A Guide to Woodworking Tools

Woodworking, the simple yet amazing hobby that has captured the hearts of so many. It doesn’t take much to get started, just a few basic woodworking tools. Once you have the tools, you can get started making anything your imagination can come up with.

Here is a list of the essential tools you need to start building projects. So let’s begin.

Chisel

The obvious and probably most known woodworking tool is the chisel. Chisels are used for shaving and carving. You’ll need to work with a sharp one and you can get by with only about four sizes. These would be ¼” ½” ¾” and 1”.

These chisels are a good size for most projects. When you are buying one, make sure you find one that feels good in your hand and learns how to sharpen it. Buying one that is ready to use pretty much never happens and you might have a harder time if you don’t sharpen it first.

Hammer

Next on the list is a hammer. We’ve all seen a hammer and many have used one. The hammer can be used for driving a chisel down, hammering down nails, and knocking joints together.

If you need to bang something down, the hammer will be your best friend. You’ll find that there are plenty of different kinds of hammers and you’ll want to find one that isn’t too heavy but still has enough weight to it to get the job done.

Hand Plane

Next, we have hand planes. You’ve probably seen these in movies where people are sitting on the porch shaving off a piece of wood for their project. This is most often used to adjust the thickness of the wood as well as smoothing it out.

This tool is something you won’t want to be caught without, it’s faster and more effective than a sander, leaving a much smoother, more desirable surface behind.

You’ll want it sharp and like a chisel, it’s not going to be ready to use right out of the box; but once you have it set up, you’ll be on your way and you’ll wonder how anyone could ever be without one in their kit.

Hand Saw

Hand saws are not a popular choice for many big projects because so many people prefer electric saws, but if you’re doing some woodworking on a smaller project or if you just prefer hand precision, you’ll want to make sure you have at least one handsaw in your kit.

There are two major kinds of handsaws, rip saws and crosscut saws. Rip saws are meant to cut in the direction of the grain and crosscut saws are as the name implies, made to cut against the grain. Both are handy and are must-haves for your woodworking kit.

It’s much easier to make smaller cuts with a hand saw than it is with an electric, and if you need to stop mid-cut to make a slight adjustment, you’ll be able to do so without having lost a huge chunk of wood.

Clamp

Clamps are an invaluable tool for every woodworker. You’ll need them to make the use of every other tool much easier. Clamps hold everything in place for cutting, shaving, nailing together, or even for keeping it straight and still to measure for the next cut.

You’ll want at least 2 clamps in your kit, but any experienced woodworker will tell you that you can never have too many clamps.

Measuring Tools

Last on the list is actually going to be a few things. Measuring tools. A ruler, measuring tape, and something to mark with. A drafting pen is great for marking the wood as it makes thin and clear lines, a very important matter when you’re working on any and all projects.

A regular pencil is hard to see and often makes unclear, wide, and fuzzy lines and they are not ideal. If you must use one, you’ll need to keep it as sharp as possible. However, a thin-tipped sharpie marker works great if you can’t get your hands on a drafting pen.

The collapsible ruler is great for when you want something versatile. You can save space in your bag because it gets pretty compact and you can use as much of it or as little of it as you need. A basic ruler is good for smaller projects, the metal ones are good because they are thin and strong. Keeping proper measurements is very important. Having a measuring tape handy will be great for those extra-large projects and those that aren’t exactly straight-edged. These three items are arguably some of the most important tools you will use in your woodworking projects.

Bench grinder

Do yourself a favor and invest in the good quality bench grinder, you don’t have to have it right in the middle of your workspace, but you’ll want to have one handy to sharpen chisels and keep screwdrivers sharp. You’d be surprised how often you actually end up needing to use it. The Dewalt DW758 8-inch bench grinder shown here is the best selling bench grinder for all woodworking projects.

Electric sander

An electric sander is going to make smoothing out the piece you’re working with much easier, try not to make any patterns with the motion that you use with it because sometimes when you go to stain your wood it might show up.

My advice – invest in the best electric sander your money can buy, it will save you a lot of time and manpower. Again, Dewalt is at the top again with their best selling, Dewalt DWE6423K Orbit Sander.

Level

A level is a woodworkers or carpenter’s best friend when you need to make sure that something isn’t crooked. Everyone will find that it comes in handy more often than not.

There are many varieties of levels, I find these ones the best value for money and one of the most popular levels used in woodworking.

Screwdrivers

Screwdrivers are also an essential tool to have in life when doing any woodworking project no matter how big or small, simple or complex, whether you’re a woodworker or not.

Having a variety of screwdriver sizes and types is going to be your best bet to invest in a good screwdriver set to get the job done!

Shop-Vac

The shop vac isn’t something many people think of as being a woodworking tool, but it is definitely something every woodworker needs for their work area. If your work area is in a common area where kids and the wife have access, your wife will surely thank you for buying a dust vacuum.

All that sawdust and mess needs to be cleaned up somehow, and the shop vac is the best way to do it as it won’t become easily clogged and most can be used on wet and dry surfaces so if you spill your drink on that pile of sawdust, you can still suck it up just as easy.

Utility Knife

A utility knife is great to have in the kit for marking where you need to cut or making little niches in the wood for things to rest in or to hold steady.

Cutting a little line in the wood where you need to do the major cutting is going to be much better than using a pencil or marker as you can make sure the line is clear and easy to see and very thin.

Square

A six-inch layout square is going to be perfect for measuring out that square piece that you need to cut or for any angle up to 45 degrees or any line up to 6 inches.

Measuring Tape

A retractable measuring tape is next on this list for obvious reasons. A good measuring tape will have both standard and metric measurements on it and is great for taking both internal and external measurements.

Laser measuring tapes are actually quite popular now and are a preferred measure tape for woodworking by many due to higher accuracy.

Power Drill

A power drill, is a power tool that every woodworker needs, wants and can’t make do without, if you don’t have a good power drill, and you are starting out or wanting to join the world of woodworking, it should be one of those power tools you don’t take any shortcuts with.

While you can probably do most of your connections with a hammer and a nail, having a power drill handy can speed up the process of things. They are less expensive than cordless drills and often offer more power, no shortcuts should be taken when buying a power tool such as a drill for woodworking.

The Dewalt DC771C2 Power Drill is the best selling power drill on the market right now as Dewalt is one of my go-to brands when it comes to my tools.

Jigsaw

Another power tool makes the list. The jigsaw is on the list because it is the best jigsaw and best selling of the power jigsaw range, the Black & Decker JS660.

A good jigsaw allows the worker to make curved and circular cuts in the wood with ease. This, of course, could be done with a handsaw and then follow up by smoothing out the edges, but using a jigsaw makes things easier and faster for the worker and when time is of import, you’ll be glad you have one.

Table saw

A decent table saw is going to work wonders for you, my suggestion is that a table saw is going to be one big person and it is a woodworking power tool that will last you a lifetime so do it right the first time.

The best selling table saw that sells out so fast is the Dewalt Jobsite Table Saw shown in the picture here. If you’re cutting off a big chunk, go ahead and do it quickly. Save the hand saw for the precision cuts. The table saw can do the rest of the work for you.

Safety equipment

Something many people don’t think of when they think of materials they need for woodworking is safety equipment. If you plan on using any power tool especially, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper gear. Goggles for woodworking are extremely important. Protecting your eyes from sawdust should be thought of more often.

Your hands need protecting as well, Gloves for woodworking should be used at all times, even if you are using a hand saw. One small slip of the hand could be dangerous so make sure you’re protected. Of course, don’t wear loose clothing and keep your hair pulled back. Remove all jewelry. Earplugs also wouldn’t hurt if you’re using power tools like a saw as the noise can be damaging.

The above list might vary slightly from person to person but overall, it features everything every woodworker needs.

Now that you know the basics of what you will need in your woodworking kit, you can get your tools together and get started.

Happy Woodworking!

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