So you’re looking for a new hobby and you daydream back to the days of shop class in high school. Making boxes or perhaps a stool as your first “woodworking” project and were told you had a natural knack for crafting wood. Well why not start back up and dive into the wonderfully rewarding hobby of woodworking. With a few tools and gadgets, you can be set up and prepared to handle numerous types of projects. It doesn’t take a small fortune to start producing fine works. Below is a list of some of the basic tools to start your own woodworking hobby.

A List of Top Tools for Working Wood

Table A photo of a table saw, a must have tool for woodworkingSaw– While you may want to purchase a few other tools on this list first and get comfortable using them before you splurge and dive head first into the world of woodworking with a table saw. However, you will most likely buy one soon after you start regardless. Perhaps the most important tool in your arsenal, it’s best to ask around and figure out exactly what you are looking to do because the options are overwhelming and there’s a vast range of quality.

Router– When it comes to routers, you can go two different routes. They come in two different bases; stationary and plunge. A stationary base router is most often recommended and can accomplish a wide variety of jobs most woodworkers are looking to do. Find a model that has at least 2 HP and has electronic variable speed control.

Random Orbital Sander– Different from regular palm sanders, random orbital sanders reduce the possibility of sanding marks on the final product due to the random sanding motion. Spending a bit more to get one of these will make sanding your finished product much easier.

Jigsaw– Since you’re just starting out, a jigsaw is a wonderful alternative to a band saw for the beginner woodworker. A jigsaw allows the user to freehand curves and circular patterns that other types of saws do not. Look for a jigsaw that has an easy blade changing system.

Feather Board- These are great to use when you are using a table saw. A feather board will hold you wood firmly against a table or fence and guard against dangerous kickbacks while preventing wavy cuts. You can adjust pressure by turning the knob. Investing in a Workholding System Starter Kit is a great idea, they are quick to set up and easy to use.

Power Drill– Don’t fall victim to buying a cordless drill, while they may be cordless and convenient, they tend to run a little more expensive and don’t provide some key features that are helpful in woodworking. Look for a power drill that has a keyless chuck, reversible action, feels comfortable in your hand, and also has variable speed. Unlike cordless, power drills that have variable speed are coveted when doing fine woodworking.  

A photo of a toggle clampToggle Clamp- You may have not even considered using toggle clamps in woodworking because their application is more specific in comparison to other tools. However, without them, you may struggle to solve clamping problems that could easily be solved with toggle clamps. There are 2 simple types, toggle clamps that apply force downward toward the base of the clamp and the ones that drive force away from the base. Having a few of both types of toggle clamps can really be handy.

Circular Saw– Perhaps one of the most versatile handheld power tools one can buy. While most often considered a carpentry tool than a woodworking tool, a quality circular saw should be one of your first purchases when starting out.

Compound Miter Saw– In terms of size, a compound miter saw would be second only to your table saw in your workshop. A quality compound miter saw will allow you to cut compound angles such as beveled, mitered and combination. These are invaluable cuts to learn for any woodworker.  

Welcome to the world of woodworking. This is just a tiny list of introductory tools to help you get well on your way of creating. Once you hone in on the type of work you like to do best, then the tools become more specialized. Enjoy!