Basic Tools For Woodworking

What are the basic tools required for woodworking?


Are you new to woodworking? You’re probably wondering what kinds of tools that you need let alone how these tools are used. You must also be thinking if you need power tools with basic projects. Most professional woodworkers and craftsmen will agree that they have had similar thoughts during the first time they started woodworking. It’s natural to have these worries especially if you want to become a skilled woodworker in the future. Rest assured that with this guide, you will have an overview of the basic tools required for woodworking and how these tools are used.

Woodworking tools are classified into two groups: basic hand tools and power tools. Hand tools are simple tools that are needed for measuring, hammering, cutting, sanding, shaping and attaching while power tools are either battery-powered or corded electrical tools used for fastening, hammering, cutting, sanding, shaping and finishing,

1) Claw Hammer

This is a basic hand tool that you will probably use over and over again for your woodworking hobby and even for carpentry jobs at home. Choose a 16 oz. hammer preferably with a rubber handle. Stanley has a few claw hammers, and their most popular is the FatMax with anti-vibration and soft grip handle

2) Mallet

A heavy mallet is another essential tool used in woodworking. You need a mallet to pound, join, fasten and finish projects. Most woodworkers have two or three wooden mallets in a variety of sizes. Choose a medium-sized wooden mallet for your beginner projects. Highridge has a nice wooden mallet made of beech wood with a good grip while the Connex beech mallet has a unique design but pretty many works like a traditional wooden mallet.

3) Tape Measure

You need a handy tape measure that you can take anywhere you need to work. Invest in a good quality tape measure with a durable tape, blade locks and a case that gives a good grip. Stanley has a variety of tape measures, but the Pocket Tylon Tape is one of the most durable, resistant to wear and has a matte finish blade to reduce glare for accurate measurements.

4) Combination Square

This tool allows you to measure 90 degree and 45-degree angles easily. This is also used for checking the alignment of power tools. Invest in a durable combination square since you would be using this tool to measure different projects more accurately. IRWIN has a combination square measuring tool in 6, 12 and 16-inch varieties. These are precision-etched with a zinc body.

5) Block Plane

This is a shaping and shaving tool that removes unwanted edges and trims off excess wood. A block plane is mostly used for finishing, and therefore a quality block plane will yield quality results. The Stanley small trimming plane is a good example. This is a lightweight plane ideal for light carpentry work and light woodworking projects.

6) Framing Square

This is an important measuring and layout tool that is set to 90 degrees with fractional increments on each side of the framing square blade. This is a highly-recommended tool for beginner woodworkers and should be made of durable material and easy to distinguish and accurate measurements just like the Empire Level professional framing square made of anodized aluminum.

7) A Set of Chisels

Chisels are used to create rough cuts and remove pieces of wood before any finishing tool is used. It is also used to bore holes and to pare wood. Choose a set of chisels with a durable handle since these are usually pounded by heavy wooden mallet or hammer. A good set of chisels must be made of hardened and tempered steel and should have a ¾ inch, 1 inch and 1 ¼ inch varieties like the Dewalt 3 pc Side Strike Chisel Set.

8) Basic Hand Saw

You need a saw to cut wood and a quality hand saw will allow you to cut wood in a seamless and precise manner. Invest in a quality hand saw with hardened steel teeth to stay sharp for any woodworking project like the Stanley 20-045 15-inch Fat Max. This hand saw has an ergonomically-designed grip to prevent slipping and provide comfort even for long hours of use.

9) Router

This is a basic power tool needed for creating complicated shapes and edges as well as joiners like the dovetail, tenons, and mortise. A router is a versatile tool and is mostly electric –powered and can be inverted to make a router table. A variable speed router is recommended for beginners like the Dewalt DW6 electronic variable speed fixed-based router.

10) Circular Saw

This is a basic power tool used for cross-cutting wood, metal, and plastic. It should be lightweight and easy to handle. A common circular saw can cut up to 57 degrees and a depth of at least 2 – 9/16”. This power tool could be a bit expensive, but you must invest in quality, heavy-duty tool to get the vest results. The Dewalt Flex sold is a brushless circular saw with a full-size blade. Its brushless motor allows for maximum power use and multiple quality cuts at maximum speeds.

11) Power Drill and Impact Driver

This is another must-have basic power tool for woodworking. This tool is needed for easy drilling holes and driving screws on any material. Look for compact drills and drivers with great features like the Ryobi Volt-One compact drill and driver with lithium ion batteries. This drill/driver is lightweight, with variable speeds and a keyless chuck for easy tip replacement.

12) Tool Box

Needless to say, that you must have a place to put all these tools safely and securely. Most woodworkers use a tool box to place their tools. There is no specific type of box; bag or container to use as long as it keeps each tool safely as well as each tool’s corresponding accessory and parts (remember that most tools have specific parts and accessories like drills and saws). If you want, you can make one and save a lot of money; here is a video from Craftsman on YouTube that shows how. This could be your first woodworking project.


Learning about the basic tools needed for woodworking is essential for any beginner woodworker or hobbyist. Any novice woodworker has to get to know each hand tool and power tool to the T to be able to use it efficiently and create lovely projects. If you are a beginner woodworker, take the time to get to know each tool and invest in quality ones to get excellent results.