Home Tools for Starting Woodworking

Tools for Starting Woodworking

by Ovidiu


I bought or used these tools, so I only recommend based on my experience. This list covers pretty much all the tools you need to have when setting your own workshop for DIY projects.


  1. Recommended Tools
  2. Recommended Materials  ←


NEW – Premium Plans

I have created Premium Plans for some projects on the site. Plans starting with only $1.99, but I also have special bundles of several plans with HUGE Discounts. These Plans come with a Cut Diagram Plan and they are PDF Download and AdFree. The highlight of the Premium Plans is the Layout diagrams for all material cuts and dimensions. See full list at My Shop.



1. Pocket Hole System

Most of my plans use pocket hole joinery, as it is a quick and strong method to join two pieces of wood together. The following pocket hole jigs are durable, quick to adjust and very easy to use, starting with the Mini jig up to the Foreman, you can select the product that best suits your needs and budget. I personally consider the K5 offers the best cost benefit ratio.


Pocket Jigs

Pocket hole jig


Armor Auto-Jig Pocket Hole System (NEW)

  • Fully automated system self-adjusts your drill guide setting and drill bit collar based off of the thickness of the piece you’re clamping (see video for demonstration)
  • No more manual setting, measuring, or adjusting
  • The Auto-Adjust clamp allows you to clamp varying thicknesses without readjusting.

Kreg Jig Mini


Kreg Mini Kreg Jig Kit

  • Requires clamp
  • For very small projects only


Kreg Jig R3


Kreg R3 Jr. Pocket Hole Jig System

  • Requires clamp
  • For small projects


Kreg Jig K4


Kreg Jig K4 Pocket Hole System

  • Built-in clamp
  • For medium projects


Kreg JIg K5


Kreg K5 Pocket-Hole Jig

  • Built-in clamp
  • For medium and large projects
  • The pocket hole jig I have myself and I recommend for an average DIY-er


Kreg Foreman


Kreg Foreman Pocket-Hole Machine, Blue

  • Built-in clamp
  • For extra-large projects with lots of pocket holes



2. Basic Tools

Accuracy is a key aspect when building projects, as well as safety. Therefore, I recommend you to get yourself a good ruler, pencils as well as ear protection and safety glasses. Even if you are not serious about woodworking, any homeowner should have a kit with the basic hand tools, for small repairs.



Bon 7-Inch Carpenter Pencil, Black Hard Lead with Red Casing, 12-Pack

  • Making marks with a pencil will help you get accurate cuts


Speed square


Stanley Premium Quick Square Layout Tool, 7″

  • Ideal for checking corners for squareness
  • Can be used to mark lines and to make straight cuts with a saw


Tape Measure


Stanley 25-Feet FatMax Tape Measure

  • You know how they say: Measure twice and cut once



Utility knife


DEWALT Folding Retractable Utility Knife

  • This is one of the most versatile tools
  • Ideal for cutting all types of materials


Tool Kit


Stanley 65-Piece Homeowner’s Tool Kit

  • Ideal tool kit for an average woodworker
  • Contains pretty much all the hand tools you need to build projects





  • Clamps are needed when joining components together
  • You need clamps of different sizes for most projects


Ear Protection


ClearArmor Safety Ear Muffs 34dB NRR 

  • 34dB – Highest NRR (Noise Reduction Rating)
  • Adjustable to Fit All Sizes




3M Tekk Virtua Anti-Fog Safety Glasses, Clear Frame, Clear Lens

  • Use safety glasses when cutting the wooden boards




Bosch Drill and Drive Set, 91 Piece

  • A wide variety of general purpose accessories
  • 91 piece drilling and driving Set




Black & Decker Workmate 125: 350-Pound Capacity Portable Work Bench

  • Jaws resist warping and can be angled to accommodate uniquely-shaped materials
  • Non-skid feet prevent sliding



Irwin Tools Quick Grip One-Handed Mini Bar Clamp, 6-Inch, 4-Pack

  • High-carbon steel is durable for long life where high accuracy and tolerance is not critical, especially important with hand use.
  • Backed by the IRWIN lifetime guarantee. Made in the USA from global components.



Wolfcraft Right Angle Clamp

  • Durable right angle aluminum clamp for making cabinets or box-frames
  • 3-inch clamp face with V-groove design to hold round materials




Post hole digger


Bully Tools Gauge 7-Inch Post Hole Digger with Fiberglass Handle

  • Commercial grade
  • Limited lifetime warranty





3. Tools for Woodworking I use and recommend

Now that we have cleared the easiest way to make strong joints, I will show you the other tools you need to have in your shop for building my projects. If you have these tools in your shop, you will be able to build almost anything. As you can see you don’t need expensive tools or investing thousands of dollars in your hobby. With under 500 dollars you will be able to have the basic tools and be ready for any woodworking challenge.


Drill & Nail gun

You need a good drill to make pilot holes and an impact driver for inserting the screws accurately and without damaging the wood. These tools are a must have, as they save you time and they help you joint wood properly.

If you will build larger structures, such as sheds or tiny houses, you should consider buying a nail gun. In addition, the finish nailer is ideal for inserting brad nails, when installing trims. If you buy the nail guns you also need the compressor.




DEWALT 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Compact Drill/Driver Kit

  • Compact, lightweight design fits into tight areas
    • High performance motor


Impact Driver


Makita 18V Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless Combo Kit, 2-Piece

  • For drilling pilot holes and inserting screws
  • You need a drill for almost any woodworking project




DEWALT Pneumatic 18-Gauge 2-Inch Brad Nailer Kit

  • For driving in brad nails



Finish Nailer


DEWALT 1-Inch to 2-1/2-Inch 16 Gauge Finish Nailer

  • For finishing nails (trims, decorative elements)





DEWALT 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor

  • For the nail guns






WEN 4208 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill Press

  • Includes a 1/2-inch keyed chuck and onboard key storage
  • Operates at 5 different speeds: 740, 1100, 1530, 2100, 3140 RPM






You also need to adjust the size of the boards to suit you needs when building woodworking projects. There are several types of saw you can buy and each one excels in some areas. The miter saw is the most versatile, as it makes regular cuts, as well as angle cuts.

A circular saw will help you have more mobility when making the straight cuts, while a jigsaw is ideal for making curved cuts. If you are serious about woodworking, then a table saw will give you the most freedom and help you cut saw in all directions. For example you could dimensions 2x4s to 1x4s and so on. The table saw is also ideal for cutting large sheets of plywood and for making dados.

If you are a beginner and you have to buy just one saw, I would personally go for the miter saw.


Miter Saw


Hitachi 15 Amp 12-Inch Dual Bevel Miter Saw with Laser

  • For cutting accurately wood planks or for making miter cuts
  • A must have tool for any DIY-er, as it saves you time
  • For beginner DIY-ers


Miter saw

DEWALT 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw

  • Exclusive Back Fence Design cuts up to 2×16 dimensional lumber at 90° and 2×12 at 45°
  • Super efficient dust collection system captures over 75% of dust generated.
  • Dewalt’s 3 year limited warranty
  • For heavy duty DIY-ers


Circular saw


DEWALT 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Circular Saw, Tool Only

  • Battery included
  • For making long straight cuts




DEWALT 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Jig Saw

  • For making curved cuts or for cutting out holes



Table Saw


DEWALT 10-Inch Compact Job Site Table Saw with Guarding System and Stand

  • For complex cuts (dados)
  • For small cutting plywood sheets
  • It’s a portable table saw

Table Saw


SawStop 1.75-HP Professional Cabinet Saw Assembly

  • If you are serious about woodworking, this table saw will help you make accurate cuts
  • Accurate fence system



Sander & Router

You will also need a sander to even out surfaces and to smooth the edges. The router will help you make rabbets and mortises, as well as rounding the edges. The benchtop planer mills rough stock lumber to size in a matter of seconds (it basically speeds up the sanding part). Once again, if you have to buy just one tool go for the sander.




DEWALT Amp 5-Inch Variable Speed Random Orbit Sander Kit with Cloth Dust Bag

  • For smoothing wooden edges
  • For evening out a surface


Benchtop sander


WEN 4×36-Inch Belt and 6-Inch Disc Sander with Cast Iron Base

  • Belt tilts anywhere from 0 to 90 degrees
  • 4.3 Amp motor provides up to 3600 RPM


Spindle sander


WEN Oscillating Spindle Sander

  • Includes 6 sanding sleeve sizes for a variety of curvatures: 1/2 in., 3/4, in., 1 in., 1-1/2 in., 2 in., 3 in.
  • Attach the dust collector of your choice to the onboard dust port to minimize clean-up




DEWALT 1.25 HP Max Torque Variable Speed Compact Router Combo Kit with LED’s

  • For making rabbets and mortises
  • For rounding edges


Router table


Bosch Benchtop Router Table

  • Includes mounting hardware for a variety of routers
  • Easy to use and durable materials




DEWALT 15 Amp 12-1/2-Inch Benchtop Planer

  • Mills rough stock lumber to size in a matter of seconds
  • Ideal if you use recycled or pallet wood for your projects




TruePower  Biscuit Plate Joiner with Carbide Tipped Blade, 4″

  • Max cutting depth: 0.55″, Cutting Angle: 0 – 45 degree
  • Biscuit Spec: #0, #10, #20


Multitool Bosch


Bosch StarlockMax Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit

  • Delivers best-in-class blade grip providing more torque transfer
  • Extreme power – driven by a 5.5 amp motor with reinforced metal gearing




Other tools

There are other tools you should have in your shop, if you will build project regularly. Therefore, a great investment will be to buy a dust collector. Inhaling dust has bad effects on your health on the long run, so if you afford a collector you shouldn’t have second thoughts.


Dust Collector


1.2 HP 5 Micron Dust Collector

  • Dust Collector
  • Health should be you priority, so buying a dust collector is a wise investment



4. Concrete tools

If you want to experiment with concrete projects or you just need to pour footings, these tools would help you. The concrete mixer saves you from a lot of work and is ideal for pouring slats, footings and even countertops. The polisher helps you bring the natural beauty of concrete to surface.


Concrete Mixer


Pro-Series Electric Cement Mixer, 3.5 Cubic Feet

  • A solid concrete mixer for small projects



Concrete polisher


Variable Speed Polisher 5 Inch Concrete and Stone Wet Polishing Kit with Diamond Pads

  • For polishing concrete, such as countertops or other surfaces



Hand polishing


Diamond Hand Polishing Pads STADEA for Stone Concrete Granite Marble – Set of 7 Pcs

  • Works great for Granite, Concrete, Marble, Terrazzo, Travertine, artificial stone, Tile, Glass, and natual stone polishing




5. Books

If you are new to woodworking or you are just on a continuous quest for self improvement when it comes to woodworking, these books will teach you new techniques to be a better woodworker.




The Complete Manual of Woodworking

  • With more than 1,800 drawings, diagrams and photos, this authoritative guide encompasses the whole art and craft of woodworking.
  • Designed to instruct and inspire every woodworker from the beginner to the most exacting expert, it has become a classic.



Joint Book


The Complete Guide to Wood Joinery

  • Diagrams and color drawings illustrating every joint that’s used in American woodworking



Woodworking book


WoodWorking Tips

  • World’s biggest collection of reader-written, shop-tested, photo-illustrated woodworking tips and techniques





The Complete Japanese Joinery

  • Book by Sato, Hideo, Nakahara, Yasua




6. Photography Gear

64″ Travel Tripod

  • 2.64 lbs Net weight; 8.8 lbs Load Capacity; 3-Section Tripod Legs; 22”-64” Tripod Height Range
  • Quick-Release Plate with Standard 1/4”-20 Screw Mount Compatible for all Digital Cameras, Lenses, most Camcorders, GoPro devices, Binocular, Telescopes


Nikon D3300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with Auto Focus-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II Zoom Lens (Black)

  • 24.2 MP CMOS DX-format sensor
  • 5 frames per second continuous shooting


Go Pro Hero 7 Black Action Camera + Extra Battery + 32GB Sandisk 32GB MicroSDHC U3 + Polaroid 16GB MicroSD Memory Card

  • Video File Format MP4 (H.264/AVC), MP4 (H.265/HEVC)
  • SuperPhoto | HyperSmooth Video Stabilization
  • Wi-Fi + Bluetooth® | GPS Enabled | Connects to GoPro App
  • 3.5mm Audio Mic Input With Pro 3.5 Mic Adapter (sold separately) | Stereo Audio


7. Garden

  • Spray Gun – 

  • Gardena 50-Foot 5/8-Inch Garden Hose – 

  • GARDENA Electronic Water Timer with Calendar Function – 

  • Large Size Auger Drill Bit – 

  • Braided Nylon String – 

  • Fiskars Pruner Bypass – 

  • Fiskars Square Garden Spade Shovel – 

  • Worx 20V 12″ Cordless String Trimmer & Edger – 

  • WORX 20V Turbine Cordless Leaf Blower Power – 

  • Makita 36V (18V X2) Brushless 18″ Lawn Mower Kit – 

  • Gardena Oscillating Sprinkler – 



  1. Recommended Tools
  2. Recommended Materials  ←




Since you are here, I recommend you to check out my favorite plans that I have created over the years. Therefore, make sure you don’t skip my porch swing plans if you like to spend time home with a good book, my deer stand plans if you are a passionate hunter or my firewood shed plans if you like to make barbecues. In addition, if you are a homeowner, you will enjoy my double chair bench with table plans and the great outdoor pavilion plans for your backyard.