8 Essential Woodworking Tools for Beginners

When first developing your woodworking hobby, chances are the projects are small and the tools are simple. Maybe you’re love of carpentry was sparked when whittling a stick with a knife or building a simple shelf with brackets for the wall.

Whatever piqued initial interest, people who have decided to delve further into woodworking will need a sturdy set of tools to help with their projects. With so many tools currently available, it can be hard deciding which ones are needed. This is especially true if you’re working with a tight budget. So what tools should you start with?

Don’t be fooled by the numerous fancy tools you could purchase. Simply begin slowly accumulating the below listed essential woodworking tools for beginners. While this list does not include every tool you may need for all beginner joinery plans, it does give you a very solid foundation on which to build your tool collection.


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1: Miter Saw

7-1/4" Compound Miter Saw - HART Tools

A miter saw is a great tool for making accurate cuts. It is also, as the name suggests, great for creating miters as it can be angled to cut into the wood you’re working without difficulty.

2: Cordless Power Drill

Best cordless drill of 2021 - CNET

Versatile, many may already have one of these lying around. A cordless power drill (preferably with a lithium ion battery) is used for drilling holes in boards, as well as screwing things together.

3: Orbital Sander

5 Best Random Orbital Sanders For Ultra-Smooth Surfaces

This tool isn’t entirely necessary but can shave a substantial number of hours off your projects. It works by effectively sanding down wood much quicker than you’d be able to by hand.

4: Coping Saw

Coping Saw and Blades | Rockler Woodworking and Hardware

This tool, which slightly resembles a cheese slicer found in most kitchens, is used for making rough cuts into boards. It is also useful in eliminating waste from popular joints like the dovetail.


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5: Folding Ruler or Tape Measure

What is a folding rule? - Wonkee Donkee Tools

This basic item makes the list of essential woodworking tools for beginners because it is vital, but often overlooked until needed. A folding ruler or tape measure allows you to make precise measurements, which are essential to a project’s end results.

6: Clamps

Irwin Quick-Grip Micro & Mini Clamps

Clamps are used to hold joints together after they have been glued. It allows you to move on to something else while that glue dries. Almost any joinery plan will require clamps. Every woodworker hobbyist should have a minimum of one hand screw clamp and three bar types.

7: Circular Saw

Circular Saw Tips | How To Use a Circular Saw

The circular saw is portable and easy to handle. It can make cuts to projects already glued together, take the place of a table saw in a pinch, and reach those tight areas other saws can’t. If you could only afford one saw, this would be the one to get.

8: Workbench

Workbench Plans — Falegnameria Solazzo

The workbench is the center of every woodworking shop. It holds your plywood and gives you a space to rest your tools. A good workbench will be sturdy and safe. It is not a bad idea to keep a few key tools on your work bench.

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