If you had to buy just ten hand tools for your wood shop, which would they be? Some of the basic hand tools for woodworking don’t have substitutes, and your ability to turn wood into long-lasting pieces will suffer if you don’t have them. With that in mind, you should start your tool kit with essential tools, then build on your collection as you specialize.
Woodworking Hand Tools List.
1. A Workbench
The center of your workshop traditionally belongs to the workbench. No matter your craft, you need a stable surface to secure your wood for sawing and planing. For an absolute beginner, your best move is to buy a workbench—they can be quite affordable. But, if you already have some basic carpentry skills, you can build a wooden workbench from scratch.
2. Saws: Panel, Back, Miter, and Coping
There are several saws that you’ll need to cut and dimension wood. The most common one is the panel saw, which offers the roughest but quickest cut. Back saws are for making finer cuts, whether across the grain (cross-cut) or along the grain (rip cut). They get their name from their hardened steel or brass “backs,” which are stiffer than the thin metal saw plates.
Miter boxes allow you to cut wood at various lengths and angles by enclosing the miter saw in a rigid frame. You can adjust a miter box to the desired angle, which is how carpenters create accurate miter joints.
Finally, there’s the coping saw, a blade used for cutting shapes inside a board of wood. Coping saws are also cleaning saws because they remove material waste in the joints like the dovetail.
3. A Set of Bench Chisels
One of the best investments you can make is a set of high-quality bevel-edge bench chisels. They usually last many years and come in handy in almost every project. They’re also quite affordable and what you’re likely to get when buying a woodworking starter kit.
Wooden ones are lighter and therefore easier to wield. The steel should be excellent to remain sharp and strong. You’ll only need about five to seven bench chisels to get started, but specialty chisels like fishtail and paring chisels can expand your wood carving abilities.
You will also need a set of mortise chisels, which chop rectangular holes (mortises) into the side of a wooden board to create tenon slots. To start, you’ll need a 3/8-inch or ¼-inch mortise chisel.
Planes are essential when working with raw wood. They have specialized functions that only they can accomplish, including cleaning rough stock, jointing board-edges, and smoothing boards. You can buy dedicated planes for each activity, but a jack plane takes care of it all.
Block planes are also essential these days. Their job is to trim joints, chamfer board edges, trim end-grain, and much more. Low-angle block planes are the best for beginners (they cut difficult grain more easily).
5. Hammers and Wooden Mallets
Perhaps the oldest woodworking essential is the claw hammer. You’ll need it for pounding in nails and wedges. But, do not use your hammer on your precious wooden chisels. For that, you will need a mallet.
Wooden mallets, specifically English-style Joiner mallets, are excellent for chopping on chisels. They’re relatively light, but some can be heavy-duty enough for tasks such as cutting mortises into the wood.
If you’re in the market for a beginner woodworker kit, then you’re in luck. We’ve selected four strong options to start your toolkit with. These sets provide excellent value for money when you buy them in combination packs like the following.
Woodworking Hand Tools Starter Kit:
Kingtool Advanced Wood Chisel Set (87 Pieces)
A reliable set of chisels will see you through many years of woodworking. These ones are equipped with drop-forged chrome-vanadium-steel blades, which are sharper than ordinary steel, and stay that way for long.
The whole toolset contains all that you need to set up your woodshop. It has six wood chisels, a wood mallet, a dovetail saw, screw kits, a sharpening stone, and a honing guide. It also comes with a 16ft tape measure, sharpening paper, work gloves, carpenter pencils, and a combination square ruler.
These are tools that are built to last, from the chisels with rubber handles to the tape measure with the high-impact ABS shell. The dovetail saw also has a flexible blade to make your job easier.
REXBETI Premium Wood Chisel Set (10 Pieces)
The bestselling wood chisel set on Amazon comprises six wood chisels, a honing guide, a sharpening stone, and two carpenter pencils for under $50. It’s a versatile kit with chisels ranging from 38mm to 6mm in width, making it ideal for a long list of projects and applications. The heat-treated chrome-vanadium steel is sharp right out of the box. It stays sharper for longer too, which means more time working and less time preparing your tools.
Along with the six chisels is a special maintenance kit, the first of which is a sharpening stone. It comes with a honing guide, which keeps the chisel’s blade on the stone at a 25 – 30-degree angle to speed up the sharpening process.
The heat-treated Cr-V steel is durable and strong enough for both soft and hardwoods. Despite its rubber handles, which are ergonomic and have a solid grip, the chisels are pretty light—almost as light as vintage wood chisels—which makes them far easier to control.
The kit includes a compact carry case that’s rugged enough for the workshop. Each tool fits into a snug crevice so that they don’t move around during transit.
DeWalt 20V Cordless Drill Combo (Drill Driver + Impact Drill)
For your first power tools, a drill driver and an impact drill are essential choices. Once you cut and shape wood pieces, you’ll need to assemble them, and nothing does that faster and in more ways than these power tools.
This kit contains a DCD771 cordless drill driver and a DCF885 impact drill. The former drives screws into wood, the latter shoots nails. The cordless drill driver is capable of two-speed transmission, from zero to 450 RPM and from zero to 1,500 RPM. The DCF885 impact drill, on the other hand, is very compact, measuring only 5.5 inches from front to back.
Both feature ergonomic handles that offer a solid grip, plus they’re lightweight enough to work with for extended periods. They come in a convenient carry bag.