9 Must-Have Tools for Woodworking [Beginner Guide]

By: Jan Hajek | Date Posted: January 31, 2021

Woodworking represents a different meaning for everyone. Woodworkers are skilled craftsmen who create long-lasting pieces of furniture and other wooden utilities. For hobbyists, woodworking is a way of relieving stress and exercising their muscles. When they make the wooden masterpiece, they are handsomely compensated for their skills.

Regardless of whether you are a master craftsperson or a hobbyist woodworker, you must have a set of the most functional, durable, and precise tools to achieve what you desire from your efforts. We have created a comprehensive guide to help both professionals and hobbyists choose the best tools for their woodworking projects.

Saws Used For Woodworking

Every woodworking project begins with cutting wood into the required shape and size. Regardless of the wood, ripping and crosscutting are essential to bring it into the desired shape. You will require different types of saws depending on the type of woodworking task you need to accomplish for this purpose. Here is a brief description of each type of saw.

Circular Saw

The Circular saw is the power-activated saw, an essential part of every woodworker’s tool kit. There are countless brands available in the market which sell circular saws. In each circular saw, there is a round or circular blade that is full of sharp teeth. The saw rips off any piece of wood as soon as you connect it to a power supply and turn it on. Circular saws come in both corded and cordless models. With a little bit of practice, you can use them effectively to cut straight, clean lines. They can be used with three types of blades:

  • Ripping blades: They are used to cut material lengthwise or parallel to its grain.
  • Crosscut blades: They are used for cutting across the grain
  • Combination blades: They are useful for both ripping and crosscutting.

The blades have different teeth layouts. Teeth in ripping blades are spaced evenly, whereas crosscuts have staggered teeth. Combination blades, as the name suggests, offer both formats. The blade should be of durable material with teeth made preferably of carbide. The diameter of blades varies and should be suited to the type of wood you are using.


A jigsaw is another must-have tool for beginning woodworkers. They have a saber-like blade, and that is why they are also called saber saws. These electrical tools are capable of making straight, curved, or serpentine cuts. Jigsaws’ cutting mechanism is different from that of circular saws. They cut using an up-and-down or back-and-forth motion.

The blades have different teeth, and they can cut wood, plastic, and metal. Blades with fine teeth are suitable for sawing veneers, whereas blades with coarse teeth are suitable for fast and rough work. You can conveniently operate the jigsaw with one hand. Therefore, it facilitates a firm grip on the workpiece with the other hand. Consequently, they produce excellent, intricate cuts. They are also suitable for making interior cuts and plunge cuts.


Compound Miter Saw

Compound miter saws are more advanced than regular circular saws. They also use the rip, crosscut, and combination blades, but they can be fixed in an arm or track. The blade diameter varies and ranges from 10 to 12 inches, but they can also use smaller blade diameters such as 7 ½” size.

Compound miter saws are versatile tools, which make accurate cuts for bevels, miters, and compound angles. They can be conveniently adjusted for 22 ½”, 45, and 90 degrees angles for left and right cuts. It is necessary to use a good quality crosscut saw blade for optimum results. It’s recommended to do deep research and check the best miter saws reviews before buying one. The latest miter saws come with sliding arms that extend the length of cuts. They also allow making a combination of miter and bevel cuts by tilting their heads.

Compound Miter Saw

Table Saw

Table saw is an essential woodworking tool that all beginning woodworkers prefer to start with. Table saws are used in making cuts that aren’t produced by other types of saw. They are like upside-down circular saws in structure, and their blade is exposed from the downside of the saw table. They can be adjusted for blade depth to make precise angles.

Table Saw

Table saws come in portable and fixed designs.

  1. Cabinet Table Saws:

Their motors are enclosed in a lower cabinet. A belt and pulley system runs the blade. They are suitable for various purposes ranging from panel-cutting to lumber-ripping.

  1. Benchtop table saws:

They are easily portable and can be conveniently stored when not in use. They are compact but noisy.

  1. Contractor Table Saws:

They are popular among contractors because they are quick and easy to use on various job sites. They are also known as chop box, or chop saw.


The bandsaw is commonly used for ripping rough stock. Their teeth are fixed on a flat, looped steel band that revolves around lower and upper pulleys. Their cutting action is like a combination of circular and saber saws. The selection of a bandsaw size will depend on the workpiece’s size and the desired intricacy of cuts.

Bandsaw with coarse teeth is suitable for fast cuts, whereas fine teeth are better for smooth, slower cutting. When working with a bandsaw, the width of blades is also an important consideration. For ripping purposes, wider blades are preferable, whereas thin blades are appropriate for curved cutting.



Handsaws are the most ancient woodworking tool used for thousands of years. They consist of a toothed steel blade that slides back and forth for cutting the workpiece. Handsaws come in various designs and can be used for their specialized purposes, so it is necessary to consider the type of work you intend to do with them.

  • Ripping handsaws
  • Crosscut handsaws
  • Combination handsaws
  • Backsaws
  • Carcass handsaws
  • Coping handsaws
  • Keyhole handsaws
  • Dovetail handsaws

If you are looking for a handsaw, we suggest you invest in the ones that have the best quality blades with sharp teeth. Handsaws with cheap and dull blades can destroy the beauty of your workpiece.



Planes come with a fixed blade that shaves off wood fibers. They improve the shape of the workpiece and make it smoother. The size of the blade and its depth determines the amount of material removed at a time. There is an excellent variety in planes, but most beginners aren’t aware of their difference, and they often get confused with their functions. Sometimes they are also called blocks, jointers, and spokeshaves. Some people also categorize them by number. Here is a list of the most common hand planes used by woodworkers.

  • Jack Plane
  • Block Planes
  • Joining Planes
  • Rabbet Planes
  • Scraper Planes
  • Spokeshaves

Planes tool

Orbital Sander

An orbital sander is an electric wood-finishing tool that you might like to add to your tool kit. These efficient machines are designed to reduce the time and effort associated with hand sanding. They have sandpaper pads that revolve in an orbital or circular motion.

Regular orbital sanders utilize a circular abrasive sandpaper disk, which continuously spins in a circle. One downside of using standard orbital sanders is that they tend to leave swirl marks on the workpiece.

Therefore, using a random orbital sander is a better choice as they do not circulate. Instead, they work in an oscillating movement so that the wood surface becomes silky smooth, and clean.

Orbital Sander

Hand Files

Hand files are also the right choice for shaping wood. They are inexpensive, and often they prove to be durable if you have invested in good quality ones. Once they lose their sharpness, they should be replaced.

  • Rasps have rough edges and coarse teeth, and they are better for removing large chunks of wood to give a shape to the workpiece.
  • Half-round files feature a flat surface and a curved surface for both types of workpieces.
  • Mill files feature a flat surface on both sides and come with both coarse and fine teeth on either side.
  • Rotary cutters are similar to hand files, and they are compatible with drill chuck. In the drill chuck, their rotary abrasive action removes the material with a breakneck speed. They come in different cutting grits and patterns.

Hand files have another utility – you can sharpen other blades and bits with them. These metal files feature excellent teeth made from high-grade steel.

Hand Files


With a little bit of market research, you can figure out the type of woodworking tools available in the market. But, before doing market research, it is essential to figure out your needs. All woodworking projects are not the same. Choosing the best kind of tools specifically designed for the work you are going to take from them is necessary to utilize your money in the best way. Tools that are inappropriate for the task at hand create frustration and result in a product that is not aesthetically beautiful.

Secondly, when you are spending a reasonable amount of money, we suggest investing in durable products. Tools made from high-quality materials are durable and give high performance. It is better to rely on famous brands instead of buying cheaply built tools because a long-lasting device compensates for its price by providing excellent value for your money.


Bonus video: Most Amazing Woodworking Project Smart Design Ideas

Thank you for reading!

Jan Hajek

I am an experienced writer. I write about home improvement topics such as construction, electrical work, plumbing, security and safety, interior design, exterior design, tools and woodworking, gardening, and garage organization. I love helping people improve their homes and make them more enjoyable places to live.

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