There are many different trowels available, so Monte cleared up a few
A gauging trowel is a small, rounded-pointed trowel used for plastering; the
float is a rectangular trowel in steel or wood, and is used for finishing
concrete or render; edging and grooving tools are also used for finishing
concrete and render; the brickies trowel is a large triangular trowel with
slightly rounded edges, and is heavy enough for tamping and cutting bricks,
although there is a small version called a pointing trowel for tight spots and
pointing mortar (such as ridge tiles); the caulking trowel is used for applying
caulk to expansion joints and re-pointing mortar lines.
When you lay bricks use the trowel to place a long “sausage” of mortar on your
footing (enough for a bit over two bricks). Drag the trowel point through the
mortar in a saw-motion to make a trough. Place the bricks straight and level.
“Butter” or apply mortar to the end of each brick and slide it into place. Use
your trowel to trim excess mortar from both faces of the wall as you go. Take
your time to make sure the wall stays straight and true and that mortar joints
are an even thickness.
||Monte’s Tip: Use string-lines and a long spirit-level very often to help keep
your wall straight and level as you go.