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Basic Tools List for Woodworking

Starting woodwork, as a beginner or an expert, needs a traditional tool kit, which serves minimal purposes of woodworking. The tools that have been listed below have been securing their place in tool kit. Each having a prominent function to lean upon from ages yet with advancements in their mechanisms.

See also:

1. Woodworking books

When you kick start with your woodworking, mastering the finishing, cuts, chambers, end grains is not the one thing that is crucial, learning about each of them involved in the detail of woodworking is a major step. Collecting the best tool kit doesn’t drive the work along, collecting the books needed for your knowledge of carpentry, building your own library, gives virtual guidance and hand in rescue for your job.

Woodworking is also an area unplowed much into, having every jig, tool, material and even torques involved, it is no lesser complicated as masonry, designing or construction. Having a glimpse of a book or guide help eliminate blunders, keeps your art fit, without a personal teacher always beside.

  • Beginner guides: A beginner guide for woodworking is the basic book for your library. So many authors out there has published a beginner guide of each of their kind. Pick one for yourself and binge your wisdom on it. They cover content from basics, safety, materials to choose, tools needed, pros and cons, myths and fears. Examples are woodworking basics, A beginners guide to woodworking of various authors you can choose one from.
  • Complete guide: A sense of the style and designs stipulated by existing great woodworkers is something that helps you create perfection, whose guidelines and strategies help you become a better professional. Woodworking with a router by Fred, hand tools by Aldren, the workbench design book by Christopher, the tree craft by Chris etc is such useful books

2. Wooden Chisels

Wood chisel
Wood chisel

Chisels are prominent hand working tools in the box of a woodWorker. With their sharp cutting edges held firmly into the wooden, metal or rubber handle, held by a hand, hammered by a mallet or a hammer, piercing into the wood making larger to tiny sections needed, of longer to smaller cutting widths.

Bevel edge chisel permitting angled cuts, paring chisels to clean the grooves, mortises with a straight cut, dovetail joints by dovetail chisels

  • Working:

As said, the chisel should be picked with resisting handles, the thickness of the cutting blades. It should be sharpened from the rare side, the cuttings are done using larger thickness too small.

  • Mortise cuts:

They are created by both mortise chisel and bevel end chisels. The bevel chisel slices the wood with the controlled hammering on the handle, most used of woodworking.

  • Paring cuts:

Also known as shaving off the rough finishes, where the unbeveled edge of chisel produces thin slices, giving a flattened surface, the unbeveled edges keep the chisel flat on the surface tightly varying the position for making flat surfaces and shaving.

  • Chisels Vs gouges:

Chisels have flattened blades whilst gongs have curved cutting blades.

Chisels forms mortises, shavings, the gouge go into curving cuts of the wood. Gouge works in concave surfaces, mostly of tang handle and sockets a few and does Undercuts, mouldings, mill works, deeper carvings. One-fourth inch is used.  Slick chisel with 2inch width, handles are into sockets, back bent chisel does the bent carvings.

3. Circular saw

circular saw
circular saw

A circular saw is the power tool teamed by a blade or disc which cuts the materials by advancing with blades, designed as per the cuts, finishing and material picked. Also called table saw. It plunges in a rotating motion.  Has dangerous havoc like kickbacks or deep cuts.

  • Working:

Blade, bladder guard and handle with a motor and a trigger system works for the circular saw. In general, the saw is in motion advancing into the wood, starts by uncovering the blades guard and releasing two triggers system, moves into the wood, making chips off the wood. The number of teeth and the abrasions makes the cuts smooth and accurate

  • Types:

Handheld or machine driven uses the power or hydraulic motors, whilst skill saw is the widely accepted and the hand holding the circular saw.

  • Blades used:

When picking a blade for a circular saw, the one with more number of teeth and smaller bullets to be chosen. Ripping blades having larger bullets facilitates the fast-working and has a smaller number of teeth cuts are not smooth.

Plywood blades and cross-cutting blades have fine teeth which allow smooth finished cuts. Combination blades have the balancing feature of both large sized bullets and also a large number of teeth generally does miter and grain cuts.

Abrasive blades are rough surfaced, effective cutting. Thin kerf is used in machine engineering cuts.

Alternate top bevel teeth are angled, named as all-purpose blade where flat top grind blades have squared tips, fast working blades.

4. Router tools


Router tool is a high-speed rotating woodworking tool, which digs out the portions of the wood. These hand tools work on the efficiency and power of the wood-workers hand.

  • Principle and working:

Run with a 3 motor system or advanced 4 motor system, shank bits to be fitted into its collets, present at the end of its shaft, and carries the work with adjustments.

  • Spindle router Vs CNC router:

Spindle shaper or router forms the chamfers, varies the end decorations with the bits and shank fixes into the collet of the router, and the spindle router clamped at an end

  • CNC router:

Operated by a monitor, with a CAD/CAM programming, shape to be routed is pre-designed by the computer and forms the desired model.

  • Router Bits or shanks:

A router tip is of varying unlimited range based on the diameter of the shank, sizes in the router collet, the shape of the bits, and picked on the compatibility of collet- shank of the router.

  • Half inch Vs one-fourth inch:

Though rather expensive, woodworkers do suggest half inch shank bits as they make precise, no grinding needed and less risked cuts than of one-fourth inch with 6mm and 8mm too.

  • Fixed Vs plunged routers:

The fixed base router has the height adjustment of the router, and locked, while the router bits adjustments occur when locked in plunged routers. Micro adjustments, dovetail jigs, templates, adding and removal of tools, shank changes, bases interchanging goes easier on fixed than the plunged.

5. A block plane

Best Block Planes
Best Block Planes

A block plane is a tool, which is used for woodworking.  The tool is very small and therefore, the users can work single-handedly with it. Thus, the small size accounts for the efficiency of the working of the hand-plane. In a block plane, the blade is attached at an angle lower than the rest of the planes. The level of the block plane is situated upwards.

The block plane was made with the purpose of planning the grains, especially, the edges of the boards. The demand for a tool arose which could be held with one hand and the required tasks can be performed with the help of it. Thus, the idea of a block plane came up.

  • What can be done with the tiny tool?

The small size of the block plane makes it handy and easy to use it. Most frequently, the block plane is used for paring the end grains. This is made possible because the blade of the block plane is set at an angle, which is lower than the other planes. This allows the blade to transverse through the grain in an efficient manner. Generally, the blade is set at an angle of 45 degrees in correspondence with the direction of travel. Thus, the edge slices the fibers of the wood as it passes from one end to the other. Moreover, it also plays an important role in woodworking. It helps in cleaning the components by brushing off shaving of the wood.

6. Digital caliper

digital calipers
digital calipers

A digital caliper is an instrument, which is used for measuring distances of depths with acute precision. The measurements are shown on the LCD screen of the digital caliper. Most importantly, the digital calipers are not costly at all and thus, everyone can afford it. The caliper derives the power to work from a small battery.

The display can be turned on/off with buttons. Moreover, the units of measurement can be changed by the buttons provided on the caliper.

Let us talk about the uses of Digital Caliper

  • Measurement of external distances

The material whose length needs to be measured is placed amidst the jaws of the caliper. The jaws used for measuring external distances are moved together and the screw used for locking is tightened in order to prevent the jaws from sliding away. The digital display shows the length of the object.

  • Measurement of internal distances

The jaws used for measurement of internal distances are adjusted to make them touch the internal sides of the object whose internal distance needs to be measured. The screw is tightened for accurate measurements. The LCD display shows the internal distance of the object.

  • Measurement of depths

The process of measurement of the depth of hold can be a bit challenging. However, the process becomes very easy with a digital caliper. The blade which measures depth is adjusted carefully so that it touches the bottom of the container. The screw is tightened and the reading is displayed.

7. Hammer

best hammer
best hammer

A hammer is a tool, which has a heavy head, which is attached to a handle. The handle is swung to produce an impact on an object. A hammer is a tool, which amplifies the force applied to it. It converts the mechanical force, which is applied to it into kinetic energy. Depending on the purpose of the hammer, the hammers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Along with this, the material used in the production of the hammer differs in accordance with the kind of work, which needs to be performed with it.

  • Doesn’t striking breaks the hammer?

The head of the hammer is made of carbon of high-quality steel which is treated with heat. This accounts for the durability and strength of the hammer. Moreover, the treatment of the hammerhead with heat prevents the hammer from cracking or chipping even after the head of the hammer strikes hard surfaces.

  • What is the purpose of handles in a hammer?

The head strikes the object to produce an impact on it. Then, what is the purpose of the handle?

The handle prevents the user from getting hurt by keeping the hands of the users away from the area, which is being impacted. Also, it helps in holding the hammer comfortably and reduces the recoil shocks produced by the hammer. Along with this, it helps the users to increase the velocity of the head to have a more powerful impact. The length of the hammer helps in swinging its head easily.

8. Moisture Meters

Top 10 Best Moisture Meters
Best Moisture Meters

Moisture meters are quite useful tools that help us to detect the percentage of water into an object. This information is quite important to understand the product’s usefulness. This is because extra moisture damages the main contain any product. Before packaging, these parameters are needed to be checked thoroughly to ensure the maintained quality of the specific product. In the same way, lack of moisture is also not good for the prevention of any good. Thanks to this wonderful tool. These are efficient enough to detect the moisturizer level and prepare any product in the way exactly it should be for packaging.  Let us check out the types of moisture meters.

  • The wood moisture Meter

The wood generally accounts a high moisture percentage of approximately 80:20 ratio. These are not ready to use for starting construction works or other uses. Therefore, it passes through an accurate drying process. Then the moisture meter is used to detect is readiness for applying them into production.

  • Soil Moisture Meter

With another testing, the exact and accurate humidity level check is also necessary for setting up a fruitful agricultural for. These soil moisture meters are capable enough to update with the right level of moistures present in the soil. As per the result, the water facility systems are installed in order to maintain the desired humidity level that is required for sustainable farming.

  • Snow Melt System activation

These inevitable tools help to detect the level of heat produced by the electric wires under the road surface in the U.S. From the result, administrating the body takes the decision of switching the heating system off or on. This saves the driveways, sidewalks, and roads from melting due to high heat.

9. Utility knife

utility knives
utility knives

Utility knives or Stanley knives are quite useful in our day- to -day life. If we look at the past, we can see that these knives used to have stable blades with a cutting edge. These were specifically used for cutting cordages, slaughtering animals and more. However, with the ever-changing time, it has changed its primary features. Today, the small folding and recant knives are also called the utility knives. They have wide use in the construction industry as well as in common workplace. It comes in a varieties range of style and length.  As per their usage, we can classify them in three different sections-

We use these primarily in outdoor activities like camping, fishing or traveling. It consists of a fixed lightweight blade. These are quite efficient in cutting thin surfaces. It offers a high level of precision in terms of cutting.

  • Workplace utility Knives

It comes with a retracting blade.  Razor blades or double-ended blades, both fit well in these knives. You can use them for cutting tape sealing, papers and more.  It comes with an added advantage of changing the blades. In case they stop performing well, you can get it replaced with a new one.

10. Handsaws

hand saw
hand saw

Handsaws or panel saws are used in cutting wood into various shapes in carpentry and woodworking work. It consists of a blade having teeth that cut the hardwood into pieces. The large teeth in handsaws are generally for softwoods whereas the small teeth are for hardwoods. Generally, to rip the softwood the handsaws that have 2 to 8 teeth per inches and cutting hardwoods the blades of medium size having 10 to 20 teeth per inches are used. However, to cut very hard wood or the precise and actual cuts, the handsaws having the blades with 20 to 30 teeth per inches are available.

  • Teeth available in various shape and size

The teeth of blades in hand saws are of various shapes and direction that indicates what type of wood is to be ripped or how to be ripped. In handsaws, two types of layouts are most common i.e. rip cut and crosscut. The crosscut saws have narrow pointed blades and sharp edges. These pointed sharp edges works as small knives that cut kerfs from both sides. The crosscut handsaws work on both push and pull strokes but it works better when stroked in one direction. Rip cut hand saws consist of blades that have quite thick teeth and only their below edges are sharp. These teeth work as tiny incisors and only chip the wood and work only in one direction i.e. either at pull stroke or push stroke that depends on the blade of the hand saw.

11. Angle Grinder

angle grinder
angle grinder

An angle grinder or disc grinders are the powerful handheld tools that are used for metalworking, polishing and grinding in construction works. These angle grinders are the electronic tools that work with the help of a petrol engine, compressed air, batteries or an electric motor. This tool consists of a guard that can be adjusted as per the requirement and one side handles to comfort the user to use it by two hands. However, angle grinders are basically for rough discs due to its ability to interchange power source they are used with various attachments and cutters. Angle grinders are also used in removing the unwanted or excessive material from a portion.

12. Cordless Drill

cordless drill
cordless drill

A cordless drill is an electric tool that contains batteries that are rechargeable. Cordless drills are used for making round holes for driving fasteners into them. Drills are changed according to their sizes, power, and speed. Cordless drills are offered with the features that are quite similar to the AC mains power drill. These drills are of the common type and are available in the configuration of a hammer drill and the majority of them consist of a clutch that aids while driving screws into fasteners or others without destructing them. The right angle in cordless drills allows its user to drive the screw in a rigid space. To use these cordless drills continuously one has to carry another battery packs during drilling. Nowadays, batteries that are quickly rechargeable are also available that charges within 10 to 15 minutes.

  • The NiCd batteries

The interchangeable battery packs available in cordless drills are usually of 18 V but the battery packs of high voltages are also available that are up to 24 V, 28 V & 36 V. The higher voltage of these batteries allows these cordless drills to produce torque similar to the corded drills. The most common batteries used in cordless drills are NiCd and lithium-ion batteries. The advantage of NiCd batteries is that they are less expensive but its disadvantages are that it has limited durability and is self-dischargeable. Lithium-ion batteries are the most common due to its less time of charging, low weight and longer life. The Lithium-ion batteries can be kept charged for about two years when not used whereas the NiCd battery lasts for one to four months only.

13. Hacksaw


Hacksaw is a type of hand-held tool having a fine-toothed blade used for cutting wood. The blade of the hack saw is replaceable and can be replaced and removed whenever its teeth get blunt. It consists of two tiny holes at the opposite ends of the blade through which it is fixed in the frame. Blades of hacksaws are basically available in 250mm and 300 mm i.e. approx 9.8 and 11.8 inches. The blade of size 300mm is used mostly, however, the hacksaws that have adjustable frames accept the blades of 250mm also along with blades of 300mm.

  • The magic of blade

The blades of hacksaws are designed in such a way that it works only on the push stroke. While using hacksaw one should place the blade in frame pointing the teeth slightly at a distance from the handle. Hacksaw consists of the blades that have small teeth and a straight gullet and hence it removes and cuts only a small portion at each stroke in carpentry work. Hence, working with hacksaws provides slow work through which the work provided shows a neat and clean finish.

Tooth of the blades in hacksaws seems like the line of a wave that helps in keeping the blades more durable when used on hard metals. It has 14 to 32 teeth per inch and generally, 18 teeth are appropriate for cutting soft metal or hard plastic. For cutting, the metals like steel hacksaws having blades with 20 to 32 TPI are used. The handles of hacksaws are basically large and closed that helps in avoiding to slip out during quick sawing process.

14. Drill Bit

drill bit
drill bit

Drill bits are the cutting tools used to create holes in materials. These are available in varying shapes and sizes. The wide variety helps in creating different types of holes in different materials. The cutting work on materials is carried out by attaching the drill bit to drill which powers the rotation. The chunk of the drill holds the upper end of the bit called shank.

Drill bits made of hard materials are prone to breaking particularly when the drill is not operated in a constant angle. Drill bits made of different materials are available in the market. Bits made of certain materials are suitable for making holes in some materials. Some drill bits are convenient for woodwork while others are more suitable for metal works. Bits with flatter points (135° angle ) are suitable for drilling harder materials while steeper points (118°) is best for softer material usage. For home works and workshops bit set with sizes ranging from 1/16 into 1/4 in are best.

  • Drill Maintenance

All the drill bits come with a coating to protect it from corrosion and maintain its heat resistance. Twist drill bits are universal as these are produced in the largest quantity in the market. Like the name, these bits consist of a cylindrical shaft with helical flutes and a pointed tip. The advantage of this structure of the bit is its ability to lift swarf out of the hole.  Any drill bits selected should be compatible with the material to be drilled and the tool to be used.

15. Clamps


Credited as the silent heroes of any workshop, clamps are fastening devices that are used to hold the objects tightly together. This tool prevents the movement or even separation of the object when subjected to inward pressures. Though there are wide arrays of clamps available in the market today, all share the same fundamental parts and operating principle. The object is held between two jaws of the clamp. One jaw is usually fixed while the other is moveable.

  • Adjusting jaws for pressure

The moveable jaw can be adjusted and tightened to create the required clamping pressure for the work. The closing mechanism of many clamps has screw thread with pivoting foot while other clamps feature ratchet or cam activated tightening parts.

While buying a clamp, the jaws are the most important parts to be considered. Jaws are the only parts that meet the work object. If the jaws are small in size then the pressure applied on the working object is more and can cause indentations. If the jaws have large faces, the pressure applied to the object is spread throughout the wide area of the jaw. This will not damage the work object. The weight of the clamp is another factor to be considered while buying clamps. Lighter clamps are sufficient for delicate or smaller work assemblies.

Clamps are popularly used in carpentry, masonry and most of the DIY works. Clamps can be used for temporarily holding the position of the objects or can be intended to be used permanently.

16. Chainsaw


A chainsaw is a portable mechanical saw with a guide bar through which a rotational chain with a set of teeth runs. Chain saw is popularly used for activities like tree felling, pruning and cutting firewood. These portable cutters are used for cutting anything that is large or required precise cuts.

  • The range of Chainsaws

Chainsaws come in a range of sizes, from small to hefty ones. These are also available in different types: corded electric, gas and battery-operated cordless saws. Design of a standard chainsaw features handles on the front and rear end on the motor housing or engine. It also has a cutting bar which extends from the housing. Though chain saws can be used for many activities, the most popular use is cutting woods.

While purchasing chainsaws, one has to think of the size and type of wood to be cut. Bar length is a crucial point in deciding the work the chainsaw can handle. Saw with longer bar length is most suitable for cutting large-diameter wood in one go. The bar length of most household saws ranges from 6 inches on the smaller electric saw to 20 inches on the gas-powered saw. Chainsaws for professional use has bar lengths more than 20 inches.

Chainsaws with anti-vibration features make a good saw as it is comfortable and reduces the fatigue of the user. Good chain saws come with automatic oiler which lubricates the chain while cutting. This will reduce the burden on the user to oil the chains often to ease the workflow. While buying chainsaw one has to also look into the availability of spring-assist starting and chain brake features to ensure they have zeroed on the best chainsaw.

17. The level

A level is a vital instrument required in any field. These are called a spirit level, bubble level or simply level. A level is used to indicate whether the surface of consideration is horizontal or vertical (plumb). The level is used for different activities by stonemasons, carpenters, bricklayers, surveyors and for the DIY home improvement projects. Different types of levels are available such as cross-check, digital, laser, line, post level, and standard levels.

Before buying a level, one should have a clear idea of the type of project being carried out and the kind of level required. Levels, which are lengthy, are extremely handy for paver, drywall or lumber projects. Levels with magnetic features are available today. This allows hands-free use of levels on metal surfaces. Latest levels come with optional features such as LED lights and digital readout. These are helpful while working in low light areas.

  • Essential Features

Some essential features to be considered while buying levels are accuracy, durability and visibility. A spirit level or bubble level is truly useful when these are capable of delivering precise level measurements. It is preferable to use levels with 0.0005″/1″ accuracy or above. As levels are also used for outdoor works in jobsites rather than DIY household work, these should be able to withstand the harsh environment. Levels are useless without the ability to show the position of the bubble. Therefore, always opt for contrasting colored levels with sharp site feature. The levels can be used for scaling the level of the wall hanging in house to viewing the alignment of bricks in a construction site.

18. Drill Presses

drill presses
drill presses

An essential device known for its accuracy and efficiency, a drill press is a blessing to any woodworker. This device is either mounted on a stand or bolted to the workbench or floor. Therefore, this device comes in two types: A bench type and a floor type drill press. A bench drill is portable and easy to manage but is not powerful and is useful for drilling of a small hole. Floor drill stands on the floor, is designed for heavy drilling, and forms large holes.

Another variant of drill press used today is a magnetic drill press, which has a magnetic base. This makes it easy for mounting on a metal surface. These can withstand intense workload and are comparatively lightweight.

Comparing to hand drills, these require less effort in drilling. The use of clamps in drill press restricts the position to be worked on, making the operation secure. The holes are drilled accurately and consistently in a drill press as the angle of the spindle is fixed relative to the table unlike hand drills.

  • The ideal drill press

An ideal drill press will have a flat base, which ensures accuracy, a solid framework having quality clamps and parts. The drill should have a stopper to prevent too deep drilling. A key tightened attachment of chuck to the drill press is another characteristic feature of the ideal drill press. The latest drill presses come with in-built ports to collect dust. While buying a drill press, you have to decide the type of drill that suits your requirement. For small and easy works, bench top drills are the best choice. For professional grade works, heavy duty floor drills are the best.

19. Tape measure

tape measure
tape measure

A measuring tape is a must for workers. A tape measure consists of plastic, fiberglass or metal strip with markings of linear measurement. Tape measures come handy on surfaces, which cannot be measured using rigid scales, and require flexibility to stretch and bend. There are four types of tape measures: cased tape, sewing tape, open-reel or long tape and D-tape. Cased tape measures are widely popular and versatile design. These have a measuring tape in rubber or metal holder and can be easily carried in pockets or clipped onto tool belts. These come in a standard 25-foot tape measure. Sewing tapes are commonly used for sewing and DIY works. These tapes are made of clothes or vinyl materials. These tapes are available in a standard length of 60 inches to extra-long 120 inches length. The D-tapes, on the other hand, is similar to cased tape but has the flexibility to easily wrap around circular objects. The long reel tapes are highly used by contractors and engineers. These tape length can range from 25 to 500 feet.

  • Buy Tape measure according to need

Most of the tapes have markings on both sides and are measured in feet, meters, and centimeters. All the tapes except sewing tapes have a spiked structure on the open end of the tape. This helps in holding the tape on position and maintains stability. Any changes in the action of the spike will definitely result in variation in the accuracy of the measurement. Buy measuring tape according to the need of the project you do. Tapes that do not wear out easily after continuous use are ideal for any profession.

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