Here is list of 14 tools that every beginner woodworker should have in their tool box when starting out. Woodworking is a skill that requires time and practice but will also take time to build up a collection of required tools to do certain tasks. This is a basic list of a few tools that any woodworker just starting out should try to get together to start making some simple woodworking projects.
- Pencil – Now this is a simple tool that almost everyone probably has around the house somewhere, maybe in the kitchen drawer or in one of the kids pencil cases. This will be used when marking out measurements when working on your projects and will indicate where a cut is to be made and other uses that you will learn throughout your woodworking journey.
- Tape measure – A tape measure can be used for measuring when marking out measurements as well as being used for rough measuring lengths of timber before prepping for the project. The tape measure is a retractable tool and will be mainly used for larger measurements and tends not to be as accurate over time. The hook at the end of the tape is loose so it moves fractionally. The distance it moves is the thickness of the hook so it can be used for internal and external measuring.
- Steel rule – This will be the preferred choice over a tape measure where possible when measuring and marking as the steel rule is more accurate. 150, 300 and 600mm long rules are useful.
- Claw hammer – A claw hammer can be a good general purpose hammer to extract bent nails or used for assembling projects although protect your work piece with a scrap piece so you don’t get the hammer head dents in your project.
- Chisels – There are many different types of chisels that are used for different tasks but to start off with, a set of bevel-edged chisels will do just fine. Bevel-edged chisels are lightweight, versatile tools that have a blade that is bevelled as well as the tip. This is so you have clearance when working with corners or woodworking joints.
- Screwdrivers – A set of screwdrivers of different sizes will be required when fixing and fastening screws to your work piece. It is important to use the correct width size of screwdriver to the same size screw slot. Screwdrivers with rounded or oval handles are generally easier to use.
- Mallet – A wooden mallet can be used for tapping the end of chisels to aid in chopping waste timber or it can even be used to assemble woodworking joints as it is a much softer material than the hammer and will not damage your work as easily.
- Block plane – A small block plane will be needed for more delicate jobs like planing bevels or trimming end grain. They can also be used for planing in door gaps and almost any other job you think it would be handy to use on as it is the lighter option for using a plane and can be used with one hand.
- Smoothing plane – The smoothing plane has fine adjustments to the blade so that very fine shavings can be made to produce a nice smooth surface before finishing.
- Tenon saw – The tenon saw would be a good choice of saw because it is a good general purpose saw as well as being used to cut tenons. It has a hard spine on the top edge of the saw which will give the blade more stability than other saws.
- General purpose panel saw – A general purpose panel saw will be used for cutting wood and manmade boards into smaller components. There are other saws such as ripsaws and crosscut saws which are used for different purposes. A ripsaw is used for cutting along the grain and the crosscut saw is used for cutting across the grain. A general purpose panel saw can be used for both.
- Nail punch – A nail punch is used with a hammer to punch nails, brads or pins below the surface of the wood so it can be filled with wood filler before finishing. Try to use a nail punch with the point end smaller than the nail, brad or pin so that it reduces the risk of marking the work piece more than it needs to.
- Try square – Squares are used for marking lines at precise angles. A try square is used for a 90-degree angle or can also be used for checking cuts that have been made are square. Another use is checking that your work or an individual piece of wood is square.
- Combination square – A combination square is a combination of a try square, mitre square and a steel rule. It can be used for 90 and 45-degree angles but generally is not as accurate as the dedicated squares. It is however a very useful tool to have.
This is just 14 ideas to get you started if you were planning on spending some money on some hand tools and didn’t know what to get started with. You can find hand tools almost anywhere these days and they are going to come at different prices.
The more expensive the tools are they are normally a better quality. For example: When buying chisels, the more expensive ones generally are made from a harder metal which will keep its sharp edge longer than a cheaper version. This means that your chisels will have a longer life span as you will not need to keep sharpening them.
This does not mean you should rule out cheap tools because you can get some good strong tools at a lower cost. Most woodworkers would normally start off with cheaper tools and gradually replace them with better quality ones as they get old and worn. It could also be a good idea to start of cheaper in case you decide woodworking is not for you and then you wouldn’t of wasted too much money.