Posted on May 4, 2017 by Heritage

While seasoned builders are likely already familiar with the equipment needed for erecting steel buildings, there are a few tools available that those new to Heritage’s steel buildings may not have heard of or seen before. If you are able to purchase or rent these tools, it will make installation of your steel building much smoother and faster. And, of course, always take proper safety precautions when using power tools and come outfitted in appropriate clothing and gear.


Spud Wrench

AKA: Podging Spanner, Podger

A spud wrench is necessary for the installation of your steel building’s purlins and girts. It’s a fixed or adjustable crescent wrench with a spike (or drift pin) at the end of the handle. It’s used by wedging the spike into two pre-punched bolt holes, e.g., in a lapped connection, in order to line them up so they can be bolted together.


Impact Wrench

AKA: Impact Driver, Pneumatic Spanner, Windy Spanner, Rattle Gun, Windy Gun

An impact wrench is a power tool that delivers quick, repeated impulses of torque. It can be air-powered or electric. A ½”-drive impact wrench will be used to tighten A325 bolts to “snug-tight” in bolted connections. The tension can be adjusted to avoid under- or over-tightening the bolts or stripping the heads.

Screw Gun

AKA: Driver, Scrugun™*

A screw gun looks very similar to a standard power drill, but it’s a specialized tool that is indispensible in placing roof and wall screws when installing panels on your steel building. It’s variable-speed, torque-adjustable up to 2,500 RPMs, and generally has a high-current motor to provide more power for working with longer or thicker screws. Another feature unique to a screw gun is the adjustable nose (as opposed to a chuck) that allows for screw-depth control. You must apply pressure in the nose to engage the clutch, so once the screw is flush with the panel, it will automatically stop turning. This allows you to avoid grinding the head of the screw against the panel, which can cause damage to the surface or a reduction in water-tightness. They come corded or cordless, and this will be a large factor in the cost.

*Scrugun™ is a trademarked brand name for DeWalt’s screw gun.



Nibblers are a power tool that make cutting sheet metal very easy and ensures your edges won’t get chewed up or bent. The blade moves against a die, and it cuts a thin kerf as the tool is moved sideways across the sheeting.


Power Shears

AKA: Metal Shears, Sheet Metal Shears

Power shears look similar to tin snips. They are, however, electronically powered and have two parallel blades that cut a narrow track of metal which spirals up as the metal is trimmed.