Tools for Woodworking & Carpentry

Yards, landscapes and gardens often benefit from wooden enhancements. Raised beds help make garden maintenance easier. Wood borders create hard divisions between flower beds and lawns. Wood ornaments, such as bird houses or bird feeders, add character and visual interest to your home and garden. Many of these items are not difficult to make if you have the right tools.


There are two general types of saws used to cut wood--crosscut and rip. Crosscut saws have teeth that cut across the grain of a board. Rip saws have teeth designed to cut along the grain. Rip saws generally have fewer teeth per inch. Although both types of saw can be used to cut both across and with the grain, using a rip saw as a crosscut saw will require care. The larger teeth can result in the splitting of the wood as you finish the cut. There are different basic saw technologies. Hand saws, the oldest form of saw, are human powered. Power saws use electricity. Some power saws require a power cord that plugs into an outlet. Other power saws use a battery pack for cordless operation.


Drills are important tools for woodworking and carpentry, especially when using screws as fasteners. By loose-fitting the pieces of your project and pre-drilling the places where you will use screws to secure the wood, you reduce the risk of the wood splitting as screws are inserted. Drills are also useful for things like access holes in a bird house. Drill bits can range from fine 1/32 inch to larger hole saws, some more than 3 inches in diameter. Most drills use power. Some drills are corded, while others use batteries for cordless operation. Although power drills are more common, hand drills are also available.

Fastening Tools

Once the wood for your project is cut and ready for assembly, you will need to fasten the pieces together. The two most common fasteners are nails and screws. If you are using nails, you will need a hammer to drive the nails into the wood. Hammers are available in different sizes and shapes. For woodworking, a claw hammer is the preferred tool. Light hammers are easier to handle, but may require more strikes to drive the nail. Heavier hammers can drive nails more quickly, but may cause you more fatigue. Screwdrivers are designed to match different screw types. Flat blades are used with single-slotted screws. Phillips, or "plus," screwdrivers are used to drive screws with two cuts intersecting at a 90 degree angle. If you are driving a lot of screws, consider a power screwdriver or a screwdriver attachment for your drill to reduce fatigue. If using a drill attachment, make sure you can reduce the speed of your drill. Drills with clutches lower the risk of stripping the head of the screw.

Keywords: woodworking tools, common carpentry tools, home carpentry tools

About this Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.