If you are a beginner planning to settle your trade as a woodworker, then you must have certain basic tools in your toolbox. But you should also take care of the budget so that you can manage to buy the important power tools and hand tools for your workshop.
The challenge is to pick the most needed woodshop tools from a wider collection of tool inventory. Not to mention, it is a time consuming process to buy the tools that are at the same time affordable and workable. The good news is we did that part for you and compiled a list of top 7 must have woodworking tools below. Let’s delve in to know more.
1. POWER SAW
This is the power saw you will mostly find in any beginner’s toolbox. Remember, there are numerous companies selling this tool but you need to pay attention to the maximum usable features offered by any brand. Circular saw features a round blade laden with sharp teeth that swiftly cut through the wood. Being a power saw, it comes in varied power ratings or outputs. Most circular saws are corded and powered by household current. However, with the advent of cordless technology, circular saws are now available in cordless design as well.
Circular saws are fit for rough carpentry and not for the fine, intricate tasks. This type of saw features clean lined straight cuts. Well, this also depends on the quality of blade you use.
Talking about the blade of a circular saw, there are mainly three types :
- Ripping Blades: For sawing the wood lengthwise with or along the grain
- Crosscut Blades: For cutting past the grain
- Combination Blades: Designed for cross cutting as well as ripping
Circular saws come in 2 different designs. One is the direct drive saw, where the blade is clamped perpendicularly to the motor and the other is where the blade is mounted on the arbor. Out of these two, the direct drive saw is widely used in the wood shops and is the most affordable. Worm drive circular saw is fit for heavy-duty work. Though the blade design in both the types is same, the blade in latter type is fitted at 45° angle and features more torque, accuracy, and a better sightline for the right-handed users.
Jigsaw is also known as saber saw as it features reciprocating saber-like blades with one-sided teeth. These power tools are developed to perform intricate tasks, curved or serpentine, and straight cuts.
Jigsaws are easy to handle as you can cut materials single-handedly. One of the best uses of a jigsaw is that it allows making difficult cuts like an inner rectangle or circle. With little more practice, you may eventually learn to make plunge cuts with the jigsaw.
Compound Miter Saw
Compound miter saw is one step better than the regular circular saw. This type of saw supports both the rip and crosscut blades along with the combination blade. The saw features a fixed arm or a track which mostly resembles a radial arm saw almost replacing it. Overall, a compound miter saw is a versatile power tool, and it can perform accurate bevel, miter, and compound-angled cuts.
Note: Use a quality crosscut blade for your compound miter saw for better sawing results.
2. HAND SAW
Hand saw will always have it’s place ever-reserved in a woodworker’s shop. It is quite simple and easily operable for fast sawing. You can use it for making detailed cuts while ensuring precision. The good thing about a hand saw is its lightweight and is also free from the hassle of using batteries or clumsy cords that are often required to be replaced. Hand saw is an inexpensive must-have woodworking tool for both beginners as well as pro-grade woodworkers.
Here are some of the types of hand saws concerning their designs:
- Ripping Hand Saws: For cutting the wood grain
- Crosscut Hand Saws: For sawing across the wood grain
- Combination Hand Saws: For both rip cuts and crosscuts
- Back Saws: For miter cuts Have rectangular blades
- Carcase Hand Saws: These are the larger and studier version of a backsaw used for heavy cutting jobs
- Coping Handsaws: Similar to band saws and jigsaws, it is fit for making curved cuts
- Dovetail Hand Saws: For delicate dovetail joint works
- Keyhole Hand Saws: For cutting inner holes
Note: Most of the cutting drawbacks are from using poor quality, dull blades. It is better to invest in a good quality sharp blade with excellent teeth for fast sawing, almost like an electric saw.
3. POWER DRILL
An electric drill is available both in corded as well as cordless designs. Though it is hands-free to buy a cordless one, it is better to buy a basic corded drill as it is more fit for performing heavy duty and prolonged cutting jobs. Plus, it is more versatile and powerful, and you can make the maximum use of it, compared with a cordless drill. Moreover, the corded one is less expensive Cordless tools have the advantage of being more portable, but corded drills are less expensive and can do more than a cordless drill does.
4. RANDOM ORBIT SANDER
It is a basic woodworking tool for a beginner. However, a palm sander is budget-friendly and supports plain sandpaper (cut as ¼th sections), the random orbit version of snader features hook-and-loop attached sanding wheels. The good thing about a random orbit sander is that it does not leave circular on the workpiece, which the other sander types do. You can also check some of the articles published on a great woodworking blog called theedgecutter where you can check more about random orbital sander.
5. CLAW HAMMER
A carpenter’s claw hammer is an all-in-one pounding tool but it also comes in different types. A claw hammer has two primary tasks to do: one pound and the other is pry. Now, how effectively a claw hammer performs a task depends on some factors as follows:
- Head design includes the weight and face size. While some have smooth heads, as in the finishing hammers, some come with serrated faces to grip nails and fasteners, as in a framing tool.
- Claw design includes curve and length. A finishing hammer has a long and prominent claw, whereas a framing hammer uses a straighter edge that is used to split woods.
- Ergonomic handle composition is another critical point to ensure the user comfort. Most woodworking beginners prefer using a composite or wood hammer handle. Such types of hammers absorb maximum shock after each strike. Framers, on the other hand, prefer the steel handled hammers. Here, the user experiences maximum shock delivery but a steel handle is way sturdier and does not easily break away.
- Overall tool weight is important. The weight of a hammer is determined in ounces. The (8 to 10)oz hammers come under the lightweight category. The intermediate hammers come under the category of (16 to 20)oz, and the heavy-duty hammers weigh within the range of 24 to 32 oz.
Here are the three main types of woodworking hammers:
- Finishing hammer is a versatile hammering tool and should be one’s first preference as they are so handy to operate.
- Framing hammer is sturdier and is widely used in most woodworking projects.
- Tack hammer is similar to a brad driver. It is used for minor jobs and usually comes in 2 different head sizes without claws.
While hammers have steel, brass, and plastic heads, mallets come in wooden or leather heads with removable handles to fit any head size to the mallet handle (as required).
The primary difference between a mallet and a hammer is the intensity of shock delivery and surface impression. Mallets are softer than hammers and absorb more shock than what it delivers. Other than that, it leaves the least striking marks, making it a tool for fitting wood joints together.
Note: Avoid using a steelhead hammer on chisel as it leaves rough finishes on the workpiece. A mallet, however, makes chisel tapping smoother, slicing the wood with consistent striking force.
Last but not the least, a router is yet another mostly used tool in the woodshop. Routers are not less than any versatile material shaping tool. It is used to make decorative workpieces, cutting dados and rabbets.
Out of the stationary based and a plunge based routers, the one with a stationary base takes care of most woodworking applications.
Note: Make sure to purchase a model that delivers (at least) about 2 HP. Variable electronic speed control (smaller bits should use faster speeds and vice versa), a soft-crank mechanism, easy to change bit collets, etc. are the other important features to consider.