Tools & Equipment

7 Essential Power Woodworking Tools

The vast array of woodworking tools you get in a typical workshop can be intimidating for those just getting into the trade. If you have to buy all these tools, it can mean having to spend thousands of dollars, which many beginners cannot afford.

The good news is you do not need to buy all those expensive woodworking tools to get into the trade. You can get the basic ones you will need most for typical woodworking projects and then gradually buy the others.

Here we look at 7 of the essential woodworking tools that everyone getting into the trade needs to have.

1. Table Saw

Types Of Table Saws

Photo: SawStop

The table saw is one tool you can be sure to find in almost any workshop, whether a beginner or professional woodworker runs it. It is one of the busiest tools in the workshop, as many woodworkers turn to it when they want to make a wide variety of cut types.

A table saw is often the engine that drives most workshop, and it is the centerpiece around which you organize all your woodworking tools. Besides cutting wood with some nice straight edges, you can use it for everything from bevel and miter cuts to making dado grooves.

Given the vital role this tool plays in a woodworking workshop, it is crucial to make sure you pick the right one.

Here you have to consider your specific needs and choose a model that can handle them. Moreover, avoid going cheap on your table saw as you do not want to buy a new one within a short time.

2. Jigsaw

Jigsaw

Photo: Makita

A jigsaw is the tool to turn to when you want to cut circular patterns and curves on your material. Chances are, at some point, you will need to make cuts that are not straight, and in such instances, even the versatile table saw cannot help you and hence you need to have a jigsaw.

The jigsaws use a reciprocating blade with finer teeth to ensure you always get cleaner edges. Additionally, they are typically safer and easier to use, making them even more ideal for beginner woodworkers.

When you want to enhance the appearance of your stock with intricate patterns, this is always the tool to buy. But, when purchasing one, go for the orbital-action type as it is more versatile and make sure what you buy provides an easy blade changing mechanism.

3. Circular Saw

Circular Saw

Photo: Skilsaw

A circular saw is one of the most popular handheld power tools among woodworkers. Many love that it is designed to be more portable and can carry and use it from almost anywhere. Additionally, this is quite a versatile tool that cuts various material types.

When you do not have the cash to get a table saw, a circular saw can perform pretty much the same functions when using it with a clamp-on straight edge. Clamping the circular saws also helps increase the cutting accuracy and leaves pieces with straight and clean edges.

If you plan to use the circular saws as your main saw, the worm driver versions are ideal as they offer more power and extra torque. But, simple mini models can still be good enough for the occasional users despite having a smaller cutting capacity.

4. Miter Saw

Miter Saw

Photo: DeWalt

A miter saw is an invaluable tool when it comes to cutting angles. It is ideal when you have to make the compound, mitered or beveled cuts as it will take a lot of time and exceptional skills to make the same cuts on your table saw.

Additionally, many compound miter saws will also have a sliding head that allows you to cross cut boards, making these tools even more convenient. While a larger miter saw increases your cutting capacity significantly, the 10-inch models are often good enough for most beginners.

5. Random Orbital Sander

Random Orbital Sander

Photo: Bosch

A random orbital sander is a must-have tool in the workshop if you want to give your workpiece a more professional finish. These sanders move in random circular movements that ensure you never end up with unsightly marks on the workpiece after sanding.

These sanders use sanding disks that are fastened to the machine using hooks and loops. The disks are readily available in local woodworking supplies shop, and so you should not have any difficulties finding a replacement.

A simple 5-inch random orbital sander that does not cost much should be good enough when starting. Something too large and expensive might not be appropriate if you still do not know how to use the tool properly.

6. Power Drill

Power Drill

Photo: Milwaukee

A power drill always comes in handy when you want to drill something for a woodworking project as it makes the job faster and easier. But, these are still quite flexible tools you can use for much more than drilling holes as they can accommodate various attachments.

When buying a power drill for the first time, the corded models are the best option since they provide more torque and are often more durable than the cordless ones. But, you also need to decide whether you want a keyed or keyless model and the ideal chuck size for you.

7. Wood Router

Wood Router

Photo: Bosch

Wood routers are handy tools for making decorative patterns on wood pieces, so they can also be beneficial to have in the workshop. What’s more, these tools are ideal for other things like cutting dados or rabbets.

If you are just getting into woodworking, a wood router with a good quality stationary base is much better for you than the plunge router base models. Also, something with at least a 2 HP motor, variable speed, easy bit change and soft-start is perfect.

Conclusion

The kind of power tools you have in your woodworking shop determines the projects you can tackle and the ease of doing them. Hence, it is always good to have as many power tools as possible if you do many projects.

That said, if you cannot buy all the tools you need at once, it is a great idea first to get the 7 essential ones listed above and purchase the others gradually or when the need arises.

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