Hand Tool Basics

Hand Tool Basics

Hand tools are still essential for any woodworker,and it often said that a woodworker is only as good as his tools. Power tools may adequately replace many hand tools, but some tasks are best accomplished with hand tools. Some say truly crafted pieces can only be made by hand.

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Everybody starting should have a close look on certain woodworking tools. In the following article I would like to explain some basic tools in more detail. For obvious reasons this is just an overview and some hand tools you should own or might think about buying. Some of these woodworking tools are around for over centuries hand have not changed much.

Hand Tools

As essential as it is, the table saw and power drill are useless without the lowly tape measure. The list of tools presented here is not intended to be an exhaustive list of every conceivable hand tool, but it is meant to be a general guide.

Power Tools For A Hand Tool Shop

A band saw is indeed a great tool to have in the shop. But its hard for me to say if this is the right “first tool” for you without more information. When considering which power tools to add to your arsenal, I recommend looking for the one that will open the most doors for you. In other words, the best multitasking for the type of work you do. As you can imagine, your woodworking style, focus, habits, and tastes will all play a role in dictating the direction you need to go.

Introduction to Hand Tools

Hand tool is any of the implements used by craftsmen in manual operations, such as chopping, chiseling, sawing, filing, or forging. Complementary tools, often needed as auxiliaries to shaping tools, include such implements as the hammer for nailing and the woodworkers vise for holding. Virtually every type of tool can be a hand tool, although many have also been adopted as power tools which get their motive power from engines rather than from people.


Major Screwdriver and screw types.


Though wrenches are not classified as woodworking tools they are used in assembly of projects and to make adjustments to tools and jigs. There are several standards for bolt and nut sizes, SAE (North America), Metric (Asia and most of Europe) and Whit-worth (Great Britain) are the three that you will likely encounter. With the increasing global market metric fasteners are becoming much more common in North America.