Essential Woodworking Tools | 20 Amazing Tools You Need

Woodworking is an exciting hobby to begin with. Is there a place inside the house that you want to renovate? You’ll be able to construct something amazing after you purchase the equipment you require. But before buying the equipment you must know about your requirements. Have you asked yourself, “What essential woodworking tools do I need?”?

Buying unnecessary items is one mistake beginners make when they go on a spending spree. In particular, they believe power tools are requisites for being a “real” woodworker. When it comes to tools and machines, you must be careful not to waste money.

Almost everyone tries to sell you something, whether you need it or not. However, you can save money in the long run by acquiring a good and right set of woodworking tools at the beginning of your journey. Otherwise, you would realize that you have wasted a huge amount on a tool that you have only used twice in many years. This article will point you to some of the most important tools and equipment you should have in your woodworking shop or garage. Let’s get started.

Here are a few essential woodworking tools everyone should have:

  • Hand saws
  • Planes
  • Files
  • Power saws
  • Sanders
  • Drill
  • Screw gun
  • Mallet
  • Hammer
  • Sawhorses
  • Workbench
  • Square


Tools for basic woodworking fall into five categories. Those tools are used for cutting, finishing, assembling, measuring, and holding wooden parts during the process of transforming raw materials into final products. A beginning woodworker can tackle simple projects to complex ones using the tools provided in these categories. The following beginners’ guide to must-have essential woodworking tools will help you prioritize what should go in your toolbox.

Table of Contents

Saw is one of Essential Woodworking Tools

The beginning of almost any woodworking task involves cutting the materials. When wood is crafted into interesting pieces, it is first cut into rough lengths.

It doesn’t matter what type of wood is used, cuts and rips are necessary to give wood stocks their final form. There are saws for that, and they are available in different sizes and shapes.

Also, they can be used for a variety of cutting applications. You’ll need these materials to start building your collection of saws


It is a good idea to buy a jigsaw for any woodworker who is just starting out. Due to their reversible, saber-style blades, these saws are also known as saber saws. These electric power tools enable you to make intricate cuts in any direction.

Just visualize a jigsaw puzzle and you will understand how it works. In comparison to circular saws, jigsaws are significantly different. Typically, jigsaws are moved from back to forth, or from top to bottom.

Different blades have different tooth numbers and compositions. Using them, you can cut all sorts of materials, including metal, plastic, and wood. Sawing veneer with fine-tooth blades, while fast and harsh work is best done with blades with coarse teeth.

A jigsaw is easy to use with one hand. Having that other hand available for holding your work gives you more control. It cut intricate, small pieces well. Jigsaws are excellent for cutting interior curves, such as circles, rectangles, etc.

All you need to do is create a pilot hole and place the blade inside. Your jigsaw will soon become proficient at making plunge cuts after a little practice.

Circular Saw

Circular saws should be in every beginner’s toolbox since they use power to cut. The market is flooded with brands, but each one has a similar characteristic. It has a circular or round blade equipped with sharp teeth for ripping through wood.

Although circular saws come in varying power ratings, they are all electric. The majority of circular saws are corded machines powered by household current, but cordless circular saws have advanced greatly.

Circular Saw

However, the circular saw is often thought to be better suited to rough woodworking than fine woodworking, which is a misconception. Using circular saws correctly always results in precise cuts. But the blade you use can often make a big difference.

Blades for circular saws can be classified into three types:

  • Combination Blades: Ideal for both ripping and cutting
  • Ripping Blades: They are used to cut long materials along the grain
  • Crosscut Blades: Used for crosscutting

It is the design of the teeth that distinguishes these blades. The teeth on cross cutting blades are spaced differently, while those on ripping blades are evenly spaced. A combination blade consists of both tooth layouts. Budget-conscious individuals would benefit from acquiring a good combination blade that features carbide teeth.

Furthermore, it is important to know the diameter of the blades. Typical blade diameters range between 7 ½ inches and ten inches, and some machines offer 12″ diameters for multi-dimensional woodcutting. There are two basic designs of circular saws.

One would be a direct drive with the blade positioned 90 degrees to the motor and in direct contact with the arbor. In addition to being the most frequently used, direct drives are also the most affordable. Circular saws with a worn drive are intended for heavy-duty use. However, instead of a motor, they have a gear-driven blade.

Table Saw

Early in the woodworking process, most novices purchase a table saw. With table saws, you can make cuts that are hard to achieve with other types of saws. As the blade protrudes out of underneath the work surface, they look like upside-down circular saws.

Precision can be achieved by adjusting the depth and angle of the blade. A table saw is available in three different styles. Woodworkers who are just starting out will enjoy all three. The versions vary depending on where you are working and how big the project is.


You have the following options for table saws:

  • Benchtop Table Saws: Since these lighter-weight table saws are portable, you can easily transport them from one location to another, and store them when they’re not needed. Direct drive table saws are the most common type of benchtop table saw. The advantage is that they are small, but they are a bit loud.
  • Contractor Table Saws: Typically, builders use them for cutting on construction sites where space and time are limited. Beginners can learn to use contractor table saws easily as they’re the most precise and the most affordable option.
  • Cabinet Table Saws: The saws themselves are heavy and designed to remain in place. Pulleys and belts drive the blade of the motor which is enclosed in a cabinet on the bottom. You can use them for everything from cutting hardwood to ripping lumber. Cabinet table saws are a popular choice for beginning woodworkers.

In order to get the best results from a table saw, also known as a chop box or a chop saw, a quality blade should be used.

Compound Miter Saw

Circular saws can be replaced with compound miter saws. With its blades, you do rips, crosscuts, and combinations. However, the saws are attached to tracks or arms, as they were with radial arm saws.

A quality crosscut saw blade is always appropriate for use on a miter saw. The electric miter saws are incredibly handy tools. The power miter saw is great for cutting miters, bevels, and compound angles with its power-driven blades, particularly for beginners.

Powerful miter saws emerged out of the traditional chop saws. You can now get them with sliding arms that extend the cutting length. In addition to tilting their powerheads, they are able to make bevel and miter cuts simultaneously. Compound miter saws are capable of cutting virtually any angled pattern.


A woodworker’s shop is never without a handsaw. When you need to get the job done quickly or cut with precision, handsaws are the best option. A handsaw is convenient because its weight is light, its batteries don’t die and its cords aren’t clumsy. It’s easy to use a handsaw when necessary, and they don’t cost much.

For hundreds of years, people have used hand saws to cut wood. There are wooden handles attached to toothed steel blades, and the blades glide back and forth to cut the material. Handsaw uses involve a lot more than most novices realize

Below are some ideas for hand saw designs:

  • Backsaws: Have braced backs and rectangular blades to make mitered cuts
  • Crosscut Hand Saws: Crosscut the grain of the wood
  • Coping Hand Saws: Used to cut curves along the way like band saws and jigsaws
  • Ripping Hand Saws: Cut along the wooden grain
  • Combination Hand Saws: Made to rip and crosscut at the same time
  • Keyhole Hand Saws: For cutting holes in interiors
  • Dovetail Hand Saws: Ideal for making fine dovetail joints
  • Car case Hand Saws: More powerful and larger saws

It is recommended that beginning woodworkers should purchase handsaws of the highest quality within their budget. Hand saws are inconvenient when the blades are dull or cheap. With a blade that is sharp and has good teeth, wood can be cut nearly accurately and quickly.

Essential Woodworking Tools to File, Plane, And Sander

To present an appealing, finished appearance, wood pieces must be molded to a proper shape. It doesn’t matter how high the quality or how fine the saw blade is, you will still have to file, plan, and sand. Investing in these tools is a great move for woodworkers who are just getting started:

Hand Files

When it comes to shaping wood and smoothing it, a hand file is the best tool. Files made of good steel last for a long time and do not cost a lot.

However, if a hand file becomes dull, it is better to replace it than to try to sharpen it.

These are the several options available to you for hand files:

  • Mill files: Both sides of the files are flat. One side of their teeth is usually rough, and the other is smooth. Toothed edges are also found on mill files for working in confined areas.
  • Rasps: These are rough-edged and coarse-toothed tools. In order to shape wood, they first remove a large amount of it and then proceed to shape it with finer files.
  • Half-round files: These have a flat front and curved back. Their versatility allows them to be used on curved as well as straight edges.

A rotary cutter is similar to a hand file, though it can typically only be used with an electric drill. Rotating abrasives are used to remove the material from the chuck. The cutting grits of rotaries vary according to their patterns.

Sharpening other blades and bits on your woodworking machinery is also possible with hand files. Files made out of metal include very fine teeth and are composed of highly durable steel. Investing in hand files that are high-grade is worth it. A good tool is usually worth its price when dealing essential woodworking tools.

Orbital Sander

An orbital sander is one of the most effective wood-finishing tools you can buy. With fast-acting sanding machines, you will be able to sand much more quickly and with less strain. Different from belt sanders, orbital sanders operate in orbital motion. Using rotating sandpaper pads, the machine works in an orbital or circular motion.

Sanding is done with an orbital sander by rotating a cylindrical sandpaper disk in a circular motion. In spite of their fast removal rates, they result in streak marks that require considerable effort to eliminate.

If you’re looking for the best product, consider an orbital sander. They don’t move around. In fact, the oiled wood surface is silky smooth and free of marks because they oscillate in a random pattern.


Planes are the tools that are used for cutting materials such as wood instead of other abrasive sanding equipment. There is a fixed blade in all kinds of planes that cuts the wood fibers off, brings them into a proper shape, and hence makes them comparatively smoother. In order to remove material at a given speed, the blade depth and size of the blade are considered.

Some of the plane names sound strange, if not funny. While rabbit planes and jack planes shave wood as well, they are extremely different in their application. Blocks, jointers, and spoke shaves are also frequently used words. Numerals will also be used to describe them. These are all types of hand planes that beginning woodworkers should look into.

You might want to consider the following hand planes:

  • Block Planes: These are small, sturdy planes. The best use for these tools is in tight spaces where joints need to be smooth.
  • Jack Plane: These removal tools are effective at removing a lot of material in one go. Since it’s a “jack-of-all-trades” tool that can be used for both smoothing and jointing, it’s the ideal tool for everyone.
  • Rabbet Planes: Used to cut grooves at right angles along a board’s edge. Rabbets ( the joints) are different from dadoes, which are internal grooves in joints.
  • Scraper Planes: Designed to remove fine wood fibers for super-smooth surfaces. Some people refer to these planes as cabinet scrapers.
  • Joining Planes: They are used mostly to join pieces together and smooth out edges. The frames of jointers are typically long.
  • Spokeshaves: Specially designed hand planes for use on curves. Their purpose was originally to manufacture wagon wheel spokes, but they soon found their way into the hands of woodworkers of every kind.

Measurement & Angle Tools

According to the old adage, measure twice, cut once. The best advice you can get is from an old woodworker. Always make sure your measurements are accurate and easy to interpret. A beginner woodworker will need the following essential woodworking tools to measure and check angles:

Tape Measures

It is a must for every woodworker to carry a tape measure. Since there are so many types of tape measures, however, it would be difficult to have them all attached to you. The following measures are basic ones to consider:

  • Folding Rulers: Note that they’re called rulers. Measurement sticks of this type are rigid and have high accuracy.
Measurement & angle tools
  • Flexible Reel Tapes: They come in steel or fabric and can be ordered in lengths of up to 100 feet.
  • Yardsticks and Straight Edges: They are directly comparable to rulers and they are very useful for making quick measurements and for making straight lines.
  • Retractable Steel Tapes: The most commonly used measuring tools. Their length ranges between 12 and 30 feet.


A variety of squares is necessary to achieve decent results when working with wood. All sorts of angles can be drawn and verified if you have good squares. There are almost always measurements etched on the surface of every square. In this way, they can also act as measuring rules.

You should have the following squares:

  • Try Squares: Hand devices that are smaller and angle to aid in determining squareness
  • Speed Squares: Make checking 90 and 45 degrees easier
  • Framing Squares: Tools with right angles for larger work surfaces
  • Bevel Squares: These tools help you create new angles or transfer the patterns
  • Miter Squares: Ideal for cutting miter angles
  • Combination Squares: They are used for calculating distances and angles

Divers, compasses, and depth gauges don’t technically count as squares, but they’re cheap woodworking tools. In other words, they’re measuring tapes from the other family.

Assembly Tools For Woodworking

Your woodworking process includes more than just cutting and smoothing wood. Your components still need to be assembled after they are sized and smooth enough to finish. It takes two things to assemble woodwork successfully. An accurate fit is necessary for precision joints. Assembling and securing them securely requires the right tools as well.

Beginning woodworkers need the following basic tools:


A mallet is not the same thing as a hammer. Although both of these tools strike, their uses are very different. Some hammers are brass or plastic, while others have steel faces. A mallet is a tool with a hefty wooden or leather head and handles that can be detached to fit the head size of the user.

It is their striking effect and surface impression that distinguishes hammers and mallets. A mallet is much softer than a hammer, and it absorbs shock rather than delivers it. In addition, mallets leave fewer marks on wood, which makes them perfect for tapping pieces of wood together.

It is imperative that beginners understand their chisels should never be tapped with a steel hammer. Chisels leave rough finishes when they are stabbed with steel hammers. Chisels can slice through wood with consistent pressure by tapping them with a mallet.


Hammers are made of a variety of materials as well as for different purposes. The woodworker at the beginning has a variety of options and should decide how he or she will use the hammer before purchasing it.

A woodworking hammer comes in the following three types:

  • Framing Hammers: Woodworking projects would benefit from framing hammers as they are tough, however, they are overkill for most projects.
  • Tack Hammers: They are similar to brad drivers. Small and clawless, they’re useful for small jobs and usually come in two sizes.
  • Finishing Hammers: They are used for multiple purposes. Your first purchase should be one of these as they are so handy.

Screw Gun

For woodworking, screws are the best fastener. They can be held tight and if you disassemble, make temporary joints, or make a mistake, they can be easily removed. You probably won’t be without a screwdriver, but investing in an electric screw gun will make driving screws faster and easier.

When you have multiple screws to tighten, screw guns prove to be quite handy. The screw gun is a family member of the power drill. Almost all screw guns now come with cordless versions, so they’re a lot more convenient.

It is the design of the chuck inside the screw gun that distinguishes a screw gun from a power drill. Hexagonal and six-sided bits are inserted with screw guns. This eliminates slippage.

Power Drill

Woodworkers who are just starting out can find power drills to be their greatest ally. The only ones left using braces and bits and hand drills are the old-time craftspeople. Drills powered by the electric current are used so widely throughout the workshop for a variety of purposes.

Drilling holes with them isn’t the only thing they do. With all the attachments you can buy for your electric drill, you can also use it as other tools as well.

Get a corded power drill if this is your first one. In comparison with cordless drills, 110/120-volt drills have much greater torque and longevity. Although the cords may hinder some, you will never be disappointed with their charge.

Woodworking Projects: Other Necessities

After having a better understanding of what beginning tools you need to cut, finish, assemble, and measure woodwork projects, you will need something to hold them in. Woodworking shops cannot function without clamping devices. You need a workbench and sawhorses to hold your work:


Investing in a sawhorse should be one of your first woodworking projects. The four-legged sawhorses are good at supporting huge loads and supporting long lengths of lumber.

Most woodworkers use sawhorses in pairs, but some keep half a dozen around. Wood can be used to make your own rigid sawhorses.

It’s a cost-effective way to utilize scrap materials. Commercial sawhorses are available in steel, fiberglass, and plastic materials.


Although you can build your own with 2x4s and plywood, you’ll never be able to match the value you’ll get with a high-quality workbench.

Every time you work on a project you’ll turn to it. You must always prefer purchasing free-standing workbenches with 360-degree rotation.

Investing in Quality Tools

Finally, we suggest you invest in high-quality tools when starting out as a woodworker. For they are not only durable for a longer time period but also help you to get your work done more conveniently and confidently.

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