Top 20 Basic Carpentry Tools || Woodworking Tools 2020 guide and tips

 Suthar Sandeep  374 View  January 24, 2020  Comments (0 )

Here is our list of essential hand tools for woodworkers:

1. Measuring Tape:-

The measuring tape is one of the most useful tools in woodworking and is widely available in many commercial hardware facilities.  Get a retractable one that is at least 25 feet long. Any longer than that, and you start having problems getting it to roll back up. Since measurements on large scale projects can be very susceptible to even the most minute measurement variations, you’ll want to make sure the “hook” or tab at the end of the is firmly attached, with no give. When they get loose, you’ll have as much as 1/8” variation in your measurements. This can add up to some severe accuracy problems in the long run.

2. Claw Hammer:-

A specialized tool in the form of a handle (called helve) which is fixed with a head at the top is known as a Hammer. It is generally used for a variety of operations like blowing an object in order to break it, driving a nail or a spike into another or to forge out the intended shape out of the building material. Depending upon the utility Hammers come in varying shapes and sizes such as claw hammer, ball pain, cross and straight pein, cross pein pin hammer, club hammer, sledge hammer, joiner’s mallet, soft faced hammer, special hammers or even power hammers. A poorly-balanced claw hammer will twist in your hand, making it difficult to drive nails properly. You normally grip a claw hammer with your hand at the back of the grip, letting the weight of the head do most of the work. All you have to do is direct the driving surface toward the right nail, sparing the ones on your hand.


A tool with a shaped cutting edge on the blade at its end is known as a chisel. This tool finds its utility in cutting of hard materials such as a metal piece, stone or wooden blocks by hand. The tool can use mechanical power. In order to use a chisel, forcefully insert the blade into the desired material to cut it. The force applied can be via hammer.

An assortment of chisels should be part of every workbench. Chisels are not just for woodcarvers. Any woodworker will need chisels to clean out joints and saw cuts. Look for chisels made of high-alloy carbon steel. Hardwood grips are best, especially if they have metal caps on them. This will keep the end of the handle from becoming malformed when you hammer on it.

4.Hand Saw:-

Ever wondered which is the basic tool with which you are able to cut huge blocks of wood or logs? It is known as Handsaw, which comes in varying shapes and sizes. They are also known as Panel Saws used for cutting or carving wooden blocks into varying shapes and sizes. Handsaws also have the potential for pruning wood or even cutting metal. Various kinds of Hand Saw are available namely keyhole saw, cross cut saw, rip cut saw, back saw, flooring saw etc.

A hand saw comes in many different styles but they are all operated by hand movement and they are used to cut materials with its blade. Common tasks for hand saws include cutting straight edges, making angled cuts and cutting curves although different types of saws are needed to carry out all of these tasks.

5.Utility Knife:-

A good utility knife is another useful tool for the woodworker. There are many different kinds, but the kind that uses disposable blades is the most common. The blade retracts into the grip for safety. The woodworker will use the utility knife when cleaning out mortise joints or to scribe wood, as well as many other uses.


A coated abrasive consisting sheets of abrasive cloth or abrasive paper is known as Sandpaper. These layers or sheets are glued together at one face. Although, the name is deceptive in the sense neither it consists of glass nor sand but they are basically abrasive materials made of aluminium oxide or silicon carbide products. Sandpaper is found in variety of grit sizes. The main purpose of the Sandpaper is to remove excess material from the surface. It is also used for smoothening of surfaces, especially used prior to painting or wood finishing.


Many artisans including carpenters, bricklayers, surveyors, millwrights or other building trade workers require a specialised instrument called spirit Level or simply a Level to check the surface of building material they are working on.

Every woodworker needs a couple of levels. You probably won’t need one of the 6-foot levels used in construction, but 48” is a good length for many of the woodworking projects you’ll do. Usually, you’ll also need an 8” level too, usually known as a torpedo level. You’ll check the level and plum of your construction. Level means horizontal, and plumb is vertical.

8.Layout Square:-

A layout square comes in 6”, 8”, 10” and 12” sizes. Most woodworkers use the 6” model, simply because it’s easiest to carry around. Also, most of the stock you’ll use will be no bigger than 6” wide, so 12” is overkill. The layout square is a triangle that you can use to mark square cuts on stock. Once you measure the length of the cut, you line up the layout square with the edge of the board. The short side will give you a straight, square cut across the end grain. You can also measure off angles with the layout square. You can even use your layout square to determine an existing angle. Just be sure to buy one made of metal. The plastic ones are not only fragile, but they also can warp, making them pretty useless.

9.Sliding Bevel:-

The performance of a carpenter is measured in terms of its precision. Setting angles precisely would have been a tough job without a sliding T bevel, which is also called a bevel gauge. It can be adjusted for precisely setting and transferring of angles. The handle is connected to a metallic blade. It is generally made up of wood or plastic. In order to set an angle the blade pivot is to be first locked. Locking of the blade pivot is made possible by either loosening or tightening the thumbscrew. The operation of a sliding bevel is complemented with other measuring tools such as protractor or framing square.

10.Block Plane:-

A block plane is a key to versatility in your woodwork. Shape or chamfer your stock using a block plane. Once you have a piece dovetailed, you can smooth the joint with your block plane, rather than spend endless time sanding. Your plane can ease the edges of a piece, taking the sharpness out of it. It is most important to make sure the blade of the block plane is sharp. Use a little bit of oil on the sharpening stone and hold the bevel flat against the stone. Raise the heel a little, and hone it. Just turn the blade over and rub it on the stone on the flat side. It will remove the burr. A cap screw holds the blade in place, and this is where you adjust the depth of plane you want to cut.

11.Hand drills:-

Hand drills are an important tool that you will require in your work space and are a must to make and boring holes in your wooden workpiece. In case of lack of power, hand drills are really useful especially for outdoor projects. It is very handy to have a variety of drill bits on the stock. Drills also come in varying shapes and types. It can be broadly divided into three types- Traditional drills, Impact driver, Hammer drills.


Clamps are vital to the success of any woodworking project. Most woodworkers agree that you can’t have too many clamps. While they can get expensive, you don’t want to skimp in this area. You’ll need clamps for 45 and 90-degree joints, and pipe clamps to reach for long stretches. You usually purchase the pipe clamp fixtures and insert your own pipe into the fixtures to make a really strong clamp to the size you need. C-clamps and F clamps are standard, but now you can get K camps, too. The great thing about these is that they can reach a long way into your work area and clamp things in the middle of your workspace.

Hand Screw Clamps are the classic-looking wooden clamps with the awl screws that you turn from both sides to get equal pressure. These are great for applying a lot of pressure on tapered or sloped pieces. Assembly square clamps do just what the name implies – they help you assemble squares. You can also get bench clamps and “dogs,” as well as other clamps and vises that attach to your workbench.

13.Tool Belt:-

Tool belt is also useful in woodworking workshop. Tool belt is a must for any professional as well as non professional seeking to perform carpentry operations. A tool belt is a well arranged kit containing all your necessary tools, which allows you to work efficiently and makes it much easier for you to walk or climb ladders for your work more safely.

Depending upon your requirements and kind of job, you can choose from various kinds of tool belt which comes in various shapes and sizes for various body parts like waist, hip, pouch, apron etc. You can also choose from varying materials like leather, canvas, cotton, nylon, polyester or fabric.


A simple tool used for inserting or removing screws is known as screwdriver. It can either be manual or the power operated one. A screwdriver does the basic function of screwing or unscrewing of screws. It consists of a handle and a shaft. At the end of the shaft one can insert the screw head and then turn the handle in order to screw or unscrew. Composition of shaft is of steel. Composition of handle is either of wood, plastic or can even be of metal.

Screwdrivers are another must-have in the woodworker’s set of hand tools. Not only will you need Phillips and slot, or flathead screwdrivers, you’ll need star drivers and Torx drivers, too. Quality construction is vital to a good set of screwdrivers. So many of them are made out of soft metal, and the first time you put any “oomph” behind them, they strip out, becoming absolutely useless.

15.Nail puller:-

A Nail puller is kind of a standard tool in carpentry. It is also referred to as cat’s paw or cat’s claw. It generally consists of a bar which is hexagonal or can be round, consisting a pointed or a cup-shaped tip. This bar is curved at the end. This tool has its main utility in holding on or gripping the nail heads. Demolition work forms most of its utility because it is used for tearing the wood surrounding the nail head.

16.Nail Set:-

The next hand tool every woodworker should have is a nail set. An icepick shaped metal piece which is used to drive finished nails is called a Nail Set. A Nail Set finds its relevance and a lot of importance in field of carpentry because of various benefits such as a nail set while driving finished nails at or below the building material will not cause damage to the finished surface. A nail set is so compact that it can fit the narrower spots as well. It can be complemented with the use of a hammer as well. Thus a nail set will work wonders without harming the arms, hands or wrists.

17.Moisture Meter:-

The quality wood moisture meter is vital to the long-term success of any woodworking project you put together. Lumber mills try to dry their batches of lumber according to the intended end product destination. That is, if the wood is harvested in the wet Northeast, but is going to be shipped to the arid Southwest, it will be dried more than wood kept in the Northeast for use by woodworkers. The success of your woodworking project, from wood flooring to kitchen cabinets to fine furniture, depends on the correct moisture content levels of the woods you use for your area of the country.


A set of the calipers is must for fine-tuning your woodworking projects. You can even get digital calipers now that leave no guesswork as to whether you were inside or outside the line. Of course, the metal ones are always recommended over those made of plastic, even though the plastic ones are cheaper.

You’ll use the inside calipers to measure slot diameters, hole diameters, among other things. There is also a depth gauge in the end of calipers that will allow you to measure the depth of slots and holes. You just rest the end of the caliper on the edge of the hole and twist the thumbscrew until the probe reaches the bottom of the hole. Then, you can take your reading. If you need to measure the exact thickness of something attached to a flat surface, you can use the calipers to determine the thickness by placing the butt of the caliper end against the flat surface, and use the inside caliper lip that’s closest to your hand to record the surface of the item you’re measuring. The distance from the backside of that caliper lip to the end of the caliper is the thickness of the piece you’re measuring.

19.The Jig:-

You don’t have to measure every single cut and joint if you have jigs. You usually use a jig with a power tool, to guide the piece through the saw. You can make a jig that you can use to cut a perfect circle. Maybe you need to make furniture with tapered legs. A jig will accomplish this, without the hassle of re-marking the angles on each leg. A dovetail jig does just that – it guides your wood as you make dovetail joints.


While working on building material, holding of material usually wood tightly and with great precision is a challenge without the use of Workbench. It consists of a tight fitted table used for holding work pieces with precision. In order to hold the workpieces tightly a workbench must be rigid as well as heavy. A worker can adjust the height at which the workpiece is to be held at the Workbench. Depending upon the operation to be performed, a worker can choose from varying kinds of benches specifically designed for different workpieces of various shapes and sizes.

Carpentry Tools Buying Guide and Tips

Here are few general guidelines for buying the right product:

Know your Requirements well: Before purchasing any product, one must be thorough with ones requirements. You must know what size of work piece you will be working upon and so buy the product as per your specifications such as blade size, workbench shape etc.

Check for damaged articles: Check whether the tool you are about to purchase in good condition and is not out of order. This can seriously harm your safety, if not verified beforehand.

Read the Guidelines carefully: Read the guidelines mentioned on the toolbox carefullyThese guidelines will help you choose the product for your requirement.

Review the Tool: Before purchasing review the tool for its cost, specifications and utility well before hand.

Buy a Quality Product: Many products of the same kind are available in the market but make sure you buy a quality product without compromising with your budget. Check the specifications of the product well before purchasing. Also check if there is any warranty available in order to ensure the durability of the tool.

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