7 Basic Woodworking Tools – A List for Beginners

Searching on the internet (or even in your local hardware store) for woodworking supplies can leave man beginners feeling overwhelmed and like there’s no good place to start.

tool belt woodworking tools

Power tools can be insanely expensive, and it seems from many blogs and tutorials that if you’re looking to make anything remotely useful, you’ll need an arsenal of supplies and fancy materials.

We’re happy to report that this is simply is not true. It is very possible and, in fact, recommended to start out with a set of basic tools and supplies in order to gauge your interest and enjoyment in woodworking.

Today we’ll be discussing the seven basic woodworking tools that beginners will need to get started and how they’ll benefit you.

Carpenter’s Square

First, you’ll need a carpenter’s square.

carpenter square

This is a very simple tool usually made out of metal that helps you form the perfect right angle.

Most of them also have rulers on the side, making them a great straightedge and quick measuring tool as well.

It’s nearly impossible to get a perfect right angle just by measuring the angle yourself (for instance, with a protractor), so it’s critical to have one of these that you can use to ensure your project stays square.


Next, you’ll need some clamps.

Most people know that clamps hold things into place, and in this way function as an extra set of hands to woodworkers.

table saw woodworking basic tools

Many projects will require pieces of wood to be temporarily joined without screwing or nailing them together at first, which is where clamps come in handy.

Not only can they hold things together while you’re working on them, but also when you’re done. For example, pieces of wood that are joined by glue have a tendency to slip while the glue is setting.

A strong clamp will keep everything right where you left it, so your new project isn’t ruined by gravity or the slope of your floor.

Power Drill

A power drill is one of the first power tools you’ll need to buy.

It is also most likely to be the one you’ll use most often. Using a hammer and nail to join wood pieces is fine for some applications, but this will leave you very limited in what you are able to do.

carpenter tools table saw

You don’t want to be stuck with only a few creative options in your newfound hobby, so make sure you have the right tools for the job.

You don’t have to go out and purchase the most expensive drill on the market to begin with, but a nice sturdy one will last you a very long time.

Kreg Jig

The next thing you’ll need is a Kreg jig.

What is a Kreg jig? It is a device used for making pocket holes, or hidden drilled holes like the kind you’d find on the underside of a chair or other furniture where you want your work to be hidden.

A Kreg jig is basically a drill guide that allows you to perfectly replicate a drilled hole’s placement over and over again.

This will be incalculably handy when you decide to build your first piece of furniture. Kreg jigs not only take the frustration out of measuring and predrilling holes, but also let your work look incredibly professional.


Chisels aren’t something a lot of beginners think of using when they envision getting into woodworking.

Often associated with artistic carving, chisels have a wide variety of applications and can be used for things as simple as slightly shaving down a piece of wood too fine to put through a saw.

A nice set of chisels is relatively inexpensive, and you’ll be thankful you included them in your tool kit.

Band Saw and Orbital Sander

The last two tools we’ll be discussing are a band saw and an orbital sander.

A band saw is similar to a table saw in that it is fixed in position and you move the wood along it to achieve your cut. Unlike a table saw, it allows user flexibility in the direction and angle of their cuts, making it almost more like a jigsaw.

An orbital sander is a handheld power sander that is much more effective than manually sanding something with a sanding block and piece of sandpaper.

Not only will these two power tools save you so much time and physical effort, they’ll allow your work to look so much more polished and professional than other manual tools.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

As we’ve previously discussed, getting into woodworking doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive.

It’s easy to build up a solid collection of tools and supplies over time as most of them should last many years (if not a lifetime).

Remember that it’s not necessary to buy the most expensive products you can find, but rather one that strikes a good balance between your budget and its functionality.