Essential Woodworking Tools For Beginners

By Adam Davis

essential woodworking tools for beginners

Like any experienced worker in his field, the woodworker enthusiast works in a particular field. He must be able to perform a few tasks depending on his projects. Each task serves a variety of purposes.

But the main goal is to produce finished product made out of solid wood in one shape or another.

A quality project never happens by magic. Because alongside skills and years of experience, the craft master also needs tools, and not just any.

Indeed woodworking is an exciting hobby that can only be rewarding if you have the right tools to do the job. You can literally start a workshop from your garage and get involved in some innovative home renovation projects in no time if you have the appropriate tools.

Let’s review some of the basic woodworking hand tools you may need:

  • The Hammer

This is undoubtedly one of the most used and oldest tools. It is used for driving and striking nails. It can also be used for pieces of wood to put in place.

Choosing the right hammer is critical in the sense that a poorly balanced one can be challenging to use in driving nails in.

  • Chisels

These are tools for cutting wood fibers. With flat heads of variable dimensions, they allow very fine results on wood. The handle can be made of wood or plastic, and the blade should be sharp enough to give the desired result.

You use them for cleaning out joints and also for saw cuts. A good set of chisels is a must to cover your basis in working with wood and we recommend those made of carbon steel.

  • Tape Measure

You will need a measuring and retractable tape of approximatively 25ft for your woodworking projects. This will come in handy while trying to assess and cut woods at the right angle and position.

  • Screwdriver

We cannot overstate enough the importance of a screwdriver in your tools set as a crafter. You will need various screwdrivers for your projects. Indeed depending on your crafts you may need anything between a medium slot screwdrivers to a flathead one. They are all equally important for a woodworker.

  • Nails

You can’t really talk about woodworking without a set of nails. They help you smoothen your surfaces and trim work. Nails also hold things in place.

  • Level

Lopsided woods are not ideal for craft projects. This is where a good level comes in handy by helping you keep the wood straight. There are several types of levels best suited for woodworking including bubble levels and digital ones.

  • Squares

You can’t really complete a quality woodworking project without a good set of squares.

With squares you can create various angles and verify them. In most cases squares have engraved measuring markings.

These are different types of squares such as framing squares, try squares, miter squares and many more. The ones you would use frequently are speed squares to quickly check out 90 and 45-degree angles.

  • Table Saw

Precision cuts are part of almost every project. This is where table saw comes in. A good table saw will have enough space between the blade and the fence. You can get 20 inches table saw or heavy-duty ones at 24 inches.

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It’s worth noting that the table saw is not a hand tool per say but rather what we call a power tool e.g. it’s powered by an external energy such as a battery, motor or power cable connected to a wall outlet.

  • The saw


A self-respecting craftsman cannot do without it! It's more of a symbol than a tool. Every time you imagine a woodworker, you see an old man in his dusty workshop filled with planks and shavings, bent over a bench, holding a saw, and wanting to cut a piece of wood.

That is to say, the typical image of the person working on wood, is a man with a saw in his hand. So the saw is essential, even if nowadays, in large workshops, the saw is a very large machine that cuts dozens of boards very quickly, in all the formats you want.

  • The plane
plane


It is necessary for the woodworker to have a plane in his workshop, because it is used to level his wood thanks to its steel blade. This tool can also be useful to the craftsman in doing what is referred to as grooves or moldings.

That is to say shapes in the wood allowing them to be nested or to assemble them in one way or another with other pieces in order to create a piece of furniture or any object.

  • The gouge


This relatively small but very efficient tool is in fact a kind of half channel which the wood worker needs to hollow out his wood and give it the desired shapes. The gouge is part of a set containing the awl and the wood chisel: three elements that the craftsman should always have at hand so that his work is easier.


  • The compass


Another very useful precision instrument. The hobbyist's compass will help you draw perfect circles and more. In fact, this tool is also used to report measurements and draw straight lines equidistant or parallel to the shaped edges.

It is better to spend the extra money and have an extremely precise compass, so that the shapes are quite well drawn with perfect corners and curves.

  • The vice


Among the tools you will need to hold the parts in place and be able to work them properly is the vise, without which you would be unable to put two parts together.

Often times you find yourself using a tool that is used with two hands, such as a plane or chisels, and you need the piece you are working on to stand still.

A good, strong and stable vice is what you need. The vice is also very useful when you need to glue two parts together, they absolutely cannot hold if you do not hold them tightly in a strong vice.

Doing crafts is like playing sports. You can get head start if you already have good equipment. In order to make your dream come true and get your DIY project up and running, you need to have the minimum necessary tools at home.

I have presented in this article a non-exhaustive list of woodworking tools with some basic uses. You can buy them in specialized stores or, you can also seek advice from professional craftsmen who will guide you with pleasure, in choosing all the tools that will make you an authentic woodworker.

Would you like to learn more?

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You can read my detailed article on Teds Woodworking Review here

There is no doubt that you will feel accomplished and proud of yourself for making your own woodworking projects.

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