Tools for the Beginner Woodworker

Woodworking can be a stress-reliever and exercise for some and an entertaining hobby for others. It can feel like a creative endeavor or a professional one with proper compensation every time. Whatever the case, if you’re a beginner woodworker, you need to know what tools to get, like the right circular or table saws. So what’s the best beginner table saw?

No matter how much of a rank amateur or master craftsman you are, you still need to know all the must-have tools needed for woodworking. Luckily, they’re all listed below.

Various Saws for Cutting and Shaping Work Pieces

1. Circular Saw

Circular saws are power-activated saws that use a circular blade. It’s one of the must-haves when it comes to every beginner woodworker’s toolbox. There are loads of brands to choose from, but they have one thing in common—that round blade with serrated teeth that can tear apart any wooden work piece. You can get them as ripping blades, crosscut blades, or combo blades using both types.

2. Jigsaw

If you’ve ever seen a jigsaw puzzle then you have half an idea of what a jigsaw is. It’s also known as a saber jaw because of its saber-like blade that’s capable of doing intricate curved, circular, and freeform cuts that go beyond the straight and angled cuts of more straightforward saws. It is capable cutting pieces as irregularly shaped as a jigsaw through its up-and-down or back-and-forth motion, in other words.

3. Table Saw

Obviously, a table saw is any saw with a table attached to it so that you won’t have to get a table or floor space to do your work piece cutting. It’s one of the major investments you have to make as a novice woodworker. You can get them as fixed, cabinet, or bench-top table saws. The best beginner table saw is any high-quality saw with a decent stable table that’s completely square and flat to ensure the best, most accurate cuts possible.

4. Compound Miter Saw

These saws are capable of doing the rip, crosscut, and combination blade cuts of circular saws but have the arm or track like radial saws that they’ve practically replaced at this point. Indeed, instead of buying a radial arm saw, get this one instead. Common blade diameters include 12 inches and 10 inches but can be fitted with blades as small as 7½ inches.

5. Band Saw

A band saw is capable of making intricate curved cuts that are less freeform than jigsaw cuts and more balanced and square. Also, they’re strong enough to rip apart the roughest of stock to boot. This is because they combine saber and circular saw aspects together, like a continuously looped, flat steel band with serrated edges that revolve around lower and upper pulleys.

6. Hand Saw

Not all saws need to be electrically powered or motor-powered. A fully manual hand saw can do the trick and most any layman should be familiar with them. These saws with a square yet serrated blade and pistol grip are simple to use but takes patience to work with compared to the buzz-saw quickness of other saw types.

Cleanup Tools for Filing, Planning, and Sanding

1. Planes

Jack and rabbet planes both shave wood, but the former removes loads of work piece material in a single pass while the latter is for cutting right angle grooves along board edge grain. Block planes are for smoothing joints, joining planes are for smoothing jointers, scraper planes are for fine-fiber scraping, and spoke shaves are for curved surfaces.

2. Orbital Sanders

These power tools take the abrasive sandpaper disk and spin it in a circle. It allows you sand down your work pieces or project into professional smoothness. Just watch out for the swirl marks. Use a random orbital sander to avoid the swirls because they don’t circulate but instead oscillate at random.

3. Hand Files

A hand file is also quite dependable in shaping up and smoothing down any piece of wood. They’re also quite affordable and can last quite a long time compared to power tools and their multiple moving parts that require constant attention and maintenance. However, once they’ve dulled down, replace them since they’re quite cheap to buy anyway.

Assembly Tools for Woodworking

1. Hammer

A hammer is a hand tool composed of a wooden handle and an iron hammer head you use to strike things like nails in order to put wooden work pieces together. You use it with a controlled striking, swinging, clubbing, or hammering motion.

2. Mallet

A mallet is different from a hammer. They’re both tools for striking, yes. However, they’re applied differently and their striking heads are different too. A mallet has a leather or wooden head and detachable handle. A mallet is softer than a hammer. It absorbs shock rather than delivers shock, which is perfect for putting pieces together without making strike marks or breaking apart the work piece.

3. Power Drill

A power drill is an all-around power tool that has all sorts of uses. They’ve replaced the hand drill or brace and bit in modern times. Get a corded model if you want to buy your first power drill, particularly one that runs on 110/120 volts. Get 18-volt cordless power drills if you’re in need of a mobile drill for jobs far from an electrical socket.

4. Screw Gun

Last but not least is the screw gun. This gun makes screwing down fasteners a cinch, thus ensuring that your work goes as fast as possible. They hold work pieces pretty tightly. They’re also dependable with unscrewing bolts and disassembly as well. They’re particularly valuable during those jobs where you have to screw down dozens or hundreds of screws all at once.


The classes of tools you need include cutting tools, filing and sanding tools, and assembly tools, with saws being among the most important. When shopping for tools like hammers, planes, sanders, and the best beginner table saw around, keep your eyes peeled on not only the user ratings but also the amount of users who’ve reviewed them. As a rule of thumb, it’s better to go with more ratings since it’s easy for a tool to get 5/5 stars with only 10 reviewers as opposed to a 4/5 stars with 500 reviewers. Also, don’t forget to buy tools for measurements and angles like T-squares and tape measures for “good measure” (pardon the pun).


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