Contrary to popular belief, woodworking does involve the use of multiple tools that don’t require any electricity or batteries. However, beginners often feel quite overwhelmed with the required amount of such tools.
This is why we have put together this list of the most essential and useful woodworking hand tools that every beginner and novice in woodworking should have in their workshop.
An Intro to Woodworking Hand Tools
As a woodworker, you need to have your own set of hand tools in your kit. These are typically small but incredibly useful tools that are required for any kind of woodworking project. The woodworking world seems to be dominated by power tools, so most beginners are unaware of the essential hand tools.
However, when you start out with woodworking, you should first learn to use hand tools before leveraging power tools. Therefore, here’s a list of the best and most versatile woodworking hand tools that every beginner should have:
While this is not technically a tool, this is still an essential item that any woodworking enthusiast should have. You need a workbench with a flat surface to help you carry out any task since it is key to getting the job done correctly. It should be at a comfortable height and with a hard and sturdy surface.
Nearly any kind of woodworking project, such as a table, would require a square edge. This is where the square hand tool becomes necessary. Besides creating angles, they are also great for verifying angles. This measuring tool comes in varying sizes for different kinds of projects and requirements. The most popular ones include miter square, combination square, speed square, and framing square.
When you flatten or straighten a board, you absolutely need a plane. These come in various lengths and widths, depending on what you want to use them. The planes typically start from seven inches and can go up to 24 inches long.
You can use these large planes to flatten the heavier and bigger boards. Contrastingly, the smaller planes are used for small boards. These are also easier to operate compared to large planes.
While both hammers and mallets are striking tools, a mallet is preferable. They are also used for different applications. The thing that makes mallet better is the fact that they are shock absorbent, which is why it is an ideal woodworking hand tool. Mallets are also best for chisels because you should never use hammers on them.
You should get a wooden mallet rather than the metal one because the latter can potentially split. It also has a more comfortable grip.
5. Marking Gauge
Every woodworker should have an essential hand tool in their tool kit, a marking gauge. You can get two types of this tool: the traditional and basic one and the cutting gauge. The traditional marking gauge works excellent for joinery tasks, whereas the cutting gauge uses a knife to make clean cuts on the surface. You should get the traditional gauge when starting out and invest in the cutting gauge letter as you become more advanced.
6. Measuring Tape
To make equal cuts for your woodworking projects, you need measuring tape. It is undoubtedly the most basic and necessary tool for any kind of woodworker. It can help you measure distance and size. The measuring tape comes in three variations; retractable steel tape, flexible tape, and foldable tape.
7. Hand Saw
There are many different types of hand saws you can find in the market, and you should certainly invest in one of them. They can help you make various kinds of cuts in wood, which is absolutely essential when carrying out woodworking projects. For example, crosscut and combination saws help you make circular cuts. Other types of hand saws you can find are coping handsaws, carcass handsaws, keyhole handsaws, dovetail handsaws, etc.
8. Marking Knife
You absolutely need clean and accurate layout lines when using measuring tape or squares. While a pencil can work fine, a marking knife is more accurate. These leave a physical mark of lines that are completely precise.
Clamps serve many purposes in woodworking projects and are extremely useful for beginners. They can hold wooden joints that have been freshly glued. Moreover, they can also hold wooden planks and surfaces when you are using blades and handsaws. Beginners need clamps for these purposes until they are advanced enough to make cuts without support. When you gain more experience, you will learn to carry out these tasks without clamps.
10. Chisel Set
These are essentially blades with handles used in final step procedures for joining and making clean cuts. Chisels are versatile tools that can be used for various purposes, including sharpening, joinery, carving, and pairing. This is why they come in various styles. Hence, you should invest in a set of them. They can certainly take your woodworking skills and overall project to the next level. Woodworking beginners should consider bevel chisels.
11. Sharpening Tools
When you have all of these woodworking hand tools, you also need to sharpen tools to keep them in good quality and shape. Over the years and through use, your hand tools are not as sharp and functional as they used to be. This is why you need the right sharpening tools to keep them in good shape.
12. Sliding Bevel
Lastly, the sliding bevel is quite similar to the square since it is used to mark edges and make measurements. This tool is perfect for laying out dovetails due to the metal edge with the long slot that locks into the wooden handle.
Our Final Thoughts
If you are a beginner or novice, you need to have these essential tools in your kit to help you carry out any kind of woodworking project with ease. Most of these are budget-friendly and will last you for years if you properly care for them.