13 Basic Woodworking Tools and Equipments for Beginners

Nowadays, people place diverse importance and meaning to the concepts of woodworking. To some, woodworking is just an activity they indulge in to exercise their muscles and relieve stress. These people enjoy the smell and feel of sawdust. In summary, woodworking is just a hobby for these sets of woodworkers. Despite the refreshing nature that woodworking might possess, some woodworkers take woodworking as a profession.

Basic Woodworking Tools

They are well paid for their woodworking skills. However, regardless of the category you belong to, whether you are a professional craftsman or a basic woodworker, there are certain woodworking tools that you must have in your woodworking arsenal.

Most infant woodworkers usually get swept away by the excitement of being handy and having the opportunity to handle certain woodworking tools that they end up spending thousands of dollars on getting expensive woodworking machinery for their workshop. However, as a beginner, you shouldn’t indulge the very elaborate woodworking tools as certain tools perfectly fit your expertise level.

These beginner tools are called Basic woodworking tools; they aim to help you achieve the feel of simplicity as you work on various projects. In a more realistic view, every professional woodworker out there was once a beginner, which means they had practice using the basic tools at one point or the other. Therefore, it is rare to come across a professional woodworker without basic woodworking tools. Here are a few woodworking tools that you must have as a woodworker;

  • Power saws
  • Handsaws
  • Sanders
  • Hammer
  • Mallet
  • Drill
  • Screw gun
  • Squares
  • Tape measure
  • Planes
  • Files
  • Workbench
  • Clamps

Having stated this, basic woodworking tools are classified into five major groups, such as the cutting tools, finishing tools, assembling tools, measuring tools, and gripping tools. These tools are the basic tools you will need as a beginner woodworker for your various building projects as you move gradually from working simple projects to complex projects. This article serves as a guide to deciding what basic woodworking tools you must have in your workshop.


Woodworking Saws

Saws are a necessary tool in a woodworker’s workshop because 90 percent of woodworking projects start with cutting materials. Usually, most woods require ripping and crosscutting to start taking the desired shape fitting for the woodworking project. Saws are the perfect solution to woodworkers cutting problems. However, they come in various sizes, shapes and are also specific for various cutting tasks.

Circular Saw

Basic Woodworking Tools Circular Saw

This is an essential power tool in a woodworking shop. The circular saw comes in various brands and models, but one constant feature in all circular saw is the circular blade embedded with sharp teeth that cut through woods effortlessly.  Note that all circular saws are an electrically-powered tool that comes with various power ratings. Some people believe that circular saws are better suited for rough carpentry than fine carpentry. That is untrue as circular saws can cut straight, fine, and clean lines as well. There are three types of circular saw, they are;

  • Ripping blades
  • Crosscut blades
  • Combination blades

The major difference in these types of circular saw is their teeth design. The ripping blades possess evenly spaced teeth while the crosscut blades have staggered teeth, then the combination blades possess the two kinds of teeth layouts. It is advisable to purchase a combination blade when trying to get a circular saw due to its combinative power of ripping and crosscut blades.

Jig Saw

Basic Woodworking Tools Jig Saw

This is another electrical power tool designed to make intricate cuts that can either be straight or curved. Jigsaw is different from the circular saw in that they cut in a back and forth motion instead of the revolving circular blades of the circular saw. Furthermore, the blades of a jigsaw vary in tooth numbers and Composition. The fine-tooth blades are used for sawing veneers while the coarse-tooth blades are used for rough and swift works.

Table Saw

Basic Woodworking Tools Table Saw

A table saw is an exceptional cutting tool that produces unique cuts. It has a similar design to the circular saw except that it is exposed from beneath the saw table. In a table saw, the blade depth and angles can be easily adjusted for precision. There are three types of table saw, depending on the size of the work you need and work location.

  • Cabinet table saws
  • Benchtop table saws
  • Contractor table saws

The cabinet table saws are a fixed table saw designed for heavy duties such as lumber ripping and panel cutting. In contrast, the benchtop table saws are a portable table saw that could be easily moved from one location to another, and also, they can be easily stored. On the other hand, the contractor table saw is a more economical choice designed for quick and easy jobs.


Basic Woodworking Tools Band Saw

This is a specialized saw designed for making intricate curved cuts. The band saw is a combination of circular and saber saws, where its teeth are fixed on a continuously looped, steel band revolving around an upper and lower pulley. Like other saws, the band saw comes in various sizes, largely depending on the wood size you would be cutting and how intricate you want your cuts to be. There are two major characteristics of the band saw, they are;

Depth capacity: this is responsible for how thick your material would be

Throat depth: this is responsible for how wide your stock would be

While getting a band saw, it is important to check for the width of the blade. Wide blades are suited for ripping, while thin blades are suited for making curved cuts.


Handsaws are a toothed steel blade with a wooden handle designed for cutting during a woodworking project. Handsaws come in a variety of designs as well

Crosscut handsaw: designed to cut across the wood

Ripping handsaw:  designed to cut with the wood grain

Combination handsaw: designed to perform the jobs of both the ripping and crosscut handsaws

Backsaw: designed for miter cuts

Carcase handsaw: possess stronger and larger backsaws

Dovetail handsaw:  designed for fine dovetail joint work

Keyhole handsaw: designed to cut interior holes

Coping handsaw: designed to make curved cuts

Filing, Planing, And Sanding Tools

Often, cut woods require more work to look more attractive and smoothly finished. Regardless of your blade’s quality or your expertise in cutting clean woods, your cut pieces would still need some filing, planing, and sanding. Here are a few basic tools that will serve this purpose;


Basic Woodworking Tools Planes

Planes are cutting tools with a fixed blade that peels off wood fibers. As a result, letting them take the necessary shape and become smoother. There are several types of planes, and this variety is dependent on blade sizes and depths. Below is a list of elemental planes that you might want to own as a beginner in the woodworking industry.

The block plane is small and stout, suited for tight woodworks where smooth joints are required.

Jack plane:  these are a multipurpose tool that is designed for smoothing and joining, respectively.

Rabbet plane: this type of plane is used for cutting right angle grooves along the wood edge grain. The joints created by these cuts are called rabbets.

Joining plane: this type of plane is very similar to jack planes except for their ability to smoothen edges and join pieces together.

Spokeshaves: these planes were specifically designed for curved surfaces

Scraper planes: designed to scrape fibers off the wood surfaces to get a super smooth finish.

Orbital Sander

Basic Woodworking Tools Orbital Sander

An orbital sander is a top-notch electrical powered finishing tool. The orbital sander makes use of sandpaper pads moving in an orbital pattern. There are two types of the orbital sander, the regular orbital sander and a random orbital sander. The regular orbital sander comes with a round abrasive sandpaper disk that whirls in a circular motion, leaving swirl marks difficult to remove on the wood. However, the regular orbital sander moves in a random motion, leaving the wood’s surface smooth and mark-free.

Hand Files

Basic Woodworking Tools Hand Files

One of the tools better suited for shaping and smoothening wood is the hand file. They are often made with quality steel that last you for a very long time. On this subject, we advise you to replace your hand files whenever you notice that it has become dull. The replacement is always better than trying to sharpen your hand file.  Furthermore, you can use your hand file to sharpen other woodworking blades in your workshop.

Assembly Tools

As a competent woodworker, once you are done with your work piece’s cutting and smoothing, you need to assemble your piece. In the woodworking industry, assembly depends solely on two factors.

  • Precision joints that fit
  • The proper tools to assemble and fasten the joints

Below is a list of some of the basic assembly tools that you will need as a beginner.


Basic Woodworking Tools Mallet

Many people confuse the hammer with the mallet, but as a woodworker, you should put both hammer and mallet in their respective places. Both tools are similar in that they are both striking tools, but they differ in their applications. Mallets are made with wooden or leather heads coupled into a removable handle. The handle is detachable so it can accommodate other heads. Mallets are perfect for striking chisels to jab a wood because mallet allows the chisel to smoothly cut through the wood with consistent pressure, unlike hammers that will leave a rough finish.


Basic Woodworking Tools Hammers

Hammer is a tool common to every woodworker and some other occupations, and they perform similar operations in all. However, in woodworking, hammers are usually used to pound and pry, and their ability to carry out these operations effectively largely depends on the following:

Head design, face size, and weight: finishing hammers usually have smooth heads while framing hammers have serrated faces intended for gripping nails.

Claw design including length and curve: finishing hammers possess long and bodacious claws while the framing hammers have straight edges used to split materials.

Handle Composition:  framing hammers usually come with steel handles because it delivers more driving force, and they don’t break easily. However, most beginner woodworkers do well with the wooden, or composite hammer handles as it delivers less shock when in use.

The major difference between hammers and mallets is their striking shock and surface impression. Mallet is usually softer than hammers. Furthermore, mallet absorbs shock, unlike hammer that delivers a shock, and lastly, mallets leave minimal striking marks on working surfaces.

Screw Gun

Basic Woodworking Tools Screw Gun

In the woodworking industry today, screws are the best fasteners that you can get. They hold your wood pieces tightly together, and they can be removed when disassembling.  A hand screwdriver seems to be a perfect fit to fasten your screws during your woodworking project. But the world is advancing, and it might just do you much good to invest in a powered screw gun. Screw guns are more effective, reliable, and they make your work much simpler.

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Tools For Measurements And Angles

As a woodworker, you cannot do without measuring before you embark on any woodworking project. Therefore, it is advisable to get quality and accurate measuring equipment for your workshop. Here is a list of some basic measuring tools you need as a beginner woodworker.


Basic Woodworking Tools Squares

It is almost impossible to complete a woodworking project without employing the use of some set of squares. Squares are perfect for creating angles and a perfect substitute for a ruler. These are the various types of squares are:

  • Framing square
  • Try square
  • Combination square
  • Bevel square
  • Miter square
  • Speed square

Tape Measure

Basic Woodworking Tools Tape Measure

A tape measure is another important basic measuring tool that every woodworker must-have. The following are the types of tape measure that are common to the woodworking industry:

  • Retractable steel tape
  • Folding rules
  • Flexible reel tape
  • Yardstick and straight edges

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