Whether you’re constantly building or repairing things to improve your home or other properties or simply like to work with your hands as a relaxing hobby, it’s vital to have the right woodworking tools at your disposal.
If you’re just getting started in this area, it pays to understand the key tools you’ll need. Perhaps you want to put them on your birthday or Christmas wishlists, too, so you don’t have to outlay the funds to buy them all yourself. There are all sorts of items you could invest in, but a select number that all woodworkers tend to rely on day in and day out.
With so many instances where you have to cut materials to specific lengths or determine what sized goods you can put in a space, every woodworker needs a tape measure within reach. The most common and handy type is the retractable steel tape that can often measure up to 30 feet. This is the main product you’ll rely on, but it also pays to consider buying a flexible reel tape in fabric or steel to measure lengths over 100 feet and a folding rule with multiple sections for highly accurate measurements.
Workbench and Sawhorse
Invest in a quality workbench, as this is something you’ll use repeatedly that provides you with a level, solid platform to work on. Choose a product with an adjustable base, various sized vices, and a large working surface. It should be constructed from solid hardwood and feature built-in stops and drawers for storing tools, where possible. You also want something free-standing and with 360-degree access so you can move around it as you work and get at different angles of the materials you place on top of it.
Sawhorses are ideal for woodworkers, too. These four-legged pieces of equipment are mobile, which is incredibly handy, and provide you with support and balance for long lengths of lumber and other materials. You’ll generally want at least two on hand, but you may need extras if you’re working on multiple things at once. Sawhorses can be made from wood, steel, plastic, or fiberglass.
As a woodworker, you’ll often need to cut various types of lumber into all sorts of sizes and shapes. As such, purchase a selection of saws to handle different tasks. Many people invest in a versatile compound miter saw that can be fixed in an arm or track and utilize crosscut, rip, or combination blades to make accurate cuts for numerous angles. A sliding miter saw, in particular, is helpful since the sliding arms extend the length of cuts possible and can tilt to achieve a combination of miter and bevel cuts.
If you still want a powered saw but something a little cheaper when you’re starting, you could buy a circular saw. These products come in corded and cordless models and with ripping, crosscut, and combination blades to achieve different cuts. A jigsaw is incredibly helpful, too. With their saber-like blades, the electrical tools cut using up and down or back and forth motion and make curved, straight, or serpentine cuts. They cut wood, plus also metal and plastic, and can handle intricate jobs if needed.
You’ll also want to stock up on some handsaws for basic handheld cutting jobs, especially quick, small projects. Plus, you might like to buy a table saw and a bandsaw to add to your collection.
As a woodworker, you’ll often need to drill things, so make sure you own a power drill or two. It’s wise to have at least one cordless product that you can use anywhere and everywhere, including in spots where there’s no electricity. Choose a drill with variable speeds for optimum trigger control, too.
An affordable type of tool you should stock up on is the humble screwdriver. You’ll need these in different shapes, styles, and sizes. Make sure you have a decent collection of star head, Torx, slot, and flathead drivers, including some petite and some long options to handle work in narrow or awkward spaces.
Some other tools to add to your must-have list include a claw hammer, chisel, sander, plane, files, and level. Plus, fit yourself out with some safety equipment, including goggles and dust masks to protect your eyes, ears, and respiratory system as you spend time woodworking.
The more well-stocked you are when it comes to all these tools, the more enjoyable you should find your woodworking tasks.