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Essential Woodworking Tools for Every Woodworker & Carpenter

By: David S. Miles | Last Updated: January 15, 2024

Great woodworkers use various tools, from power tools to hand tools, from saws to planes. But all of those aren’t necessarily needed for novice or newbie woodworker. Even professional woodworkers sometimes use a shortlist of tools to get most of the projects done.

Here, I will discuss some of those essential woodworking tools that will suffice for a beginners’ tool chest.

The Shortlist of Essential Woodworking Tools

Essential Woodworking Tools

  • Saws
  • Planes
  • Chisel
  • Sanders
  • Files
  • Hammer
  • Mallet
  • Drill
  • Tape Measure
  • Square
  • Workbench

Cutting and Finishing Tools

Cutting and smoothening are the main works of your woodworking project. Here are some must-have cutting and smoothening woodworking essential tools:


The list doesn’t maintain any particular succession. Yet when we talk about basic woodworking tools, saws go on the top. There are various types of saws such as circular saw, jigsaw, band saw, and hand saw.

Circular Saw

Circular saw

A good circular saw can cut any wooden work board. Even a medium quality circular saw will turn out to be a great cutting tool if you use a sharp blade in it.

You can add a jigsaw or band saw to your workstation gradually after a circular saw. They are handy for curvy cuts.



To create a particular shape on your work material, you can use a jigsaw. You can get both rougher and smoother cuts depending on the blade you fix in the jigsaw. When a straight-line is needed, you can use a guide bar. But be careful; it may drift in case of carelessness.

Jigsaws are always suitable for making custom shapes.

Band Saw

Band saw

A band saw is a versatile power tool. You can roughly thick and thin work board alike with this. There are vertical as well as horizontal band saws. Like other saws, blades make all the differences. With a suitable blade, you can even cut meat, let alone the metals.

This is why a band saw is considered the ‘jack of all trade’.


Hand saw

Handsaws are also considered must-have woodworking tools among artisans. They are useful when you need to make quick little cuts. A handsaw does so much work and saves you money that would have been spent in buying some power tools.

As a beginner, you don’t need all of those power tools, although you have a decent budget.


Hand plane

Planes are suitable for both rough and fine cuts. Imagine you need a very smooth joint; a block plane is going to help you at that very moment. A jack plane can perform on straight and curvy wood surfaces. You may hear of some other planes such as the rabbet plane, scraper plane, and spokeshave.

You may try every plane one by one, but the first two are extremely essential tools for woodworking.



A chisel is a simple tool that you will need in dressing or shaping a wooden work material. Chisels have a sharp edge of metal on one end while you find a handle on the other end. You can carve a wood material into a shape by using a chisel. Different types of chisels have diverse applications. For instance, Butt chisels are suitable in creating joints, while Firmer chisels are good for heavier works.


Metal File

Files are the best choice for carpenters to remove material from the workpiece. They look like chisels, but the difference is they have tiny teeth on the metal. There are flat files as well as cylindrical ones. Cylindrical files are very operative when you work on curvy wood.


Orbital Sander

Orbital Sander

Although you can smoothen your work board with a simple hand plane, you can consider an orbital sander as a finishing tool if you can afford a little bit more.

It’s a power tool, smoothen, and finishes wooden surfaces precisely in a moment. It uses sandpaper revolving in a circle. You can use a random-orbit sander, which leaves no signs of pig-tails on the work board once you’re done with finishing.

Assembly Tools for Carpentry

When you are done with cutting and smoothing jobs, you have to assemble the prepared wood to make your desired wooden furniture or showpiece. Now you need some assembly tools such as a hammer, drill, or screw gun.

Hammer and Mallet


You will find these basic woodworking hand tools in the workstation of every carpenter. These necessary tools have two jobs; to pound and to pry. Needless to say, the hammer has types and sizes. You can choose a medium-sized hammer as you can use it on almost every work material related to a hammer.

Also, a mallet is a type of hammer, made from rubber or wood and used in striking on the work material.

The differences between a standard hammer and mallet are their weight and use. You don’t use a mallet in nailing and a traditional hammer when working with a chisel. When you work with a mallet, you would have no fear of breaking the work material.

Power Drill

Power Drill

Woodworkers use a power drill primarily to create holes in their work material. You can buy different types of power drills. There are cordless drills as well as corded ones available in the market. However, you can advance your power drill by using some attachments to it. This idea will save you a lot of time and money.

Tools for Measurement in Woodworking

Measurement is the key to getting desired shapes and sizes. Being good at calculation makes you a good carpenter, as you cut accurately when you mark accurately. Two measurement tools are essential for you as a beginner woodworker. They are:

Tape Measure

Tape Measure

Tape measures are like reels in plastic covers. Unit of measurement (Inches and meters) are marked on the long flexible scale. Tape measures are very portable.





Carpenter Square

You will need squares to create and reshape angles. Squares are of many kinds such as try squares, miter squares, and farming squares, etc.





Make Your Workbench


The quality of your work sometimes depends more on how comfortably you’re doing it than how competent you’re. A quality workbench assures that you’re working from a comfortable position and all of the quick hacks of woodworking are ready to use.

When you make your workbench, make sure it has the perfect height and a wide frame. A planning stop, a hybrid vise, and other useful features make your workbench even better. Remember, your toils get paid when you have fun doing your job. A quality workbench makes woodworking easy and fun.


There are many other tools you may find useful as a woodworker, but this article has focused on the essential carpentry tools. Obviously, you will have to gather many other tools such as screw guns, sawhorses, and above all, a workbench. All of those tools will make your life easier as a carpenter.

Remember, the more you master the woodworking art, the better you will understand what tools are needed for woodworking. Take care.

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One thought on “Essential Woodworking Tools for Every Woodworker & Carpenter

  • This is one of the basic woodworking tools you will find in every traditional woodworker’s place. Thanks for this beautifully written post with great knowledge. I learned a few things that will hopefully help me going forward. It really helps me to boost up my woodworking knowledge.

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