Woodworking is among the most versatile skills to have. While it requires equipment, knowledge of basic woodworking, and some practice, it does not mean that beginners cannot venture into woodworking. Quite the contrary, beginners may opt to give woodworking a try even if they have never done it before.
In order to successfully get started on woodworking, it is necessary for a beginner to, one, have a working knowledge of basic woodworking and, two, have the right tools for whatever woodworking project they might decide to start working on. Considering the number of tools which professional woodworkers use on a daily basis, putting together your woodworking tools might sound intimidating – but it really does not have to be. In this article, we will talk about the five crucial woodworking tools which should be in any woodworker’s arsenal – beginner or otherwise.
Why Get Started on Woodworking?
Not everyone feels that woodworking is the right activity for them and understandably so. After all, learning woodworking would require an individual to put in a significant amount of time to hone their skills and gain better understanding of the basics of woodworking. Considering the significant hassle that comes with woodworking, the question is: why should you actually venture into this activity? Well, a number of reasons could be raised, but possibly the most convincing reason is the simple fact that it is just awfully convenient. Whether you just want to use your skills for some handiwork project at home or want to turn it into a marketable skill, woodworking is really worth all the effort. Aside from wood carving, something which is usually more ornamental, woodworking also involves joinery, furniture making, and carpentry, making it not only a fun hobby but also a very useful one.
Five Tools Every Woodworker Should Have in Their Arsenal
Now, you cannot really get started on woodworking without the proper tools so, as promised, we will talk about the most basic tools every woodworker should have. Note, however, that this is by no means an exhaustive list. As you gain more expertise in woodworking, you will see how many tools there actually out there, with each one having its own specific and specialized uses. While investing in such tools is certainly a great idea for those who have significant experience in woodworking already, beginners might find it better to start with a couple of basic tools first. Some tools require the use of an air compressor to power them and although there are benefits of an air compressors some tools can be bought with their own power supply. Here is our list of the five essential woodworking tool thats are beginner-friendly and certainly indispensable:
1. Circular Saw
A circular saw is one of the most indispensable tools for woodworking. This tool is extremely versatile and durable, not to mention portable, too! You can use it for a variety of woodworking tasks ranging from crosscutting lumber, ripping plywood, or even cutting circles provided that you use the correct jig. Using a circle saw is a good way to practice your skills before moving on to using a table saw. There are also cordless variants of circular saw, something which you should consider if you want something you can bring and use anywhere.
Circular saws also come with a variety of attachments that allow it to have more uses. One good attachment would be a straight line ripping jig which will help you in cutting straight lines. A general all-purpose blade is also handy if you want to be able to cut most materials. For cutting plywood, a blade with a higher tooth count is indispensable.
A high-quality drill is also an important tool for most woodworking projects. This is something you will surely use a lot for years to come, so it is a good idea to invest in a drill which packs both power and features. If your budget permits, look for a drill with a hammer drill mode so you could also use it in drilling holes in brick or concrete. This way, you can also use your drill in installing certain features around the house.
An impact driver is another handy tool. You can use this for driving screws and bolts without the need to witch out the bit on your drill, making it more efficient to use. It will also be helpful to have a countersink bit, especially if you want cleaner holes with minimal cracking.
Of course, you would not always be cutting straight lines. This is where the jigsaw comes in. Again, since this is a tool you will be using quite often, it is best to buy a jigsaw packed with features. For example, you should look for a jigsaw which already comes along with a splinter guard. This will help prevent chipping in sheet products, as in the case of plywood. It is also handy to buy a jigsaw with a dust removal mode.
Since you will be using your jigsaw for cutting, high quality blades are a definite must. That said, try to look for a jigsaw which includes a set of different types of blades which are specifically designed for different types of materials.
4. Random Orbit Sander
As any skilled woodworker will tell you, sanding is an inevitable part of woodworking. This is why having a high-quality sander is extremely important. Not only will this ensure the quality of your work, but it will also help you save time in sanding, as well as make the whole process a whole lot easier.
When looking for an orbit sander, there are three key features which you should look for: (1) the sander must allow for good vibration control, (2) the sander must provide a mechanism for dust collection, and (3) the sander must offer speed variations. In addition to the said features, you will also need different types of sanding discs. As much as possible, make sure that you always have an assortment of sanding discs at hand. At the very least, always aim to have 80, 120, 180, and 320 available.
This last tool is another highly versatile woodworking tool which every woodworker should always have in their toolbox. Routers can be fitted with different types of bit and can be used for a lot of different woodworking jobs. They can be used for routing mortises, flattening large chunks and pieces, cutting rabbets, and even adding round-overs.
If you have to choose between a plunge router and a fixed-base router, opt for a plunge router. This type will allow for more flexibility and you can use if for routing pockets. You can also look for a trim router equipped with a plunge base. This type is not that powerful, but if you do not see yourself making heavy woodworking projects in the future, this variant should do just fine. Finally, you should also consider investing in different types of bits such as the round-over, the chamber, and the flush trim.
As you learn more about woodworking and move on to more challenging projects, you will be needing more specialized and more powerful tools such as a paint sprayer or other tools needed to finish up a job. For starters, however, it is best to invest in versatile and durable tools which can last you for years and which you can use for a variety of projects. Once you gain mastery over particular woodworking skills, you should find it easier to look for other tools to include in your workshop.