Essential Tools Used for Tuckpointing

If you live in a home that contains brick somewhere on your property, whether it’s on your actual home or not, chances are that you’ll eventually need to get some tuckpointing done. Tuckpointing involves the process of removing old, deteriorating mortar that is dangerous to the integrity of your building’s infrastructure or just unsightly to look at. Professional masons go in and use a variety of tools to scrape out old mortar, and old or broken bricks, so that they can be replaced with fresh, new materials. As with every profession, there are a few essential tools needed to do this job safely and efficiently.

Tuckpinting Grinder

In tuckpointing, grinders are commonly used to remove mortar quickly with increased precision. Grinders are useful because they can reach deep areas in the mortar without compromising the structural integrity of a building or wall. Some tuckpointing grinders are equipped with vacuum attachments or water hoses to decrease the amount of mess left behind. Grinders are also used when bricks need to be cut or removed. Similarly, some masonries prefer using saws, which function in the same capacity as a tuckpointing grinder.

Raker Bars

Sometimes, professionals prefer to manually remove mortar using a raker bar instead of a grinder. The raker bar is made of steel with two curved ends used for scraping out old mortar. It takes a bit more energy, but is good when you only need to tuckpoint in smaller areas. You can also use hammers, chippers, or chisels to manually remove mortar. All manual techniques require a bit more muscle than the electronic grinder.

Mortar Gun

Mortar guns allow masonries to quickly adhere new mortar into the joints that are being tuckpointed. In comparison to manually inserting mortar, a mortar gun allows experienced professionals to get the job done fast.


Jointers are a manual way to get new mortar into the joints with ease and a high level of accuracy. Based on the job, there are a number of different types of jointers that tuckpointing masonries usually have in their tool bags. The two most popular jointers are concave and flat jointers. Convex jointers are used for more decorative jobs and often take more experience to use. It adds a rope-like appearance to the joints ands extends more outward from the wall being tuckpointed. A box or ribbon joiner is another decorative tool that creates a box or ribbon appearance in the joint that extends outward. A grape vine jointer is used when a concaved joint wants to be achieved. Finally, a vee jointer can be used when people want to achieve a more weathered look to their building.

Hawk Boards

These are similar to a painter’s pallet in a sense that they hold the wet mortar as it’s being applied to the structure. You can get them in aluminum, wood, or magnesium—which is the most durable hawk board available.


Like jointers, trowels come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are used to scoop mortar onto hawk boards for tuckpointing. Professionals may also use them when working on chimneys or concrete structures and sometimes to spread or even out mortar.

Masonry Brushes

At the end of a job, masonry brushes are most often used to clean dust from the finished product. However, professionals can also use them to create a unique finish to their tuckpointing job. The size, shape, and type of brush hair are dependent on the professional’s preference.

Some masons prefer electric tools while others use a more hands-on approach. Regardless of their preferences, any of these essential tools will help take your brick and mortar transformation to the next level. If you want a specific look to your new tuckpointing job, talk to a professional about the available options and take some time looking through reference pictures of the final product online.

If you think that your home or any outdoor brick structures are in need of tuckpointing, don’t hesitate to contact a professional for an inspection. Tuckpointing is a time sensitive procedure that should be taken care of sooner rather than later to avoid intensive tear downs and re-builds, both of which are much more expensive than simple tuckpointing. The professionals at Chicago Tuckpointing are here to help. All of our professional masonries are fully trained and dedicated to their work. At Chicago Tuckpointing, we specialize in tuckpointing, new masonry work, updates, and restoration. Give us a call today at (708) 942-1951 or visit our website