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15 essential Tools to Make your Debut in Carpentry




There are many tools, including traditional carpentry and modern carpentry, used by the craftsman who works with wood.

Entering a carpenter’s workshop you will certainly have noticed large machinery such as saws of all kinds, planes, workbenches, etc.

With this article I will help you select only the tools you will need at the beginning to carry out small and simple projects.

At the end of this article, you will know which tools to buy to make your own small personal joinery and you will be ready to start working with wood.

The basic tools for woodworking:

So here are the tools that I recommend you buy immediately if you want to start making a small project with wood. I recommend them because I know the unpleasant feeling you get when, in the middle of a process, you find yourself without a fundamental tool and you are forced to stop right in the middle of the creative flow!

Obviously I’m not talking about objects that we all have in our garage or in some drawer (pencils, screwdrivers, pliers, cutters, wrenches, etc.)

And I’m not even talking about safety items, but for now I recommend you wear at least thick gloves and a mask so as not to breathe the wood dust. In this article I will talk about specific and a little more professional equipment.
And if you don’t have a real carpenter’s bench yet, I recommend that you work on an old table in the meantime to avoid doing damage!

The 15 tools that you absolutely cannot do without are:

1 – Tape measure

For now, a 5-meter tape measure like the one shown in the image will do just fine.

Surely you will already have this tool at home, but it is important to emphasize that it is really one of those indispensable tools for working with wood. In fact, one of the most important characteristics that a carpenter must have is precision. You have to be precise in the measurements and cuts.

We need to know all the dimensions of the pieces that we are going to assemble before starting the realization of a project.

2 – Carpenter’s square

The team is another very important precision tool. What I recommend is a combined team, in stainless steel, very light, resistant and full of useful functions.

In fact, in addition to the centimeters indicated on the long side, it is equipped with a pen for scribing, level and beater.

Does creating perfectly squared corners seem to you an important thing for a carpenter?

I would say yes!

3 – Carpenter’s compass

Another very useful precision tool.

The carpenter’s compass will help you draw perfect circles and more. This tool is also used to report measurements and draw equidistant or parallel lines to shaped edges.

4 – Hammer

Ok, this is also a fairly common tool in all homes. However, I think it is important to mention it because it is fundamental in its extreme simplicity and not having it at hand can be problematic. The hammer is probably the most used tool in our trade and is certainly one of the most representative.

5 – Vice

Let’s move on to the tools we will need to hold the pieces in place and work them in peace.

Often we find ourselves using a tool that is used with two hands (such as a plane or chisels) and we need that the piece we are working on remains stationary. A nice resistant and stable vice is what is right for us.

6 – Clamps and Sergeants:

Another need that will arise when we have to join, and above all glue, our pieces will be to keep them firmly together while waiting for the glue to do its duty.

They will also be very useful for holding workpieces that we cannot lock in the vice that I recommended earlier.

Then you’ll have to report the sergeants! No, you don’t need the army to glue two wooden boards.

Just a few clamps or some sergeants and that’s it.


7 – Manual Saw:

A self-respecting carpenter cannot do without it!

It is a symbol more than a tool. Whenever I imagine a carpenter I see an elderly man in his dusty workshop full of boards and shavings leaning over a bench holding a saw (also called a saracco), intent on cutting a piece of wood.

Ok, that’s a stereotype!

But all romantics like me think of it more or less like this.

8 – Jigsaw

I remember the first time I saw one at work, I lit up. It was something absolutely wonderful to me.

A saw (much less tiring than the hand one) that allows you to shape the wood in a fairly simple and precise way.

9 – Circular Saw:

For now, let’s talk about a hand circular saw. Subsequently we will have to equip ourselves with a table circular saw, but for the moment I think it is a big expense and if we have to make only small objects that by hand will be just fine.

It goes without saying that it is very useful to have one. Having a circular saw will make you more free to modify the pieces of wood to work!

10 – Screwdriver drill:

The classic screwdriver that all workers use. This, too, is likely to already have it at home. In this case you just have to make sure you have wood bits.

But if you don’t have it, it’s time to buy it because soon there will be a lot of drilling and screwing, unscrewing and screwing … click here for most popular screw driver Comparison

In short, it will be fun!

11 – Manual planer:

Here is another indispensable tool for the carpenter! Another tool that I imagine in the dusty romantic workshop …

Our craftsman, at this moment, is patiently and with fluid movements planing a wonderful chestnut board.

He holds firmly, with his hands marked by work, his faithful plane, companion of many creations.

It’s such a beautiful moment that I don’t want to spoil it with technical details.

12 – Electric Plane:

An electric plane has the same functionality as a manual plane but is much more comfortable to use.

In fact, the manual plane is beautiful and romantic (and also useful in many cases), but when the pieces to be done are many and large, practicality comes into play.

Precision, speed and reduction of fatigue: these are the characteristics of the electric plane.

13 – Sandpaper:

Sandpaper is also an indispensable tool.

To finish, smooth and smooth, but also to “age” a piece by removing a little of the paint.

I recommend that you have at least 3 different grits: a fine, a medium and a coarse one.

14 – Chisels

A set of chisels is necessary for finishing and making small interventions.

The chisel is a very practical (and also a bit artistic) tool.

15. Files and rasps

Last, but not least!

There are different shapes and sizes.

The difference between file and rasp is that the former is used for more delicate sanding and has a thinner teeth, while the latter is used for roughing and more massive operations. The rasp is in fact equipped with a thicker and more powerful texture.

However, both are very useful.


In this article I have limited myself to outline these fundamental tools necessary to start working with wood.

With a few hundred dollars you can build a small but substantial carpentry that will allow you to do many things and above all have fun.

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