If need ideas on which hand tools you'll need to get started in woodworking, this page should help. Below are the Top 10 hand tools you'll need for nearly any woodworking project.
Everyone has used a hammer
at some point in their lives. While there are many types, the most versatile is the claw hammer with a smooth, slightly rounded finish head. Choose one that is not too heavy, but feels good in your hand. I prefer a 20 oz. model.
A Layout Square
is an invaluable woodworking tool. Not only is it probably the quickest and easiest tool for marking a square
line for an end cut, but can be used to quickly mark any angle up to 45-degrees or measure up to six inches. I keep one in my back pocket or nail pouch whenever I'm in the shop.
A Retractable Tape Measure
is another tool that is an absolute must for any woodworker. A quality tape measure
should have both Standard and Metric
markings, a locking mechanism and a slightly loose hook on the end of the tape. The hook is loose on it's rivets by design so the user will get accurate results whether the tape is used to take internal or external measurements.
A Utility Knife
with a locking mechanism that uses disposable razor blades is another requirement for the woodworker. This versatile cutting device can be used for scribing a mark in a piece of stock, cleaning up a hinge mortise or any of a hundred other times when a knife is needed.
The Chisel is another essential woodworking tool. A finely-sharpened chisel is perfect for cleaning out waste from joint
s and mortises. I like to keep one each of 1/4", 1/2", 3/4" and 1" width bevel
-edged chisels within easy reach.
When you need to know if a piece of stock is perfectly horizontal (level
) or vertical (plumb), you need a level. I like to keep two levels available: one relatively long level (I use a 28" or 36") and a short, 6" Torpedo Level.
Like the claw hammer
, everybody has used a screwdriver
at least once or twice in their lives. I keep a few versions in my shop: #1, 2 and 3 sizes of both Phillips and Flathead varieties, as well as a couple of square
head, Torx and star driver
A Sliding Bevel
is very similar to a square
, except that it can be adjusted to any angle and locked in place using a locking mechanism. This is very handy when an angle needs to be duplicated.
A nail set
looks somewhat like a small, round chisel, but is used to sink nail heads flush or just beneath the wood's surface. I keep three different sizes in my pouch.
10. Block Plane
The last absolute necessity every woodworker should have is a small block plane
. This device is used for shaving thin amounts of wood away from the stock, and is invaluable for cleaning up edges during assembly.