Woodworking Starter Kit — Must-Have Tools for Beginners

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The sheer thought of becoming a woodworker can be overwhelming, especially when deciding which power tools to use and what projects to start with. In fact, most people unfamiliar with the woodworking community tend to waste resources tackling tasks unsuited to their skill level. 

If you don’t want this problem in the long run, here’s the woodworking starter kit recommended by our professional woodworkers.

Good Reasons to Start Woodworking

Besides cultivating fundamental skills and creativity, delving into woodworking gives a beginner woodworker a sense of accomplishment. 

You may not know, but a tangible project output builds confidence and encourages newbies to continue working on complex workpieces and woodworking tools. 

This hobby can be a breath of fresh air for creative individuals working a 9 to 5 office job. You can also tackle simple home improvement projects with basic woodworking tools, eliminating the need to buy furniture pieces with jacked-up prices. 

woodworking products

As long as you have the essential woodworking tools, we don’t doubt you’ll save time and money doing home repairs yourself. 

Your first project can also be a good value gift that will make your woodworking skills improve and provide you a chance to give others more customizable presents. 

Even with a simple woodworking starter pack, no one can deny that this hobby can generate extra income for you. However, our resident woodworkers recommend power tools with higher quality if you intend for this hobby to become a consistent money stream. 

Consumer vs. Professional Grade Tools for Beginners

Your woodworking starter pack doesn’t need to be filled with massive power tools or expensive hand tools. If you’re a beginner, it’s okay to opt for consumer tools such as circular saw, jigsaw, miter saw, drill, and other machines, as long as they have decent quality and build.  

(Also Read: Circular Saws Recommended for Beginners)

However, you must ensure that these basic tools have enough power and durability to work with a wide range of materials. If not, you’ll end up buying a new tool and wasting money. 

woodworker using a hand plane

Meanwhile, most pro-grade high-quality tools require a higher skill level. The upside is professional power tools are more durable and long-lasting than typical options in the market.

For example, consumer-grade cordless drills are often lighter than professional-grade alternatives. Because of this, lightweight options may obtain damage when drilling holes in hard materials. 

If your cordless drill press has a premium construction, you can rely on it for extra motor power and torque without the risk of tool damage. 

Where Should I Start My Workshop, Backyard, Garage, or Basement?

Before you start buying your own tools, it’s essential to put your available space into consideration. Choosing your basement is a solid option since being isolated protects your materials and power tools from the changing weather and other external elements. 

The downside for basements is the airflow and lighting quality. If you decide to use it as a work and storage space, we suggest buying tools like LED lights and air filters. 

woodworker's shop

Even when using simple tools for your project, don’t forget that some machines produce noise during operations. You may want to put electric saws in a soundproofed basement. 

Another great option for a workshop is your home’s garage. Unlike the previous location, it provides good lighting and airflow during the tool operations. It’s also more accessible and less contained, making the tool noise less of an issue. 

The only problem we see in using your garage as a workshop is its accessibility, exposing your cutting tools and other expensive woodworking machines to potential robbery. 

If you have a shed space in your backyard, it’s the best tool location we can recommend. It’s an area with enough airflow and lighting, so you can expect your cutting and layout tools to deliver accurate results. 

woodworker operating a machine

Besides its perks to a beginning woodworker, adding a shed in the backyard is essential if you want to resell your home at a higher market value.  

Our Top Power Tool Recommendations for Beginner Woodworkers

#1: Power Drill

Using a power drill with Forstner bits to make holes is a convenient joinery method and works well in detailed work. It’s a great addition to your woodworking starter kit because you can also use it for sanding and buffing.

If you want to achieve maximum drilling and driving power, a tool like BLACK+DECKER LDX120PK battery-powered drill should top your list. This drill has a longer battery life than other power tools, so you won’t get disrupted too often during drilling operations.

#2: Circular Saw

Besides a drill, a circular saw is the one tool you need the most to make bevel and straight cuts on a wood board. It’s also the next tool you can consider apart from table saws that can execute decent rip cuts. 

It would be best if you had a great saw to handle different materials, and we’re certain BLACK+DECKER BDCCS20B is versatile enough to do that because of its variable speed settings. It also runs with an interchangeable power system, making the tools work with the same battery as long as they’re under the same brand. 

#3: Compound Miter Saw

Buying tools to jumpstart your woodworking journey also involves selecting massive cutting machines such as a compound miter saw. These cutting tools are mostly utilized for making straight slices faster than other alternatives. 

Rather than selecting a random miter saw for your tool kit, you should buy DEWALT DWS715 for its accurate mitering system and steady plunge base fence support. 

#4: Jigsaw

Although jigsaws aren’t the most needed item in a newbie tool kit, it’s nice to include them because you can rely on them in making curved or intricate cuts. 

It won’t be impossible to do that through WEN 33606’s variable speed settings. You can also count on its dust collection system to clear your material’s cut line. 

#5: Mouse Sander

Instead of a random orbital sander, a beginner should use a palm or mouse sanding machine for smaller projects. These options offer more user control for detailed sanding than massive belt sanders

Your tool kit will have a great advantage if it has the sanding power BOSCH ROS20VSC Palm Sander provides. We don’t doubt you’ll need this tool to eliminate swirl marks because its pad-dampening system provides a smooth finish. 

#6: Brad Nailer

Besides a drill, your woodworking tool kit must include a brad nailer for driving brads on cabinets and moldings. You might think this task is more fit for a claw hammer, but this tool allows users to fire nails using one hand. 

If you want a brad nailer that’ll last a long time, we recommend using the likes of DEWALT DWFP12231. It runs with a maintenance-free motor engine, preventing the tool from leaving a stain on the work surface. 

Hand Tools for a Beginner Woodworking Kit

#1: Level

Material and surface alignment is a must when using power tools to make a wooden workpiece, so you can’t forget to add a level to your woodworking tool list. 

Smaller options like DOWELL Torpedo Levels  should be less overwhelming for beginners while ensuring utmost accuracy. 

#2: Clamps

These tools are meant to hold materials down in a stable position, making the cuts and other applications more precise. It’s sold in different varieties like pipe clamps, etc., depending on the materials you’ll use it with. 

Some woodworkers utilize it for clamping pieces joined together with wood glue. 

If you’re working on small wood pieces, IRWIN 1964758’s quick grip mechanism should help you hold these materials down. It has a force that ranges up to 140 lbs to ensure the workpiece stays in place. 

#3: Tape Measure

It’s a no-brainer that you’ll need a tape measure in your tool kit. No matter how advanced your skills are, these tools can provide more accuracy for your project. We urge you to have two tape measures in your toolbox for emergency purposes. 

Many tape measures are available on the market, but LEXIVON LX-202 caught our attention with its firm grip and anti-skid rubber exterior. 

#4: Speed Square

A speed square helps you make accurate markings using the tool’s metric system on its straight edge. Besides these tools, you can also opt for a combination square if other alternatives aren’t available.

You can also utilize it as a regular protractor or tri-square. The SWANSON Tool Co S0101’s multiple gradations should give you accurate measurements for your project.

#5: Hand Plane

Your woodworking starter kit should also be more useful if you have a regular hand plane to help with all the wood trimming. Sometimes sanding takes a lot of time, so these tools help ease your task. 

A handy option you can consider buying for your tool kit is KAKURI Japanese Hand Plane. Since it has a small design, our tool experts ensure it’ll be handy enough to wield and move around. 

Other Beginner Woodworking Essentials

#1: Tool Box

While buying a toolbox is not required, you can use it to store your tools when not in use without the risk of damage. It’s also a great way to clear your workspace and declutter items on the tool board. 

If you have limited tools, you don’t need a massive toolbox, so this Apollo Metal 2-Drawer Toolbox (DT5010) should be large enough for your storage needs. 

#2: Kreg Jig

Trust our experts when we say you’ll need a Kreg jig when joining two wood pieces together. These essentials are sold in different variations and prices but are sought-after for swiftly drilling pocket holes. 

We suggest checking out KREG K4 Pocket Hole Jig Kit because it works without a fence, making the positioning much easier. 

#3: Router

It’s a tool you can count on if you need to route certain wood portions. Most woodworkers use it when handling cabinet projects or table edges. 

So instead of random tools from unknown brands, try using DEWALT DCW600B and pair it with a steady router table. It’s a cordless model but can run up to 25,500 RPM. 

#4: Wood Turning Lathe

If your crafting interests include wood turning [1], buying a lathe is a non-negotiable necessity. You can buy a complete lathe set like WEN LA3421 that’ll give you the leverage of turning pens, cups, and other small workpieces seamlessly. 

#5: Work Bench

When shopping for a good beginner workbench, it’s crucial to ensure that it provides sufficient storage space accessible to you during usage. 

Your first workbench can be like the high-quality options from Fedmax, made with spacious surfaces and durable Acacia hardwood.  Also, make sure to consider the best workbench height according to your needs. 

#6: Table

Besides a tool board, getting a table to place other tools you might need and free up space in your workbench is a great idea. It’s wise to consider foldable options like Best Choice Products Plastic Table  to save space in the workshop. 

Safety Tools and Equipment

#1: Respirator

Since you’ll be using power tools, you must protect yourself from chemicals and other particles with a respirator specifically designed for workshop operations. The GVS SPR457 Elipse P100 as filters you can replace easily after use, but they’ll last for at least five years.

#2: Hearing Protection

High-powered tools like circular saws will produce more noise, so wear ear protection gear to prevent hearing damage. If you can, use earmuffs with noise-cancellation features like ProCase ‎PC-08361503.

#3: Safety Glasses

True to their name, safety glasses serve as eye protection from micro dust and flying wood parts due to kickback. You’ll feel extra safe if you buy glasses made of Polycarbonate Tpr that are highly resistant and tough, like Bollé Safety 40305.

How Can I Get Started With Woodworking?

You can start your woodworking journey by reading and watching online tutorials like what you’re doing now. You can join social media groups and other community forums with the same interest as you and heed some advice there before you decide on building your workshop. 

Is Woodworking Difficult?

It’s not at the highest difficulty level, but learning takes time and practice. Consistency and starting small should help your skills grow if you want to create a masterpiece.  

What Woodworking Project Can I Begin?

You can start with smaller projects to avoid pressure, such as a birdhouse or a simple shelf hung on a wall. 

FAQ

Can I teach myself woodworking? Can I learn it by myself?

You can teach yourself woodworking or learn it by watching online tutorials. Many communities are willing to share trade secrets and beginner tips, so don’t be scared to join and ask. 

Is it recommended to utilize used power tools?

If you’re a beginner weighing which woodworking field you should delve into, it’s economical to borrow workshop tools from others. Through this, you can save time and money.

What is the most important tool in a woodworking shop?

If you want to build furniture pieces, a Kreg jig is the most important tool you should have in a workshop. 

What hand tools are most recommended for wood carving?

The right tools for wood carving tasks are junk chisels, hand drill tools, and other hand-wielded options. If these items are available in your tool kit, they will help you build projects like ornamental picture frames and figurines. 

What types of skills should a woodworker have?

As a woodworker, you should learn how to operate circular saws properly. It would help if you also got the hang of the sanding and drilling because most projects require power tool usage. 

Conclusion

Your woodworking starter kit doesn’t need all the available tools you can find in the market. After all, some projects only require basic tools. 

However, our resident woodworkers suggest thoroughly reviewing your project needs, as not all tools offer the same capabilities. Remember that each tool works best based on its specific purpose.  

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. 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.
Robert Johnson
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