10 Must-Have Woodworking Tools

Both DIY hobbyists and professional carpenters alike require woodworking tools to complete the job. From manual wooden tools to heavy-duty power tools, woodworkers have access to a variety of specialty equipment to reduce the workload of building cabinetry or installing a wooden deck. Depending on the project, a woodworker may need several tools readily available to handle the task.

10 Must-Have Woodworking Tools

When it comes to choosing the right woodworking tools, look to the following list for inspiration for completing an at-home or professional workshop.

1. Claw Hammer

The claw hammer works best for driving and removing nails in wood. Look for a 20-ounce hammer with a rounded head and a steel handle. For typical woodworking jobs, a 20-ounce hammer weighs enough to drive the nail through wood without adding strain to the wrist. While a wooden handle completes the look of an old-fashioned hammer, a steel or fiberglass handle offers more durability and support for tougher jobs. In addition, a steel handle has a rubber grip for increased control and comfort.

2. Chisel

A chisel features a wooden handle and a beveled cutting edge, and it works in unison with a claw hammer. Ideally, woodworkers need to use both hands to control the chisel. However, tapping the heel of the handle with a claw hammer provides extra power. Over time, using a hammer on the handle can split the wood, so lightly tap the handle to reduce stress on the tool. Chisel blade length varies between four and seven inches long, and most blades have beveled edges on both sides. On the other hand, a few specialty chisels have only one 20- or 25-degree beveled edge.

3. Screwdriver

Screwdrivers come in a variety of sizes and styles such as Phillips and Torx drivers. Woodworkers have the choice between screwdrivers with rounded and square handles including a list of fixed and replacement driver ends. Rounded handles provide ergonomic comfort, but square handles give more torque when tightening and loosening screws. Screwdrivers with longer shanks reach deep into holes with ease, but micro drivers work best for fitting screws into tight places. For jobs that require numerous screws, invest in a cordless rechargeable drill with a set of screwdriver bits.

4. Drill Press

Cordless drills can only do so much. With a drill press, woodworkers have all that they need to make precise holes in the wood. In addition, the drill press has a depth adjustor, and it fits a wide range of bits such as hole saw blades and spade bits. Drill presses come in mounted and freestanding models with varying motor sizes depending on the workload.

5. Hand Saw

Although most woodworkers now rely on power saws, a high-quality hand saw works best for certain situations. The following table offers a few hand saws that benefit a woodworker on the job.


Jigsaws have thin blades for cutting through light wood such as particle board and plywood. These saws also come in smaller handheld and larger mounted varieties.


Like the coping saw, the fretsaw has a very narrow blade with fine teeth for making curved cuts in wood.

Dovetail Saw

Also referred to as a backsaw, the dovetail saw has a rigid edge on the opposite end of the blade. The blade features more teeth when compared to a traditional handsaw, and it works best for making crosscuts in wood.

Tenon Saw

Woodworkers primarily use tenon saws with a miter box, and it makes both rip cuts and crosscuts in wood.

Miter Saw

Miter saws come in powered and manual versions, both of which make precise angled cuts in wood.

6. Level

While the level only serves one purpose, it plays a vital role in carpentry and other improvement projects. Levels come in a variety of sizes; however, a standard 6- or 8-inch level should work well for most jobs. Whether it's a cabinet or an armoire, woodworkers must check the level and plumb of an object. A level typically has three bubble vials that show the level and plumb during construction. Horizontal vials indicate level, and vertical vials specify plumb. Woodworkers adjust an object's level or plumb by shifting the bubbles between the vial's lines.

7. Nail Set

Every woodworker should have a few different nail sets of varying sizes to match the diverse amount of nails used during construction. Shaped similar to an awl, the nail setter has either a concave or convex tip to prevent slipping off the nail head. Using a hammer, the woodworker drives the nail flush or just below the wood's surface, preparing the construction for paint, stain, or varnish.

8. Block Plane

Woodworkers can do a variety of tasks with a simple block plane. From flattening a single piece of wood to squaring the construction, the tool requires minimal effort from its user. However, it does take two hands to control, but its small size makes it easy to break corners, trim surfaces, and ease edges. In order to use the tool effectively, place one hand on the handle and the other hand on the guiding knob. Rolling the pressure from the back to the front while cutting reduces arching in the wood. If the blade dulls over time, raise the heel of the plane, and use a sharpening stone to refine it.

9. Sander

Before considering a project completed, it requires a smooth finish. In order to achieve that result, woodworkers must invest in a sander.. While using single sheets of sandpaper can get the job done, it takes a lot of time and manual effort to finish the project. To quicken the process, invest in an electric or cordless sander. However, not all sanders work the same way. Look at the following table for two examples of must-have sanders for the workshop.

Palm Sander

Palm sanders typically require one-quarter sheets of sandpaper to smooth the surface of the wood. In addition, the tool's size makes it easy to maneuver and fit into tight places. However, the palm sander uses consistent circular or back-and-forth strokes, which causes unwanted patterns in the wood. When using a palm sander, make sure to keep the tool moving to avoid these patterns.

Random Orbital Sander

Random orbital sanders work just as well as smaller palm sanders, but these tools actually minimize the swirl pattern when sanding. Whereas a palm sander uses a constant motion, the random orbital sander uses a random movement as the woodworker guides the tool over the wood's surface. With plenty of sanding discs available for the tool, most woodworkers opt for the power and reliability of the random orbital sander.

10. Router

In order to create smooth edges, a woodworker must have a router on hand. While the router works great at shaping and smoothing edges, it also acts as a useful tool for ripping feather boards and fencing. Just like other woodworking tools, routers come in a variety of sizes and styles such as the dual-grip and pistol-grip router. More advanced routers have sensors that adjust the RPMs depending on the workload. For most wood, a router with at least a 2 HP motor should work well enough. However, in order to prevent burns in the wood, invest in a variable speed router that can handle hardwood.

Finding Woodworking Tools

From the home page, click the Home, Outdoors & Decor link in the categories listing on the left side of the screen. When the new page loads, hover the cursor over the Home & Garden link, and click the Tools link in the pop-up box. With the new page open, guide through all of the power tools, hand tools,and other construction equipment offered on eBay.


Woodworking requires a vast amount of manual and power tools to complete the job. Whether the project calls for sanding, routing, or drilling, the woodworker must have the tools on hand and ready for action. While a screwdriver may work for one job, another project may call for the power of a larger drill press. From larger, more powerful band saws to smaller portable hand routers, find the largest collection of woodworking tools on eBay