The most important tool of the drystone mason is the eye and a good spatial imagination. The stones should be joined into a masonry structure with as little processing as possible. Therefore, the right stone must be found to fit into the gap or on top of the stones below. The dry stone mason usually works with the locally occurring rock. He tries to respect the characteristics of the stone and the the visual characteristics of the local masonry.
Dry stone walling is heavy work. During one day, a dry stone mason moves between 3 - 4 tons of stones. A healthy back and stamina are prerequisites for dry stone masonry. Although the amount of stone working in dry stone masonry should be kept to a minimum, some of the stones have to be worked. This is done in order to optimise the formation of butt joints and bed joints. Stable supports and closed joints increase the stability of the masonry and reduce maintenance costs.
For working the stones, the drystone mason needs masonry tools: the hammer, the tracer chisel, the punch chisel. For certain types of stone, a tooth chisel can also be used. In this respect, the activity of the drystone mason is related to the five stone-working professions that are trained in Switzerland (stonemason, stonemason, stone sculptor, stonemason, paving mason). Like them, the drystone mason must know the stones, the tools and how to use the tools to achieve the desired result.
Depending on the rock and the construction site, machines may also have to be used. To split large stones, holes are drilled and the stones are split with splitting wedges. Heavy stones are moved with excavators or hoists. Transport is carried out with a wide variety of tools.