To do good work, a mason needs first-class tools. The tools I consider essential are described here. BRICKLAYER TROWELS A brick trowel is used more than any other mason's tool. It is used to cut, spread, and handle mortar when laying brick and block. Three major types of trowels are available: narrow London, wide London, and Philadelphia. The narrow London is preferred for laying brick. The wide London and Philadelphia patterns are preferred for laying block. A good trowel should be light and well balanced. A smaller version of the bricklayer's trowel is called a pointing trowel. LEVELS The level is the most delicate tool the mason owns. Also called a plumbrule, it's used to establish a true vertical or horizontal. Since it's used frequently in all masonry work, select a good one and take good care of it. BRICK HAMMERS Brick hammers are made of tempered forged steel so that they cut masonry materials without undue wear or breaking. A good hammer weight for most work is 18 ounces. The head of the hammer is square like the end of a chisel blade or peen. FOLDING MASONRY RULES Three types of folding rules are available for establishing individual course heights: the course counter rule, the modular spacing rule, and the oversized rule. CHISELS Three chisels should serve almost any situation. The first one is the brick set, also called a blocking chisel. The second chisel is a standard cutting chisel. The third chisel is a plugging or joint chisel. JOINTERS A basic set of masonry tools should contain several jointers. They are: the convex jointer, V-jointer, a slicker, and a grapevine jointer.