10 Essentials Woodworking Tools List for Beginners

Getting into a workshop as a beginner can be an impressive experience. You may see tons of different tools that look amazing, but you won’t have any idea what they’re for or even less so how to use them.

But if you’re trying to learn how to become more familiar with those tools, you’ll have to learn about the basic ones first.

Whether you’re trying to become a woodworker or just learn the basics, you’ll have to know what tools are essential at first. Here we are going to tell you all about those beginner-friendly tools so you can have a smooth learning experience. Take a look and learn!

1. Hacksaw

Some people know this as a hand saw instead. But yes, it is an essential tool to have if you want to be a more useful woodworker.

Whether it is cutting logs or planks, small or large ones, whatever you’re cutting – a handsaw will do the job.

There are many other types of saws that can do the job even better, such as circular saws, miter saws, table saws, flush cut saws and so on. But nothing is more straightforward to use than a hacksaw.

Just learn to move it back and forth to cut with its serrated edge, and you’ll be ready for basic woodworking jobs.

2. Measurement Tape

Measurement Tape

Professionals and technicians of all kinds always use this tool to get measurements of different things. For wood planks, logs, walls, and so on – nothing compares to a measurement tape.

It is almost a requisite to have one of these. If you are a beginner, nothing will be more useful or practical to measure.

Other measurement tools such as T-bevels and combinations squares can be pretty useful. But they usually demand much more experience, and they only work for specific projects.

There are several types to choose from as well. Some of them are retractable (they will retract automatically with a button or handle). And they are the most popular of them all. There are also locking tapes and others that are both lock and retractable tape measures which are pretty common to see around.

For woodworking, you should go for options that are at least 20 feet long and with both retractable and locking mechanisms. However, you may pick smaller ones if you desire for only small projects. But you may also go for the longest ones which can go up to 35 feet or even more.

3. Chisel & Mallet

We could say only chisel or mallet, but it is necessary to put them both in the same category. Chisels work to get rid of splinters or small inconsistencies in wood. They also help to create handmade figures and give shape to pieces.

And mallets are the tools you use to hit the chisels and make it work. Otherwise, a chisel would be almost useless. You may also use hammers for that, but a mallet does the job more effectively and safely.

Chisels are also useful to give form to joinery. So, if you need to get rid of a bowel inconsistency, then a chisel would be really helpful. But you’ll have to pick the right type.

They come in a wide array of sizes and materials so you must always go for the strongest one if possible. But it all comes down to your necessities. As a beginner, you should go for two chisels of different sizes. That would make it easier for you to be prepared for any job.

4. Screwdriver

It needs no introduction for sure, but it’s still important to remember it. Probably all kinds of workers from electricians to simple computer technicians need at least one of these. They are simply universal.

There are several types to go for, though. We recommend going for the most common in woodworking: Philips, flathead and star-driver.

But along with types, you should also consider the size. As a beginner, you should have at least three different sizes. Most of the time, woodworking only demands the use of large screwdrivers, but it’s still possible to need one of the smallest ones over time.

To make the use of screwdrivers easier, you could go for a model with a magnetic tip. That would help you keep the screws attached to the driver when either screwing or unscrewing. So, you don’t lose any piece while using, or just make the whole process more straightforward.

5. Sander

Not many people will recommend a sander for a beginner, but it’s a handy tool for giving smooth finishes to any wooden project.

If a sander sounds like too much work, sandpaper would also do the job. Just make sure you have something that takes the grain off the wood surface, making every job safer but also much more refined.

In fact, this is the main work of many woodworking beginners in commercial workshops. They will be put to sand all the things, either using an electric sander or with sandpaper in the worst scenario.

Whatever you pick, just make sure always to have it ready. Sanding is an essential part of woodworking, and almost the last step towards finishing a woodworking job.

6. Drill


Drills are not only useful for opening holes in concrete or brick walls. They also help in woodworking a lot, including opening holes for screws, making dowels, joints, and much more.

As a beginner, using a drill can be something of a hard job. You may learn fast how to turn it on, but opening accurate and useful holes can be sort of an issue.

That’s why we recommend beginner-friendly designs at first. Something small and not too powerful will work well, so you don’t end up either damaging a wood piece or eventually harming yourself.

As soon as you start to get familiar with it, you’ll start doing things with a drill that you never imagined of. Then, you’ll begin to add accessories and other parts to make more complicated drills.

But stick to simple options at first. You won’t like to get something that you won’t eventually know how to use.

7. Level

A level is a perfect tool for making the most accurate, straight, and leveled surface possible. When creating furniture, doors, or anything that demands the flattest and most stable surface possible, then a level would help you find out.

There are several choices when it comes to levels. Some are vertical levels for wooden walls or columns, others are diagonal for ramps or unique pieces, and the most usual ones are horizontal.

Apart from the direction, you should also focus on size. Some of them are large while others are short, and so on. As a beginner, a medium-sized horizontal level will be enough. But if you want to be prepared for later, you can always get more, they are pretty affordable and typically not an issue to store.

8. Hammer

Like screwdrivers, hammers are critical for woodworking as well. Without a hammer, you won’t be able to do half the jobs a woodworker should be able to.

For the best results with this tool, we recommend going for fully metallic options. Yet, you can always choose the one you prefer, and that goes according to your needs. But always focus on getting a claw hammer among the many types you’ll find.

This way you’ll be able to both hit nails into the wood but also get them off when needed. With a double hitting-head in hammers, this won’t be possible. So, getting the most functional at first would be the best idea as a beginner.

Wooden and rubberized handles are also pretty good choices for hammers. However, you must go for whatever seems more useful and affordable. In the long run, you may go for whatever works better and meets your requirements.

9. Clamps

These are among the most overlooked by beginners, but they are always among the most useful.

In fact, clamps are probably the only type of tool you can use to hold or anchor pieces of wood without making much of an effort.

Clamps can come in many sizes, kinds, and materials. You should go for small and large ones if possible, this way you can achieve enough versatility for most jobs.

Clamps are also pretty useful to use alongside jigs, which are clamp-like tools that help to make accurate cuts and holes depending on your needs. With at least four clamps, you’ll be ready to become a handier woodworker.

10. Safety Items


Not many people tend to consider safety gear tools, but they are undoubtedly among the most important things to have when doing woodwork.

Among the many safety items you can get, there are work gloves. Durable, thick, and comfortable leather gloves will be pretty useful. If they are puncture-resistant, that will make them even more helpful.

Other safety items to consider are protective goggles. They’ll keep your eyes off dangerous splinters or sawdust. Both can be pretty damaging to your eyes, especially when working in enclosed spaces or small workshops.

Then you can consider face masks. They will help you breathe inside dust-filled spaces without having to let harmful things inside your body. You can use one of these alongside a dust collector to keep the environment less dusty and safer to work at.

Other additional safety items to consider are work boots with puncture resistant constructions, helmets, and woodworking chaps. With at least one of each of these items, you’ll be safer when doing woodwork, and that will be the best way to do so.

Build Your Woodworking Toolbox Now!

So, after reading our list of essential woodworking tools, you should know enough to start building your own set of tools.

Remember, at first everything will be a little difficult to learn, especially if you have no experience with woodwork. But over time, you’ll get familiar enough with each tool that you’ll be able to do the hardest jobs without problems.

 Just focus on building the most complete and functional toolbox, then you’ll be ready to tackle the simplest jobs to learn and become the expert you expect to be. Start with the right set of tools, and you won’t be disappointed!
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