Top 10 Tools Every Woodworker Should Have


There are some jobs that you cannot do without a table saw. And while many tasks can be completed on a band saw or some other machine, the consensus among woodworkers is that you need a table saw to make precision crosscuts and rip lumber. Think of it as a portable table saw for paring edges if you get your hands on an older Stanley #, seven jointer plane. WARNING! Never leave the safety guard off when using this tool.

This one has been in my family since before I was born. It is still fully functional and currently being used in the basement workshop of my parent’s house. Not all hand tools will have block planes included in their arsenal

2. Chisels

There are two basic types of chisels, the firmer (or framing) and the paring. The better is used for rough work while the paring has a thinner blade which can be used to get into tight spaces that cannot be reached with its bigger brother. Shown below are several old Stanley chisels that belonged to my Grandfather. He made beautiful carvings.

Brand new General International brand chisels of his own making! Talk about sentimental value. I built this shelf in my bedroom when I was only 14 years old!

3. Japanese Saw

The Japanese saw is a thin blade with teeth cut on the pull stroke. They are great for making through cuts in fine joinery work because they stay sharp for longer periods of time than thicker western-style saws.

There are two basic types, one which has a bamboo handle and another that has a plastic handle. I do not have either of these, but my father does, and he uses them often!


Handheld planers can come in quite handy when you want to quickly dress up the edges of boards or quickly plane down an out-of-square tabletop or door face so that it fits flatly against its partner. The ideal tool would have variable speed adjustment so that you

5. Power Drill

Carpenter is working to drill wood

The power drill is a must-have for anyone doing carpentry or finish work. You can use it to make pilot holes (for nails, screws, etc.), and you can also use it to countersink screw holes so that the head of your screws is flush with the surface of your material.

A cordless drill is one of those tools I could not live without. Trust me on this one!

6. Jigsaw

Close up electric jigsaw cutting a piece of wood. jigsaw cutter wood saw knives.

A jigsaw is great for cutting curves. It is also useful when you need to make a cut that would be too awkward or dangerous to do with a table saw. The only thing I don’t like about this tool

7. Hammer

Close up of a framing hammer with blue handle

There are many different types of hammers, but the ones shown below are the three most common. Starting from top-left, we have.

The ball-peen hammer, one face has flat edges, and the other is curved. Ideal for cold chisels or rivets while working on metal projects

The roofing hammer, one face has pointed edges while the other is flat. Great for pounding nails into the wood while doing carpentry work.

8. Random Orbital Sander

carpenter works with belt sander in carpentry

A random orbital sander (or ROS) will save you loads of time when it comes to sanding down your work. They are especially useful if your project is rounded or odd-shaped because they allow you to get into corners and other tight spaces that a normal block sander cannot reach. Another benefit is that these sanders do not leave any swirl marks on the surface of your material as traditional sandpaper does.

9. Router

The carpenter mills the countertop made of pine. router

The router is another powerful tool that will allow you to get into tight spaces. It can be used for rounding edges or cutting templates out of your material. There are many types of routers, but the two most common (and the only two I own) are shown below.

The handheld plunge router, ideal for chamfering edges and adding decorative accents on wooden furniture. The fixed base router works like a drill press; it has a clamping mechanism to hold your material in place while you work with it or bore holes into it.

10. Safety Gear

A young man in the forest made to look like a foreman for a logging company wears his hard hat and safety glasses with room for copyspace.

It’s important that you use safety gear while working on your projects. You don’t want to get hurt! I’ve seen grown men with stitches in their heads because they did not wear a safety hat while working on their house. So please, please be safe and protect yourself at all times!

The first piece of safety gear is an ANSI-approved hard hat which is mandatory if you are doing any kind of construction work (building houses, sheds, etc.). The one shown below has “Huskee” written across the front; it was free when my father purchased his shed…

To prevent dust from coming into your nose or mouth, you should wear a dust mask like the ones shown below.


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