two inside corners – not as accurate as other methods


A bevel is a type of cut where the blade is tilted left or right from a standard vertical position.

Bevel adjustment lever

The bevel adjustment lever is a locking lever adjustment that allows the base plate of a saw to tilt side to side for making angled bevel cuts


Binder is the paint component that serves as the glue for all of the other paint ingredients and once dried, forms the solid material that holds the pigment in place and makes up the paint layer. Also called “resin”


Binding is a hazardous condition when cutting unsupported materials where pinching occurs at the blade causing it to not move freely during a cut


The blade is along steel strip wound into the tape measure case marked with measured units;

A blade is also a simple flat metal edge tool with a handle used to apply spackle and level out surface defects. Also called a spackle knife

Blade clamp

A blade clamp is a feature that holds the blade firmly in the saw.

Blade depth adjustment lever

The blade depth adjustment lever is a locking lever on a saw that allows the base plate to be raised and lowered to expose more (or less) of the blade for cutting materials of different thickness

Blade guard

The blade guard is a safety feature of a saw that covers the spinning blade when not in use and moves out of the way as material is passed through it

Blade height adjustment

The blade height adjustment of a table saw uses a wheel to raise and lower the blade relative to the table surface to cut through different material thicknesses

Blade lock

The blade lock is a built in hands-free feature used to hold the blade while extended

Blade pressed

To blade pressed is to applymasking tape with pressure from a 5 in 1 tool to better seal the tape edge


Blocking is short horizontal boards nailed in between stud bays for added wall strength, material support, or fire control


Boring is the process of a drill spinning a drill bit to form a hole in a material

Bottom cripple

A Bottom Crippleis a short partial stud placed below the sill in a window rough opening

Bottom plate

A Bottom plate is the lower continuous wall framing component that holds the studs in place at the floor. Also referred to as a sole plate or a shoe plate


A bow is a curve to the right or left traveling the long direction of the board as seen while sighting a board with its edge up

Box header

A box header is a type of header that creates a hollow void in its center with the use of layered materials on the front and back face

Box level

A box level is alarger and longer style of level. 2’, 3’,4’,6’ are common lengths

Brad nailer

brad nailer is a type of nailer for driving 18 gauge nails


Bristles are thin strands of different materials that make up the brush head and allow it to absorb and transfer paint


A brush is a painter’s precision hand tool for applying paint

Brush comb

Abrush combis a painter’s tool for thorough brush cleaning

Brush head

The brush head is the working area of the brush made of multiple bristles or filaments that carries and distributes the paint

Brush spinner

A brush spinner is a painter’s tool for proper brush care and water removal

Bubble level

A bubble level is a device that can measure the condition of plumb or level using a small vial filled with oil and a floatingbubble for reference

Burn an inch

To burn an inch means to shift a tape measure over for a more accurate method of measuring. The measurement starts at 1 inch or 10 inches and expects the user to subtract that amount at the end for the true dimension


To burnish is to dimple or lower a high spot on a surface by pushing with the end of a spackle knife

Butt wall

A butt wall is a shortened wall in a corner connection that terminates into a through wall. This type of wall helps to define the inside corner of the room or building



Cablis a jacketed bundle of individually insulated conductors like Romex

California corner

A California corner is an energy efficient 3 stud corner design with an accessible void for insulating

Cap plate

A cap plate is an upper continuous wall framing component that rests on top of the top plate. The top layer of a double top plate


The carriage is a part of a caulk gun that holds the caulk cartridge firmly; sometimes called the cradle or frame


The carrier is the liquid component of the paint that allows the solids to mix and flow and be applied in a film. The carrier dries or evaporates to leave a hardened paint coat


The cartridge is a round tube with a pointed end used to hold and distribute caulk

Cast iron

Cast iron is a  material used in plumbing for drain, waste, and vent pipes and fittings. It is a very dense, long-lasting, and heavy material that deadens the sound of water passing through it

Cat's paw

A cat’s paw is a sharp ended prying tool for digging out and removing flushed or inset fasteners


Caulk is a type of sealant used to fill a crack, seam or joint to improve its appearance or make it watertight

Caulk bead

A bead is a line of caulk applied to a joint or seam

Caulk gun

A caulk gun is a simple tool that holds caulk cartridges for applying precision beads to joints and seams

Chalk line

A chalk line is a speed marking tool for making long straight lines


The charge is thecontents of a fire extinguisher under pressure that smothers a flame when released.

Charging station

A charging station is anElectrical device for recharging the battery pack used for cordless tools


A check is a crack in the wood that does not penetrate all the way through the depth of the board.


The cheek is the side of the hammer that connects the head and claw to the handle.


A chisel is a sharp ended wood cutting tool often used with a hammer or mallet


A chuck is a specialized type of clamp with jaws that open and close used to hold a drill bit or driver bit in place in a drill

Circuit breaker

A circuit breaker is a special switch installed in the load center for each branch circuit that disconnects power if too much amperage flow is detected


To clad is to wrap or cover exterior material over a core material to protect a window from weathering (usually vinyl, aluminum or fiberglass)

Class A

A Class A fire extinguisher type is suitable to treat fires from ordinary combustibles like wood, rubber, fabrics, and plastics

Class B

A Class B fire extinguisher type is suitable to treat fires from flammable liquids and gases like gasoline, oils, paints, and lacquers

Class C

A Class C fire extinguisher type is suitable to treat fires involving live electrical sources


The claw is a ‘V’ shaped component made to fit around a nail shank and catch on the nail head for removal of the fastener


A cleanout is an access port in a trap or drain pipe that provides access for clearing an obstruction. 


A clutch is an adjustable feature on a drill allowing the motor to engage and release from the chuck at a specific torque

Coarse thread

Coarse threads have fewer threads per inch for faster driving of screws and more bite in materials like wood


A Coating is a thin covering for a fastener that adds performance to it (ex. Weather resistance, more holding power, etc.)

Coil nailer

A coil nailer is a type of nailer used for roofing, siding, and fencing that uses fasteners that are spiral collated with large head nails  

Collated nails

Collated nails are fasteners held together in a series with plastic or wire strips


Combustible is a term to describematerial in a liquid or solid form that will ignite at a flashpoint of over 100 degrees

Common stud

A common stud is a full-length vertical framing component placed on layout at regular intervals between the top and bottom plates. Common studs are always identical lengths in a wall panel.

Compound angle

A compound angle is a miter angle and a bevel angle combined into one cut

Compound miter saw

A compound miter saw is a fixed base saw with hinged motor and blade for precise square and angled cuts in materials

Condensation drain valve

The condensation drain valve is a valve at the bottom of tank for draining of moisture that collects


A conductor is asingle wire that conducts electricity from one connection to another in a circuit


A conduit is a metal or plastic tube used to protect conductors from weather and abrasion that are not concealed within the walls, floor, or ceiling of a structure


Conspicuity is a term to describe something that is

 easily seen or noticed; readily visible or observable and attracting special attention


Continuity is a continuous electrical path that allows unrestricted flow of current

Cordless drill

A cordless drill is a battery-powered handheld tool for boring holes and driving fasteners


To countersink a fastener is to set the head of the screw or nail below the surface of a material when driving it


A coupling is a special straight fitting used to join two ends of pipe in a straight line


CPVC (Chlorinated PolyVinyl Chloride)  is a plastic supply line material that can handle water temperatures up to 200F


The cradle is a part of a caulk gun that holds the caulk cartridge


Crepe is small wrinkles in the tape that allows tape to flex and conform to irregularities in the surface

Cripple stud

A cripple stud is a partial length stud found under a window sill or over a header added to maintain the proper layout across a wall opening


A crook is abend or curve traveling the long direction of the board as seen while sighting its face. Sometimes referred to as the crown of the board

Cross cut

A cross cut is a type of cut that is made over the width of the material or board face that travels across the grain of the wood

Cross hand cutting

Cross hand cutting is adangerous hand position where the arms cross each other during a cut with a miter saw

Crow's foot

A crow’s foot is a ‘V’ shaped mark used to transfer a measurement accurately from the tape measure to the material


A crowbar is a large steel prying tool used for leverage


A crown is abend or curve traveling the long direction of the board as seen while sighting its face. Sometimes referred to as the crook of the board


To cure is a chemical process activated by the addition of a catalyst to a paint or other material to harden it within a specific time – a different process than air drying


To cut is the sharpness or ability of an abrasive to remove material

Cut guide notches

Cut guide notches are features of a saw that are usually stamped or marked on the front of the base plate that aid in lining up a cut when the bevel angle is set to either 0 degrees or 45 degrees.

Cut in

To cut in is abrushing process that makes a clean painted line around all trim and edges prior to rolling



A defoamer is a specially formulated additive to break down and release bubbles suspended in paint

Deformed shank nail

A deformed shank nail is a fastener with raised ridges on its shank that offer better holding power than smooth shank nails

Dermal absorption

Dermal absorption is the transport of a chemical from the outer surface of the skin through the skin and into the body

Detail sander

A detail sander is a type ofOrbital sander that has a specific shape pad good for detail work and finishing in tight spaces. Usually made with a specially shaped pad for working the tool into tight places and on complex surfaces


A dimension is a measurable distance of some kind, such as length, width, depth, or height.


A dimple is an indented spot that is lower than the surface level ready for filling (see burnish)

Direct-drive saw

A direct-drive saw is a type of circular sawwhere the blade is directly connected to the shaft of the saw motor. Sometimes referred to as a “sidewinder”

Double bevel compound miter saw

A double bevel compound miter saw is a compound miter saw with a bevel angle adjustment in two directions (left or right)

Double pole switch

A double pole switch is a disconnect device that controls two circuits

Double top plate

A double top plate is the combination of the top plate and the cap plate used to produce a stronger upper wall edge for a loadbearing wall


A drain is a continuously open fitting for collecting and removing wastewater

Driver depth adjustment

The driver depth adjustment is an adjustable wheel that sets fastener penetration depth on a nailer

Drop cloth

A drop cloth is a heavy cloth tarp used to protect floors and furniture during the painting process

Drop header

A drop header is a header placed just above a rough opening. Top cripples are used to carry the load from the top plate down to the drop header.

Dry paint film

Dry paint film is the layer of paint solids that remains when the carrier evaporates from the paint

Dry rolling

Dry rolling is applying paint with a roller that has little or no paint left in it producing thin uneven coats

Dual action

Dual-action is another name for “random orbital”

Dust bag

A dust bag is a receptacle for saw dust that attaches to the tool

Duty rating

Duty rating is thetotal weight in pounds a ladder is designed to hold including a person and all tools and materials they are carrying



A board edge is the narrowest side of any board

Edge grain

Edge grain is the grain pattern of the wood as seen from the side of the board

Edge sealing

Edge sealing is a masking process where a sealer is applied over the tape edge to help prevent paint bleed


Elasticity is the ability of a material to stretch while still staying adhered to a surface


An elbow is an angular fitting used to change the direction of a pipe.

Electric drill

An electric drill is anelectric powered handheld tool for boring holes and driving fasteners with more torque than a cordless drill

Elevation view

An elevation view is a view of a building seen from one side, a flat representation of only one face. This is the most common view used to describe the external appearance of a building.

Emory cloth

Emory cloth is an abrasive sandpaper roll used for sanding and prepping copper pipe ends. 

End cap

An end cap is a fitting used to seal the end of a pipe or tube 

End grain

The end grain of a board is the grain pattern of the wood as seen from either cross-cut end

End stud

An end stud  is a vertical full length framing component placed at each end of the top and bottom plates that defines the length of the wall

Energy efficient framing

Energy efficient framing is a framing method using fewer framing components with the goal of eliminating unnecessary framing materials and creating fewer points of thermal bridging within the structure. The result is less energy needed to heat and cool a building


Epoxy is a durable surface coating that is very abrasion and chemical resistant. This specialized paint usually requires a hardener additive that cures the paint rather than air drying

Epoxy coated

Epoxy coated is a hardened paint coating meant as corrosion protection for exterior screws – usually applied over zinc electroplate

Extension ladder

An extension ladder is anadjustable lengthtwo part ladder type used to reach variable heights while leaned against a solid structure

Extension lines

Extension lines are drawn to clarify the exact starting and ending points to which dimension lines refer

Extension pole

An extension pole is anadjustable handle for longer reach while using a roller



The face is the smooth or waffled surface of a hammer that strikes a nail.

Face grain

Face grain is the the pattern of wood grain as seen from the face of the board

Fall arrest

Fall arrest is asafety system that will stop a worker's fall before the worker hits the surface below


To feather is aroller or brush technique that requires a lift at the end of a stroke to taper the paint on a wet edge


The fence is a raised edge on a speed square that rests against the material being marked for accurate reference.

Fence lock

A fence lock is a saw featureused to clamp the fence tight to the table to prevent movement once it is in position for a cut


A ferrule is a metal band used to fasten the bristles to the handle of a paint brush


Filaments are synthetic bristles made of nylon or polyester usually pointed or tipped to produce a better finish


Filler is a material used to level a small hole or void in a surface

Film build

Film build is theability of a paint to achieve thickness during application without sagging or dripping

Fine thread

Fine threads on a screw have a higher number of threads per inch for slower driving of screws and more grip in materials like sheet metal

Finish coat

The finish coat is the final paint layer formulated to provide the desired surface color, sheen, texture, level of durability, and protection

Finish hammer

A finish hammer is a medium-sized hammer with a flat face for detail fasteners

Finish nailer

A finish nailer is a tool for driving 15 gauge angle collated nails

Fire blocking

Fire blocking is blocking placed between two studs with the purpose of sealing the stud bay and preventing vertical airflow within the wall cavity

Fire exit

A fire exit is a specially designated exit for fast evacuation required for any public or commercial building. It must be well marked and never blocked or obstructed.

Fire extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is a special device required for fire control in an emergency. Designed to aid in creating a path for evacuation, not to fight a fire.

Fixed blade guard

The fixed blade guard of a saw is the section of the blade guard that does not retract or move during a cut but offers user protection from the blade during a cut


A fixture is a device that accepts wastewater or discharges fresh water ( i.e.- faucets, sinks, toilets, tubs)


Flammable is a term used to describe a material in a liquid or solid form that will ignite at a flash point of under 100 degrees

Flash point

Flash point is thetemperature at which a particular material will ignite


Flashing surface variations caused by the difference of underlying materials below the top coat and how the finish paint takes to differences in the surface


Flat is a term used to describe a paint sheen with a no gloss finish. Also called “matte”


A floorplan is a specific type of plan view from above showing the arrangement of walls and rooms at a particular level of a building


Flow is the ability for the paint to level out and heal when being applied for an even finish


Flush is when two surfaces or edges are in perfect alignment.


Flux is an acid paste used when soldering copper pipes and fittings  which is applied before soldering to aid bonding and flow of the solder

Fly section

The fly section is themoving ladder section of an extension ladder that increases the ladder’s reach


A foot is a larger standard unit of measure that is equivalent to 12 inches

Four stud corner

A four stud corner is a framing assembly that uses full studs and blocking to create a 90-degree wall connection with the inside corner nailer for drywall. Not considered energy efficient


A fraction is some specific part of a whole. For inches a fraction is expressed as ½, 1/4 , 1/8, or 1/16


Framing is the inner support structure of a building made of dimensional and engineered lumber assembled per a set of plans with specific rules and regular spacing

Framing hammer

A framing hammer is a larger hammer with a waffle face for driving larger nails into lumber

Framing nailer

A framing nailer is a pneumatic tool used for driving 8d to 16d angle collated nails

Framing square

A framing square is a large measuring tool used to identify 90 degrees and other angles


Friction is resistance that one surface encounters when moving over another which creates heat


Fuel is material in solid, liquid or gas form that will serve to sustain a fire once it is ignited



A gallon is the liquid volume measurement indicating tank size of a compressor


Galvanized is a term to describe thin Zinc plating applied to steel to resist corrosion when exposed to moisture


A gang is the width of a junction box that holds one electrical device like a switch or outlet


A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter  or GFCI is a shock prevention device that shuts off power if an imbalance of current flow is detected between the line and neutral wires


Glazing is a term used to describe the glass components of a window


Gloss is a term used to describe the highest sheen for paint which has more shine than semi-gloss


The grain of wood is the pattern of the tree growth rings as they show in a milled piece of lumber. Wood grain affects the strength of wood and follows the cellular structure of the tree which always runs the length of a cut lumber board.


Grit is the level of abrasion of the sandpaper surface – higher number means a finer smoother finish can be achieved and lower numbers produce a rougher finish

Ground wire

A ground wire is a safety conductor in a circuit identified by a bare copper or green colored insulated wire that can carry rogue current to earth in an emergency


A guardrail is ahorizontal protective member intended to prevent persons from passing beyond a given point on a scaffold system

Guide notches

Guide notches are a speed square feature that assists in drawing lines that are parallel to the fence edge



A halyard is a special rope installed on an extension ladder that allows the user to extend the fly section from the ground easily

Hammer drill

A hammer drill is a special drill that delivers a rapid succession of forward blows while turning the bit simultaneously. Used for drilling masonry, tile, or stone

Hand pressed

Hand-pressed is a masking process where the tape is sealed with hand pressure only – not best practice

Hand sanding

Hand sanding is a manual sanding process using only sandpaper or sanding blocks or sponges. This is a slower method good for small details or intricate shapes and surfaces


The handle is the hammer component connecting the grip to hammer head.


HazCom is an abbreviation for Hazard Communication Standard which is a communication system that produces standards for labeling chemicals and SDS sheets with hazard information


The head of a hammer is the entire metal component made up of the hammer face, neck, cheek and claw.


A header is an overhead beam used to carry and distribute weight above and around a rough opening


HEPA or High Efficiency Particulate Air or HEPA is a designation used to describe filters that are able to trap 99.97 percent of particles that are 0.3 microns

High header

A high header is placed in full contact with the underside of the top plate and no top cripples. This configuration often requires additional non-structural framing below to define the top edge of the rough opening.


The hook is the bent metal precision part at the beginning of a tape measure that represents zero

Hook and loop

Hook and loop is a mechanical fastening system that does not require adhesive (the technical name for “Velcro”)


A hose is a flexible tube that connects compressor to air tool and carries pressurized air for use

Hose bib

A hose bib is a water supply valve with a threaded male connector for connecting a washing machine or exterior hose.

Hot dipped

Hot dipped is a fastener coating process where the item is covered with molten zinc for extra corrosion protection



ID or Inside Diameter is the inside dimension of a round pipe or tube


An impact is a repetitive force or strike that mimics the action of a hammer

Impact driver

An impact driver is a drill type that delivers a constant forward and rotational force to assist in driving a fastener

Improper fraction

An improper fraction is one in which the numerator is greater than the denominator, (ex 5/4).


Infrared is long wavelengths of radiation that transmits heat


Jack stud

A Jack stud is a partial-length stud that serves as a stilt or brace underneath each end of a header. Installed in pairs and fastened to the king studs, these define the left and right inside dimensions of the rough opening. Also referred to as a trimmer stud

Jig saw

A jig saw is avariable speed handheld saw with a flat base is used to cut curves out of material using a small straight reciprocating blade

Junction box

A junction box is a plastic or metal enclosure that houses outlets, switches, wire ends, and connections for user and fire safety purposes



Kerf is the notch made when material is lost during a cut. The width of this notch is relative to the blade tooth width.


Kickback is a safety hazard that causes violent and sudden bucking of a saw or ejecting of material from the saw at high speed towards the user – see “Binding”

Kickback arrestor

A kickback arrestor is a safety feature on a table saw that only allows the material to move front to back when cutting, thus preventing the material being thrown forward during a cut

King stud

A king stud is the last full stud on each side of a rough opening. It helps hold the rough opening assembly parts together and connect them to the top and bottom plates.


Knitted is a looser roller cover fabric backing. Holds more paint but yields less of a smooth finish than woven covers


A knot is a tough, usually dark spot in a board where a tree limb once was.


Krypton is gas filled between glass panes to slow heat transfer through a window



A ladder is an important tool to assist in reaching heights above the normal level of reach

Ladder blocking

Ladder blocking is a series of horizontal boards placed in a stud bay for a solid T wall and sometimes corner wall connection


Latex is a paint category that uses water as the liquid carrier. Remains water soluble until it has fully dried


A lavatory is a sink or washbasin in a bathroom


Layout is the regular placement of studs in a wall, floor, roof, or ceiling framing. Common layout patterns are 12”, 16”, and 24” on center


Level means perfectly horizontal relative to the earth’s gravity


Leveling is the process of creating a flat fill over an indented area that cannot be seen by the eye or felt with a hand.

Leveling is also a flow aspect of paint that allows the applied paint film to flatten out to a consistent finish while wet


A line  is a drawing feature of different types and thicknesses used to indicate the built structure and specific components of a building

Line wire

A line wire is a conductor used to feed electricity to a circuit. This part of the circuit is usually identified by conductors with black or red insulation color and gold colored terminals on devices

Linesman pliers

Linesman pliers are a wide tipped gripping tool for cutting and twisting wire

Load center

A load center is a metal enclosure that holds main supply wires, the main disconnect, and individual branch circuit wires and circuit breakers

Loadbearing wall

A loadbearing wall is a wall supporting any vertical load in addition to its own weight. These walls must include special framing details like structural headers for rough openings and a double top plate


Loading is the specific process of adding paint to a brush or roller before applying it to a surface

Locking hinge

A locking hinge is a specially designed pivoting component on an articulated ladder that automatically locks at each predetermined orientation (eg: fully closed for storing, A frame, and straight extension positions)

Locking spreaders

Locking spreaders are devices on a step ladder for securely holding the front and rear rails apart

Long stroke

The long stroke is the fully extended position of the saw blade as it reciprocates

Low E coating

A Low E coating  is a glass surface treatment that reflects infrared and UV light while allowing visible light to pass through

Lumber grade

A lumber grade is a rating scale for lumber used to judge lumber based on appearance and strength (1 to 4 and A to D)


Machine sanding

Machine sanding is a faster sanding process using specialized machines to hold the sandpaper and work the surface. This method is good for large areas, production work, and a more consistent finish


The magazine is the spring loaded chamber of a nailer for holding a supply of collated nails to be fed automatically into the gun


A masker is a hand tool that loads and dispenses tape and masking plastic or paper rolls quickly for production prep work


Masking is a prep process where tape and plastic or paper sheets are used to protect areas that do not receive paint

Masking tape

Masking tape is a roll of adhesive paper or plastic used to prevent paint from being applied to certain areas


Matte is a term to describe a paint sheen with a no gloss finish. Also called “flat


A miter is an angle cut made with the broad face of the board lying flat on the base of a miter saw and the vertical blade pivoted left or right to form an angle

Miter angle gauge

A miter angle gauge indicates the angle a miter saw is set to. Usually from 0 to up to 45 or more degrees.

Miter gauge

A miter gauge is a saw feature that allows for crosscuts in the material on a saw made for rip cuts

Miter latch

A miter latch is a catch that automatically clicks into predetermined angles on a miter saw, like 0 and 45 degrees.


The motor is an electric or fuel powered compressor component that moves a piston in a cylinder to produce the compressed air­­

Moveable blade guard

The movable blade guard is a safety feature of a saw that covers the spinning blade when not in use and moves out of the way as material is passed through it


A mullion is a vertical structural divider that separates multiple windows in the same unit

Multi fire setting

The multi fire setting on a nail gun allows multiple sequential nails to leave the gun with the trigger held each time the safety tip is pressed to the surface


Nail gauge

Nail gauge is the measure of the wire or shank thickness of a pneumatic nail. Smaller gauge = thicker nail

Nail plate

A nail plate is a protective steel plate fastened to framing to protect a pipe or tube from damage from  being pierced by a fastener


Nap is the fibers attached to a roller cover. Comes in different lengths for coating different surfaces. Another term for “pile

Nap size

Nap size refers to the length of fibers on a roller cover. Also called pile height


The neck of a hammer is the area connecting the hammer face to the cheek.

Needle nose pliers

Needle nose pliers are a fine-tipped gripping tool with adjustable jaws


A neutral wire is a conductor used to complete a circuit and carry current back to the original power source. This part of the circuit is usually identified by conductors with white-colored insulation and silver terminals at devices


NIOSH is an acronym for The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is an organization that sets standards for the manufacture of respirators and other PPE equipment


NM or"Non-Metallic" is a term used to describe a (plastic) jacketed multi-conductor cable. Color-coded for gauge sizes commonly used in concealed spaces like walls floors and ceilings. Often Called Romex

Nominal dimension

A nominal dimension is one existing in name only and not matching the material’s actual measurements


Notes are text-based enhancements of built components or systems to clarify an aspect or feature. These often include abbreviations to save space


The nozzle is the pointed end of a caulk cartridge that the bead flows from


Nylon is a bristle material suited for latex paint application which is softer and more absorbent than polyester



An O-ring is a rubber washer that is round in profile instead of flat. Used in valve stems and push-on fittings to create a watertight seal 


O.C. or on center is even spacing of studs in a wall or other parts in a ceiling or floor by measuring to the center of each component. 


OD orOutside Diameter is the outside dimension of a round pipe or tube


Oil-based paint is a category of paint that includes Alkyds and Enamels and uses oil as a liquid carrier instead of water. Also requires chemical solvents for cleanup

On center

On center refers to the process of placing studs or other framing members centered on a specific repeated spacing in a wall (like 12”,16”, 24”). Sometimes expressed as "O.C."

ON/off switch

The on/off switch is an electric switch that supplies current to the automatic shutoff stage of a compressor

Orbital action adjustment

The orbital action adjustment is a dial to set more or less circular motion to the cutting action of a reciprocating blade – more orbital motion = faster, rougher, and more aggressive cut

Orbital sander

An orbital sander is a tool that uses very small vibrating circular motions to slowly remove material

Organic vapors

Organic vapors are liquids that evaporate quickly in a gas and are usually petroleum-based (ex – acetone, paint, gasoline)


OSB stands for Oriented Strand Board which is a Panel made from stranded wood products bound together with glue under high pressure

Oscillating multitool

An oscillating multitool is a vibrating detail cutting tool for making fine cuts in various materials

Outfeed supports

Outfeed supports aresite made supports that hold the cutting material level, so it does not fall or bind during or after the cut.


Outriggers aresupport components of a scaffold that extends beyond the frame down to the ground to provide extra stability to the structure


Overbrushing is an overlapping brush technique that allows the paint to begin to dry before leveling. This method produces obvious visible brush strokes and paint defects


Paint bleed

Paint bleed is a painting defect where paint leaks behind the tape edge producing a less than perfect paint line

Paint primer

Paint primer is a prep coat for raw surfaces that acts as an adhesive layer for the paint. Primers can also work as fillers and surface sealers and always need a top finish coat applied

Paint tray

A paint tray is a special container to help load a roller with paint for application

Paint tray well

The paint tray well is the deep end of a paint tray that holds the bulk of the paint. 

Painter's tape

Painter’s tape is special tape used for masking that offers extended-release time

Palm nailer

A palm nailer is a pneumatic tool used for easier nailing in confined spaces and driving various single nails with heads

Pancake compressor

A pancake compressor is a small, flattened, cylindrical type of portable compressor.


A pane is a separate defined glass area of a window

Panel break

A panel break is where the outside edge of a sheet good material will land on framing when the stud layout is correct. Panel breaks on layout usually fall on the centerline of a stud


Parallel is a term used to describetwo side by side lines that run the same direction and are exactly the same distance apart everywhere


Particulate is very small airborne particles


PASS is an acronym that stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep -a helpful way to remember method for effectively using a fire extinguisher


Penny is a term used to describe variousnail sizing that grows in numbers as the nail size increases


Permanence is the state or quality of lasting


Perpendicular is two lines, planes or surfaces that meet at a right angle or 90 degrees to each other


PEX or Crosslinked Polyethylene tubing is a flexible plastic water supply line that is uses special slip in fittings and bands or rings to seal


A Phillips is a cross-shaped driver type that has a self-centering design

Phosphate coated

Phosphate coated fasteners offer minimal corrosion protection for fasteners that appears as a dull black finish – not acceptable for exterior use or long term exposure to moisture


Pigment is a paint component that determines the color of the finished surface. Often made of ground metal compounds like “iron or titanium oxide”


Pile is the fibers attached to a roller cover. Another term for “nap

Pilot hole

A pilot hole is a hole bored that is the size of a screw shank for easier driving of a fastener. See Predrilling

Pin nailer

A pin nailer is an pneumatic tool for driving 23 gauge collated pins

Pipe joint compound

Pipe joint compound is a thick paste applied to pipe threads to create a water-tight seal at threaded joints. Sometimes call pipe dope

Pipe strap

Pipe strap isspecial hardware used to secure plumbing lines to framing

Pivot arm lock

The pivot arm lock is apin that locks the pivot arm, motor, and blade assembly down into a compact and closed position on a miter saw

Pivot point

A pivot point is the location where the fence meets the ruler edge on a speed square. The tool is rotated on this point for measuring angles

Pivoting feet

The pivoting feet of a ladder grip different types of ground and allow for minor corrections to make the ladder stable even when it is  on not perfectly flat surfaces

Plan view

Plan view is a view of a building from directly above. Also called aerial view or bird’s eye view.


A plasticizer is a paint additive that promotes better flexibility of the film coat


Plumb is the condition of being perfectly vertical relative to the earth’s gravity

Plumb bob

A plumb bob is aheavy pointed object attached to the end of a string that hangs straight down to determine a perfectly vertical or plumb line

Plunge cut

A plunge cut is the act of lowering a blade through a material’s surface with no outside edge to start with


The plunger is the part of a caulk gun that applies pressure to the end of the caulk tube


Pneumatic is a term used to describe tools operated by air or gas under pressure.


Polyester is a bristle material suited for latex paint application that is firmer than nylon but less absorbent and harder to clean


Polyurethane is a tough clear finish coat that can be oil or water based which is more resistant to water, solvents, abrasion, and impacts than traditional varnish


Potable is a term used for water that is suitable for drinking

Power rating

A power rating for a caulk gun is the number given related to the mechanical advantage built into the tool. Typically expressed as a ratio ex – (1:10 )


PPE isPersonal Protective Equipment that includes special safety-related gear designed to prevent a specific type of injury to the user


Predrilling is the process of making a pilot hole before driving a fastener


Prep or “prepping” is the process of making a surface or area ready for painting

Pressure gauge

A pressure gauge is a device with a dial and a needle which visually indicates tank and air outlet pressure – usually in PSI

Pressure regulator

The pressure regulator of an air compressor is a device which controls outlet tool pressure to the hose

Pressure relief valve

The pressure relief valve is a safety backup device which relieves excessive tank pressure over a certain PSI in the case of equipment failure

Pry bar

A pry bar is a small flat tool for separating boards and removing nails


PSI or Pounds per Square Inch is a unit used to measure air pressure where the pressure is measured against a 1” x 1” portion of the tank’s container wall

Pull measurement

A pull measurement is made by placing the blade hook on an edge, extended the blade from the case and taking a measurement under tension

Pull stroke

The pull stroke is an upward motion of reciprocating blade travel during a cut = shortest depth of cut

Push measurement

A push measurement is made by pressing the hook end of the blade into an object, extending the blade, and using standout of the blade to take an accurate measurement

Push stick

A push stick is a table saw safety accessory that keeps helps guide material through a cut while keeping the user’s hands at a safe distance from the blade

Push stroke

The push stroke is the downward motion of reciprocating blade travel during a cut = longest depth of cut


The pushrod is the part of a caulk gun that connects the plunger head to the trigger; also is used to open the plunger fully for easy loading


PVC is a white plastic pipe used for supply lines and also drain, waste and vent pipes. 

PVC cement

PVC cement is a chemical solvent-based glue used to weld PVC pipe and fittings together

PVC primer

PVC primer is a solvent-basedchemical used to clean and soften plastic pipe and fittings before the glue is applied. Typically purple in color


Quick connectors

Quick connectors are m­­ale or female fittings found on compressor outlets, tool and hose ends that attach to each other to make air tight connections without the need for tools



R value is a rating of a material and its ability to resist heat transfer (higher number = less heat transfer)

Rafter hook

The rafter hook is a foldable hook on side of the saw used for hanging the tool when not in use


Rails are continuous structural ladder parts that hold the rungs in place


The rake is the section of a paint tray where a roller is properly loaded. Sometimes referred to as the “ramp”

Raking light

Raking light is the placement of a light source at an extreme angle to a surface to help emphasize defects


The ramp is the section of a paint tray where a roller is properly loaded. Sometimes referred to as the “rake”

Random orbital

Random orbital is a sanding action that slowly spins a circular sanding disk while simultaneously using an orbital action to help prevent swirl marks

Random orbital sander

A random orbital sander is a tool that adds a slow spinning motion of an abrasive disc together with an orbital motion for better finishing


A rattail is a pointed thin long brush handle style best for detail painting


Reciprocating is a back and forth action of a blade that moves in a straight line to make a cut.

Reciprocating saw

A reciprocating saw is an aggressive saw that pushes and pulls a straight blade for rough cuts in wood and metal. Often used for demolition


A reducer is a special fitting that enables a decrease in pipe size


The reel is a spool on which a string line can be wound around inside of a chalk line


Reflective is a term used to describe a material’s ability to gather surrounding light, focus it, and resend it without having any light source of its own

Release time

Release time is the estimated time to remove tape with no adhesive residue left behind


A respirator is a breathing filter that separates the user from harmful airborne particulate, fumes, vapors or gases

Reverse switch

The reverse switch of a drill changes the rotational direction of the motor and the chuck.

Reverse thread

A reverse thread is bolt threading that tightens using a counterclockwise direction which is the reverse of most standard threads

Right angle

A right angle is a90-degree angle that is considered perpendicular and ‘square’

Ring shank

Ring shank nails have a shank style that adds extra grip with raised ridges along its length

Rip cut

A rip cut is a cut made by running the saw parallel to the wood grain or the long direction of the board

Riving knife

A riving knife is a safety feature on a table saw that is fixed just behind the spinning blade and is used to help prevent binding of material during a cut and also prevent kickback; It is sometimes called a “splitter

Roller cover

A roller cover is a fabric-covered tube used to apply paint to walls and other large surfaces

Roller frame

A roller frame is a part of a roller system that holds the roller cover and allows it to spin freely

Roller guide

The roller guide is agrooved roller bearing to help align the jigsaw blade and minimize blade flexing during the cut


Romex is a term used to describe a (plastic) jacketed multi-conductor cable. Color-coded for gauge sizes commonly used in concealed spaces like walls floors and ceilings.

Rosin paper

Rosin paper is a heavy paper roll that can be used for floor protection – usually pink in color

Rough opening

A rough opening is the four sided open space formed in a wall panel with its edges are defined by the header, jack studs, and sill (window). Usually built larger than the door or window that will be placed in it.

Rubber mallet

A rubber mallet is a specialty soft faced hammer designed to protect a surface 


A rung is a horizontal support on a ladder that serves as a support for a foot or a hand when ascending or descending

Rung locks

Rung locks or dogs secure the fixed and fly ladder sections together at whatever height is chosen


Rungs on a ladderserve as steps for ascending or descending


Safety switch

A safety switch is a special ON and OFF feature of a power tool that requires an extra step for turning ON and an easier one step or automatic OFF function. This special switch can prevent accidental operation and easier shutoff in case of an emergency.

Safety tip

The safety tip of a nail gun is a feature of an air nailer that must be pressed to a surface before the gun will fire


Sandpaper is special paper with an abrasive layer attached to one side for smoothing and leveling surfaces in preparation for painting

Sandwich header

A sandwich header is asolid structural site made beam made of layers of material such as lumber and OSB laminated together to span over a rough opening


A sash is a movable or fixed section of a window that holds the glass

Sash brush

A sash brush is a detail brush (usually with an angled bristle head) for cutting in and other fine brush work. Sometimes called a “trim” or “cut in” brush

Sash lock

A sash lock is a window component used to secure a movable sash in the window frame for security


Satin is a term used to describe amedium gloss sheen. It is duller than semigloss with more shine than eggshell


Scale is the amount of reduction from actual size that a building is drawn to. Expressed as a ratio (Ex. ¼” = 1’)


SCFM or Standard Cubic Feet per Minute is a measurement of the maximum volume of air a specific compressor can deliver while running. Typically given with a PSI number as well (ex. 2.6 SCFM @ 90PSI)


A schedule is a designation for how thick the wall is for a pipe. Higher schedule numbers meaning a thicker wall. The most common schedules are Sch 40 and Sch 80, but the actual wall thickness varies depending on the size of the pipe.


A screwdriver is a hand-held tool to install or remove screws and threaded fasteners


SDS are Safety Data Sheets or product reports that include information such as the properties and ingredients of a specific material; the physical, health, and environmental health hazards; protective measures when using; and safety precautions for handling, storing, and transporting the material


Sealer is a type of primer that seals and protects the surface material being coated.


A seam is aline or gap where two surfaces meet that requires caulking. Often has a level change or corner edge to it

Secondary grip

The secondary grip is the location where the support hand holds the tool during operation.

Section view

Section view is aview showing an interior area or hidden part of a building by cutting away or removing layers of the structure. Also called a cutaway.


Semigloss is a medium gloss sheen. Duller than gloss but more shine thansatin

Service wires

Service wires are large wires that supply power to the load center from the meter

Set time

Set time is the amount of working time before a setting compound hardens and loses its workability


The shank of a fastener includes the shaft of a nail or screw not including the threads, head, or point


A shasta is a classic distinctive contoured brush handle favored for larger brushes


A sheath is a protective cover for a tool or brush – usually tool-specific used to protect the tool or user while being stored


Sheathing is panel materials fastened to the exterior of a building to add shear strength to the framing and/or help enclose the structure


A shoe is the foot of a ladder, usually has a non-slip surface like rubber or plastic for greater traction on hard surfaces.

The shoe of a saw is the base of a reciprocating saw for support as it is held against the material while cutting

Shoe plate

A shoe plate is the lower continuous horizontal wall framing component that holds the studs in place at the floor. Also referred to as a bottom plate or a sole plate

Short stroke

A short-stroke is the fully retracted position of the saw blade as it reciprocates

Shutoff valve

A shutoff valve is a service valve installed under sinks and toilets used to stop the flow of water in a supply line in the event of a malfunction or repair.

Side rail

The side rails of a ladder are vertical components which hold the steps or rungs together and provide structural strength to the whole assembly


A sidewinder is a type of circular sawwhere the blade is directly connected to the shaft of the saw motor. Sometimes referred to as a direct-drive saw


To sight a board is to view it from one end to determine its straightness or specific defects


Siliconized in a terms used to describe caulk products that are mainly latex based with a certain amount of silicon added in to improve its workability, durability, and elasticity


The sill is the lower horizontal board that defines the bottom edge of a window rough opening

Single bevel compound miter saw

A single bevel compound miter saw is a saw with a bevel angle adjustment in one direction only (typically to the left as you are facing the front of the saw)

Single fire setting

The single fire setting on an air nailer is a setting that allows only one fastener to leave the gun with each pull of the trigger

Single ladder

A single ladder is a non-self-supporting portable ladder that is fixed in length, consisting of one solid section with no moving parts.

Single pole switch

A single pole switch is adisconnect device that controls one circuit

Single tank compressor

A single tank compressor is a portable compressor type with one storage tank

Single-ply header

A single-ply header is a configuration that uses a single layer of material as a header pushed to the front or back face of the rough opening. Additional framing is required to complete the rough opening


A sledgehammer is a larger heavier hammer used for forceful blows like demolition work


A sleeve is another term used for a roller cover

Slide compound miter saw

A sliding compound miter saw is a compoundmiter saw with an added sliding action of the blade and motor for cross-cutting larger materials

Sliding compound miter saw

A sliding compound miter saw is a compoundmiter saw with an added sliding action of the blade and motor for cross-cutting larger materials

Slip joint pliers

Slip joint pliers are a medium-sized gripping tool with adjustable jaws


A slope is the pitch or drop of a drainpipe to achieve a downhill slant for the proper removal of wastewater in a plumbing system. The typical slope of drains is ¼” per linear foot of drain line


Smolder is a term used to describe a fire that burns slowly and produces a large amount of smoke but no visible flame


Solder is a metal alloy with a low melting point used to join copper and brass pipe and fittings. Also the act of melting solder into a joint

Sole plate

A sole plate is the lower continuous horizontal wall framing component that holds the studs in place at the floor. Also referred to as a bottom plate or a shoe plate

Solid wire

Solid wire is one single strand of material used as a conductor


Solids are paint ingredients that are left behind after the carrier evaporates. This element in the paint forms the hardened protective paint film


Solvent is a liquid in an oil-based paint that the solids are dissolved in to allow a paint film coat to be applied. The paint coat hardens by the evaporation of the solvent


Spackle is a prep step where holes and voids are leveled with filler. Derived from a German word meaning “filler”

Spackle knife

A spackle knife is a flat and flexible knife for scraping and filling defects on the surface. Also called a Blade or Putty knife


Span is the length of a beam, header, or other component or more specifically the distance it travels as it bridges from one side of and opening to another

Span rating

Span rating is a panel specification used to determine the stud layout needed to adequately support the sheathing material. Larger span ratings allow for greater stud spacings

Speed select switch

The speed select switch of a drill allows foradjustment of the maximum motor speed.  Typical settings are a lower number for a slower top speed and a higher number for faster top speed

Speed square

A speed square is a small measuring tool used to mark square and angled lines on lumber


A spinner is a tool for removing water from a brush or roller cover after washing

Spiral shank nails

Spiral shank nails have raised ridges along their length that works like screw threads for more grip in materials


A splitter is a table saw safety device that helps prevent kickback and another term for a riving knife


Square is the condition of two lines or planes that forming a 90 degree angle relative to each other

Staggered blocking

Staggered blocking alternates high and low block placement along a center line for end nailing of blocks on both sides

Staggered seams

Staggered seams are vertical joints shifted along framing members on layout to be non-continuous and dispersed along a wall, floor, or roof surface for the purpose of strength and/or aesthetics

Stain blocker

Stain blocker is a type of primer that works as a barrier to prevent discolorations in the surface material from leaching into the finish coat layer. Also called a sealer

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is a naturally corrosion-resistant material used for fasteners and hardware requiring extra protection in high corrosion environments


Standout is the ability of a tape measure blade to remain straight and extend out on its own, unsupported


A stapler is a pneumatic tool for driving 18-22 gauge collated staples


Stipple is the texture created by a rolled paint application. Can appear subtle or extreme based on the nap characteristics

Straight blocking

Straight blocking aligns blocks placed in a straight line requiring toenailing of one end of each block

Stranded wire

A stranded wire is a single conductor made of several smaller strands of wire bundledtogether.This wire type is more flexible than solid wire


Strap is special hardware used to secure conduit to a surface. Comes in one hole or two hole design

Strap nailer

A strap nailer is a pneumatic tool for driving teco nails into metal strap hardware


A stud is a general term used for anyvertical framing component found in a wall frame that is often weight bearing and falls on layout. Also see common stud, jack stud, king stud, end stud, cripple stud

Stud bay

A stud bay is the open space that exists between two studs within a wall frame


A substrate is a base surface material or layer that is being worked


To sweat is the process of sealing and connecting copper and brass fittings with flux, solder, and heat from a torch


A sweep is a pipe bend fitting used in drains to permit smooth passage of wastewater and waste.

Swirl marks

Swirl marks are a sanding defect identified by regular circular or arced lines in a sanded surface produced from a spinning circular disk


A symbol is a simpler mark, character, or drawing used as a substitute to represent a more complex actual object.



The table is ahorizontal saw surface that supports the material while being cut

Table locking knob

Table locking knob is a feature that can be used to lock a miter saw table at any angle

Table saw

A table saw is a saw with a motor and spinning blade mounted in a precision table with a fence guide and blade height and angle adjustments


The tank of a compressor is a steel walled storage container for holding the pressurized air


The tape of a tape measure is along steel strip wound into the case marked with measured units . Also called a blade

Tape measure

A tape measure is a compact measuring tool with a steel blade and markings


A tarp is a large cloth or plastic sheet used for protecting areas while prepping for paint


A tee is a fitting which allows three pipe ends to meet in the shape of a ‘T’. 

Teflon tape

Teflon tape is a flexible wrap with non-stick properties which is wound around pipe threads to create a water-tight seal of a male pipe end in a female fitting 


Tempered glass is a specialheat treated safety glass that shatters in small regular pieces when it breaks


Tension is the state of being pulled and stretched tight.


A terminal is a screw or clamp connection on an electrical device that secures a wire end

Three stud corner

A 3 stud corner is an energy efficient corner design with an accessible void for insulating. Also referred to as a California corner

Through wall

A through wall is the longer wall in a corner connection that the butt wall terminates into. This wall defines the outside corner of a room or building

Thumb release

The thumb release is the part of a caulk gun that removes pressure from the plunger when the gun is not in use

Tie coat

A tie coat is a specially engineered transition coat from the primer to the finish coat. Also called abonding primer


A TJI is a Truss Joist I beam which is an engineered beam with an “I” shaped profile made with a top and bottom web and flanges commonly used for floor structure

Tool oil

Tool oil is special oil used for internal lubrication of pneumatic tools


Tooling is the process of working a material with a tool to achieve a certain finish


Tooth is the roughness of a surface produced by sanding that promotes adhesion of coatings

Top cap

The top cap is the very top component of a step ladder that provides a place for tools and small materials but does not serve as a step

Top cripples

Top cripples areshort partial studs that travel from the top of the header in a rough opening to the top plate while following the stud layout pattern of the wall

Top plate

A top plate is an upper continuous wall framing component that holds the studs in place at the top of the wall


Topography is a series of contour lines on a site plan made to represent rises or falls in elevation of the actual site

Torpedo level

A torpedo level is a mini pocket level usually shorter than 12”


Torque is a rotational twisting force


A Torx is a star-shaped driver type that is self-centering and less prone to stripping out at the head if driven slightly off-axis


The trigger is the part of a caulk gun that takes finger pressure to move the push rod and plunger forward

Trimmer stud

A trimmer stud is a partial-length stud that serves as a stilt or brace underneath each end of a header. Installed in pairs and fastened to the king studs, these define the left and right inside dimensions of the rough opening. Also referred to as a jack stud

Truss head

Truss head screws are special screws that have a wider head than normal to offer better holding power for thin sheet materials

Twin tank compressor

A twin tank compressor is a portable compressor type with two storage tanks


Twist is awarp in which the board rotates slightly from one end to the other


U factor

U factor is a rating of a material and its ability to transfer heat (lower number = less heat transfer)


Uniformity is the overall consistency of the appearance of a paint coat


A union is a special straight line fitting used to connect and seal two ends of a pipe or tube. The multi-threaded connection allows for future disassembly 


To unload is the process of paint transfer from a properly loaded brush or roller to the target surface before distribution and finish


Urethane is a paint created by mixing pigment with polyurethanes. This paint type is good for exterior use and can be applied over oil-based enamels.

Utility knife

A utility knife is a retractable general-purpose razor cutting tool


UV or Ultraviolet radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation that is not visible to the eye but makes up 10% of sunlight. UV radiation is known for its ability to degrade and discolor materials over time



A valve is a plumbing device that regulates the flow of water

Variable speed trigger

A variable speed trigger is a trigger control in which more pressure increases motor speed progressively faster.


A vial is a sealed fluid filled cylinder with a bubble trapped inside that is precision mounted in a level to accurately read the condition of level and plumb

Vice grips

Vice grips are a locking type gripping tool with a superior holding strength


Viscosity is a measure of how thick a fluid is and how easily it flows


VOCs are “Volatile Organic Compounds” or vapors emitted from a material that is man-made or naturally occurring that can have long term health effects from exposure


Waffle face

A waffle face is a textured or raised grid pattern on a framing hammer face for better traction when striking a nail head.

Wall brush

A wall brush is a high volume brush type for painting walls and other large flat surfaces


Wane is a missing corner of a board’s square milled edge as a result of cutting the board from a location in the log that was too close to the outer tree perimeter


Water hammer

Water hammer is the hydraulic shock that happens when water pressure within a plumbing circuit changes suddenly causing vibration and movement in the pipes and fittings of a plumbing circuit.


Water-based refers to paint or other chemical compound that has water as the main ingredient for viscosity

Weep hole

A weep hole is a drain feature on a window that allows trapped water to exit

Wet edge

A wet edge is the workablearea where paint has just been applied to a surface where overlap can occur without overbrushing

Window frame

A window frame is a four-sided section of the window unit that holds the fixed or movable sashes

Wire gauge

Wire gauge is a measurement of the thickness of a conductor. Lower numbers indicate thicker wire

Wire nut

A wire nut is a device for securing two or more wire ends together and while insulating the bare ends from arcing or electrical shock

Wire staple

A wire staple is a simple fastener for securing Romex wire to framing


Workability is how well the material can be tooled to a proper finish before it begins to dry or set

Worm drive saw

A worm drive saw is a saw where themotor is connected to the blade through a right angle gearbox which adds weight and extra torque to the tool.


Woven is one process used to attach fibers to a roller cover that provides a denser nap than a knitted roller. This type of roller holds less paint than knitted but yields a finer finish


A wye is a fitting with three openings that connects two drain lines together in the shape of a “y”


X paper

X paper is heavier reusable rolls of floor protection material



Xenon is a gas-filled between glass panes to slow heat transfer through a window



Zinc is a soft silver colored metal used for protection of fasteners applied as a coating or plating

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