If you're not sure what 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.
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.
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.
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.
5. ChiselsThe Chisel is another essential woodworking tool. A finely-sharpened chisel is perfect for cleaning out waste from joints and mortises. I like to keep one each of 1/4", 1/2", 3/4" and 1" width bevel-edged chisels within easy reach.
6. LevelWhen 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.
7. ScrewdriversLike 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 drivers.
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.