One of the most common questions I get asked is “what woodworking tools do you recommend for beginners?,” so today I thought I would answer that question. I’m going to share some suggestions for woodworking tools for beginners, including the 3 power tools you need to get started as well as a few other tools I suggest considering adding to your arsenal.
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3 Must-Have Power Tools for Beginner Woodworkers
Every woodworker (or homeowner, for that matter) should own a drill. I recommend getting a drill and impact driver kit, but you can get by with just the drill if you’re just starting out.
Why an impact driver? It has the ability to drive screws faster, and has more force than a drill alone. (Your wrist will thank you.) I have this drill/impact driver set from RYOBI and love it. So technically I’m suggesting 2 tools here, but I’m counting it as one since the impact driver is just a nice optional addition.
I also recommend sticking with one brand for most of your tools so they can run off the same batteries. It’s just more convenient. I use mostly RYOBI but I do have a Dewalt handheld circular saw that I love, which I’ll talk about in a minute.
If you’re getting into woodworking, unfortunately there’s no way around the fact that you’re going to have to do some sanding. You could certainly get by just hand sanding with a sanding block but that is time consuming and quite honestly miserable, especially if you’re building a large piece. I recommend a cordless random orbit sander.
A circular saw is a great tool to add to your collection right off the bat, because it’s relatively compact (especially if you choose a handheld circular saw like this one, which I have and love), and versatile. While you’ll probably want to add a miter saw to your workshop at some point, if you have to get one or the other then I would go with a circular saw first. It’s much more portable too.
OTHER TOOLS TO CONSIDER
Now that we’ve covered my top 3 power tools for woodworking beginners, let’s talk about a few other items you might want to consider buying.
POCKET HOLE JIG
I definitely recommend having a pocket hole jig on hand since pocket hole joinery is easy to learn and a great way to get started with building. I have the Kreg Jig 520PRO and it’s my favorite, but there are several on the market, including this smaller budget-friendly one.
I typically clamp a speed square onto my board when I cut with my circular saw, because it ensures that I will get a straight line. Plus, you want to make sure whatever you’re building stays square.
You’ll need clamps for glue-ups and of course as I mentioned, you can also use them to clamp your speed square to your board when cutting. You’ll need various sizes, but I also use these little spring clamps a lot for random projects. They come in handy.
Obviously if you’re getting into woodworking, you’re going to need wood glue to join boards.
SILICONE GLUE BRUSH
This is just a small inexpensive tool but I highly recommend a silicone glue brush because it makes wood glue application quick and easy, and less messy. When the glue dries on the brush, you can just peel it off later.
I use wood glue and my brad nailer for smaller builds all the time. It’s especially convenient when building small boxes or crates, frames, or other small builds or projects.
While I don’t use my jig saw often, I do usually recommend it as a first saw because the blade is smaller and less intimidating than a circular saw. So if a circular saw scares you, try one of these first. It was the first saw I ever used and it helped ease me into power tools and get the feel for what cutting wood feels like.
You can make miter cuts with a circular saw, so a miter saw isn’t mandatory, but it certainly makes the work quicker and easier. I use mine all the time.
There are plenty of other tools that are nice to have on hand, but these are a great start if you’re just getting into woodworking for the first time. Are there any tools you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments!
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