20 Basic Woodworking Tools For Beginners

basic woodworking tools for beginners

Woodworking is often considered an art. It is an activity where you need to use your creativity to build items ranging from every furniture to more intriguing pieces like complex bookshelves and or perhaps a wendy house in the back yard. While people who have been doing woodworking for a while can easily tell what they need to get the job done before they even start with a new project, those who are still at a beginner level often find that it is much harder for them to know what tools they need to buy in order for them to get started.

In this post, I will cover 20 of the most essential tools that every woodworking station needs. These basic woodworking tools for beginners will give you a good starting point that you can build from.

1. Woodworking Bench

Basic Woodworking tools for BeginnersIf you are going to be working on projects frequently, then you need a woodworking bench. There is no denying in just how useful this type of accessory would be in your woodworking space. When it comes to buying a woodworking bench, it is crucial that you consider what your requirements are. Take into account the types of projects that you will be working on – do you need a large workbench or will a smaller and more portable option do fine for your projects?

If you are the type who wants to do everything on their own, you can check out the post I have written on how to make your own woodworking bench.

An excellent example of a high-quality woodworking bench that won’t break the bank is the Windsor Design Workbench. This workbench is made from top-quality wood and features solid construction, and is available for less than $200. If you are in the market for a more mobile solution and you are limited in terms of your budget, consider an option like the BLACK+DECKER WM125 Workmate instead.

2. Rip Saw

basic woodworking tools for beginnersIf you are going to be working with wood, then there really is no doubt that you will, at some point in the project, need an object to cut wood. There are different types of saws on the market – some are automatic, and others are manual saws. For beginners, I highly recommend stocking your bench with a rip saw. This saw provided a rip cut and was designed to be used to cut in a parallel manner with the direction in which the grain of the wood lies. The Lynx Garlick Thomas Flinn British 20” Rip Saw is an excellent one to add to your toolbox.

3. Crosscut Saw

Another important type of manual saw that you should ensure you buy and equip your woodworking studio with is a crosscut saw. This is a saw that looks similar in some ways to the rip saw, but it has characteristics that make it unique for certain types of tasks. A crosscut saw is sometimes also called a thwart saw. With this type of saw, you will be cutting in a perpendicular way across the grain of the wood that you need to cut for your project. The Lynx 3′ One Man Crosscut Saw is an excellent option and comes at an affordable price.

4. Carcass Saw

basic woodworking tools for beginnersThere are cases where a crosscut and rip saw won’t be able to give you the precision and accuracy that the project you are working on demands. In these cases, a carcass saw might be an ideal option to add to your collection of saws. This type of saw has a total of 14 points in every inch of the blade. It can cut rather quickly but still offer a smooth and accurate cutting experience.  If you cannot find a carcass saw on the market, look for a tenon saw, which is the same thing, just with a different name, such as the Crown 195.

5. Dovetail Saw

basic woodworking tools for beginnersYet another saw, classified as a back saw similar to the carcass and tenon saw, the dovetail saw is also useful in many cases. A dovetails aw usually feature fine teeth with a very thin blade. The handle is straight, and the entire saw is constructed with accuracy in mind. They are most often used for dovetailing joints, as well as to cut into thin parts of the wood. The Two Cherries 520-6020 is a good example of a high-quality dovetail saw.

6. Coping Saw

basic woodworking tools for beginnersYes, woodworking requires a relatively large variety of saws. The coping saw is a relatively cheap product and is often used together with the dovetail saw in order to remove any type of waste that was left behind in a dovetail joint. Coping saws are also often used as a way to cut out rough shapes in a board, which will, later on, be perfected as you are moving along with the project. The Stanley 15-104 Fatmax Coping Saw is available for under $20.

There are a lot of varieties of Coping Saws available in the market and I have written on the best quality coping saws in a previous post.

7. Try Square

basic woodworking tools for beginnersA try square is something that you will need in almost each of the projects that you are going to be taking on, making this a crucial asset to your woodworking toolbox. This tool will help you be more precise when it comes to creating joints for the wooden projects that you are busy working on. There are a large number of try squares on the market – I would recommend you taking a look at an option like the Swanson Tool TS152 8-Inch or the Crown Tools 6-inch option. A variety of try squares will also definitely be convenient.

8. Tape Measure

basic woodworking tools for beginnersAnother essential tool that you will rely on during every project that you are going to be taking on is a tape measure. You can opt for a standard tape measure, or rather opt for a retractable one, which is certainly a much more convenient option to choose. These items are used to measure each section of wood that will essentially become part of the item that you are building. If you opt for a longer tape measure, you’ll never have to go out to buy another one in the future. The Stanley 33-735 35-feet FatMax Tape Ruler is an excellent option.


9. Folding Ruler

basic woodworking tools for beginnersWhile a tape measure is essential for your woodworking projects, a set of folding rulers can also be a useful addition to your toolbox. These are great for measuring smaller parts of wood, including those more intrigued sections where a tape measure does not always offer you the same convenience. Folding rulers are very affordable. A set of Rhino Rulers, for example, will cost you just under $20.



10. Marking Knife

basic woodworking tools for beginnersOnce you have measured a piece of wood, how do you know where to saw later on? This is exactly why you also need to ensure you buy an appropriate marking knife. Such a tool will allow you to easily place markings on the wood so that you can come back later and do the cutting in one go. For a high-quality option, look at the Big Horn 19061 Marking Knife. If you are on a lower budget, then something like the Stanley 10-049 Pocket Knife can work too.



11. Wooden Mallet

basic woodworking tools for beginnersAnother essential tool for your woodworking studio is definitely a wooden mallet. There are various times when you will greatly rely on the function of a mallet – be sure to opt for a wooden one as this will offer you adequate strength without adding too much of a force while you are carving and performing other tasks. The Crown 4-1/2-inch Beechwood Mallet is an excellent example of a good quality wooden mallet.



12. Clamping System

basic woodworking tools for beginnersNext up is a clamping system – if you are going to be using glue in your woodworking projects, then you are going to need an appropriate clamping system to keep your pieces together while the glue is drying. Be sure to buy a clamping system or a few clamps that will work with the projects that you are taking on.



13. Positioning Squares

basic woodworking tools for beginnersPositioning squares are somewhat similar to a clamping system. This, however, is a much more convenient and appropriate solution for projects where larger pieces of wood will be glued together, and you need to position them in a specific angle and manner so that they come out perfect. TOFL has a complete range of positioning squares that you can choose from, and all of them are very affordable.



14. Marking Gauge

basic woodworking tools for beginnersMany people do not realize just how important of a role a marking gauge play in woodworking projects – until they get to a point where they need to make repeated markings on a piece of wood that needs to be cut at same length intervals. These tools are affordable, and they can be very handy in different types of woodworking projects. I recommend the Robert Larson Co. 605-1250 Beechwood Mortise/Marking Gauge.



15. Mortise Chisel Set

basic woodworking tools for beginnersA mortise chisel is another common item that is often used in woodworking projects, especially if you are planning on creating joints. With the use of a mortise chisel, together with a tenon, you can create exceptionally strong joints that will not easily break. For a good set of these tools, take a look at the Narex Mortise Chisel Set, which comes with four tools included.



16. Wood Chisel Set

basic woodworking tools for beginnersIn addition to a mortise chisel set, it would also be a good idea to get your hands on a quality wood chisel set. These usually include a variety of chisels – the reason for adding mortise chisel separately is because they often do not include a mortise chisel. Try to opt for a set that features wooden handles for a more comfortable grip and a higher quality set of tools, such as the VonHaus 8 pc Craftsman Woodworking Wood Chisel Set .



17. Jack Plane

basic woodworking tools for beginnersA jack plane is another crucial part that should be added to your woodworking setup if you are only getting started. There are different options available, but they all perform the same basic functions. They can be used to remove rough areas of the board and to smooth out a board, as well as to help smooth edges on wood that you are using. The GreatNeck C4 Bench-Jack Plane is a good option to get started with.


18. Block Plane

basic woodworking tools for beginnersIn addition to a jack plane, considering adding a block plane to your toolbox as well. These tools are just as useful, especially when it comes to smoothing out and cutting grain that is usually considered a more difficult material to work with. If you are not sure which block plane is right for your project, considering opting for a high-quality one like the Stanley 12-920 Contractor Grade Block Plane.



19. Dividers

basic woodworking tools for beginnersIf you are new to woodworking, you’ll soon discover that dividers are used very often, especially if you need to mark out more complex areas of wood that needs to be cut. You need to stock up on a set of these dividers in order to ensure you have the right tools for the job at hand. Consider the Big Horn 19053C Spring Divider Set for a complete kit.



20. Blade Sharpener

basic woodworking tools for beginnersAnd finally, let’s not forget the fact that your saw blades will become less sharp as you use them, and will eventually be unable to cut through wood. This is why an appropriate and high-quality sharpener is needed to keep all of your blades sharp – at all times. The Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Sharpening Stone is a good option to get started with. There are more expensive options out there as well which are specialized for sharpening a particular type of saw like a circular saw or a bench saw.

When you are only starting out with your very first woodworking project, you will definitely enjoy a more organized space. Along with organization comes the need for an inventory of tools that you will most likely need during every project that you set out to do. I have listed the most crucial tools that you will need – if your woodworking setup still misses any of these, be sure to go out and look for a good option in order to stock up and ensure you never run into a situation where you don’t have the tools to get the job done.

If you are looking for woodworking plans to get started with then you should have a look at the Ted’s Woodworking Program. It has 16,000 plans which ranges from beginner to expert.

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