Starting woodworking as a hobby or a profession requires the right tools. A well-stocked toolbox unlocks a world of creativity and precision.

Power tools like the circular saw are important for making large-scale cuts. A tape measure is also crucial for accurate measurements and marking. A carpenter’s wooden pencil with a wide body and graphite tip makes marking much easier.

1. Jigsaw

Jigsaws are one of the most versatile tools for woodworkers, especially if you need to make curved cuts. They are also great for cutting through metal and other materials, which makes them an essential addition to your toolbox.

It’s important to understand how to use a jigsaw properly so you can safely create DIY projects with it. For example, it’s a good idea to work in an open or well-ventilated area to prevent sawdust from getting into your eyes and lungs.

Also, be sure to buy a pack of dual-cut blades for your jigsaw, as these will ensure that you can cut wood and other materials with ease. They also make it easier to avoid tearout, which is when the blade pulls up at the end of a cut and causes the wood to splinter. You can avoid this by using masking tape to mark your cut line before starting the cut.

2. Cordless Router

A router is a powerful tool that can do a lot of work for woodworkers. It can round out table edges, cut inlays, flatten a surface using a router sled, and even cut sliding dovetails or dados. But it isn’t a safe tool to use without the proper safety gear. It spins at 20,000 RPM and can easily suck a glove right in.

Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent cordless routers available today that can perform well for most routing tasks short of full-size mortises or big molding profiles. Generally, you want to look for models with a brushless motor to extend runtime and improve performance. Other important features to consider are base diameter, a plunge lock lever, and an edge guide. The best value is likely to come from a combo kit that includes a battery and an extra base.

3. Electric Circular Saw

A jack of all trades, the circular saw is an essential power tool for a woodworking workshop. It can make rip cuts, crosscuts, notches, and bevels in almost any material. It is often used by professionals to cut around corners in a house frame and can easily fill in for any cuts that a table saw wouldn’t be able to do.

These tools come in both corded plug-in models that use a traditional electric motor and cordless versions powered by batteries. Corded models are more powerful and reliable, but they require a constant connection to an outlet or extension cord. Cordless models are typically lighter and more portable. They also tend to be less expensive, but they don’t hold a charge as long. Both types can be a great choice, depending on your needs and preferences.

4. Drill

A drill is one of the most versatile tools that you can have on hand. It can be used for everything from assembling furniture to hanging pictures on the wall.

Drills are electric powered tools that use a bit to cut holes into materials, most commonly wood and metal. They can be either corded or cordless.

There are a wide variety of different types of drill bits, with the most common being the twist bit. Other types include auger bits, which have a screw tip and are used for deep holes, and Forstner bits, which have more cutting edges and create a more ragged hole.

Another unique type of drill bit is the installer bit, which has a flexible shaft that allows it to be inserted into studs inside walls without damaging them. This can be very helpful when installing electrical fixtures.

5. Tape Measure

As any woodworker knows, the tape measure is one of the most important tools on a construction site. It allows workers to take precise measurements and can also be used for marking dimensions on the wood itself.

According to Tom Seever’s website, The Habit of Woodworking, many woodworkers opt for retractable tape measures that offer easy-to-read markings and consistent action. They’re also much more compact than traditional steel tapes, making them easier to carry and stow away in their tool belts.

Other features that can make a difference include blade width, locking mechanisms and specialized end options like hooks or rings. For example, Jordan prefers a tape with a hook that can latch onto corners and edges of boards. It also helps when he’s working solo and needs to measure a distance without anyone else around. The ring end, on the other hand, can easily grip onto nails and poles.

6. Nail Set

A nail set is an essential hand tool for woodworking, especially if you use nails a lot. This tool dulls the tip of a nail by tapping it with a hammer and helps prevent splitting or tearing of the wood. It also helps you drive the nails deeper into the wood to reduce the likelihood of them pulling out easily. Roofing nails, sometimes called clout nails, have short shanks and flat heads and can be smooth or ringed for increased pull-out resistance.

A mitre saw and block is useful for woodworkers to cut joints at a variety of angles – 45, 90 and so on. These are ideal for creating a variety of frames and furniture pieces. A throbbing red thumb from a hammer might be funny in comedy cartoons but can really hurt your motivation to work as a woodworker.

7. Chisels

Chisels are one of the most versatile tools woodworkers can have. They are used for everything from cutting out the joints in cabinets to shaving lumber in rough framing. A good chisel will be hardened steel and have a wooden handle. It will also be sharp.

A woodworker should choose a set of chisels depending on the type of work they do. Choose a bench chisel for general purposes, or one with a bevelled edge for softer woods. A paring chisel is ideal for getting into small spaces that larger chisels can’t reach.

The KingTool set of six chisels includes chrome vanadium steel blades and comfortable handles that are easy to grip. It also comes with a wooden mallet for use with the chisels. If you prefer a stronger, more durable set, consider the Narex chisel kit.

8. Screwdrivers

A screwdriver is a versatile hand tool that can help you with a variety of tasks. Screwdrivers come in different shapes and sizes, including slotted screwdrivers (flat-headed) with a square linear intrusion for general use; Phillips screwdrivers (characterised by a cross-shaped indentation); and Torx screws (characterized by a star-shaped cross section).

You can also purchase tools with hex sockets, which are used for fasteners with hex-shaped holes. These are ideal for precision applications, such as working on electronic devices.

For faster and more efficient work, you can also invest in a powered screw gun. It’s ideal for driving large numbers of screws at once, making it easier to assemble and disassemble items quickly and efficiently. Using a screw gun also allows you to create strong and aesthetically pleasing dovetail joints. It’s an absolute must-have for any woodworking professional.

9. Rulers

Regardless of whether you’re making a woodworking bench or turning rosewood pens, you need the proper tools to start and finish your work. A good quality tape measure, for example, helps you achieve precise measurements, while a t square ruler ensures your angles are accurate.

A power drill is a must-have for any workshop, as it’s efficient for drilling holes and driving screws into materials. It’s also very versatile since it can be fitted with different attachments to make other kinds of cuts.

Another must-have is a router, which makes it easy to create decorative edges and joinery cuts. It’s an essential tool for bringing your creations to life and adding your signature style. It can be used for more intricate projects than a handsaw or jigsaw, but it requires some practice to master the technique.

10. Sawhorses

Whether you’re cutting firewood, painting, or doing woodworking, sawhorses make your project easier and safer. They keep materials stable and at a convenient height for cutting with a saw. Some models go further and are equipped with a shelf for storage, bar clamps to hold materials in place, or hooks for power tool cords.

Often made of metal or plastic, these work supports are inexpensive and portable, so they’re great for the DIYer who doesn’t want to invest in a full-fledged workshop. Some models are even designed to fold flat and fit in a tool bag for easy transport.

The best models are designed for durability, with notches that can accommodate 2x4s and flip-down side support legs. They’re also developed, tested, and certified in the US for superior quality. Some feature quick-release levers for instant setup and breakdown.