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What are the best tools for carpentry and joinery DIY?

Updated: Aug 29

Where to start? There are so many essential tools for woodwork - it will always depend on the job you're doing. In this post we'll cover a few basics tools that would complement a range of jobs.


“You could poke someone’s eye out with that”. Whilst it’s not technically a tool, safety gear is going top of the list. Working with wood is great, but you need to respect the tools you’re working with and always use the recommended Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).

Clamps. We love clamps, there are so many to choose from and lots of different way to use them, but these are an essential for woodwork.

Chisels. Essential for shaving rough surfaces, chopping out corners, scraping off glue, cutting out mortises and so much more.

Japanese Saw. Because they don't have to be pushed through wood, you can use a thinner blade without it buckling under the pressure. They can help on precision cuts.

Circular Saw. Not to be used lightly, which is why we mentioned PPE at the start of the post. A Good circular saw will allow for speed and accuracy – for straight or angled cuts.

Power Drill. Again an obvious one, it’s also worth mentioning drill bits too. We’ll write up a whole separate post on these – because they really can make life a lot easier.

Jigsaw. Really versatile tool, great at cutting curves and really help with effectively when used correctly.

Orbital Sander. One of the best features of the orbital sander is its shape, which allows it to get in corners and up against edges. For large areas, you’re going to want to use a tool to speed up the job and get a consistent finish.

Table Saw. If you’re stepping up your woodworking ‘tool box’ this should be considered. Used for ripping, cross cutting, bevel cuts, rabbets and grooves, cutting joints or kerfing, there are a range of blades you can utilise too.

Router. Used for shaping and moulding, a great handheld tool that’s essentially used to hollow out areas.

There’s more, but we’ve waffled on enough. As with all tools, it pays to keep them clean, sharp and well maintained. In some cases if you’re doing a limited amount of work you need to balance how much you invest in tools. If you’re thinking about bespoke joinery why not see if a professional could help or check out our post four reasons why you should hire a professional joiner.




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