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Basic Woodworking Equipment for Beginners

If you are just starting out at woodworking, there are a number of basic hand tools that you will definitely need to include in your toolbox. As your skills develop and you begin to take on more complicated woodworking projects you will probably also increase your portfolio of tools, however for those just getting started, the tools we’ve listed below are a great starting point for your woodworking toolbox. Don’t be put off by the idea of spending too much money on them either – in fact, you can pick up a number of these tools second hand at places such as flea markets and even garage sales in great condition.

Combination Square

This is an indispensable tool that is needed for penciling or knifing a line at 45 and 90 degrees. It is important that you get a high quality combination square, as good ones are usually accurate from straight out of the box, and tend to stay that way. It’s far better to spend a little more money on a good quality combination square tool than to skimp on the initial payment and end up with not so accurate lines in your work. Perhaps the most common variety of combination square is the 12-inch.

Marking Gauge

You will need a marking gauge to cut a line parallel to the edge of a board, with is crucial for laying out accurate tendons, baselines for dovetail joints, and mortises.

Marking Knife

When it comes to marking out joinery locations, marking knives are often much more accurate than pencils. This is because a cut line works a lot better than a drawn line – it provides a more precise location for starting a tool such as chisel or handsaw.

Bevel Gauge

A bevel gauge is a useful piece of kit for transferring angles from plans to workpieces and setting table saw blade angles thanks to its pivoting blade that can be locked into any angle. This tool is also commonly used to lay out dovetails.

Dovetail Saw

There are two options for a dovetail saw – a Western backsaw, or a Japanese pull saw known as a dozuki. The Japanese pull saw is often a good tool for beginners to start with, as even the cheaper ones are usually very sharp straight from the box.

Coping Saw

This tool is great for when it comes to getting rid of the waste between dovetail pins and tails. Although you can use a chisel to do the same job, a coping saw gets it done faster and saves you time.


Woodworkers should start with four basic chisels – 1/4in, 3/8in, 1/2in, and 3/4 in. Unless you plan to work in millimetres, many woodworkers use inches so it’s a good idea to steer clear of chisels measured in millimetres in order to avoid confusion.

These are just some of the very basic hand tools that you will need when beginning woodwork. If you’re looking for even more tools such as wet down draft tables, why not visit this site to see what they have on offer.


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