Essential Woodworking Tools


vintage tools mix collage on whiteThere are certain tools that every woodworker should have in his or her workshop, and it is important that you know what they are if you are just starting out. The following tools will provide you with everything you need for almost any woodworking project. While there may be other tools you will require, depending on the project, these ones are essential to woodworking, whether as a hobby or a profession.

Claw Hammer

The claw hammer is definitely one of the more essential woodworking tools, but it can be used for something as simple as putting a nail in a wall to hang a framed picture. You will find that there are many different types of hammers, the claw hammer is by far the most versatile and has a slightly rounded head, which is perfect for making contact when driving nails into wood. You should choose a claw hammer that doesn’t feel too heavy in your hand so that you are completely comfortable using it.


All woodworkers have to use chisels on most of their projects. A properly sharpened chisel is ideal for cleaning out joints and mortises. There are many different size chisels and it is a good idea to have many different ones for any project. The more chisel options you have, the better your chances will be of completing your woodworking project with complete accuracy and ease.


Checking to see if a piece of stock is perfectly horizontal or vertical requires a good level. While a level may be a relatively simple tool, it is essential for all woodworkers to have. It is always a good idea to keep at least two levels in your workshop, one that is fairly long and a shorter 6” one.


The screwdriver is one of the most basic and essential tools needed for woodworking and there are numerous kinds, including square heads, star drivers, torx, flatheads, and more. If you plan to get involved in woodworking, you will absolutely need to buy a good screwdriver set that has all of the different varieties you will need to complete any project in the future.

Nail sets

A nail set resembles something like a small rounded chisel, but the difference is that this tool is used to sink nail heads flush beneath the surface of the wood. Nail sets come in different sizes, so it is a good idea to have a few of them so you will have what you need no matter what your project requires.

Block plane

A block plane is yet another essential tool for woodworking and every woodworker should own one. You will use this device to shave thin amount of wood away from the stock, and it is just the things you need for cleaning up edges during the assembly process. Block planes are cheap and you will definitely want to have at least one if not two of them in your workshop.

Sliding Bevel

A sliding bevel closely resembles a square, but it can be adjusted to virtually any angle and locked into place. This particular tool can be extremely handy when you need to duplicate an angle. This hand tool has a stainless steel blade for lasting durability as well as a plastic or wooden handle and a locking mechanism. The blade on this device can be adjusted to any acute or obtuse angle.

Utility knife

It is definitely a good idea to invest in a quality utility knife, which is a knife with a locking mechanism that holds a disposable razor blade. This is an extremely versatile cutting tool that can be used for marking a piece of stock as well as cleaning up a hinge mortise. If you are planning on getting into woodworking, you will need a utility knife.

Tape measure

The tape measure is a very simple yet essential woodworking tool that you will almost certainly use on just about every project you ever do. You will want to get a retractable tap measure with a length of around 25 feet so you won’t have any issues when you need to measure very long objects. Make sure the “hook” at the end of the tape measure is firmly attached, as you will want to ensure that all of your measurements are completely accurate with no problems whatsoever.

Layout square

A layout square, or a combination square as it is also known, comes in both 6” and 12” sizes. A vast majority of woodworkers use the 6” kind, mostly because it is much easier to carry around. You will find that most of the stock you will be working with will be no larger than 6” wide, so a 12” layout square will be just too much. This square is essentially a triangle that you use to mark square cuts on stock, and it is a tool that you will use very often when doing woodworking.

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