Complete Guide to Tools in Chinese (Names & Vocabulary)
Want to learn all the different kinds of tools in Mandarin Chinese? Then you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we will give you the most comprehensive list of tools in Chinese, from the most common ones used for jobs around the house leading up to specific tools and hardware for gardening, cooking, camping, and so on. We will present the tool names in Chinese characters and Pinyin to help you pronounce them, as well as a list of verbs that are used when using tools in Chinese. At the end of this post, you’ll find some example sentences to put the vocabulary to use.
But first and foremost, let’s learn how to say “tool” in Chinese.
“Tool” in Chinese
The word for tool in Chinese is 工具 (gōngjù). If you break the word into characters, 工 (gōng) stands for “work”, and 具 (zuò) means “implement”. Together, they express the concept of “tool”.
It’s a good idea to add 工具 (gōngjù) to your staple Chinese vocabulary, as many other tool-related terms in Chinese are built around this word. For example,
- toolbox – 工具箱 (gōngjù xiāng)
- toolkit – 工具包 (gōngjù bāo)
- toolbar -工具栏 (gōngjù lán)
Quiz: Do you know what 工具人 (gōngjù rén) – “tool person” means in Chinese? Check out our list of common Chinese slang words to find out.
Just like in any language, you have to learn the individual name for each Chinese tool separately as the word 工具 (gōngjù) is not attached to any of them. Don’t worry – we’ll cover them all in this post.
A Grammar Note on Tools in Chinese
Every object requires a measure word when counted in Chinese. For example, you wouldn’t just say “a hammer”, or “two nails” in Chinese, you would say “a [measure word] hammer” and “two [measure word] nails”.
The measure word for “tool” itself is 件 (jiàn) in Chinese. For instance, you say 一件工具 (yí jiàn gōngjù) for “a tool”.
However, different tools require different measure words that speak to the shape or feature of that specific tool. For example, for tools with handles (e.g. hammer, ax), you can go with the measure word 把 (bǎ), and for tools that are long and thin, 根 (gēn) is the proper measure word to use.
To help you fully master tools in Chinese, we include the corresponding measure word for each tool in our list.
If the concept of measure words sounds alien to you, we have this entire article dedicated to explaining how Chinese measure words work. If you don’t know how to count in Chinese yet, you might want to start with our Chinese number tutorial first.
Complete List of Tools in Chinese
There is a huge range of tools and they all perform different functions, so there’s a lot of ground to cover. To help you out, we’ll start with a list of Chinese names for the most common tools that can serve as a launching point before moving on to more specific vocabulary.
Most Common Tool Names in Chinese
Here’s the list of the 15 most common tools in Chinese to give you a foundation. The words are in alphabetical order on the English side, complete with Pinyin Romanization and corresponding measure words.
|duct tape||胶布||jiāobù||卷 (Juǎn)|
|electric drill||电钻||diàn zuàn||把 (bǎ)|
|screwdriver||螺丝刀||luósī dāo||把 (bǎ)|
|tape measure||卷尺||juǎn chǐ||把 (bǎ)|
Carpentry Tools in Chinese
Can’t find the Chinese word for your tool? Then let’s get started on the extended tool lists.
If you’re in China and need to do some home repair work then you’ll find the following carpentry tool vocabulary to be very useful!
|bolt||螺栓||luó shuān||颗 (kē)|
|file||锉刀||cuò dāo||把 (bǎ)|
|glue||胶水||jiāo shuǐ||瓶 (píng)|
|level||水平仪||shuǐpíng yí||个 (gè)|
|nut||螺帽||luó mào||颗 (kē)|
|paint||油漆||yóu qī||桶 (tǒng)|
|safety goggles||护目镜||hù mù jìng||副 (fù)|
|sandpaper||砂纸||shā zhǐ||张 (zhāng)|
|scraper||刮刀||guā dāo||把 (bǎ)|
|utility knife||工具刀||gōngjù dāo||把 (bǎ)|
Gardening Tools and Farming Tools in Chinese
Now let’s get you fixed up with all the Chinese vocabulary on gardening and farming tools that you’ll need.
|trowel||小铲刀||xiǎo chǎn dāo||把 (bǎ)|
|hose||水管||shuǐ guǎn||根 (gēn)|
|gardening gloves||园艺手套||yuányì shǒutào||副 (fù)|
|lawn mower||割草机||gē cǎo jī||台 (tái)|
|pitchfork||铁叉||tiě chā||把 (bǎ)|
|rake||钉耙||dīng pá||把 (bǎ)|
|scythe||镰刀||lián dāo||把 (bǎ)|
|shovel/spade||铁锹||tiě qiāo||把 (bǎ)|
|watering can||喷壶||pēn hú||个 (gè)|
|wheelbarrow||手推车||shǒu tuī chē||辆 (liàng)|
Kitchen Tools in Chinese
Now let’s learn the Chinese names of common 厨房用具 (chúfáng yòngjù) – “kitchen tools” that are used for food preparation.
|can opener||开罐器||kāi guàn qì||个 (gè)|
|cutting board||切菜板||qiē cài bǎn||块 (kuài)|
|frying pan||煎锅||jiān guō||口 (kǒu)|
|kitchen knife||菜刀||cài dāo||把 (bǎ)|
|oven||烤箱||kǎo xiāng||个 (gè)|
|peeler||削皮器||xiāo pí qì||个 (gè)|
|spatula||锅铲||guō chǎn||把 (bǎ)|
|tray||托盘||tuō pán||个 (gè)|
|whisk||搅拌器||jiǎobàn qì||个 (gè)|
Further Reading: All the Kitchen Vocabulary in Chinese
Survival Tools in Chinese
Now, we’re going to look at those must-have wilderness survival tools in Chinese. These words will be especially vital if you’re camping in China.
|candle||蜡烛||là zhú||根 (gēn)|
|compass||指南针||zhǐnán zhēn||个 (gè)|
|emergency whistle||求生口哨||qiú shēng kǒushào||个 (gè)|
|first aid kit||急救包||jíjiù bāo||个 (gè)|
|flashlight||手电筒||shǒu diàn tǒng||只 (zhī)|
|headlamp||头灯||tóu dēng||盏 (zhǎn)|
|lighter||打火机||dǎ huǒ jī||个 (gè)|
|sleeping bag||睡袋||shuì dài||个 (gè)|
|Swiss army knife||瑞士军刀||Ruìshì jūn dāo||把 (bǎ)|
|waterproof bag||防水袋||fáng shuǐ dài||个 (gè)|
|water purifying bottle||滤水壶||lǜ shuǐ hú||个 (gè)|
Chinese Verbs Related to Tools
Verbs are perhaps the most important part of Chinese learning for beginners. Let’s explore some common Chinese verbs associated with using tools.
|to chop (with axe)||砍||kǎn|
|to cut (with knife)||切||qiē|
|to cut (with scissors)||剪||jiǎn|
|to screw||拧紧||níng jǐn|
|to unscrew||拧开||nǐng kāi|
Example Sentences with Tools in Chinese
Now is the time to use the Chinese tool vocabulary in context. Practice the following sentences and you’ll develop your knowledge of Chinese grammar and gain confidence in speaking Chinese in simple conversations.
Nǐ yǒu méiyǒu gōngjù kěyǐ …?
Do you have any tool for …?
Wǒ xūyào yí jiàn kěyǐ … de gōngjù.
I need a tool to …
Nǐ zhīdào zhè dōngxi zěnme yòng ma?
Do you know how to use this thing?
Qǐngwèn fùjìn yǒu wǔjīn diàn ma?
Excuse me, is there a hardware store around here?
- 你见过我的工具箱吗？ 我好像找不到了。
Nǐ jiàn guò wǒ de gōngjù xiāng ma? Wǒ hǎoxiàng zhǎo bú dào le.
Have you seen my toolbox? I can’t seem to find it.
- 你有锤子吗？ 我需要在墙上敲几根钉子。
Nǐ yǒu chuízi ma? Wǒ xūyào zài qiáng shàng qiāo jǐ gēn dīngzi.
Do you have a hammer? I need to hit a couple of nails in the wall.
Wǒ néng jiè yíxià nǐ de juǎn chǐ ma? Wǒ xiǎng liáng yíxià zhè zhāng zhuōzi de gāodù.
Can I borrow your tape measure for a sec? I’d like to measure the height of this table.
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