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The 5 Best Woodworking Books For Everyone This 2020

Woodworking is a fun hobby for people of all ages to take on, although not all of us have the time and money to attend woodworking classes. For those looking to save on some time and be able to learn from home, you can refer to awesome woodworking guides! They help you hone the necessary skills to craft the perfect carpentry gifts. They also equip you with the know-how to transfer your skills to other carpentry projects!

Top 5 Woodworking Books – Reviews & Buying Guide

1 – Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop

If you are even remotely interested in woodworking, then you must have heard of Nick Offerman. He’s had two bestseller books of carpentry, while moonlighting as an actor, comedian, cohost of an NBC crafting competition show Making It, but he is first and foremost a woodworker. 

There are a variety of ways to purchase the book, a good old fashioned hardcover, an audio CD or book depending on which you prefer, and it’s also available on Kindle. 

His workshop not only produces artisanal furniture that is handcrafted, but his other products range from ukuleles to even mustache combs!

It doesn’t matter if you are an expert or a layman, within these pages you will find projects for every skill level. Not only will the text tell you how to create amazing projects of your own, but the words are paired with informative pictures to make sure you understand the instructions clearly.


  • Projects contained in the pages are for every skill level.
  • The woodworking guide gives examples of popular woodworking projects
  • Beginners and experts can benefit from the colorful pictures.
  • A book by bestselling author Nick Offerman himself.
  • One of the most highly rated woodwork books out there.
  • There are plans that are simple and do not require the use of power tools.


  • Many readers find the book less informative and more for entertainment purposes.

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2 – The Complete Manual of Woodworking: A Detailed Guide to Design, Techniques, and Tools

Now if you were looking for informative and jam packed full of rich knowledge, then look no further than this woodwork book from Albert Jackson and David Day. Within these pages are tips, techniques, diagrams, photos and drawings to help you craft fine pieces of art.

Bill Hylton has quite a few good books available as well that require the use of power tools. That’s why we decided to go for online options that are more traditional and cater to people of all skill levels that may or may not own these large pieces of equipment.

Building furniture can actually be an easy endeavor if you have a detailed guide instructing you on all there is to know about this form of art. Seek and find inspiration within the hardcover or paperback book.


  • Not only are skills and techniques discussed, but even the differentiation of hardwoods and softwoods.
  • The techniques involved include jointing, bonding, fastening, etc.
  • Learn how to choose the right wood and tools for your project.
  • Clear instructions.


  • The book might be a little dated without good organization.

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3 – Working Wood 1 & 2: The Artisan Course with Paul Sellers

What’s important for a person looking for a woodworking guide or a woodworking magazine is to see what sorts of skills they can gain. Many readers have found that the best books are those that cater to people of all skill levels. 

The author, Paul Sellers, has over 40 years of experience in the field under his belt. He tailors the perfect guide that details the step-by-step process on how to shape and shave wood to learning about hand tools. The knowledge you will receive from this expert veteran can be transferred to a variety of other fields. 

The paperback includes detailed diagrams and can even be purchased alongside the 7-DVD series (sold separately). 


  • People of all skill levels can take away valuable expertise on how to craft wood.
  • The paperback can be purchased alongside a 7-DVD series.
  • The knowledge you gain can be transferred to other projects.
  • Complete with diagrams and clear instructions from an authority in woodworking.


  • The graphic design of the book may be a bit messy.

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4 – The Complete Book of Woodworking: Step-by-Step Guide to Essential Woodworking Skills

Other than learning a thing or two, you also get forty ready to go projects with detailed plans with materials needed for indoor and outdoor projects. Sometimes it could be hard to depict something with just words alone, so the photographs, over 1200 to be exact, work wonders for beginners.

Acquire expert advice on everything from setting up shop to identifying and using tools safely and to finally finishing the project. If you like larger pieces such as chairs and lounges, there is something for you. There are even smaller projects as simple as picture frames included in the book.

Go from beginner to master with this comprehensive book that holds your hand every step of the way!


  • With over 1200 projects available, who could turn this book down?
  • Beginners will learn to set up shop and learn all the basics.
  • Experts will learn something new and probably further develop their skills.
  • Get a taste of every type of project small and large for indoors and out.


  • It may not be the book for woodworkers only looking to use hand tools.

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5 – Great Book of Woodworking Tips: Over 650 Ingenious Workshop Tips

This is the equivalent of a workshop bible and should be kept at your fingertips! Speaking of tips, this great book is full of them! From how to sharpen your tools to the finer details like how to rout edge joints and how to clamp and glue miters.

Not only will you learn essential skills, you will also realize how to avoid common errors and pitfalls. Giving you the knowledge of what to do is easy, but not everyone tells you want to avoid and how to prevent it.

If you think you know everything, think again. We’re sure that even the most experienced professionals will have a lightbulb moment or two.


  • Learn what to do and what not to do.
  • Learn the basics and the difficult details.
  • You will benefit from the experience of others.
  • The book comes with 800 colored photos.


  • It seems like the book is better for more advanced woodworkers.

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What to Look for When Buying the Best Woodworking Books

It’s agreed upon that anyone buying woodworking guides are looking to improve their skills and learn a thing or two. You need to be sure that what you purchase will offer you a little something. However, you can’t read a book before you buy it, so follow the tips below to make sure the book is right for you.

Skill Level

While most books are advertised to cater to a variety of skill levels, you should make sure. The books should have something for everyone from how to set up shop and introducing the proper tools to extra techniques that would benefit a pro.

What’s Covered

Make sure the book covers what you are looking for. If you want to build small woodworks such as picture frames, birdhouses and mantle clocks, then you shouldn’t purchase a book geared towards larger projects such as lounge chairs and dining tables.

Does the book cover safety tips, basic setup and a wide range of other categories? How about introducing the hand tools and equipment and what they are used for? We know a few beginners that could really benefit from that.


While most books are pretty affordable (at under $50), you still need to establish a budget. It’s not even worth it paying $5 for a book that will contribute nothing to your expertise. So think about what you are willing to pay for a new skill set.

Pictures and Illustrations

We cannot stress the importance of this section. While experts may understand what’s being said on these pages, it’s always better to be able to see for yourself rather than visualize what the project would look like.

If you thought putting together furniture from Ikea or similar stores was tough, try building something of your own. And Ikea instruction manuals come with pictures! If you think of it that way then you will understand the importance of these illustrations and pictures.


Does the book provide project plans? Are those plans carefully thought out and instructions illustrated and clear? Also look at the projects given as we mentioned before and decide if that’s what you want. If you don’t own any power tools or heavy duty equipment, then steer clear of books targeted at those projects.


Everyone likes learning something that interests them, and woodworking is the same. Safety is of the utmost importance and any book worth its salt will happily outline all the safety precautions you should take. Whether you are a professional or a beginner, woodworking safety isn’t something to be ignored. Finding the right book with the right information for you will help you create many amazing projects to come!


Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen and women. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.

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