The 13 Essential Woodworking Tools you Need for DIY Projects

The 13 Essential Woodworking Tools you Need for DIY Projects

DIY projects can save you a lot of money, but you also need to use the right woodworking tools. Whether it is for home decoration, repairs, or gifts, DIY woodworking tasks are an excellent way to express your creativity. Fortunately, you don’t need many pieces of paraphernalia. So, before you begin, we have listed down the 13 essential woodworking tools that you need in your toolbox.

13 Essential Woodworking Tools you Need for DIY Projects

A dozen plus one – it is the number of woodworking tools that you need to do most of the DIY projects. You don’t need to be fancy, but you have to be wise in choosing the right devices that will assist you in doing your job easier. Moreover, you don’t have to buy those expensive tools just to have a beautiful outcome. Every woodworking task is possible to create with these essential woodworking tools. 

1.Chisels and Mallet

Chisels and mallet are like Romeo and Juliet – you can’t separate them apart. Regardless of the type of your project, you must have at least one kind of chisel and a mallet in your toolbox. It will help you create those hard-to-reach areas in your wooden items. In fact, it is one of the first tools that woodworkers used in the past.


In woodworking, wood glue is the most common adhesive device used in wood joinery. However, there are some instances that you will also use screws to attach pieces of wood. It will give you more reliable support for any project that you are making. Whether you will fix, construct, disassemble, or just attach piece two or three things together – a screwdriver is a tool that can assist you.

  • Flat Head – This kind of screwdriver works well for small screws. Most flat-headed screws tend to be short and thick. It means that you’re not going to need as much turning force to get the screws in or out.
  • Phillips – This screwdriver could be small, thick, large, or thin. With the head of the Phillips, you get a little more grip compared to a flat head. So, it gives you a position in getting the screws in and out of any project.

3.Nails & Screws

Hammers and screwdrivers are almost useless without nails and screws. Nails have the same structure but vary in size and thickness. On the other hand, screws have different size, width, and patterns on its head. Hence, make sure to match it with the tip of your screwdriver. Regardless, both are essential for most projects when it comes to attaching, assembling, and combining pieces of wood. If you’re doing DIY projects, you need as many types and classes as much as possible.

  • Finishing Nails – It is the most common type of nail with a small structure of about 1.25 inches. So, it would only work well in making small tasks such as picture frames.
  • Vinyl Sinker Nails – These are longer than finishing nails, which comes in handy even for more significant woodworking projects. 
  • Galvanized Nails – If you are doing an outdoor DIY task, it is a perfect choice to use.
  • Drywall Screws – It is one of the most common screws with a black phosphate coating. Aside from drywalls, you can also use it for other DIY projects.
  • Outdoor Screws – This kind is the counterpart of galvanized nails, which has a weather-resistant coating that is perfect for most weather conditions.


Just like mallets, hammers are tougher. Used to push down the nails, and attach two pieces of wood. It sounds like a no-brainer, but most beginner woodworkers forget about this tool to add on their cart knowing that it is only for construction. In fact, it is the most versatile woodworking tool. If you need to whack something or get a nail out of anywhere, then a hammer is the way to go.

  • Claw Hammer – It is one of the most common hammers that usually comes with a small head for whacking nails and other materials on the wood. On its other side, it has a claw that is suitable for undoing or getting the nails off the material.
  • Heavy-Duty Double Head Hammer – Some heavy-duty hammers have double heads for pounding nails and other materials. It is suitable for the most massive operations, such as nailing large metal bolts. More often, it is ideal for construction sites, but it is also ideal if you have a gigantic DIY project on hand. 

5.Tape Measure And Rulers

You need an accurate way to measure every angle, lines, and edges. You can only achieve it through tape measures and rulers. Every beautiful DIY project starts with precise measurements. There are different types of tape measures and rulers, so make sure to pick the right length according to what you need. More importantly, focus on durability to make sure that you can use it for a long time. 

6.Utility Knife

Utility knives offer a wide range of use – from cutting of wood, trimming other materials, to marking the measurements. When it comes to DIY projects, utility knives are the contrary of scissors, especially when you need something durable and sharp. Make sure to pick something that has a folding or sliding mechanism that hides the blade when unused. This way, you can hold it comfortably and store it properly. Achieve several DIY jobs with the right utility knife on hand.

  • Folding Utility Knife – This kind of utility knife folds open and closes in the same way. This mechanism gives you a safer tool for various DIY projects. In fact, you can still use it even with just one hand without cutting it yourself. The edge of folding utility knives tends to be secure and reliable.
  • Sliding Utility Knife – The device works with a handle and the slider that you bring up and down to hide the knife. It helps in protecting you from cutting yourself while giving you a chance to use it only one hand. You may find sliding knives with thin but very efficient blades.
  • Pocket or Multi-Tool – This kind of utility knife also comes with a folding mechanism, but it has two several blades. If you want to have more versatility in your utility knives, this type offers more convenience. Just make sure to sharpen it correctly whenever needed.

7.Marking Knife

Unlike utility knives, marking knives are only suitable for marking your wood. If you don’t want to use pencils because you can’t see its lines, this tool is a better option. What makes marking knives better than pencils is that it is easier to use and, in fact, more precise. Moreover, it can give you a useful guide when using any kind of saw.


Clamps are those tools that hold your material in stable positions. Whether you are drilling, gluing, or cutting the wood, you must use clamps to keep your materials unmovable. It might look simple, but clamps are essential for every woodworker. You need to invest in a high-quality set of clamps to get the best result and the most reliable support. 

  • Trigger Clamps – It’s the most common type of clamp you’ll find in most home improvement stores. It may be lightweight, but it provides robust support in most small to medium-sized wood projects. Just hold and press the trigger to tighten or release the material.
  • C Clamps – As its name suggests, the C clamps look like the letter “C” and are almost always from metal. C clamps require that you adjust the tightness by turning the handle. This setup is not ideal if you need to tighten the workpiece immediately because your other hand is busy holding other tools. In addition, this type is so versatile that woodworkers can use it both for home use and larger industry-specific projects.
  • Pipe Clamps – The nice thing about these clamps is that they’re interchangeable and can still offer sturdy support. If you are gluing some cutting boards, a set of pipe bar clamps is the safest option possible. The resilience, clamping power, and ease of use are unbeatable.
  • Bar Clamps Or F Clamps – The nice thing about these clamps is that they’re interchangeable and they can still offer robust support. If you glue some cutting boards, a set of pipe bar clamps is the safest option possible. Resilience, clamping power, and ease of use is unmatched.
  • Parallel Clamps – The most significant part about these clamps is that they are versatile for different projects while allowing users to use them in a variety of different ways. It is, however, one of the most expensive clamps.


If you can’t afford to buy power cutting tools, a handsaw will be good for DIY projects. Every woodshop must have a handsaw for cutting pieces of wood, especially for those thick ones. The best thing about this tool is that it is not that expensive compared to its counterparts. Still, you can get the same results and efficiency if you use handsaws right. If you just need to cut small or large woods with regular size, handsaws are a better option than power cutting tools. 

  • Traditional Western Handsaw – It is the most common type of handsaw in the market. It works with at least a two or three-foot blade with a triangular design. The blade is usually tightened and offers varying thickness and width depending on the type of wood you want to cut. 
  • Japanese Pull Handsaw – Unlike the traditional handsaw, Japanese Pull Handsaw cuts as its saws pass through the material, moving backwards with pulling force. This kind looks almost similar to a cleaver or butcher knife, but it has a thinner and longer handle.
  • Pruning Handsaw – It also cuts by pulling through the curved blade, which is perfect for trimming thin pieces of wood. You will love its portable design that comes with a folding feature for secure storage. Just make sure to pick the right pruning handsaw with the appropriate number of teeth. Take note that more teeth on the blade mean better and more precise cutting. On the other hand, fewer teeth per inch are perfect for trimming and cutting with harsh effects. 

10.Smoothing Plane

A smoothing plane is an essential tool for making surfaces blemish-free and smooth on every DIY project. It’s an excellent tool to use once you’ve developed some excellent hand-made woodworking skills. You can achieve it for as long as you use the plane on the wood correctly.

  • Hand Planer – A simple planer that allows you to change the depth of the cut and use both hands to shape wood with a solid, guided planing. It provides high accuracy, which makes your DIY projects look like a real piece of art. 
  • Two-handed Planer – As the name suggests, it has two handles on each side for more control. This design is perfect for shaping corners and delicate angles. 
  • Combination Rasp Planer – The movement here is less like a traditional Planer and more like a cheese scraper. It’s much more flexible than a conventional wood planer. It is also useful in other materials such as fiberglass and soft aluminum.
  • Flat Plane Bottom-Edged Wood Hand Planers – This type of planer is only suitable to use with one hand. So, don’t take this path if you have a lot of hard work to do in planning. The model is easy to use, so you can see what you’re doing to achieve better results.


The ability to drill holes and open spaces for various applications makes drills essential for any workshop or DIYer toolbox. Most drills come with drill bits and offer power driver and impact driver performance as well. You can use this to open better holes even on the toughest surfaces. Often a drill only works to screw or unscrew stuff. The more useful and quicker it is to use the hammer, the better it will be for your toolbox. Always take into account different speeds and driving strategies for the best performance. More importantly, pick the right drill bits.

  • Corded Drills – It comes with a power cord that limits the comfort and the room in which you can operate. However, this type delivers the most reliable and efficient drilling out there. When you need to cut hard materials such as concrete or thick wood, you need a corded drill.
  • Cordless Drills – It’s the opposite of a stringed one. It comes with a rechargeable battery and no cord so you can use it anywhere you want without any problems. They seem to be very good in power and durability, but nothing compared to a corded device.


Safety is always a priority. When doing any kind of DIY woodworking projects, don’t forget to wear your gloves. A sturdy pair of work gloves will protect your hands against any types of injuries, especially when using sharp-edged tools. Moreover, it is also useful when protecting you from extreme heat, coldness, and even electric shocks. It may not shield you from hitting your thumb, but it may at least lessen the blow. Choose gloves that will stop splinters while keeping rough surfaces from scratching your skin. 

13.Goggles And Mask

Here is another set of facial protection. Always wear your goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris. Then, your mask will prevent sawdust from entering through your lungs. You need a unique form of mask called a respirator to keep hazardous vapors out. These seals tightly around the edges to block the fumes. Various types of filters operate against specific substances, such as acids or ammonia. 

If you don’t, you will get exposed to harmful toxins that may cause prolonged hazards in your body. Both goggles and masks should be lightweight, sturdy, and secure. More importantly, it must have enough ventilation to avoid fogging and allow you to breathe.

Final Word

When doing DIY projects, you need to use essential woodworking tools to get the best results. It is alright to start with the basic ones and take your time learning each tool and when you should use it. As you expand your DIY skills, you can also upgrade your tools. So, you have to plan deliberately what are the tools that you need at first. Then, ask yourself, is it something that you would still be doing in the future?

Any woodworking tool that is beyond the basics is only worth buying if you will be using it regularly, or for most of your projects. Otherwise, it is not worthy of your penny if you will just hang it on the wall. Don’t just let the dirt cover it. Get the right set of tools and don’t be afraid to use each device. Know the pros and cons of each tool that you bought and apply it to your projects. It is the best way to build your toolbox as you improve your DIY skills as well.

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