Four Speciality Tools You Need To Get To Build A Stone Retaining Wall

If you're planning on building a stone retaining wall on your property, then it is important to make sure you have the right tools. Working with stone will require some special items that you might not have in your tool box. So, this list is going to help you figure out exactly what you need to get before you start work. You don't want to try and build the wall with your regular tools; you will end up with broken hammers and chisels and an poorly setup retaining wall. Certain tools you will already have (shovels, picks, etc..) but other items you will need to get. Here are 4 particular ones to make sure you have.

Masonry Chisel

If you are working with rock, you will need to get a chisel that is designed to work with stone. Don't try to use a wood chisel, they can break if used with stone.

The chisel will be used to score the stone and then you can use a small sledgehammer to break it to shape. This is done so that you can "even out" the rough shaped rocks. It helps when you are trying to make a particular stone fit. Natural rock will not all come in the same size, so you will have to alter a few of the more oddly shaped stones. Ideally, you will choose natural stones that are all close to the same size, but in certain spots (cap stones, for instance) you will have to chisel them to get them perfect in size.

Masonry Hammer

Sometimes you can chip off flakes and edges without using a chisel, as long as it's not a particularly thick spot on the stone. You can do this using a masonry hammer. These have sharp edges that are used to tap away at the rock. The regular "hammer" end can be used to hammer your chisel. You don't want to try using your regular framing hammer because they are too blunt and too large. The masonry hammer is sharper and more precise.

Masonry Drill Bits

Often times what a person will do is front the retaining wall with natural stone, and back it with concrete blocks. If you are planning on using concrete blocks, then you should get masonry drill bits. You can use these to drill holes into the concrete blocks and then connect them with rebar and cement (or a special adhesive). Masonry drill bits are a specialty tool item that you should have on hand because your regular drill bits will burn and get dull when used on stone or concrete.

Chalk Reel

Finally, you should invest in a chalk reel. These are really helpful when you are doing outdoor work. They will let you measure out a straight line and then mark it in a colorful chalk. This is essential when you are getting ready to lay the foundation of the wall. It prevents you from laying the base at an odd angle. They are small metal containers that have a rope inside that is coated in chalk. You reel out the rope and make sure it is level and then drop it on the ground and the chalk leaves a visible mark. You can then use this to lay the stone.

For more tips to choose the right tools for your project, check out sites like