13 Must-Have Woodworking Supplies

Someone marking measurements on a piece of lumber in a woodshop.

For those who are just getting started in woodworking, having a good arsenal of supplies can save you time and money on a project. From measuring devices to power tools, here are a few woodworking supplies you should add to your shop.

1. Hammer

A good hammer is essential to the woodshop. From hammering home finishing nails to removing fasteners from reclaimed lumber, you will be lost without a handy hammer at your disposal. You can even add different types of hammers for particular jobs, such as claw or finish hammers.

2. Circular Saw

A circular saw in action.

A good circular saw is crucial for rough and long cuts. A table saw is the better alternative and offers a wider range of use, but a circular saw is a good start. Adding a guide to the circular saw can make it more accurate, especially when ripping a long piece of wood.

3. Tape Measure and Awl

You will need a good tape measure for any project you tackle. An awl will help mark the wood and keep tools in line. Add a set of pencils and crayons for clearly marking out measurements. Avoid using pens because the ink is harder to sand out.

4. Combination Square

A combination square against a white background.

Making sure all joints are square is a critical step in the woodworking process. After all, one bad joint can mess up an entire project. A combination square will allow you to square up varying degrees and even doubles as a short ruler.

5. Saws

You should have a variety of saws at your disposal, depending on the type of projects you encounter. This includes a coping saw for right-angles cuts, a hacksaw for metal pieces, and a crosscut saw for general purposes.

6. Planes and Rasps

A wood plane with shavings around it.

You can always invest in a good planer to get smooth and flat surfaces, but a set of planes and rasps will get the job done just as well. For the basic woodworking toolkit, a low-angle block plane and a smooth plane will get you started. Round and flat rasps should also be incorporated for removing large chunks of material.

7. Chisels and Mallet

Chisels are a useful tool for cutting out joints or cleaning out cuts. Make sure you get a quality set of chisels and sharpen them frequently for optimal use. A rubber mallet is ideal for use with chisels as a metal hammer can splinter the ends.

8. Safety Equipment

A man working on wood in a workshop with a dust mask and ear protection.

You should always have a supply of safety equipment on hand whenever working around wood. This includes a set of safety goggles, ear plugs, and a dust mask. Purchase a good respirator if your shop is not equipped with a proper dust collection or ventilation system.

9. Power Drill

A power drill can make a woodworker’s life a lot easier. This handy power tool will quickly become an integral part of your shop and can be used to drill holes or screw in fasteners. You might even consider buying two to cut down on the time it takes to switch out bits.

10. Clamps

A selection of wood clamps.

Clamps help keep pieces of glued wood together for drying. You can never have too many clamps, but it’s always a good idea to pick up a variety of sizes for whatever project comes your way.

11. Router and Bits

A router is a versatile tool in the workshop. They can be used to cut out various types of joints or add a finishing flush trim to your project. It's sometimes better to buy quality router bits individually than purchasing a general set.

12. Jigsaw

A jigsaw being used on wood.

Jigsaws, also called scroll saws, are best at cutting angles, shapes, and tight curves. These saws are relatively inexpensive and come with a variety of blade widths.

13. Band Saw

A good band saw can make curved and freehand cuts a breeze, but they can also be used to rip large pieces of lumber. A 12 or 14-inch band saw is large enough to tackle most jobs.