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essential woodworking tools

Every home should have a good tool kit in case disaster strikes, but if you want to venture into woodwork there are certain basic tools that you must own. These not only include the essential tools required by any beginner, but also those tools reserved just for professionals. With advancements in the world of woodworking, there are power tools and electric instruments that are increasingly taking over from the classic hand tools, but despite these advancements some of the more basic tools have remained just as vital for even the smallest and simplest of woodworking projects.

Amongst those treasured fundamentals and more recent additions, here are a just a few of the essential woodworking tools every worker needs in his or her workshop.

Retractable Tape Measure

This one of the important tools in general woodworking. Everything made in wood needs accurate measuring to ensure a good final product, and therefore a good quality measuring tape should always be at hand.  Tape measures come in different sizes with the most popular being 25 feet long, which is generally all you will need.

Claw Hammer

This is one of the basic carpentry hand tools to be found in virtually any carpenter’s tool box. We literally cannot imagine woodworking without a solid hammer. As the name implies, the hammer features a claw on one side of the head and comes with a straight handle with a comfortable grip, usually of rubber or vinyl.  It is used for general household crafting, framing and dismantling. Claw hammers are available in different sizes, but for basic woodworking the 20-ounce claw hammer is ideal.

Electric Drill

A drill is something that will be needed sooner or later and most people find it indispensable. Corded drills do not require expensive batteries to operate and cost less but cordless drills are more convenient for working anywhere with ease.  Designed not only to drill holes, but with different bits a good drill can also sand, grind and stir, making it an extremely versatile piece of equipment.


Another important woodworking tool that every carpenter should have is a chisel.  These come in various sizes, some with a hardwood grip, and it is advisable to purchase ones made from high alloy carbon steel.  With a sharpened chisel you can easily clean the mortises and joints on wood, and are extremely important when it comes to refining raw edges. Chisels come in different sizes and shapes, such as a pairing chisel for shaving or a bench chisel for chopping.

Spirit Level

A good spirit level ensures that nothing is hung less than perfectly horizontal and is an essential part of a carpenter’s kit.  It is generally made from a straight bar made of metal with a spirit level in it.  The spirit level has an indicator that establishes the horizontal when the bubble is centred in a tube of liquid.

Hand Saw

The hand saw is used to cut pieces of wood into different shapes and is also known as panel saws or fish saws.  The points on the saw are harder than the wood being cut, with one sharp and flat edge and can be used for general woodworking.

Adjustable Wrench

For having multiple wrenches at once, nothing can beat an adjustable, crescent wrench. This is particularly useful for tightening nuts and bolts and loosening plumbing fixtures.

Screwdriver set

Screwdrivers are a must have tool.  They often come in kits with features such as magnetic tips or comfortable grips which help to make screwing or unscrewing a lot easier.   They are also useful for getting the lids off paint tins or opening battery compartments.

To conclude, you can’t do a good job without the right tools and the old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is correct. Therefore is it worth investing in a good, solid tool kit from the outset and add to your collection as and when you need to.  It is also worth getting a tool box for the smaller hand tools with extra compartments for wall plugs and screws etc so that you can carry everything to where you are working.

For all future blogs covering woodworking tools and materials, keep and eye on the Woodshop Direct Facebook page, Twitter and/or Google+.

Post By Graham Ashton