September 8, 2021

Essential Tools for Woodworking | What You Need

Have you ever thought about the essentials that every woodworker should have? Many things can be essential, but you must understand what they are. Researching the things you need to have in a woodshop is a great way to ensure that you do not make a bad purchasing decision.

Measuring Tools

The starting point of your woodworking project should be measurements. They determine the precision of your work, and proper woodwork shows accuracy and accurately determines the quality of products. 

Items made of angles are faulty due to wrong measurements during preparation. A measuring error costs you quality. A measuring tool does not ensure a high-quality product, and quality measuring equipment is required. The tools below come in a metric measuring system. 

Tape measure

A tape measure is a simple tool for woodworking marked in centimeters, millimeters, and inches. It comes in lengths ranging from 10ft to 25ft, making it an appropriate tool for shorter and longer lengths between two points. 

A 16ft tape measure is a. standard measuring tool that covers all bases. It is for curvy areas since it is flexible. It is not the ideal tool to use when it comes to precise measurements and smaller units. There are higher chances of lacking trustworthiness needed for marking length. A tape measure is easy and comfortable to use. 


A ruler is a measuring tool that gives markings. It is handy and straight, and the straight edge makes a guide for a pencil. However, a ruler has limitations in range, unlike a tape measure. A 6-inch ruler is a standard ruler that takes your measurements a bit longer. 

It is comfortable and convenient to use over shorter distances. The readings are reliable and tolerant to smaller measurements, which amounts to quality and accurate markings. I often use this as a scraper for removing stickers from wood.

Framing square

A framing square is more of a square ruler, and it has a 90-degree angle, making it ideal for marking right angles. Right angles are on joints, and large framing squares have a more extended reference point. 

They range from 12 by 8 inches to 24. These are the standard sizes that cover your surface area. When doing casework, they are handy. The framing square is used throughout the production process as you make sure each angle is at 90 degrees with precision. 

Try square

A try square is almost similar to a framing square tool, and the difference lies in the try square being more practical and easy to handle. It is for marking right-angle cuts, and smaller models are handy when using power tools such as miter saws. 

It comes with a 90-degree angle and a base used as a stopper. It marks and checks if an edge or cut is square about an adjacent edge. It also comes with models that produce a 4t degree angle. It has a metal blade fastened to a wooden handle. There is no single-body construction to rest on the piece. 

Cutting Tools

There are multiple wood-cutting tools on the market. What matters is accuracy and speed. These tools cut in different ways and require different levels of pressure. Each measuring instrument has its strengths, and if you choose well, you will not have a complicated time. 

Know what you want and what works for your task and future projects. Use the right cutting tool for the project. Some tools recharge, use direct electricity, and some manpower. 

Chain Saw

Chainsaws are fast in cutting thick wood. It does not waste time, and it is powerful. Cutting through thick logs makes it convenient to transport your wood or logs. However, precise cuts are not guaranteed when cutting boards. Light chain saws make the cutting experience bearable, making it comfortable to use. 


A router is a high-powered tool that shapes wood and makes multiple joints. It rounds off the rough and sharp edges of the wood. It also marks slots and grooves in the wood. Hollowing out material is made easy. It comes as hand-powered or electrical, although the electric model is popular. It is versatile since it runs multiple applications. 


Chisels come in different sizes and shapes. They have a cutting edge made of metal blades that come from a wooden or plastic handle. The blade removes unwanted wood from the item. It is ideal for joining pieces together. Using chisels with a mallet brings better results. 


A lathe allows you to work with wood with ease. The cutting machine comes in different sizes and shapes for specific tasks. Attach various tools on the lathe for effectiveness, precision, and efficiency. 

It gives a  finish to the item and shapes the wood. You are allowed to make different types of decorations on pieces of wood. The lathe is not an affordable tool, although it is worth the price. Choose one that matches your budget. 

Drilling Tools

Hand drill

A hand drill is a simple model of drills ideal for pre-drilling holes—drill holes before inserting screws inside. Turn the drilling tool left and right until the tips get in the wood. Continue turning the drilling tool to the right until you reach the required depth. No power is required, and that makes it convenient to use. It is also easy to operate, and that saves time. 

Standard Electric Drill

Electric drills are in two forms, and these are battery-powered drills and cable-powered drills. Unlike the hand drill, the electric drill needs a power supply. It is ideal for fixing jobs, and you are allowed to work on heavier objects as you make holes and insert screws. 

You do not have to be closer to the power supply when using the battery-powered drill; you are only there when recharging the drill. Although the ones powered by cable are more powerful, the cable is always on your way. 

Hammer drills

Hammer drills have the same characteristics as the above model and only differ in the additional hammering feature they have, whereas the standard drill does not. They drill into tough materials with ease, and these include hardwood. You are allowed to switch between hammering and rotating or even use both at the same time. 

Benchtop Drill press

The benchtop drill press is a complex drill that beginners might struggle to use. However, it makes a valuable drilling tool when you have been in the woodwork game for a while. It allows you to make accurate holes and produce more power. The tool’s versatility lies in its ability to work on various materials. 

Sanding and Finishing

Sanding and finishing are the concluding steps in woodwork. As much as you would have mastered the measurements and joints, you still need to maintain a good-looking outside appearance. There are different finishing methods that you choose from depending on what you want. Multiple sanding tools match specific wood. Below are essential sanding and finishing tools to choose from. 


You cannot afford not to have sandpaper on many woodworking levels. Sanding is required between coats so that whatever finish you apply stays longer. Sandpaper is in grits; a lower grit is rough and removes material faster than higher grit. Higher grits are smoother and for finishing and polishing your work. Different sizes work on different levels. 

Power sander

When stripping wood, you need to smooth the surface by sanding it. A power sander is an ideal sanding tool for bigger projects. A powerful sander ranges from 6,000 to 8,000 strokes; less energy is needed since the tool is already aggressive. The power sander ranges from 100 to 200 strokes per minute if it is a standard one.

Wood finish

Wood finish comprises multiple products applied to finish a wood project. Paint, varnish, stain, and tung oil are wood finishes producing different exteriors in color and texture. Having multiple finishes does not limit your choices. Keep more finishes so that they are available whenever you need to re-apply. 

Steel wool and paste wax

Steel wool and paste wax give a nice finish when the applied finish cures. A soft rub-out is what they offer. Rub the surface gently along the grain and buff using a soft cloth. Rubbing hard creates scratches, and you will have to re-work your finish. 

Use a “0000” grade steel wool with a fine texture. Look for better products on paste wax. Paste wax does not damage wood, and it protects your wood from spills. 

David D. Hughes

Leave a Reply