When it comes to woodworking, there are two categories of people. The first category is those that create long-lasting and useful things to show their creativity and relieve stress. The other category is the professionals, and these people are rewarded handsomely for their skills in making desirable furniture. However, regardless of what category you belong to, you need the must-have woodworking tools.
There are some basic woodworking tools that both professionals and hobbyists need. Without these tools for woodwork, you cannot get any woodworking project completed. Read on to see a list of woodworking hand tools and woodworking power tools you need to get any woodwork job done.
Woodworking Power Tools
1. Circular Saws
Circular saws are one of the most important tools in the workshop of any woodworker. This power tool is going to always have a place in the arsenal of a woodworker. With this tool, you can rip through wood efficiently and quickly. There are different types of circular saws; we have corded circular saws and cordless circular saws. There are also compact circular saws, which are great for hobbyists and small projects. With the right circular saw blade, you can cut through any wood – hard or soft.
This is another great piece of equipment that is very useful in the hand of a woodworker. Jigsaws are used to make more intricate and detailed cuts in wood. If you want to cut none straight edges and round corners, this is the best woodworking tool to turn to. Jigsaws have straight blades, and you can also use them to make straight cuts. This power tool also has a corded and cordless version. The cordless jigsaw allows for more maneuverability while the corded version offers more power. Beginners can also use a jigsaw, as it is very easy to use.
3. Thickness Planer
A thickness planer is one of the most important pieces of equipment in the workshop of a carpenter or woodworker. You can use this tool to plane rough wood, giving them the smoothness you desire. You can also plane rough lumber to the exact thickness and size you want.
4. Table Saw
With a table saw, you can make virtually any type of cut, including bevel cuts, cross cuts, rip cuts, and dado cuts. However, this tool is best for making rip cuts. If you want to take your woodworking capability to the next level, this is one basic tool you should have in your workshop. There are different types of table saws out there, and you can go for a more affordable table saw for your DIY projects. If you handle large and industrial projects, what you need is a contractor table saw. You can also check out the best portable table saws and table saw blades.
5. Band Saw
A band saw is another powerful power tool that woodworkers use to make more advanced cuts. This saw has a continuous toothed and long sharp blade that runs stretched between two or more metal wheels. You can use this tool to cut metal sheets and lumber. It is also helpful in resawing lumber, cutting shapes in wood, and making veneers.
6. Power Drill
With a power drill, you can take on a wide range of projects and perform a variety of tasks in your workshop. You can use this tool to drive screws, drill holes, and complete other important projects. There are also corded and cordless versions of this tool.
7. Orbital Sander
An orbital sander is one of the best tools to turn to if you are looking for a piece of electric wood-finishing equipment. With this machine, you no longer have to strain your hands sanding lumbers. This tool users a sandpaper pad that revolves in an orbital or circular pattern. There are two major types of orbital sanders – random orbital sanders and regular orbital sanders. You can also use this tool for trim works, remove paint, and more.
This list would be nothing close to complete without a router on it. This tool is very useful, and you can use it for many things in and around the workshop. You can use it to hollow out holds, panels, cut out fancy edges, and decorative patterns. You also need router bits to utilize this tool to the fullest, and there are different types, shapes, and sizes of router bits. There are two major types of routers – stationary routers and compact routers. See our recommendations for the best compact routers.
9. Miter Saw
A miter saw comes in handy for cutting angles – mitered, beveled, and compound cuts. There are different types of miter saw, one of which is a compound miter saw. You can angle the motor head of a compound miter saw in two directions – and this allows you to make compound cuts (beveled miters) and straight angles (miters). You can also see the difference between a table saw and a miter saw, and when to use which. This tool uses a circular blade, and the most common diameters are 10 inches and 12 inches, here is a guide to know which blade size is great for which project.
10. Drill Press
Even if you have a drill, a drill press is still very important. A drill press features a table that sits flat perfectly. With this tool, you can drill high precision, straight holes without fatigue. A drill press would also allow you to do more drilling jobs in less time. You can even use it to drill heavier and thicker materials than a hand drill. This machine is highly versatile also, as you can exchange the tips with a wide range of bits, which means you can use it to do more drilling tasks. See our lineup of the best drill bits.
11. Bench Grinder
A bench grinder, as the name suggests, is a grinder that is fixed on a bench. You can use this tool to sharpen tools easily and quickly. The machine is pretty durable and very easy to maintain. If you work with many tools that require frequent sharpening, then this is a must-have woodworking tool. Here is a list of the best bench grinders on the market.
12. Radial Arm Saw
There are different types of power saws for woodworking, and the radial arm saw is one of the best tools for working wood. The name of the machine sounds unusual, but the device is easy to use when you get familiar with it. If you have much wood to cut, this is the right machine to turn to, as it does that quickly and efficiently. With this machine, you no longer have to experience fatigue while cutting tons of wood.
13. Drum Sander
If you are a professional woodworker, this is one of the most important tools to have in your arsenal of woodworking tools. This tool is also great for hobbyists and DIYers. It is an efficient and reliable sander that comes in handy in a wide range of scenarios. You can use this drum sander for the perfect finishing of your projects. The tool features a drum that is covered with sandpaper, and it smoothes any surface while rolling over it. Here is a guide to help you pick the best drum sander.
14. Scroll Saw
This is another addition to the tools of a woodworker. A scroll saw is a highly versatile tool and there are many things you can do with it. You can use it to make delicate artsy cutouts and wood ornaments. When it comes to making intricate and delicate cuts, any other cutting machine cannot rival the precision level of this machine. This tool is also very quiet, as it does not make noise while in use. You would also need the best scroll saw blade to utilize this powerful tool to the fullest.
15. Sabre Saw
In carpentry, one of the most important things for the success of a project is having the right tool. There are many saws on the market, and each one is designed for a purpose. The sabre saw works almost the same way as a jigsaw does. The saw moves in a vertical direction (up and down) at variable speed. While it is not the fastest and most accurate cutting tool, the sabre saw is much easier to use and provides better control. Here are the major differences between a sabre saw and a jigsaw.
16. Belt Sander
A belt sander is another very important power tool that makes a great addition to the toolset of any woodworker or carpenter. You can use this machine to remove heavy amounts of wood quickly with very little effort. It also allows you to smooth horizontal and vertical surfaces. You can use it to sand small objects with the help of a stand. There are also different types and sizes of belt sanders out there; some are ideal for heavy-duty tasks while others are designed for small tasks. See the reviews of the top-rated belt sanders.
The bandsaw is one of the most versatile cutting power tools, and it always has a place in the workshop of a woodworker. With this saw, you can cut circles and curves quickly. The saw makes it easy to make angled cuts. You can also use it to resaw thick stock. There are also some models that you can use to cut metals – see metal cutting bandsaws. You also need the best band saw blade to get the most out of this tool.
18. Impact Driver
This is a very common tool that you would find in almost any woodworking workshop. With this tool, you can drive any nut or screw into any wood or wall. It comes in handy in tightening nuts and driving screws while making cabinets and other furniture. This tool would make a great addition to your arsenal, as it is very useful and also very easy to use. See our reviews of the best impact drivers for any kind of task.
19. Framing Nailer
While hammers are still very useful in many cases, they are gradually becoming old fashioned. Gone are the days when people so much relied on hammers and nails to finish woodworking projects. Today, you can cut down the amount of time you spend hitting a nail through woods with a framing nailer. This machine would just drive the nail through, instantly. It can handle nails of different sizes, and it is ideal for use on any type of wood and project.
20. Surface Planer
If you have many pieces of wood to plane in a short time, the right tool to turn to is a surface planer. It makes your job much easier, allowing you to plane materials quickly, efficiently, and easily. You can adjust the height of its table and feed the material onto the surface of the planer. You can achieve consistent thickness and flatness with this tool. Not only will this tool save you time, but it would also save you money. See the best planers on the market today.
21. Laser Level
The laser level is an advanced, electronic level. It is one of the most must-have tools for woodworkers. With a good laser level, you will always get precise alignments for any kind of project you are working on. It also comes in handy for installing cabinets and other furniture on the wall. It would ensure you get a perfectly straight line. Here is a list of the most accurate laser levels you can find on the market.
Many people do not consider this a woodworking tool, but it is actually very useful in the workshop. After sawing and sanding lumber, your workshop is more likely to be covered by sawdust, and a shop vac can come to the rescue. It is one of the best tools for working wood because it is versatile. There are wet models that can also take care of wet and dusty floors at the same time. See reviews of the best shop vacs out there. With this tool, your work environment would always be clean and free from dust.
23. Palm Sander
A palm sander is one of the vital power tools in a woodworker’s collection of tools. This is a powerful tool that you can use to sand and smoothen surfaces. It uses ¼ of a sandpaper sheet and the head is small enough to get into tighter and hard-to-reach areas. This tool moves in a back and forth or circular pattern. However, you need to be careful when using them, as they can leave streaks or swirls on your wood that becomes visible once it is stained.
24. Rotary Tool
The rotary tool is one of the most versatile and powerful tools in the tool collection of a woodworker. This power tool is highly versatile and it uses different types of attachments. It serves a wide range of purposes including carving, sanding, and polishing. It comes in handy for designs and furniture making. See the best rotary tool reviews.
25. Die Grinder
A die grinder is one of the sneakiest and most versatile power tools in the workshop. You can use this tool to perform almost any task you would need other power tools for. However, it does not cover a large surface area. You can use it to cut, sand, burr, grind, and polish tight corners or areas that are difficult to reach. You can also use it to add a finishing touch to any furniture before staining. There are basically two types of die grinders – electric and pneumatic options.
26. Angle Grinder
This is another small but versatile power tool that can perform a wide range of functions in the workshop. You can use it to sharpen, cut, and polish metal or wooden surfaces. It is safe to use on different surfaces such as wood, tiles, pipe, metals, and more. If you are looking for the best angle grinder, you can find them here.
27. Benchtop Milling Machine
A benchtop milling machine is a heavy-duty machine that is mostly associated with professional woodworkers. You can use this machine for any project that requires high precision in drilling and cutting a wide range of materials, including wood and metal. It is a luxury woodworking tool that professionals and hobbyists alike can have.
28. Drill Bit Sharpener
If you do a lot of drilling work or you use your drill bits more often, then having a drill bit sharpener would not be a bad idea. With this machine around, you can maintain the sharpness of your bits, ensuring they are capable of handling any task at any time.
Woodworking Hand Tools
A handsaw will always have a place in the workshop of a carpenter or woodworker. This hand tool is very simple and easy to use. It is ideal for quick jobs and tasks that require precision, detailed cuts. These tools are super lightweight, and you do not have to deal with batteries or cords. It is always ready for use, and it is also inexpensive. They are also more durable than many power tools.
30. Wood Chisel
This is one of the most useful woodworking hand tools in the workshop. With a chisel, you can take your woodworking crafts to a completely new level. You can use it to shape wood, remove some particles, create ball and socket joints, and more. It comes in handy in cutting and carving any hard material such as wood or metal.
A hammer is a must-have tool for any woodworker or carpenter. You can never function without this one hand tool. There are dozens of different types of hammers, and they all have their areas of specialty. They differ in composition as well as purpose. Some come with beginner-friendly design while some are designed for professionals. Hence, you need to consider your needs before purchasing.
32. Biscuit Joiner
As a woodworker or carpenter, joining two pieces of wood is one of the things you would encounter regularly. While making cabinets, furniture, and other projects, you might need to join two pieces of woods, and the biscuit joiner is the right tool to do that. See our biscuit joiner reviews to pick the right one for your needs.
33. Measuring Tape
This tool should even be at the top of our list because no woodworker or carpenter can function without taking measurements. A measuring tape is one of the best tools in the arsenal of a woodworker. This tool should always be with you, as you need it when you are planning to create something or when you are even building it. It is useful in the shop, at home, on the job site, and more. Without a tape measure, you cannot do much beyond rough work.
A clamp is a hand tool that you can use to hold two pieces of wood together. Most woodworkers use it to hold freshly glued joints for the strong compartment. Depending on the joint areas, you can use more than one clamp on one point. There are numerous types of clamps out there, and only the best clamps would provide you with the unsung rugged durability and functionality you need.
When it comes to woodworking, a workbench is an unsung hero. If you are a hobbyist or DIYer, you can decide to work anywhere. However, if you are professional or you have a lot of woodworking jobs at hand, then a workbench is a must-have tool. A workbench allows you to work on projects effectively, and you can get in any dimension or shape you want. You can also decide to build one for yourself if you have all the right materials and tools. However, many woodworkers go for the already-made workbenches, as they come with many great features.
A square is a great addition to the toolbox of any carpenter or woodworker. This tool comes in handy when you want to calibrate your table saw or check an angle on your board. There are dozens of different types of squares on the market, and you can check out our list of the best speed squares to pick the right one for your needs. For beginners, we recommend a 12-inch combination square.
37. Router Table
Router tables are also very important, as they provide you with a better workspace to do your routing jobs. They are sturdy, stable, and very useful. You can perform a wide range of tasks on them, besides routing. With the standard height of these tables, you no longer have to strain your waist and back while routing. See the best router table reviews and buying guide.
38. Miter Saw Stand
If you have a miter saw in your workshop, then you would have a great need for this tool. This tool would bring some added comfort and safety during your woodwork. It is one of the best tools for woodwork, and it would ensure you have safe, comfortable, and quick miter sawing sessions. See our expert opinions on the best miter saw stands on the market.
This is another useful piece of equipment in the shop. You can decide to build your sawhorse by yourself (see our step-by-step tutorial) or buy one if you want. If you want to purchase one, you would find the best ones here. A sawhorse is very useful in woodworking, as you can use it for supporting while drilling or cutting. You can also use it as a work surface extension.
Every woodworker or carpenter needs a level. You might not need the heavy-duty 6-foot level used in construction, but the 48-inch version can handle a wide range of woodworking projects. You might also need the 8-inch level (which is known as a torpedo level). This tool helps to get a level or plumb surface when working, and it comes in really handy when you are trying to avoid slopes on surfaces.
Screwdrivers are among the must-have tools in the toolbox of a woodworker. You need all types of screwdrivers in your shop, including Phillips and slot, flathead, Torx drivers, start drivers, and more. As such, you need a complete set of screwdrivers. You also need longer ones for heavy-duty jobs. Stronger and thicker screwdrivers give you a lot of torque, and they can do heavy tasks. However, small and medium screwdrivers also have a role to play in any project.
42. Table Saw Fence
If you are one of those woodworkers that love precision and accuracy, then a table saw fence should not be missing in your toolbox. Irrespective of how good you are with a saw, having a table saw fence can make all the difference. Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional, you need this tool, as it would ensure you get super-straight and high-precision cuts. Here are our top picks and expert tool advice for table saw fences.
43. A Set of Pencils
A set of pencils is one of the most basic woodworking tools you need in any workshop. When it comes to woodworking, any pencil will not suffice. You need a set of pencils that are designed specifically for woodworking. These pencils are even supposed to be laying all over the place, as they are easy to lose and you can spend a lot of time looking for them to make a quick mark. Pencils are used for making marks after measurement. They are also used to draw lines before cutting. You should always have a few spares in your shop and your pocket.
44. Block Plane
Sooner or later, you would come to realize that a block plane is almost as important as a saw and hammer. You can use this tool to trim and flatten any lumber. You can also use it to add shape and curve to lumber. The tool also comes in handy in squaring your work, leveling joints, chamfering your stock, reducing the sharpness of a piece, and many more. All you have to do is to keep the blade sharp at all times. See the top block planes to use.
A mallet has the same design as a hammer, but rather than metal, the head of a mallet is made with wood or rubber. It is designed in a way that the head would absorb some of the striking force. You can use this woodworking hand tool to knock wooden pieces without deforming them. It is also used to drive chisels, and it provides you with more control than when you use a hammer.
46. Moisture Meters
The moisture meter is another great piece of equipment that comes in handy in the workshop. With this device, you can read the moisture level of your wood, and knowing the moisture level of your wood will give you a better idea of how to work with it. Here is a list of accurate moisture meter gauges you can trust.
47. Woodworking Vise
If you do a lot of cutting, chiseling or screwing in your workshop, this is one of the best tools to have. A woodworking vise is like an advanced clamp, as it can suffice where a clamp cannot. This device can hold any metal or wood in place for you to drill, cut, screw, chamfer, sand, smoothen, and more. However, you need the best woodworking vise to truly enjoy the amazing functionality of this tool.
48. Angle Finder
As a woodworker, you would be making different types of cuts, and an angle cut is one that comes up frequently. An angle finder is one measuring tool that should always be in your woodworking arsenal. There are different types of angle finders on the market, and this guide would help you find the right one.
49. Safety Goggles
Your protection is very important, and a safety goggle is one of the most important things you need to have in your workshop. The importance of this safety equipment cannot be overemphasized, and you should always have it around.
When spraying hand-applying high VOC finishes, working with sanders, or cutting wood, wearing a respirator is mandatory. Sawdust is dangerous to health, and long-term exposure can result in severe health conditions. See our top recommended respirators for woodworking.