5 Essential Woodworking Tools for Carpentry

Published On: February 18, 20200 Comments on 5 Essential Woodworking Tools for CarpentryLast Updated: February 12, 20244.3 min read

The art of woodworking is a wonderful craft that requires a steady hand and a keen eye for detail. One must be patient and persistent to excel in this field, but of course, there’s no going it alone. The finest carpenters are only as good as the tools that they use. Whether you’re an experienced tradesman looking to branch out into carpentry, or you’re a complete newbie joining an apprenticeship, you’re going to need a tool kit of your own used by large carpentry contractors. Some of these items you may already have, however if not, you may wish to start building your collection today. That’s why we made this list of essential woodworking tools for carpentry.

nailing nail in wood

Of course, there is a wide selection of tools that you can be used for woodworking, however, in this article we have partnered with Data Power Tools as we explore the 5 essentials tools that a carpenter couldn’t possibly live without.


A chisel is to a carpenter, what a brush is to a painter. This is the tool which separates a craftsman and a factory worker; where handwork truly comes into play and helps to shape the most magnificent artistry. The chisel is an invaluable tool which enables the removing of debris clean precision. Not so dissimilar to a sculptor, chisels are used to shape a piece of wood into the desired form.

woodworking chisels

Chisels are available in many shapes and sizes, including a variety of materials. The tougher the material, the less the chisel would need sharpening, thus enabling you to spend more time working. In addition to shaping wood, chisels can be used to create dovetails, mortise and tendons, to name a few.

Smoothing Plane

A smoothing plane, rasps, orbit sanders and block planes are just a handful of the tools which can be used to smooth the surface of wood. When it comes to the final stages of woodworking, you can use a smoothing plane to take the rough surface and give it a clean and seamless finish. A carpenter without smoothing tools isn’t going to get very far, as let’s be honest, nobody is going to want to sit down on a splintery stool!

smoothing plane

The sander is a hand-held power tool and is among the most versatile in the woodworking industry. You’ll certainly find yourself reaching for the sander often as they are used for smoothing wood surfaces and removing old varnish when restoring furniture, etc. These come in a variety of styles, each with their own function, including the orbit sander mentioned above, belt sanders, and more.

Sabre Saw

The sabre saw (or reciprocating saw as it’s commonly referred to) is similar to the jigsaw, only it offers the user much more control and flexibility. It certainly isn’t the most accurate when compared to certain other saws (i.e., bench saws, mitre saws etc).

sabre saw

However, as carpenters tend to have an innate talent for hand-eye coordination, you can achieve great things with this tool.

Wood router

A wood router is ideal for making precision cuts and hallowing out wood. It’s an incredibly useful tool that can cut through most other materials as well, such as aluminium and plastic.

wood router

Thus, when it comes to shaping wood, there are few tools as effective as this one.

Bench grinder

Bench grinders are important for maintaining your tools and keeping them sharp and good for use. Of course, after using your chisel for a time it will start to blunt and subsequently become less accurate; in which case you’ll need your bench grinder to keep it in shape.

bench grinder

Other must-have tools for carpentry

Again, the tools listed above are the core group upon which you can build. However, there is going to be a number of other tools and accessories that you’ll need to accumulate as you go. For example: a pencil is a must-have item, though it doesn’t necessarily qualify as a tool. This item can be used for marking out various points on a piece of wood before chiselling away at it. Here are some other handy tools:

  • Power drills
  • Power jointer & thickness planer
  • Circular saw
  • Handsaws
  • Joinery gadgets
  • A claw hammer and screwdrivers
  • Puttering bench and clamps
  • Tape measures
  • Squares
  • Levels


Depending on what area of carpentry you are interested in, the essentials tools may change. For example, restoring old furniture, and building it from scratch are two vastly different projects. In any case, the tools mentioned above are among the most common and versatile in the industry. If you’re an experienced carpenter and you’re reading this, what are your favorite tools? Depending on your style, everyone will have a certain favorite that they couldn’t live without and we’d love to hear from you.

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