Woodworking/Essential Hand Tools

While there probably isn't any truly "typical hobbyist woodworker", there are a number of tools that serve key roles in working with wood. While collecting tools over time, many woodworkers "make do" with a tool until they are fortunate enough to acquire a speciality tool for a given task.

A significant distinction should be noted at this point that, for some, the use of power tools is not considered because of their intention of relying exclusively on hand tools rather than taking advantage of common power tools such as a circular saw or electric drill. This author is not in that camp but has great respect for those that are able to adhere to such stringent standards. While it is personal decision as to whether or not one will use power tools, the time, effort, and skill needed to abstain from the modern convenience of electricity have never been in enough abundance for me to adopt such a vow of abstinence.

Collecting tools is absolutely a lifelong process though one usually doesn't realize that until many years of experience. Most woodworkers will go through phases of gathering as well as divesting themselves of various tools. In my case, my father gave me some basic auto repair tools when I graduated from high school and, while I still have some of that same set, many of those tools are long gone; either broken, loaned out never to be seen again, or lost in the tall grass where my kids took them out to play. It is, at times, a blessing to be forced to replace a tool.

The start of my collection included a number of screw drivers, a hammer, some wrenches, a ratchet set, pliers, and vice grips. For many years these served the sordid tasks of a young family man. My lack of both financial resources and experience forced me to be creative in the application of these basic tools. I still remember going to the store and finally noticing that there were different sizes of screw drivers than I had realized. And my lust for tools was born.


Claw Hammer

Wood Mallet

Screw DriversEdit

Slotted, commonly referred to as Flat or Straight Head

Phillips Head

Square Drive

Torx Head




Drills, Bits and AugersEdit

The most commonly used drill bits by carpenters are:

1) TWIST DRILL: A twist drill is used to bore holes for dowels. It bores a long clean hole.

2) CENTER BIT: A center bit is used to bore shallow holes. It is usually used to make up diameters of hole up to 50mm.

3) COUNTER SUNK BIT: A counter sunk bit is used for boring conical holes. It is used to facilitate easy receiving of screw heads.

4) AUGER BIT: An auger bit is used to bore holes in logs. Auger bits are available in sizes ranging from 6mm to 25mm.

Planes and ScrapersEdit