I get a lot of questions about what tools people should use to start woodworking. I’m going to go over the best woodworking tools. The most common one is what tools do I need? If you are trying to start woodworking there are a few tools you will want.
There are power tools and hand tools. The hand tools are a little safer but more importantly, make your pieces look handmade. Well…Let us dig into the hand tools. They are all pretty self-explanatory but I will give a brief description of them. These are in no particular order.
- Hand Saws: A wood saw worked by one hand. Not sure if there is a better way to say that…This is more technical…though. This is used for straight rough cuts. Most should recognize this tool as it is very much so commonly used.
- Planes: A hand plane is a wood tool for shaping wood using a cutting blade over the wood surface. This tool helps you flatten the piece of wood. Think if you had a piece of wood that had bark on one side. This tool will remove the bark. At the same time, it is removing the bark it is also starting to flatten out the piece of wood.
- Chisels: A chisel is a tool with a characteristically shaped cutting edge of the blade on its end, for carving or cutting. You can use a mallet, or hammer to help aid in cutting. This is nice for taking out chunks of wood in slim spaces. If you have a smaller chisel you can use it for better contouring. Chisels are often used to carve out dovetails.
- Hammers: This is a tool with a heavy metal head mounted at the end of a handle. Since this is woodworking some would prefer using an all wood mallet. It can be used to drive nails or with a chisel. Some hammers have the ability to remove nails too. Pretty nice to know you do not have to be perfect.
- Rasps: This can be a file or similar tool with a roughened surface for scraping, filing, or rubbing down wood. You might see this used on other materials too. I would think of this as a big nail file for woods and metals.
- Leveling tool: Use this tool for establishing a flat plane. The rudimentary models use a small glass tube containing colored alcohol or similar liquid and an air bubble. There can be multiple tubes sealed and fixed horizontally and vertically in relation to the flat plane. The block or framing is usually made of a composite material or metal but sometime you will still see them made out of wood too. Both the upper and lower surface are smooth. Some models come with a scale as well.
Other Basic Tools
- Basic Tools: This is a catch-all. I would include screwdrivers, both Phillips, and flat head. Any miscellaneous sandpaper or glue. I would also put in here a socket set for when you are putting together furniture with various hardware.
Those are just the hand tools. Now here comes the power tools…. Be careful, more power isn’t always needed.
This is another resource for power tools if you are beginning. But back to the best woodworking tools. Like the show more power is better. Here is a list of power tools that once you get going to will need to gain perfect pieces with less effort.
Woodworking can be a lot of fun. But again I want to say be safe. Keep your hands away from moving parts. Use common sense, plan ahead and never rush.
You don’t want to be the guy selling a cabinet stained in blood… YUCK! All jokes aside be safe and keep all your digits. A good set of ear protection would be worthwhile to invest in as well.
- Hand Drills: While these can be non-powered, I’m specifically speaking about the powered version. No in days you can find these cordless with a lot of driving force. A hand drill generally limit the hole size that can be made with the drill bits.
- Routers: This is a tool used to “rout” out an area in the face of wood. You find this used to create bevels too.
- Sanders: Power sands use a reciprocating motion to get more “strokes”. This is much faster than hand sanding but you will have to be careful because it can go fast…yikes!
- Lathes: I had to look up the best way to say this one. “
- Power Saws: Similar to the power sander, it uses a reciprocating motion to speed up the sawing process.
- Planers: You use this to flatten a surface. You can also cut to thickness. They come in both a portable version about the size of a hand plane but most use a small table planer.
- Drill Press: This is like the big brother to the hand drill. You will use this to make large holes. This wood tool is stationary, either on a table or it has it’s own stand.
- Joiner: Don’t confuse this with a planer. While you will use the planer to flatten your workpiece, a joiner is be used to get the angle in relation to that flat surface you created with the planner. This one is a little confusing I know.
- CNC Machine: This will require you to learn com CNC code. Also much easier if you use CAM software. I wrote a post about how to make your own CNC machine. But honestly, it would probably be easier to buy one. PureWoods makes a line of CNC machines that are worthwhile to look at.
Phew, that was a lot about woodworking tools!
Now you know most of the tools, next it is time to go out and get started making something. Check this out, Ted McGrath has put together some plans. That post gets into it a little.
That is it for the tools for now. Check out the rest of the site, we do more than just woodworking here. Have fun, be safe and do what you love!