Hand Tools for Traditional Woodworking

Woodworking tools have gotten rather high tech these days, but some woodworking hobbyists and professionals still prefer traditional hand tools. If you're one of these, or would like to know more about traditional woodworking tools, it helps to have a general idea of what's out there. You can exclusively use traditional hand tools or mix them in with more modern devices.

Axes & Hatchets

Axes and hatches are often the first tool a woodworker reaches for when beginning a project. Axes and hatches can be used to cut down trees or limbs in order to procure the necessary wood. They can also be used to begin the paring down. Even woodworkers who tend to go with more modern tools often start out with these essential tools.


Knives are among the oldest elements used for paring down large pieces of wood into smaller, more manageable bits. Some people only use a knife when carving out little figurines or when attempting to create interlocking pieces. Knowing how to handle a knife properly for woodworking is an invaluable skill. Knives are also among the least expensive woodworking tools; even a basic pocket knife can often get the job done.


Chisels can be used to shave off pieces of wood from a bigger block or piece. They can be used with brute force or by wielding a hammer and pounding the end of the handle to supply the necessary energy. This forces the chisel forward and causes it to shave off the unwanted wood from the piece on which you're working. There are many different types of chisels, including butt chisels, used for creating joints; corner chisels for creating 90 degree angles; carving chisels, used for more intricate work; dovetail chisels for cutting dovetail joints; and skew chisels, used for finishing and trimming.

Keywords: wordworking hand tools, traditional hand tools, tools for woodworking, traditional woodworking

About this Author

Mark Rhyman has been working as a freelance writer since 2005. His work has appeared in numerous online and print publications, including Think+Up and "Sports & Leisure Magazine." He earned his Bachelor of Science in English from the State University of New York at Brockport.