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A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Woodworking Hand Tools and Their Uses

A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Woodworking Hand Tools and Their Uses

A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Woodworking Hand Tools and Their Uses

A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Woodworking Hand Tools and Their Uses

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced woodworker, having the right set of tools will make your work easier and more effective.

Investing in just a few essential tools can save you a lot of money down the line and help you create better, more durable projects. This guide will help you learn about the different types of hand tools and their uses.

Claw Hammer

Hand tool woodworking is steeped in legacy, but it’s also a modern-day craft that provides a direct connection to the raw materials of nature. It allows you to create beautiful objects in a limited amount of space, and it offers the potential for a lifetime of enjoyment.

There are some tools, however, that are a little more special and suited to specific types of work than others. One such tool is the Claw Hammer, which was first forged by American blacksmith David Maydole in 1840.

The Claw Hammer is a heavy-duty hammer that has a striking surface on one face and a claw on the other. It is used to drive nails and to remove them from a surface.

Framing hammers are designed specifically for use in framing applications, so they tend to have a milled face and deeper serrations that grip the nail head and prevent glancing blows. Moreover, they can sink 16d nails, which are usually the largest nails used in framing projects.

Finish hammers are lighter than framing hammers and generally weigh less than 20 ounces. They have a handle that is up to six inches longer than conventional claw hammers, and the arc of the swing is shorter. They’re easy to use, but they are not as effective for driving and pulling nails, as framing hammers are.

Nail Set

One of the most important woodworking tools you will need is a nail set. This tool allows you to insert nails with the push of a button, making it an essential part of any beginner’s woodworking kit.

It won’t replace your hammer or your chisel, but it’s a great way to save on time while working on a project! Make sure you buy a nail set that has a sturdy, rounded head.

Another essential woodworking tool is a handsaw. This is a versatile tool that can cut across the grain of a piece of wood, as well as rip cuts perpendicular to the grain. Coarse toothed saws are best for ripping, while finier toothed blades are better for cross-cutting.

The tenon saw is another key woodworking tool for beginners to have. It features short blades and fine teeth that provide a straight and accurate cut when working with joinery.

This tool also helps you to cut angles – 45 and 90 degrees. It is an excellent way to get started with cutting joint edges and making your first mortise and tenon joints.


Screwdrivers are one of the most popular hand tools used by woodworkers. They are a staple of most toolboxes and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and functions.

A standard screwdriver consists of a handle and shaft that has a tip on it that you insert into the head of the screw before tightening or loosening it. There are several types of screwdrivers, based on the type of tip required and the length of the shaft.

Some screws, like Phillips, have a flat head and need a different type of screwdriver than others. There are a number of specialty screwdrivers, like clutch and tri-point screwdrivers, which are used for custom screws.

Another type of screwdriver is called a hex wrench, which has a hex-shaped blade on each end of a metal handle. Hex-head screwdrivers can be purchased in both SAE and metric size increments.

Many of the smaller screws in appliances and computer hardware require special precision screwdrivers. This is because these screws are often small, narrow and difficult to fit into a standard driver. Some of these precision drivers are magnetic, which allows them to hold a screw better and prevent the screw from falling out while you remove it.

Tape Measure

The tape measure is an essential tool for any woodworker. Its versatility means it can be used for a variety of tasks, from measuring the inside width of a bookshelf to drawing a perfect circle.

When using a tape measure, it’s important to read the markings correctly. This is especially true of metric measures, as they are not marked in inches.

A tape measure has two main parts: the blade (also known as the tape), and the end hook, or tang. The blade has imperial units on the top row and metric measured markings on the bottom.

Many tapes also feature a thumb lock, which stops the blade from automatically retracting back into its housing when you take a measurement. Press the thumb lock down to stop the tape from retraction and then push it back up when you are ready to put the tape measure away.

Some tapes have rubber grips, which make it easy to hold onto the tape. This is particularly useful if you are going to be working outside in rainy weather.

Layout Square

One of the most useful hand tools for a woodworker is the layout square, also known as a combination square. They are great for scribing lines and can be used to mark angles.

A good layout square can also be used as a try square or saw guide, and is particularly useful for making accurate cross-cuts. Its short side can be lined up with the edge of a board to give you a straight, square cut across the end grain.

Layout squares are available in 6″ and 12″ sizes. Typically, most woodworkers use the 6″ model because it’s easier to carry around and it fits onto smaller pieces of stock.

They come in a variety of materials, including heavy-gauge aluminum alloy for a lifetime of lightweight durability, and high-impact polystyrene for added resistance to wear and tear. Some models feature built-in block levels and a magnetic surface for convenient scribing.

Another useful tool for a woodworker is the bevel gauge, or sliding bevel square. A bevel gauge allows you to mark multiple angles at once with a sliding bevel that locks into place when you want to.

Sliding Bevel

A Sliding Bevel is a useful tool that can help you with many different woodworking projects. This tool is often used to make sure that all the angles in a piece of wood are equal and correct. This can save you a lot of time and trouble as it can prevent you from having to do a lot of measuring.

This tool is made up of a blade that can be set to any angle, from 0 to 180 degrees. It also has a locking screw to secure the blade tight at any angle that is needed.

Sliding bevels are essential tools for any woodworker, and they can be helpful in a wide range of projects. Some of the most common uses for these tools include laying out dovetails and marking framing cuts.

These tools are easy to use and can be used by even the most inexperienced worker. They have a simple design and are relatively inexpensive.

Before using a sliding bevel, it is important to prepare the blade and handle properly. Make sure that these are free of dust and other material that could interfere with the bevel’s ability to take accurate measurements. In addition, it is also a good idea to check the bevel for any breaks or other defects that may affect its ability to do its job.


There are many different types of hand tools. Each tool has different uses and varies in importance depending on the type of work you are doing.

For woodworking, there are several essential tools that should be included in every beginner’s toolbox. These include:

1. Combination blades are a versatile cutting tool that can be used for almost any type of woodworking application. They are great for cutting across or parallel to the grain of the wood.

2. Fine tooth blades are ideal for cutting through paneling, veneer, plywood, and laminates. These blades can be used for most woodworking applications and are especially helpful for finish work.

3. A combination square or Japanese square is a must-have for any woodworker. It is used for measuring angles and ensuring that all of the lines and joints are accurate.

4. A tape measure is a basic, but important, measuring device for any woodworker. It is not only useful for sizing pieces, but also for locating holes and other features of a project.

5. A caliper is a very simple, yet very useful, measuring device that can be used to check the thickness of wood surfaces. It is especially useful for identifying the thickness of a piece of furniture before gluing or nailing it together.