Basic Woodworking Tools


People who are getting started in woodworking often get carried away and buy more tools than they really need. Until you get skilled and are sure you are serious about a woodworking hobby, you are unlikely to really use many of the specialized and advanced tools you may be tempted to purchase. Learn about the basic woodworking tools that will serve you as you begin your new hobby.


As the saying goes, "measure twice and cut once." A simple tape measure and ruler or yardstick will handle all of your basic measuring needs.


Because cutting wood is such a basic part of woodworking, a saw is necessary. While power saws such as table saws and miter saws are helpful, beginning woodworkers can do fine with just a simple handheld saw.


Sandpaper is critical for creating smooth surfaces on cut wood. A simple assortment pack with different grit papers from your local hardware store provides what you need for rough and fine sanding.

Pen or Pencil

While it may sound obvious, be sure to have a pen or pencil handy in your woodworking area. When you need to mark a specific measurement or design you will appreciate having the necessary implement handy.

Screwdriver and Screws

A basic screwdriver set with both a flat head and a Phillips head driver meets most beginning woodworking needs, as does an assortment pack of various types and sizes of screws.

Hammer and Nails

Many types of hammers are available, but all you will need to get started is an inexpensive hammer available from your hardware store or perhaps even a dollar store. You should also buy a package of nails that contains a good assortment of sizes.

About this Author

Heidi Wiesenfelder received her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, and since 1990 has published research papers in the Journal of Neuroscience, Visual Neuroscience, and Visual Perception. She is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt (process improvement expert) and a consultant to small businesses and nonprofits. She has held leadership roles in animal welfare organizations and educates people about animal health and nutrition.

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