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Tools for Beginner Woodworkers

Read this post to learn what 5 tools are a must have to start woodworking. This post is all about tools for beginner woodworkers!

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The 5 must-have tools for beginner woodworking! Do you want to start woodworking, but not sure which tools you need? These are our top five tools for beginner woodworkers that are versatile and affordable! This post helps perfect way for beginner woodworkers to build their first tool set.

Tools for Beginner Woodworkers

Here is a list of the top 5 must have tools when starting woodworking. Depending on budget you can go with either cordless or corded tools. Also there are alot of great DIY starting tools you can buy before you start investing in the higher end professional tools. Tools I would recommend if looking to stay on a lower budget would be Roybi. If you are ok with spending a bit more you may want to consider Milwaukee or Dewalt tools.

Drill and Impact Driver

Orbital Sander

Pocket-Hole Jig

Brad Nailer

Circular Saw

Drill and Impact

These tools usually come in a set but either could be used to start off but we will tell you what is best and why. Ultimately is nice to have a drill and an impact as you can bore holes with the drill and use the impact to drive your fasteners with out having to switch bits all the time. But if you only have access to one or the other here is what each tool does best.


The drill is best at boring holes into woods, metals, plastics, etc. It can also be used to drive screws into materials as well, but it works best as a tool to drill holes. If you have to choose between the a drill or impact I would recommend the drill as its more versatile when starting wood working.

Drills will have a chuck that will accept a variety of diameter of drill bits. The chuck may also have adjustable settings with numbers, a hammer icon, and a drill icon. The numbers will limit the amount of torque or force the drill will apply, the hammer icon (when present) will turn the drill into a hammer drill (when drill into masonry materials), and the drill icon is for when boring into materials.

Drills will also sometimes have a speed setting switch. This is for adjust the speed/torque ratio. The “1” generally being low speed – high torque and “2” being high speed lower torque.

Impact Driver

Impacts are designed for driving fasteners and screws into materials. Standard impact drivers have a 1/4 quick release hex head. You can only use bits that have the 1/4 hex head that will fit into the impact driver. Impact drivers are fast and efficient at installing multiple screws or long/large fasteners since they have 2-3 times the torque of a traditional drill.

If you only have access to an impact driver you can get drill bits as well of all kinds of bits to use that work with the 1/4 hex head. The impact driver is a really handy tool in the workshop.

Orbital Sander

Sanding is a critical part of finishing off any wood working projects. Having a good sander is a good idea when beginning wood workers. Palm sanders are a great affordable option. Palm sanders take sheets of sand paper and are great for getting into corners and working around trim and edges.

Higher end sanders will have speed adjustment dial and a dust collection system. Orbital sanders are more efficient at removing and leveling out materials. Orbital sanders also have stick on sanding pads for quick and easy sand paper changes.

Pocket-Hole Jig

Pocket holes are a joinery method to attach pieces of wood together. They are a great strong joint that you can easily conceal.

image of pocket hole and kreg clamp
Pocket Hole

We have used the majority of Kreg’s Pocket Jigs and would recommend them hands down. They have great options for beginner woodworkers just starting out like the 320 kit or 520 model, to mid-range like the 720 Pro , to full production models like the Foreman.

They allow you to adjust for multiple material thickness and even come with charts to recommend screw type and lengths.

Brad Nailer

Brad nailers are a great tools for attaching trim and small pieces to projects. They generally come in electric (corded or cordless) and compressed air powered options. Brad nailers drive 18 gauge nails varying in length from 5/8″ to 2-1/8″ (depending model and brand).

Because you can use different nail lengths the brad nailer is a versatile tool and is great for adding trim and intricate pieces to your wood working projects. The tool will generally have a adjustment of how much force it applies so you can use it with hardwoods, softwoods, and MDF, and particle board

Circular Saw

image of  Ryobi cicurlar saw

For the final must have tool for beginner wood workers we would recommend a circular saw. Now the circular isn’t the ultimate tool but it is a great tool to start wood working. It is cheap and versatile especially if you pair it with a saw guide, straight edge guide, or large speed square.

Circular saws can adjust the depth of cut (some up to 2-3″ of depth) and set angles of between 0 – 55°(depending on model and manufacture). You can change out the blade types to allow for a finer cut (higher tooth count) or a general blade (lower tooth count) to best fit your project. You can also get different blade types for cutting aluminum, plastic, laminate, etc.

The circular saw great for beginners because you don’t need to invest in a pricier table saw and or mitre saw right away (but these are great tools to upgrade to once you want to invest more into woodworking). The circular saw can be used to break down big sheets of plywood, cut mitres on boards and lumber, and cut dimensions lumber to size.

Tools for Beginner Woodworkers Summary

Starting woodworking doesn’t have to be expensive. Using the tools above is a great way to get into woodworking on a budget. Check out Kijiji and Facebook Market place to see if you can find good deals on used tools. Sometimes you can get great deals at garage sales or second hand stores.

Our best advice is to just start. Find a small project to start and and grow from there. When working with tools make sure you use and wear the proper PPE (safety glasses, hearing protection, masks, etc.). If you ever have questions you can review the tool manufacture’s guide for safe operation of all the tools.

For more tools you can can check out out Amazon Shop to see gift suggestions, stocking stuffers, and more!

Good luck on you DIY wood working project!