For a great start in woodworking, any aspiring woodworker should first concentrate on getting his hands on some of the basic hand tools. Basically, a woodworker should have some measuring tools, cutting tools, shaping tools, joining tools and a few equipments for safety and maintenance. If one were to list all the tools in the categories above, it will be quite a long list.
The most basic must-have hand woodworking tools for beginners
1. Tape Measure
Take any woodworking project you will always need to measure things. That is why the very first thing that you must have is a tape measure. A quality tape measure will last for ages, so make sure you buy a good one. A retractable tape measure that is at least 25” with both metric and standard marking and one that comes with a locking mechanism is a good choice.
2. Combination Square
This tool helps one to pencil a line on a stock at 45 or 90 degrees. It can multi-task are a ruler and a marking gauge. Buy the best quality combination square you can afford, as it is going to be one of the most used tools.
3. Hand Saws
There are actually a variety of saws and a beginner will definitely need to include a couple of types in his tool kit like cross cut saw, dovetail saw, rip saw, etc. Saws are used to cut both across and along the grains. For a beginner, having a cross cut and a rip saw of 8-10” length are good enough.
Chisels are among the first must have woodworking tools for beginners. In fact, here one size fits all doesn’t work – you must have a set of bench chisels of sizes ¼“, ¾” and 1”, as well as ¼“ mortise chisel. They come quite handy to clean your mortises and joints.
5. Screw Driver
A good set of screw drivers is indispensable for a woodworker to own. Don’t try to cut costs here as a cheap set of screw driver won’t last long. It is advisable that you buy the best quality you can afford.
In order to check if a stock is perfectly smooth or not, you will need levels. Buy them in two sizes – a long one around 36” and a short torpedo level which is around 6”. They last for a lifetime, unless you lose them.
7. Block Plane
A small block plane is needed for chamfering edges, smoothing end grains and leveling joints. It also helps in shaving away thin slices of wood from the stock to give it a better finish. So, it is another indispensable woodworking tool for beginners in the field.
8. Finish Head Claw Hammer
The claw hammer with a finish head is a very versatile tool, one that you will use almost every day. Choose one that has a comfortable grip and is not too heavy for you. A20 oz. model is typically a standard one to have.
These were some of the basic hand woodworking tools for beginner. As a rule make sure to buy quality tools only as they are not only durable but also safe.