8 Basic Woodworking Tools to Buy

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8 Basic Woodworking Tools to Buy

Woodworking represents one of the more popular home construction and home improvement trades. The popularity of professional woodworking has helped to create a thriving hobby pursued by aspiring amateur woodworkers throughout the world. One of the biggest mistakes that novice woodworkers make is spending too much money on complex woodworking tools that they do not utilise. All that beginners need to stock their nascent workshops are a few essential woodworking tools that can be used on virtually every woodworking project. Whether the woodworking tools are for creating a piece of art or for building a storage cabinet, anyone who starts a workshop should consider buying eight essential woodworking tools.

Woodworking tools are available at hardware and home improvement shops, but the best option for beginner woodworkers is to shop for woodworking tools on eBay. Since most beginner woodworkers operate on a tight budget, they can find excellent deals for high-quality woodworking tools from eBay sellers who offer mint condition tools at reduced prices. However, the question begs, which woodworking tools should aspiring woodworkers consider to be essential? Beginner woodworkers should consider the term "basic" to mean essential, and there are four power and four hand tools that novice woodworkers should stock in their workshops.

Basic Power Woodworking Tools

Many beginning woodworkers mistakenly believe that the first tools to buy for their workshops should be simple, hand-operated tools that provide them with control and precision. However, technological advances have led to a generation of power tools that offer the same, if not better, control and precision. Novice woodworkers should consider buying these power tools to begin their woodworking tool collection.

Tool 1: Circular Saw

Versatility best describes why the circular saw should be one of the first woodworking tools on any woodworker's list. When employed with a clamp-on straight-edge, a circular saw is as precise as a secured table saw, with more flexibility to produce more difficult cuts. This saw is especially adept at cutting wood sheets, especially plywood stacks and medium-thick fibreboard. Circular saws are offered in a few sizes that typically range from 10 to 18 cm. Beginners should consider buying a high horsepower circular saw, regardless of size. Woodworkers who operate on tight budgets should consider a circular saw as one of their first woodworking tool purchases.

Tool 2: Power Drill

Woodworkers can choose between a cordless and corded drill, and while a cordless drill appears to offer more flexibility, in fact, corded drills are more versatile and provide more power. The key to using a power drill is to not exert so much pressure that the bit cracks or splinters wood surfaces. Some of the options to consider when buying a power drill include whether to have a key or keyless chuck, straight or hammer drill, and the size of the chuck. Novice woodworkers who should place a high priority on ease of use should consider a power drill that includes a keyless chuck, reversible action, and a comfortable grip. Another reason to buy a corded power drill is that corded drills offer more speed options than cordless drills, and corded power drills incorporate a hammering feature that extends functionality to other projects that involve drilling through concrete and cinder blocks.

Tool 3: Random Orbital Sander

Virtually every type of woodworking project requires some level of sanding to prepare a wood surface for varnish or paint. Beginners may be tempted to purchase less expensive hand sanders, but for accuracy and quality finishes, they should consider a power sander. Random orbital sanders utilise hook-and-loop fastened sanding discs that employ random sanding motions. Random sanding motions reduce the likelihood of leaving sanding marks on a wood surface. Some of the features to include in a random orbital sander include a dust collection device to prevent clogging, or worse, a complete shutdown. Collection can be in the form of a bag or filter that comes with the unit. Woodworkers must also ensure a comfortable feel in the hand with minimum vibration. Power sanders that excessively vibrate can cause user hand fatigue.

Tool 4: Router

Woodworkers utilise routers to hollow out an area on the surface of a dense wood piece. Most routers offer either a stationary or plunge base. Beginning woodworkers should consider a stationary base router that mounts on the router table. Select a router model that runs on at least two horsepower and possesses variable speed control that allows users to slow down the speed when using large cutting bits. Woodworkers who predominantly use smaller bits for smaller woodworking jobs may be able to get by using single-speed routers, which tend to cost less than variable speed routers.

Basic Hand Woodworking Tools

Despite the increased ease of use of power woodworking tools, woodworkers still need to strap the toolbox around their waists to hold hand woodworking tools. While woodworkers of all ability levels have myriad options when it comes to handheld woodworking tools, the following tools stand out as must-have components of a woodworker's tool inventory.

Tool 5: Claw Hammer

Most experienced woodworkers consider the 400 g claw hammer to provide the most versatility, as well as have the mass to drive hard nails into dense wood. Claw hammers allow woodworkers to extract broken nails and screws with ease. Since extracting nails places stress on the hand and wrist, woodworkers should consider claw hammers that are constructed with fibreglass or steel. The grip should be made with comfortable vinyl or rubber. Because beginning woodworkers tend to make more mistakes than their experienced counterparts, the extraction capability of a hammer is a must-have feature.

Tool 6: Retractable Tape Measure

Experienced woodworkers often use a measuring tape that they secure with each hand. Retractable measuring tapes provide stability for novices who do not have the skills to measure distances accurately The most popular retractable tape measure length for beginners is 8 m. Retractable measuring tapes must have a locking mechanism that allows users to secure the locking mechanism to one end of a piece of wood so the tape does not detract as it is pulled out of the protective case. The hook end of the tape should be loose on the rivets to allow a woodworker to measure between two pieces of wood.

Tool 7: Level

A level is an indispensable woodworking tool because it ensures that a piece of wood is either completely horizontal or vertical. A full-length level is made of hardwood that possesses two glass-encased bubbles on each end of the level. Woodworkers place the level on a wood section, and if the bubbles settle in between the two glass tube lines, then the object is level. Novice woodworkers should also consider the torpedo level, which is smaller than the full-length level. This type of level is used on smaller pieces of wood and it offers users more precision control. Other types of levels include string, aluminium, and laser-line, which are considered specialty levels that work on varied materials.

Tool 8: Screwdrivers

The question is not whether a woodworker needs a screwdriver, the question is how many screwdrivers should attach to the tool belt. Screwdrivers come in numerous sizes and styles, such as flathead, Phillips, square head, and Torx. Beginners who operate on a tight budget should at least purchase two Phillips and two flathead screwdrivers of different sizes. The most common screwdriver sizes for woodworking are no. 1, no. 2, and no. 3, with the no. 2 screwdriver providing users with more versatility. Since most woodworking projects involve flathead screwdrivers, experienced woodworkers recommend that novices go with all three sizes of flathead screwdriver, and purchase only the no. 2 Phillips size.

How to Buy Woodworking Tools on eBay

Beginning woodworkers can have the best of both worlds by performing their tool buying research in hardware or home improvement shops, and then going online to eBay to find the right tools that fit within their budgets. eBay offers woodworking tool buyers a powerful search engine to find sellers who match their shopping criteria. To find the right seller, type specific keywords into the search engine. For woodworking tools, the recommended approach is to shop by brand. By typing "Draper screwdrivers" or "Stanley screwdriver", you reduce the number of search results, and hence, shorten the time it takes to consummate a transaction.

Another proven approach to finding the right woodworking tool seller on eBay is to search for the top-rated sellers. If you are looking for a corded drill, type "top rated corded drill seller" into the search engine to ensure that you connect with a seller who has established a strong track record on eBay for selling high-quality products. eBay places an electronic ribbon next to seller product photographs to make it easy to find the top-rated sellers. In addition to searching for the top-rated sellers, you can review customer feedback that eBay places on every top-rated seller's product page.


Woodworking is one of the most popular hobbies, captivating millions around the world on producing carefully refined pieces of art and meticulously crafted furniture. Experienced woodworkers can attest to the importance of buying the right woodworking tools to stock workshops, and many of the experienced woodworkers learned which tools matter through trial and error. Novice woodworkers do not have to resort to trial and error, but instead, can take the lessons learned and start their tool collection by buying a circular saw, power drill, random orbital sander, router, claw hammer, retractable measuring tape, level, and a few screwdrivers.

While choosing the right tools is the most important decision that woodworkers make, they must also be aware of the accessories that help them to properly utilise their new woodworking tools. Since handheld tools can be sharp and power tools dangerous to operate, woodworkers must take precautions to ensure safety. Some of the safety accessories that beginning woodworkers should consider include goggles, gloves, and protective clothing. Even the most experienced woodworkers take measures to ensure that safety is a paramount concern for any woodworking project.

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