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Tools for beginning woodworkers

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

The most important tools for beginning woodworkers

The most important tools for beginning woodworkers

Experienced woodworkers depend upon a variety of high-end equipment in their daily lives: bandsaws, jointers, drill presses, tablesaws, and more. For beginners within the field, though, it’s important to take it one step at a time and not overreach for greatness before it’s your time.

For the novice woodworker, the amount of tools for woodworkers can seem out of this world. When purchasing new tools, look to do so on a project-by-project basis. Buying tools/supplies a few at a time (i.e.: piecemeal) will allow for beginners to learn the ropes, and as their skill set increases, so will the amount of tools at their disposal.

Below, let’s take a look at basic items needed for purchase, shopping strategies, and finally, delve into a starter kit for beginners. Read on to learn more about the tools of the trade!

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The Basics

When budgeting for a project, according to Wood Magazine, allow yourself a purchase of one new — and hopefully truly necessary — tool. By doing this, you’ll slow down the buying process, and thus, spread out the costs associated with these high-quality (and many times, extremely expensive) tools.

Speaking of expense, it always pays to go with the highest quality product if you can afford it. Less expensive products tend to break down more quickly and can create a dangerous workspace as well. High-quality products will last for generations and be around for your kids and your kids’ kids. It’s a safe bet — and a sound investment — to always to go for the best that you can afford!

Time to Shop!

As with anything, it’s important to hit a variety of locations; physical shops, online retailers, and print ads can be a great starting point in ascertaining how much a particular piece runs (and whether any deals are currently available).

Checking online, reading catalogs, using apps, and even perusing mail-order advertisements in magazines can save you some serious cash and provide you with a top-notch tool in the process.

Starter Items

For starters, many of those new to the field should have (or already own):

  • An assortment of screwdrivers
  • Hammer
  • Extension cord
  • Tape measure
  • Pliers
Some of the necessary additions to your repertoire will include safety gear:

  • Ear muffs/hearing protection
  • Goggles and/or face shield
  • Sharpening stone
  • Dust mask, just to name a few safety options!
Wood Magazine offers a very detailed list of potential tools of the trade for beginners. They cover measuring, cutting, shaping, joining, and more. Here’s a rundown of their list, minus some of our previously mentioned items like screwdrivers and pliers in the section above.


  • Framing square
  • Sliding bevel
  • Marking gauge
  • Combination square
  • Steel tape
  • Folding rule
  • Compass
  • Scratch awl

  • Crosscut saw
  • Rip saw
  • Coping saw
  • Hacksaw
  • Diagonal cutters
  • Backsaw


  • Smooth plane
  • Flat rasp
  • Round rasp
  • Wood chisels
  • Low-angle block plane
  • Cabinet scraper
  • Utility knife

  • Claw hammer
  • Nail set
  • Finish hammer
  • Wooden mallet
  • Bench vise
  • Doweling jig
  • Handscrews
  • C-clamps
Wood Magazine offers much more information on their site and further includes safety/maintenance info as well as ideas for portable power tools for beginners. In addition, Proven Woodworking can answer many beginner questions, too, as it offers insight into a wide variety of additional subjects within the field.

Thus, when choosing tools for woodworkers, it’s important to understand your project, what’s necessary to get the job done, safety gear requirements, cost of items, and more. So, read up with the pros and get started creating beautiful and lasting products today!


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