25 Essential Tools For A Woodworking Business

25 Essential Tools For A Woodworking Business

If you are like most woodworkers, you will end up with a few large machine tools, some smaller ones and a collection of much-needed hand tools.However, the tools you should have in your wood shop (especially if you are starting afresh) depends a lot on the kind of woodwork you will make, the amount of space you have and the amount of money you will spend at the moment.


You can adjust the woodwork you do according to the tools you have, or buy the tools according to the kind of work you do.

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1. Backsaw

A backsaw is a hand tool. It is like a regular hand saw but characterised by a stiffened band running along the edge opposite edge. This makes the entire blade stiff so that it stays straight during cutting. While this makes cutting with a backsaw easier and faster, the stiff band restricts the depth the blade can cut.

However, this is a must have saw in your wood shop. You will find yourself reaching for it on many occasions and also discover that just as many times it does the job quicker than it takes for you to set up your table saw. Amazon search.

2. Clamps

Woodworking clamps are essential when building a project. They hold the components together while assembling them together, gluing them, during measuring, cutting et cetera. Be generous with the number of clamps you purchase because you will always need more than you think, and it gets difficult to assemble the project if you do not have enough clamps. Amazon search.

3. Carpenter’s square

This is a cheap and a much needed tool. It allows you to make right angle corners with ease on any wood project like bookcases, tables etc. Amazon search.

4. Circular saw

One of the most versatile saws that you can have around the shop. It’s portable and allows you to use it in many different ways. It’s particulakrly useful in cutting up large boards to size before moving them around the shop. Amazon search.

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5. Portable hand drill

One of the first drills that you’ll want to have is a simple and portable hand drill. One simple but sturdy drill can take you a long way before you buy bigger and more advanced models. You also get these in wireless, battery operated and rechargeable models. However, there is usually a tradeoff between convenience and power. Amazon search.

6. Orbital sander

Orbital sanderThis is a cheaper alternative to a belt sander. Its also slower and doesn’t take off wood just as fast, which on many occasions is a good thing. There are much more chances of spoiling a surface with a belt sander if you aren’t careful enough. This is why an orbital sander is good if you are just starting out with woodworking. Amazon search.

7. Plunge router

I believe that a router is one of the most versatile tools you can have in a wood shop. Just buy a regular one that is powerful enough and you will be amazed at the number of things you can do with it from cutting to making joints. There are dozens of different types of router bits that do different things. Get a set and your router will be one of the tools you use most frequently for your projects. Buy the best router that you can afford at this point. It should be of good quality and powerful. Amazon search.

8. Thickness planer

A thickness planer is used to fix surfaces of imperfect wood. If you are picking up less than perfect wood from the lumberyard, wood with some surface defects, a planer will let you fix that wood in the quickest time. A thickness planer pays for itself quick as it allows you to buy cheaper wood that doesn’t have perfect surfaces and fix it yourself. Be careful though. You loose wood during planing. So the remaining amount of wood still has to be worth the price you paid for it. Amazon search.

9. A table saw

This is probably the first large machine tool that you should get. It is versatile, powerful and fast. It does everything from cutting board sheets and wood to making joints. Look for a slightly advanced model with a cast iron table and wings. It should cost anywhere between $600 – $900. Amazon search.

10. Hammer

It might seem liked the obvious tool to have. But there is a difference between a good hammer and one that’s just alright. Hammers are inexpensive tools and you should buy the best one around. Good quality hammers will be stronger, have better grips, cause less fatigue and last you for a very long time. Amazon search.

11. Set of chisels

Chisels setAnother inexpensive tool but a versatile and much needed one. If you intend to do a lot of work by hand, chisels are irreplaceable. But even so, you will always be discovering new and wondrous uses for a chisel. A basic set shouldn’t cost much at all. Buy the best quality so that they are accurate and remain sharp for long. Amazon search.

12. Mallet

A mallet is a wooden hammer. If you’re going to use a chisel you have to use it with a mallet. Using a regular hammer is a big no. Wooden projects such as furniture almost always require tapping to put things in place or to make them stronger. Using a regular hammer will most likely cause damage. Mallets are your only option. Get them is a few different sizes so they suit all your projects big and small. Amazon search.

13. Measuring tape

A regular metal measuring tape costs about $10. This serves the purpose for most projects. However also consider getting a woodworker’s ruler and measuring square for more accurate measurements.

14. Saw horses

Saw horses are stands that have multiple uses in a wood shop. You can use them to cut large pieces of wood boards or convert then into table tops for doing other kinds of woodwork. You can also use them as a feed in and feed out support for the table saw as long as they are the same height as the saw. Amazon search.

15. Work bench

You might get by by using a saw horse as your work bench for a while but believe us when we tell you that you need a dedicated sturdy work bench for doing your woodwork. You can buy one, or like many woodworker, make one yourself. You can make your own workbench for under $200. There are plenty of free videos and guides online that will show you how. Just type your search in a search engine. Amazon search.

16. Vacuum cleaner

A wet and dry model is preferred. Dust collection is very important from the aspect of your safety and health while working in the wood shop. If you are working in an enclosed space, dust collection and removal is a must. While we recommend getting a dust collector, you can start with a good wet and dry vacuum cleaner. It will help you keep your work area clean while working on a project , as well as clean up the place at the end of the day.


This is the initial list of tools that we think a woodshop should start with. However, as we have mentioned, a lot depends on the kind of work you are going to do. Therefore, which tool is more important to buy first depends on the kind of projects you intend to handle. Amazon search.

More Advanced Tools…

The list of tools above is quiet sufficient to get you started comfortably. However, there will come a time when you want expand the capabilities and comfort of your wood shop. You will probably keep saving up in the “tools fund” just for this eventuality. The following are tools that you should aspire to get next.

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17. Air Cleaner

Woodworking produces a lot of dust. The smaller dust particles are just as much a bother as the larger ones. We recommended a wet and dry vacuum cleaner in list above. But to take care of the air borne particles you need an air filter.

Trust us when we tell you that you will work more comfortably and do better work when you can breathe easy. Get an air cleaner installed in your wood shop as soon as you can. Amazon search.

18. Band Saw

A band saw cuts uniformly and more smoothly. You will find it easier to rip and cut with this tool. Amazon search.

19. Belt Sander

Belt SanderA belt sander is more powerful. It takes of the wood faster and easier. You want this tool to reduce the effort in sanding. You also need to be more careful using it, for the same reasons. Amazon search.

20. Compound Mitre Saw

A compound mitre saw is a versatile saw. It can cut at precise angles and depth. It just makes evert cutting job easier. It’s not an essential because you can you can do the same work with a table and circular saw.

It just makes the work more accurate with a greater degree of ease. Get this saw if you want to speed up your precision cutting work. Amazon search.

21. Drill Press

A drill press is used to drill to more precise drilling. You can get the angles and the depth just right with minimal effort. You can get a table model or a floor standing model. Amazon search.

22. Dust Collector

A dust collector works at the source of creation. It’s main purpose is to collect the dust right from the place you are cutting the wood. A lot of power tools come with a dust collector extension which allows the dust collector to be attached to them directly. This means a lot less cleaning up for you to do. Dust collectors come in two types, single bag and double bag. Single bag ones are more common. Amazon search.

23. Router

Till now you have had a hand held router. Now its time to get a three horse power, table top router. This adds stability, power and a lot more functionality.
Just like a drill press, when your router gets stabilised on its own platform, meaning that you do not have to wield it in your hands manually, you can work more comfortably with it. You can also make more precise adjustments, and do much more. Amazon search.

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More Sophisticated Woodworking Tools

These woodworking tools have been listed last and may even be considered a luxury by many. However, it all depends on your needs.

If you are making making a old style furniture or small crafts like wooden bowl, a lathe is an absolute essential and comes right at top of the list of tools you need to buy.

24. Air Compressor And Nailer

Air Compressor And NailerThis tool really speeds things up. If you are making a lot of bookcases and shelves, this is a great tool to have. It’s not very expensive. You can get a combination of an air compressor and nailer for a couple of hundred. Amazon search.

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25. Sanding Station

A sanding station is a combination of belt and disc sander. It is very helpful in sanding pieces before assembling. If you do a lot of sanding work, the sanding station can take a lot of fatigue out of the work. Amazon search.

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