Make Labels for Every Tool and Make Your Job Easier

Good organization is one of the keys in a safe, cost-efficient, and results-effective workplace. When you make labels for your every tool, taking the first step toward it. But effective labeling isn’t just about the workplace, too.


Also Read: How to acquire and maintain an organized workspace?

You can easily identify your tools even when these are in your neighbor’s toolbox. Your investments in these tools will not come to nothing since these can be returned. But labeling your tools has its own set of challenges.

Where do you start? What types of labeling materials are suitable for the job? Where to place the labels? Here are a few effective tips that you can keep in mind.

Also Read: How to organize your tools?



Adopt The 5S Program

Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota, developed the 4S Program to produce higher efficiency. Many modern companies have also adopted it for their own reasons – and so can you! Basically, the 5 “S” represent five Nippongo words:

  • Seiri –sort
  • Seiton – straighten
  • Seiso – shine
  • Seiketsu – standardize
  • Shitsuke sustain

The first two – seiri and seiton – are the most important in making effective labels for your tools. The 5S program doesn’t need significant investments in time, energy and money.

You can work with your existing resources and layout. You will instead concentrate on cleaning and organizing your work area including:

  • The removal of unused tools, equipment, and supplies
  • The organization of related tools into logical work groups
  • The labeling of tools for an easy visual reference
Adopt The 5S Program

You shouldn’t stop with the labeling since it’s just the start. You have to adopt measures to achieve repeatable results and maintain the new order.

Your 5S commitment is a continuing one while the benefits just keeping coming. Let’s start with the sorting process. As an avid carpenter or woodworker,  you’re likely a tool collector. You must make critical examinations of your tool collection to make these decisions:

  • Which tools have the most uses in your workshop?
  • Which tools have gathered dust in the corner?
  • What should be done with the tools for removal?

You can donate and sell your unwanted tools. You may even be able to gather enough money to buy the tools and shelves for your workshop! You will also end up with more space, less clutter, and increased productivity.

When only the most useful tools are in your workshop, you have to straighten them. You’re setting them in order according to Ben Franklin’s adage.

A place for everything and everything in its place. With your tools set in order, you can easily label them. For example, you can place all the layout tools on your worktable. With them all in one place, you will have an easier time at labeling.


When all the work groups or kits have been labeled, you can quickly put them in their right places. For example, all cutting tools are on one wall while all layout tools are in a shelf. Your work will be faster, too, since you don’t have to rummage through a clutter of tools and supplies.


Tips for Making Tool Labels

With your tools sorted and set in order, your next step is labeling them. You should spend at least an hour on the task, perhaps more in case bins, drawers and boxes also need labeling.

  • Use bold black letters when labeling small and large tools. This will make it easier to identify them when mixed up with other people’s tools. Even people with low-vision issues can tell an Allen wrench from a router collet wrench.
  • Label items used frequently but are also often mistaken with similar items. Even your young kids can be taught the names and uses for various tools through their labels.
  • Place your name and/or mark on the tool. You can either make it prominent or placed in a corner but place it to signify your ownership.
  • Use color-coding schemes for the tools, too. You can place orange duct tapes on the Allen wrenches to differentiate them from the other types.
labeling tool

When labeling, you have to remember two things. First, labelling is a means to organize your tools. Second, it’s a means to signify your ownership of these tools. Your labeling job will be so much faster and easier with these things in mind. Also, you don’t have to label everything.

But it also pays to label the “hidden storage” areas, such as cabinets, drawers and bins. You don’t have to open so many cabinets and bins just to find a single item.

You have so many choices in labeling materials, too.

  • Paint pens in various colors are suitable for all surfaces, even metal
  • Instant labels made from fastener boxes. Cut off the labels and tape to the front of drawers)
  • Vinyl or duct tape on tools but don’t cover the size markings. For example, red tape for SAEs, blue tape for metric wrenches.
  • Chalkboard paint for metal bins, jars and drawers (i.e., suitable for reusable labels)
  • Refrigerator magnets covered with chalkboard paint
  • Printable magnetic labels (i.e., magnetic sheets with computer-printable surfaces)
  • Self-adhesive chalkboard labels
  • Self-stick vinyl labels with reflective colors
  • Stencil on tools, equipment and tool cases
  • Adhesive storage pouches that can be filled with index cards. You can even use a bin index in case the bins are stacked high. Instead of scanning the rows of bins, you can scan your bin list.

You have so many choices in labeling materials, too. You can then go directly to the bin instead of opening one too many of them.

Final Verdict

Labeling your tools, cabinets and bins will take time, energy and money. But when you think of the benefits of labeling, you will be more than willing to spend them.

Your workshop will be a safer, more productive, and more enjoyable place to be in. You can start by sorting and setting your tools in order.

Your next step is to label them as well as the cabinets, drawers and bins where these will be stored. Your workplace will not only be clutter-free, your mind can follow suit. And we know the importance of a clutter-free mind when you’re working with power and manual tools!

Related Resources:

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments