Basic Woodworking Hand Tools

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Sometimes the mere mention of “woodworking hand tools” can conjure images of complex and expensive machines. However, the foundation of this trade is built on the most basic tools, including ones that you can find in almost every household.

Here are some basic tools that you will need in your venture.

measuring tools for woodworking
Measuring tools: a woodworking requisite

Measuring Tools

Woodworking constantly relies on accurate measurements to achieve precise cuts and joints, as well as assemblies. Thanks to the numerous measuring tools in the market today, craftsmen can now easily create quality projects. Some of the hand tools commonly used for recording dimensions and distances include devices such as the tape measure, combination square, and spirit level, to name a few. (Read more)

Claw Hammer

A claw hammer is a fundamental tool in woodworking, construction, and general home maintenance tasks. Woodworkers use it to drive nails into various surfaces, as well as extract them from various materials. The head of a claw hammer has two main parts: the hammer face (used for striking the head of a nail), and the claw (used to pull nails out of the wood). (Read more

Hand Saw
14-inch hand saw

Hand Saw

Also referred to as the “panel saw,” a hand saw can cut pieces of wood and other materials. Hand saws typically consist of a handle and a flat metal sheet with sharp teeth along one edge. To operate a handsaw, the user needs to hold the handle and then move the saw back and forth to cut through the material.

Aside from woodworking and construction, hand saws can also cut lumber and trim branches, among others. (Read more)

Utility knife hand tool for woodworking
A retractable utility knife by DeWalt

Utility Knife

Also commonly known as a box cutter or a retractable blade knife, a utility knife is a versatile tool that comes with a replaceable, razor-sharp blade. 

Some of the applications of a utility knife include cutting various materials such as cardboard, paper, plastic, rubber, vinyl, and fabric, to name a few. They are also reliable for art and craft projects, as well as construction and DIY projects. (Read more)

Hand plane for woodworking
Universal bench hand plane by Amazon Basics

Hand Plane

Hand planes are woodworking hand tools used to shape, smoothen, flatten, as well as reduce the thickness of a piece of wood. It consists of a flat, sharp blade (also known as an iron) held at a specific angle to a flat base (often referred to as the “sole”). (Read more)

woodworking tools chisel
4-piece chisel set by Hurricane


Another essential woodworking hand tool is the chisel. It is commonly used by carpenters, woodworkers, masons, as well as artists for a wide range of applications. This includes cutting, shaping, or carving hard materials such as wood, metal, or stone. (Read more)

A double-face rubber mallet


A mallet is commonly used for tasks that require striking or tapping without damaging the workpiece or tools. Unlike a regular hammer – which typically has a metal head – a woodworking mallet has a head made of wood, rubber, or other non-metal materials. As a result, this design helps prevent denting, marring, or damaging delicate surfaces and tools. (Read more)

Screwdriver with replaceable tips


The screwdriver is a fixture in construction, electronics, home maintenance, and woodworking, among others. Basically, this hand tool is used for turning screws and bolts. Screwdrivers have a shaft with a tip that fits into the head of a screw. Along with the tool’s handle, the user can apply torque to loosen or tighten a screw. (Read more)


spirit level
Spirit Level by Amazon Basics

The spirit level, also known as the “bubble level,” or “bubble gauge,” is a tool for determining whether a surface is level or plumb (vertical). It is common in woodworking, metalworking, construction, and masonry, among others.

Basically, this tool consists of a long, straight, usually rectangular body with a transparent tube or vial that contains liquid. The vial also has an air bubble that moves to indicate whether the surface is perfectly horizontal or vertical. (Read More)

woodworking clamps


A woodworking clamp is designed to hold pieces of wood securely in place while glue dries or during various stages. They are important for ensuring accurate and tight joints, preventing movement, and allowing for precise assembly. (Read more)

Jig tool
Cabinet hardware jig


A jig is a tool for assisting in the accurate and repeatable creation of certain woodworking tasks. They hold workpieces in place, guide tools, and ensure precise cuts or measurements. (Read more)

Nail Set

Nail Set

Nail sets are small woodworking hand tools for driving nails below the surface of a material. Typically, a nail set is a slender, pointed metal rod with a flattened end used for creating a recessed indentation for the nail head. This ensures that the nail head is flush with or slightly below the surface of the material. As a result, the finish will come out smooth and even when painting or staining the wood. (Read more)

Feather board
The Hedgehog feather board for table saws

Feather Board

A feather board is an accessory for improving safety and accuracy when using power tools. This simple tool helps hold workpieces firmly against a machine’s table or fence to prevent kickback and ensure consistent cuts. Furthermore, feather boards commonly work with woodworking tools such as table saws, router tables, and band saws. (Read more)

sand paper woodworking hand tools
Sand paper comes in different grit sizes

Sanding Materials 

In various trades such as woodworking, craftsmen use sanding materials to smoothen surfaces of wood, metal, plastic, or other materials. To achieve this, woodworkers use abrasive materials to evenly sand the surface of an object. (Read more)

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John Friedenbach

My initial goal, to provide a selection of tools, education and plans to the Beginning to Advance Woodworker has not changed. I continue to search the web to find new products and services. To bring those products and services to your attention.

More to Explore

Tape Measures

A tape measure is a flexible ruler used to measure distance or length.

Center Finder

A center finder is a tool or device used to locate the exact center of a circular or cylindrical object.

Bowl Sander

A bowl sander is a tool used for sanding concave or curved wooden surfaces.