What woodworking tools do I need?

So you’re interested in getting into some woodworking and not sure which tools you should start with. Well read on and we’ll give you a few ideas.

Firstly, you need to decide if you want to use power or hand woodworking tools? Power tools can obviously make things easier and quicker; whilst hand tools can give you more control and are traditional. So it’s really up to you which way you want to go. Do you want to churn out lots of different projects or just a few to test your skills? As this website predominately sells woodworking hand tools, we will just be focusing on them from now on.

Woodworking Saws

Woodworking SawsIt should be no surprise to you that timber rarely comes to you in the perfect dimensions for your woodworking project. This means that before you can start any project you will be cutting and sawing the timber into the required shape and dimensions. So the first woodworking tools you should be looking at are saws. Here are a few different saws that you may consider:

  • Hand Saws – for cutting the timber down to size
  • Back Saw – for more precise cutting
  • Coping Saw – for cutting shapes into boards

Woodworking Dividers and SquaresWoodworking Squares, Dividers and Rulers

Going hand in hand with a saw is a woodworking tool to work out where you need to cut. I’m sure we’ve all heard the old saying “to measure twice and cut once”. This is where squares, dividers and rulers come into it.

  • Squares
    • Combination Squares – a good starting point
    • Try Squares
    • Sliding Bevel Squares
  • Dividers
  • Rulers
    • Straight Rulers
    • Folding Rulers
    • Tape Measures

Woodworking ChiselsWoodworking Chisels

A Chisel is a perfect tool for removing smaller bits of wood in a controlled manner. This might be shaping the edge of your timber or to make a mortise (joint).

  • Bench Chisels – general use
  • Mortise Chisels – creating mortises for Mortise and Tenon Joints
  • Paring Chisels

Woodworking HammersWoodworking Hammers and Mallets

If you’re going to have Chisels then you’ll most likely need something to hit them with. This is where the Mallet comes in. Not to mention, if you’re going to use nails then you’ll need a claw hammer or similar for putting these in with.

Woodworking Planes

Woodworking PlanesOnce you’ve cut and chiselled the timber into the required shapes, you generally want to clean it all up, give it some shape and make it look smooth before putting it all together.

  • Jack Planes – for removing excess timber and smoothing
  • Block Planes – for putting chamfers on your edges and trimming joints

So there you have it, our guide to what woodworking tools you should consider when first starting out. This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list; for example, you might like to include a Hand or Brace drill, and we will go into more detail on the individual tools in the future.

Looking for a tool for a particular job?

You’re sure to find it in our huge catalogue of antique, woodworking, metalworking and hand tools.



  • Jarrod

    24-Nov-2016 04:48 PM

    Great topic. I’m thinking of getting into woodworking and it can be a bit daunting trying to decide what tools I need. This helped bring it back to basics and make it seem a lot more accessible.

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