5 Essential Tools for DIY Woodworking


Perhaps you’re interested in woodworking to craft custom pieces for your home, or to simply exercise your creative muscles. Maybe you aim to turn professional and use your skills to earn an income on the side. 

The first step is to invest in the equipment that makes woodworking possible. This is where many people end up in a quandary, especially when looking at the prices of power tools. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get started. There are only really 5 essential tools that beginner woodworkers need. Let’s check them out. 

Circular Saw

You’ll find several different types of saws in woodworking. This includes the jigsaw, bandsaw, hand saw and table saw. Foremost is the circular saw. It’s characterized by a round blade with sharp teeth for making clean cuts. Most models are electric and come in both corded and cordless variants.

Some consider circular saws better suited to rough carpentry than fine woodworking, but this isn’t necessarily true. A lot depends on your blade, which can be one of three designs:

  • Ripping blades that cut with the grain
  • Crosscut blades for sawing across the grain
  • Combination blades that serve both purposes

Be sure to pick up a jigsaw if you want to cut curved and circular patterns. Band saws can slice through thicker material more accurately, albeit at a higher price. 

Power Drill

While cordless drills benefit from portability, wired options are less expensive and just as capable. This makes them a must for basic woodworking. There are a few things to remember here, such as choosing between a ½ or ⅜ inch chuck and whether it’s keyed or keyless, as well as straight or hammer drill. Research your options in advance. 


Not all hammers are the same. For example, the head can feature either a smooth design for finishing or a serrated face for gripping and framing. Wooden and composite handles deliver less shock, while steel handles improve driving force. Mallets are much softer and leave minimal striking marks. 

These are tools that help you put things together. What you need beyond a hammer depends on your next project. 

If you’re using dowel joints, for instance, then you’ll want to identify a suitable jig as there are endless ways to do best dowel jigs. Screw guns are great for fastening jobs that involve many screws and will spare your hands a ton of effort. 

Random Orbit Sander

A less abrasive alternative to palm sanders, the random orbit sander uses fixed disks that don’t leave patterned scratches in your wood. Make sure to verify that your local hardware store has these disks available for your specific model in a variety of grits. 


Finally, every woodworker needs a quality router. This piece of equipment is used to create contours and is perfect for cutting certain joints such as rebates. Today’s routers can be purchased with either a stationary or plunge base. Most beginners tend to prefer the former option. 

Don’t forget about other basics like squares, planes, tape measures and ideally, a solid workbench. With these tools at your disposal, you’ll be set for woodworking success. 

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