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Woodworker Tools

Using the Right Tools

To a woodworker, using the right tool is very important. A seasoned woodworker takes pride in the range of their tools. Many woodworkers viewed their set of tools as very personal, as though no one else should be using them. Professional woodworkers take care of their tools properly and always keep them in good, peak functions.

The range of woodworkers tools can be rather huge. The general catogory of tools can include hand tools, power tools and machine tools. Depending on your level and budget, woodworking tools can range from cheap to very expensive. Though the power tools can help speed things up and make things easier, you can still build quality projects with hand tools.

Safety of the Tools

One important point about tools is safety concerns. If you cannot afford a new machine but really wanted one, you might want to look into second hand woodworking machines. However, you have to make sure the used or second hand equipment is safe and can last you some time. Otherwise, you might be better off buying a new one when you can afford it.

Here we will run through the basic tools you will need for your woodworking projects.

Claw Hammer

This is the most common hammer used for woodworking and general repairs. Claw hammer comes different styles, weights and materials. Make sure you feel comfortable and balanced holding it when striking a nail.

Wood Chisels

Chisels for woodworking can range from ¼ inch to 2 inches wide in 1/8 inch praduations. You have a choice of plastic or wooden handle. The guideline for using chisel is your chisel width should be half the width of the cut size. If you are just starting out, buy a few first rather than all the sizes.


Screwdriver is almost universally needed in woodworking project. You should get one with various sizes, including both Phillips and flat head. You might want to consider a cordless, electric screw driver.


Levels come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. They can de wooden, plastic or aluminum. The most common is 2 feet long. Level is easy to use. Just make sure the air bubble is centered between the two indicator lines, and your surface should be level. You definitely want to make sure your project turn out straight. So, level is an important tool.

Try Square

Try square ranges from 3 inches to 12 inches, may or may not have inch graduations on them. Try squares are useful for furniture and cabinet projects. Theie small size allows fitting in confined spaces.

Framing Squares

Framing squares allow you to layout and measure virtually everything from the basement stairs up to the attic rafters. The most common size is one with a 24-inch blade and a 16-inch tongue.


You should get one double 45 degree and one 30 degree-60 degree triangles, which are most commonly used in laying out patterns.

Tape Measures

Get one with ¾ inch or ½ inch width with at least 6 feet length. There are quite a variety in tape measures. Modern ones come with digital read-outs. Make sure the hook at the end is not bent, otherwise the reading might not be accurate.


Get different grades for different purpose, ranging from coarse grit to fine grit paper. You will use plenty of these for finishing.

Screws and Nails

Keep a handy supply of nails and screws. You can always buy more as and when for different projects.


Saws are definitely a necessity as there will likely be plenty of sawing to get your wood or lumber into the right shape. For general purpose, get one at 26 inches long with 8 teeth per inch, with crosscut as well as ripping saws. Fret saw is used for intricate design.


Clamps are very useful and too many is never too many. You need clamps to hold boards together for gluing. If you get pipe clamps ranging from 18 inches to 8 feet wide, you should have the right clamp for most projects. Also, get a few hand clamps and small C-clamps for your smaller projects. For working with oak, you might want to consider zinc-coated pipe clamp to prevent staining of the wood.

Hand Plane

You only need a basic smoothing plane for most projects. Get a good quality one for durability.


Vise holds wood pieces on the workbench, enabling you to shape the wood with other tools.


Get one fine and one rough should do the job for filing board edges and removing small bits of wood.


Make sure you get the carpenter’s wood glue for strength and stability

Carpenter’s Pencil

Get a couple of these, with ¼ inch by ½ inch and 1/16 inch by 3/16 inch lead

Safety Glasses

Wear this even if you are not using power tools, especially when hammering or moving boards or wood shavings.

Wet / Dry Shop Vacuum

Clean up wood shaving and dust to prevent fires and easier breathing.

Electric Drill / Drill Bits

If you are thinking about buying power tool, the electric drill will be the first power tool to buy. Electric drill can be versatile, used for multi-purposes, including mixers, sanders, screwdrivers, saws, grinders, lathes, and so on. Beginner can start with a 3/8 inch, variable speed, reversible drill. The corded version will be cheaper than the cordless counterparts. Make sure it has double insulation.

Electric Circular Saw

If you can afford one, it can be handy for cutting up your wood pieces.

Tools are tools. Woodworking tools are not rocket science. If you are not sure, read the instructions before using them. Whatever you do, safety always come first.

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