Tools for beginning woodworkers 

It is possible  to start woodworking with only hand  tools.  Before the advent of power tools woodworkers only used hand  tools to produce beautiful furniture  . It was hard work. But now we have power tools to help us make  beautiful furniture with less energy. But some basic hand tools are necessary .  Of course you can make joints with power tools only but setting up the process is elaborate and takes time.  

Here is a list of hand tools you need.  

1.    One inch chisel.

2.    One half inch chisel.

3.    24 inch steel ruler.

  1. Try square,
  2. Planer .
  3. G clamp .
  4. Hand/panel saw .
  5. Tenon saw .
  6. Measuring tape .

Other hand tools are not listed here as I believe you are  going to work with power tools too . Some work, such as boring , is better done with power tools.  

Power tools you need.  

1.    Power drill 

2.    Saber  saw(Jigsaw) .

3.    Cordless drill (optional) .

4.    Power planer.  

With the tools listed above  you  can make many things out of wood . As you go along you may add other hand tools and power tools.  

In my opinion the first thing you should make is a workbench. You can work without a bench but a proper workbench provide a solid base for woodworking . It is not really necessary that you spend so much money to make a workbench . when I started woodworking the floor was my workbench as I could not afford to buy timber to make a workbench. At the end of the day I had backache. The a friend gave me an old buffet table wit a rusty frame. I cleaned the rust from the frame and replaced the top wit a three quarter inch thick plywood. After a coat of paint the table became my workbench . I still use it today. You can construct a strong workbench with pallet wood. You  have to remove all the nails . Make sure you do not miss any imbedded nails and staples.  Then use a plane or power planer to plane the wood.  

Choice of tools.  


Why I suggest one small and one big chisel is because a small chisel can make big holes while too big a chisel cannot make small holes. Right now you do not need a one and a half inch chisel.  Do not buy those very cheap chisels from China . China made chisels became blunt very fast. Chisels from Japan ,US , Germany and the UK are good and will last a life time.  

For ruler , try square, hammer and measuring tape, any make does not matter much . see that you do buy a measuring tape  and clamps that are too cheap. Very cheap lacks accuracy and the screw thread of the clamp is sticky.   

Power drill.  

Get a 3/8 inch two speed hammer drill . The size refers to chuck capacity whid determines the largest size drill that can fit into it . A hammer drill allows you to drill into concrete and bricks. The hammering action drives the bit into concrete and brick .  

Saber saw (or jigsaw) .  

You can do away with the hand saw if you have a jigsaw. This  power tool allows you to make straight line cuts, curved cuts and bevel cuts. Ahand saw can only make straight cuts.

Some jigsaw have variable speed . Some has two speeds .  Fitted with special blades a jigsaw can be used to cut tile and aluminum.  

A cordless drill uses battery power. This makes it portable. It can  be an ordinay drill or a power screw driver.  It cannot drill as fast as a power drill. As a screw driver it works very well.

If you have extra cash you should get a drill stand which allowa you to use  it like s drill press. I found out a drill stand is expensive so I rather buy a drill press which does not cost much more. But a drill press is not portable and it takes up floor space.  

When buying an electric planer choose the model with disposable blades, When the blades are blunt replace with a new set. 

 Power tools can be bought almost anywhere  but a shop selling power tools and machine tools have a bigger choice of makes and prices.  


Where to buy

Hup Seng Hardware  at Sri Kembangan is a good place to buy power tools . The tools can also be purchased online.  

Another company which sells online is  And their prices sometime are cheaper than prices at power tool shops.  

I recommend  buying tools produced by Bosch, Makita and Hitachi . Power tools made by Skil are much cheaper and their quality is acceptable    

The power tools I mentioned are safe to use. Circular saw, router and miter saw are  dangerous if you are not careful.

Images of tools

Electric / power planers.


Cordless drills.


Power drill                                                                  Saber saw /jigsaw    


G clamp                                                    Chisels


Tenon saw                                                                                    Panel saw



Try square                                                 Measuring tape


   My  Hitachi circular saw.

Skil circular saw



Drill press                                        My drill press




Drill stand                                Miter saw


My miter saw

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