If you’re looking for the best beginners woodworking tools, you’ve come to the right place. Woodworking is a rewarding hobby where you can create art, functional items, or both. Getting started with woodworking can seem like a difficult task. One of the first steps is to get some basic beginners woodworking tools. In this post, I’ll talk about what tools you’ll want as a woodworking beginner and give you some links to find them.
If you’re in a hurry (or just curious!) –
✅ Check out all the best woodworking tools for beginners on Amazon
How can I start woodworking at home?
If you are going to start woodworking, there are a couple of very basic things that you need to have first. One of the first and most important things to have to begin woodworking is safe space to work in. This place should be clean, dry, well ventilated and well lit. You can do woodworking from an apartment balcony or a dedicated shop. The size and impressiveness of the are does not matter. The very first thing you need to start woodworking is a space to do woodworking in.
Once you have a place to do your woodworking, then next step is to pick up some tools for woodworking. Keep reading to find my suggestions for woodworking tools for beginners.
Beginners Woodworking tools – Should I use hand tools or power tools?
Woodworking beginners choosing between using hand tools or power tools are going about things the wrong way. Don’t bother choosing between power tools or hand tools when you are just starting woodworking. Being a beginning woodworker, there are so many choices to make. Choose the tools that will make your project the easiest while also being something you can afford.
Pick the tool that will make your project easiest. This might be a hand tool or this might be a power tool. If you are scared of your impact driver and do not want to use it – you will postpone making your project. It’s much better to get a hand tool like a hammer that you’re not afraid of and get your woodworking project completed. This will give you confidence and momentum to complete more woodworking projects.
Pick the tool that you can afford. If you can’t afford to buy that fancy table saw, but you can afford to buy a circular saw – then get a circular saw. If buying the circular saw means that you won’t have money for expensive wood, then downgrade to a hand saw. It’s more important to buy good wood than a fancy tool, and to buy a tool you can afford than the fanciest tool out there.
Must Have Beginners Woodworking tools
- Tape Measure
- Nail Setter Set
- Speed Square or Combination Square
- Basic Clamps
- Wood Glue
- Pencil or Marking Tool
- Sand Paper
Have all of these tools? Check out some more essential woodworking tools.
Most places where you buy wood will cut it to a rough size. For exact cutting, you will need to cut your own wood. You’ll want a saw for this, either a hand saw, circular saw or table saw. While you can use other things to cut your wood (looking at you Dremmel and jigsaw), the best way to get straight cuts is with a wood saw. You can get a hand saw here if you’d like. I originally had a hand saw, but quickly switched to using the circular saw for wood projects. In my opinion when you are just starting out the best saw for woodworking is a circular saw, not a hand saw.
Tape measures are a must for beginning woodworking. They allow you to measure and mark the wood you will be using. Make sure when you are measuring, you are aware that the silver lip at the tip can slide in and out. This extra space can throw off your project’s measurements if you don’t take it into account.
You’ll need some way to attach pieces of wood together. One of the easiest ways for beginners to attach wood pieces together is with a hammer and nails. There are quite a few different types of hammers available. Ball peen, flat peen, claw hammer, sledge hammer. For a beginner just starting to pick up woodworking essentials, I recommend getting a good claw hammer.
Nail Setter set
A nail setter set is used to make sure that the heads of nails are flush with or below the level of the wood. You drive the nail in most of the way with a hammer, then use the hammer to hit the nail set and sink the nail the rest of the way. This prevents you from leaving hammer marks in your wood.
Speed Square or Combination Square
A speed square is a right angle triangle with a lot of markings and measurements on it. Speed squares are used to verify angles. You want a project to be square, not ‘almost square’.
You could also use a combination square for this. A combination square is a ruler that has pieces on it for verifying angles. Usually these pieces are used for 90 or 45 degree angles. Again, the goal is to have square projects, not ‘almost square’.
Basic clamps give you another hand. They are great for holding items in place while you’re nailing or screwing. They are also great for holding things like jigs in place while you’re drilling or cutting. Get at least four basic clamps.
Wood glue is great for holding pieces of wood together. It’s not as secure as nailing or screwing something together. Combined with a nail or screws though wood glue adds extra strength to a joint. You should be using wood glue with each wood join you make. Be sure to wipe off any excess wood glue around a join – it’s usually not stain-able.
Pencil or marking tool
Having pencils or marking tools is something you need to start woodworking. You don’t need to be fancy here, a plain old No. 2 pencil will work. I tend to use mechanical pencils for my projects.
Sand paper is a must when you are beginning woodworking. Sand paper allows you to smooth down the piece of wood you are working on. Rough edges, grain, and saw marks. Grab a pack of sandpaper that has different grits in it. You’ll want to use different grits on your project – from smaller numbers to larger. This will make your project the smoothest it can be.
What tool should I get next for woodworking?
So you have all of the essential woodworking tools for beginners, and you are wondering what tools you should get next. No fear, once you have all of the tools above, it is time to start expanding your woodshop tools by getting these.
- Drill Bit Kit
- Extra Power Tool Battery
- Pocket Hole Kit
- Square Cut Jig
- Locking Clamps
- Power Sander
- Saw Horses
A power drill allows you to make circular holes in wood. They also allow you to set screws faster than by hand. My drill is one of the biggest work horses in my woodworking tool kit. It seems there is always something I am using it for. I prefer to use a cordless drill. It is very convenient being able to use it wherever I want with little setup.
Drill bit kit
Speaking of drills, get yourself a nice quick-release drill bit kit. Quick release drill bits don’t need you to clamp down on every new drill bit. They have a quick-release bit holder that gets clamped down on. This quick release bit holder is usually spring driven or magnetic (or both!). It allows you to quickly go from drilling to screwing and back again. A drill bit kit is also going to have an assortment of drill bits. This will let you drill many different size holes and use screws with many different head types.
Extra Power Tool Battery
When you start buying power tools, you will want to buy an extra power tool battery. There’s nothing as frustrating as being mid-project and having your battery die. Having an extra power tool battery lets you keep one battery charging while using the other. This will more than double the amount of work time on a project.
Pocket Hole Kit
Pocket holes are great for putting pieces of wood together in a secure, easy to hide fashion. Pocket holes are frequently used when making DIY furniture projects. Pocket holes are holes drilled at a 15 degree angle into a piece of wood. Self tapping screws are used with pocket holes to join one piece of wood to another. Angling the hole like this allows the screw to pull both pieces of wood together tightly. With only one hole to be drilled and no complex bits of wood needed, this is one of the stronger, simpler types of wood joints that can be made.
Square cut jig
I love my square cut jig. This cheap little tool has made it so easy for me to use my circular saw to cut wood pieces square. A square cut jig is basically a piece of plastic that you can place on your wood piece and slide a circular saw against to get a square cut. The square cut jig is super easy to use. This little gadget helped me improve my woodworking projects so much. I highly recommend getting one.
Locking clamps are similar to the simple clamps you have already. The difference is that locking clamps are much quicker to set and re-set. Locking clamps allow you to quickly move them around as you need them. This means you can clamp two pieces of wood and screw them together. Then quickly move to another spot and clamp and screw it together. Locking clamps made using a pocket hole kit so much faster. They have also made the final ‘put together’ stage much faster. I recommend getting at least two locking clamps.
Orbital sanders, random orbital sanders, and mouse sanders all accomplish the same thing; they help you sand your project. How they sand is different though. I recommend getting at least one power sander to help with your projects. Sanding by hand is no fun.
Orbital sanders, also called square sanders, are an older, simpler, and often cheaper tool. Being square, an orbital sander can often sand all the way into the corners of your projects. They take a quarter of a sheet of sand paper. Orbital sanders can leave distinct tracks across your project if you aren’t careful. Always sand with the grain when using an orbital sander to prevent lines and marks in your project.
Random orbital sanders are often round. This means they can not get into the corners of your projects. Unlike orbital sanders, random orbital sanders have a random pattern. This means that they are much less likely to leave line marks in your project if you sand against the grain. Random orbital sanders cannot use normal sandpaper. They have special disks of sandpaper that you can purchase to use with them.
Mouse sanders are often triangular shaped. This allows them to get into tight spaces and corners that the above two can’t reach. Mouse sanders are often a type of orbital sander. This means that you need to be careful when sanding across the grain with them. They also take special, triangular pieces of sandpaper instead of a normal sheet. Mouse sanders are nice for being able to reach into the corners.
Saw horses are great for getting parts of a project to a height where you can stand and work on them. Saw horses are great for cutting long pieces of wood. They can help support the whole length of wood so that it’s not bowing or snapping early when you cut it. You can use saw horses with either a circular saw or with table saws. Saw horses are also great for power sanding large pieces of wood at once. I also use my saw horses to help paint or stain pieces of wood. You would use a saw horse pretty much anywhere you would like to stand instead of crouch over the ground.
Workbenches are also great for getting projects up to a more comfortable height. Workbenches can take up more space than a set of saw horses and are often more permanent. Workbenches often have drawers and cabinets for storing tools and accessories. Just like with a sawhorse, you can use a workbench to assist with cutting, sanding or painting. Anything you would want to do at a more comfortable height.
A level is for making sure that things are level. Levels are very useful for hanging pictures on walls, hanging shelves, or making sure things are upright and straight. Shorter levels are cheaper than longer levels. Shorter levels are useful, and I used my shorter levels for many years. Longer levels are great for marking layouts on walls. They are also great for making sure that items with a gap between them hang at the same height.
Beginners Woodworking tools – In Review
Woodworking is a great hobby to have. It allows you to create art, functional items, or both. You can create your own furniture pieces and decor pieces. Furniture making allows you to completely control what you put into your house. Woodworking is also a great way to make presents for friends and family. The beginners woodworking tools listed here are a great way to get started on your first project.
Already have some basic woodworking tools and looking for a project? Check out my DIY wall key holder project.